Killjoys: Michelle Lovretta Talks “Full Metal Monk”

Syfy/Bell Media
Syfy/Bell Media

*** Warning: This article contains major spoilers for the Killjoys episode “Full Metal Monk” ***

Well things certainly got dark on Killjoys this week didn’t they? Raise your hand if you kept thinking John (Aaron Ashmore) and Pawter (Sarah Power) were going to snap out of their drugged state and put a stop to Jelco (Pascal Langdale) and his plans. Unfortunately, they did not and things look bleaker than ever for the Westerlyns in Old Town. Will Dutch (Hannah John-Kamen) and D’avin (Luke Macfarlane) be able to break through the wall and get to John and Pawter before anything seriously bad happens to them? She already seems to have her hands pretty full as she traveled back to Arkyn this week and learned more information about Khlyen (Rob Stewart) and Aneela.

Just how bad will things get before they start to get better? What kind of trouble does Jelco and Delle Seyah (Mayko Nguyen) have planned? Killjoys creator and showrunner Michelle Lovretta joins The TV Junkies for her weekly postmortem chat to provide the answers to some of these questions. Read on below as she breaks down “Full Metal Monk,” written by Sean Reycraft and directed by Paolo Barzman.

 

The TV Junkies: So you weren’t kidding about things getting dark these last few episodes. We learned the Company is making people in Westerly into “helpless, happy drones,” and worse yet, John and Pawter are trapped there. What is Dutch going to do about that?

Michelle Lovretta: She’s going to mama-bear it and get her ass to Old Town to rescue her boy, but the results of that rescue op won’t be the easy reunion Dutch expects. When we pick things up in 209 she’ll be in a hell of a predicament. They *all* will, actually…

TTVJ: Jelco alluded to the company’s poisoning of the rations being “about so much more than that.” Any hints as to what else he and Delle Seyah have planned?

ML: The full answers to that are the beating, bloody heart of 209. You know, I thought Pascal did a fabulous job making Jelco a believable yet compelling threat in his earlier eps–but nothing beats peeling back his layers in 208 and seeing what a truly complex sadist he can be. So if you love-to-hate Jelco like I do, stay tuned–Delle Seyah and Jelco have even bigger parts to play in 209, in terms of their impact on our Killjoys and the pieces of the larger, ongoing puzzle that they will help us reveal in that episode. It’s good stuff.

TTVJ: Speaking of John and Pawter, what I thought was a nice moment between them–exchanging ILYs–turned very dark as they had been drugged. I know it’s kind of wrong, but did you guys enjoy those scenes as much as I did? Aaron and Sarah were so great!

ML: Let’s be wrong together then, because I really, really loved them in those scenes! Two insanely happy lovers in their own little bubble as Space Rome burns around them. There’s something very fresh and unique feeling about the later scenes in their 208 storyline, and both actors do such a fabulous job portraying their escalating mind control as by turns charming, funny, and then horrifyingly vulnerable. So many great moments–but it was the scariest stuff of the season for us, creatively, because you can’t tell on the page whether it will work tonally or not on screen. That aspect really rests on performance, so hats off to Sarah Power and Aaron Ashmore. When Johnny smiles through tears at Jelco, and says he’s pretty sure they’re going to stop him, all while Pawter stares back at him lovingly… it kills me every time.

If anyone has ever mistaken the Johnny Jaqobis role as lightweight sidekick comic relief, I hope they watch Aaron closely this episode. His work this season is fucking amazing, and just keeps getting better as our last Season 2 eps roll on through.

Syfy/Bell Media
Syfy/Bell Media

TTVJ: At the beginning of the episode you guys made a point of showing us how committed John and Pawter were to this fight–which by the way, thank you for more badass Pawter! Is there any chance they can snap out of this?

ML: They can be snapped out of their mind control, perhaps, but nothing is going to snap them out of their commitment to freeing Old Town, especially now that they see the glinting edges of what is really intended for her people. Heroes don’t run from fires, they run into them.

Syfy/Bell Media
Syfy/Bell Media

TTVJ: Elsewhere Dutch found out some major keys about Khlyen and Aneela. Is there any substance to her worries that she may actually be Aneela?

ML: Well that’s the final piece of the Dutch origin story, and we plan to explore that answer in Season 3. Can I just say how much I love Hannah and Luke in those two scenes, though — the one where they’re in the bowels of Red 17 (beautifully shot by Paolo Barzman) and Dutch is freaking out about Khlyen’s connection to Aneela, and later on the ship where she’s so emotionally naked and finally putting into words her fears about her own possible connection.  Luke/D’avin always manages this perfect balance for Dutch in those moments, gentle but with a hint of tough love that is exactly what she needs to come back to herself. I think it comes from his battlefield experience, having to talk emotionally disoriented soldiers through the suck so they can all get home alive.

TTVJ: D’avin and Alvis seem to have come to an understanding and started working together this week. Can we expect this improvement in their relationship to continue going forward?

ML: Writer Sean Reycraft has so many great, funny moments this episode to help balance out the darker ones, and that scene where D’avin comes to Alvis and asks for monk-help is one of my favorites. So true to character. I know people assume their competitiveness is all posturing over Dutch but the thing is, they’ve always had a snarky relationship, right from “nice cape” in 104 when they first met. Sexy Cocky Mystics clearly make D’av uncomfortable, and Alvis really enjoys goading him. Underneath it all, I think they respect one another, mutual antagonism is just part of their dynamic. I kinda hope it always will be. We don’t need a show full of besties.

Syfy/Bell Media
Syfy/Bell Media

TTVJ: Shamier Anderson from Wynonna Earp made a brief appearance this week which was a fun little bit of casting. How did that come about?

ML: That was a stroke of incredible good timing, and one of the virtues of working in Canada. Wynonna wasn’t even on air yet. Paolo Barzman is one of our favorite directors, and he was both a Co-Executive Producer and Director on Wynonna Earp Season 1, and had just finished shooting with them when he joined us for 208, so he suggested Shamier. It’s a small role, and Shamier had a small window, so it was lightning in a bottle. I’m sad he died!

TTVJ: What can we expect to see in the season’s penultimate episode next week?

ML: Nine is raw and beautiful and a culmination of two seasons worth of Westerlyn politics colliding with our mytharc. There’s funny parts (you’ll hear like Luke MacFarlane’s favorite D’avin line of Season 2) and loving relationship moments amidst the chaos and tension, all anchored by one of my absolute favorite Dutch and John scenes of the year. Hannah is electric start to finish, but especially so in her face offs with the character “Herin” (great guest star turn by Stuart Hughes) and her work with Aaron. Pree is back, Fancy comes by, and the wall comes tumbling down…at a cost. We will need to hold hands. But we can do this.

The internet is weird for writers because the audience is not actually a hivemind collective, it’s individuals with different needs. I try to balance prepping peeps with not spoiling… so here’s what I’ll say for our next eps. My first love is high fantasy. I’ve mentioned that I gradually began to see this season as the interplay between three Princesses on three very different but ultimately colliding quests. By the end of this season, they’ve all become Queens. But, as with many such fables, there’s a price to pay for that. By 210, one will rise, one will fall, and one will be reborn.

 

How worried are you about John and Pawter? Sound off about what you think is next in the comments below!

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

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