Killjoys: Michelle Lovretta talks “Schooled”

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

*** Warning: This article contains major spoilers for the Killjoys episode “Schooled” ***

Despite the fact that it’s still summertime, Killjoys headed back to school this week. After tracking the message Khlyen (Rob Stewart) had sent from Arkyn right before Red 17 was blown up to a school for gifted students, Dutch (Hannah John-Kamen) and the gang ran into an old foe, Delle Seyah Kendry (Mayko Nguyen). The team was able to foil attempts to destroy the school by a rogue student, but once again now finds themselves in an alliance with an unlikely ally. What was Khlyen trying to send to Delle Seyah? How is she involved in what’s going on with the Level 6s on Arkyn?

Elsewhere, John (Aaron Ashmore) was able to recover Pawter (Sarah Power), as the good doctor joined them on the mission this week. The pair continue to get closer, but how will Pawter’s ideals and siding with the revolution mesh with John’s pledge as a killjoy to take no sides? Thankfully Killjoys creator and showrunner Michelle Lovretta was able to join us once again this week to provide some answers to these questions and discuss everything about “Schooled,” written by Julian Doucet and directed by Ruba Nadda.

 

The TV Junkies: This episode really allowed for some great stuff between the Jaqobis brothers. How important is it to do stories like Olan and Jake’s since you don’t have the time in your seasons for full flashback sequences to give us the insight we need?

Michelle Lovretta: Yeah, I’m a sucker for siblings. This episode provided a great opportunity to dig into the Jaqobis relationship while serving an A-story mission that feels stand alone, but which ultimately moves our mythology forward in sneaky ways. In Season 1 the brother-centric scenes often dealt with the prickly baggage between them as recently reunited sibs (a theme that connects perfectly with 204s prodigal brothers). This season we get to explore more of the positive sides of their deep loyalty and love–even if both those elements are still sometimes tested.

There’s some particularly lovely stuff in 204 where we get a sense of their brotherly bond, and Pawter is a new and unexpected conduit in that conversation. Yeah Pawter and D’avin have a history but he and John obviously have a deeper one, and I love the maturity and subtlety of the moment when Pawter and D’avin are alone and in dire straits, and Pawter brings up John. It just felt like a very Killjoys scene to me: characters who remember and acknowledge their complicated relationship history with subtext and humor, instead of angst and jealousy.

Bell Media
Bell Media

TTVJ: The start of a conflict between John and Dutch seemed to be brewing here with him wanting to side with Pawter and help Westerley. Am I correct to assume that rift will only get worse before it gets better, especially since John and Pawter are getting closer with each week?

ML: One of the really liberating aspects of a second season is that–hopefully–you used your first season to build a strong relationship foundation between your main characters, and now you’re free to let them branch out a wee bit, give them distinct arcs and separate relationships. Dutch is, as always, a woman on her own mission. But as a natural leader she has an unconscious habit of just assuming her team is equally invested. Usually she’s right, but this season John begins to want more than to just follow her lead and in 204 and 205 you really see the start of that fissure. While his romance with Pawter is a part of that story, it’s not his main drive–John Jaqobis wants a life of meaning, a life that makes a difference, and he and Dutch will butt heads over what that ultimately means for them as professional partners. There are some really beautiful and raw scenes between Hannah and Aaron this year as a result.

A huge part of this series for me is the core truth that John and Dutch are platonic soulmates, and both actors do really masterful work of maintaining that sibling vibe even as their characters break one another’s hearts a bit. I think in a lot of shows this tension would lead to a “…but wait, I really love Johnny, I’m just realizing it too late!” plot, but I have no desire to go there. As a result, I think we get some scenes and stories we don’t often see between male and female leads–loving, loyal, important, but with zero romance implied.

Bell Media
Bell Media

TTVJ: One of my favorite Season 1 characters returned this week, Delle Seyah Kendry, and the “hate flirting” was as strong as ever between her and Dutch. Can you preview how their relationship will be now that they are allies?

ML: Isn’t Mayko delicious as Delle Seyah? It’s such a blast, she really has fun with the character. You’ll see more of Delle Seyah later this season, this is the start of her building arc and it’s really as tied to John and Pawter’s storyline as it is to Dutch and Khlyen’s. In a weird way, one major arc this season is a Tale of Three Princesses. Dutch, Pawter and Delle Seyah were all raised to wear a crown, and all three have been deeply scarred by the different paths they’ve taken as a result: Dutch, the exiled warrior Queen running from her past; Pawter, the People’s Princess taking a side against her own family; and Delle Seyah, the only one happy to wear the crown and use it for her needs. It’s fair to see these other women as alternate versions of Dutch, had she made different choices. That uncomfortable similarity is the core of tension and mutual judgment in this trio’s increasingly complicated relationship.

TTVJ: Can you give us any indication of what Khlyen sent to Delle Seyah in his transmission and are we going to learn more about what those two are conspiring on?

ML: Nope! Sorry, that’s such a loaded question it’s hard to give a spoiler proof answer! I can say that this thread is not dropped. We pay it off in 208, with the implications of it really exploding in 210.

TTVJ: What can you preview about Episode 205?

ML: So much juicy stuff! Two of our characters go “home”, and it’s a relationship and backstory-palooza. Expect more Khlyen and Fancy hijinks–by end of Episode 205 Dutch (and viewers) will have a deeper sense of what Khlyen’s goal is this year, and she gets her first hints of how D’avin might tie in. On the Johnny-front, 205 has one of my favorite funny scenes of the season, courtesy of sharp writing by Adam Barken and excellent comic timing by Aaron Ashmore, and Sarah Power does great work giving us a peek at why Pawter is the woman she is, instead of the woman she was raised to be. Johnny and Pawter fans will not want to miss this one.

 

What did you think of this episode? Were you happy to see Delle Seyah back? Sound off with your thoughts and predictions in the comments below!

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