Previously on Killjoys

2015, among other things, was the year Syfy finally returned to what they should’ve been doing all those years since Battlestar Galactica ended – proper sci-fi/fantasy programming. The Expanse is obviously the best example of that, but it also includes shows like Dark Matter, 12 Monkeys and Killjoys, which returns on July 1.

Created by Michelle Lovretta of Lost Girl fame and co-produced with Canadian TV channel Space, Killjoys is a space opera about a trio of titular Killjoys. This is a derogatory term used for agents of a politically neutral Reclamation Acquisition Coalition (RAC – basically a bounty hunters guild), operating in a solar system with four inhabited worlds known as the Quad. They travel the system in the AI-operated ship Lucy, collect warrants and generally try to have a life in a territory divided by social standing and background.

Killjoys is not a terribly smart show. It’s not The Expanse, Orphan Black, or Person of Interest, which I recently finished recapping for Critical Writ. But it’s a fun ride with enjoyable character, especially for people who’d like more of that Guardians of the Galaxy flavor until Volume 2 hits the entire world and those who miss Firefly.

The show’s main character and the team’s leader is Dutch, played by Hannah John-Kamen. Dutch is a girl (of color!) with a dark and troubled past, which first season mostly untangled. Trained to be an assassin by the enigmatic Khlyen since she was eight, she’s tried to escape her mentor, only to have recent events draw his attention back to her.

She ends up drawing her teammates into her problems - Johnny Jaqobis (played by Aaron Ashmore, the most Chris Pratty actor available in Canada) and his older brother D’Avin (played by Luke Macfarlane). Johnny is Dutch’s longtime partner in RAC activities and they have a close sibling like relationship. It’s actually a great example of a male-female friendship – including a fantastic moment that’s connected to a scene between the two Jaqobis’ in the pilot. Having just joined the crew, D’Avin tells his brother that Dutch is definitely hiding something. This was right after she discovered Khlyen returned to her life, so a viewer experienced in TV drama would suspect a standard reveal procedure – character doesn’t know their friend’s dark secret, friend is forced to reveal it, drama ensues. Except when Dutch is driven to asking her teammates for help, all she has to tell Johnny is that Khlyen found her – because she already told him about her past before the show’s start.

D’Avin is the last addition to the team – Johnny’s older brother who joined the army and left him to take care of their parents. Unlike the other two, he only becomes a RAC Agent over the course of the first half of the season, after he reappears in Johnny’s life. He’s suffering from PTSD and gaps in his memory related to his last military mission. Those, as we learn over the season, are thanks to taking part in a military experiment to create an obedient and ruthless soldier – which resulted in him killing his entire squad.

The Quad, where the action takes place, consists of an Earth-like planet Qresh and its three moons – Westerley, Leith and Arkyn. The first two of those satellites were terraformed successfully, while the third is deemed uninhabitable. It’s officially run by a morally ambigous Company, but as the nine largest Qreshi families are its only shareholders, they are the de facto rulers of the system. Leith is the system’s food source, while Westerley is a mining world, where most off-system immigrants arrive and is the most abused by the Company.

As is frankly obvious, Westerlyns are not happy with this arrangement, and the bone the Company tossed them (7th generation Westerlyns are allowed to move to Qresh and will be given land to farm) isn’t enough. Especially since due to the harsh conditions of Westerley, there’s no guarantee there will by a seventh generation in their family, and people who never farmed in their entire life aren’t exactly likely to make successful farmers. So naturally they rebelled – and the Company nuked the rebelling district, turning it into a set from a Mad Max movie (or Australia from Overwatch). That did not exactly calm everyone and tensions are still high.

So it doesn’t help that the Company arrests Alvis, a priest of a local religion, secret revolutionary and the team’s occasional ally, on drummed up charges. And the fact that the council of the Nine gathers up to vote on whether to actually allow 7th generation Westerlyns to move to Qresh. Meanwhile the team discovers Khlyen is a RAC official – and a Level 6 agent, which is supposed to be impossible. The rumours (which turn out to be true) have it that becoming Level 6 involves being experiment on, which includes numbing pain receptors.

Their attempts to kill him backfire and they end up in the mess happening on Westerley, forced to help their friends escape from a bombing of Oldtown ordered by the company. Meanwhile there’s a coup in the council, using a bloodline targeting weapon (discovered earlier in the season – it kills everyone sharing the same DNA), leaving only three families standing. And as Dutch discovers, Khlyen (and by extension, RAC) was involved in the coup.

In the entire mess, D’Avin catches sight of Khlyen and tries to follow him and take him out. Of course, he’s outclassed and taken prisoner. As the season ends, we learn he’s in a secret base Red 17 – on a supposedly unterraformed Arkyn.

So there’s a lot the new season will have to deal with – the team lookimg for D’Avin, the political mess of the Quad, and the fight against Khlyen. We’ll see how everything shakes out on July 1, which I'll be recapping for you.

Dominik Zine is a nerdy lad from northeastern Poland and is generally found in a comfy chair with a book in hand