Previously on Killjoys, “Heart-Shaped Box”
Killjoys S2 E8: Full Metal Monk| Director: Paolo Barzman | Writers: Sean Reycraft | Starring: Hannah John-Kamen, Aaron Ashmore, Luke Macfarlane
The Dynamic Duo
As we count down to the final three episodes of the season, “Full Metal Monk” leads the charge. A season that started off solving the mystery of what happened on Arkyn seems to now ricochet off into a planetary culling in the making.
We start off with our most pressing matter: Dutch arriving in Spring Hill to an imprisoned Johnny. They have an emotional tête-à-tête centered on how his secrets have put the crew in danger and displaced his sense of loyalty. Realizing her power cannot get him out – and just being plain angry – Dutch leaves his release in Pawter’s hands. Pawter asks why she came if that was her plan, and she replies, “Habit.”
This was a horrid scene to watch as we know Johnny is Dutch’s touchstone to humanity. She might constantly question D’av’s loyalty to the team, but she takes Johnny’s as certainty, not realizing he’s given that up for Pawter. I was so mad at how affronted Johnny was, as if he did not deliver himself inside the tasered jail he’s in through his own actions.
Dutch fills D’av in on their new work situation, and he on his new ability to blow up heads – a reminder of their bigger mission: Khlyen and the Black Root. D’av’s willing to leave Johnny behind for a timeout and heads to Leith with Dutch as her backup. This leads them back to the Scarback monastery and Alvis’s door to see if they can extract any clues from Owen’s transmission-filled head. Owen still has a ways to go before we can consider him a functional member of society, having tried to kill his little brother the night before Dutch and D’av arrive.
(One of the things about this show that I enjoy is that we can have the people involved in a love triangle in a scene and the triangle have nothing to do with the scene.)
But try Dutch must, and the key was uttering the name Aneela, which pushes Owen into a Rain Man-like state, drawing symbols on the walls. Alvis deciphers that the word Aneela actually means devil along with a map to Arkyn and the discovery of another sphere. This wouldn’t be an episode of Killjoys without our crew chasing or being chased by something, and that something this episode turns out to be the mysterious twelfth monk trapped in a cell within a bunker underneath the sphere. The same monk sent to Arkyn two centuries prior to destroy the devil – a devil who looks a lot like Dutch and causes the monk to be an unstable ball of rage at the sight of her. She never thinks to remove herself so Alvis and D’av can better control him either.
Dutch goes for her tried and true prisoner sedation method and knocks him unconscious. When the monk comes to they are able to learn he recognizes Khlyen, but called him by another name: father. D’av and Dutch grant the monk his request and kill him, but right before she strikes the blow she asks him for forgiveness and he denies her with an emphatic no, another blow for her this episode.
Back on Lucy, all her fears regarding Aneela come crashing back. D’av steps in to reassure her she is not the devil. They also find out the cell that trapped the monk kills fear and triggers euphoria, the same wall that now surrounds Oldtown and Johnny.
The Infamous Duo
Pawter gloriously wields her authority as Seyah Simms to garner Johnny’s freedom from the hands of Jelco in an epic tear down of his character; a tear down he more than pays for in kind by the end of the episode. Back in Oldtown, they continue their quest to save its people from the mercy of the evil council of nine. And I call it a quest because of the childlike way the episode progressed from this point on, in addition to Seyah Kendry calling them children sticking their hands into everything.
Soya Kendry orders Jelco to show them what the wall does, well ahead of the actual reveal to not just the viewer, but Pawter and Johnny as well.
The lead in to what the wall does was not what I expected. Just like Pawter and Johnny, as a viewer you feel drawn into the trap along with them; safe in the feeling that the good guys are figuring it out, but not taking it seriously that so are the bad guys. So when Arune Hyponia (Shamier Anderson/Wynonna Earp), a friend and possible ally to their cause, arrives at Pawter’s old room, he’s greeted by what appears to be an inebriated pair and I saw what he saw. Yes, they were acting out of character, but happiness even in excess isn’t something to be wary of. But the trick was the mind grasps for what we think is normal and there arrives Jelco, dancing around like puck the trickster.
But I still felt confident in Johnny’s ability to escape this, at this idea of a sense of rule existing within Jelco, but soon enough he proved me wrong. We find out the wall has rendered its inhabitants happy zombies, defenseless against the company’s control, and the trap snaps shut before we even realize it. That’s the truly frightening part.
Controlling them as nothing more than puppets he frames them for the murder of Arune, even as they try and fight his control, even as Johnny sheds a tear, even as Jelco licks Pawter’s neck, they remain trapped within their bodies, happy zombies. The final shot of the episode has them walking in a dream like state, with Pree’s voice acting as the siren, the feeling of euphoria evident in all the residents of Oldtown. One lies on the floor, his leg smashed open because he was so happy he flew off a building. Giving new meaning to the idea of survival of the fittest, happiness surrounded by carnage.
I was struck by the emotional tones in this episode. Relationships are broken, truths revealed and the feeling that either Pawter or Johnny will be dead by the season’s end is back in full force. This is such a great show, because just when you let yourself relax, you are once again thrown for a loop. How will Dutch and D’av go about rescuing Oldtown from the corporation itself, with Pawter’s power effectively neutered? Killjoys moves quickly so I’m sure we’re going to get some answers next week as the writers use an effective mix of action and heart to impress.