Killjoys: Michelle Lovretta talks “Wild, Wild Westerley”

Syfy/Bell Media
Syfy/Bell Media

*** Warning: This article contains major spoilers for the Killjoys episode “Wild, Wild Westerley” ***

We don’t know about you all, but it sure felt good to go home again! This week’s episode of Killjoys saw the trio (and Pree!) return to Old Town and check in on Alvis (Morgan Kelly), Pawter (Sarah Power) and the rest of the Westerlyns they had left behind to see how they’re faring after the bombing by the Company last season. After getting past the new wall that surrounds Old Town, the Killjoys ran into a new big bad, Liam Jelco (Pascal Langdale), who has some very strong opinions about what to do with the rebellious Westerlyns.

In a somewhat surprising move, Pawter decided to take matters into her own hands and is now stuck with Jelco. What will happen to her? Meanwhile, Turin (Patrick Garrow) is still alive and wants to team up with Dutch (Hannah John-Kamen), John (Aaron Ashmore) and D’av (Luke Macfarlane) to take down the RAC. What exactly does he want them to do and how will they all get along?

After just two episodes Season 2 of Killjoys has left us with lots of questions, but thankfully Michelle Lovretta is here with answers. The Killjoys creator/showrunner joins The TV Junkies for her weekly postmortem interview to discuss “Wild, Wild Westerley” written by Sean Reycraft and directed by Martin Wood.

 

The TV Junkies: So not only is Turin still alive, but the Killjoys have now found themselves in this reluctant alliance with him. What is that going to involve and can you give us any indication how it’ll go and if they can play nice?

Michelle Lovretta: What I love about Turin–other than Patrick Garrow being a pretty epic, snarky badass who we all adore on the show–is that he has the same intent, oddly, as Dutch. That’s always a source of discomfort with her because she doesn’t want to have to listen to him, but she knows that he actually speaks the truth, and is one of the only other people in the RAC that they know of who is on the same path. The fact that there’s this oddball, uncomfortable, contentious alliance between them is something we see in Season 1, but you do see that come more to fruition in the next couple of episodes, particularly Episode 3.

TTVJ: Turin also said that Arkyn was bombed and all traces of Red 17 are gone. Does that impact the team’s investigation of the Level 6s moving forward?

ML: It does. They have to switch gears and find a different way of tracking Khlyen’s path, the 6s, where everybody has gone and what their ultimate plan is. It’s good to have Turin on board for that. He can use his power as an officer of the RAC to get them clearance, get them warrants, do things not quite on the up and up, but with enough of a veneer of business as usual that it will protect our people as they pursue their investigations.

Syfy/Bell Media
Syfy/Bell Media

TTVJ: Alvis has now joined the team on board Lucy. What role will he play and will we learn more about why the Scarbacks were on Arkyn?

ML: You will find out more about that throughout the season. The first hit of it you will get in Episode 3 and we have some fun with Alvis continuing on with the team on a mission as we did with Pree in Episode 1. It allows us to learn a little bit more about his character but also just open a peak onto the Scarback mythology itself.

TTVJ: This episode introduced us to one of the season’s new big bads, Liam Jelco, and he sure seems like a swell guy. I assume he’s someone we’re going to butt heads with a lot this season?
ML: Oh yea, we love our “swell” villains. [laughs] He’s really quite a delight and in typical Killjoys style we want to have somebody who is prickly and charming, as well as dangerous. Jelco is a continuation on that broader theme, but a new way for us to frame that. In our world he’s somebody who speaks for the Company, but also has a direct impact on the people they love in Old Town. Now it’s become much more personal for our team and the individual that seems to be representing all that for them all comes down to Liam Jelco.

TTVJ: The “dickiest dick who’s ever dicked.”

ML: Yes, the dickiest dick who has ever dicked. When you’re talking our world that’s a lot of dicks. It’s a dick panoply. [laughs] Episode 2 is written by Sean Reycraft who is an old friend and who is a very funny dude. There’s a lot of great snark and I love the scene when Johnny is standing in front of the wall for the first time.

TTVJ: “I love you wall!” Those were some great effects on the wall as well.

ML: Good because in a world that seems to be talking a lot about walls we have our own. It’s a classic dystopian device. I really like the fact that we have some old school science fiction elements that we play with in Killjoys. We’re in space, we’re bounty hunters and these are some juicy fun devices that we play with, but we’re always looking for new ones we can spin and have our own version and this season the wall becomes one of them.

We wanted this season to have some elements that are true to life–or at least dystopian life–so we didn’t want everything to just be business as usual. On the other hand, we are Killjoys so we want to inject some elements of character, joy and fun. A lot of what we promised to the network, and which I think we deliver on–particularly with Pree and a few new characters you’ll meet behind the wall–is maintaining the fact that yes, Old Town has spirit and Old Town has fight. Yes, there’s a new level of institutional, systemic shit being laid on her, but the people underneath it are still as colorful and beloved by us as ever.

Syfy/Bell Media
Syfy/Bell Media

TTVJ: Was that also one of the reasons we saw Hills (Frank Moore) then in this episode?

ML: Yes, because I have a hard time letting characters go. [laughs] One of the things I love about science fiction is the ability to bring them in and out. For me Hills was about Pawter. I love Sarah Power and I love the character of Pawter. Being able to see her, Alvis and Hills and just a little glimpse in what life was like for them in the in between, and what it was like for them to rely on one another was important.

There is this history between Hills and Pawter–he used his power against her when he needed to push her, he saw her as a Jakk addict who was just a privileged daughter–you get the sense now through a couple scenes that they’ve come to see who they actually are underneath their Qresh-y bullshit and class levels. They’ve come to really respect one another and I think that was an important place because we need to understand what Old Town and people in there mean to Pawter as we go forward.

TTVJ: I’m really enjoying in Season 2 that she’s a bit more of a badass.

ML: Yea she’s more badass but we always do it within the constraints of that character. I didn’t want to turn everyone into secret assassins. She does it through courage and I think she’s a girl with some anger issues, which I sort of love about her. She’s someone who acts first and thinks later and is a bit chaotic. I think we all know some people like that in real life and if they happen to also be intelligent and charming they can get away with it. I think that’s what Pawter does. She’s passionate and she’s impulsive and all of these things that Johnny comes to really admire. She’s a free spirit and that’s a hard thing to maintain in a world that is full of all these various types of industrial, corporate and political prisons.

TTVJ: What’s going to happen to her now that she’s stuck with Jelco?

ML: Well the two of them are going to have an interesting journey, but what I also find interesting about this season is that nobody’s journey is solely theirs. Everything is so interconnected because there’s Johnny involved and Dutch has her own journey, but her team is always involved in that. All of these people, who in Season 1 were thinking that they were at a distance from one another, are increasingly like-minded allies. We build that throughout the season in ways that challenge, complicate and redefine those relationships.

Syfy/Bell Media
Syfy/Bell Media

TTVJ: In both episodes now we’ve learned that Pree has a criminal past and apparently was even a warlord. Will we keep exploring that?

ML: When he stabs the dude in the hand is one of my favorite scenes. I love when Gared (Gavin Fox) looks at Pree and he says ‘what did you?’ or ‘how did you get it?’ and for me, although it’s slightly psychopathic, I enjoy the idea that that’s possibly the beginning of a “meet cute” between those two characters. [laughs] We certainly don’t go there this season, but I’d be open to it next year.

TTVJ: Let the fan fiction begin!

ML: Yes, exactly! That guy could be the bouncer and … there was something there! I saw a little something.

TTVJ: Nothing like a good stabbing to start a relationship.

ML: It’s just so weird thinking ‘what would the courtship of a warlord be?’ Honestly though it was important for us to maintain the Royale because it is the heart of Old Town, and as far as I’m concerned Pree and Thom Allison are the heart of the Royale. So getting him back there on his terms, reestablishing his dominion, getting a sense that this is not a physical place for him it’s an emotional place, and it’s a place he’s clearly fought for and come across from other parts of the J to arrive at. This is hearth and home and this is where he fights.

As I said before, what I was trying to do in Season 1 was keep an eye on where your next seasons are going and what you need to feed into those early seasons to pay off later–making sure we had characters who had a voice speaking for each of these disparate parts of the Quad, the politics, the religion, the class structure in Old Town. I had to make sure we locked those in early because you can’t expect the audience to give a shit too soon. With 10 episodes I don’t have the time to give the backstory right away, so honest to God it was a homerun.

The danger is you cast people who maybe ultimately you just don’t like and that didn’t happen to one of them. We fucking love them all. We have Delle Seyah, we have Bellus, we have Alvis, we have Turin, we have Hills, we have Pawter and Pree and eventually Fancy and Khlyen. Being able to have those people represent all those parts, not having to replace them and recast them and be able to build them and have them unveil for us these deeper layers continually every season of what these worlds are is ultimately immensely satisfying to me. But really it was up to the excellent casting and the fabulous work of these actors.

TTVJ: What can you tell us about Episode 203?

ML: It’s a blast. We have a couple episodes this season that I consider our own loving homages to classic sci-fi and this is technically our first. We continue and expand the story between Jelco and Pawter that I find really satisfying. It’s a new side of Pawter we begin to unveil, but she also begins the process of discovering some of our broader mysteries. She gets us a first important piece. You’ll know where Dutch’s state of mind is and that she’s ready to kick some ass, take some names and is looking for someone to point her in the direction of the first needed ass-whooping. She gets a bit of that answer by the end of Episode 3 and she starts a more defined investigative arc.

 

What did you think of this episode? Were you as happy as Pree to return to Old Town? Sound off with your thoughts and predictions in the comments below!

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

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