I'm sure it's no secret by now how much I love Killjoys and, by proxy, showrunner Michelle Lovretta. Considering how busy her schedule must be in the lead-up to the season finale, I'm thrilled that she took the time to answer a few questions about the finale, the fandom, and the future.
Please note: This interview was done before the news that Killjoys had been renewed for a third season, but the fact that it's been renewed makes this even better.
Geek Girl Diva: New promo photos seem to indicate that we're finally about to meet Aneela. Can you tell us about her beyond what we already know?
Michelle Lovretta: Oh, man, I’m fiercely in love with Aneela already, to be honest, at least my gestating S3 version of her. She’s oddly fragile and very, very different from Dutch, so I think Hannah will get a kick out of that variety and do brilliant work with it. Our trio really only gets a taste of Aneela this season, much of it from Dutch’s POV -- same goes for the audience -- so we would have free reign for a full new character introduction next year, something I love to do as a writer. The events of our last eps were constructed to help kick us off into a juicy face off with Aneela and we plan to deliver, so hold on to your fan-butts if we get a Season 3! She’s pretty damn delightful...and deadly.
The Killjoys fan base has been in place since before the show even premiered and there are certain moments in season 2 that are inspired by things the fans were really hoping to see; Johnny and Lucy face-to-face, for example. The fan base has also grown over the last two seasons, so I'd imagine you're getting a lot more feedback. We've seen some examples over the last year or two of fans getting very passionate when the show diverges from their desires. How do you balance the show's needs against fans wishes and manage to keep everyone happy?
You don’t. Put five strangers in a room and ask them to order three toppings for their shared pizza dinner. You either end up with some basic-ass pizza no one loves, or you end up with some happy people, some hungry peeps, and that one random dude screaming in a corner about how they should’ve ordered Thai and now he hopes they all die of dysentery.
I love our fans, they’re passionate, clever, funny, smell great, and are really fair in their criticisms. Being a fan doesn’t mean you have to like every choice I make -- you’re not me, so how could I demand that of you, especially when you aren’t in my head and can’t see where I’m going? But audiences aren’t a monolith, and writers aren’t typists -- we can’t take dictation from the desires of strangers, not just because inspiration doesn’t work that way, but because there is no one Audience Voice! Some of you want olives, some of you will curse me for them. In the end, when it’s 4 AM and I’m all alone facing the white page -- it’s gotta be about me, guys. You need it to be. When I’m truly doing my job throwing the bones, you all fade away, the network notes fade away, and it’s just me and Johnny and Dutch staring at one another and asking ourselves how we deal with loss. That s*** is real. That s*** matters to me, and that s*** is MINE. Because that’s the only healthy way for me to approach such a mentally intensive, deeply personal job. And as a writer who has spent much of her career promoting the concept of agency through her work, you know I’m going to ultimately respect my own.
If you get a Season 3 renewal, how much do you already have laid out story-wise and have you planned beyond that for possible future seasons?
I had an original template for the entire series-long arc, and over time a few big support poles and story point have been brought forward a season or two, so that frees me and my team up for a bit of improvising this year. I’m nervous and excited. It’s a great place to be.
You've written the seventh episode of both seasons so far along with both season premieres. Is that a trend that'll continue?
Man, I dunno. I’m tired, ha! A big part of showrunning is rewriting all the eps to some degree, and I think the ideal plan for me in any hypothetical future seasons would be to frontload my eps so I can concentrate more on rewrites until the finale. But yeah, “beginning, middle-ish and end” is my usual pattern right from Lost Girl. Fun fact: in that middle ep, I usually take a slashed budget, or one less shooting day, to keep the show on track and buy some breathing room for the finale. As a result, those eps tend to be pretty set-bound and character driven, i.e., “everyone shouts sexily at one another on Lucy”, and, “Oh, hey a random bathtub”. I’ve had a lot of fun with that!
Finally, is there anything you can tease about the finale?
Don’t miss the first seconds! We start hard with no previously on, and go straight into what I think is a really beautifully filmed, simple but powerful retelling of Khlyen’s beginnings. Expect the pomp and panache of a finale, for sure (we have more VFX in this ep than any other) but narratively, 210 is also a big transitional episode for us-- it answers TONS of fan mythology questions and, I hope, satisfyingly closes the door to some of our early political arcs, while blowing some s*** wide open to bust us out into our next, shiny new chapter of mytharc. A lot of things happen in the finale that will seem like end points, but are actually new beginnings designed to hopefully pay off next year -- so (choosing my words carefully here) don’t assume anything is a fait accomplis. It’s a deeply emotionally rewarding ep, and I can’t praise our cast enough.
Now that we know we'll be getting a season three, have fun speculating on all of the possibilities after the finale airs. You know I'll be giving it some thought.
What do you think we'll see in Season 3?