Once upon a time, there was a girl — and for the longest time, this girl grew up not really knowing what family was, or what it meant, but she knew she didn't have it, not really, not in the "traditional" sense. She grew up with a father who taught her to fight, who gave her knives for her birthday instead of dolls, who taught her how to survive, and eventually she grew up to have the revelation that she hadn't been technically born either, not really, not in the "traditional" sense.
But then one day, this girl met a boy and his ship, and then she met his brother, and between the three of them, along with some of the people they met over the course of their adventures throughout space, they created their own definition of family, something that may not have been "traditional" but was strong enough to withstand anything — even their worst enemy, their deadliest foe, the biggest threat they'd ever tackled. At the end of it all, the girl and her best friend and his brother were able to give their friends and loved ones some well-deserved peace while they all flew off together on one last mission.
It might be strange to think of Killjoys, which just concluded on SYFY, as a sort of fairy tale; over the course of its five-season run, this sci-fi series has acquired a reputation for flipping the script on those "traditional" genre tropes left and right — from its willingness to thwart gender roles (and all the fabulously daring style that results) to the rich, complicated, complex female characters who aren't so easily slotted into certain categories like "hero" or "villain." And those are, obviously, all things worth praising, but one of the loveliest aspects of Killjoys that has emerged at the forefront of the narrative is the truth that family, real family, not necessarily people you happen to share DNA with, can look like whatever you want it to — even if that family consists of a motley group of space misfits, a duo of Hullen power wives, and the miracle child that links them all.
Warning that spoilers for the series finale of Killjoys follow below!
Indeed, Killjoys' family tree isn't so much a simple tree as it is a tangled web, but even within those strands lies an evolving group of relationships that has allowed something truly beautiful to emerge. When we first learned the truth about Dutch's (Hannah John-Kamen) origins back in Season 3, the series seemed primed to pit her against the woman who had birthed her into existence: the mysterious and powerful Aneela (John-Kamen). Instead, what the show set us up for was a long road to reconciliation, full of its own ups and downs, that left the two working alongside each other as equals, as allies, in their fight against their shared enemy, a Hullen entity known as the Lady. But Dutch and Aneela's dynamic wasn't the only one we saw evolve over the course of three seasons, even as it culminated in the two of them tapping into their unique connection to take down the Lady once and for all.
Few female characters in genre have had as quiet and powerful an evolution as Delle Seyah Kendry (Mayko Nguyen), a woman who began the series as an enemy of our titular Killjoys and certainly did nothing to endear herself to them along the way, only to end up aligning herself with Aneela and becoming Hullen herself in the process. But if there's one thing we know about complex families, it's that sometimes it takes the next generation coming around to really change the future for the better — and when it was first revealed that Kendry was pregnant as the result of a Hullen experiment, it was nothing compared to the surprises that followed. Not only had the baby been made from a combination of Aneela and D'avin Jaqobis' (Luke Macfarlane) genetic material, but its half-Hullen DNA enabled it to grow at a rapid pace, and before we knew it, the newborn Jaqobis (or "Jaq," as he came to be affectionately referred to by both father and mothers — yes, that's right, mothers plural) was already 16 and in need of someone to show him the ways of the world.
Becoming a mother didn't soften Kendry, necessarily, but it certainly forced her to rethink her decisions and look at the world from the perspective of having a child to look after, as well as embrace her new link to a group of people she'd had nothing but enmity for in the past. When our Killjoys were all under the sway of the Lady at the start of Season 5, affected by a powerful collective delusion that robbed them of their true identities, and Aneela lost in the Green, Kendry and Jaq went on the run, knowing that the Lady would be seeking the miracle child whose body she could wield for her own sinister purposes. Over the course of the last season, we've watched Kendry grow from occasional antagonist to someone who learned to navigate both vulnerability and mama-bear protectiveness — but when she and Aneela were eventually reunited in the midst of the war, it wasn't immediately smooth sailing. Kendry being rendered human again meant that she would age and die, and Aneela wasn't sure if she could spend her life with someone who had a visible expiration date. In the end, though, the two queens decided to make the choice to live together, forever, Aneela sharing the remainder of the Hullen Green still in her system with the woman she loved.
Coming to the end of Killjoys is a bittersweet realization, but when you reflect back on everything these characters have been through, the conflicts they've faced, the losses they've experienced, the bonds that have grown even stronger as a result of the tough times — it makes the ending itself all the more satisfying. Dutch, Johnny, D'avin, Kendry, Aneela, Jaq, Lucy, Zeph, Pip, Pree, Gared, Fancy, Turin, Khlyen: They've all gone through the wringer and come out the other side as something like a family. They're the kind of family who will sit around the table and share a meal and exchange war stories. They're the kind of family who will go to war together, always with a quip at the ready even in the heat of battle. They're the kind of family who won't hesitate to make the necessary sacrifice to ensure the rest of the members make it out alive, but at the end of the day, they're the ones still standing.
So maybe Killjoys doesn't seem like a fairy tale at first glance, but consider this: The evil has been defeated after a long and winding fight, the Quad is safe once more, and our space faves are finally getting to have something that looks like a happily ever after. If that's not a fairy tale, I don't know what is.