As season two of KILLJOYS draws to a close, the stakes keep getting higher and higher. “Johnny Be Good” reveals a sinister plan, starts a revolution, and kills a beloved character, all building up to next week’s finale, where things will finally come to a head. There are two simultaneous main threads going on in this episode: the uncovering of the company’s plan, and the attempts of our heroes (one in particular) to stop it.
First of all the plan: The episode begins with a flash forward 24 hours of Dutch being interrogated and D’avin dragging a captive Jelco through the desert. How ever did we get here? It starts by Dutch and D’avin saving Pawter and Johnny from the mood altering power of the wall. The decide to break into the company base to get the information they need and take down the wall. Sounds simple enough.
While the killjoys try to hack into the system and fight off the guards, Pawter is left with trying to access how to take down the wall. She has to call for help in the form of Delle Seyah, formerly the morally ambiguous company official, who has now officially become the morally repulsive company official. We can tell how villainous she is because she reveals the company’s plan to Pawter, only something a classic villain would do. Turns out, they are going to build walls all around Westerly while simultaneously killing off all the weak, while leaving the strong. Wow, this is straight out of scifi, which make a lot of sense, but it’s still very intense. Dutch discovers what the company will do with all the strong they weed out. This answer comes in the form of a beloved green substance: the plasma. The company is going to turn the people of Westerly into level sixes.
After Pawter realizes everything, she makes a pretty rash choice on how to break down the wall. After broadcasting the company’s plan to everyone, she uses the mood controlling console (which is very accessible) to make everyone in Old Town rage against the company. Literally. They all charge at the wall, which causes a both a system overload, and a good amount of people to perish. This is surprising on how far Pawter is willing to go for her cause, but more so on the fact that all anyone needed to do to get the wall down was to use physical force? It’s a little too easy.
It’s the only thing that’s easy for the rest of the episode though. Dutch immediately gets captured, while D’avin captures Jelco, leading us back to the start of the episode. It’s interesting that this is where the episode started, given that it’s not the most important part of “Johnny Be Good.” Sure, Dutch is a little bit of peril, and sure D’avin is about to blow up the company base, but neither of those matter as much as Pawter Sims trying to do the right thing, and becoming a martyr for the people in the process.
When the wall is down, and it seems like Pawter and the people have a form of victory, Delle Seyah returns to tell Pawter she has won It’s clearly a ploy from the get go, but sweet Pawter wants to save her people so badly, that she agrees to sign a treaty to give up her power, in exchange for letting Westerly be free. It seems to good to be true, and it is. After a too romantic moment with Johnny, where they kiss, talk about the future, and heavily imply that something will go wrong, Pawter goes to sign the treaty.
It’s a blood signature, because of course it is, and Pawter slices open her own hand before giving the knife to Delle Seyah. It’s never a good idea to to give a weapon to even a former enemy, and Delle Seyah immediately proves this by literally stabbing Pawter in the heart. Johnny rushes to her side, but it’s too late. As Dutch and D’avin fight Delle Seyah’s men, Pawter breathes her last breath, having died a hero. The other killjoys quickly get Johnny out of there, even though he is incapacitated over the loss of the woman he loves. When they get back on the ship, they find Fancy, a level six working for Khlyen, who wants to take them to the big boss. This indicates the finale, probably a reluctant team up with Khlyen to stop the company’s masterplan.
Even with this tag foreshadowing what is to come, it’s clear that this episode was a farewell love letter to one of the best recurring characters on the show. Pawter’s death is a signifying that this show and this world aren’t pulling their punches anymore. Over the course of this season, Pawter lived out the tragic hero’s arc, saving so many of the people she cared about, but sacrificing her life in the process. Even though Johnny is full destitute over her loss, Pawter’s death was not about him: it was about her. So often a woman gets killed to further the character arc of a man, and though this death will affect Johnny greatly, in the end she died fighting for what she believed in and what she believed to be right, and that’s what matters.
Raina Deerwater | Contributor