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TV Review: Killjoys (Series 3, Episode 5)


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With evil in plain sight, it’s the duplicitous behaviour of the characters we think we can trust that keeps tensions high this season.

‘Attack the Rack’ once again delivers emotionally-loaded performances, compelling characters - whose motives remain ambiguous - and narrative developments that pose as many questions as they answer.

For the first time, and right as we come to the mid-point of this season, parallel narratives between Aneela and Dutch play directly off one another, as one character's plan brings the other's to failure. This episode begins the monumental task of ‘cleaning house’ in the RAC, by ridding it of Hullen infiltrators. The plan seems simple enough, as they go into each RAC station, use a paralytic gas to disable all Killjoys, lightly cut everyone and see whose wounds heal.

We see the team has found and recruited many more trusted agents, to whom Dutch gives a fervent and impassioned speech - proving that she can be a great leader to more than just those close to her. In direct comparison, the same episode sees Aneela torturing her second in command when she feels he is beginning to question her decisions, showing viewers that whilst Dutch leads by example and operates with the trust of others, Aneela uses fear to get those around her to obey.

However, the RAC plants had been expecting the attack, thanks to a leak from within the human team, which would later, unsurprisingly and perhaps disappointingly, prove to have been one of the new recruits, McAvoy. Another of the team’s new recruits, Benji, who is soft, yet afraid, is killed by a Hullen before D’avin and Dutch’s very eyes - a tragedy made more heartwrenching given Dutch's promise to bring him home safely. This strikes a strong first blow to the hopefulness that was prevalent thus far in ‘Attack the Rack’.

Yet one of the most heart wrenching moments of this episode is the death of Banyon Gray - the RAC boss - at the hands of Dutch. It strikes at the heart of what they are trying to achieve; until now, Gray's motivations, and even her allegiance, have been a subject of uncertainty. Yet in her dying moments, she and Dutch realise they are both after the same thing, and that this whole time they could have been working together to save the RAC.

Banyon dies from her stab wound, leaving Dutch to continue on and live with that fatal mistake; once again how she reacts to the outcome of her actions goes in direct contrast to Aneela’s behaviour this season, when she violently killed a number of her own. The war has well and truly begun, with the death of a righteous leader at the hands of a hero, and the death of an innocent giving his life to the cause.

With D’avin and Johnny separated last episode, this week reunites them once again and their sibling relationship - though with its usual underlying tensions because of their rivalry - is stronger than ever when faced by adversity. As always, the interlinking relationships between core characters is what keeps Killjoys alive, and the brothers’ scenes together always provide a shining example of this.

Symmetry has always existed in the narrative style of Killjoys; Johnny being restrained and tortured is intercut with shots of Kitanne, a captured Hullen, kept encaged by Turin. We then witness D’av exploding a guard’s brain which, interposed with the sight of Turin’s explosive collar around the prisoner’s neck, all creates an engaging conflict of moralities. It’s a forewarning readying us for the fact that in war, distinctions between right and wrong are the first thing to go.

It is revealed that D’avin’s ability to control the green plasma inside a Hullen is a power shared only with Aneela, which raises all kinds of questions and possibilities as to the reasons for and future uses of these latent level six powers.

This episode also sees loyalties being doubted, and as a result of war, trust in others has become a luxury few can afford. Turin is faced with uncertainties regarding Fancy’s motives, as the abducted RAC captain plants seeds of doubt in his mind as to whether Fancy is the mole that gave away their plan. By the end, though both Fancy and Turin make it out unscathed, the damage to their relationship is tangible - begging the question of whether it will ever be repaired, and whether allies can ever fully trust one another in times of conflict.

The almighty genetic bomb from last season makes a triumphant return, when Dutch discovers it hidden away in the armoury. Unsure whether it will be able to distinguish between the very similar Hullen and human DNAs, Johnny and Dutch are forced to take a leap of faith, and detonate it. Thankfully for all, the calibration proves successful, wiping out the Hullen on the ship, and not the remaining human Killjoys. Delle Seyah’s knowledge of the bomb’s existence will no doubt prove useful to Aneela once they are informed of what happened.

It becomes even clearer that Aneela’s main priority is not Hullen rule over the J, but the painful destruction of Dutch. As Delle Seyah keeps her motives unknown, whilst developing relations with Aneela, there may well come a time when she attempts to overthrow the Commander’s rule of the Hullen. The two women’s interactions are thrilling to spectate as they grow closer, and the episode’s closing on a shared kiss keeps proving how unpredictable their relationship is.

In the final moments, we witness Aneela destroy all remaining RAC stations in the Quad, in her desire to cut Dutch off from everyone and anyone. While it may seem like an undisputable loss for Dutch and her team, for the time being Aneela remains ignorant of the genetic bomb’s existence or the method of poisoning the plasma pools.

Where it begins on an exultantly hopeful note, the episode closes as a sombre wake-up call. It’s going to be an uphill climb, but there is still hope for our team.

Killjoys airs on Tuesdays at 9pm on Syfy.

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