Killjoys Season 4 Episode 5 Review: Greening Pains

Delle Sayeh finally gives birth to the hybrid child, but his growth spurts force the team to seek outside help on tonight's Killjoys.

This Killjoys review contains spoilers.

Killjoys Season 4 Episode 5

“If it’s beyond me, then Johnny doesn’t stand a chance.”

Well, I guess we can forget about buying that cute little baby blanket. Though the latest installment of Killjoys lacks the urgency at the core of the season to this point, “Greening Pains” nonetheless returns Lucy’s family to some semblance of normalcy which is no small feat considering everything each member has experienced. However, there’s no rest for the weary, and now that it appears The Lady’s influence stretches far beyond the green plasma in which she’s trapped, little D’avin’s well being now becomes paramount.

For now, let’s refer to him as the child, and it’s his rapid aging and the physical complications that accompany this condition that dominate “Greening Pains.” From a narrative perspective, having the child age so rapidly conveniently prevents Dutch and the crew from having to cope with a newborn on board Lucy, but now that he’s a well developed teenager, certain aspects become necessarily more complicated. Asking for food at every turn is a nice touch, and the realization that non-alcoholic beverages apparently don’t exist on the ship lets everyone know that sweeping changes will need to be made to accommodate the newest member of the crew if he is to remain on board.

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It’s also no surprise that it’s Zeph who determines what needs to be done to stop the Hullen cells from viewing the child’s human cells as a degradation that needs to be repaired. After her repeated successes the past few weeks, it makes sense to allow someone else to step into the fray and save the day. Though he’s been narratively quiet the past few weeks, when it’s posited that the child may be some sort of artificially engineered bioweapon, Pip’s suggestion that he go to Utopia to enlist the aid of an expert in the field brings his character back to the forefront. The priceless looks on the faces of John, D’avin, and Dutch clearly indicate they’ve previously enjoyed the decadence that this entertainment space station has to offer.

While Dutch, John, and D’av have certainly carried out their fair share of operations, tonight’s Ocean’s 11 nod is delightfully executed in its simplicity and brevity, neither of which detracts from the enjoyment the scene exudes. “We’re not going to rip him off; we’re going to kidnap him,” Dutch tells a distressed Pip just before the team leaps into action. Watching D’avin enter Kravn’s office under the guise of initiating a heist as Dutch and John crawl through ventilation ducts takes us to a place we’ve been many times, yet the classic heist movie element still seems fresh and decidedly entertaining. Even the actors seem to be having fun as they descend on ropes from above and set out to snatch Kravn and ultimately force him to address the issues facing the child.

However, in a clever storytelling twist, Kravn turns out to be an AI rather than a human being, setting up the eventual confrontation with Lucy that is the source of the wickedly amusing exchange between the ship’s AI and Johnny. But even before that takes place, D’avin’s brawl with Kravn’s receptionist continues to keep the mood light as they each repeatedly inject themselves with stimulants that not only enhance their fighting skills but also produce uncontrollable fits of laughter. Once they return to Lucy with Kravn’s mainframe modules, Johnny approaches Lucy like an anxious lover. “I want you to want this,” he implores, trying to convince her to allow him to insert Kravn’s modules into her mainframe. Humor aside though, it’s The child’s “rapidly evolving genetic anomaly” that may be the most important detail in the episode, and when Pip absconds with the teenager to return to Utopia, it’s not immediately clear why he takes this action though it seems to have something to do with that scratch he received back on the Scarback Necropolis. It seems a foregone conclusion that he’s being controlled by the plasma bound Lady.

One of the dangers of dramatic irony is that it can be carried to the extreme leaving the audience frustrated and ultimately feeling a bit manipulated. Fortunately, we get our moment when D’avin tells the kid, “I’m your dad,” and though it’s a heartfelt moment, it’s not overly sentimental. I’m still a bit torn about  the hands pressed against the glass sequence, but it does set up a situation we’ve anticipated for some time now – D’avin’s desire to play a role in his son’s life.

And while we know D’avin plans to be there for his son, Delle Seyah’s intentions remain somewhat murkier, though we do get to see a side of her that has heretofore remained hidden. She confronts Johnny about the boy amidst the unexpected feelings she’s experiencing, and though John explains it’s related to her transition back to being human, it’s possible it’s more than that.

I’ve speculated that redemption could be in the cards for Delle Seyah should she choose that path, and when the single greatest obstacle within this small circle suggests a solution to her dilemma, it appears we might be going down that road. Johnny tells her to make amends, “stop being a shitty person,” and “do the work,” which certainly sounds as if he’s willing to give her a chance. Whether she’s willing to take that chance and join the good guys may be a bit of a stretch especially when her reaction to Johnny’s suggestion is to ask “who do I pay to do that?” Is this the same old entitled rich girl who teamed up with Aneela to bring down The Quad in return for even more power? It’s certainly possible and maybe even likely, but it’s still an interesting dynamic to watch moving forward.

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Of course the child’s rapid rise from baby to famished teenager garners much of the focus, but it’s the news that children are being kidnapped on Westerly that gets the team’s attention and sends Fancy there to learn what’s going on. As much as Fancy and Turin ordinarily add to the mix, here they seem to be spinning their wheels even though the story unfolding around them bears watching. The Hullen dolls have awoken, presumably at The Lady’s behest, and now armed and ready, leave the Armada. It’s not clear why Weej appears immune to The Lady’s commands, but he continues to help Turin learn about the disappearance of the children who seem to have been taken in a Herod-like maneuver to locate the hybrid child.

The Jaqobis’ relationship with Dutch has always been complicated, and while no new ground is broken here, we are reminded that she sees each brother differently. It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking John represents the brains and D’avin the brawn, especially when we see her invite D’av into her bed in the episode’s opening scene. But all three seem to understand and accept the dynamic that has evolved, and amazingly no hurt feelings appear. Now it’s up to Dutch and Johnny to make sense of Khylen’s story and its meaning in relation to The Lady and Aneela who both remain trapped in the green.

Even though it may not have been the showrunner’s intention, “Greening Pains” works well as a sort of mid-season finale. Dutch and Johnny have regained their bearings and now have a more concrete plan to bring down The Lady. Kendry gives birth to the Hullen child and returns to her original state, but for now, it’s up to Dutch and Johnny to figure out Khylen’s subliminal messaging and how it will help them in the coming confrontation.

 Dave Vitagliano has been writing and podcasting about science fiction television since 2012. You can read more of his work here. He presently hosts Sci Fi Fidelity Podcast and The Den of Geek Podcast


4 out of 5