Killjoys: Michelle Lovretta talks “I Love Lucy”

Steve Wilkie/Syfy/Killjoys II Productions Limited
Steve Wilkie/Syfy/Killjoys II Productions Limited

*** Warning: This article contains major spoilers for the Killjoys episode “I Love Lucy” ***

Poor D’avin! It sure seems like he can’t catch a break on Killjoys, especially when it comes to his love life. After finally making a move on new Royale bartender Sabine (Tori Anderson), the eldest Jaqobis brother (Luke Macfarlane) got an unwanted surprise as she started convulsing and oozing the green plasma from all pores. If we’re being fair, it wasn’t all doom and gloom for D’av this week as he finally discovered a way to use his new “powers” to help the team escape some killer robots just in time.

Speaking of robots, fans got a treat this week as Johnny (Aaron Ashmore) and the crew got to see Lucy in corporeal form (Tamsen McDonough, the voice of Lucy) while being held captive on the mysterious ship owned by San Romwell (Keon Alexander). The criminal collector had Dutch (Hannah John-Kamen) sharing a lot about her past and drove her to very dark places, even so far as to get her to actually kill again.

What really happened to Sabine and what will D’avin do now? Also what ramifications will there be for Dutch’s actions and her relationship with Alvis (Morgan Kelly) after finding some solace with the monk? Thankfully Killjoys showrunner and creator Michelle Lovretta once again joined The TV Junkies to discuss everything that went down in “I Love Lucy,” written by Jon Cooksey and directed by Grant Harvey. She answers some of those questions for us and gives us a look into Dutch’s mindset as we move toward the end of Season 2 and into Season 3.

The TV Junkies: Everyone’s getting busy in this episode, but we learned once again that you should not sleep with D’avin. What the heck happened to poor Sabine?

Michelle Lovretta: It’s addressed in Episode 7 and we will explore what that means to the team and what it does to the relationships. Obviously she’s a compelling character in her own right, and why we chose to have that extended scene with D’avin and Sabine at the end is because with only 10 episodes we haven’t had time to explore their relationship. We actually spend a little time looking at that transition for D’avin, and outwardly for Sabine, of something that was carnal to something that got a bit more sensitive, a bit more delicate and a bit more real for the two of them. You can see that this was on it’s way–from D’avin’s point of view at least–to becoming a valid relationship for him. I found him to be a bit vulnerable and real in that moment as well and that’s what we were trying to catch. It wasn’t strictly about T&A.

Syfy / Bell Media
Syfy / Bell Media

TTVJ: It was so nice to see Luke smiling in those scenes. You should let him do that more.

ML: I know! I don’t want to keep battering the poor character because I love the character and dearly love the actor. He’s such a winsome, sweet and smart guy and we keep putting his character through the wringer. In Episode 6 we did get that really wonderful moment where he’s able to look at his new abilities and have some pride in himself. It was an important moment that we touched on there where he’s like ‘it’s kind of been hard for me.’ It’s been hard for the character to find his place on the team because he loves the team and doesn’t want to be the source for discord.

He stumbled upon it and was a bit clumsy in the first season intentionally–from the writers’ point of view–to flex his muscles at the wrong time or make a romantic overture at the wrong time. He couldn’t find his footing because he wasn’t used to a relationship that was so etched in stone and had its own rituals and routines the way that Johnny and Dutch did, they were family. Now in Season 2 he’s enjoying the family and what I think is lovely is that has opened up–and you see it a little bit in Episode 6–now he has room to not just be the soldier, not just be the interloper, but he’s figuring out who is he really on this team? The first shine for him in Episode 6 is ‘maybe I’m somebody who can contribute in a unique way, which would make me feel safer in this trio, would make me feel valued,’ and is something I would like for him.

TTVJ: We got that great little scene of Hannah singing to Romwell. Has that been something you guys have wanted to work in?

ML: It’s something that when Jon Cooksey pitched it out I was tickled by it. One of the things Hannah did early on in her career was musical theater in the U.K. She was successful at that and we adore our actors so much–you’re seeing this season with Thom [Allison], Sarah [Power] and some of our other actors that we’ve had time to see what’s inherently compelling about them as people and performers, as well as what’s the fun little stuff about them. How then do we put that in the characters because we’ll enjoy it as writers, but also it’s a treat for the actors as well to bring out those other sides of themselves. That’s why we have Hannah sing this episode and we have Pree sing later on in the year. We haven’t gotten Luke singing yet, although he’s very good, and we haven’t had a full musical episode. Of course if we have enough seasons that’d be a really fun thing to explore because Lord knows the deck is stacked with actors that have a lot of musical theater background on our show.

Steve Wilkie/Syfy/Killjoys II Productions Limited
Steve Wilkie/Syfy/Killjoys II Productions Limited

TTVJ: We learned that Romwell was actually 432 years old. There’s been a lot of speculation about how Dutch was in that memory D’avin saw, could there be a chance something similar is going on with her?

ML: I love that people are speculating and there’s a lot of room for speculation in her arc. We will answer a large part of what you’ve seen in D’avin’s memory by the finale. You’ll have some very concrete answers, a lot of very, very big juicy and world spinning reveals. There’s going to be new characters introduced in terms of where we could go in Season 3. There’s going to be some very poignant conversations between Khlyen (Rob Stewart) and Dutch that tell her the truth about what his intent had been for her and what the connection to that memory is. It may not answer all the questions about Dutch herself because obviously this is a longer journey, but we’re blowing the roof off it and giving you a peek in terms of the really exciting direction that her character is going to take in Season 3. We won’t tell you everything, but we will tell you a lot more than you’re expecting.

TTVJ: Will Dutch sleeping with Alvis change their relationship at all going forward?

ML: What I really like about the relationships that we’ve had–and hopefully will continue to have–is that much like real life there’s a lot of different types of relationships that are represented, and much like real life, no one character is confined to one particular kind of romance. While Dutch and D’avin had something that was very urgent and very much based upon shared experiences, I think her connection with Alvis goes way back. This is not the first time they’ve gotten together–it’s more of a recurring thing. I don’t want to paint it as something that’s extremely romantic between the two of them.

I like that Dutch has these different kinds of relationships, but what I’m moving towards in Season 3 is that I really would like to have one that’s an extended, meaningful relationship she has with somebody that isn’t immediately hit with an obstacle. I didn’t want to define her that way in her first seasons. I wanted her to have these various shades of sex and love and romance. She has a lot on her plate right now and she has a lot of questions about who she is as a person and where she’s going in her life. I don’t think that was a really fertile time for her to find a long term partner. Now who she finds in Season 3 could be someone she’s already been with in 1 or 2, but I just think by the end of this season she’s on some really firm footing in terms of what her trajectory is and now she’s ready for somebody to be at her side a little more long term.

Syfy / Bell Media
Syfy / Bell Media

TTVJ: A really fun part of the episode was seeing Lucy in corporeal form. A lot of fans have been wanting to see this and wanting to see Tamsen. How long have you guys been wanting to do that and why was now a good time for it?

ML: We wanted it for a long time and is something that’s a standby in science fiction. If you have some sort of AI you eventually pour your AI into some sort of corporeal form and have fun with it. Sometimes you can do it in a way that you’re exploring deeper themes like what is consciousness and what is human, but we explored it because I just really wanted that kiss. [laughs] That’s how I work. I had to really fight for that kiss because to me it was just really lovely, character revealing and a fun moment.

The reality is we’re headed into darker times on Killjoys because we have 10 episodes, a wall keeping people in, the mysteries about Delle Seyan and Khlyen and what troubles are coming towards the Quad that we’ve been spending a season and a half building. So when we find these moments of joy, when we find these moments of innocent fun, I want to always keep them and play towards them because we occasionally have heartache and strife and I think that’s only real and fair given the stakes of the season and politics of what’s going on.

TTVJ: So what you’re saying is you are Johnny and the rest of the writers were D’av and like ‘really? Come on!’

ML: [laughs] No, but Cooksey pitched it and that’s the thing that made me fall in love with the episode. At the same time, while those things are occurring, and I find it quite startling, the moment when Dutch kills San. It’s important for us to remember a lot of times when you have these female characters that have dark sides and dark histories–not just victimizations and childhoods of abuse–but organically with Dutch, and with somebody like Xena, is that it also means that they themselves are villains.

Steve Wilkie/Syfy/Killjoys II Productions Limited
Steve Wilkie/Syfy/Killjoys II Productions Limited

It’s not something that people often look at or talk about, and a lot of times we have these wonderful, beautiful, charismatic actresses it’s also something that story sweeps past, so you just think she’s dealing with something that feels like an extended break up that she’s had. I think that minimizes it and we wanted to remind ourselves, the character and certainly the audience that when we say Dutch has had a dark history we don’t just mean that Dutch was a victim of somebody else’s dark intent. We mean that Dutch is a character who has, not often through her own fault, but through the circumstances of her life, has made decisions, has made choices that have had incredibly dark and lethal impacts on other people.

This is the legacy of Khlyen that she’s dealing with, but the only way for her to deal with it and for us to constantly remember who this character is and why she makes the choices that she makes, why sometimes she has a darkness, a solitude and a quiet to her, why she clings so desperately to the goodness she sees in Johnny, is that she knows better than anybody the darkness that was in her. I think Episode 206 is a bit shocking because it reminds us of what that was, the Yala that we forget to see because of the Dutch she has made, still exists inside of her. Part of her journey this season is understanding what that means to her and understanding who she is, potentially, without a Johnny by her side. I think that’s something that is terrifying to her and she needs to work through her fear.

TTVJ: What should we expect in Episode 207?

ML: It’s a really energetic and I think quite beautiful episode. It was directed by April Mullen and there are some of my favorite shots. There’s a lot of relationship dynamics going on between Dutch and D’avin and Dutch and John because people are having conflicting loyalties with what they are willing to fight for and how far they are willing to do it. I think it’s a really interesting character play as an episode and in the meantime there’s also some excellent action and humor because well, we’re Killjoys. We’re always trying to do that. We aren’t saying we won’t go to dark places, we definitely do because you can’t be real and we want to be fun, but we don’t want to be vapid. So we let characters go where they need to go and pay the prices of those choices, but at the same time I also want to always have something in those episodes that remind me that we’re Killjoys, that there’s gallows humor, there’s people enjoying themselves, there’s sex and there’s love because it’s life. We hope to capture on the screen the feel of real life in unreal circumstances and that’s always a challenge, but it’s also our goal.

 

Were you excited to see Lucy come to life? What do you think happened to Sabine? Sound off with your thoughts in the comments below!

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