Last week on Killjoys, we reunited with Pawter (Sarah Power) and Alvis (Morgan Kelly), took out a deadly Company-owned chemical weapon that really sped up the “dust to dust” process, and found that things are very different in new Old Town. Now, with Pawter in the Company’s clutches and Alvis onboard Lucy (Tamsen McDonough) and in the middle of a crisis of faith, we head to Badlands to track down some RAC agents in distress at Turin’s (Patrick Garrow) behest.
Alvis, D’avin (Luke Macfarlane), Dutch (Hannah John-Kamen) and Johnny (Aaron Ashmore) follow a warrant to the Northern Badlands and, eventually, into a mine that’s dark and full of terrors. Dutch & Co. follow Tania (Lina Roessler) — one of the RAC agents they’re meant to be rescuing — as they search for the rest of her team: her husband (who’s gone off the rails and is kinda sorta hell-bent on killing them) and her missing sister. Originally on a warrant to “salvage a monk,” things clearly took something of a dark turn for Team Tania.
As they search, they happen upon a shitload of Mystery Moss that’s actually some kind of bizarre many-legged nightmare creature with psychotropic venom. Tania’s been bitten and is hallucinating her killer husband, who’s already fallen victim to the mossipedes, along with her sister. Things really start to go south when the mine entrance collapses and the mossipedes turn up in force. Dutch gets a bite of her own and starts seeing Khlyen (Rob Stewart), who dredges up some of her darkest fears and puts her in some very real danger at her own hands.
Meanwhile back at the ranch, Pawter’s contending with an uber creepy Jelco (Pascal Langdale) and the conditions of Company house arrest. Whilst attempting some covert data-snatching, Pawter discovers that part of Jelco’s reason for holding her at Spring Hill is that he wants her help with his heart condition. Largely because she has no choice, Pawter obliges. Sort of.
Okay, so mostly she rigs his heart to blow if he tries to stop her from leaving the compound. Ever the regal and unflappable reluctant Qreshi royal, Westerley’s resident ass-kicking doctor waltzes out of Spring Hill and tries to hail Johnny. But, before she can get far, she’s knocked unconscious by a cloaked figure. Out of the furnace and into the fire that is Westerley, apparently.
After Johnny manages to reopen the mine entrance, he, Dutch, Johnny and Alvis GTFO, but they don’t leave empty-handed. Johnny’s got a mossipede sample and is intent on finding out whether or not the green goo inside of it is the same green goo that makes Level 6 RAC agents tick.
Alvis, who found the monk the RAC agents were meant to be “salvaging,” comes out of the mines with something of a clue, which he shares with Dutch. It’s part of a Scarback prayer, a continuation of the one that he has etched into the skin on Alvis’s back. The prayer as he knows it says, “12 went to fight the devil on Arkyn,” but the new piece continues: “one came back.”
Now Alvis is headed to Leith to find answers — not just for himself but for Dutch, too. Turns out they might both have skin in the game.
“Shaft” was the kind of episode that gave us an answer here and there – but mostly left us with truckload of new questions: What’s the deal with the man-eating moss? Whats the RAC’s Level 6 end game? Who came back from the fight with the devil on Arkyn? Who took Pawter?
We can feel the world of Killjoys shifting and expanding, even though most of the episode takes place within the confines of a creepy-ass mine. Things are not as they seem, allegiances are elastic, something’s rotten in the state of Westerley, and there’s a better than good chance that all of the weird shit going on in the Quad is connected.
One of the fundamental truths of Killjoys is that the supporting characters are really, really great. Our central trio is the driving force, but characters like Pawter, Alvis and Pree make the show feel big and lived-in, and their increased involvement is one of the standout elements of Season 2 thus far.
Pawter came back with a bang in last week’s episode, and watching her get her own Spring Hill storyline was one of the best parts of the episode. As a character, Pawter feels more interesting, more complex and more layered every time we see her, and as she leaves Jelco & Co. firmly outgunned in a battle of wits, she becomes even more magnetic. It feels like Pawter Simms gets better every episode, and we can’t wait to see more of her.
Per usual, Hannah John-Kamen’s Dutch is transcendent, forever pulling off a singular and compelling tone that’s at once intense, funny and haunted. John-Kamen’s outstanding and consistent work is a big part of what opens the door for the Killjoys Signature Blend — that uniquely Killjoys combination of wit, complicated and shifting mythology, unanswered(/unanswerable) questions, and plenty of gleeful sci-fi weirdness. Though “Shaft” stood in stark contrast to last week’s episode in that the bulk of the gang’s work took place in a single closed-off location, it maintained that all-important Signature Blend.
We’ve got way more questions than answers in the aftermath of “Shaft,” but in typical Killjoys fashion, we’re perfectly ready to strap in and hang on tight as we dive down the rabbit hole.