This Killjoys review contains spoilers.
Killjoys Season 4 Episode 3
“Being Hullen hasn’t improved your taste in music.”
It’s often said it’s not how you start the race, but how you finish, and while that’s certainly not meant to imply tonight’s episode of Killjoys gets underway slowly, the intensity of the conclusion almost makes us forget how much emotional energy it took to reach that point. Though Dutch has returned, Hullen Johnny’s restrained, and Delle Sayeh has started going into labor, the further effort required to put the team back together will be immense and not without its complications. Of course, that’s half the fun now isn’t it.
War inevitably changes people, and now that she’s been separated from Aneela for an extended period of time, Delle Sayeh Kendry has undergone a notable transformation from the evil ice queen to a woman who recognizes the uncertainty of her future despite her pedigree as head of The Nine. It’s possible impending motherhood changed her, and even though we know that she and D’avin did not create this child in the traditional way, there’s a developing closeness with the Jaqobis that’s difficult to miss. That she’s about to give birth to a hybrid child can’t help but color her view of the Hullen/human conflict.
Nevertheless, “Bro-d Trip” puts on display a lot of the Delle Sayeh we’ve come to know, and when she takes out Clay and two of his henchmen with one hand resting tenderly on her pregnant belly, it’s an opportune reminder that this is not a woman to be trifled with, change or no change. Granted, she is plasma powered and ever defiant, but seeing her strapped to the exam table as Clay plans to induce labor and take her baby, generates a fair amount of empathy despite her horrible past. Still, she’s a woman left on her own who refuses to play the damsel in distress, and when her plan to bring down Juno Clay succeeds, our view of her rises exponentially. Will she accept a slot on Team Awesome Force? “My killjoys will come,” she tells Clay.
Watching Zeph awkwardly address Pip’s questions about their personal status does not at all detract from advances she’s heretofore made. In fact, her defensiveness about whether the two will continue the sexual relationship that began when both thought they were about to die, only adds to her endearing nature. Unlike many contemporary television series, Killjoys continues to adhere to a “less is more” approach when it comes to characters hooking up, and the fact that we don’t actually see their liaison adds to the mystery of this perfectly matched pair. When she tells him that sex helps her think, Zeph seems to be making her own overtures, reluctant to say or do anything that might resemble a desire for a relationship commitment. Does Pip want a girlfriend while Zeph aspires to a more casual connection, or are they both simply afraid of being rejected by someone close to them and thus dance around the issue at hand? Naturally, this tension abates when Turin’s displeasure that they haven’t been able to track Lucy lights a spark. “Pip. My room now!”
Their sex life aside, that one of the mechanical bugs from the Necropolis scratched Pip now becomes more of an issue when we see his reaction to the one Zeph has on her table for study. He hasn’t mentioned any after effects from the incident, but the finger twitches that seem to occur in close proximity to the bug indicate some kind of link that will likely manifest itself down the road. While not easy to miss, this reaction takes a back seat to the jolted “doll” Zeph brings back to life only to have it point a gun at its own head and announce, “She’s coming. She’s coming.” Okay. She who? The Lady makes the most sense since she does appear to control what goes on inside, and to a lesser extent, outside the green.
And how great is the scene in which Zeph uses the Hullen doll to access the Armada’s navigation system, and once she does, basically orders Turin to deputize her along with Pip and Pree. As the RAC leader swears in the trio, Zeph can hardly contain herself, uttering the pledge in unison with Turin. Not only is it funny, but Zeph is absolutely correct in anticipating possible problems they might encounter on the journey to track down Lucy.
Once the team finds and boards Lucy, their problems begin in earnest, but to its credit, Killjoys does not resort to one of the most overused tropes in television of all genres: the digital countdown to zero. What makes their attempts to access the reset ship’s AI so amusing is that they do think like Johnny would think, and though it’s a bit disappointing that Pree gives up so easily, you can’t help but love his decision to go out on his terms. Eventually, Pip figures out that Johnny has chosen a song as Lucy’s login, and after calling up the tune on his phone, Lucy comes online, and the team avoids full purge. “One Jaqobis sandwich for pickup!.” The scene perfectly balances the threat of the clock running out with the futility and helplessness they all feel while trying to save Johnny and D’av.
However, the heart of “Bro-d Trip” naturally revolves around the Jaqobis brothers’ road trip to find Johnny’s green plasma and their deteriorating relationship. “Just two badass bros and whatever the road throws their way.” Even though most of their squabbles result from John’s hullenesque behavior, there also seems to be some deep seated residual feelings that both brothers cling to. Is Johnny suffering the effects of neuropurging? He easily loses his temper and D’avin bears the brunt of these incidents. The fact that Johnny’s older brother still has it in him to at least superficially forgive these outbursts speaks to his love and understanding. “You just need to hold onto real John a little bit longer. He’s worth it.” And while the two continue to spar, Dutch’s increased presence seems to coincide with Johnny’s lapses of control. The Dutch that John and the audience see is clearly not happy with how things are progressing, implying that he instinctively knows what he’s doing is wrong but either can’t or won’t fight these urges.
Fortunately, things take a positive turn when D’avin manages to handcuff Johnny, apparently just in time. “I’m all that’s left of you, Johnny, but not much longer,” Dutch’s apparition tells her friend. As the plasma tightens its grip, Dutch does her best to save Johnny, but ultimately, he finds his green grail, shoots D’avin, and tells Dutch that he plans to go full on Hullen. We can overlook the body armor trope that saves D’avin because it does allow the brothers to go toe to toe in leading Dutch to finally emerge from the plasma pool to which Johnny’s device leads him.
All of this points towards the powerful slow-motion sequence as Zeph leads the reunited team back onto Lucy. With Johnny in handcuffs, D’avin carries an unconscious Dutch on board, and since someone has to take charge, Zeph explains that their best chance to cleanse Johnny is on the Armada. Of course, returning there doesn’t necessarily feel like the best option, but as she’s so often been of late, Zeph is probably right. However, the crystallization of the plasma pool after Dutch surfaces and climbs out remains unexplained. And just as things couldn’t get any crazier, Delle Sayeh’s water breaks, and it shouldn’t be too long until another little Jaqobis will cry for attention.
Though things seem to be heading in the right direction for Team Awesome Force, there are significant hurdles to overcome, not the least of which is Johnny’s worsening psychosis. With Delle Sayeh going into labor, we have to wonder whether she’s going to be up to the task of reversing the process and return John to the human race. Who’s going to deliver Delle Sayeh’s baby, and once it’s born, what of her relationship with D’avin? And will the baby’s name contain an apostrophe? Of course, none of that matters if Aneela takes the child.
While all of this is important, Dutch remains unconscious after coming out of the green to prevent Johnny and D’avin from killing each other. What happened in there, and did she and Aneela take down The Lady? Given the appearance of the mechanical bugs it might be wise to assume they didn’t, and quite simply, Aneela’s either still in there or she’s not. Will we find her back on her ship, or will Dutch eventually come to and demand to be allowed to help her sister/mother?
Though there are no real fireworks in “Bro-d Trip,” three threads are deftly pulled together, and putting TAF back together sets the stage for the inevitable clash between Johnny and Dutch. Though D’avin can intellectualize the changes his baby brother is going through, eventually, enough can sometimes be enough. Is that the case here? Has the brothers’ emotional connection been damaged too much? Time will tell. In the meantime, is there a baby doctor in the house?
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