February 26, 2017
Syfy has done a great job last few years in bringing back sci-fi back to the small screen. Two out of the three actually mostly are in space, Dark Matter & The Expanse, the third one, Killjoys, is mostly on solid ground, especially the first season, but is more and more flying into space in it's second season, with even some space battles during the last episode of season two.
To be honest, before I started my re-watch of the first season of The Expanse, my preference was: 1. Dark Matter, 2. The Expanse & 3. Killjoys.
Of course I still have to do a re-watch of Dark Matter, but it's clear to me now that Killjoys is just as much fun and is a
story with at least as much of a rich serialization than Dark Matter or The Expanse.
Although after watching The Expanse & Killjoys again, I know for sure, far superior, in my opinion, is The Expanse, but Killjoys is no longer the "sure to be" number 3 on this list! I really, really enjoyed myself a lot with this re-watch, makes me wonder if I weren't a sleep most of the time during my first watch!
Shorter seasons means less filler episodes, more story-arc episodes, which I definitely prefer, so for me, 10-13 episodes is perfect, I prefer 13, but if have to choose between 10 or 22, I'd rather have 10, it's easier to create 10 good heavily arced episodes than to create 22.
The premise of the show (taken from wiki) - Killjoys follows a trio of hard-living bounty hunters – Dutch, John, and D'avin. Working for the Reclamation Apprehension Coalition (RAC), they work in a four planet system known as the Quad. Taking on warrants to apprehend people or property, RAC Agents are given high authority by their agency. As part of their job, they swear to remain neutral in conflicts and owe no allegiance to any system, government, or other organizations. With their pasts coming back to haunt them, the trio will have to work hard to keep themselves, and their friends, alive.
Spoiler alert! - If you haven't watched an episode of Killjoys and you are planning to do so and you don't want any info beforehand, please don't read any further!
While the premise looks simple, the story luckily isn't, Dutch (Hannah John-Kamen) aka Yalena "Yala" Yardeen, is a level 5 RAC agent. Dutch has a secret history, when she was young, she was homeless and Khylen (Rob Stewart) takes her in but begins to train her as an assassin, so at a very young age she learns how to kill. Later we learn that it's a bit more complicated than that.
Dutch teamed up about six years ago with Johnny Jaqobis (Aaron Ashmore), a level 3 RAC agent, he's the nerd, he loves
computers, is very technical and is, imo, is the one which the viewer can mostly identify with in terms of excitement, wonder, joy as we join the RAC agents on their adventures. For example, when
they fly into a asteroid, which in fact is a spaceship (2x06 I Love Lucy), he is just as excited as the viewers who, like him, love space and spaceships!
D'Avin (Luke Macfarlane) is Johnny's older brother who ran away from home at an early age, because of their abusive father, he joined the military and still has nightmares about that time, he joins his brother and Dutch as a level 4 RAC agent, which is a bit hard to grasp for Johnny who is just level 3.
Of course it's mainly about these 3 characters but there also are a number of interesting recurring characters like Pawter Simms (Sarah Power), who has been exiled by her mother, she is a doctor and she lives on Westerley above the bar where the Killjoys trio frequently hang out. The bar owner is Pree (Thom Allison), someone who apparently also has a secret (criminal) past. The ship Lucy (Tamsen McDonough) which is definitely a character on the show who has a special relationship with Johnny. Fancy (Sean Baek), also a Killjoy, Alvis Akari (Morgan Kelly), a monk, and of course the earlier mentioned Khylen (Rob Stewart), Dutch' former surrogate parent who raised her as a killing machine.
The first seasons main focus is the relationship between Dutch & Khylen. Dutch thinks she got away from him, still always looking over her shoulder but in reality he is always been near her, as he says it, to protect her.
At first the viewer, as well as the lead characters, see Khylen as an enemy of Dutch but with every episode you see that changing bit by bit. Not to say that Khylen is a "good" character, but he does everything to protect Dutch at all costs. The seasons ends with Khylen kidnap D'Avin.
The first season best episodes for me are:
The first season for me does not really have weak episodes, only with the first 4 episodes it has to gel first, the characters, the stories, it first has to build up to get something interesting.
The second season is slightly more enjoyable, with the knowledge we gained from the first season about this universe, about the characters and the story.
Khylen more and more seems to becoming an ally instead of the enemy, the Killjoys trio's bond is under more pressure this season, with Johnny helping his girlfriend Pawter Simms figuring out who is responsible for the wall around Westerley he does not tell Dutch about his arrangement with Pawter.
Recurring characters like Pree, Pawter Simms, Fancy, Alvis have a bigger part of the story, which makes this universe even richer. So quite enjoyable, both seasons, shows which heavily arced stories can be best watched in a short period of time, because then you really connect the dots, instead of having to watch it over 10-15 weeks.
The second season best episodes for me are:
Season 2 does not have really bad episodes but there are two which I found less entertaining, episode 3 - Shaft & episode 8 - Full Metal Monk.
I really enjoyed this re-watch, appreciate it much more than after it's first viewing, but as I said earlier, better to watch it in a short period of time so you really get into the story.
My favourite character is Johnny Jaqobis, his way of looking at the universe (like us viewers do), his humor, nerd- iness is really fun to experience as a viewer. Another favourite of mine is of course Khylen. A character which is an enemy and an ally, you never know what his plans are.
Bring on season 3!