Killjoys S01E06 “One Blood” REVIEW
Airing in the UK on SyFy
Writer: Annmarie Morais
Director: Michael Nankin
Essential Series Plot Developments:
- The Company own a device which can vaporise an entire bloodline in an instant.
- Khlyen is unusually – unusually for him anyway – worried about such a device.
- Dutch is going on the offensive, and vows to kill Khlyen after he gets aggressive with her.
- Dr Pawter is arrested. Even though she’s of highborn Qreshi descent, her family have disowned her and won’t help.
- The trio receive a black warrant: a competitive warrant sent to the top Killjoys.
- The warrant is for Big Joe, an old Killjoy, and Dutch’s mentor. He’s stolen something from The Company, a device of unknown function.
- Khlyen wants the device more than the RAC, he gives Dutch a neural link and a head start. She sets off on her own to retrieve Big Joe, and the device.
- The Jacobies team up with Fancy Lee to find Dutch and complete the warrant.
- Joe has been stealing things for a Lethian family. They’re paranoid about The Company and the RAC, and are very protective of their land. They don’t take kindly to Dutch being with Joe, and take the pair hostage.
- The Jacobi brothers and Lee rescue Dutch.
- One of the Leithian family triggers the device and vaporises himself and all his siblings.
- The Company get the device back, but upgrade the warrant on Joe. Fancy Lee shoots and kills Joe.
- Dr Pawter tries to find Dr Jaeger for D’Avin, she drugs Hills to get access to The Company database, and gets arrested for her trouble.
- Khlyen is upset at Dutch for losing the device. He hits her in anger for the first time. She stabs him, several times which doesn’t seem to have any effect.
- Dutch tell the Jacobis about Khlyen; she wants to find and kill him.
Following last week’s episode was always going to be difficult. Maybe if this episode had been in another position in the season, it may have stood up better. As it is, it feels a little like it’s trying to impart too much information, and set up the rest of the series in one fell swoop. The last episode showed us you could progress the series plot, while still telling a really riveting story. The Killjoys’ world is so rich and great thought has been given to the backstory, the politics, the language. The downside to this is that sometimes it feels like it’s trying too hard to cater to everybody in explaining everything, and ends up doing a disservice to the fans.
There’s such lot going on here, and maybe viewers don’t need to be handed everything on a plate. Sometimes, we can join the dots ourselves; sometimes the details don’t need to be so detailed. If the show had kept a little more back, or wasn’t so heavy-handed with the exposition, more could have been made of the actual episode plot, which feels a little contrived at times.
The whole premise of the family of Lethian freedom fighters is a case in point. Using the family gives us a little more politics and serves to show what the device is capable of, but at the expense of complicating the episode plot unnecessarily. And in showing us what the device is capable of, how convenient that it leaves someone untouched to explain what has just happened. Apparently he was only family by marriage (but he loved those boys like they were his own).
That said, the things the episode does well, it does really well. The competitive nature of the black warrant brings out a great sense of camaraderie with the Killjoys in the bar, including an urban legend about a secretive cadre of Level Six Killjoys based on a remote moon.
The stand-out characters this episode actually come from outside the usual threesome of Dutch and the brothers Jacobi: namely Khlyen and Fancy Lee.
The interactions between Khlyen and Dutch, (or as he calls her “Yala”) are well scripted and well acted. Rob Stewart is wildly unpredictable as Khlyen, moving from friendly banter to creepy stalker to vengeful father figure without missing a step. To add to the air of mystery surrounding his character, Dutch stabs him several times in the stomach, he doesn’t blink, and there doesn’t seem to be much – if any – blood.
In the same way that Khlyen is mysterious and enigmatic, Fancy Lee is well, fancy. His diatribe about every group needing an asshole – and that for the Killjoys that responsibility falls to him – is spot on, self-deprecating and serious at the same time. The final scene in which he shoots Joe and then goes back and sits on his own is perfect in its simplicity; it speaks volumes about his character without him saying much at all.
Back to the usual crowd, and there’s still building sexual tension between D’Avin and Dutch. She mentions his “special therapy” with the good Dr Pawter and he tells her he’s going to quit. This leads to Pawter trying to help find his missing doctor. The scenes with Pawter seducing grumpy old Company agent Hills are fun but like much of the plot this episode seem a little contrived. All her efforts only serve to get her arrested. Surely some sort of gung-ho D’Avin rescue/break-out is inevitable.
There’s a sense that a storm is brewing in the Quad, between The Company and The Nine, with the RAC stuck somewhere in the middle. Here’s hoping future episodes can keep one eye on the storm, while still remembering to tell their own story.
- Fancy Lee is back, and he really is fancy.
- Khlyen is an enigmatic badass, so his banter is even more fun.
- The Lethian nationalist family feels a little shoehorned in. We already know how important land is in the Quad, we don’t need it rammed down our throats.
- Killing everyone with the weird device except the lead Lethian is just too handy, leaving him to explain what’s happened.
And The Random:
- Khlyen has a neural link to Dutch, but he still walks down a hill and has to move branches out of the way, even stopping to gaze at the berries.
“Fancy Lee, an asshole, but undeniably a fancy one.”
- Quotes of the Week:
John to Fancy Lee after seeing his homemade homing dart: “You really are fancy.”
Fancy Lee on being an asshole: “Every organisation needs a designated asshole. The asshole may not be liked, but he will always be necessary, because he does what’s needed.”
Review by Arthur Scott