Killjoys S02E05 “Meet the Parents” REVIEW
Essential Plot Points:
- In Old Town, Dutch and D’avin are making a deal with the Skeever brothers. They shake on it, but it’s all a ruse – the brothers are wanted on a warrant, and they’re locked and served.
- On Qresh, Johnny and Pawter have come to the Simms’ estate, to meet Pawter’s mother to try and get Pawter’s exile order rescinded so that she can rejoin the family and help Old Town.
- We meet Pawter’s sister Louella and her fiancée Hank – who just happens to be Pawter’s ex.
- D’avin goes to The Royal for a drink.
Sandwich… Sassy… Sabine wants a favour – some peaches from Leith. As they enjoy some uncomfortable flirting, D’avin hears a tune (that nobody else can hear) and passes out, falling off his bar stool.
- We see Khlyen with his hands in some of the green goo/plasma, humming the same tune. He has some kind of neural link with D’avin and he’s using it to try to find where D’avin’s father is.
- After Johnny takes a relaxing swim in the family baptismal, in the nude, he and Pawter attend a formal family dinner.
- Khlyen and Fancy Lee arrive on Telen and find Marris Jaqobis, the fearsome sheriff that forced D’avin to leave and join the military. He’s taking a nap.
- Aboard Lucy, D’avin starts humming the tune Khlyen was singing earlier, which causes Dutch to get very jumpy. Khlyen wrote the song for her, so how is it in D’avin’s head?
- At dinner, Pawter’s mother refuses to rescind the order of exile before Pawter has even had a chance to ask.
- The Simms’ housekeeper Kaster comes in from the boat house; he doesn’t look at all well. He manages to utter: “Something in the fog…!” before going to pieces on the hall floor. Literally: he freezes and breaks up into hundreds of what look like ice crystals.
- Johnny goes into Killjoy mode, assessing the threat and coming up with an exit strategy in case it’s a bio attack, but Adaline puts him in his place: she’s head of the family and she will deal with the situation.
- Pawter and her mother collect samples of what was Kaster. In Adaline’s lab, Pawter helps with the sample analysis. They detect a pathogen.
- It turns out D’avin’s father isn’t immune to the green plasma, so Khlyen decides to see if the immunity is maternal. To locate D’avin’s mother Khlyen mind links with D’avin again. This time D’avin fights back, giving the Skeever brothers a chance to escape.
- D’avin pushes back so much, his consciousness ends up in Khlyen’s body, and Khlyen’s in his.
- As Dutch and D’avin/Khlyen (D’avin’s body, Khlyen’s mind) fight to get the Skeever brothers back in check, the fight moves that “D’avin” is using tip off Dutch that he’s Khlyen not D’avin.
* D’avin/Khlyen is injured in the fight, something he’s not used to.
* Back at the Simms estate, the strange fog is encroaching on the house. Pawter’s sister goes to rescue the staff in the boat house, but gets her hand frozen by the fog.
- Pawter chops off Louella’s hand to stop the freeze from moving up her arm.
- Khlyen/D’avin (Khlyen’s body, D’avins mind) tries to act like Khlyen, but Fancy Lee isn’t easily fooled, and comes at him with the shock baton. Khlyen/D’avin easily bests him with his new-found strength.
- On Qresh, the fog is freezing everything, including the house. Johnny’s plan is to send a distress call from the roof, but the house is protected by an Alpha Shield.
- On board Lucy, D’avin/Khlyen is heavily injured, and worried about the Black Root catching up to Khlyen/D’avin on Telen, stranding his consciousness in D’avin’s body.
- Adaline has infected herself with the freezing pathogen to try out a cure. Turns out she created the pathogen, but didn’t release it; it was stolen and used against her.
- Johnny has set a bomb to blow up the shield generators, thinking the fog cloud will dissipate, but Adaline informs him it would actually spread exponentially through the water.
- Adaline is unable to determine a cure for the pathogen in time, and freezes to death.
- Johnny manages to disarm the bomb.
- Dutch staples up D’avin/Khlyen, but D’avin’s body can’t take the transfer, and is failing.
- Fancy Lee wakes up and this time manages to get the better of Khlyen/D’avin.
- Pawter identifies the pathogen, and works out it’s vulnerable to extreme heat.
- Louella gives Johnny her diving suit to protect him from the fog. He goes to set a timed charge next to the gas main, but Hank jumps him from behind (we were wondering where he’d got to). Seems behind releasing the pathogen, he did it for the money.
- Hank smashes the bomb (which seems a bit dangerous to us, but it doesn’t go off).
- Pawter’s father goes to check up on Johnny; he distracts Hank giving Johnny a chance to put him out of action.
- Dutch uses the electric glove from one of the Skeevers to shock Khlyen out of D’avin.
- The first shock doesn’t do it; D’avin is still Khlyen, and D’avin’s body is in critical condition.
- Khlyen sees D’avin’s neural readout on a screen on Lucy, including the bits that the military operated on. He thinks it may be the link to D’avin’s immunity to the plasma.
- Khlyen tells Dutch that all her answers are contained in the final transmission from Red-17, and that it wasn’t her on Arkyn.
- The timer on Johnny’s bomb is broken, the only way to set it off now is for someone to stay and shoot it – which Pawter’s father volunteers for. The explosion disperses the fog, but kills Pawter’s Father (and Hank presumably).
- Dutch manages to shock Khlyen out of D’avin.
- Khlyen is back in Khlyen, and his new objective is to find out what the military did to D’avin’s brain, and then replicate it.
- Back on Qresh, Pawter is sworn into The Nine; she’s now Illinor Seyah Simms: Lady Of The Land.
- Pawter is going to bring down the wall around Old Town, with Johnny’s help. Pawter warns him that he can’t tell Dutch or D’avin about what they’re up to.
- Johnny and Pawter kiss, for real this time.
- Johnny lies to Dutch about everything being the same, and feels bad about it.
“Meet The Parents” is all about role reversal, both in a metaphorical and more literal sense, as we get some body-swap fun. But as well as having fun, it manages to tackle some more serious themes – of class, sacrifice and responsibility – without ever getting too bogged down, or coming across as heavy-handed
Khlyen and D’avin manage to swap bodies/consciousness, in a reverse mind-meld kind of affair. A body swap is always good fun, usually letting an actor lampoon the character they’re impersonating. Given the difference between the enigmatic Khlyen and the more laid back D’avin this works especially well, and lets both actors really have fun with the part. We’ll admit that Rob Stewart’s D’avin played a little better than Luke MacFarlane’s Khlyen, but both play it believably well. Plus D’avin-as-Khlyen got all the best lines, including the classy, “I’m going to go full Khlyen on your ass,” to Fancy Lee.
Dutch and Khlyen (as D’avin) get some quality time together, in which Dutch admits that Khlyen isn’t the enemy anymore. This has been coming for a while as Khlyen’s motives become slightly less opaque, but doesn’t make it any easier for Dutch to deal with, hating him was straightforward, trusting him is going to take some getting used to.
There’s a delicious twist thrown in when she asks him why she was on Arkyn as a girl, and he responds that it wasn’t her. Intriguing. Clones? Androids? D’avin projecting his fantasies into flashbacks? We also get a few more snippets about the Black Root, including the fact that they usually answer to Khlyen; also they get all the best toys.
Pawter’s role is also reversed, but in a more “stay in your own body” kind of way, as she goes from being the grown-up doctor of Old Town to the little girl at the family dinner table on Qresh. Sarah Power at this point has a fantastic handle on the character of Pawter, completing the transition from Princess Pouty to Lady Of The Land with some top-notch acting. Not an easy thing to do considering this episode she cuts off her sister’s hand, loses both parents, becomes a member of the Nine and gets to see Johnny naked. Her and Johnny’s relationship finally gets going proper this episode as well, although we’re not sure why they have to hide this, and their plans for Westerley, from Dutch and D’avin. We thought they were all on the same team?
All in all this an absolutely storming episode. There’s a hell of a lot going on but it manages to balance an interesting monster-of-the-week – the fog – with some major plot developments and have great fun with a body swap. We even get mad baddies in the form of the Skeever brothers, who share a somewhat gooey throat mic and have X-Men style arm attachment weaponry. Killjoys is without doubt at this point the best thing to happen to sci-fi TV in a long time, and yes, that includes Firefly…
- Khlyen and D’avin’s body swap is extremely good fun.
- Pawter and Johnny finally get somewhere.
- Pawter is now the Lady Of The Land, a member of The Nine and part of The Company.
- Pawter’s mother Adaline comes across as a very strong, albeit hard, character. Bit of a shame then, that she only lasted one episode.
And The Random:
- Johnny really seems to miss a trick, when he declares that Qreshi Fireball Johnny wants something different to Pawter: instead of saying “To give a shit” we were expecting/hoping him to say “You”.
- When asked what the green goo plasma is, Khlyen tells Dutch it’s the beginning and the end. How typically enigmatic of him.
- Seems like Khlyen and the Black Root really do get all the best toys; not only do they have better weapons, but they have FTL communication, which Lucy doesn’t think even exists.
- We still can’t quite get our head around Qreshi culture; as well as having different titles like Seyah and Seyon, their dinner etiquette would make a debutante’s head spin.
Review by Arthur Scott