There are a lot of bugs. That is probably the most apt summary of “Shaft,” the third episode of season two of KILLJOYS. There are a lot of bugs. Surprisingly, this leads to a very enjoyable hour of television. The bugs show up when our good friends Dutch, Johnny, D’avin, and now Alvis, are in the titular mine shaft. It’s all part of this week’s mission, which is to rescue some other killjoys from the north badlands aka the empty wastelands, where they were missing and/or presumed dead. Apparently, these killjoys had called for an evacuation, but our resident villain Khlyen canceled it. It’s the mission of Dutch and Co. to find out why the evacuation was canceled and to see if they can save the abandoned killjoys. This ends up involving, again, a lot of bugs.
When the crew arrives at the location site, they almost immediately find one of the killjoys, a woman named Tanya who tells them that they gotta go into a mine to find her sister. This can’t be good. No one ever reacts with joy to the prospect of searching for people in an abandoned mine, but the gang has never made the best decisions so in they go. Their quest for the sister is fruitless, but they do find out that Tayna’s husband apparently went crazy and tried to kill them. Sounds fun. The fun doesn’t last long though, due to the inevitable large amount of bugs. Johnny tries to take Tanya back to the ship when she runs away from him, causing a good portion of the mine to collapse, and also her running into a hole. Dutch tries to rescue her but it’s too late, Tanya has fallen and proceeds to get eaten alive by giant bugs. Gotta give props to the CGI people making those bugs seem really gross. Job well done.
Meanwhile, back on Westerly, our favorite doctor Pawter is still being held by the evil evil Company. She has a plan though, which is to steal the company’s data and use it against them. Problem is, she needs some DNA of her captor to get the data, and she also has an ankle monitor preventing her from moving outside of her quarters. What is she gonna do about that? Luckily her captor is an idiot. He’s weirdly into her and has a literal heart condition, which can only lead to one conclusion. He wants her to do open heart surgery on him. Word of advice, buddy. Don’t have someone who hates you do surgery on you. Lucky for him, Pawter is a good person so she doesn’t kill him in surgery, just knocks him out, uses his DNA to get the data, and puts her ankle monitor in his heart so he can’t leave. It was almost too easy a solution to her problems, but it was so fun watching her do it, that it was 100% worth it.
Anyway, back to the bugs. After the team sees the bugs eat Tanya, they rightfully freak out. But science dude Johnny is on the case, and he figures out that the bugs can cause hallucinations and that they ate her sister and her husband. Great. He also speaks the best line of the episode, when he looks at the underside of a bug and states, “this looks like an angry vagina.” And he’s not wrong.
D’avin also makes an important discovery. Remember the green goo that almost infected him? It totally comes out of these evil bugs. The green goo is now an important plot point, and thank God for that. Speaking of God, Alvis also finds some dead monk. This will come back. While all this is going on, Dutch is in the middle of a bug induced hallucination of Khylen telling her that she is only a pawn for him, and then he turns into herself, basically telling her the same thing. Not a good day for Dutch, and to make matters worse, the hallucination makes her stab herself.
The boys come to the rescue just in time to save her from the bugs. Remember of D’avin somehow resisted the green goo? Well that means he can resist the bugs too and he clears a bug path to get them outta there and back onto the ship. Finally, no more bugs! Except for the fact that Johnny saved one to study. Maybe it will lead to more conclusion about the green goop! Hopefully because that plot manages to be both important and silly, a balance that this show managed to strike very well in this episode. They finally brought the silly back in in the form of bugs.
Back on the ship, a few revelations happen. First Johnny heals Dutch with science. Whew. Another is that Alvis took some leather-ized skin from the dead monk (disgusting) and found a message on it, that relates to the monks that Dutch miiiiiiight have killed in that vision D’avin had a few episodes ago. They really cram a lot into the last five minutes of the episode here. For some reason that information causes Dutch and Alvis to almost kiss, because apparently SyFy has got to fill their romance quota. The more important romance however, is between Johnny and Pawter via communication systems. Just when it’s looking great for Pawter, she gets knocked out and captured, but Johnny is determined to find her. Hopefully she gets reunited with the crew and maybe they can make out, given that this is a romance plot with actual build up.
The episode ends with Dutch waking their boss up in the middle of the night, as you do, and telling him that they are gonna play by her rules. You go girl! All it took was an evil hallucinations, and cryptic messages from a monk for Dutch to claim her role as leader in the RAC. It’s a good sign, though, and hopefully will lead to more episodes like “Shaft,” managing to have fun episode arcs, but still deal with the overarcing plot. Either way, hopefully there will be less bugs.
Season 2, Episode 3 (S02E03)
Killjoys airs Fridays at 9PM on SyFy
Raina Deerwater | Contributor