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Adam Barken Talks Killjoys “Three Mutineers” [Exclusive]

[Warning: Spoilers for tonight’s episode.]

Big progress tonight as Killjoys moves closer to its finale, with Dutch and Johnny finally clearing the air, Aneela and Delle Seyah on the same page about the former’s return and the latter’s humanity, and Khylen manipulating Gared and it backfiring in a big way. Showrunner Adam Barken wrote “Three Mutineers” and kindly took the time for a Q&A about the episode.

Adam Barken of Killjoys

While I was very happy with the conversation Dutch and Johnny did have, it was different from the one I expected they would have, and I wondered whether there’d been a little bit of a YMMV “Choose Your Own Adventure” thing where we were purposely misdirected. Barken says not exactly.

“We were definitely holding back on answering, ‘What could be bothering Johnny?’ It was interesting to see some folks assume it was him struggling with residual feelings—which would be natural. But the ultimate point of the story was always to introduce an element into the Dutch/Johnny dynamic that they’d never had to deal with before,” he explains.

Killjoys

Michelle [Lovretta] would sometimes liken it to a drunken hookup between pals—and how often, even if both people understand it was a mistake, one of them still makes the other person pay for it with passive aggression and withheld emotions, [as if to say], ‘Things got weird. Don’t blame me!’ We wanted to explore that, which was something new and would push them into a conflict that wasn’t based on any particular screwup either one of them made.”

“But it was also a chance to finally say out loud what we felt was really brewing in Johnny’s huge heart— that he wasn’t necessarily born to be a Killjoy. He was born to be Dutch’s best friend. And for the past five years he’s been the best at that, going where she went and being what she needed him to be. Now, as we look to the end, the question is…what does Johnny do next?”

Killjoys

It was an intriguing reveal that Rennika, an outsider, albeit a therapy-trained outsider, was the one to force them into a room to have that conversation. “I kind of loved that curveball, because it was unexpected yet (hopefully) kind of made sense,” says Barken.

“What kind of person works on a prison ship? Security, Sanitation, Food or Medical Support. And there’s something about Rachael [Ancheril] that struck us as being tough yet brilliant and, when need be, understanding. A space shrink seemed to fit. And hey, when have you ever heard of one of THOSE in a space opera?”

Killjoys

D’av has been unleashed this season, with terrifically funny moments planted in the middle of dire circumstances. It’s been a really great showcase for Luke Macfarlane, and a lovely surprise for people who maybe have only seen him on Killjoys and had no idea. [Pro tip: Go look for his Hallmark movies]. Barken says it was all about using the gifts in front of them.

Killjoys

“As I’ve been tweeting incessantly every week, Luke Macfarlane is a comedic secret weapon. He is so godsdamn funny—what was better than last week’s shirt rip and, ‘COME ON!’ It’s always fun to take his Army guy square jaw and tickle it with a feather,” Barken shares. “And sticking him with the utterly annoying (and generally insane) Robbells was a pairing (trio-ing?) too delicious to pass up.”

Reuniting Aneela and Delle Seyah didn’t go as smoothly as Delle Seyah hoped, and there was a misunderstanding there, too. But the resolution allowed Delle Seyah to unleash, so we all won.

“They have been separated a LONG time, so it felt natural that there would be…misconceptions. But as always, what we assume is a problem for our partner is usually a problem within ourselves,” Barken points out.

Killjoys

“In Delle Seyah’s case, her fear that Aneela may not still love her comes out in her assumption that Aneela doesn’t respect her anymore, now that she’s human again. Of course, Aneela loves her for a much deeper reason than that: they are both gloriously, unapologetically, BAD. And so long as they have that, they will never lose each other. And now they have a son to conquer the J for…”

Khlyen talking Gared into eavesdropping on Pree was troubling on many levels, and it also raises the questions of whether he was serving himself or the Lady, and now if he truly believes Dutch is dead, who does he serve?

Killjoys

 “As always, Khlyen’s plans are wheels within wheels. But the simplest answer is, he wanted intel,” says Barken. “With Pree and Team Alternate Force as underground insurgents, Khlyen understands that the more he knows, the better position he is in to keep manipulating The Lady, Dutch, and everyone. But his plans went very, very awry. And he’s going to have deal with that now.”

Killjoys

As the episode closes, TAF have a stealth bomber at their disposal, and they have each other. Barken says it’s enough for a start as they head into another war, but it won’t be smooth sailing.

“They’ve got a ship. They’ve got an army—of a kind. [Turning] from the lowest they’ve ever been, to maybe the most dangerous they’ve ever been [and] now unbound by any rules or RAC regs, they are heading direct to a target,” shares Barken. “But things never work out the way they expect. Where would the fun be in that…?”

Killjoys

Killjoys airs Fridays at 10 pm/9c on Space Channel and Syfy. All of our Killjoys coverage is here. You can catch all four seasons and the first five Season 5 episodes on demand on the Space Go app and Syfy app and website. This episode should be available online tomorrow.

Images courtesy of Adam Barken, Space Channel, and Syfy.

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