Joy. A simple concept on the surface, but one that, lately, seems harder and harder to come by. Most of the time the news tends to be horrible, thanks in part to a political landscape that has many of us feeling more worried, uneasy, and scared than ever before. Meanwhile, as we flock to social media, what we find there can be downright devastating to our emotions as well. Plain and simple, we need an escape. We need a break and a way to take ourselves away from it all. We need a source for joy. For the last five seasons, Killjoys has done just that for me. As we get ready to say goodbye to it this Friday night, I know that it’s going to take a while for something to come along and help fill the void of everything that it’s meant to me.
I can remember back to when I first heard about a new show that would feature a trio of interplanetary bounty hunters. It was from Lost Girl creator Michelle Lovretta, who was known for her inclusive, diverse storytelling featuring lots of badass ladies. In short, I was signed up for Killjoys from the first moment I could get my hands on it. Now, sitting here on the complete opposite end of the spectrum, getting ready to say goodbye to Team Awesome Force, the Quad, the Green Queens, Khlyen, the RAC and everything in between, I can’t help but sit in awe at the journey that Lovretta, current showrunner Adam Barken, the Killjoys writers, and the show’s amazing cast have taken viewers on.
We live in the era of Peak TV, a time where there are 500+ scripted series available to viewers every single year. The choices of who we give our time and eyeballs to seem endless. Series come and go all the time. It’s rare nowadays for a series to stick around more than three seasons, and the fact that we got five years and 50 episodes from Killjoys feels nothing short of a miracle. However, from the moment Killjoys flipped that first trope on its head, introducing us to Dutch (Hannah John-Kamen) and Johnny (Aaron Ashmore), the decision to give my time and energy as a viewer to this series has always been an incredibly easy one to make.
By putting ladies front and center kicking ass, showcasing the strong impact of found family, reiterating the importance of love and hope in the face of evil, and, yes, even by making us laugh from dick jokes every week, Killjoys has remained a constant source of joy in my life. And I’m going to miss the hells out of it, especially when Season 5 has been so damn enjoyable. If this was going to be our last trip with Team Awesome Force around the Quad, then the people behind this show were making damn sure that we had one hell of a ride on our way out.
I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve not always followed everywhere that Killjoys was taking us as viewers. The mythology and stories at play in this series can be, at times, so complicated and detailed that they can leave even the most astute television viewer a bit confused. However, what Killjoys has never forgotten, and what has always mattered most, is character. While we may be solving the mystery behind Red-17, worrying about what the Green and Hullen will do to the human race, or trying to defeat The Lady, at the end of the day, it’s these characters that matter most.
The show never lost sight of the fact that it was these characters who we were choosing to spend our Friday nights with, and it’s these characters that I’ll miss most when Killjoys leaves us behind. What started out as three bounty hunters taking down warrants of the week quickly grew into the much larger Team Awesome Force, comprised of so many different kinds of people: an assassin, a thief, a soldier, a scientist, a warlord, a bartender, a RAC leader, two queens, and don’t forget the designated asshole. Stories of found family always seem to hold a special place in my heart, and no one has given better on that front than Killjoys. These misfits, displaced or cast aside for a wide variety of reasons, found a home in Old Town and with each other. The very qualities that made them misunderstood or outcast from their families or societies were the very things that brought them all together — and that they celebrated in each other.
Front and center leading this beloved group has been Hannah John-Kamen’s amazing performance as Dutch, and then as Aneela. I firmly believe we’ve witnessed true greatness over the course of these five seasons, and it’s a damn shame so little of the world seems to realize that. There’s a reason I become positively enraged when I read articles talking about John-Kamen that leave Killjoys off her list of credits. She’s been an absolute force to be reckoned with from Day One. As if this assassin-turned-killjoy-leader with an enormously complicated past wasn’t enough, she then took on the challenge of playing Aneela, a slightly-unhinged-but-vulnerable-at-the-same-time young woman, and it was clear that her range knew no limit. By changing the inflection in her voice, giving a tilt of the head, or flashing a shining glint in her eyes, John-Kamen seamlessly transformed back and forth between the two characters.
Dutch never cared about double standards, what others thought of her actions, or the countless fools who underestimated her because they mistook her as “just another pretty face.” She always was confident in herself and her abilities, and it was clear as the seasons wore on that John-Kamen felt the same way about her skills as an actor. I can’t wait to follow what’s sure to be her very successful career, but I’ll always be grateful to have witnessed what she brought to Dutch and what Dutch, in turn, brought to the rest of us.
As perfect as Dutch will always be, on the flip side, Aaron Ashmore’s Johnny Jaqobis will forever be my standard for the perfect leading man. Time after time, I found myself tuning in for John as he grew up, learned from mistakes, loved with an open heart, and moved on from huge loss to keep fighting by Dutch’s side. Always supporting her. Always believing in her. Johnny Jaqobis is all heart. There’s a reason he is Dutch’s “gravity,” and I’ll forever be grateful to Killjoys for delivering one of the best love stories of our time, albeit a platonic one. Just as with Dutch, there could be no one else for Johnny than Ashmore. He made John the guy everybody loves and could count on, but on numerous occasions — from the loss of Pawter to when Johnny was Hullen — Ashmore revealed new layers as he showed the pain and hurt John had to deal with just under the surface. They just don’t make them much better than Johnny Jaqobis.
Rounding out Killjoys’ main trio is Luke Macfarlane’s D’avin Jaqobis. With Macfarlane’s talent and the show’s excellent writing, D’avin has been an unexpected but delightful source of comedy at times, as he delivered so much more than we could expect from the former soldier who joined his brother in working for the RAC. He often yearned to be seen as more than just the muscle — by Dutch, by his brother, and even by us. Unexpected fatherhood with Jaq has had exactly that effect on D’av. His skills as the quiet strength and nurturer on Team Awesome Force lent themselves well to taking on his new role as father, and his instinct to protect those close to him only grew stronger. D’av has been able to overcome his past being used as a weapon and a horrible relationship with his own father to not only be better, but do better for his own son and family. D’avin saw his chance at redemption and took it with both hands. He’s now the kind of person that not only Jaq, but all us viewers, can truly be proud of.
These three leads scratch the surface of all the amazing characters Killjoys brought into our world. Women have always ruled in the Quad, and I can’t possibly write a goodbye letter to the series without mentioning Delle Seyah Kendry (Mayko Nguyen). What seemed to be just another guest star of the week back in Season 1 has turned into one of the most complex, fascinating, and interesting character arcs in recent TV memory. Delle Seyah is a testament to the Killjoys writers seeing a spark and running full steam ahead with it. The same goes for the ray of sunshine that has been Gared (Gavin Fox) and his relationship with our beloved bartender/former warlord Pree (Thom Allison). Perhaps this all stems from the fact that Killjoys knows there’s not one way to write interesting characters, one way to be strong, or one way to be a family.
Instead, part of the joy that Killjoys brought with it is that it portrayed a future that we all deserve. Lovretta baked inclusiveness and diversity into the very DNA of Killjoys, and in every episode it was clear the priority that diversity and representation held. By casting people of color, and of all shapes and sizes, not only in supporting but in lead roles, Killjoys has been one of the most diverse shows on TV. Then through showcasing the love story of Pree and Gared, along with the unexpected delight that is Aneela and Delle Seyah’s relationship, Killjoys shows a world that we can all dream of. It’s a world where people are too busy to care and understand that there are more important things to worry about than who you may be sleeping with.
These are the aspects of Killjoys that I will take forward with me as I say goodbye and try to move on from The Quad. All stories eventually come to an end, and goodbyes are hard. So while it may be with a heavy heart that I say goodbye to everyone involved in Killjoys — top to bottom, some of the best people I’ve seen in this business — it’s also a very grateful heart. I’m so grateful to have been able to spend this time in a world where fighting for what you believe in and for the people you love matters and means something; a world where you can make a difference and where you will find those people who appreciate everything that may be “weird” about you.
Thank you, Killjoys, for giving me these characters, their stories, and so much joy over these five seasons. I will miss you dearly, but I’ll never forget you. Tap my heart.
What are your thoughts about the end of Killjoys? What will you miss most? Share them below!
The Killjoys series finale airs Friday, September 20 at 10 p.m. ET on SYFY and CTV Sci-Fi.
Editor in Chief Bridget Liszewski comes from a long line of TV Junkies who fostered her love of television from a very young age. She's channeled that passion into covering both US and Canadian television shows, and is thankful everyday for the invention of the DVR. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame, she loves college football and is a fan of sports in general. Bridget is always up for talking TV and you can follow her on twitter at @BridgetOnTV.