There are a lot of reasons why Killjoys is great. It’s fun, it moves fast, there are sparks and space explosions and an embarrassment of riches when it comes to great characters. But one of the central pillars of the show and the quiet driving force of the shows unique dynamic is the friendship between Dutch (Hannah John-Kamen) and Johnny Jaqobis (Aaron Ashmore).

As they take on warrants and attempt to stay neutral in a system and political climate that makes neutrality an increasingly improbable proposition, Dutch and Johnny prove time and time again that even when they’re not in the same scenes, taking on the same challenges, or even on the same planet, their friendship is the strong undercurrent that makes the world and the characters of Killjoys come to life.

This season, we’ve seen something of a rift between Dutch and Johnny courtesy of Johnny’s involvement of Pawter, but that rift has only served to highlight just how important the relationship between Dutch and Johnny is, even when it’s not perfect.

It’s not often enough on television that we get to see a male and female lead drive a show from a place of platonic friendship. It’s a refreshing change of pace, and the unique dynamic between between Dutch and Johnny is refreshing in that it doesn’t really feel like many other friendships on television.

It’s founded entirely on understanding and love, but there’s never been any suggestion of romance between Dutch and Johnny, and it’s hard to imagine that there ever will be (there won’t be, right? Right??). They have a brother/sister relationship that’s been natural and easy to understand from the outset. Dutch is fiercely protective of Johnny and Johnny understands Dutch on a level that no one else seems to.

The really interesting thing about Dutch and Johnny’s relationship is that even though their scenes together are somewhat limited and they’re often taking on different parts of the story in any given episode, their relationship feels like the constant backbone of the show, even (and especially) as it changes. It’s never needed any kind of heavy-handed exposition or a terribly involved backstory. Their friendship is an essential element of the show and their unique and refreshing contribution to the landscape of Friends in Space is one of our favorite parts of the Killjoys universe.

Photos via Steve Wilkie / Syfy / Killjoys II Productions Limited

Megan is a freelance writer whose work has appeared on WIRED, Slate, Travel + Leisure and GigaOm. When she’s not writing, she’s hiking, brewing beer, and extolling the virtues of The Cranberries.