This Killjoys review contains spoilers.
Killjoys Season 5 Episode 7
“This might be our greatest undercover challenge yet.”
While it appears the Herks Supermax Prison warden may unfortunately have played her final scene, her impact endures as Zeph, Fancy, and more importantly, Lucy rescue the core group putting it into position to make a final run at stopping The Lady once and for all. “Cherchez La Bitch” finds the individuals of Team Awesome Force back in fighting trim, and though there appear to be a few kinks to work out, Killjoys pushes forward to bring the three separated mini-units together on a path to destroy arguably the series’ most formidable foe.
The hushed tone of the opening scene lays the groundwork for what may prove to be the ultimate goal for our heroes and a potentially satisfying conclusion to the Killjoys saga – the freedom to move on with their lives. Looking out at the vast expanse of space, D’avin and Dutch speculate that “maybe we’re finally free,” and when they voice the possibility that they could leave this fight to someone else, it’s clear the near constant struggles have taken their toll. It seems difficult to believe either could walk away at this point, but set against a world containing an omnipotent alien entity and genetic hybrids, it’s easy to forget that Dutch and D’avin are mere humans, struggling not only to stay alive, but to forge lives for themselves outside the chaos.
As often happens on Killjoys, the trip to Leith to access a military communication satellite offers up a mixed bag of narrative delights. I’m not a fan of the now ubiquitous Night King solution, but in a way Dutch’s suggestion to board The Armada, find The Lady’s actual body so that they can destroy it, makes a certain amount of sense. But first they have to get there, and from the moments of their prison intake sessions, The Warden senses something’s not quite right about Dutch and the boys. Rather than play her as a hackneyed version of the person in charge, the writers instead portray The Warden as a woman with a brain, and perhaps more importantly, compassion. Yes, she cuts her deals, but for the express purpose of keeping her operation running smoothly that benefits not only her but the prisoners as well.
And while we may be done with The Warden, prisoner Calvert, a former soldier herself, joins the team as its mission requires it to infiltrate a military base in order to send a message. We’ve met Calvert (Anastasia Phillips) before, but here she’s able to expand her backstory a bit and perform a vital function as they navigate what turns out to be a Militainment base. Whether this is meant as real life commentary for an oft financially challenged military doesn’t matter, watching Dutch and D’avin cope with the not-that-far-fetched “tourism pays the bills” explanation reminds us that even they have their weaknesses.
Now able to roam relatively freely, former Lt. Calvert takes full advantage of her situation, and it’s fascinating to observe her actions within the context of the operation knowing she has no intention of returning to prison. John’s reaction to her over-the-top aggressiveness when they encounter a lower ranking officer serves as a first step in helping her return to civilian status after eight years in captivity. Though she helps John successfully send out the signal, her disappearance creates another opportunity for Calvert to make a moral statement. After an awkwardly executed scuffle, Calvert tells Johnny “It’s not who I am,” and poignantly explains about the daughter she’s barely seen. The scene rekindles Calvert’s humanity and evokes an emotional response that speaks to the second chance that she desires.
It’s probably not fair to describe Pree and Zeph as the show’s most unlikely compatriots because he’s displayed an acute intellect on more than one occasion, and she can certainly over dramatize a situation with the best of them. We know he’s not going to leave the exhausted Zeph in the middle of the Westerly Badlands, but the moment does give her a chance to further establish a theme Dutch raises in the opening scene. “Go. Be free you beautiful space butterfly,” she tells him. For much of the Westerly alternate reality narrative, it’s been Zeph who’s carried the team on her back as she struggles to figure out what’s really going on, so it’s only appropriate that Pree carry her out of the wasteland.
Now that Turin’s back in the fold, the witty sarcastic banter expands exponentially, and when he removes his boot as Zeph prepares to insert a camera into the hatchling box, his teasing of the squeamish Pree generates the quip of the episode. “It’s warlord, not buglord.” Wisely, both Pree and Turin follow Zeph’s orders, and I understand that the alien creature escaping may be a necessary plot device, but it lends an air of incompetence to her group that is undeserved. They’ll no doubt recover, and Pree has issues with Gared to resolve, but it leads to Zeph questioning her self-worth despite all that she’s accomplished.
It is fair though to question Lucy’s recovery and whether or not it’s the correct play at this juncture. Understandably, this aspect has to be sped up, but I would have like to have seen it earned just a bit more. Observing Johnny, Dutch, and D’avin establish new relationships with the ship’s AI to see if things turn out differently could have been a lot of fun. That said, when we hear Fancy Lee’s voice asking for permission to rescue, any reservations fall by the wayside. Reunions are always special, but there’s something particularly moving about Dutch and Zeph. It’s not that Dutch doesn’t suffer during the alternate Old Town scenario, but as the key to foiling The Lady’s plan to enslave the population, Zeph’s suffering reaches another level entirely. For all intents and purposes, she’s alone the entire time.
It’s been a while coming, but “Cherchez La Bitch” finally brings Team Awesome Force together for what very well might be a last stand for some of its members. Despite the gravity of the impending conflict, Killjoys still manages to blend compelling emotional confrontations with a healthy dose of snappy dialogue, all of which makes the anticipation of the series’ end that much harder to accept.