Killjoys S01E02 “The Sugar Point Run” REVIEW
Airing in the UK on SyFy, Mondays
Writer: Jeremy Boxen
Director: Chris Grismer
Essential Plot Points:
- We learn what’s in a red box: a weapon and a name.
- …And what happens if that name is still breathing after a week.
- D’Avin is searching for a doctor.
- D’Avin is to become a Killjoy
It must be tricky to create a new series, develop characters, locations, mythos and then hand the reigns over to another writer to tackle an episode. Especially the second episode, while you’re still trying to hook viewers. But Michelle Lovretta needn’t worry; Killjoys is in safe hands with Jeremy Boxen, and continues in much the same vein as it started, as a wise-cracking space-action show.
Killjoy captain Dutch is forced into accepting a job for The Company – a hostage swap: trade a Company prisoner for the Mayor’s daughter. Straightforward, then. Get in, get the girl, get home in time for tea. Except this job is in Sugar Point, not somewhere anybody would go by choice, it seems, and the swap is with R’yo, a gun-running warlord.
John’s brother D’Avin is still part of the crew. He can’t leave Lucy (Dutch’s ship) as he doesn’t have valid Company papers. The trio run into trouble immediately as Lucy is shot down before they can land safely in R’yo’s territory. The place has been pretty much levelled by a war with The Company and is now mostly inhabited by scavengers, looking to make money on any gear they can get their hands on. John has to stay behind to make repairs, while D’Avin and Dutch kit up and head out to finish the mission.
It looks like the designers were aiming for something out of Mad Max with Sugar Point. Unfortunately it comes across as more like Sunderland town centre on a wet Wednesday. It’s not all bad though; the outside of R’yo’s tower actually has a really good distressed tower block feel to it (although the inside is a little spartan).
What follows is high on action, snappy comebacks, dislocations and body count. At the end of which the Mayor’s errant daughter is rescued and Dutch has a newfound respect for D’Avin’s soldiering skills. She also learns that D’Avin is looking for a doctor who can help him; with what we don’t know. Dutch has another flashback to her training where she refuses to kill the target named in a mysterious red box, and learns the consequences: a fight to the death with the target, on a more even footing.
All cosied up back at the bar Dutch announces she’s sponsoring D’Avin to become a Killjoy, and offers him a position on her crew. Meanwhile John is getting suspicious: he’s seen the red box, and he knows someone broke into Lucy as she tells him she’s upped defensive measures and has ten minutes missing from her memory.
We end with Dutch confronting the target named in the red box she found in her quarters. Seems the mystery mentor played by Rob Stewart is called Khlyen (pronounced Klein), and she wants to know why he wants this particular feller dead, seemingly trying to escape from her calling again.
It’s early days so we’re still getting some exposition, explaining the RAC’s role within the Quad and how they’re outside Company jurisdiction, presumably for any late comers. Although these days there’s really no excuse for missing an episode with all the catch-up services available. Why aren’t you just watching on your holo-toaster?
The dialogue is again the stand-out, with some genuinely funny lines. But that’s not to say the action is lacking. The warehouse fight scene where D’Avin gets to show off his skills is nicely choreographed. We’re building on an overarching story as well – continuing with the red box plotline – but not getting bogged down by it.
- Great dialogue.
- Good use of music again.
- Intrigue and mystery, but still plenty of action.
- Big guns and gadgets.
- The limited budget shows through in places.
And The Random:
- Rob Stewart seems to be more or less reprising his role from Nikita, albeit in space: Space Roan!
- There’s a Wilhelm scream when the scavenger hits Lucy’s outer hull and gets electrocuted.
Review by Arthur Scott