This Killjoys review contains spoilers.
Killjoys Season 3 Episode 4
“It’s never really over til you bang your ex.”
Dutch’s war preparations take a detour when an army of killjoys serve a Black Warrant on Johnny for the murder of Delle Sayeh Kendry, but in spite of that wrinkle, it’s the return of Pree that highlights tonight’s episode of Killjoys. “The Lion, the Witch, and the Warlord” takes us inside the world of the Farren, outlaw mercenaries who feel “a soldier risks his life for more than corporate or feudal interests,” presenting yet another option as the drumbeats of war grow increasingly louder. Oh, and by the way, Pree used to go by the name of Varek during his life as a Farren warlord.
Once again it’s the character groupings that drive the story as Johnny and Dutch finally address some festering issues that potentially threaten their friendship. Thankfully, no one has asked me to name my favorite character in Killjoys, but the richly developed dynamic that exists between these two never ceases to delight as we learn more of their relationship backstory. The reveal of just one detail threatens their familial bond, and while not a small thing, it ultimately brings them closer together. Whether Dutch having prevented Johnny from reaching Level Five status until now comes back to haunt her, for now, she’s safely in Johnny’s good graces.
Writer Julian Doucet (“Schooled”) deftly weaves the parallel story of Pree and his days as leader of the Farren against the friction facing Johnny and Dutch as they each deal with their personal demons. Even though he tells Dutch he’s not sorry he killed Delle Sayeh, Johnny’s not a sociopath, and sooner or later he’ll have to face what he’s done. Or will he? He committed an act that should carry some emotional weight, but now that we know she not only didn’t die, but has been Hullenized by Aneela, he could and arguably should go back to square one. On the other hand, will he now berate himself over the fact that he left alive her to wreak havoc on The Quad?
Dutch’s explanation for preventing Johnny from achieving Level Five status rings a bit hollow, and while it’s surely true that this advancement brings with it increased physical risks, it’s really not her call to make. Now that he’s been promoted though, it will probably be the end of it. Pree’s story, however, proves much more fascinating. We’ve seen Prima Dezz (Thom Allison) frequently act the nurturing confidante from behind the bar in The Royale, but he’s never been one to shy away from a fight. We’ve known he has a dark past, and tonight it’s skillfully fleshed out in a meaningful way on several levels.
One thing Killjoys must be careful of doing, however, is overwhelming viewers with new characters each week. Now if they’re simply setting us up for a grand reunion once the war against Aneela starts, that’s one thing, but a little emotional investment raises the stakes considerably once the bullets start to fly. Landing on Ohron to ask the Ferran for help in the fight leads to a number of mini-conflicts before one time lovers and brothers-in-arms Pree and Lachlan put aside their bruised egos and broken hearts to agree to join the fight to prevent the “living data cloud” from taking over The Quad. As Johnny and Dutch seem to have resolved their issues, so too have Pree and Lachlan.
Killjoys was a topic on the July 2017 edition of our Sci Fi Fidelity podcast:
Delle Sayeh Kendry’s role in this tale continues to confound in part because Aneela is so unpredictable. It seems difficult to believe that Delle Sayeh will accept a lesser role in this new world order that Aneela has begun to put into motion, and we know she must have a strategy that she chooses to keep close to the vest. But with whom will she align herself if not Aneela? Despite Aneela’s power, the head of Land Kendry seems primed to do her best to influence what lies ahead, and it’s with this dynamic that Michelle Lovretta may have done her finest work.
While alliances are being formed on both sides, the fact that Johnny still has an outstanding warrant for murder cannot be overlooked despite the fact that ample exculpatory evidence exists to clear his name. Fortunately, we don’t wait long to find out that Aneela pulls the strings here, but then calls off the warrant because it leaves the Hullen exposed. It appears she’s been controlling Banyan Gray and the RAC all along. But for how long and to what extent? And does her involvement have something to do with the missing RAC agents?
And though they don’t figure prominently in terms of screen time, D’avin and Zeph, nonetheless, take steps that ultimately should pay off. The only question is who will reap the benefits. She helps him use the plasma to make a psychic connection with Delle Sayeh now that he knows she’s alive, but does he really just tip his hand? It’s clear he means well, but this doesn’t seem the wisest course of action. However, this miscalculation may prove moot once we finally learn the true purpose of the orb they found in the Hullen training village.
Not surprisingly, D’av takes to Zeph more quickly than John, and though he’s clearly in charge when they’re together, she certainly gives the impression that she thinks she’s not only smarter than D’avin, but Johnny and Dutch as well. Tasked with opening the orb should reassure her that her place on the team is important, so when she finally succeeds in opening it, her reaction is troubling to say the least. Clearly, she has ulterior motives, but at this juncture, it’s anybody’s guess what she’s planning.
Part of the problem at this point lies in deciding what to make of Zeph. Virtually every character introduced this season has been incredibly engaging on multiple levels, but Zeph leaves viewers a bit cold. Not that that’s a detriment to the story, quite the contrary. It’s her aloofness that keeps us interested since we know there’s something percolating below the surface that in the end will likely compromise everything Dutch and the others are trying to do in the fight against Aneela. Will Zeph’s hubris contribute to her undoing, or will she surprise everyone and begin making better team decisions?
Presumably, the three nerds that Dutch and D’avin tested were vetted by Turin, but no system is perfect, and it sure seems as if Zeph has loyalties that may lie elsewhere, if only toward herself. Of course, she may simply be biding her time before impressing her new colleagues. Regardless, The Remnant and its purpose surely tie in with Aneela, the Hullen, and ultimately the plasma.
Team Awesome Force has added to its roster with a formidable ally, but will it be enough? While the additional firepower will undoubtedly aid in bringing down Aneela, “The Lion, the Witch, and the Warlord” continues the season three trend of injecting new blood into the mix, but this isn’t Game of Thrones. Sometimes too much of a good thing taints what made the concoction so delicious in the first place. Killjoys hasn’t reached the tipping point yet, and certainly no one can accuse Michelle Lovretta of creating bland characters, but it may be time to go a little deeper into what we already have established.
That said, Killjoys maintains its compelling storytelling and ability to leave viewers eagerly anticipating the following week’s installment. We’ve had a lot of set-up, but it may be time to see how these newcomers perform under fire, and perhaps more to the point, under Dutch’s direction. “Time to take back the RAC.”
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