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Killjoys 3.2 Review: “A Skinner Darkly”

Killjoys 3.2 Review: “A Skinner Darkly”

I’ve expressed before in a Dark Matter recap how I feel about back patting diversity and how it centralizes whiteness, but I did want to note that I love seeing not only race and gender divergence this season of Killjoys but distinctiveness in bodies as well.

I don’t think it’s my place to expound upon this too much, but casting individuals with amputated limbs as hackmods enriches this story greatly. Images of humanity come in all shapes and configurations, so whenever we see a bit of that on television, I can only salute. It certainly seems like a big come up from Gary Sinise putting on green socks to play a double amputee in Forrest Gump back in the day. If you’re interested in finding out more about showrunner, Michelle Lovretta’s rationale behind the casting, among other Season 3 things, check out this interview.

Just like Dutch and D’av’s missions, Johnny’s experiences broaden the ‘verse even more. There are several things that make this story work. The hackmod community is a fascinating place with its own rules, terms, and charismatic characters. They quickly took up space in my mind and heart. I found myself wondering about how Havigan and Cutter met and became partners in this world, much like I did with Dutch and Pree in the first season.

Additionally, these characters inhabit an intricate webbing of ethical and emotional quandaries. Niko is deliciously vicious, but it’s hard to see her as a villain. Being robbed of both body autonomy and intellectual labor seems like a good reason to give over to PTSD and start a violent anti-basic movement while amassing resources for hackmod liberation.

 

[Courtesy of Syfy]
Admittedly, Johnny and presumably the sexy single in the opening don’t deserve to be gutted and turned into meat puppets, but the Conovers? Fuck yeah, they do! And if I lived in that world, I wouldn’t shed a single tear for them or any other slavers. Say what you will but, her strategy is sound; co-opt the oppressor class and make them work for her while she untangles the secrets of the plasma and why it attracts killjoys. Genius, really.

 

I’m grateful that Niko wasn’t disposed of at the end like a typical villain. I hope she comes back as an ally to take down the Factory or confront the hullen, but is still morally ambiguous and not declawed. If playing RPGs has taught me a thing, it’s that adventuring and making alliances with different factions is a good way to get them to have your back during the parade of boss battles toward the end of the game. Also, Niko and Dutch need to meet ASAP.

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Aneela. As the Big Bad that’s been coming to the Quad since the first season looms ever closer, Johnny’s storyline almost feels like a detour. It makes sense that a substance as versatile and powerful as the plasma would attract other science types who have their own agenda. I hope this stays an independent plot thread and not secretly backed by Aneela’s forces. Connectivity rules, but overdoing it would shrink the story they’ve carefully grown this season.

[Courtesy Syfy]
Dutch and D’av’s story was enjoyable. Again the show hits me with the early laughs. I had to pause the episode and laugh at how proud Dutch and D’av were while in Turin’s office, brandishing tattered circuitry from a computer they were forced to ‘neutralized’. They high-fived and I lost it.

 

In true Lovretta fashion, the two dudes were incidentally drafted into Dutch’s army while Zeph went from being that weirdly off-task girl to a bonafide recurring character. I will have a lot more to say about her in the coming weeks.

 

Rose

  • Yoki is a mighty good friend
  • Niko making the distinction that she loves her body but hates that she gained it through violation.
  • THE ART DIRECTION. I have no idea what happened, did Syfy/Space give them more money? Did the art department just have a collective epiphany of inspiration? This show has always been gorgeous, but it just seems more amped up this year. The clothes. The Hullen Armada. *kisses fingers*
  • As the embedded Tweet says, casting isn’t superficial it’s deeply tied into the theme thus giving the show heft and deepening viewer investment.
  • Viktoria Modesta is damn gorgeous and powerful.
  • I can’t have Dutch/Delle Seyah but I can get the bizarro version of that
  • Excellent way to get around Stephanie Leonidas being unavailable to reprise Clara.
  • Team Awesome Force is whole *happy sigh*

Thorns

  • The number of times “nerd” was used

Thorny Rose

  • Johnny’s judgemental attitude in the beginning. I laughed at the “You’re very hateful,” line from the premiere due to Aaron’s always-on-point delivery, but it also came off as empathy deaf. Later Johnny gets to get a “finger banger” with absolutely no loss or abuse, just gain. For me, it mapped onto appropriation in a weird way. If Paul Mooney were a hackmod he’d say, “Everybody wanna be a hackmod but don’t nobody wanna be a hackmod.” It was good to see him humble himself with that, “No wonder y’all hate us,” line in this episode. Ultimately, the best sci-fi makes you think, and I’ve been thinking about this episode since I saw it.
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