We have 2 opening reminders when this episode begins – firstly that Westerley is still a terrible dystopian awfulness where even currency doesn’t work (as D’avin and Dutch pursue a warrant).
And another reminder that we’re building a problematic trope around Dutch and other woman – she doesn’t like them. She continues to express her disapproval of Johnny and Pawter in less than flattering terms and she even has some snark for D’avin flirting with the new barmaid. Can we not with this trope please?
The plot line is divided in two – first of all we have Dutch and D’avin flying around doing warrant stuff while Khylen and Fancy uses green-goo-based-woo-woo to dip into D’avin’s mind so he can question D’avin’s dad trying to find out why D’avin is green goo immune. Only to find out very little beyond D’avin’s dad is an arsehole – whatever D’avin’s secret is, it has nothing to do with his dad.
But raiding people’s minds has side effects and a not completely absent chance of bran switching. Yup, we have Khlyen running around in D’avin’s body with Dutch while D’avin runs around in Khlyen’s body with Fancy. This gives D’avin chance to marvel at Khlyen’s strength, fight Fancy and work through some of his daddy issues.
While Dutch gets to play with D’avin Khlyen and deal with some of her issues including the knotty problem of not knowing what to feel or how to be now she doesn’t entirely hate him any more. I like this, how she’s more adrift because her one central identifying tenet: hating/hunting/hiding from Khlyen is no longer relevant.
Khlyen is as mysterious as ever, won’t answer any questions and generally is annoying. He does answer one thing – when she asks why she was on Arken, he says it wasn’t her. So these memories/visions of D’avin involve clone Dutch’s I guess. Also Khlyen’s plans for her may have been completely derailed by D’avin’s anti-goo powers which Khlyen learns, thanks to a brain scan, is likely due to the military performing weird operations on him.
Oh and Lucy is snarky with people who disrespect her. I want a snarky ship
Meanwhile Johnny and Pawter return to Qresh (I swear I have not spelled one single name – person or place – correctly) to have the most awkward family reunion. We learn her dad is basically a decent person but that pretty much everyone else is made of awful and terribleness. Also Johnny indulges in naked swimming (with terrible camera angles) and is all overwhelmed by the excess ridiculous formality of the whole thing.
It’s awkward and everyone is awful. And then a horrible fog which causes death by freezing sweeps in. Just to compound the awful, it turns out this fog was created by Pawter’s awful mother to make Qresh uninhabitable with more ominous warnings of something big, dark and terrible swooping in.
Beyond awfulness and ominous warnings and Pawter being super awesome in the face of all of this awful, we also get a decent closer development of the family. For all of their snobbery (being a doctor I beneath them), Pawter’s dad was a carpenter and her mother, Adelaide battled her family to marry him. We also see her not-totally-awful-but-not-pleasant sister being willing to risk her own life to try and save some of the servants. In fact, sacrifice seems to be a clear them with the family – with Pawter’s dad willing to die to save them and Adelaide, head of the family, injecting herself with the pathogen so her death could be recorded in order for Pawter to study it.
Her dying words even imply that who she is – hard, cold, unfeeling, ruthless – is also sacrifice. She’s become something she hates. I wonder if this applies to the other Qreshi 9 – arrogant, ruthless rulers but ultimately think THEY are sacrificing for the greater good. For all their arrogance and vicious cruelty at the core, the Sims is no-one else, are willing to be the first in line when the bodies hit the ground. Of course, this noblesse oblige doesn’t make the rest ok, but it’s an interesting insight into their mentality of sacrifice – and how not all those sacrifices are their own
In the aftermath Pawter becomes lady of the family – and one of the nine. She now has her mission: and Johnny wants to join her in it. He’s very clear that this isn’t just because he’s chasing after Pawter (though they do kiss – to the surprise of no-one) – but because this is him. And we can see this over two seasons from the very beginning when he wanted to rescue D’avin. Johnny cares. And Killjoys aren’t supposed to – the Warrant is all. Johnny can’t live like that, Johnny isn’t that man.
This is going to cause grief with Dutch. I said above about her being adrift and she follows this up by saying she needs Johnny to be her gravity. Which I think is a spacey way of saying “her rock”. He’s her oldest friend and the one stable part of her life – and now he’s changing. And he lies about it (I can’t say I blame him given how much Dutch relies on him, perhaps to an unfair extent) – leaving us open to all kind of chaos in the future. This is going to get ugly