This Killjoys review contains spoilers.
Killjoys Season 3 Episode 5
“Don’t cry for the monsters we kill.”
In the New Testament’s Book of John, Jesus tells his followers “the truth will set you free,” and in tonight’s episode of Killjoys that missive continues to play at the heart of season three’s major story arcs. The only problem is that the devil may be hiding in plain sight, and as Aneela ramps up her assault on Dutch, it’s the duplicitous behavior of a number of the principals that keeps the show running at a fever pitch.
Once again parallel stories drive the narrative, and the puzzling relationship between Commander Aneela and Delle Sayeh Kendry neatly bookends the latest episode “Attack the Rack.” As Dutch puts into motion her scheme to eradicate the Hullen, it’s Aneela’s first major step toward avenging her father’s death that brings the killjoys’ plan to a screeching halt. Keeping the truth about the plan to herself, Aneela manipulates Delle Sayeh and Gander into engaging in petty personal attacks meant to distract them from noticing what the Commander really has going. Nevertheless, it’s not really clear why she feels the need to do this since she’s demonstrated her power and control on a number of occasions. Does it simply amuse her to watch these two beat up on each other as they vie for her attention, or does she have plan for them down the road?
To this point we’ve only seen the Commander in sporadic chunks, so it’s certainly encouraging that we go deeper into her world. However, learning that Aneela possesses some sort of Level Six telekinetic power and uses it on Gander after he once again questions one of her decisions opens up a world of possibilities. It’s also difficult to get a read on what he thinks he can accomplish by continually attacking Delle Sayeh especially when it’s clear which one the Commander favors. That said, she’s apparently not the only one with that power.
Writer Shernold Edwards (Haven) continues to explore D’avin and Johnny’s relationship as the latter is tortured by one of Aneela’s officers (Noam Jenkins/Lost Girl). It’s been both fascinating and endearing to observe them watch out for each other despite the sibling rivalry that constantly hovers overhead. Here, D’avin knows how much Johnny’s capable of withstanding and wants to give him a chance to hold fast, but eventually big brother steps in, and how. Turns out that Aneela’s not the only one that can pop someone’s eyeballs out from fifteen feet away, and any questions about D’avin’s latent Level Six powers just got answered. Or have they? Does this act simply complicate things further?
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Set against Johnny’s torture we see some sort of plexiglas containment cell holding Kitanne, a Hullen RAC agent sporting an exploding collar that Turin can detonate remotely. There’s a certain symmetry that exists within the world of Killjoys, and watching both her and Johnny defiantly oppose their torturers reminds us that morality is one of the first things to disappear during wartime. We can argue that Turin is justified in trying to extract information from her, but then that would require us to ask whether D’avin went too far. Though he seems to know exactly what he’s doing, it may be that D’av merely acts instinctively when he sees Johnny in distress. How much control does he possess?
And while D’avin’s unexpected act momentarily catches us off guard, Aneela’s officer appears less astonished. Though he says he’s only seen the Commander perform similar feats, his revelation that “Now I know why she wants you,” reminds us that what we think we know, may in fact not be true. Or at least not accurate. So what is D’avin? No one has ever questioned his bravery, loyalty, or prowess in battle, but let’s face it, Dutch is the leader and Johnny the brain. To a certain extent, D’av has always been a bit on the outside looking in. Is this his game changer? Now, it’s not as if we don’t know what’s been done to him in the past, but to see it in action opens our eyes to his potential.
Turin and his human RAC agents confront the same dilemma William Adama faces in Battlestar Galactica; how do you distinguish cylon from human? Fortunately, Turin (Patrick Garrow) doesn’t have to depend on a brilliant, yet disjointed scientist to come up with a viable test. Time and time again Dutch and the others go above Turin’s head and act on their own, and even though he’s undergone a 360 degree turnaround regarding his attitude towards them, it’s good to see him lead and Dutch, Johnny, and D’avin follow. Unlike Adama though, they have a simple and effective means of determining who’s human and who’s Hullen.
Nevertheless, cleaning up the RAC will be monumental task, and their approach to simply take things one step at a time makes sense since they know full well that at this point Aneela still overwhelms them with her firepower. It’s a simple plan; go into each RAC, anesthetize the group, cut each member and see whose wound heals. But before embarking on this mission, Dutch gives a brief, yet impassioned speech to the agents in direct contrast to Aneela who continues to lead through fear. However, the Hullen lie in wait, and the question arises as to who sold them out.
So the tide has shifted, and what seemed like a perfectly viable plan has gone to hell forcing viewers to consider that despite her mental instability, Aneela’s battle acumen should not be dismissed. And looming in the background of the Commander’s vessel are her two top confidants, neither of whom can be trusted to admit their true aspirations. Delle Sayeh continues to intrigue, and the fact that Gander makes no apologies for distrusting her, only heightens this aspect of the narrative. He wants her gone so that he can resume his role as the Commander’s right hand, and only Kendry knows what she wants.
Three recurring characters meet their demise in tonight’s episode, but it’s the loss of Banyan Gray (Karen LeBlanc) that strikes at the heart of what Dutch and the others are attempting to do and impacts viewers and Dutch hard. On the one hand, Gray brilliantly plays the stereotypical hard-ass boss that refuses to acknowledge how well one of her charges actually performs simply because she sometimes ignores the rules in her pursuit of justice. Until tonight, Banyan’s true motivations remained unknown, but at the end, they reconcile, and it’s positively heartbreaking to watch the two say goodbye as Dutch leaves her boss to die after fatally stabbing her. We were wrong about Banyan as was Dutch, and now she has to live with that mistake. And even though she’d done nothing that requires a redemptive arc, affirming her confidence in Dutch to get the job done assuages some of the pain of this error.
I’m not going to lie; I was excited when Erik Knudsen (Continuum) came on the scene as part of Turin’s nerd trio in “A Skinner, Darkly,” but Luc Trottier’s Benji quickly becomes a much more sympathetic character. And when it turns out that McAvoy is the traitor, well, Erik, we hardly knew ye. Nevertheless, the mission takes a toll on Dutch who promises Benji that she gets her people out alive and now must live with what turns out to be perhaps not a lie but an inaccurate statement. Coupled with her killing Banyon, Dutch faces some serious soul searching moving forward.
All of which leads us back to the containment chamber and the Hullen RAC agent whose encounter in the chamber with Fancy opens a lot of eyes. Sent in to interrogate her, Fancy has the tables turned as she gains not only the physical upper hand but a psychological one as well. Unexpectedly, Turin must now make the choice of whether or not to explode the collar and kill the prisoner also sealing Fancy’s fate. The abducted RAC captains further complicate the situation, planting seeds of doubt in Turin’s head that Fancy may be the mole which leads him to hesitate getting his cleansed agent out safely. By the time we reach the scene in Pree’s bar, whether or not these two can reconcile clearly becomes an issue. Has Turin been placed in an impossible situation? Perhaps. But more importantly we see the heavy burden of leadership and now know that Fancy’s every move will be heavily scrutinized, if not by Turin, certainly by the viewer.
Deus ex machinas? Perhaps. But while searching the armory, Dutch discovers that Turin has hidden the genetic bomb that targets specific DNA strands in a dusty cabinet, however, its use may be complicated by the fact that Dutch and Johnny aren’t certain whether it can separate human DNA from Hullen. This is also not the first time we’ve witnessed this weapon’s power, so it will be interesting to see how Delle Sayeh plays her knowledge of the device she employed to take out the opposing families during her coup once Aneela learns of its existence.
While there’s no question Aneela poses a formidable foe, she may be blinded by her desire to exact revenge on Dutch and not see Delle Sayeh Kendry coming. She seems so laser focused on bringing down Dutch that her fall may come from within rather than at Dutch’s hands. And what’s up with the kiss? These two are fascinating to watch and starting to steal the show.
We have a long way to go so it’s not surprising that the victory celebration is short lived and ends up as a mournful wake-up call at The Royale. Round 1 may have gone to Aneela, but she remains in the dark about the genetic bomb and the method by which the plasma pools are poisoned. All told, “Attack the Rack” delivers everything you could want from episodic television; emotionally charged scenes, developing mysteries, compelling characters whose motivations remain uncertain, and above all, damned good story telling. Another win for Killjoys.