Killjoys: “Escape Velocity” Recap

Season 1, Episode 10: “Escape Velocity”
Air date: August 21, 2015
Grade: A

Syfy’s Killjoys is the arguably best series to hit television this summer thanks to it’s rich worldbuilding, intriguing story arcs and complex cast of characters. The action-packed stage is set with the introduction of the Quad, it’s intricate politics, and the different players that inhabit the system. We’ve got the RAC and the killjoys, The Company, the Nine, the resistance, the monks, and the poor commoners struggling to survive against all odds.

There is a much larger agenda in the works as we discovered that Khlyen is a mythical level 6 agent. He had been training Dutch from childhood for some unknown important mission. Team Awesome Force finds themselves dealing with dangerous situations on multiple fronts that are all somehow tied together; Khlyen and his plans, Alvis being framed for murder, claim day, the Seventh Gen Accords,  and The Company’s retribution on Old Town.

First up Khlyen (Rob Stewart). Johnny (Aaron Ashmore) asks Carleen (Danka Scepanovic) to see if she can decrypt the files that he had stolen from level 71, but before she can do anything, the man himself appears at her hidden lair and slits her throat. While choking on her own blood, Carleen tells Khlyen that he can have the files but he doesn’t care about that and wants the liquid that Johnny had luckily (or unluckily?) hidden at D’avin’s (Luke MacFarlane) place. RIP Carleen though, let’s take a moment to honor her surliness, it was really growing on me.

Meanwhile Alvis (Morgan Kelly), scarback monk and secret freedom fighter, has been framed for a bloody massacre at the Leith Bazaar. He is forced to claim responsibility and accept his death sentence on screen where it is aired to the population in Old Town. Dutch (Hannah John-Kamen) takes it upon herself to talk to Hills Oonan and convince him to at least let her say goodbye to the monk. In his cell, Alvis asks for a favor and he tells her to look for the Rat King in the underground tunnels so that he can provide them with codes to old bunkers underneath Westerly. Dutch eventually agrees. What are these bunkers for? We’ll get to that.

KILLJOYS -- "Escape Velocity" Episode 110 -- Pictured: Aaron Ashmore as John -- (Photo by: Ken Woroner/Temple Street Releasing Limited/Syfy)
KILLJOYS — “Escape Velocity” Episode 110 — Pictured: Aaron Ashmore as John — (Photo by: Ken Woroner/Temple Street Releasing Limited/Syfy)

Johnny and D’avin have headed over to the bazaar to talk to Bellus (Nora McLellan) and find out what they can about level 6. The warrant broker says that she’s heard rumors about that since she started back in the day, but they were all crazy theories. She does admit though that agents have gone missing over the years and the RAC will say that they’ve been transferred or died in duty. Still, the whispers are that they’ve been forced into level 6. Bellus says that gene splicing and re-animation are involved. Well now that would explain A LOT about Khlyen’s lack of aging and resilience despite stab wounds. We also find out that Dutch’s ex-tutor covered their asses so that officially there was surprise system securities check at the RAC during their little escapade.

Team Awesome Force then reunites in the tunnels dressed up as Alvis’ monks to meet the Rat King (Noah Danby). Surprisingly, the underground leader asks them to prove their faiths in exchange for the codes. If they can provide a blessing for his dying sister he’ll give them what they need. At first it seems like the situation would degenerate into a fight, but Johnny steps in and gives quite a moving blessing. As a bonus, the Rat King provides them with IDs of three miners who had beaten three scarbacks and then taken their clothes. These men had been the real perpetrators of the Leith Bazaar massacre. Before they leave though, Johnny confesses to the Rat King that he isn’t a true believer, but the other man smiles back and says that from what he hears that’s not something he (Johnny) gets to decide. He bows and calls the younger Jaqobis “uncle” before departing. What could that be all about?

Above ground, there is a bit of light banter between the three and it seems like both Johnny and Dutch are now able to trust D’avin again after their RAC infiltration. Circumstances take a turn for the worse when Pawter (Sarah Power) fills them in on the Nine calling a vote to whether seventh generation Westerlands could still immigrate to Leith. Dutch suddenly gets a call from Delle Seyah (Mayko Nguyen) who demands her presence in Qresh, reminding the killjoy of the favor she owes. Having little choice, Johnny and Dutch head to the Ancestral Hall while D’avin works on getting the codes to Alvis’ people and then convincing Hills that the monk was framed with the ID tags as proof. This is a significant moment as you can see Dutch struggling with the three of them separating and she obviously still has feelings for the elder Jaqobis.

From here, the crap really hits the fan. On Qresh we get a taste of the lifestyle of the rich and famous with Delle Seyah’s ostentatious digs and wardrobe. As one of the Nine and a leading member of Land Kendry, she tells the two killjoys that they are here as her security detail since she’s been receiving death threats. She further explains that the Nine have to appear like they are hearing the Leithans out (who are angry with Westerland immigration) and hence the vote on the Seventh Gen Accords. Johnny also attempts to make contact with Pawter’s (real name Eleanor) mom, Seyah Simms. He tries to give her a note from the doctor but is harshly rejected, the older woman claiming that she has no daughter. As the vote begins, Dutch recognizes the genetic killing device from Leith and decides to go after the man who is carrying it while Johnny covers Delle Seyah.

Dutch and the unnamed man fight and he tells her that it’s nice to finally meet Khlyen’s pet. What the what?!? She stabs him in the eye and he just laughs saying he’s level 6. Wonderful, another one! In the scuffle though Delle activates the device, probably wiping out a whole rival political family. Johnny finds out from the aristocrat that Khlyen had wanted Dutch on Qresh and so she assumed that they both knew about the little coup that was going on. So it seems that level 6 agents facilitate political takeovers? It does make their role within the RAC so much more intriguing.

Back in Old Town, D’avin sees Khlyen in his room (where he’s found the stolen liquid) and he decides to follow the man against Dutch’s wishes. Guys, I’ve got a bad feeling about this. Khlyen the super soldier kicks his ass of course, but instead of killing D’av he has some other nefarious plan in mind. Incidentally we also learned that Dutch had a husband whom Khlyen had killed and that’s why she fled. The plot thickens!

KILLJOYS -- "Escape Velocity" Episode 110 -- Pictured: Luke Macfarlane as D'Avin -- (Photo by: Ken Woroner/Temple Street Releasing Limited/Syfy)
KILLJOYS — “Escape Velocity” Episode 110 — Pictured: Luke Macfarlane as D’Avin — (Photo by: Ken Woroner/Temple Street Releasing Limited/Syfy)

Johnny and Dutch make their way to Pree’s (Thom Allison) to warn the barkeep and Pawter that The Company was going to bomb the hell out of Old Town just like they did at Sugar Point. The alarms go off and they make the for the tunnels to get to Lucy and hopefully fly out of the target zone. Poor Pree has to say goodbye to his place because it’s more than just a bar!!! Dutch, Johnny, Pawter, Pree and a number of other people navigate their way underground where they run into Alvis who has been able to get out of prison. The prayer beads Dutch had given him when she visited had been a weapon he used to incapacitate a guard. Pawter decides that she needs to stay with Alvis because she could be more useful there. Johnny lies to her and says that her mother had missed her, but the doc knows better and thanks him anyways. Pawter’s complicated backstory is another wonderful dimension to this show. Here’s hoping she catches a break in season 2 (cuz we better get a season 2).

They go their separate ways and Dutch’s group makes it to The Company hangar where they are stopped by Hills and Company guards. Dutch finally realizes that it was the old man who framed Alvis and gave The Company a reason to bomb the area. Hills doesn’t refute his part in the setup but says that he wasn’t told about the bombs until it was too late. This is another moment filled with tension and sadness as Dutch concludes that Hills had also pulled the warning alarm to give people the chance to get away. I’m not sure why he decided to do this now because it indirectly terminated the Seventh Gen Accords and he had already planned for his family to have a better life on Leith. Filled with a sense of guilt, Hills lets Dutch and the others go and heads into Old Town himself to have one final drink.

Alvis, Pawter, and the rest of their small band are able to get into the self-sustaining bunkers just as the bombing is about to start. Inside Lucy, Dutch keeps trying to contact D’avin who has been taken by Khlyen, but to no avail. Johnny reluctantly says that they need to get out of there and that his brother has probably already gone underground. Dutch feels guilty though because D’avin had wanted to leave earlier but she had refused. But having not much of a choice, they leave Old Town. She records a message for the elder Jaqobis that she’s going to find him no matter what. As the bombing starts, a few poor souls are left inside Pree’s, a old couple dancing, a woman coming to terms with her final moments, and Hills pouring himself a one last glass of hokk. Outside the Rat King and his sister are arm in arm as they stare up into the night sky with Company bombers flying overhead. They can’t help but be happy to be finally in the open air and see the stars.

D’avin wakes up in pain from his Khlyen induced injuries and finds himself in an unfamiliar hall. He notices another person in the room with him and holy crap it’s Fancy Lee (Sean Baek)!!! Except Fancy’s eyes are all black and he’s connected to all these tubes. Damn the killjoy is being level 6’d too! Though it’s not really surprising since he’s awesome. Freaking the hell out, D’avin manages to find a door leading outside and he sees a desolate landscape before guards rush behind him to take him back in. We find out that the level 6 experimentation base is on Arkyn (the same moon that The Company first tried to colonize but it was a massive failure) and D’av is on his way to become one of them.

KILLJOYS -- "Escape Velocity" Episode 110 -- Pictured: Hannah John-Kamen as Dutch -- (Photo by: Ken Woroner/Temple Street Releasing Limited/Syfy)
KILLJOYS — “Escape Velocity” Episode 110 — Pictured: Hannah John-Kamen as Dutch — (Photo by: Ken Woroner/Temple Street Releasing Limited/Syfy)

With this ending it would be cruel not to have a season two. We need to find out where the Jaqobis brothers and Dutch are actually from, what the RAC really is, why Delle Seyah orchestrated the political takeover, what has Khlyen planned for Dutch, did Alvis and the others truly survive, what actually happened in Arkyn, and will D’avin survive becoming a level 6 agent?

This was a jammed pack freshman season where each warrant of the week tied together to form a larger cohesive narrative building an entirely new and immersive world. At the heart of Killjoys though are the multi-faceted characters. You’ve got Dutch, the former assassin looking for her place in the universe, D’avin the ex-soldier trying to put his life back together, John the loyal brother and friend who would do anything for those he loved, Pawter the doctor who went from riches to rags, Pree the barkeep with the heart of gold, Bellus the no-nonsense warrant broker and Alvis the monk who became a revolutionary. Even the antagonists weren’t one-sided. Fancy was a lone wolf who did what needed to be done and Khlyen proved to be so much more than a crazy ex-tutor when we finally learned that he was part of the RAC.

Killjoys has been an immensely fun ride full of adventure, intrigue, ass-kicking and conspiracies. I can’t wait to see what happens next!


Killjoys airs Fridays on Syfy at 9/8 central.

Follow @niixc on Twitter for more.

Images courtesy of Syfy.

Nicole C
Nicole C
Nicole is the Features Editor for The Workprint. She may or may not be addicted to coffee, audiobooks, and sci-fi.

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