Monday, September 10, 2018

Killjoys, Season 4, Episode 8: It Takes a Pillage

Johnny is getting all sexy (because he always is) ready to go home to Telen, where D’avin and run with Jaq. Dutch is staying on the ship because Johnny knows Telen and she’s kinda still avoiding D’avin because things are awkward

For more awkward there’s a “silica storm” coming which translates as “Sandstorm on Crack” i think, so they all have to hunker down and hide from it or DEATH

D’avin is already on the planet lamenting that Jaq’s aging ended at teenaged years because he’s super bored and super whiney. They’re heading to the family bunker where they find an unwelcome resident - Johnny and D’avin’s terrible terrible father.

He tries to insist he’s a much better person after he had his encounter with D’avin in Khlyen’s body (long story). I think he’s lying. But they’re stuck with him because of the whole silica storm thing.

D’avin is looking for something and actually leaves his dad with Jaq for a while as he searches. Which I don’t buy, not for a second. D’avin has just abandoned Dutch and Johnny with nothing but the clothes he’s stood up in because he worried about the kind of influence Dutch would have on Jaq. We know his father abused his sons, we know he was the worst parent ever - and D’avin’s going to even let him share the same room as Jaq? I don’t buy this. This gives the old man chance to give a very edited version of their past - how he “talked” to D’avin and he left to join the army to “become a man” and stop getting into trouble and giving Jaq odd ideas about how families separate

D’avin is looking for money his mother left him and Johnny for emergencies - but their father has already found it, stolen it and drunk it. D’avin’s pretty furious with his awful dad. He especially objects to him saying “I didn’t raise you that way” while snapping back “You didn’t raise us”

Well done D’avin for holding his feet in the fire.

So, being awful, granddad sends Jaq to fetch some tools - which turn out to be in a dangerous place. Where Jaq gets grabbed - thankfully it’s Johnny. Unfortunately there’s also Hullen behind him

Quick family reunion - Johnny and his dad get on even less with Johnny trying to hold his Killjoys status over his dad to prove, contrary to what his dad says, he has actually amounted to something. His dad doesn’t believe him. His dad is awful.

D’avin takes the chance to tell Jaq the truth about why he left: dad was abusive, used to beat Johnny constantly and D’avin got beaten trying to get in the way. One day he fought back and his dad, being the sheriff, told him to join the army or he’d arrest him.

He’s such a class act.

He adds that the army definitely didn’t make D’avin into a man, and leaving his family is not necessary to achieve manhood.

We have some more family drama (where D’avin somewhat undercuts Johnny’s defence of what he has achieved and how he totally isn’t travelling around getting drunk and getting in trouble because he kinda still is) interrupted by a Hullen attack and them managing to capture a Hullen and having to follow their dad’s plan: have to confront the Hullen. Fleeing to the ship will just get them hunted down. Johnny has to take Jaq to safety

Except Jaq uses his special Hullen powers to predict this will end so badly - and tells Johnny about his shiny powers. His prediction is true because granddad hasn’t been paying attention, charges the Hullen shooting them repeatedly in the torso, ignoring D’avin and getting captured

A third option appeared - Charlie. She’s an old friend of Johnny’s (a very good friend judging by the greeting kiss) and the current sheriff. They apparently had a wild youth together but she grew up and matured… with a definite implication that he didn’t.

They gather an unconscious D’avin for more reunions and gather the captured Hullen for questioning. They want Jaq. who they call “The heir” and “the beginning of everything and the end of you” which is ominous. Then he dies because of inconvenient suicidal prisoners.

The Hullen deliver their demands: Awful, Abusive Arsehole Dad in exchange for Jaq

Obviously that’s no going to happen. Johnny is surprised they haven’t already given him up. And he and D’avin seriously wonder whether they REALLY have to rescue him… except Jaq’s watching so they kinda do.

Jaq wants to help… but D’avin is being protective… I think the idea is that he’s over protective...but wanting his 6 day old/teenaged son from violent firefights and torture is not exactly excessive?

So Johnny and D’avin go off without him with D’avin concerned about his parenting skill while Johnny insists he did a great job with him. Especially since the one black mark on D’avin’s record, leaving, is expunged when Johnny learns D’avin fought their dad to protect him and was then forced into the military. Johnny is annoyed he wasn’t told this so he had to wait so long to say thanks

The love-doveyness is, alas, cut short when they’re captured - by Charlie. She’s betrayed them for money (she has kids to raise. It’s expensive).

This ends up with D’avin, Johnny and their dad tied up until Johnny cuts them free. While Jaq is held elsewhere and uses a combination of Dutch’s skills and his Hullen psychic powers to escape and kill a guard ready to rescue his dad and uncle (and granddad, I guess).

He also has a sack of guns - and Johnny asks if Jaq can have one. D’avin says yes - Jaq is allowed to take part. On stun anyway

D’avin has a total proud dad moment.

While granddad says he did “the best he could” raising D’avin. D’avin: “no you didn’t, but I will.”

Johnny and Charlie also have a moment - and she suggests abandoning her kids with the grandparents and running off together. He refuses and cuffs her. Because he has a heart - she asks how that’s working for him. By his tears I’d say… not well. This is a harsh universe for gentle Johnny’s empathy

While this is happening, on Lucy Dutch shows a holographic Zeph the compound Khlyen left in Aneela’s cryo pod. Turns out this compound is a spore… and is degrading rapidly. So rapidly she’ll never get to the fleet with it. Zeph advises her to use the centrifuge to break it down to components  so she can recreate it.

Also there is innuendo and alcohol jokes. And there’s just sooooooooo much sexual innuendo and jokes on this show which goes way over Zeph’s head. They also make some peace over her running off with Pip.

The problem is this compound is regenerating at a speed that prevents the centrifuge from splitting the compound up to be analysed

I’m not scientist but I wish to know more about a compound that is simultaneously regenerating bonds AND degrading both at an incredibly rapid rate.

Zeph says it’s impossible to use a centrifuge to do this unless it has the same g-forces as a sun. She says this meaning “it’s impossible” while Dutch sees this as a challenge. While I wonder if there’s a Mass Spectrometer about?

So Dutch has Lucy do an ultra close orbit of a sun, turning off the automatic controls “because I need to do naughty things which your auto controls are not going to like”. And then she passes out from the g-forces (but not before more sexual puns). She mutes Zeph so she can’t intervene through her hologram. Zeph has to resort to science to wake her up and save the day.

In the end science wins - and Zeph lectures Dutch awesomely on being a badass. Yes she’s a badass and yes she deserves the be hailed for that forever. But she doesn’t have to do everything alone, she’s allowed to ask for help and shutting out people who care for her isn’t badass. Amen. Her awesome line is that whatever dark shit Dutch has lived through doesn’t mean she can’t let in some light without setting everything on fire.

Good advice. And Dutch follows urging Zeph to face Pip’s dying and Fight It With Science

Everyone gets back on Lucy and Jaq has made a decision he tells Johnny: he’s going to leave and join Delle Saya. D’avin is too focused on protecting him than fighting the Hullen who are chasing him - if he’s safe with Delle Sayah he can stop worrying

And Dutch and D’avin have a mature conversation: Dutch accepts D’avin had every reason to be angry with her and the whole torturing people in front of Jaq. But his leaving means he doesn’t think she can be better, she can’t change and learn from this: which clearly hurts her.

I like this: she doesn’t deny he has a right to anger, but she questions whether he thinks she’s irredeemable given their relationship.

She asks if he’s giving up on them - and he says no. And kisses her

What I love about this episode: There’s no redemption moment. Because I’m tired of those - it’s a staple on television. Bad parent meets child, there’s tension, there’s an apology and years of abuse and neglect of pain and anger and shame and horror just VANISH so we can have the twee Hallmark moment. (As a related side note: I have a special burning hatred for the LGBTQ version of this). Can reconciliation happen? Sure - but so can the alternative and it’s OK for D’avin and Johnny to be angry, it’s ok for them to hate the old man, it’s ok for them NOT to say something like “he’s still our dad” or “I still love him.” There’s no lessening, no magical redemption nor any point where the writers felt the need put some softening in D’avin and Johnny’s attitude towards the old man - even at the end when he tries to take even the slightest credit for the man D’avin became, D’avin shuts him down.

More of this is needed in the media. No-one owes an abusive parent forgiveness. Not all or even most abusive parents will acknowledge the abuse, let alone make amends for it. Not all people abused as children want to forgive their abusers or have the slightest tolerance for their presence.