Killjoys S02E07 “Heart-Shaped Box” REVIEW
Airing on Syfy UK on Tuesdays, 8pm
Writer: Michelle Lovretta
Director: April Mullen
Essential Plot Points:
- Dutch is still having fun with Alvis at the Scarback monastery (in fact she has him tied to a bed). As they’re lying in bed together she sees Evil Mirror Dutch appear and slit Alvis’s throat – but it’s just a dream. Phew.
- Back on Westerley, D’avin is looking at Sabine lying in a puddle of green plasma. She’s not dead, though – her fingers are still twitchy.
- Johnny has found Artura Senbek; she helped design the wall around Old Town but now she’s stuck inside it, for asking too many questions.
- D’avin appears from The Royal asking for Johnny’s help and Senbeck makes a run for it.
- D’avin shows Johnny Sabine. Turns out she’s a Level Six, and has been working undercover as a bartender to keep an eye on D’avin. They bundle her body into a bag and take her to show Dutch, who isn’t too impressed at being brought Sabine in a bag.
- Sabine is still unconscious. She isn’t healing because she’s lost too much plasma. Johnny gives her an epinephrine shot, which wakes her up.
- Dutch promptly puts her back to sleep, with a punch in the face.
- Sabine wakes to find herself in restraints, being questioned by Dutch. Sabine tells them that Khlyen sent her to protect D’avin… from Dutch!
- Dutch is all for torturing more information out of Sabine, but D’avin comes up with an alternative.
- Dutch, Johnny and D’avin take Sabine to see Turin in his off-grid hideaway. Turin has a creepy “friend” called Phil, a specialist Six interrogator. They get Sabine to wear a headset which projects images of RAC agents along with the message “I am a Six”. Using “pupilometric measurement”, the Six unwittingly identifies the real Sixes from the pictures (no we don’t really get it either).
- Creepy Phil has a long metal spike, which he tries to stick in Sabine’s head. She outmanoeuvers him with some acrobatics, and beheads him with the chain fastening her wrists.
- She tells The Killjoys the spike is called a Dreadnought; it’s a Six execution stick because even sixes can’t cure instant brain death. Creepy Phil was a creepy Six.
- Even though Sixes aren’t meant to have emotions, Sabine is crying after killing Phil. She’s also still not healing, and is bleeding from the fight.
- D’avin wants to help fix her; Dutch wants to use her for information and then get rid of her.
- Johnny has deduced that the plasma blocks Sixes emotions. Because Sabine doesn’t have enough plasma, her emotions are coming back. But the plasma is re-growing, and when it’s back to normal, Sabine will be back to a psychopathic Six.\
- Sabine offers to identify all the undercover Sixes, in return for her freedom.
- Johnny goes to see Bellish to pick up a solo level Two warrant Pawter created for Artura Senbek.
- D’avin and Sabine get into a bath together. In Lucy’s hold. With Dutch and Johnny watching. They both eat some plasma, which apparently acts like a neural binder. It also contains the stored memories of all the Sixes. Strong enough Sixes can tap into it and look at the memories at will. With D’avin wearing Turin’s headset, Sabine connects him to the plasma. The idea being that D’avin will be able to identify the Sixes from their memories. As Sabine and D’avin connect, we see them in a forest on Leith, near a strange mirrored cube.
- D’avin tries to get near the cube, but he’s blocked by something. He tries to push past but back on Lucy he’s going into synaptic overload. Sabine pulls him out.
- Johnny managed to get a list of some of the known Sixes, some of whom are undercover in Old Town. Dutch and Johnny go undercover to check up on them, while D’avin stays behind to Six-sit.
- Undercover Dutch sneezes on a Six, to tag him with a bio tracker of Johnny’s design.
- After tagging a couple of Sixes, Dutch goes off to check out Sabine’s room at The Royal, while Johnny goes after Senbeck.
- Back aboard Lucy, D’avin and Sabine get drunk. She tells D’avin the mirrored cube was part of her grandfather’s peach farm on Leith. She’s still feeling emotional.
- Johnny catches up with Senbeck. He threatens to arrest her unless she helps him. She tells him the technology came from somewhere else, they tested it in Greenwell, with catastrophic results. The controls for the wall are in Jelco’s office, in the Spring Hill bunker.
- Dutch’s investigation of Sabine’s room is interrupted, by a member of the Black Root. He’s looking for Sabine, who’s also Black Root. They fight and Dutch manages to kill him with a dreadnought.
- By the time Dutch gets back to Lucy, D’avin has let Sabine go, but he put a tracker on her first. Dutch and D’avin go to Leith in pursuit of Sabine, leaving Johnny in Old Town.
- Johnny is in the Spring Hill bunker, breaking into Jelco’s office, where he finds a tied-up Senbeck. Jelco enters with his guards, who knock Johnny unconscious.
- On Leith, Dutch catches up to Sabine. Sabine tells Dutch the cube is one of Khlyen’s safe houses; she’s looking for Khlyen to help him, not to kill him. They fight, but Dutch gets the better of a still weakened Sabine.
- Sabine tells Dutch that Khlyen rebelled against the Sixes but nobody knows why, only that it has something to do with Dutch.
- Dutch shoots Sabine in the head.
- Johnny wakes up in a spherical cage in Spring Hill.
- Dutch finds the mirrored cube, which lets her in. She finds weapons, things from her past and a red box.
- Dutch thinks the safe house was for her, by Khlyen, but she found it early.
- We see the Black Root take a (possibly) dead Sabine away.
- Inside the red box is a name – “Aneela” – and a dreadnought.
So it turns out that Sabine is a Level Six, which means that in episode six, D’avin had sex with a sexy Six, and made her sick. Try saying that five times after a couple glasses of Hokk! Poor D’avin doesn’t have much luck with his sexual encounters, going loco and trying to kill Dutch after sleeping with her last episode, and now rendering Sabine an emotional shadow of her former self.
Sabine gives us some insight into the Sixes, and the Black Root, although how much of this we can trust is up for debate, given that it was obtained under duress. She tells Dutch that the Sixes are soldiers, working for the true purpose of the RAC, while the Black Root are there to police the Sixes.
Sabine turns out to be one of the most interesting incidental characters yet in Killjoys, and Tori Anderson plays the normally emotionless Six with some genuine emotion. D’avin has somehow managed to eject most of Sabine’s plasma, rendering her somewhat unstable. This instability is best shown when she decapitates Turin’s creepy interrogator, and then apologises, whilst holding his freshly severed head.
As well as linking the Sixes together, given them greater strength and healing powers, the green plasma is also key in inhibiting their emotions. And emotions are key to this episode, forming the links between the Sixes, Sabine and Dutch. Indeed Dutch’s emotions, or lack thereof, come into question again this episode. Aside from the physically strong, those most likely to survive the transition to Level Six are those who have the least emotional investment in the world. Sabine tells Dutch that Khlyen has already made her part-Six, by removing her emotional attachment to anything. She’s certainly started to embrace the cold killer inside recently, which is borne out as she shoots Sabine in the head (although we’d like to hope this isn’t enough to finish the feisty Six off).
Series creator Michelle Lovretta is credited with writing this episode, and she deftly balances some of the best quips this season (“He’s my creepy interrogator. I call him Phil”) with some of the most genuinely emotional: Dutch and Sabine in the snow. She handles the characters with a familiar ease, and even though she’s obviously having fun with it, she moves the major plot arcs forward by hinting that Evil Mirror Dutch does exists, and is called Aneela. There are parts which are starting to feel a little like Battlestar Galactica (OMG, Sixes look just like us!), but when the writing’s this good, and the action this much fun, it would be churlish to complain.
- Tori Anderson’s Sabine is excellent.
- There are some classic one liners, including “spy-banged” and “Betty Be-heady”.
- The scene in which Dutch fights the Black Root Six in Sabine’s room has a bit of a weird ’70s blaxploitation vibe going on.
And The Random:
- We’re not sure why D’avin and Sabine needed to be in a bath together to try the plasma linking…
- Why does Senbeck warn Jelco about Johnny when he’s the one that has her imprisoned in Old Town?