This Killjoys review contains spoilers.
Killjoys Season 4 Episode 6
“You don’t invite a two day old to a torture party.”
Successfully raising a teenager may be one of the most difficult challenges a parent faces, and Dutch and the Jaqobis brothers hold their own in the face of The Lady’s influence and interference. “Baby, Face Killer” quietly exposes the latent abilities the child possesses, and the team is forced to take drastic measures to ensure his safety. Killjoys begins the season’s second half attempting to put out fires in three separate locations, but unfortunately, things do not proceed according to plan. Of course, nothing worth having is obtained easily.
One of the most enjoyable aspects of having the child on board Lucy involves watching the competition for his affection and training. It’s difficult to argue with Dutch’s contention that he needs to learn to defend himself against The Lady and her minions as soon as possible, but it does seem as if she’s willing to go further than is really necessary. “We must do whatever it takes,” Dutch tells the boy, but clearly he has no way to understand the implications of what she has planned for his training. Is D’avin right when he maintains that what Khylen did to Dutch as a child amounts to child abuse, and that she’s too close to the situation to accept that? Or is he blinded by his insistence that he play the father figure even though he didn’t technically father this child?
Killjoys generally finds a way to soften these moral and ethical conflicts with well placed humor that not only cools things down a bit but also reveals a bit of unspoken truth. “Shouldn’t training start with leather pants?” the kid asks Dutch tempering her enthusiasm just a bit, but it also appears in conjunction with her suggestion that he choose his own name, rather than saddle himself with the one Delle Sayeh assigns him. While it may be true that many fifteen year old boys become fascinated with guns, the fact that he’s crystallized what killjoys do down to wearing leather while wielding firearms not only lightens the mood but speaks to how much he still has to learn. Of course, the adults recognize the urgency of the situation, but he is a quick learner.
We have to assume that Aneela understood what she was doing in creating this Hullen hybrid child, but we don’t know whether she knew the extent of the gifts with which he’s been endowed. On the one hand, for a two day old, he grasps things rather quickly, but now that he must contend with the realization that “sometimes I just know things,” it’s going to be up to his family to see him through this development. Particularly poignant is his lament that he doesn’t have a family upon learning from Dutch the truth behind his birth. Hopefully, he’ll stick around; it would be a shame to develop this engaging young man only to jettison his character under the pretense that he’s going to live with his mother as a member of Qreshy royalty. That said, Aneela likely has other plans for the boy as well, and we know that Lucy is already getting crowded to the point that D’avin had to “bunk” with Dutch.
As far as we can tell, the boy has enjoyed minimal training, but in true killjoy fashion, he rushes in to save Dutch when she battles The Hunter (Shaun Benson). Even though we don’t know how long the kid’s going to be around, this particular act sets up a further disagreement between Dutch and D’avin that could make for some compelling exchanges down the road. Despite his irresponsible behavior, Dutch can’t help but exude pride over her “nephew’s” bravery coming to her aid, while D’avin takes the more pragmatic, and certainly more responsible, approach in chastising both Dutch and the kid entering a situation for which he is not properly prepared. Will Dutch and D’avin sit down and come up with a plan to integrate the boy into their intense lifestyle, or will Delle Sayeh and Aneela swoop in and make all of these plans moot? Regardless, he’s the prime target of The Lady, and as such, his safety and ability to aid in the fight must be accounted for. He is undoubtedly a key toward defeating The Lady.
Killjoys doesn’t present those heartbreaking, emotional scenes that have viewers running for the tissue box all that often, but when it does, we take notice. D’avin’s heart to heart talk with his son reminds us of the fact that this is a child who finds himself in the middle of an interplanetary war, while at the same time struggling to understand how he fits into this complex and disparate group of individuals. Worried that he’s disappointed Dutch, he asks D’avin “what am I?” And even though he truly has no meaningful answer to that question, D’avin unflinchingly provides the perfect response. “You’re my son.” It’s as if that simple affirmation puts the boy at ease, and when he tells his father that he wants to choose his own name, D’avin’s pride is unmistakable. Does it get any better than telling him that he wants to be called Jaqobis, Jack for short? Of course, when she gets wind of the change, Delle Sayeh might have a thing or two to say about it, but the decision to take his son and escape the madness now makes D’avin a target for all the right reasons.
Though she only appears briefly, Delle Sayeh Kendry’s attempt to instruct her son in some of the social graces needed if he’s ever to accompany her to Qresh reminds viewers of the opulent lifestyle we’re used to seeing her pre-Aneela. “Oh gods! You eat just like a Jaqobis,” she tells him, but it’s her reluctance to hug him because “physical contact is for the poor” that resonates so profoundly with the viewer and the boy, providing more opportunities for D’avin to influence and guide young Jack. She claims she needs to return to Qresh because The Nine need a leader, but it may simply be that she wants out of this mess, and since she doesn’t appear to feel a strong connection to the boy, there’s nothing really keeping her here.
The Fancy and Pree story presents an interesting scenario in that focuses on different, yet connected goals. Pree naturally is consumed with finding Garrett while Fancy’s center of attention lies with the abducted children. And while we know Garrett is being held with the kids, what the Hullen intend to do with them remains a bit murky. Ultimately, we suspect that Pree and Fancy will free them all, but at what narrative cost? It’s not all that a compelling storyline since we suspect the children will ultimately be freed, and I don’t think we’re ready quite yet to permanently separate Pree from his love. It doesn’t muddy the waters, but it doesn’t add much clarity either.
I’ve been a huge Zeph fan this season, and tonight does nothing to change that opinion even though we see her in a more vulnerable and even somewhat helpless role. Realizing that there is no easily obtained fix to the Hullen spider residing in Pip’s brain, she ultimately chooses the logical approach and removes him from the situation. Since she suspects Pip is a danger to the child, she takes him to the Armada which not only gives her access to more advanced technology with which to work, but also lessens the harm he might do at The Lady’s direction. As Zeph’s role on board Lucy has become more focused and more essential, her relationship with Pip has taken a bit of a back seat. Coming on the heels of their sex-buddies relationship, tonight features a much more serious dynamic. Zeph’s willingness to perform a frightening procedure that requires her to go in through Pip’s eye in an attempt to kill the spider reminds us how much trust exists between these two. And while we rarely see her show fear in any situation, that changes a bit here, especially when she has to admit that though she’s slowed things down a bit, when the spider dies, Pip dies.
And with chaos swirling around them, Dutch and Johnny continue piecing together Khylen’s memory messages about The Lady and the threat she poses. The appearance of The Hunter leads to a fascinating confrontation with Dutch after she invokes a White Blade, apparently a traditional parley between professional assassins. I’m not certain we need a fight sequence each week, but we receive a solidly constructed one here that finds Dutch meeting her match until the child puts an end to the fight. To be fair, however, the scene does place Dutch and D’avin in a moral situation related to the boy’s instruction. Clearly, they are diametrically opposed to the value of what Khylen did to her as a child. D’avin does not buy into her premise that “we must do whatever it takes.” And while both know Jack is a key in the fight against The Lady, it seems as if she sees him as piece on a chessboard while D’avin prefers to take the higher ground and do whatever it takes to protect his son, physically as well as emotionally.
I’m not a big fan of sending the team in different directions, but here we are nonetheless. Killjoys juggles a wealth of storylines but none more compelling the Jack’s development and role in the eventual showdown with The Lady. Is “Baby, Face Killer” simply laying the groundwork for a season finale that puts all of the principals in jeopardy? Would you want it any other way?
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.