Killjoys: Michelle Lovretta talks “Dutch and the Real Girl”

Bell Media
Bell Media

*** Warning: This article contains major spoilers for the Killjoys episode “Dutch and the Real Girl” ***

This week television viewers made their way back to the Quad as Killjoys returned Friday night to Syfy and Space Channel for its second season. The series about space bounty hunters wasted no time in jumping right back into the fun, and gave us an action-packed premiere that set up what’s sure to be an exciting Season 2. As part of our full coverage of Killjoys here at The TV Junkies, we’re excited to announce that we’ll be bringing you a weekly dose of Killjoys post-show interview action.

What exactly does that mean? Well, every week Killjoys creator and showrunner Michelle Lovretta will join us here to discuss everything that went down in that week’s episode, as well as look ahead to what’s headed our way throughout the rest of the season. You can look for these talks every week as soon as the show is done with its Friday airing on Syfy and Space (around 10 p.m. ET). As always, we invite fans to join in on the discussion, and add their thoughts and predictions about the show in the comments below.

So without further ado, let us kick off the first installment of our Killjoys talks, as we take a look at that shocking ending which may have revealed something about Dutch’s (Hannah John-Kamen) past, what Old Town may look like after last season’s finale, Khlyen’s (Rob Stewart) complicated motives and whether or not we may see more of guest star Clara (Defiance’s Stephanie Leonidas).

The TV Junkies: That was a pretty action-packed premiere that ended with the revelation that Dutch had been on Arkyn before. Will this season be about exploring what she was doing there and why she doesn’t remember it?

Michelle Lovretta: Yes. The season is actually about a couple of different simultaneous stories that we’ll be tracking throughout the season. Some we’ve put in the hands of Dutch and some we’ve put in the hands of Johnny (Aaron Ashmore), and D’avin (Luke Macfarlane) is an intermediary in between. It becomes a good way to focus the team, while at the same time being realistic on the tensions and loyalty issues that can happen as teams become families. I think they are at that stage now as a threesome.

Bell Media
Bell Media

TTVJ: When we were on set one of the most interesting things Rob Stewart mentioned was that everything Khlyen does to and for Dutch is out of his love for her. It certainly seems D’avin has started to see that now. Will D’avin’s change of opinion about Khlyen cause problems for his relationship with Dutch?

ML: It doesn’t actually. It’s not a problem for their relationship so much as a bit of a new bond between the two of them. In Season 1 a large part of the story is the strength of the relationship and deep friendship between John and Dutch. It was hard for D’avin, and I think we’ve all experienced this in life, when you come into a relationship that’s already fully formed between two people — whether it’s romantic, platonic, familial, whatever — it takes you awhile to figure out your place in it. We enjoyed making that D’avin’s cross to bear in Season 1. We were a little harsh with him, in a loving way.

In Season 2, what I love about it is, in a very realistic and organic way, he finds his way, he finds his spot, his position and what he has to offer to this trio. Part of that is that he has this bond and connection to Arkyn and Khlyen, which therefore means he has a way to connect and understand Dutch that is new to D’avin, and something that Johnny isn’t quite as equal a part of.

TTVJ: Luke and Rob were just fantastic in the premiere together as well.

ML: They are so great! You know why I did that? This is the joy of showrunning and the joy of writing, we get to first and foremost be fans of our show. When it’s at its best it’s the things that surprise you. Last year watching Khlyen and D’avin have their fight I just loved the two of them in that alley. I remember saying to the team ‘I would love the Khlyen and D’avin Road Show.’ There’s such a father-in-law/son and odd couple thing going on there. They are competitive and harsh with each other, but there’s just this sparkle that happens with the two of them together that I really enjoy. It’s a different dynamic than the way D’avin and Johnny are together because that’s little brother/big brother thing. A lot of what I’m enjoying about Season 2 is that some characters get to spend time with characters that we just couldn’t put together as long as we wanted in Season 1, and we’ve got the breadth for that now.

TTVJ: I may sign up for the Johnny and Pree Road Show first though.

ML: Yes I know! That was another fun one where I was just like ‘Pree what’s your story man?’ I wanted to get into it and obviously Thom [Allison] is just a joy. The thought of being able to see these characters more and out of their element — it’s the fun of saying ‘I would like to remove you from the set you’re constantly in.’ That’s something I always wanted to do on Lost Girl and get Trick/Rick [Howland] out from behind the bar a little bit more because it’s just fun for the audience.

Bell Media
Bell Media

TTVJ: The Black Root was introduced in this episode as the group that may be running the RAC. What can you tell us about them and did I hear right that Khlyen was to be taken “to the lady?” Might there be a woman in charge of The Black Root?

ML: No comment. [laughs] That’s one of those evolving storylines and The Black Root is a little bit of like our Stormtroopers with their snazzy outfits. Khlyen’s position in the RAC is something we definitely get deeper into this season, and you get to see Khlyen’s perspective. I don’t try to paint him as a good guy or bad guy and never have. He’s certainly done bad things and also done bad things to Dutch. It’s more allowing the character to be who he is, then give the context of his backstory and what’s he actually fighting or facing, and then letting the audience choose whether they think they are on his side or not.

TTVJ: Will we learn any more about why D’avin seemed to be immune to the Level 6 green goo?

ML: D’avin gets to find out what makes him slightly special. As somebody who is a big fan of that character and the actor, it just really felt satisfying and a lovely turn to his arc because it’s all been quite bleak for him. I like dark storylines but I just don’t like unremittingly grim. I’m not into that. I wanted to make sure we complicated his arc and gave him his own story, just as we give John and Dutch their own stories, and to make sure there was some hope in it. The fact that he was immune gives D’avin some hope that he has something to offer into this whole complicated mystery that is facing Dutch.

TTVJ: Can you give us any idea of what we’re going to find once the gang returns to Old Town?

ML: Trouble. Old Town is shit town right now, but in a very classic Killjoys way. The balance I’m trying to strike this year is having some realistic moments, in terms of how dire it is for people who have been at war and bombed, but we are also consciously an entertainment first romp of a show. So we’re also enjoying coming at that from a very sci-fi tropish bent. The captivity of Old Town and the wall becomes its own character this season. The wall is something in its own way, and as a not so subtle metaphor, comes between the drives and objectives of Johnny and Dutch.

It’s also something that gives some very real stakes to characters we have come to know and love that live in Old Town, such as Pree. We have a lot of fun with Old Town being our home and it being under siege. It puts some important stresses on our three main characters in terms of how they choose to deal with that and who they choose to fight for.

Bell Media
Bell Media

TTVJ: The shootout scene at Eulogy was amazing, especially with Clara’s bionic arm. It was so kickass and the music was on point. What’s it like to shoot something like that?

ML: It was amazing and stressful and magical. In terms of Dutch and Clara’s parts, there are no stunt doubles for the actresses involved. It’s all 100 per cent them. Here’s the scoop: We had a longer choreographed sequence and normally what happens is that the actors rehearse it, with the security of knowing that the stunt and fight professionals will also cover them for the more technical or difficult moves. It was already well past midnight, after a very long day, when we realized we only had the one prosthetic piece and it takes 1.5 – 2 hours to attach. So there was no time to take it off Stephanie and put it on the Clara stunt double. I had just left set and got a frantic call saying ‘the actresses are going to do the whole thing on their own,’ and I thought ‘Holy shit!’

It was the centerpiece that I’d written the script around. It had to work. And it had to be safe, because we wouldn’t do it otherwise. Hannah is always freaking amazing with stunts, seriously gifted — plus we’re her people, so she knew she could trust us. But Stephanie was a guest on the show, she hadn’t been with us long enough to have the benefit of multiple stunt rehearsals, and suddenly our (exceptional, thank God) stunt pros are teaching her improvised moves on the fly with this heavy ass arm and asking her to roll with it on camera. She could have freaked out, but she was an absolute gem. Hannah and Stephanie killed it in that scene, and saved our asses. Knowing they had that kamikaze team spirit in real life behind the scenes makes that one moment in the episode extra special for me, every time I watch it. They’re genuine badasses.

TTVJ: Speaking of Clara, she was a really fun character. Any chance we see her again?

ML: There is a chance.

TTVJ: There’s always a chance. She’s not dead!

ML: There’s always a chance! [laughs] I would say there’s a chance this season and I’m really hoping we get a Season 3, in which case I’m really hoping there’s a chance that season as well. She’s one of my favorite characters I’ve created frankly. I love her backstory. I love her moxie. I love her frickin’ robot arm. I’m kind of in this business to have the joy of creating a robot arm girl. That’s a thrill. I’d never say we’ve seen enough of that character yet. Any chance I have to bring her back I would like to try and do.

TTVJ: Damn you and your ten episodes!

ML: I know! Ten episodes is freakin’ hard! There’s so much that I want to do. I want this person to hook up with that person, and I want this and that, but then I have to do mythology and all that.

TTVJ: After such an exciting premiere what should we expect to see as a follow up in Episode 2?

ML: In two it’s going to be “Go home” week. We are going back to our bar, the town we know and love and the characters that we missed. I didn’t try to shovel everybody into Episode 1. I wanted to let that breathe a little bit and make it really about our team and about D’avin. I wanted to allow new viewers to come in, and we don’t even have a ‘previously on.’ Episode 2 though is a payoff for people who have watched. They will get some details that new viewers might miss. It’s a reunion with a lot of characters that I know a lot of our fans love — Pawter (Sarah Power) is back. Alvis (Morgan Kelly) is back. We get more Pree. More Royale. It’s a lot of fun and we introduce one of our new big bads of the season.


What did you think of the Season 2 premiere episode? What will happen next? Sound off with your thoughts and predictions in the comments below!

Killjoys airs Fridays at 9 p.m. on Space Channel and Syfy.