Retro Review: Killjoys, Season Two: Episodes 1-5

Since I had already resubbed to CraveTV for the sake of Discovery, it only made sense to check out what else they had on offer. I soon learned that season two of Killjoys had been added in my absence, and though the thought didn’t fill me with tremendous enthusiasm, it did seem worth another look.

The logo for KilljoysAs usual with my binge watch reviews, there will be spoilers.

“Dutch and the Real Girl”:

If you remember my reviews of season one, you’ll know I’m not the biggest Killjoys fan. It’s generally something I watch for lack of any better options.

That said, this is a pretty promising start to the season. It’s a little rushed, but it doesn’t lack for excitement. Killjoys is always trying so desperately hard to be “cool,” and often it ends up feeling forced and lame, but this episode actually is pretty cool, most of the time. I particularly enjoyed the unveiling of “Alice.”

And the mystery with Khlyen is certainly going interesting places.

The best and worst part of this episode is the character of Clara, played by Defiance alumni Stephanie Leonidas (nice seeing her again). The best because after one episode she’s already my favourite Killjoys character by far. The worst because she didn’t end up becoming a main cast member.

Overall rating: 7.5/10

“Wild, Wild Westerley”:

The cast of KilljoysWith the team reunited, Dutch and her crew return to the desolate ruins of Old Town on a warrant. In practice, this mainly serves to reintroduce the show’s more peripheral characters, like Dr. Pawter.

My main takeaway from “Wild, Wild Westerley” is that Killjoys actually has a lot of great characters; it’s just that none of them are main cast members. Give me a series that’s just Pree, Pawter, Alvis, and Clara. That would be an amazing show.

On that note, Pree used to be a warlord?!? You can’t just mention that and not tell the story, Killjoys!

Also damn this show’s soundtrack gets on my nerves sometimes. I’d forgotten about that.

Overall rating: 7.1/10

“Shaft”:

You know, it may not be amazing, but overall I am enjoying season two of Killjoys more than season one.

In this episode, Dutch and her team learn of a missing team of killjoys that Khlyen apparently tried to cover up. They set out in the hopes of rescuing their comrades and learning more about his plan, only to be drawn into madness and violence in an abandoned mine. Alvis accompanies them, and in the depths he uncovers new evidence that the Scarbacks may have an important role in current events.

The Quad, the setting for KilljoysMeanwhile, Pawter continues to be awesome.

The main thing I like about this season so far is that it seems to have a clear sense of direction. There’s a pretty well-defined arc, and they aren’t wasting a lot of time on extraneous matters.

I do hope this starts going somewhere soon, as right now it’s just a whole lot of, “Huh?” But for now the mystery is intriguing. I really have no clue what’s going on with Red 17, Khlyen, and the Scarbacks right now.

Overall rating: 7.5/10

“Schooled”:

Khlyen’s last message before the destruction of Red 17 went to an unlikely place: a school. And this is no ordinary school, but an experimental space station funneling in “gifted” children from Westerley, run by a familiar face from Qresh.

I’m a little lukewarm on this one. In theory it’s still part of the main arc around Khlyen, but we don’t really learn anything, so it ends up feeling like filler even though it isn’t necessarily.

It’s entertaining enough, but this isn’t an episode I’m going to remember much in the long run.

Overall rating: 6.9/10

The cast of Killjoys“Meet the Parents”:

It’s family time. While Johnny and Pawter sue for support from Pawter’s insufferable Qreshi family, Khlyen hunts down D’avin’s father in the hopes of discovery the source of his immunity to the Red 17 conditioning.

This episode’s a bit of a mixed bag. As much as I like Pawter, the attempts to make me feel sympathy for her awful, decadent family fell entirely flat, and there’s a lot of leaps here that don’t make a lot of sense. How does Pawter go from being exiled to on the Nine’s council just like that? Why was Hank trying to kill everyone again?

On the other hand, Khlyen’s story is a lot better. Still doesn’t do a lot to advance the plot (a little, but not much), but the respective actors for him and D’avin did a great job of playing each other, and it was just a lot of fun. I’ve seen lots of stories like this in sci-fi, but they’re rarely executed so well.

Overall rating: 7.3/10

Comfort Food + For Honor Thoughts

I’m not sure if it’s because of how dire the news has been lately or what, but lately I’ve been feeling less interested in seeking new sources of entertainment.

Rachel Nichols as Kiera Cameron in ContinuumInstead, I’ve been revisiting old favourites. It’s sort of like comfort food, something warm and familiar you’re sure you’re going to enjoy.

Firstly, I’ve cancelled my Netflix/CraveTV subscriptions for the time being and dug out my DVDs to rewatch Continuum. I very rarely buy DVDs, as they are quite expensive, so the fact I have the entire series on DVD is a testament to how much I love it.

In a lot of ways Continuum is actually better the second time through. You can really take note of all the subtle bits of foreshadowing, and it’s interesting to see how things changed over the years. I totally forgot how cocky and lighthearted Alec was at the beginning. He’s almost unrecognizable as the character he became in later seasons. I’m also paying more attention to Garza, knowing what I know now.

Meanwhile, despite still having a couple of new and unread books lying around my apartment, I’ve decided to revisit some of my favourite StarCraft novels. Specifically The Dark Templar Trilogy by Christie Golden.

In a strange way I almost wish this wasn’t a StarCraft series, because few if any people who aren’t StarCraft fans are going to end up reading it. And that’s a damn tragedy, because it’s brilliant.

The Dark Templar books aren’t just good StarCraft books. They’re just straight-up excellent sci-fi literature by any standard.

A cinematic in StarCraft II: Legacy of the VoidThe trilogy tells the story of Jake Ramsey, a human archaeologist who has a chance encounter with a dying Protoss woman. But she is not just any Protoss; she’s a Preserver, with the memories of every Protoss who has ever lived stored within her mind. When she encounters Jake, her mind, with all of its memories, is downloaded into his brain.

The story is then split evenly between Jake’s struggles in the present and the memories of the ancient Protoss that he relives every night when he sleeps.

Now, I’m a huge Protoss nerd, so of course I find this fascinating, but I think even if you’re not as keen on the Firstborn as I am it’s still an excellent story. One of the most powerful scenes in the series — really one of the most powerful scenes I’ve read in anything — has Jake reliving the exact moment when the Protoss invented written language.

It’s an amazing scene because while the characters don’t know they’re laying the earliest groundwork for an empire that will one day span the stars, they do understand that they’ve discovered something profound, something that will change everything. There’s such a beauty and purity to the moment.

And of course the characters of the Dark Templar books are excellent, because this is Christie Golden and she always nails the characters. In retrospect I can really see how R.M. has inspired a lot of characters in my own writing in various little ways.

Honor duels:

Charging into battle in For HonorIn other news, For Honor launches today, and over the weekend I was able to dive into its open beta and see how it shapes up. It’s the subject of my latest article on MMO Bro.

I’ll say this much: It’s a very fascinating game, but I don’t think I’m going to be in a rush to buy it anytime soon.

Also, I keep wanting to spell the name with a U. A pox on American spelling!