Killjoys heads down "The Shaft" for answers

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Jul 17, 2016, 2:17 PM EDT

Spoiler Alert: Either you’ve already seen the most recent episode of Killjoys, or you’re here to find out what happened. If neither of those things is true, go watch the episode and come back. I can wait.

One of the reasons I enjoy Killjoys so much is the way the series builds on themes throughout the season. In Season 1, the overarching theme was Khlyen. Who he was, what he was, what he wanted. It all came back to Khlyen in the end and, while we ended up with more questions than answers, we did get some answers.

Season 2's theme makes Khlyen part of the bigger story but he's not the story. I thought Dutch was going to be the story until I saw this episode, but nope, it's another instance where she's part of the larger story. 

So, what is the story? 

I'm going out on a limb, I may be wrong, and I'm not laying down any solid bets, but I think this season is all about Arkyn, the Scarbacks, and whatever that green ooze is that makes a Level Six a Level Six and functions as some sort of hive mind between the Level 6 program and the mossipedes in the mine.

Even more specifically, it's about the Scarbacks and their larger purpose. The Scarbacks suffer the pain of others and, while they're considered a cult in The Quad, they have a history that goes back decades or even centuries. Were the Scarbacks warrior monks who were sent to Arkyn to fight The Devil? Did they discover truths on Arkyn that changed the nature of their entire religion? 

Their prophecy was carved within the mines and D'avin saw the same think on Arkyn. The green goo in the mine is the same green liquid that flows through the veins of the Level Sixes and the same green liquid in Khlyen's organic computer. The mossipedes have a hive mind, do the Level Sixes, and can Khlyen control them?

Delving into the episode itself, there were some things I loved and a few things I didn't. 

What didn't work:

The second I saw the "12 hours earlier" after Dutch bled green, my brain told me that whatever I'd just seen wasn't going to turn out the way it looked. Once the mossipedes (great name, by the way) showed up and Tania (Lina Roessler) kept seeing Paulo (Zach Apostoleris) but no one else seemed to see him, I figured we had some sort of hallucinogen. I didn't know how it triggered since it wasn't airborne, but I saw one of the critters on Dutch when she tried to save Tania, and I figured she'd been bitten. So, I knew Khlyen was an illusion.

What did work:

Everything else.

Pawter's entire storyline in this episode was exactly what I wanted out of Pawter. She's shown herself to be a self-rescuing princess, so literally seeing her not only rescue herself, but screw Jelco in the process, was fan-frickin'-tastic.  I also found her chat with her father Weymer Simms (Andrew Gilles) enlightening. Pawter's got a spine of steel and her father clearly seems to think his wife isn't to be trifled with, so she must be a real piece of work. 

Jelco being wonderfully smarmy was wonderfully perfect. Talk about a guy you love to hate. He's literally so sure of himself that he opens his chest to a woman he's holding prisoner, and it never occurs to him that she might be smart enough to use it to her advantage. There he is, thinking he runs the world and Pawter reminds him that, nope, girls run this mother.

D'avin's lovesickness the first two episodes bugged me a bit, but I'm hoping that his curiosity about how the green go reacts to him and an idea of just how big this whole thing is will pull him out of it. First off, lovelorn always feels funky on a show like this, and he's a big boy who I'm sure has broken more than his share of hearts. I feel like he'd walk it off.

Once again, John Jacobis manages to be the man with a plan no matter how fast he has to make it up. I like that about him. It's not that he doesn't care about people. He clearly does. But if he needs to crack a joke or giving someone a slap to the head to get everyone to safety, he'll do it and he won't apologize. He's proven that he'll have feelings about it once he's allowed to, but he knows there's no crying in bounty hunting.

Lucy. I love Lucy. I also think Lucy's feeling a teeeeensy bit jealous of Pawter. It's amusing.

Dutch, of course, always gets my love. Hannah John-Kamen has really settled into herself into the character, and she's finding some really interesting places to take things. If Johnny's happy to wait until the job is done to feel, Dutch is instinct, emotion, and improvisation.That said, her acceptance of what she is and what Khlyen trained her to be - a weapon - really was a weight off her shoulders. Alvis may have wanted to talk her out of it, but there was a smile on her face, and I think she's made peace with a few things.

Speaking of Alvis, I'm loving the expansion of the character and Morgan Kelly is a really interesting actor. Alvis in his robes is one way. Alvis in civilian clothes is someone else. Alvin shirtless, showing his scars and his tattoos and almost kissing Dutch –– that was another thing entirely, and they all felt like one guy going through a crisis of conscience or belief or whatever you'd like to call it.

It was the good things in this episode that made me enjoy it so much and makes me watch to go back and watch it again. On the surface, this episode looks like one of those "we're trapped and we have to get out" storylines that can sometimes feel like filler. In the case of "The Shaft", being trapped was the catalyst for everything to get a little deeper, a little more fleshed out, and added a few more pieces to the puzzle showrunner Michelle Lovretta is laying out this season.

Based on the blood, we know Dutch isn't a Level Six of the green goo variety. That doesn't rule out the other things she could be. Twin? Clone? Resurrection (can you tell I've been watching Jupiter Ascending?) maybe? 

I've got most of the edges and some pieces in the middle, but this puzzle still has a way to go before I can get an idea of what I'm looking at.

Please feel free to share your theories. I'd love to hear them.

See you next week!



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