Sunday, July 17, 2016

Killjoys, Season 2, Episode 3: Shaft

I’m going to ignore the whole prologue “12 hours earlier” bullshit this episode opens with because they annoy the hell out of me. You can grab watcher attention without the need to do a fake out and deceptively throw contextless scenes from the middle of the episode at the beginning. Stop it, it’s annoying.

Anyway, the gang just got an unofficial warrant from Turin to rescue some other Killjoys – they were salvaging “a monk” (of obvious interest to Alvis) from a mine when they had to call for a rescue – which Khlyen stopped. Turin would rather like to know why his people were left to die and what Khlyen want to hide so badly

While the team has a chance to poke at some issues – D’avin and Alvis coming to an accord of sorts – which is going to be needed because Alvis and Dutch nearly kiss which means we have a LOVE TRIANGLE ALERT! EMERGENCY! EMERGENCY! EXCELLENT PROGRAMME AT RISK OF BEING DELAYED BY POINTLESS ROMANTIC CLICHÉ!!!

Alvis and Dutch also have some excellent poking at their mutual challenges of belief and faith as both of them have had their world views pretty much shaken to the core and not quite knowing what to believe now.

The actual mission involves going into the mines (with Alvis since he was a miner) to try and find the survivors. There they find a whole lot of resources which makes it odd that the mines were so abandoned and we get lots of snippets of the scarback monks’ history.

They find one of the survivors – claiming that her brother-in-law lost it and is hunting her and her sister. She’s trigger happy, dangerous and actually causes a cave in with her random shooting – so much so that we have a whole subplot of John being cut off from the rest of the group trying to escort Trigger Happy Tanya back to the ship after Dutch gives her a time out

Ok, aside…. On other shows I’d definitely be giving this a bit of a side-eye. We do often see the super awesome female protagonist (Dutch) surrounded by men (D’avin, John, Alvis) and occasionally running into other women who are just… pretty much terrible. It’s the exceptional woman trope. But Killjoys has a proven track record of powerful secondary female characters (Pawter for one) as well as some interesting episodes that have explored female oppression and use. It’s one of those times where a trope is a problem but the easiest way to USE a trope on a show/in a book and not perpetuate it as badly is to have so many counter-examples as to dispel it.

So what is behind the behaviour? Hallucinations. This should shock no-one because the terrible opening scene was clearly not real. These hallucinations kill of the last of the extras and leaves Dutch to face her demons and conflicts – debating exactly who she is and what she’s become. It’s a little on the nose

So what’s behind the hallucinations? Caterpillars! Mossy caterpillars! Mossapillers (and yes John took one home as a pet). Which are not just hallucinogenic but nearly unkillable (except, perhaps, by splatting). People make the rather amazing leap between unkillable + green goo = Level 6 and this is why Khlyen was covering up the mine. Level 6s are full of caterpillar goo!

This seems to make more sense since D’avin, who is Level 6 good kryptonite, does a full on Red Sea parting with the little fuzzy critters – they move as fast as they can away from him whenever he gets near. Yes, the Level 6 secret has been found. Mossapillars.

It’s still pretty awesome. Also awesome – Dutch declaring that since she was created to be a weapon then so be it, she’s a weapon. But not in anyone else’s hands but her own: as she tells Turin in epic terms. She is in charge for the investigation, not him.

They also find some more monky prophecy clues (these guys need to discover paper. Or e-readers) which I’m sure will become clearer about 2 episodes before the end of the season

Speaking of awesome, we have Pawter being held by Jelcho and trying to spy on him. And Jelcho reads Pawter alllllll wrong.

He’s Kreshi but not one of the noble families and he is completely getting his rocks off over having Pawter, a princess in all but name, under his control. His game seems to be to force her to sleep with him or even marry him and Pawter herself seems rather lost when her own father says there’s nothing he can do.

Jelcho has a whole narrative about Pawter – she’s too weak and soft and compassionate and spoiled and gentle and nice. So much so he can even force her to perform surgery on him and she won’t hurt him because she’s so nice

He doesn’t know Pawter very well

So, we have 1 dead guard, Jelcho with a device in his chest which does bad things if he tries to leave the compound (he had put it on Pawter’s ankle) and a whole lot of information on Jelcho’s plans downloaded by Pawter using his DNA conveniently available through surgery

We cannot cheer Pawter enough here, she’s beyond awesome. Alas when she escapes she appears to be kidnapped by Persons Unknown and certainly not rescued by our good guys.