Killjoys may not have an official Season 2 renewal as of yet, but that didn’t stop the show from giving us a cliffhanger ending. Just as things were starting to look up for the team of Dutch (Hannah John-Kamen), John (Aaron Ashmore) and D’avin (Luke Macfarlane), the evil Khlyen (Rob Stewart) disrupted things once again by kidnapping D’avin and transporting him to Red 17 in an apparent attempt at making him a Level 6 Killjoy.
Creator and showrunner Michelle Lovretta recently chatted with The TV Junkies about the choice to end with so much uncertainty, where things go if a second season happens and what she already has planned out for the future.
The TV Junkies: We still don’t know whether the show has been renewed but the finale ended with a lot of cliffhangers. Was there ever a concern about ending with so much still up in the air?
Michelle Lovretta: No. I think as a writer and as a creator when you’re as invested in the show as I am you are honor bound to tell the story you want to tell–the story that comes to you organically and to tell the truth of the characters and where they are at that point in their journey. This was just what felt right to me at the time. I don’t think you can write from fear and I think you shoot yourself in the foot if you play things too safe. With that said, I respect all the time and passion that our fans have put into the show and greatly appreciate it. So my hope is that all this will pay off and me being able to tell where all these things take us in Season 2. There’s a lot of juicy stuff left to be explored, but if I had held my punches I wouldn’t have been able to tell this much of the story and I consider that a success.
TTVJ: One of the things Killjoys does so well is mix in the humour to make the dark times more bearable. Even in the finale, with lots of dark moments, there was still humor.
ML: Honestly that’s just a cardinal aspect of my personality. I am an insanely positive person to an annoying degree. I’m sure it’s to my detriment as a viewer but I really like taking in things that aren’t nihilistic and that aren’t entirely doom and gloom. The balance is obviously if you don’t have stakes and you don’t have jeopardy and sincere and serious stories that you’re telling then you’re just telling fluff. My balance is my voice peaking through of optimism and whenever these people go into these terrible, dire straights I hope everyone feels that they are also going in with hope.
In the end when Dutch is there on Lucy and saying ‘I’m going to find you,’ we know the full weight now–because the last time Khlyen kills the person when she didn’t find him–so she knows the stakes. You can sense, I feel, when she’s on that cockpit that she’s like ‘this is not an if, this is a when I find you. This is going to happen.’ I think that stops it from being like ‘Oh shit! Let’s all just call it a day, go home and have a nap and suck our thumbs because this is going to go way bad.’
TTVJ: Khlyen turned out to be a much bigger bad than we had anticipated when we first met. Why did you decide to draw out his and Dutch’s relationship and keep him as the big bad going into Season 2?
ML: The biggest thing to me with Khlyen is that I personally get to explore the concept of ‘big bad.’ I think we started with the fact that there’s so much to introduce in the show. I think people at the end of it are better able to appreciate that. It was hard because we couldn’t come in at the beginning and say ‘by the way there’s all this other stuff happening,’ because we had to introduce the worlds, the cultures, the politics, what a killjoy is, what their relationships are and ‘oh by the way there’s this guy Khlyen and he’s got a personal connection to her.’ So you knew early on there were these meta-stories or arcs going on between D’avin and between Dutch and they’ve both got their backstories that are going to whop them upside the head. But what you learn obviously by the end of the season is that is just the beginning, that’s just unveiling how Khlyen and Dutch have a much bigger role to play.
TTVJ: You have that backstory, the one between the brothers and even how Dutch and John met. How do you balance servicing those and moving the present day action forward?
ML: We all just get drunk. [laughs] ‘Dear Writers, please bring your vodka we have to have some balance this episode.’ No, the balance is a challenge but it’s also just the most organic and natural part of this process. Characters come first. So while world building is my passion, and it’s why from my very early stages of being a reader, why I was always into genre and science fiction of all sorts, none of that matters because these are real people. Those are the people that matter. The balance that we strike is that we always have to remember that we are telling their personal stories through a lense of ‘How does this matter to them? Why does it matter to them? How does it change them?’ We go on our journey with the myth arc but we are selective with it. We tell it through Dutch and through the boys and in that way we are able to maintain the humanity of this story and gives us something as writers to sink our teeth into.
TTVJ: Dutch and D’avin have had their trust issues and now that he’s being groomed for Level 6 things look bleaker than ever. Do you think they can ever truly work through their issues?
ML: What’s important to me first and foremost is that they all work through their issues as a team. When I sold this and I made it clear–you know that scene with Johnny after they [Dutch and D’avin] have sex and he’s like ‘it’s my brother banging my sister?’ I pitched that as I was selling the show and was like ‘this is what I mean by relationship triangle. He is not in any way jealous.’ What’s important to me about the three of them is that we get more times with the brothers, we get to explore that and then yes, that if the three of them are a cohesive team again, which ideally they will be, then it is D’avin and Dutch now having a look at one another and saying ‘OK where are we?’ I haven’t made any firm plans where that reality will be but hopefully we have multiple seasons with which to feather that out.
TTVJ: Another weird triangle that could come up is because John and Pawter (Sarah Powers) have had some nice moments during the back half of the season but also kind of ‘Ew!’ because she slept with his brother.
ML: I don’t know about ‘Ew!’ I mean I wouldn’t mind being Pawter! It’s like ‘Oh no! I get two Jaqobis, poor me!’
TTVJ: No you’re right. Definitely awkward for the brothers but yes, we are jealous of her.
TTVJ: So it’s a relationship you’d want to continue to explore?
ML: Well I’m a big fan on the idea that people are all adults and there’s an intrinsic debt of respect you owe one another as adults when sexual relationships come into it, but there is no ownership. So D’avin doesn’t get to say ‘by the way one time on the ship I slept with Pawter so you can’t.’ I wouldn’t like that if he said that, but he absolutely gets to say ‘this is weird, isn’t it?’
Our show is built upon acknowledging those weird, messy moments and not making them simple, making Dutch say ‘Oh by the way I understand there was a reason that you cracked and that we had this fight.’ But we don’t make her say ‘but I’m worried about you and I’m going to forget everything about my damage and my pain.’ I want to always make sure that we’re honest. While we are a world with ‘bang, bang’ shit, and I love that shit, I want to populate it with adults.
TTVJ: Another creation of yours, Lost Girl, is about to kick off its final 8 episodes. What are your feelings about that?
ML: I think gratitude and pride. It was an important show for me. I’ve met a lot of fans where it was an important show for them. It was a very, very personal show for me. Kenzi is basically me. The show was about a fantasy version of an actual friendship that was important to me. Those two characters, I will always have a primal connection to. I’m very proud that they had five seasons. I wish it went on for a million more but they will never be dead as long as they are in my head and they will be in my head forever.
TTVJ: Who would win in a fight, Dutch or Bo?
ML: Oh God! Well hopefully they’d have sex together first! [laughs] I don’t know. I think they’d sure as fuck love to have some drinks together. I don’t know if they’d ever beat one another up.
What I like about what Anna [Silk] brought to Bo, which I love that lady–very, very talented and very decent and kind and she brought that to Bo. Bo was a belated killer, this was something she had to deal with and learn, and Dutch is somebody where this happened much earlier to her. So they are sort of opposite sides of the same coin.
TTVJ: Is there anything else you’d like to add?
ML: I’m super thrilled that we got the opportunity to do this show and I have a firm belief that we’ll get to do more. Again, that might be my Pollyanna optimism but it’s what gets me through the day. I am really, really fortunate to have worked with all the people behind the scenes and on camera that we’ve worked with. Everybody is such a fan of the show and they all have their own theories on what’s really going on and what is Level 6? It’s fun to watch them be fans and debate and get invested so I hope together we all get a chance to find out the truth of those things.
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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.