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Killjoys - Boondoggie & A Skinner, Darkly - Review

Killjoys returned for season three with two action packed episodes that set up the war that is to clearly coming later in the season. I’ll be catching up the first two episodes in this review. “Boondoggie” and “A Skinner, Darkly” were both written by showrunner Michelle Lovretta, and you can really see how much she loves this universe that she’s created. “Boondoggie was directed by Stefan Pleszczynski and “A Skinner, Darkly” was directed by Andy Mikita – both of whom have directed the show previously.

“Boondoggie” finds Dutch (Hannah John-Kamen) intent on getting her war off the ground. Unlike last season when it felt like John-Kamen took a few episodes to get back into the groove of the character, this season, it’s clear that she’s fully committed from the jump. In true Killjoys fashion, we are immediately in the middle of the action, as Dutch and D’Avin (Luke Macfarlane) go after a Hullen. They learn that not all the Hullen were born on Arkon, so they aren’t all dead – and this turns out to be an understatement! I was thrilled to see that they’d recruited the whole gang to help: Pree (Thom Allison), Fancy (Sean Baek), and Alvis (Morgan Kelly). Unfortunately, none of them have much to do and only appear in essentially two scenes in the first episode.

Dutch and D’Avin report to Turin (Patrick Garrow), and we learn that Killjoys are going missing – and just plain fleeing the sinking ship. It seems like a bit of too much plot to add in Banyon Grey (Karen LeBlanc) as their new “boss” and head of the “oversight team.”

The action then cuts to John (Aaron Ashmore) who is running from a Repo Man (James Hawksley) because John is posing as a hack-mod. It turns out that he’s looking for Clara in Rat City because she’s gone missing. He finds Alice on Ollie (Tommie-Amber Pirie). People may remember Pirie from Bitten. Given how little chemistry I detected between Pirie and Ashmore, I was happy that her arc was mostly wrapped up in the first two episodes – though I’m sure we’ll see her for the war when the time comes. At this point, Ollie has no idea how she came by Alice, but John insists that she either comes with him or gives up the arm so that he can find Clara.

We get some more great banter from Turin and D’Avin. Marfarlane has settled into his part as comic relief now, and it’s starting to work for me. Turin calls Dutch “Assassin Barbie” and D’Avin tells Turin not to take his haircut out on him! Turin tells them he’ll take care of Grey and they can concentrate on the war. D’avin tells him they need to get help from other Racs to poison the Hullen pools in the other quads. Turin comes up with a cunning plan, and I loved him asking how they were with “intense heat and unnecessary nudity” and D’Avin’s “pretty good actually…”

Dutch and D’Avin go undercover at a spa to kidnap Pippin (Atticus Mitchell) who is a black market dealer. They want him to find a chemical beacon for them. There’s a nice fight scene in the spa – though I still don’t see how the bad guys kept those little towels on! Pippin turns out to be something of a narcissistic coward, but he does find the beacon and set up a deal to exchange for it.

The meet with Sweet Jane (Nicky Lawrence) is going well until the Rac show up. Fancy has a stun boomerang which is pretty cool. It turns out that it was an elaborate plan to get enough Hullen plasma from the Rac agents – who are all Hullen. I loved how the team had all the syringes hidden on their bodies! There’s a great scene between Dutch and the Captain (Krista Bridges). The Captain wants Dutch to tell her what the device is for, and instead, Dutch tells her about Khylen and how he used to tell her stories about what if the monsters looked just like you or I. The Captain misunderstands until Dutch tells the Captain that she – Dutch – is the monster!

There’s another good fight sequence with the entire team. Dutch tells the Captain that they – humans – might be weaker, but they hate to lose…

Pippin is disappointed to learn that he wasn’t chosen because he’s the best but because he was the greediest and the most likely to talk and he had no Rac connections. Sweet Jane was in on the whole thing. Pippin and Dutch part friends, however, and he expresses interest in helping with the war effort by providing information.

Dutch presents Turin with the plasma killer to distribute throughout the quads. Turnin in turn show them 36 Hulland jets that they found. They can’t open them yet, but at the end of the episode, D’Avin – no doubt due to his special relationship with the green plasma – opens one and flies off.

Meanwhile, John and Ollie visit Rat city where Clara was going to meet with her friend Yoki (Emily Piggford). She’d gone in alone because as a basic John is hated in Rat city. They visit a bar and Ollie explains the class system among mods. She also points out that they are by and large cheap, superhuman, indentured labor.

John and Ollie meet with Yoki who tells them that Clara would never come back to the factory and she never saw her. But then she tells them to tell Clara that she’s sorry if they see her. John is discovered to be a basic so Ollie suggests that if the rule is no basic in and no basic out, that he be modded so he can leave. Havigan (Prince Amponsah) accepts the terms. I loved how much John loved his digi-laser! Havigan tells them that mods are disappearing and he’ll put the word out about Clara.

John and Ollie share a nice bonding moment. Ashmore continues to impress. John explains that he owes Clara a debt for saving his brother and then saving him in a different way. Ollie mentions that it’s easier to talk in the dark and tells John about the factory and how in between surgeries they’d often talk at night in the dark. John tells Ollie that people keep leaving him. He’s afraid if he can’t find Clara that it will never stop.

The two follow a lead that Havigan gets on Clara only to discover it’s a trap and Ollie is attacked and injured. John discovers the attacker has two faces separated by a layer of the green plasma! Ollie passes out and John takes her back to Havigan’s to have Cutter (Sean Fowler) help her.

“A Skinner, Darkly” continues to see the team working apart, but I was happy to see them reunited by the end of this episode. Havigan denies knowing it was a set up and is shocked when John shows him the face. Cut to a Ruby (Ewa Placzynska) making love to a guy (Maxime Savaria) and her face starting to dissolve with green serum coming through. She appears to kill him, but when she later reports to Niko (Viktoria Modesta), Niko stabs her with her extremely versatile and lethal mod. Modesta is terrific in this episode, and I’m really hoping we’ll see her later in the season.

Niko is behind the attack on John and Ollie and is busy using the green serum to get revenge on the basics who are using the mods. I loved Ashmore as Johnny goes undercover as a vain playboy to get a new look. While John has gone undercover, Ollie sneaks in – using some pretty cool tech as when John takes Niko’s hand, her palm print is transferred from his glove to Ollie’s allowing her to use the palm print security to get in! She finds a basement of horrors full of skinned bodies.

Ollie runs into Yoki in the hall, and Yoki tells her that she’s done protecting her and risking everything for her. She pulls the alarm, but gives Ollie enough time to get out. John discovers that one of the hands that Ollie brings him belongs to the mod owner who owned both Ollie and Yoki. Ollie insists that she never had an owner, waking up free, right after the factory – but she’s missing five years. Ollie IS Clara – skinned. I was super, super disappointed at this revelation as I adore Stephanie Leonidas and found her chemistry with Ashmore a lot more compelling. However, apparently, her schedule clashed as she was busy filming Snatch.

Yoki meets the two in the bar and tells them that there’s a jammer blocking Ollie’s memories – including those of John. When Clara showed up and Yoki told her what was going on, she freaked out and caused trouble, leading to Niko telling Yoki to get rid of Clara. Instead of killing her, Yoki protected her by giving her a new identity. Yoki now has her papers and is free – and she doesn’t know how to fix Ollie.

Niko uses Yoki’s mod to stun all the mods in the bar and takes John prisoner – a Killjoy skin could come in very handy. There’s a decent fight between Niko and Ollie. She tells Ollie that they want the same thing – but never really says what that is – to be free of their owners? To get revenge on their owners? Meanwhile, John gets free using his own mod – which is also adorable. He’s joined by the other mods. It’s not 100% clear what they’re planning on doing with Niko. She does tell John that her reason for killing owners is because of what they did to her. They took her leg so that she couldn’t run (that really backfired!) and they put a camera in her eye to steal her research as she was brought there to be a researcher.

Afterwards, John and Ollie talk in the bar. He tells her that he’s put off going home because he wanted her to have what he had – a home and family. He sees that she has it in Rat city. Ollie tells him to call her if they need hack-mod back-up for the war – which, of course, they will. Until then, I doubt we’ll see any of them again.

Meanwhile, Dutch and D’Avin are struggling with the technical aspects of their job, resorting to simply blowing up data when they can’t access it – at least no one else gets it that way. Turin wisecracks that they aren’t going to solve their problems with “shitty cologne and sexual tension” – so they need a new nerd squad now that they don’t have John.

Turin presents them with three nerds: Zeph (Kelly McCormack – who was also on Defiance), Benji (Luc Trottier) and a third with no name (Erik Knudsen). The three are excited to get a chance at working in the field and get fitted with what is supposed to be a comm link but is actually putting them in a VR simulation. I loved that they played out the entire scenario and we as viewers don’t discover it’s a simulation until the recruits do! Nicely played show!

The mission doesn’t go smoothly at all. They do manage to walk Dutch through fixing one panel, but it’s Zeph who stays focused on the main mission to restore the comm stack, and she gets it online just as the quarantine fire flashes. I loved her telling herself that it was a simulation and the fire wasn’t real.

Turin isn’t impressed at all, however. He tells her that she failed. It was a three part test. First was a spatial test to see that they could do the tech side of it, second was communication to walk a lay person through a tricky procedure, but third was to get everyone out alive. Dutch did try to tell her that missions evolve.

However, Dutch goes to meet Zeph in the bar because she wants to know how she was able to discover that it was a simulation. Zeph tells her it was through the bio-cues which everyone else was ignoring. Dutch realizes that Zeph’s bio-knowledge could be indispensable in the hunt for the Hullen and invites her to join her war. Zeph enthusiastically tells Dutch that she’d follow her anywhere.

Johnny returns home and is enthusiastically greeted by Dutch – no need of the new recruits now! John brings Niko’s map of where all the green plasma can be located – she also told him that everywhere she stole it, it was guarded by Killjoys. They pull up her map and it seems the green serum is everywhere.

In the final scene, we finally see Aneela. She is being catered to by servants. We also see a mysterious body covered in white gauzy material who is revealed to be Delle Seya Kendry (Mayko Nguyen)!! She has tubes of green plasma going into her and when she wakes up, she is taken to Aneela who is bathing in a pool of green! Clearly, Aneela is going to want Delle to work for her in exchange for bringing her back to life!

The first two episodes set up for the war to come. We have the same fun banter and lots of interesting tech and fight sequences that we’ve come to expect from the show. It seems like we’ll be back to the streamlined version of Dutch, D’Avin, and Johnny for at least a few episodes now – but they’ve got more friends now waiting in the wings to jump in and fight the coming war. What did you think of the first two episodes? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

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