Killjoys S01E04 “Vessel” REVIEW
Airing in the UK on SyFy
Writer: Emily Andras
Director: Andy Mikita
Essential Plot Points:
- The sole heir to Land Lehani is now under the guardianship of Land Kendry.
- Delle Seyah Kendry (one of The Nine) has taken an interest in Dutch.
- D’Avin has agreed to let John help find his missing doctor – Dr Pim Jaeger.
For a strong independent take-charge kind of girl, Dutch doesn’t seem to get much of an opportunity to pick her own assignments. This episode sees her given little choice but to accept another warrant, this time from one of the Nine themselves. Delle Seyah Kendry (Mayko Nguyen) of Land Kendry is a member of one of the nine ruling families of the Quad. Mayko does a great job at portraying this haughty highborn, pretty much sneering her way through the entire episode.
Land is the most valuable asset in the Quad, the more you have, the more of The Company you own. Land Lahani, another of the nine families, has all but died out, and the sole heir is missing. Without an heir, Lahani’s lands will be up for grabs; the last time this happened it resulted in war.
The Nine don’t trouble themselves with something as gauche as childbirth. They outsource the job to wholesome girls from Leith, farmers daughters, honoured to carry such high born children – although their families are richly rewarded too, which probably doesn’t hurt. The heir is still within his “vessel”, but she’s gone missing after an attack on Leith.
Delle Seyah seeks to keep the peace, so she needs Dutch to find and deliver the child (not literally, that turns out to be D’Avins job). The noblewoman isn’t the only one with an interest in the child, though, so to keep him safe his vessel (Constance, played by Chloe Rose) is holed up in the most dangerous part of Westerley: the badlands. With some nuns. Who have guns.
So we have an invisible impregnable fortress in the desert, home to several innocent girls, and their nun protectors. Cue the inevitable siege/escape, where the girls turn out to be not quite so innocent and all the nuns get shot.
There’s a great sequence in which Constance is given an adrenaline shot and a big gun, then proceeds to go outside and kill everyone. Surely not recommended at eight months pregnant, but it does serve as a great aid to inducing an infant.
Delle Seyah is most likely behind the attempts on the heir, as she has as much to gain from his demise as his rescue. But Dutch comes through and presents the newborn in time, meaning Delle Seyah must protect him until he’s old enough to come into his land.
After being outmanoeuvered by Dutch, Delle Seyah takes an interest in the lowborn Killjoy, curious as to where she gained such a keen grasp of politics.
Meanwhile D’Avin reveals the name of the doctor who he’s been searching for – Pim Jaeger – and is eventually persuaded by his brother to let him help find her.
Dialogue is as ever the standout in this episode, with some great banter between Dutch and D’Avin as the sexual tension ramps up. Trying to keep their little “family” together, John warns his brother not to “plough” their little sister: perhaps a turn of phrase he picked up from one of the farmers daughters earlier.
During the visit to the vessel’s badlands hideaway we get a few more hints at Dutch’s upbringing. She mentions similarities between the way the breeders are kept and her own childhood in “a royal harem”, or as D’Avin paraphrases later., “a rich kid orphanage”. Which, unless we’re very much mistaken, really aren’t the same things.
The gang is back together and kicking ass in fine form this episode, a welcome return after last episode’s slightly disappointing installment. There are some great interaction between D’Avin and Dutch, and some great action scenes, although some of the girls seem to get killed off a bit needlessly, including one girl throwing herself on a plasma grenade. Maybe we’re just getting old, but it would be nice to have had a few more survivors at the end of an episode…
- Dutch and D’Avins wisecrack swapping.
- Nuns with guns.
- High action, high body count.
- Fun start to the episode with D’Avins first warrant ending up sloshing around in a bag.
- The set-up is a bit random – why is there an invisible fortress in the desert with nuns in it? While the girls inside can’t breathe the polluted air outside? How did they get in/out? Why can’’ spaceships land nearby? Dutch’s explanation is perhaps all we need: “Bad air makes ship go boom.”
- Did almost everybody really have to get killed?
And The Random:
- Thankfully the siege isn’t too drawn out, and adds nuns into the mix to escape trope territory.
- The military style backpacks the Killjoys carry on missions look suspiciously like Rush Moab packs from US company 5.11 Tactical. Guess they’ll be pleased their bags are still popular in future galaxies.
Review by Arthur Scott