Killjoys' 'Heart-Shaped Box' is all mind games and secrets in boxes

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Aug 13, 2016

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.


If this week's episode had a theme, it would have to be all about mind games and getting into someone's head. Maybe something about the nature of reality and whether we can trust what we see or what we feel. I dunno, I'm just feeling all philosophical. Now, Dutch dreaming about her double (twin? clone? I'm still not sure) trying to kill Alvis after a night of steamy sex? That's just bad form.

Of course, people dying in bed with our Killjoys has become a theme. Last we saw Sabine, she was convulsing on the floor of her room at The Royale and spewing green plasma everywhere. This episode picks up right where we left off, and now we have one big question. Is she dead and what do we do with her?


There are so many things I love about this scene, all of which point to my twisted sense of humor and, I'm guessing, yours.

Noticeably not in bed, John Jacobis is busy trying to get one of the people who built the wall around Oldtown to tell him more about the wall around Oldtown. Who knew this was going to end badly? Raise your hands. Add the fact that he's keeping secrets from Dutch and D'avin and only Pawter knows what he's really up to is going to make it really hard for him to get out of that little Jelco-run prison. Here's hoping Bellus doesn't mind him being a jerk and decides to help the team find him.

"Why is trying to outsmart your family's evil megacorp so hard?" - Pawter gets some of the best lines.

It's time we had a talk about Sabine. Sure, it's not her real name, but it's how we know her, so we'll work with it. First, she's a bartender, then she's a Level Six, and then we find out she's part of the Black Root. We also know she's willing to hijack D'avin's mind to get to his connection with Khylen and lead him to the mirrored hideout Khylen left for Dutch in the woods on Leith. To sound a bit Dothraki, these things are known. 

What we don't know is why she's doing all of this or, more specifically, if we can trust her. Is she a Level Six who's part of the Black Root that's gone rogue in order to find Khylen to get his help, or is this all a long con to catch Khylen and did our Killjoys catch her? She seems pretty sincere about her desire not to go back to her former self, but she lies to our team over and over, so it's hard to tell for sure.

Of course, she did manage to uncover a mole in Turin's secret RAC within the RAC and hand our Killjoys a weapon that can kill a Level Six. The fact that they call it the Dreadnought tells you just how hard it must be to kill a Level Six.

Not to change direction completely, but I'm going to change direction completely and bow down to whoever it was that wrote the entire sequence with Dutch undercover. You already know you're delving into problematic territory when you put Dutch in a streetwalker sort of get up, but to do it with a nod and wink to that trope by giving the entire scene a Blaxploitation genre feel ... that was the cherry on top of the sundae. Hannah John-Kamen going full Pam Grier on a dude to a '70s soundtrack? Brilliant.

I mentioned earlier that John's little side mission landing him in Jelco's custody wasn't a surprise, but I was surprised to see Johnny being so cold with Senbeck (Oluniké Adeliyi). Johnny solo is a man without Dutch's cool logic and D'avin's emotional backup. He's all caught up in his reason for wanting the wall down and forgetting that he's trying to help people trapped behind that wall, including the two of them.

He does, however, get some information. Greenwell. That caught my attention. Greenwell, as in an actual green well? Maybe a wellspring of the green plasma or the center for whatever creates the plasma? Maybe a grove of the Scarback's trees? Greenwell's a place that has technology so advanced that even the people working with it don't know what it does? San Romwell talked about the creatures that took him using green plasma to power their mostly organic ship over 400 years ago. What if the ship crashed and created the Greenwell? The slaughter she talks about, the "culling" sounds a lot like a way to find more candidates for the Level Six program.

Once we make it to Leith and the final interactions between Dutch and Sabine, things got very interesting. Dutch reallllly doesn't like Sabine even though they're more alike than different. Maybe that's why. It's certainly why Sabine's the only one who can really tell Dutch the harsh truth about what she is and what Khlyen made her.  And I'm always a fan of a good fight and these two do have one.

Sabine's also the perfect character to come in and give us another piece of the Khlyen puzzle. Khlyen was part of the whole thing and then rebelled because of Dutch. Why?

The hints are in the safehouse (I wish I could have gotten a better look at everything in there!), the heart-shaped box that gave this episode its name,  and in the red box she brings back to the ship. 


Is Aneela the alternate Dutch we've been seeing? What do you think?

A couple of ponderations on my part.

Did you notice the shift in the dynamic between D'avin and Dutch? I'll admit, I was worried that the show was doing to have D'av stay mopey about Dutch, but this whole situation has put him in more  of an equal position as the emotional yin to her cold-blooded yang. Dutch treats Sabine like a mind controlled killer, D'avin treats her like a soldier who's had her mind messed with –– makes sense for the both of them, really. In the end, both D'avin and Dutch give Sabine what she wants; a fighting chance. I have a feeling she's going to recover from that bullet to the head and her mind link with D'avin is going to affect her, even if they make her a full Six again.

If Khlyen went rogue on the Level Six program because of Dutch, does it have to do with Aneela? He's given her a weapon we know can kill a Six. Was she Khlyen's first protege and did she become something he needed to protect Dutch from? So much so that he had to train her to think like a Six?

Three more episodes to go. It's about to get crazy.

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