KILLJOYS hit the halfway mark on season two with “Meet the Parents,” where they break, away from the familiar formula. Normally, an episode of Killjoys has a central mission with some crazy complications, which Dutch, Johnny and D’avin have to solve together. This week however, there was only a tiny mission for the first three minutes, which was easily finished by Dutch and D’avin, and the team was separated for 95% of the episode. This break from the standard worked well in the favor of Killjoys, because the separation of Dutch and D’avin from Johnny and Pawter lead to more interesting character work, as well as some secrets, lies, and making out.
First, let’s take on the Dutch and D’avin story. They begin the episode by capturing two gross dudes for a warrant, which is the only time a warrant even shows up this week. D’avin celebrates by getting a drink and trying to flirt the bartender. His plan backfires when his brain is basically hacked by Khlyen and he passes out. Don’t you just hate it when that happens, fellas? You’re trying to get your flirt on when a villainous mastermind sneaks into your brain to try and gather information about your parents in an attempt to understand why you are so resistant to this evil green goo. Talk about relatable.
D’avin is much more concerned about passing out in front of the cute bartender than whatever happened with his brain, when he explains all this to Dutch later. Dutch, smartie pants that she is, reminds D’avin that the last time his brain went weird, he tried to kill her, which D’avin concedes to. While they are figuring this all out, Khlyen used the info he got from D’avin’s brain to track down D’avin and Johnny’s dad, who was a real tool apparently. He does some tests on Papa Jacobi and determines that D’avin’s immunity and strength does not come from his Dad. Welp, gotta find the mom then. Khlyen comes to this conclusion at about the same time that Dutch and D’avin realize it was Khlyen who did the brain hacking. Dutch tells D’avin to use the brain hacking against Khlyen next time, to “improvise.” D’avin seems less than impressed, but soon enough, Khlyen is back in his brain, and he improvises.
This leads to one of the greatest tropes in the TV handbook. A good, old fashioned body swap. Khlyen and D’avin Freaky Friday it up, leaving Dutch and Fancy (Khlyen’s sidekick) very confused. Probably the worst part about this episode, is how quickly everyone realizes that it is a body swap. What’s the fun in switching bodies if you don’t get to try to fool everyone? D’avin at least gets a minute in Khlyen’s body where he tries to convince Fancy, but Dutch immediately figures out that D’avin is Khlyen and tries to get information out of him. Her strategy is not very effective, given that Khlyen has to help her fight the guys the captured in the beginning of the episode, him being in D’avin’s body is slowly destroying it, and, most importantly, Khlyen is cryptic as hell. All he lets slide is that everything will make sense once Dutch decodes the data transmission that is currently trapped inside another human.
D’avin meanwhile, is faced with his estranged father who Khlyen had just performed some tests on. He juggles between trying to save his dad and dealing with what was apparently a pretty rough childhood inflicted by him. He at least gets to get a moment of closure when his dad apologizes before Dutch switches them back. It’s a small window into a drove of daddy issues that will surely be revisited.
While all this is happening, Johnny is off with love-interest, doctor, and basically company royalty Pawter Simms. He joins her as she visits her family, more specifically her mom, one of the nine rulers of the company. Pawter is super exiled from this life, but she goes back to it to beg her mom to help her take down the wall on Old Town and save it. Her mom is having none of this, but at least her dad is passively nice, and her sister’s fiance is terrible. After some fun goofy gags with Johnny not understanding high class rituals, their day turns into less of a plea and more of a dangerous situation. Isn’t that always how it goes?
It all starts when the butler comes in, with super strange science ice stuck to him, then immediately falls into pieces. This can’t be good. Pawter’s mom immediately goes to the lab to figure out what was wrong, with Pawter and Johnny following her. It turns out that there is a fog that is going to infect all of them if they don’t get out of there fast. This is proved when Pawter’s sister gets infected and Pawter has to cut of her arm. It’s very casual. At least she’s a doctor. While the sisterly amputation takes place, Johnny finds out that Mama Simms, in fact, created the evil molecule. Moreover, she tried to find a cure by using it on herself. It did not work, so she slowly gets more and more infected. Pawter barges in at this point to find out that her estranged mom is both dying, and accidentally responsible for everyone else about to die. She explains that she was trying to create the molecule so it would freeze the ocean, not the people, but that clearly backfired. She also tells Pawter that this job entails a lot of making the tough decisions, and demonstrates this by freezing herself to death. It’s a lot for poor Pawter.
It becomes even more intense when Johnny realizes the only way to save them is to blow everything up, and the only way to blow everything up is to go through the fog to the main gas line. He does this, but is immediately knocked out by Hank, Pawter’s sister’s fiance. Pawter’s dad goes out to save Johnny, but first he makes a self-sacrificing speech to his daughter. You just know they are going to be orphaned by the end of the episode. Sure enough, he saves Johnny from Hank, and sets the explosion leaving himself in the line of fire. It’s a hard day to be a Simms, apparently.
Because of both of her parents’ untimely deaths, Pawter now has to step up to join the all-powerful nine. She’s dealing with all of this remarkably well. After her coronation she meets up with Johnny and tells him that she will use all of this to make a difference and save Old Town. Johnny wants to join her, but he has sworn to be neutral as a Killjoy. Pawter lets him know that if he joins her cause, he will have to keep it a secret from Dutch and D’avin. It’s unclear which Johnny will pick until him and Pawter aggressively start making out. That makes it pretty obvious which one he chose. When he gets back on the ship, they all seem very nonplussed about the body-swapping/people dying that just went down. The biggest moment is when an emotional Dutch tells Johnny she trusts him more than anyone else. Whoops. This is not going to end well.
It’s clear by now that this season is much more heavily plotted than the show’s first. “Meet the Parents” showed how this can both work for and against the show. While the body swap was more plot focuses than fun driven, we are getting to see secondary characters like Pawter find a place in the ensemble. Though “Meet the Parents” was heavy handed with the plot twists, it gave us a lot to look forward to in terms of character dynamics.
Season 2, Episode 5 (S02E05)
Series Title airs Fridays at 9PM on SyFy
Raina Deerwater | Contributor