Killjoys Defies Expectations and Delivers a Love Story for the Ages

SYFY/Bell Media
SYFY/Bell Media

“You’re my gravity, Johnny Jaqobis.” Ever since Dutch (Hannah John-Kamen) spoke those words back in Season 2 of Killjoys, they have echoed throughout the series and solidified the strength of a relationship unlike many others on TV. While Dutch and John (Aaron Ashmore) have been through a lot together and had many ups and downs, nothing has quite tested their relationship like the recent memory wipe both experienced at the start of the SYFY and Space Channel series’ fifth and final season. While memory-wiped Dutch and John may have been “married,” the ramifications and consequences of that fake union have only served to solidify a friendship that is unrivaled on television.

Relationship and character drama is what many TV viewers want when looking for a series to sit down and spend time with. It’s so rare to see a show’s driving relationship be one of platonic love between a man and a woman, like we have had the pleasure of witnessing throughout Killjoys’ run. John and Dutch get each other like no one else in the world, and as is usually the case on Killjoys, the series uses their relationship as a chance to flip yet another tired TV trope on its head.

On lesser shows, by the time the fifth and final season rolls around, the writers would’ve no doubt had our heroine realize that the reason her friend John means so much to her is that she’s been in love with him the whole time. And then, now that she sees this, the series would spend the rest of its remaining episodes getting them together romantically and ready to ride off into the sunset together. But Killjoys has never done what’s easy, what’s expected, or what every other show would do. Killjoys has always walked to the beat of its own hilarious, snarky, heartfelt drum, and Dutch and John’s friendship persevering through everything is full proof of that.

SYFY/Bell Media
SYFY/Bell Media

Way back when the series began in 2015, creator Michelle Lovretta told The Hollywood Reporter that “platonic friendship is something that personally, I have always deeply and dearly valued and been slightly frustrated at the short shift it’s given in a lot of stories.” And Lovretta and her team of writers have stayed true to her word. When Season 5 opened with Johnny and Dutch married, the show had the potential to take a turn in the pair’s relationship, but it never crossed that line.

Sure, there was kissing — they were “married” after all — but as current showrunner Adam Barken told us after the Season 5 premiere, “Michelle had one hard rule: John and Dutch never sleep together, which is part of why they’re clearly in a ‘rough patch’ as a married couple when we meet them.” In short, Killjoys made sure that no matter the circumstances, that line was never crossed between these best friends, and for the inches over the line the pair did go with their “marriage,” consequences soon followed. They were consequences that once again would have given other shows an “out” to take and turn the pair’s storyline back into romantic territory. But Killjoys never took the bait.

Over the last two episodes this season, viewers have seen a huge strain put on John and Dutch’s relationship, leading many of us to wonder if they could ever really come back from what The Lady had put them through. Dutch confided to D’avin (Luke MacFarlane) that The Lady had done about the worst thing imaginable to her; in a sense, she had taken Johnny, her gravity, away. Dutch has always needed Johnny by her side to keep her sane and grounded. Without him she feels lost, and the way that he was pulling away from her since regaining their memories felt as if she was really losing him this time.

Dutch: “She’s ruined the one thing that keeps me getting back up again, that keeps me grounded, my gravity. She took my Johnny away, and I don’t know how to get him back.”

While Dutch clearly felt the loss of John by her side, Killjoys used D’avin immediately assuming that John must’ve developed romantic feelings for Dutch to once again subvert expectations. For D’av, surely John’s odd behavior was because he missed being married, right? Wrong. Dutch soon discovered in this past week’s episode, “Three Mutineers,” that it wasn’t a romance with Dutch that John missed. He just missed a nice, quiet, simple life that didn’t involve shootouts and running for his life each week.

@BridgetOnTV
@BridgetOnTV

John and Dutch aren’t the same in that respect. John wants a life of simplicity — and not only that, he needs one. He knows that Dutch would never stop him from going, but there is a part of him that fears because being a killjoy and doing this job is their life; that if they didn’t have the job, then they’d not be able to keep the relationship and what they share between them. Dutch was born for this job and to be a fighter, but he wasn’t …and all this time, this is actually what he’s been afraid to tell her. It’s not that he wants a romantic life with her; he just wants to ensure that his best friend will still be present in his life, regardless of whether or not they are catching bad guys together every week.

Thankfully, as soon as John expressed these doubts to Dutch, she and the show’s writers quickly cemented one of television’s best examples of platonic love, as Dutch proposes to John — but, again, not like you’d expect. Instead, Dutch proposes that after their fight against The Lady is over and done with that John take a one-year sabbatical. If within that year he finds something better to do with his life, then she’ll fire him herself and force him to go, but not before reassuring him once again that no matter what circumstances they find themselves in, he’s never going to lose her.

@BridgetOnTV
@BridgetOnTV

Subverting expectations is one of the hallmarks of Killjoys and one of the things I’m going to miss most about the series when it wraps for good here in a few weeks. But perhaps most of all, I’m going to miss Johnny and Dutch. They are and always have been the beating heart of Killjoys. Friendships in general do not get enough love on scripted television, let alone one between a man and a woman. From Lovretta and Barken down to their team of writers, and the absolutely brilliant performances by both John-Kamen and Ashmore, the entire Killjoys team has seen to it that John and Dutch’s platonic love remained at the forefront of everything. The series was just always too good and too smart to take the easy way out, and in the end, Killjoys still ended up delivering a real, true, and epic love story for the ages.

 

What do you think of the love between Dutch and John? Sound off below!

Killjoys airs Fridays at 10 p.m. ET on SYFY and Space.