Now that we’re a couple of episodes into Syfy’s Killjoys, the show is starting to settle in a little bit. In this latest episode, Davin and John’s sibling bond is put to the test while Dav works out some of the trauma from his past, all while they track down a migrant worker who’s overstayed his visa.
Last week, Dav mentioned that he could try out being a Killjoy for a while, and that’s how we open up with this week’s episode, The Harvest. He apparently aced his entrance tests, and John, being the younger brother, is excited to be overseeing him, until they’re informed that Dav did well enough that he’s being bumped up to be a Level 4 Killjoy - one level above his brother - provided he passes his psych eval.
Meanwhile, Dutch has the guy from last week’s episode tied up - he’s clearly been tortured and she’s threatening to kill him, asking why Khlyen wants him dead. He doesn’t know, and she releases him, telling him to run very far away.
Dav and John return home and head to Pree’s bar, where they find a violent brawl: it’s Harvest week, when migrant farmers return home, flush with cash. Dav gets into a fight, getting involved when a woman, Pawter, crashes into him. He goes overboard in the fight, and it’s clear that he’s got some lingering issues from his time in the service. It’s beginning to worry John more than a little. Dutch returns, and tells Dav to get cleared.
John goes off to have some naked fun with a married friend, No’a. She tells him that her husband, Vincent, has gone missing: he spends most of the year on Leith, but hasn’t returned like normal. Normally, she wouldn’t care, but she had co-signed his visa. If he overstays his visa, the penalty is a decade of hard labor - because she’s on the paperwork, she’ll do his time if he’s not found. She put out a warrant, and the team is off to Leith to track him down.
It turns out that Pawter is a doctor, and Davin asks her to help him get cleared. While this is happening, John and Dutch go undercover to Leith: John as a laborer, and Dutch as a wealthy buyer. John finds that the working conditions are pretty abysmal. The moon is hot, and all workers have a a tracking device implanted in their ear. Dutch gets set up in nicer quarters.
While working, John asks fellow workers if anyone’s heard of Vincent, and goes to help out an ill worker, giving him water. When another worker runs, the foreman activates the tracker, blowing the man’s ear off. That’s what happens if they run, they’re told. Dutch realizes that the tracker will be their ticket to finding Vincent and formulates a plan.
Elsewhere on Leith, Pawter and Davin are out getting medicine for Potter’s clinic. When she asks one vendor for meds, she’s told that the best thing for the Quad is fewer Westerlans. Potter isn’t happy with that, and reaches out and injects the woman with something. Have you heard of Selias fever? Nasty stuff. You want the inoculation? Let’s trade.” The herbalist turns over what she wants, reluctantly.
John probes one of his fellow workers, Shyla for information, telling her a backstory about why he’s on the planet. Dutch works with Martell, the owner of the plantation, passing his test when he questions her story as a buyer. She eventually pulls him into bed, where she knocks him out and steals his retina scan. With his credentials, she locates Vincent’s tracker before he wakes up. Leaving Martell, she goes off to find Vincent, and finds that he’s cut off his own ear.
Davin and Pawter are talking, and the doctor notices that John’s having some problems with the fireworks being set off with a nearby Harvest celebration. She encourages him to watch, and he begins having flashbacks to his time in combat. He runs off. Pawter catches up with him and tells him that he has what it takes to be a Killjoy, but that he has ‘Stress Response Syndrome’ (read: PTSD) - she deliberately triggered him to confirm her suspicions. Davin tries to drive her away, revealing that he’s dug into her background.
Back on Leith, John convinces Shyla to bring him to Vincent, who’s clearly up to something. He tells her that Vince told him that there was other work to do on Leith and that he came in to get involved. She pulls a knife and asks him how brave and dumb he is. Shyla reveals that she’s part of an underground network on the moon. They’ve got a sort of base set up in the forest, where they’re running a jack grow op.
Dutch calls Dav, asking if she’s heard from John as she’s trying to track him down. She finds his tracker - in the ear that he cut off. Davin fires up the ship and heads their way while Dutch returns to her quarters, where she’s confronted by Martell, who’s figured out that she’s a spy. She overcomes the guards, and puts him to the floor: he tells her that he doesn’t know where John is, but that there’s a defoliation ship headed for the forest to find the grow op.
At the op, John tells Vincent that he’s a Killjoy and that he’s going to bring him home. Vincent isn’t interested in going home to Westerly, no matter the consequences for No’a. He tells Shyla to kill John, but before she can do so, he throws the glow knife into a pile of Jack, igniting the product and distracting everyone. John gets the gun and takes down Vincent.
Dutch arrives as John has the entire grow op rounded up. Hearing the ships coming in, Vincent agrees to go with the Killjoys, while the rest of their operation decides to stay behind. The team make it to the ship with enough time, dragging Vincent onboard with them.
Touching down on Westerly, they drop Vincent off - No’a has a short reunion with him before slapping him, and tells him that he’s being arrested again: he overstayed his visa.
Meanwhile, Pawter has regrown John’s ear, and tells him to get drunk. Davin apologizes to her, and she questions him about his medications - he can’t remember why he’s taking what was prescribed to him. She passes him, but tells him to get help. John asks her if she can treat him. Dutch and John reunite, and they make up: Dutch reveals that he’s upset that she’s been keeping secrets, and she tells him that he shouldn’t worry about being replaced by his brother.
Three episodes in, and I’m still really enjoying the show. It’s fun, and this episode had a bunch of fun lines: “Assault with a deadly pathogen” being one of my favorites. There was some serious stuff going on as well:
- While the Company wasn’t really involved in this episode, they’re still playing with the theme of rich corporations or organizations taking advantage of the poor and disenfranchised, this time, with the migrant farmers. There’s clearly some real resentment going on with these people in the Quad, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we’ll see this bubble over later this season.
- John and Davin have a bit of a rivalry going on: John’s jealous of his brother swooping in, but it’s clear that his six years with Dutch count for a lot.
- Davin’s ongoing problems with PTSD are addressed full on, something that’s good to examine in a television show. I like the portrayal here: nobody has shamed him for it or told him to suck it up, but they’ve been supportive and worked with him to seek treatment. This is a good thing.
So, overall, the show’s been settling into itself nicely. I already can’t wait for next week.