The theme of this episode, and presumably the rest of the season, is mirror images. Last episode, the Hullen training flight was cut short when two ships got close enough to neurally link. But instead of flying in sync, they mirrored each other, resulting in the death of both pilots. That behavior isn’t examined, but it’s starting to become clear that it was more than a coincidence.
The most obvious mirror image pairing in this episode is Dutch and Aneela. Not only are they literally physical reflections of each other, not only is Dutch explicitly the good wolf to Aneela’s bad, but now we learn that Dutch’s DNA is a chiral mirror image of Aneela’s. I assume the show didn’t make her a mirror twin to avoid comparisons to Orphan Black. It’s a shame they went with something so ridiculous, but as the episode says, it doesn’t matter if it makes sense as long as it’s true. And luckily, the writers have done the character work to establish the thematic truth of the Dutch/Aneela duality. We’re reminded of it in this episode, when Aneela refers to the Hullen she controls as her slaves. They may look alike, they may both be awe-inspiring, but they are fundamentally opposed people. Like Harry Potter and Lord Voldemort, one literally can’t live without the other.
The other major mirror pairing here is Dutch and D’avin. One is fundamentally Space Loki, while the other is Space Captain Canada. But their connection is so strong that it’s enough that they’re both superheroes. The scene where Dutch uses this to enlist D’avin in her suicide plan was such a gut punch, I was literally biting my fingers. Luke Macfarlane has really come into his own over the arc of this series, and D’avin’s reaction in this scene completely sells his despair. Dutch and Johnny may be the most obvious relationship in the show, but it’s not a coincidence that the series started when they found D’avin. Dutch and D’avin have always been the opposites whose attraction forms the show’s beating heart, and it’s great to see the writers acknowledge that as they build to the season’s climax.
Their relationship is highlighted with its funhouse mirror image, Jelco and Borna. Like Dutch, Borna is a powerful and wily woman of color who commands respect. Like D’avin, Jelco is her strategic right hand and husband #2. (Well, 3. Not to brag or anything.) Part of why this thematic connection works is that both sides instantly recognize this and waste very little drama on their decision to ally together in the heist. This also lets Borna and Jelco do some of the work to build up the Dutch/D’avin emotional relationship, which is crucial for the pathos of their later scene.
Sidenote: Yes, that D’avin/Jelco scene is: two straight white guys, in polyandrous relationships with women of color with weird BDSM overtones, giving each other advice on how to support their partners better. Killjoys has never been subtle about being social justice fantasy, but this is some next-level shit.
Finally, there’s the Aneela/Kendry pairing. Both are mesmerizing, incredibly capable women who want Dutch dead. They’re capable in different ways — Aneela with the Green, Kendry with manipulation — but they’ve also chosen to ally together for their common goal. And sealed the deal, if you know what I mean.
“Miss me?” YES, KENDRY, YES WE DID. Guys, what is there even to say about Delle Seyah Kendry? Mayko Nguyen has turned this role into the epitome of seductive power. The character is written as so absurdly good at manipulation that you’d expect her to be a pure Mary Sue, but Nguyen finds the campy, campy heart in that trope, and leans so far into it that it actually works. Like the episode says, it doesn’t matter if it makes sense if it’s true.
The big question is — where is all this setup going? What is the show ultimately going to say about all these dualities? Orphan Black was never really able to stick this landing, so I’m skeptical that Killjoys will. But sometimes, the ride is fun enough.
Questions for the next episode:
– Is The Lady Aneela’s mother?
– Is The Lady also Kendry’s baby?
– Do you think Aneela knows it’s possible to open handcuffs without dramatically pretending to kill the cuffed person first?
– “You say we can’t win this head to head. We’ve got to get dirtier.” “Ass to mouth?”
– “Remember fun?” “That’s the thing that comes with all the scars, right?” “If you do it right!”
– Oh, Johnny Jaqobis, you beautiful idiot: “Well, it sure is…hot out there today. *pops shirt buttons open* I sure could go for a long…cool…drink.” “Pass.”
– “Front or back should always be a pre-game discussion, sweetcheeks.” Pree is definitely the Dan Savage of the Quad.
– Killjoys has always been lighthearted, but this episode was very heavy on innuendo. Was this the writers’ way of telling Michelle Lovretta they wanted to write more sex scenes?
– “Their pamphlets had nuke guns, Dutch.”
– “We’ll figure this out together. Want to go torture Gander for a bit?”
– “At least with Borna, after the punching and the berating, there’s cuddles. And then more punching. The sexy kind.”
– “Your pottery is still a hate crime.”
– D’ear God, D’avin is a pro. He picked up the keys with his teeth!