Killjoys: Julie Puckrin Talks “Ship Outta Luck”

Bell Media / SYFY
Bell Media / SYFY

** This article contains major spoilers for the Killjoys Season 5 episode “Ship Outta Luck” **

Green is the new black? At least that was the case on this week’s episode of Killjoys that saw Team Awesome Force adjust to life in a super max prison. Dutch (Hannah John-Kamen), D’av (Luke MacFarlane) and John (Aaron Ashmore) got the depressing news from their new warden (Rachael Ancheril, Rookie Blue) that they were facing long sentences. The team got to work trying to work deals and find a way out, only in the end to remain locked up for another week. Team Awesome Force also got split up by episode’s end as D’av and Dutch headed off to a cell together, leaving John with Newcy, a very very distant image of his beloved Lucy.

Elsewhere, Zeph (Kelly McCormack) got her memories back and quickly restored those of Pree (Thom Allison) and Turin (Patrick Garrow). The unlikely trio was able to work together to thwart some of The Lady’s (Alanna Bale) plans in Westerley, but she’s now aware of an uprising in the ranks. To get more insight on “Ship Outta Luck,” written by Julie Puckrin and directed by Paolo Barzman, The TV Junkies broke everything down with Puckrin. She discusses what it was like building the prison world and why this is unlike anywhere TAF has found themselves before.

 

The TV Junkies: So Team Awesome Force remains in the supermax prison for another week. We haven’t seen anything like this prison on Killjoys before. What was it like getting to create that environment?

Julie Puckrin: It was so much fun! Obviously, the writing room had big discussions about what the prison was, and what it needed to be to tell the stories we wanted to tell, but as the first episode in, it was cool to run a little wild, and start to establish some of the characters and environments that other writers will build on. In true Killjoys style, we wanted to visit all the familiar prison tropes, and then pull the rug out from under them.

TTVJ: I was really happy to see Rachael Ancheril cast as The Warden, and that’s such a great character! Can you talk a little bit about why she was right for the role and how the team will continue to work with her during their time in prison?

JP: Rachael is fantastic in this part! I love a badass lady in charge, and Rachael really brought that, with humour and heart. My favourite thing to write in this episode was her intake interviews with D’av and John. It was fun to see her react to their different personalities and insane stories. (It was also fun to stop and recount just what a wild ride TAF has been on so far!) I think those interviews kind of set the tone for their dynamic with the Warden – she knows there’s something very hinky going on with Team Awesome Force, and she doesn’t trust them, but she’s reluctantly charmed.

Bell Media / SYFY
Bell Media / SYFY

TTVJ: The fact that Johnny may have some residual feelings about the fake memories and being married to Dutch keeps getting brought up. Will that continue to be explored? I’m hoping we don’t get any Dutch and John heartbreak here. Their friendship is very important to me!

JP: Their friendship is really important to us too! It’s what holds everything together. What makes The Lady so evil and insidious is that she can get inside everyone’s heads to see their greatest fear AND their greatest wish. And for Johnny, that wish is to find his person and build a family. So The Lady’s really done a number on him, giving him something he desperately wants, and with someone he actually really loves – just not in that way. It’s deeply confusing for him, and I think that was very strategic on The Lady’s part. She knows their friendship is their greatest strength, and she’s trying to break it.

TTVJ: Johnny is stuck off in his own cell now, but he’s not totally alone as he has Newcy with him. Can we expect to see her stick around awhile longer?

JP: Newcy is bittersweet. It was so hard to say goodbye to Lucy, and for me, it made absolute sense that the first thing John would do as soon as he had access to tech is try to rebuild her. But of course, it can’t ever be the same. While Newcy will never be the Lucy we knew, watching her grow and develop is kind of a cool opportunity to infer how Lucy herself evolved and became who she was.

Bell Media / SYFY
Bell Media / SYFY

TTVJ: Elsewhere, Khlyen continues to play a dangerous game by trying to assist The Lady with her goals. He at least got her to share her plans for her “children” this week, but what’s he thinking assisting her and how much longer can he safely do it?

JP: We know from previous seasons that Khlyen can be morally flexible when it comes to getting what he wants. And what he almost always wants most is to protect Dutch and Aneela – even if it means hurting them in the short term to do it. So for me, I think he’s biding his time, going along with The Lady for now, and even being willing to sacrifice other people (and planets!) until he can figure out a way to save his children. Which is ironically what The Lady wants too – to save her children! But it is a dangerous game, and Khlyen will certainly find himself put in some very difficult positions.

TTVJ: It was great to see Zeph get not only her memories back, but those of Pree and Turin as well. It’s quite the unlikely trio to see working together but it felt like a great victory that they could thwart part of The Lady’s plans. What’s their next move?

JP: It was SO much fun to write these three together. Especially because they’re all still dealing with residual effects from the memory delusion. I loved seeing Pree and Turin together, now that they’ve both had experience being the big cheese at the RAC. It was great to get a win against The Lady, but they also drew attention to themselves. She knows there’s a resistance on Westerley now, and she is not happy about it. So the win came at a cost, and it will crank up the pressure.

Bell Media / SYFY
Bell Media / SYFY

TTVJ: This week’s episode title, “Ship Outta Luck” was another excellent one. Killjoys has a history of fantastic titles, but they seem exceptionally good in Season 5. What’s the process for coming up with those? Is that something you choose as the episode’s writer?

JP: Thank you! Yes, the writer gets to title it. Landing on the right title can help you distill what that episode is about, so it can be a good guide post when you’re writing. Plus… I’m just a huge fan of puns. Michelle [Lovretta] pretends to hate them, but I think she secretly loves them. So it became a thing in the writing room. We all tried to out-do each other to get a reaction from her. It’s always a triumph when you make Michelle laugh.

TTVJ: What can viewers expect in next week’s episode, Episode 505?

JP: Team Awesome Force has been playing on their back foot a bit so far this season, trying to defend themselves from everything The Lady has been throwing at them. That all starts to shift, as Dutch and the gang find ways to take the power back.

 

Thoughts on this week’s episode? Sound off below!

Killjoys airs Fridays at 10 p.m. ET on SYFY and Space.