This Killjoys review contains spoilers.
Killjoys Season 5 Episode 9
“Hello, sister. It’s been awhile.”
With only two episodes remaining in the series’ run, Killjoys finds itself in the complex position of attempting to address as many open story threads as possible heading into next week’s finale. Of course, they won’t all receive attention, but the stirring penultimate “Terraformance Anxiety” puts the narrative on an intriguing path that suggests a satisfying conclusion to the on-going escapades of Team Awesome Force. We know The Lady’s going down; we just don’t know exactly how.
A number of fascinating takeaways emerge here including the realization that someone must take charge and lead the displaced people of Old Town to a new home. Ever charismatic, Dutch stands as the obvious choice, but there are others whose leadership skills have developed during the course of the saga. The final battle must still be fought, and the possibility that some won’t survive exists, but there are some interesting possibilities to consider. Delle Seyah Kendry announces she plans to retake her role as head of The Nine, but when D’avin mentions Kendry seems different, her response that “it’s been a long journey” acknowledges she’s aware the entitled, self-absorbed Qreshy princess may no longer exist.
Though Dutch remains the odds on choice to shepherd the Westerly population to new lives, Kendry’s experiences as a warrior and mother give her a unique, extended skillset. The news that the recon jump ship returns with Jaq and the mirrored cube sets up a dual-pronged attack, and the only question remaining is whether the young man will remain with both his mothers or move on with only one. Aneela still seems too disconnected to consider helping those in need, so Westerly’s Moses may need to come from outside the Kin Rit family if Dutch and Delle Seyah move in other directions.
Speaking of the Kin Rit family, the last few episodes throw a lot of background details at us which at this point in the narrative seem rather unnecessary unless it’s to set up and justify the characters’ final acts. Appropriately enough, to the end, Khlyen remains an enigma, and when he spies the dead bodies strewn about the plant, his reaction “that’s my girl” leaves the meaning of his response unclear. Is it important that we know the Kin Rit family were the first of The Nine and chose which families ruled and which served? Will the future hierarchy hold something different? It seems difficult to believe that The Lady is more interested in Khlyen’s knowledge of physiology than Jaq’s potential, but perhaps that’s all part of his plan to bring her down. “Papa always fights for his family,” Aneela tells Dutch, but Yala is not as naive as her twin and isn’t ready to concede anything to the man who raised them both.
Throughout the series’ run, The Royale consistently provides a respite for the team as it maps out its next adventure, gathers recon, or adjusts its current approach to the baddie of the moment. Its welcoming atmosphere also gives Pree easy opportunities for witty banter and the sage advice we often associate with the local barkeep. That said, once he leaves comfortable confines of the bar and ventures into the field, Thom Allison’s character truly begins to shine. Always adhering to the moral high ground, Pree gracefully accepts whatever’s asked of him while the credit for his contributions often ends up elsewhere. So while Zeph works her magic with the fog in Old Town, the team confidently entrusts the citizens’ safety to Pree, and he begins ushering them to the Badlands.
Pree’s relationship with Gared, while important, typically operates on the fringes of most central story arcs, but of late, Pree’s partner has been reduced to a near farcical, blundering fool. Yes, Pree has always been the dominant personality in their relationship, but it’s disconcerting to see Gared reduced to such an unattractive level. Gared’s concern that the team no longer trusts him is understandable, but I’m not sure which I find more offensive, the fact that Johnny feels comfortable sending him on the hyper critical mission to Khlyen or his bumbling manner once he’s there. It’s true that we learn the true intricacies of Johnny’s plan with Khlyen, but the details still don’t totally mitigate the humiliations Gared’s character endures.
Observing the details surrounding the actual plan seem less important than watching The Lady’s physical and emotional disintegration. Assuming Khlyen’s motives turn out to be pure and he’s been conducting an elaborate long con, he has to be satisfied that her hubris may turn out to be the most important element in the success of the mission. Yes, the killing-spree hatchling adds a bit of the macabre to the tale, but other than that, it’s really just a nuisance Dutch and the others will deal with on the way towards executing their plan. At this point whether or not Zeph’s proposal to bioengineer the fog to repel the hatchlings makes any scientific sense doesn’t matter; it sounds cool. And with The Lady screeching and Khlyen in Dutch’s custody, things appear to be moving in the right direction. Or are they?
In a sense, “Terraformance Anxiety” is asked to do the impossible – set the stage for the final conflict against The Lady while at the same time acknowledging that despite the danger and looming death, the core elements of human connections drive everything Dutch’s team does. A softer D’avin wants Dutch to know he loves her and yearns to know how Jaq feels about him as his dad. The Delle Seyah/Aneela connection might be the most complicated relationship of the group, but also the most fascinating and life altering. And still there’s Khlyen lurking in the background, his intentions yet to be revealed.
As we stand on the precipice of battle, Dutch’s impassioned speech to the prisoners of The Herk stands out, reinforcing the core values Killjoys has explored from day one. Even though she acknowledges they may return to prison after the fight, to be part of something meaningful might be the single most important choice an individual can make. And for those who choose to follow her, “I would call them family.” And just as its done countless times during the five year run, the series ignites our emotions and, one by one, the prisoners’ hands shoot into the air. And in a perfect call back to an earlier episode, “Let’s go see a bitch about a bombing.”
Heading into the series’ finale, it’s fitting that Khlyen’s cryptic message to Dutch casts a cloud over the entire operation. He insists she doesn’t know what she’s doing, and “that was just the beginning; now comes the end.” But part of the beauty of Yala Yardeen is that it often doesn’t matter whether she knows what she’s doing. She relies on her instincts and the family with whom she surrounds herself. Bring it on.