Killjoys S01E03 “The Harvest” REVIEW
Airing in the UK on SyFy, Mondays
Writer: Aaron Martin
Director: Michael Robison
Essential Plot Points:
- Dutch lets the target named in the red box go.
- D’Avin becomes a Killjoy.
- D’Avin has “Stress Response Syndrome”.
- Doctor Pawter is to help D’Avin with his issues.
Killjoys has done a great job in creating its world, especially when it comes to language. Part of the reason the dialogue snaps so well is down to the little phrases and sayings the creators have come up with. This episode sees Dutch straddling a half-dressed man and asking if he’s ever had a “Qreshi two hander”, before proceeding to render him unconscious.
The previous episode of Killjoys ended with a “Will she?/Won’t she?” closer as Dutch confronted the target named in the red box left by Khlyen. It turns out the answer is she won’t, as Dutch lets the target live, albeit after some not-so-gentle questioning. This is undoubtedly not the last we’ll hear of this, but it isn’t brought up again for the rest of the episode.
It’s harvest week in the Quad, which means lots of migrant workers travelling to and from Leith to harvest Hokk plants, used to make the aptly-named drink, Hokk.
One of John’s regular back-room tumbles has a husband who went Hokk harvesting but never came back, so she’s created a warrant for his return. Wanting to help out, John convinces Dutch to take the job, mostly by persuading her she can get dressed up.
The two go undercover on Leith; John as a migrant worker, Dutch as a highborn Hokk distributor. As the Hokk gatherers need to be closely monitored, John has an explosive tracker implanted in his ear.
For the first time this series the members of the team are split up, and follow two pretty separate plot lines: Dutch and John looking for the missing gatherer on Leith; D’Avin also on Leith but with Dr Pawter (pronounced Potter).
To become a fully paid-up Killjoy, D’Avin needs a psychological evaluation, and Dr Pawter (Sarah Power) just happens to be a RAC-credited doctor. She also has her offices above Pree’s bar, which is handy. She agrees to sign off on his psych assessment if she can get a ride to Leith to do some shopping at the bazaar. Handy for D’Avin as he doesn’t seem to be looking forward to a psych eval.
John and Dutch end up discovering, and then disrupting, a Jakk “grow-up”: a collection of Hokk gatherers hidden in the forest producing the illegal and highly addictive drug Jakk. John pretty much singlehandedly brings the Jakk growers to task, although he cuts off his own ear in the process. Given the two previous episodes have been mostly about showing how much ass Dutch and D’Avin can kick, it’s nice for John to get a chance to show he’s just as capable. And it makes him feel better about D’Avin being given a higher Killjoy level than him.
Meanwhile D’Avin and Pawter get to know each other a little better. Dr Pawter diagnoses D’Avin with Stress Response Syndrome, which needs to be treated with pretty strong medication; hence his previous search for a doctor. In the end she agrees to sign off on his psych eval, if he agrees to let her help him with his condition.
This episode lacks some of the coherence and energy of the previous two, possibly because it splits the group up. Whereas before everyone was wise-cracking together and concentrating on a single mission, here things feel a little fragmented. It doesn’t help that the main Hokk/Jakk harvest storyline isn’t particularly interesting, and has more than its fair share of plot holes. There’s still some fun to be had though, the scenes between Dutch and the plantation owner are particularly lively, as she goes from seducing him, to kicking his ass.
Still it’s only the third episode, historically a weak point. One and two need to grab you and pull you in (which they did) so if you’re still around for three, chances are you’ll watch at least one more before deciding if this is the show for you. So let’s hope episode four can inject some of the fun back in and keep people interested.
- John gets to take the leading role, and does well with it.
- Dr Pawter is an interesting character.
- Glowing knife is a really nice touch.
- Qreshi two hander – yes that is a euphemism.
- John’s head is mysteriously bigger when he only has one ear.
- The show’s not as coherent with the gang separated, or as much fun.
- Some plot holes in a fairly weak story line.
And The Random:
- The gatherers cut off their ears and bury them to avoid being found. If all the ears had trackers, wasn’t anybody suspicious that everybody appeared to be sat under a tree stump in the forest?
- Hannah John-Kamen’s hair continues to amaze and delight, its myriad shapes and forms are enough to make a Belgian hair model green.
Review by Arthur Scott