This Killjoys review contains spoilers.
Killjoys Season 4 Episode 4
“How could you make him into one of those things?”
So much happens in “What to Expect When You’re Expecting . . . an Alien Parasite” that it’s difficult to decide where to begin. Though we still don’t know what The Lady is or how she can be stopped, Killjoys provides enough narrative movement with the emotional return of Johnny and Dutch that the frenetic pace and unresolved conflicts become easier to navigate. Not as straightforward, however, is when and where Delle Sayeh’s baby shower will be held, and don’t even talk to me about a gift for Baby Jaqobis.
While rage filled Johnny simultaneously demanded both our attention and compassion throughout his fleeting Hullen phase, it’s wonderful to have D’avin’s annoying little brother back to normal. That said, Aaron Ashmore’s portrayal of Johnny’s struggle with the duality of his confusing existence has at times been difficult to watch, and tonight, the force of his frustration reaches new heights leaving viewers stunned and a bit terrified. His character’s little boy antics can often overpower the depth that Ashmore has brought to Johnny through the series’ run. And though we’ve been accustomed to watching Dutch save the day, once again it’s Zeph’s brilliant mind that rescues not only Johnny but Delle Sayeh and her baby as well.
First and foremost, the return of Dutch to the fold naturally drives the episode, but we’re not quite finished with her experience in the green and her confrontation with The Lady. Set neatly against a distressed Johnny violently banging his head against a wall, a still unconscious Dutch revisits some of her time in the green and begins to disseminate some much needed information about The Lady. To this point we haven’t really had much to go on, but now that we learn this being with shapeshifting abilities has been emotionally manipulating Dutch and perhaps Aneela, the meaning of the story Khylen tells changes. Once we see that The Lady can presumably appear as anyone from Dutch’s memories, the game completely changes. Still, why the story of the thief and the warrior? When Aneela tells Dutch “How about for once you let someone look after you,” we long to believe these two women might someday become friends, but the black eyes tell a different story.
For all her implied power, the great reveal tonight involves The Lady’s inability to leave the green and enter the real world. Though she insists she’s not Hullen, her revelation that “I’m much, much older than that,” keeps her true identity a mystery. However, she does have a weakness, and it now appears that Khylen and his stories may have been a clever ruse to get Dutch to reveal the way out of the plasma. So while Dutch too must find her way back to Johnny and the others, the mysterious Lady isn’t as all powerful as we’ve been led to believe. That said, how does Dutch find her way out of the green? Is it simply her emotional connection with Johnny and the tremendous influence they have on each other that allows her to return to the real world?
Once we revisit the crystallization of the green and its ability to keep The Lady trapped inside, it now rests with Zeph to figure out how to extract Aneela while preventing The Lady from escaping. Delle Sayeh Kendry continues to be every bit as problematic as the entity trapped in the green, but her desperation to know Aneela’s fate takes control leading her to attempt to choke the information out of Dutch. Admitting that Aneela is “trapped in the green because I left her there,” gives some much needed insight into how Dutch feels about her lookalike counterpart. There’s a relationship growing here, and though this scene also reveals that Delle Sayeh understands the significance of the child she carries, Dutch acknowledging a debt to Aneela because “she saved me,” carries even more impact.
Now that we know The Lady can apparently change her appearance at will, deciding what’s real within the green becomes more of a challenge. When Aneela tells Dutch to leave, and she’ll stay to stop her “in the green” so that Dutch can stop her “out there,” their dynamic seems to have irrevocably changed. Seemingly stating the obvious, Zeph asks why not just leave them where they are, but Dutch’s reaction speaks volumes. “Aneela’s strong, but she will break.” More haunting, however, is her admission that The Lady will be “coming for all of us” should she force Aneela to reveal a way out of the green. For a number of reasons, leaving Aneela at The Lady’s mercy does not appear to be an option for Dutch, and it seems it’s up to Zeph to once again devise a plan to save the human race and keep The Lady at bay. Killjoys must be careful not to go to the well too often, but this sure seems like the perfect opportunity for Zeph to science their way out of this dilemma.
As I said earlier, there’s a lot going on here, and while much of Dutch’s story takes place in her mind, Johnny’s struggle and Delle Sayeh’s impending delivery are significantly more tangible. I don’t know how or when exactly it occurred, but Zeph’s meteoric leadership rise may be the single most meaningful character and narrative development of the season. It’s truly astounding to watch her not only divide her intellectual focus, but to thrive and succeed in these intensely pressurized situations.
One of the things I continue to love about Zeph is her calm approach to whatever catastrophe unfolds around her, and her involvement with the delivery of Delle Sayeh’s baby is no different. While birthing a calf earns her some experience points, it’s hilarious to watch Kendry’s response to Zeph’s attempt to defuse the tense situation after it becomes clear that the baby is not only too big for a normal delivery, but is growing abnormally fast as well. Nevertheless, the head of The Nine’s snarky comments are also punctuated by a fear of the unknown and the realization that even her Hullen body might not be enough to save her this time. Not surprisingly, D’avin looks on, every bit the worried father, as his unceasing battle with the mother continues. Is she afraid she’ll actually need him down the road, or is it simply a foregone conclusion that she and the child will reunite with Aneela, leaving the others to fend for themselves? And is Delle Sayeh reading a Captain Apex comic while waiting to deliver?
As if to put Zeph to the test, Johnny’s crisis truly reaches epic proportions once we learn that there are no active plasma pools available, and Lucy can’t reach the Armada in time to save his life. In much the same way that Hannah John-Kamen has successfully settled into the dual roles of Dutch and Aneela, Ashmore’s deeply troubled Johnny has reached the limits of his own humanity. On the one hand, he blames Dutch for leaving, but more importantly, he seems to ask Dutch and D’avin to put him out of his misery if, in fact, a cleansing is not possible. And when his fury leads him to break his own neck, we see a man as helpless as he can be. Of course, Zeph steps away from the baby complications to see what she can do about John, and it takes her only a moment to suggest a course of action.
Again, so cool under pressure, and now, unafraid to stand up to even Dutch who immediately challenges the plan to temporarily sever Johnny’s spinal cord, Zeph is absolutely clear as to who’s in charge at this moment. “I don’t tell you how to shoot; don’t tell me how to science.” Okay, now inserting a knife into the spinal cord to sever the Hullen connection might be a bit of a stretch, but again, Killjoys seems to always pick its spots, and we’re fine with whatever it takes to save Johnny. And if this approach works with John, why not with Delle Sayeh? Needless to say, however, a pregnant Delle Sayeh may be infinitely more frightening than the tormented Hullen John Jaqobis.
We’ve waited patiently for Delle Sayeh Kendry to give birth to Aneela’s creation, and now that the time has arrived, the scene does not disappoint. There are a myriad of possibilities after Zeph severs her spinal cord, and when Delle Sayeh wakes to the sounds of a crying baby, her motherly instincts take over. Well, for all of about five seconds. Yes, women of her station do not care for their own children; there are servants to carry out those tasks. However, even though this isn’t technically her child, I thought because of the child’s connection to Aneela, her reaction might present itself differently. Nevertheless, there’s no denying the warmth and tenderness D’avin exudes after she quickly passes him the child. He’s totally comfortable, and it seems impossible to imagine that he won’t make a play to be in this child’s life moving forward.
In the end, however, we can’t allow the joy of the birth to obscure Aneela’s plight in the green and the chaos The Lady’s escape will bring. What does she have waiting for her in the real world? Though the team is back together, each individual has unmistakably changed, and their roles no longer remain the same. While it’s not a stretch to think that Johnny will go back to normal, after being cleansed, the same can’t be said of Delle Sayeh Kendry who likely resents the fact that this little baby has robbed her of a greatness even her title as head of The Nine can’t match. Johnny will get over losing his Hulleness; Ms. Kendry not so much.
Now that we’ve seen them work together, Dutch and Aneela aren’t as different as we once thought, and it’s their common enemy that drives the narrative amidst all the surrounding chaos. “What to Expect When You’re Expecting . . . an Alien Parasite” answers enough questions about The Lady and her intentions, but it’s the birth of the hybrid child that should grab much of the attention moving forward.