Halfway through the season, Killjoys is still floundering

I would have liked “A Glitch in the System” if it were a 90-minute sci-fi thriller, but as an episode of this show it just didn’t work for me. Because I have a hard time just abandoning shows in the middle of a season, I will be continuing to watch, but I’m beginning to despair of the show ever finding its footing.

In this episode, we learned some things:

  1. D’avin is still having PTSD nightmares, but he’s going to Pawter for some kind of treatment.
  2. Apparently Killjoys also sometimes loot wrecked ships, I guess.
  3. D’avin and Johnny have some inside family joke about space rats that no one thinks is funny. Because it’s not funny.
  4. This wrecked ship is clearly a terrible place. Yep. Turns out it’s a torture ship, because that is a thing in this universe, although it largely goes unexamined and uncriticized in spite of the use of politicized terminology like “enhanced interrogation.” It feels more like dystopian window dressing than any sort of serious political or social commentary.
  5. The thing that D’avin did that is causing him so much mysterious manpain is murdering his whole squad, except he doesn’t remember anything about it other than that he did it. No one seems particularly surprised or concerned by this, although they do feel bad for D’avin because he’s clearly torn up over it.
  6. Dutch is a badass, and she jumps out into space with no suit on.
  7. Lucy is an asshole, and she likes Johnny best. Personally, I like jerk AIs although this is, admittedly, a silly trope.
  8. D’avin has some kind of memory dampeners implanted in his brain, which I guess explains his memory loss.
  9. Khlyen really wants Dutch to do murder for him, but I still don’t understand why it’s so important that it has to be her, what with her being so reluctant about it. This plot is moving along at an almost negative pace.
  10. This episode is very sadly devoid of the costume porn we saw in previous episodes. There’s not even a single pretty dress in it.

Here’s the thing about this show. It needs to pick a thing and stick with it. Early on, Killjoys was compared heavily to Firefly, but the major strength of Firefly was that it was essentially about just one thing: how the ragtag group of libertarians kept their ship running and avoided government interference in their professional crime. Sure, Firefly had a couple of background plots like with the Tams (although they were also just trying to avoid the government) and whatever was going on with Inara (who even knows?), but it was all very thematically consistent.

Killjoys is all over the place thematically; although it has some interesting ideas, it just never quite manages to be coherent. It could be that the season is building towards some kind of major resolution in the final couple episodes or something, but if I wasn’t so neurotically committed to seeing things through it would have already lost me as a viewer. Judging from the general lack of buzz and mediocre reception of the show I’ve seen elsewhere, whatever the show’s strategy is doesn’t seem to be working out so great for them.

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