Killjoys premiered its penultimate season opener on Syfy and Space with “The Warrior Princess Bride” (4×01).
The episode definitely picks up in a way from where we last saw our heroes, but in this episode, the focus is definitely on Dutch/Yalena Yardeen (Hannah John-Kamen). If you’ve been a fan of the show since the first episode aired or if you’ve just found it via binge-watching, then you’re likely to really appreciate the special origin story we got of when Dutch and Johnny Jaqobis (Aaron Ashmore) almost ended as a duo but also how and why they became Killjoys.
The episode opens with Khlyen (Rob Stewart) carrying an obviously injured Dutch while in the green space to a safe place with Aneela (also Hannah John-Kamen) waiting. The lady seems to have somehow harmed Dutch and Khlyen insists that this time the story he’s going to tell is going to save her. He starts with his usual “when the nights were long and the days were deep…” before we transition into the flashback to seven years before during Johnny and Dutch’s first year together.
First impressions immediately is that things are basically very familiar to the Dutch and Johnny we know now. Dutch is gorgeous and badass while Johnny thinks he’s awesome but has bitten off more than he can chew. They’re both running from people looking for them because of the death of Dutch’s husband and the warrants out for John. In order to make up for losing their last joy, they take on a job that takes them to The Quad. There’s this super adorable bit where Lucy (Tamsen McDonough – voice) continually punishes John throughout the episode by locking him into the cockpit until they have a bit of back and forth.
Upon landing for the first time in Old Town on Westerley, a familiar face to the rest of us appears and ends up impounding their goods and their ship until they can pay the fines and impound fees. Hillary “Hills” Oonan (Frank Moore) doesn’t care that they don’t have the money or any way of getting any on Westerley and just sends them out on their way. The familiar faces don’t stop there! John and Dutch make their way to the Royale and not only run into a very fabulous and sparkly Pree (Thom Allison) who already can read their faces. There’s this hilarious moment where Johnny seriously contemplates going into work as a sexer and Pree thinks that Johnny would never go hungry because of his blue eyes. Joseph “Big Joe” Siano (Tony Nappo) that you’d recognize from the episode “One Blood” (1×06) ends up trying to take John in. During this part, Khlyen implants a red symbol over where the RAC symbol should be on his badge (this is going to be important in episodes to come). Dutch actually shoots Big Joe in the leg and they escape. It’s in this moment that Dutch realizes that she’s no good for Johnny and that they’re going to have to go their separate ways to keep him safe. It’s also the moment that Joe decides to show up and stun them both and take them in.
The lady is coming (who we don’t get to see yet) and there’s this urgency for Khlyen to finish what he’s doing in order to help save Dutch. So, he continues the story…
We see Johnny and Dutch under arrest walking through the RAC and once again we see the RAC logo change to this red logo (and Khlyen tells Dutch that she needs to focus on the details of the story). Joe takes them in for a lie detector test which ends up in not only hilarious answers that have apparently already inspired some new twitter handles. Joe is ready to lock them up, but yet another familiar face shows up to deliver some more bad news. Turin (Patrick Garrow) appears to say that Hills has put a hold on them and additional charges against them for theft of property and crimes against the Company.
Hills shows Dutch and Johnny what happened with the crates they had taken into impound. What ends up happening is that Joe agrees to hold onto them, take out a warrant on whoever took the poison from the Company, and also makes a deal with Dutch that he’ll let Johnny and Lucy go once they solve the case. John is able to reverse track the guys who stole the poison to begin with and get them to tell them who has it now. It takes them to Qresh to crash a Tenyer party where Dutch leaves Johnny locked behind after explaining her agreement with Joe and instructions for Lucy. “People who get close to be always get hurt,” Dutch tells him.
After being locked up, Johnny starts breaking things and explaining to Lucy the difference between working with humans and just following orders mindlessly. In the end, Lucy releases him and trusts him. He arrives at the party where he and Dutch are undercover and just in time to save her from blowing her cover. The Tenyer is of Qreshi royalty getting to shop around at this retreat for possible new matches after ten years of marriage. They figure out that the assassin is there with the poison from the Company with a Qreshi target in mind, so they have to figure out who both are. While they’re trying to work it all out, there’s this sadness about them ending their partnership once its over and John talking about how he maybe did something wrong when they first met because he gave her space. By the time they figure that they are guarding the wrong target, the assassin goes after Johnny and ends up poisoning him though Dutch takes her out and they go back to Lucy.
Even though Dutch eventually finds the antidote for the poison on the assassin it has a lock code and she won’t give it up. This forces Dutch into a dark place, the past that she’s been running from in the way of the knives and weapons she had been taught how to use growing up. In this moment, we see Lucy’s first unprompted moment of caring for her humans when she asks John when she should know when Yalena needs help. The assassin keeps pushing Dutch into the dark that she’s so tried to come out of, telling her that she can never give up that life and be anything better. Before Dutch can do anything, John stops her and tells her “you don’t have to do this” in this very intense moment where you can see it’s where they really click as friends (platonic soulmates even). The assassin gives in and they finally get Johnny the cure.
Joe is impressed that they not only brought back the assassin but also the poison. They split the warrant, Joe sends away Johnny, and tries to give Dutch a better offer…to become a Killjoy. We swipe to Turin and Joe talking and on Turin’s device we see that he has full information on Yalena Yardeen, that she’s marked Red 17, and it says do not approach on it. Perhaps this is why Turin gets so worked up when we originally see him in “Bangarang” (1×01) over Dutch breaking rules and getting away with things because he’s watched it for seven years and she’s still very much a mystery.
On Lucy, Johnny confronts Dutch about hiding her past from him. He tells her that she’d not believe her anyways because people can change. They decide to stop running. Not only do they decide to become Killjoys, but Johnny proposes their own Tenyer in the way of a Killjoys Two Year. I am really hoping that we get to see this during the season on the show if they re-up every two years. We also find out how Dutch got that name to use. Johnny calls her Queenie throughout the episode and she points out how he can’t call her that anymore so he refers to her as Duchess. Hence where Dutch comes from. This is just such a great cherry on top of a great origin episode for all of us who have been wondering this question since we found out that Dutch’s name was actually Yalena Yardeen.
When the story is over, we’re back in the green space. Aneela asks what Johnny saved Dutch from and Khlyen answers that Johnny saved her from him. Khlyen tells Dutch, “when you are lost, when you are breaking, when you have no strength to fight her…find John Jaqobis, he is your true north, your only way home”. We’re not sure if this means to find John in the green or out in the real world. Khlyen reveals to Aneela the symbol that he hid in Dutch’s memories after Aneela expresses that she’d given him Dutch in order for him to raise her and take care of her. We leave with what apparently is Dutch being attacked by the lady and an ominous voiceover.
I will say that two faces that I had hoped that we’d see at some point where Bellus Haardy (Nora McLellan) maybe at the RAC or talking with Joe. It would have just been great to see her again since she hasn’t been in an episode since season two. The other face would have been Illenore Pawter Simms (Sarah Power), though I don’t know if she would have been on Westerley on Qresh then. I’m sure that there could have been others that we could have seen, but these two just felt like they would have been extra special and have been missed.
What are your thoughts on this season? Who do you think The Lady is? What are you most excited to see resolved or touched on in upcoming episodes?
Photo Credit: SYFY