Killjoys: Nikolijne Troubetzkoy Talks “What to Expect When You’re Expecting… An Alien Parasite”

Ian Watson/Killjoys IV Productions Limited/SYFY
Ian Watson/Killjoys IV Productions Limited/SYFY

It was an hour full of blood, sweat, and tears on this week’s Killjoys.

The episode, titled “What to Expect When You’re Expecting… An Alien Parasite”, delivered on the long-awaited arrival of D’avin and Delle Seyah’s child, gave us our closest look yet at the Lady, and brought back our beloved Johnny Jaqobis from the brink of insanity. So, needless to say, it was a pretty emotional hour, complete with some spectacular performances from the cast.

Without further ado, let’s dive into the episode, which was written by Nikolijne Troubetzkoy and directed by Stefan Pleszczynski. This week The TV Junkies is joined by Troubetzkoy, who shared her experience writing such a jam-packed episode, the different ways John and Delle Seyah will cope with their de-Hullening, and what’s next now that there’s a very new member of the team.


The TV Junkies: There was so much to cover in this episode, between Delle Seyah giving birth, Dutch’s experience with the Lady, and John’s de-Hullening, but it was balanced very well. What are some of the major challenges of taking on an episode like this?

Nikolijne Troubetzkoy: It’s funny because when I was writing this episode, what I was most worried about was not having too much story, but too little. Killjoys is a high-stakes action-oriented show and this episode is set almost entirely in Lucy without any external antagonists. With the exception of the flashbacks, it’s powered entirely by the drama of what’s going on inside the ship. I just wasn’t convinced that this would give us the stakes we needed. Surely we needed a little sprinkle of something else – space pirates, saboteurs, chocolate syrup? Boy, was I ever wrong!

Turns out a Qreshi queen giving birth to a child that won’t stop growing, a woman waking up from a very bad dream and a best friend turned deadly monster are quite enough. Once we got into the break, we figured out that all our different storylines fit together quite well, and the big question of the episode became “whose episode is this anyway?” In the beginning this was meant to be a birth story, but as the episode evolved and we decided to add the flashbacks to Dutch’s experience in the green, the episode became the story of her waking up and trying to figure out what the hell she’s supposed to do now. You know, besides trying to save the world. Like she does.

Ian Watson/Killjoys IV Productions Limited/SYFY
Ian Watson/Killjoys IV Productions Limited/SYFY

TTVJ: Mayko Nguyen really ran the gamut of emotions in this episode. What was the process in the writer’s room trying to determine how Delle Seyah would react to child birth and motherhood?

NT: Mayko gave birth to her first child between Season 3 and Season 4, so she kinda took the lead on that one and knocked it out of the park. I was totally blown away by her performance in this episode – she just kept getting better and better.

As far as the writing goes, Delle Seyah is just so much fun to write for. She’s got such a strong personality that it was totally clear how she’d react to motherhood – with equal parts delight and horror. Delle Seyah isn’t the kind of person who would be caught dead singing nursery rhymes, but heaven help anyone who even looks at that kid the wrong way.

TTVJ: Delle Seyah is also officially no longer Hullen. How will she come to terms with that?

NT: It’s always so much fun to give characters what they really really don’t want. Bottom line, it’s going to be painful and it’s going to take time, like a lot of time. Coming to terms with the fact that she’s human will be a season-long journey for Delle Seyah. And Delle Seyah being the stone-cold badass that she is, I promise you that it’s going to be a very different journey than any of our other cleansed characters have gone through.

TTVJ: John may no longer be Hullen either, but he’s now been through something pretty traumatic. What kind of fallout can we expect for him?

NT: Johnny went to a bit of a dark place there, didn’t he? I loved Aaron as Hullen John Jaqobis so much that I almost didn’t want to wake him up. Someone needs to cast that man as a villain. Stat.

The fallout from this experience is going to be huge for Johnny. It’s going to put him in touch with who he really is and, more importantly, who he wants to be. You know when they talk about “life-changing experiences”? Well, apparently being turned into an emotionless monster is on par with spending your gap year working with street kids in Thailand.

TTVJ: This episode gave us our first major introduction to the Lady and her shape shifting abilities. How did the idea come up for the Lady to not reveal her true form right away?

NT: Michelle and Adam had been talking about it as a rough idea before the room started. But once we started to play with the concept in the writing room, we realized just how great it really was. It’s far creepier to see the Lady take on a form Dutch already knows than to see her as her true self. Seeing Khlyen and Aneela perverted and twisted into the Lady’s constructs–it’s the ultimate betrayal for Dutch, and a simple way for us to show the audience just how bad this bitch really is.

Ian Watson/Killjoys IV Productions Limited/SYFY
Ian Watson/Killjoys IV Productions Limited/SYFY

TTVJ: How was the Lady able to show Dutch that glimpse of the potential future, and how powerful is she?

NT: Well… she’s got the whole being able to rifle through your mind thing down pat so, pretty damn powerful! As for whether or not that was actually a scene from the future… you’ll have to wait and see!

TTVH: D’avin showed a lot of strength in this episode, both in standing up to Dutch and being a support for Delle Seyah. How much will that carry over to his new responsibility as a father?

NT: D’avin really came into his own as a leader in Season 3. Season 4 is just going to build on that. Obviously D’av is going to be the world’s best father because there’s just no way that character can’t try his hardest and do his best. Still, he is raising the alien baby of a woman who stole his spinal fluid without his consent and may or may not be his mortal enemy even though she was being controlled by a far older and more evil being, so, complicated feelings much?

I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but the whole team are going to have their work cut out for them with wee Jaqobis–most especially D’avin. Of course, because D’avin is the man he is, his journey into fatherhood is only going to make him stronger, funnier and, frankly, hotter.

TTVJ: How will the team cope with child rearing while trying to save the universe?

NT: Good question. Only 405 will tell. One of our goals while writing this season was to make sure that our kick-ass Killjoys stay as kick-ass as ever; so while it’s definitely going to be a balance, I don’t think you’re going to see diaper-changing scenes anytime soon. Maybe a Home Alone homage with a tiny baby Killoy stealing Fancy’s boomerang to take down some space pirate intruders? I wish! Sadly, even the highest paid babies don’t know how to do stunts or operate high-tech weaponry, but that scene lives on in my dreams.

Bell Media / SYFY
Bell Media / SYFY

TTVJ: Zeph was absolutely the hero of this week’s episode. Is there anything she can’t do at this point?

NT: I’m going to go with no.

The writing room had so much fun with Zeph’s character in Season 3 that we couldn’t wait to write for her in Season 4. I think she’s going to have tons of room to strut her stuff. Especially with all the science we have to unravel now the Green is frozen.

TTVJ: The last moments of the episode showed the Hullen on the Armada being activated. What does that mean for next week’s episode?

NT: Hah! Nice try, but I’m not giving away any spoilers. You’re just going to have to wait and see.


How ar you feeling after that emotional episode? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Killjoys airs Fridays at 10:00 p.m. ET on SYFY and Space.