This Killjoys review contains spoilers.
Killjoys Season 5 Episode 6
“Did you just throw forest filth at me?”
The ability to forge relationships often drives success within a chosen field, and sometimes those relationships must withstand threats from all angles if they are to endure. Despite the fact that the core of “Three Mutineers” properly focuses on the intricate plan to escape the prison ship and facilitate a return to Westerly, there are a number of personal connections that deserve and receive attention as Killjoys moves into the back half of its final season.
While it’s certainly entertaining to watch Johnny reacquaint himself with Lucy, the ship’s AI is a machine, and to this point theirs is strictly a relationship that functions within the parameters of her programming. Yes, it appears a trust develops between the two, but that’s just as much a function of her zeroes and ones as it is anything truly sentient. However, after Lucy detects the fusion bombs placed by the Qreshy kill squad and he reunites with Dutch, the two killjoys now face uncomfortable truths about the direction their relationship has taken. He’s angry she negotiated his release from the prison ship, and Dutch feels betrayed by what she perceives to be his attempt to “ice me out.” Of course, they’re both wrong and must ultimately confront the true source of the trouble – their marriage in The Lady’s alternate reality.
Despite the unrelenting danger in which Team Awesome Force typically finds itself, Killjoys has always featured an upbeat tone so it seems unlikely that we’re headed for a dark series ending. That said, it’s about time Johnny and Dutch clear the air, and the awkward reminiscence of their time together in Westerly finally leads to a truth that shouldn’t be that difficult to accept. “I love you, but not like that,” Johnny tells her in a warm scene that contrasts against her severely beaten and bruised face. It’s really not clear whether Dutch is disappointed or relieved. However, the unexpected revelation here comes when Dutch questions John’s commitment to their task as killjoys.
When we look back at the events leading up to this point, it’s not surprising that each of the three teammates re-evaluate how they see their futures unfolding. Whether Dutch’s relationship with D’avin will lead to anything permanently meaningful remains to be seen, but it’s clear that Johnny is not only ready to move on from Pawter’s death, but understands the need to find an intimate companion. Dutch recognizes that John requires time away from their hectic lifestyle and suggests he take a year to clear his head, but more importantly, “find someone.” It appears we’re being prepared for the Jaqobis brothers to go their separate ways at some point during the series finale, and the only question here seems to be whether Dutch and D’avin move forward as a couple.
Spending this much narrative capital aboard Herks Supermax Prison runs the risk of resorting to a number of well-worn jailhouse tropes, but Killjoys avoids this with some fascinating character pairings, a diplomatic side of D’avin that we don’t see often enough, and another unexpected prisoner plot twist. It’s never a good sign when the resident psychopath wants to renegotiate the deal he made with a fellow inmate, and Coren’s decision to murder Sparlo as Dutch tries to diplomatically change the current dynamic comes as a bit of a shock.
That Dutch questions the motives of the Qreshy representatives who’ve come to rescue the Robbel siblings makes perfect sense and sets up a brief, yet effective firefight sequence that culminates in Coren’s death at the hands of prisoner Mace. And while we might, like Dutch, question the ease with which this standoff works itself out, it prevents this plot thread from getting bogged down in the details. There’s a lot of ground to cover, and most of it needs to take place on terra firma.
It’s always nice to watch D’avin operate outside his comfort zone, and his scenes with Evie Robbel speak not only to his oft ignored ingenuity but his charm as well. Evie is not the first princess he’s had to cajole, but even Davin’s surprised when her response to her rescue is to hold a gun on her brother, presumably to complete the job she asked D’av to do for her. His attempts to mediate the family dispute leads to the revelation that an uncle ordered the hit on them, but also gives Johnny and Dutch a chance to make a dramatic last second rescue. This is likely it for the minor house of Land Rabbel, but Sylas and Evie provide another view of how intense dysfunctional family squabbles can become and point out that any worries about Dutch and Johnny pale by comparison.
However, it’s Johnny’s burgeoning relationship with the warden (Rachael Ancheril/Star Trek: Discovery) during the chaos following the prisoner takeover that provides some of the best dialogue exchanges. In fact, he tries to charm her during most of their encounters including their initial encounter in her office. Watching them work together to disarm the fusion bombs reveals an electric chemistry that begs to be explored further. Can he convince the warden to allow them to take her ship now that they understand its capabilities which include the perfectly timed cloaking technology? It’s the final scene, however, that shows the warden at her best when she addresses the remaining prisoners and explains that it’s because of the killjoys risking their lives that they all survived the Qreshy kill squad. One prisoner begins clapping and the others follow. Dutch may have her army after all.
And last but certainly not least we dive more deeply into Delle Seyah and Aneela’s story that features Jaq at its center. Though it’s clear he represents more to the world at large than he does to his two mothers, that fact does not get in the way of their jockeying for the dominant role in this three way relationship. As they walk through the woods, it’s difficult to ignore the lush greenery that dominates the scene, a reminder of their past, even though now they must confront the fact that Kendry has reverted to her original human state. We’ve always wondered just how real their relationship is to Aneela, and while she provides some insight here, a hint of doubt remains regarding her commitment. Is it possible Aneela’s a bit intimidated by Kendry’s new huntress persona and isn’t yet certain how to proceed?
That we’ve watched Jaq grow up quickly might be the understatement of the millenia, and though he occasionally exhibits ordinary teenage idiosyncrasies, his developing moral center reveals a well grounded young man who’s overcome plenty to arrive at this critical juncture. Though he’s still intent on finding and saving his father, the fact that he’s willing to enter the mirror cube shows a level of maturity that belies his chronological age. And while Jaq appears temporarily safe from The Lady’s clutches, Aneela’s admission that she knows what The Lady wants and how to obtain it, but doesn’t know how to stop her keeps the necessary element of danger fully in play.
“Three Mutineers” skillfully brings Aneela and Kendry back together to protect Jaq, but it’s time for Dutch, D’avin, and Johnny to leave the prison ship and reunite with Zeph and the rest of the team on the ground. Khlyen remains an enigma as The Lady’s advantage wavers, and it’s only a matter of time until the two forces come face to face. It won’t be long now.