Sunday, July 26, 2015

Killjoys, Season 1, Episode 6: One Blood

Dutch and Khylen are having tea in a very civilised tea house with Dutch making it clear from the beginning she’s not a child. She agrees to help Khylen one more time but she has provisos – she’s not killing anyone, he stays away from her team and she wants to know why he’s in the Quad.

Of course, he’s not willing to play that game (though he pretends regret) and, instead, tries to have the whole room filled with poison gas and she has to find something a man is smuggling before falling and in doing so save some of the people in the room. She grabs it and leaves, gasping for air – leaving bodies in her wake.

She returns to the ship for another recap on D’avin’s blocked memory and Dutch hinting at the relationship between D’avin and Pawter. And D’avin and Dutch flirt between D’avin thanking Dutch for her epic-too-damn-awesome acts last week

Thankfully John arrives then because this show does NOT need Dutch and D’avin in a relationship. Please don’t. They’ve got a Black Warrant – a competitive warrant against other Killjoys which John and Dutch think will be immense fun. It’s also chance for a big Killjoy reunion in Pree’s bar with lots of fun trash talk with Fancy. While they’re in the bar D’avin tries to get out of therapy with Pawter – so she agrees to use her Kreshi connections to try and find the doctor he’s looking for.

We also hear the urban legend of the mysterious level 6 – a supposed secret higher level of Killjoys.

Anyway the warrant is for a sniper who has been stealing company stuff known as “Big Joe”. And he’s a Killjoy – the youngest to become level 5 and the oldest to still have it. Not everyone’s happy to go after one of their own or believe the accusation against him – but Dutch has to duck out because Khylen has called for the case he killed people for. Inside is a chip that plugs into Dutch’s neck establishing a neural link – which is an awesome mental connection complete with hallucination data. It’s nifty – and it shows Kylen has a lot of knowledge about Big Joe and the ship he sold which no-one else does.

It also creates a link between her and Kylen which is a bad idea.

He has an unmarked ship for her to go to the stolen ship, alone, and bring back the device on it. She had agreed to help him if he left her team behind, she refuses to do so and her team are now on his radar.

Which means John and D’avin are investigating on their own and they creatively threaten a contact to get their own lead on where the ship is. That still leaves them a little lost without Dutch and an unwelcome Fancy drops in to offer them Dutch’s location in exchange for the location of the ship.

Which means they have to take Fancy with them and he is very very annoying.

Dutch’s neural link is also kind of awesome as she uses it to guide her on Leith and communicate with Khylen remotely (this is such a bad idea). We get a hint of just what an epic and important figure Big Joe is to the Killjoys and it becomes more obvious that whatever was on that company ship is super duper important.

Back in Pree’s bar head Killjoy guy and Head company guy have a drink (head company guy is nosy about what the Killjoys were meeting about). It doesn’t work out because the RAC is way too loving of its independence. Pawter decides to work on company guy for D’avin’s sake despite Pree’s very very very very very good advice not to do so. She gets company guy drunk and he talks about his dream of his grandkids being able to live on Leith away from Westerley (his grandkids will be 7th generation) – and how the Company has made that possible.

She drugs him and tries to access his database which involves, hilariously, trying to figure out what biometric data it needs so she can then search for D’avin’s doctor

On the ship they find an empty box – Joe has left with the item – and more ominous clues that whatever was on there was super important. Dutch demands answers, walks away – and gets shot. It’s a non-lethal shot so clearly renown sniper Joe just wants to slow her down. Which doesn’t work much.

Dutch finds Joe for a touching reunion and wrestling (I don’t know whether Dutch is injured or let him win but it’s the first time we’ve seen Dutch come second in close combat) and she begs him to give up what he stole. He just wants her to leave so as not to be mixed up in whatever terrible thing he’s involved in. Oh and while wrestling, she stole the item he had

Which is when the people he was meeting show up, a man called Ennis and a woman, annoyed he is in company (and Dutch holds a big blade to the woman’s throat which would also be confusing). Dutch drops the blade for the sake of not having Joe killed

Hallucination Khylen is not amused. To top it off, Joe doesn’t even know what he stole, he just enjoys stealing from the most secure company ships to prove he can. And now they’re in the hands of the Kotlers – radical True Leithians which is probably a bad thing – who Joe has been working for for some time. The True Leithian in question, Lucas, shows up and loathes all things Westerley and they’re all about purity (which Dutch calls “racist”) and they remove the mind link chip from Dutch’s neck, getting rid of hallucination Khylen. They also don’t know what’s in the little box. But they do want to know about the “7th generation” accord.

This is a deal where Westerleys, if they work hard for 7 generations and don’t cause trouble, that 7th generation can claim land on Leith. It’s a way of keeping the Westerley’s compliant. Which the True Leithians hate (Dutch: “I’m not interested in racist politics” Lucas: “it’s not about race.” Dutch “racists usually say that.”) He’s worried about losing his failing farm to Westerley settlers – and thinks the RAC is not all that independent.

Fancy, D’avin and John follow Dutch’s trail and Fancy recognises extreme nationalist group. D’avin sneaks in and Fancy and John attack just as Lucas is having the mysterious item tested inside (which just increases Lucas’s paranoia). D’avin releases Dutch and the guy holding the item activates it. Which vaporises him and everyone stood near him in shiny blue light. That same blue light has also killed all of the True Lethians – but spared Lucas, John, Fancy, D’avin, Joe and Dutch.

It’s a genetic bomb and one of them bled on it. It killed the whole family – but only that family. Lucas married into the family and isn’t a blood relative.

Dutch plans to take them all back to the RAC and hope to get mercy for Joe. And, unsurprisingly, she doesn’t seem eager to give a genetic bomb to Khylen.

Over to Pree’s bar with RAC guy who doesn’t like Dutch and head company guy looking a little worse for wear. Joe tells them he stole the bomb and Dutch shows them what it does. Company guy (Hills) and RAC guy (Turin) decide to have a private discussion. Because they have a problem – the company won’t tolerate Joe not going to prison for stealing and exposing a Black List weapon while the RAC won’t tolerate a hero like Joe being locked in a company prison.

The solution is to upgrade the warrant – every Killjoy gets a notification that it’s now a level 5 death warrant. Joe grabs Dutch’s gun and holds it to himself, begging her to kill him quickly. Fancy does it. As he said before – every organisation needs an arsehole.

Afterwards Dutch is alone and Khylen appears – really. He wants the bomb. She tries to walk away and he slams her into the wall, he says they’re both at risk by her disobeying his orders because he’s not the boss. She stabs him… which does nothing. But he does back off and apologise for touching her. He tries to play concerned parental figure again – and that he won’t leave the Quad without her.

And Hills arrests Pawter – she did a bad job of covering her tracks. She threatens him with her family connections which doesn’t seem to carry a lot of weight. She won’t tell him who Dr. Jaeger is.

On the ship John demands some answers from Dutch – and sees the injuries left by Khylen. Dutch tells John he found her – and John knows who she is. Which means they now tell D’avin about Khylen – her tutor in the “harem” she grew up in. She also asks for their help in stopping him – John and D’avin sign up to help. She realises Khylen is shaken which is why he lost control – so now is the time to track him down and kill him.

I am a little curious about Joe’s description of how old killjoys are just cast aside – by all what we’ve seen being a Killjoy is a lucrative profession – is there a reason why “cast aside” doesn’t actually mean “retire into a life of luxury”?

I do like Fancy pointing out the whole problem of how D’avin and Dutch getting together will completely screw with their dynamic. Because it will. If the writers are aware can they please not do it.

Westerley, class et al – is a really excellently portrayed element of this world. The structured class system very much based on what planet you live on, the prejudice against Westerleys, the Westerley people desperate for a way out - it underpins a lot of this world and is really well done.

What they need not to do is call it “racism”. It’s a class prejudice, perhaps even a xenophobia prejudice, but not a racial prejudice and it’s especially dubious to have POC call it that. You can make this prejudice important, powerful and a major world building and story point without having to clumsily mislabel it.

I hope we see more of Fancy, he may be an arsehole but he has the best toys, is clever and devious and kind of fun. I like the friendly frenemy rivalry the Killjoys have.

Khylen hunting down Dutch I can see. I can do without the whole paternal nonsense. Overseer does not need to be a father figure. Especially since she had two on this episode. How many older male mentors does Dutch have?