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TV Review: Killjoys (Series 3, Episode 1)


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‘Boondoggie’ is an explosive premiere to Killjoys’ third season. After last season’s finale, which saw the conclusion of some major story arcs that had been building since the pilot, as well as the loss of two important characters, it was important for this episode to establish new paths for those returning.

The narrative of the Hullens takes on a broader scope, as it is revealed that in last season’s finale, the green plasma pool Khlyen poisoned was only one of many in the J Star Cluster, meaning of course that there are still many of these humans bonded with invasive neuroparasites out there. Simultaneously in this episode, the story of hackmods - enslaved humans with cybernetic implants which previously had been just a single element of Killjoys’ world-building - now takes centre stage.

The episode opens with Dutch and her newly expanded team of D’avin, Pree, Fancy Lee and Alvin – though still missing Johnny – storming a frozen fortress accompanied by some highly amped fight music. The Hullen they capture ominously tells them that whilst yes, they may be hiding now, they would soon return to stamp out humanity once and for all - giving viewers their first inkling as to the scope of the threat.

The major challenge Dutch and co. need first surmount is their lack of toxin to kill the green plasma pools; as Khlyen and John had figured out, the only way to destroy the plasma is to poison a Hullen and use the black blood to kill the plasma pools. Dutch and the team successfully lure out Hullens by purchasing a priceless chemical beacon and using it as bait, killing them and collecting their blood.

Meanwhile, still grieving Pawter’s death, John has been separated from Clara and enlists the help of Ollie, the woman who now wears Clara’s cybernetic arm ‘Alice’ to find her. Although Ollie’s replacement of Clara is fairly transparent, seeing as Clara’s actress Stephanie Leonidas is currently tied up in other projects, Ollie and John’s on-screen chemistry make her addition to the cast look extremely promising. It looks likely that as the season unfolds, John and Ollie will take up Clara’s mission of destroying the Factory, a black clinic that alters hackmods against their will and beyond legal limits.

In the process of enquiring about Clara’s whereabouts in Rat City, John is forced to get implanted with a mod - a neural-linked finger laser to obtain other hackmods’ cooperation. This could be some small attempt by showrunners to console Johnny after having suddenly and violently killed off his wife, as it fulfils his lifelong dream of being a cyborg.

Separating the core cast can sometimes cause disinterest in viewers who thrive off the chemistry and dialogue between their favourite characters, especially since Johnny and Dutch’s relationship is arguably the core of the show itself. Thankfully, hints are given that their individual quests might be converging, when both their narratives mention mass population exoduses: 437 local RAC agents have stopped reporting for duty, with no signs of foul play, and hackmods have been disappearing from Rat City without a trace. In the meantime however, John and Dutch still communicate through holographic messages, and the strength and intensity of their relationship is in fact highlighted by the clear difficulty of their separation.

The core team this season is expanding, as D’av and Dutch are joined by Alvin, Fancy and Pree in their missions. Though individually the new members are not given much voice in this episode, and their motives not truly explained, their individual skill sets and key personalities promise interesting future developments in the team's dynamic.

The void left by Johnny’s absence is filled temporarily by new character Pippin Fosters, A.K.A. the Mouth - a distinctly untrustworthy individual specialising in finding smuggled goods - who is forced to help the team locate the beacon. So far, it is unclear if he will be reappearing, but Dutch does tell him they will likely need his help in the future, before letting him go.

Finally and in true Killjoys fashion, the episode ends on a mysterious cliff-hanger, as Turin shows D’av and Dutch his discovery of 36 cloaked Hullen ships, which he cannot open. In a scene alone and supposedly unbeknownst of Dutch, D’avin effortlessly manages to board one of the cloaked ships, before it, with D’avin still inside, disappears.

All in all ‘Boondoggie’ was a fantastic beginning to the third season, and succeeds in reorienting viewers to the show’s new direction, after so many arcs were concluded in the previous season’s finale.

Killjoys airs on Tuesdays at 9pm on Syfy.

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