Sunday, August 14, 2016

Killjoys, Season 2, Episode 7: Heart Shaped Box

This episode brought us a whole load of world building development and was fascinating and emotional and kind of awesome – as always because Killjoys is never not awesome.

So, last week Sabine had sex with D’avin and collapses with green goo spurting out of her. I actually assumed this was something wrong with D’avin like he has some kind of green goo STD and needs to head to the clinic pronto to check that his dick isn’t illuminous green or growing mushrooms or something

Actually it turns out that Sabine is a Level 6 and spying on them all and D’avin’s anti-green-goo presence means sex with him purges the goo out of the system. Sabine has been de-Sixed.

He grabs Johnny to help him (note to writers – not impressed by him apparently putting on trousers before rushing to see what had happened to Sabine. Bad writers. Terrible gratuitous clothed guy!) and they load her up in a bag and take her to Dutch. Dutch isn’t all that impressed with them delivering women to her in a bag but gets over it when she hears the story. She’s now super happy because she has a Six to play with – and by play with we mean brutally torture

Since D’avin isn’t all that okay with brutalising a defenceless prisoner – and we have a great exchange where Dutch claims they’re at war and D’avin fires back that a) she has a very fuzzy definition over who they’re actually at war WITH and b) if they are then rules of engagement apply (D’avin was a soldier). In general D’avin’s a bit too much of a softie to let Dutch go to town with pliers et al on a woman who no longer has green-goo-aided healing

Instead they turn to Turin who assures them he totally has a guy who is an expert at level 6 interrogation. Until Sabine kills him- because the expert turn out to be another level 6 who has infiltrated Turin’s little organisation. Oopsie. Turin heads for the hills since he’s been so badly compromised and will be out of it for the rest of the episode, leaving Sabine back with Dutch & co

We learn the following about the Sixes:
You can kill them with massive brain damage (as seen by Sabine killing the interrogator/mole)
They live a long time – Sabine is in her 80s
They’re all connected by the green goo which actually stories their memories as well so big top level 6s can manipulate it – hence Khlyen’s little mind merge with D’avin
The green goo doesn’t just make Sixes very hard to kill – it also destroys all emotional connections, empathy and compassion. Candidates for Level 6 are not just physically strong but also mentally and emotionally isolated so the shock of suddenly losing everyone they love (and losing the capacity to love) doesn’t destroy them

Which explains a lot about Khlyen’s raising of Dutch and why it was so brutal and designed to prevent her having any emotional connections. As Sabine puts it, Dutch is already half six. It also says a lot about her emotional connections with D’avin, Johnny and even Alvis. These emotional connections are keeping Dutch from becoming a Six, in mind if not in body. Especially as we see this episode just how brutal and ruthless Dutch can be – outright scaring D’avin with her ease with killing and torture. It adds a whole new dimension to Dutch’s emotional development

In contrast Sabine has been de-gooed and now feels. She feels a genuine connection to D’avin - there’s a good moment where he points out she’s actually feeling the rush of any emotional connection at all so her emotions aren’t real. While she hits back that she knows what she’s feeling and even if he doesn’t return her feelings don’t devalue hers. It’s a nice combination of both being careful of not exploiting someone’s vulnerable emotional state while also not denying them emotional autonomy either.

Sabine is now all emotional and connecting and is really eloquent about what a horrible living death being a Six is – she describes it as a walking dead only no-one lets you die. It’s really well depicted as a kind of hell

They hope to use Sabine and her gooeyness to identify where the other level Sixes are – before she turns back. Yes, D’avin’s healing dick is only a temporary solution (so no D’avin orgies to cure them all) and Sabine will turn back into a killing machine – something he views with incredible horror.

They use this goo-memory and D’avin’s ability to manipulate it to try and identify where the other Level Sixes are – and a surprising number turn out to be in Old Town. Which is where Dutch goes to investigate this, happily killing a Six she finds and learning that Sabine wasn’t just a Sex – she’s Black Route. The secret police of the Sixes. And she’s not working for Khlyen, she’s looking for him since he’s gone rogue and they’re hunting him.

After a lot of emotion from D’avin and Sabine, he decides to let her go so she spends her last moments before the mental death of becoming a Six again without being caged. Again, I can’t stress the excellent emotion of this. Dutch disagrees but D’avin explains it to her, while also telling her about the tracker he’s put in Sabine because he’s not a fool. Broken record – but there’s some excellent emotion here too. D’avin and Dutch have been at odds all episode but this is the moment where he makes it clear that Dutch and the team come first.

Sabine has used the goo-connection to find one of Khlyen’s safe houses. She’s not hunting Khlyen, she wants his help – because he feels. He still feels for Dutch (and he’s managed to remove all mention of her from the goo memory as well).

Dutch catches Sabine and, at Sabine’s request and with a whole lot more emotion, revelations of Dutch’s past and general sadness, Dutch kills Sabine. She shoots Sabine once in the head. Will it kill her? Maybe – but Dutch is giving her a fighting chance.

Dutch checks the safe house – and it’s full of paraphernalia related to her. It’s clearly not for Khlyen, it’s something Khlyen wants her to find. Including a red box with another mission in it. Another assassination.

Now for Johnny’s side quest and upcoming badness. After D’avin has made it clear that he puts the team first, Johnny is, of course, following his own route with Pawer. Even using the RAC system of warrants so he can track down one of the people who helped build the wall around Oldtown.

Needless to say, Bellus is not amused by Johnny keeping secrets from his team. Something which is going to be all the more painful now we’ve fully explored how important these connections are to Dutch.

He learns that the walls were tested before – and that in the test they killed all the ill, young, old and infirm within them within a day of containment. The woman, Sendek, describes it as a “culling” which is very very ominous. But before he can do anything with this knowledge he is captured and imprisoned by the arsehole Jelcho

This will not end well. Oh it may end with Dutch killing everyone, but Johnny keeping secrets is going to kill her

Ok, I’m going to talk about it again – Dutch and other women. She lives in a very male world with little female contact and the women out there she has interacted with the most tend to have an… antagonistic relationship at best

Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t like Anita's or the Sookzilla’s hatred of all thingsfemale. There are a lot of story reasons behind the antagonism. Like this episode does a great job of establishing respect between Sabine and Dutch (or at least from Sabine to Dutch) even if they’re antagonistic. And we also explore the importance of emotional connection here and why Dutch latching on so tightly to Johnny and D’avin makes more sense and is afraid of anything challenging that.

But between the ongoing hostility with Del Seyah, Pawter being set up to be She-Who-Stole-Johnny (which is going to be a hot mess), very little interaction with Bellus, the spectre of this alter-ego Dutch they need to destroy AND when we’re talking emotional connections all of them are with men… it’s a problem.