Killjoys: Dutch learns the truth about her—and Aneela’s—past

I haven’t spoken to Killjoys creator Michelle Lovretta since just before this third season began. Back then, she gave vague hints about the journey Dutch, Johnny and D’avin would be on and said Aneela would be the architect of many of their challenges this season. What an incredible ride it’s been. Since Episode 1 we’ve been introduced to Zeph, witnessed Pree’s back story and a wicked Hackmods focused instalment, and Delle Seyah’s pregnancy.

We’ve also, thanks to this week’s episode “The Wolf You Feed,” learned a crap-ton about Dutch and Aneela’s past and how they’re connected: Dutch is the version of Aneela that Aneela wishes she was. As if that wasn’t enough, we also got the long-awaited tale of how Dutch and Johnny first met, with the added bonus of learning Lucy was there too.

With four pages of scribbled notes and questions, we got Lovretta on the phone to discuss the season so far.

Before we talk specifically about this week’s revelatory episode, can you just give a shout-out to Hannah John-Kamen’s performance as Dutch and Aneela? Both characters are so different and Hannah is spectacular playing them.
Michelle Lovretta: She’s playing two big, bold characters that share a lot of screen time. When you get to their eventual showdown and face off, seeing them both in frame is when it really hits home what an undertaking this has been. She has changed her movement, she has changed her inflection. Honestly, in post-production when Karen [Troubetzkoy], my fellow executive producer and I look at Aneela, her eyes are different. I’m sure some of that is our wonderful makeup crew, but it’s really quite astounding. One of my favourite moments of this year is about our finale. I had been up late writing the finale and had finally gotten it out and was going through the read-through. I hadn’t realized we were headed for these scenes where these two characters would be talking and realized it would be one woman talking. I had this moment of, ‘Oh shit!’ as we approached it and then Hannah just went into it without a hitch, flawlessly flipping between the two characters. We all had this moment of euphoric glee at the end, seeing somebody do that as smoothly and confidently as she did.

Hannah has been the architect of Aneela from the beginning. She had a very clear direction of where she wanted to take her and how different she wanted her to be. I think some of that was predicated on some of the events you saw in 307; the trauma that has been visited upon Aneela in her life. She’s a very complicated character and, at her core, is still Dutch. I think Hannah found it a very interesting challenge to play all those.

Wynonna Earp got a lot of press regarding keeping Melanie Scrofano’s pregnancy a secret and writing it into the scripts. Mayko Nguyen was pregnant at the time of production and you worked that into Delle Seyah’s storyline.
I have always loved the Delle Seyah character. It’s very fair to say that I loved her more than I expected because of the great, fun places we get to take her by the end of the season.

We’ve been teased, over the last couple of weeks, about Aneela’s past through the Khlyen flashbacks. You really blew the doors off it and reveal almost all this week.
Yes. When it comes to my twisted mind and my little stories, never assume the whole story has been told. There is always other layers and spirally plotlines from those that I have in mind and want to dig into further, but I never want to have to hold back or pull my punches. I’m never afraid to say, ‘Here’s a lot of the origin story,’ because there are more stories to be told beyond that.

A quick shout-out to Patrick Garrow in the role of Turin. It’s been great seeing him on-screen and everyone making fun of his hair.
We make fun of his hair on-camera and he makes fun of my pants behind the scenes! He’s fabulous and, honestly, thinking back to Season 1, I believe I recall that character was written in as a request from Ivan [Schneeberg] and Dave [Fortier] from Temple Street. They wanted somebody who gave a clearer idea of who killjoys are. Very quickly, I wrote in one draft that great speech, I think, that Turin has … ‘cross jurisdictions to find who or what you are looking for, bring it back in the condition requested’ … and on that day he did such a fabulous job. The danger for any actor is that, if you come onto any show that I’m on and I give you five lines and you nail it, I want to give you a spinoff. [Laughs.] We get so many of these amazing performances. In Patrick’s situation, it really dovetailed nicely with needing that face of the RAC. And, once we revealed there was an evil power underneath, we saw his disillusionment and how he tried to hold on. There was this really great arc this year between Patrick and Sean Baek [Fancy]. It pays off right up until the finale. It’s complicated, it’s dirty, and I think it’s fair. It shows both of those characters as who they really are and shows how war has changed how they interact with each other. I think they’re both good men. I think Turin is lying to himself about what a good man does.

Turin was arrested and hauled off as everyone sided with D’avin, but he’ll be back? That’s not it for him?
I think that would be too simple. Fancy deserves some redress and Turin needs to be the asshole in the corner for awhile and we need to decide if he’s worth saving or not.

You showed Aneela as a child and her relationship with her father, Khlyen. I could have watched a whole season of Aneela’s childhood.
The downside of a shorter episode order is that you have less thread. I will be able to give you a taste of things. I may not be able to give you the whole meal, but that’s because if I give you the whole meal I won’t be able to give you a taste of everything else. It’s a bit of a balance. Having Aneela’s childhood was really sweet and sad and important, but the lead is Dutch. As much as I want to get into the story about who Aneela is and how she started, it has to keep paying back to Dutch. I don’t just want Dutch lying there doing some exposition with a hat on her head in a lab. [Laughs.] It has to really deal with her.

The scene showing Aneela collecting the green in the tub really showed how determined she was to find any escape from Khylen’s prison.
That was beautifully shot by our producing director Stefan Pleszczynski and hats off to him 100 per cent. He got that we were going for a gothic space fable. In the end what’s really informative about this episode is it helps you understand why Aneela reacted the way she did in Episode 6. Why solitude was a way to control her and also why Delle Seyah has become so important to her. She has missing pieces and doesn’t fully understand that. She is feeling loss and isolation and rejection and a loss of control, either by the Hullen inside her or by Khylen for her betterment or by Gander.

I wrote down that Dutch is Aneela creating the best version of herself. Did I get that right or am I missing something?
It’s not creation. Essentially what it is is she has brought back a memory of herself—and if we get a Season 4 we’ll get into the metaphysics of it—and it’s the concept of where time and memory actually link. She has brought back herself before that version of herself was tainted by the events of Arkyn and colonization and all of that. An idealized version of herself.

We always called them sister-mother here. It’s brand-new in that there was a birth in that bathtub and that’s why that scene was so important to us. On the other hand, there are very much like sisters. When you see them later on in the season you see that Dutch is the more mature sister. There is a childhood pettiness between them.

Will the showdown between Dutch and Aneela be violent or will they bond over how Khylen treated them?
Oh, it’s violent! [Laughs.] It’s violent and emotionally traumatic, but I will say this: one of the things that I adore about the finale is that it, in a lot of ways, is the funniest finale that I’ve ever written. It’s dark and it goes there, but also I’m in love with the show and in love with the cast. When I took my first crack at it I went a lot darker, and then I took a step back and wanted to give everyone a little bit of hope. There is some lovely stuff that happens and some surprising stuff involving Delle Seyah.

We finally got the Dutch and Johnny origin story, and the additional tag that Lucy was there too. I loved that Lucy was Dutch’s wedding present and that Johnny was there.
We’d been referencing that moment and that conversation at least once per season, so we knew we were heading there. It was really rewarding and a lot of fun to see those two get together for the first time. I love that Lucy was there too because you know there is a wonderful story with John having to sweet-talk Lucy or subtly reprogram her. I’m really happy that we were able to give a solid taste of what it was like when these two met and began to platonically fall in love.

Was it written in the script that Aaron would slide along the floor in a Risky Business nod?
I can’t remember, to tell you the truth. It’s delightful.

What can you say about Delle Seyah’s pregnancy? How did it happen? 
The Hullen know there is something different about Aneela and what’s different about her is she was able to go into green space and take something out. No one else has been able to do that. Whether or not they were planning on it involving a child is a separate issue. I think that’s an evolution they hadn’t planned.

Killjoys airs Fridays at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on Space.

Images courtesy of Bell Media.

 

 

Greg David
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Greg David

Prior to becoming a television critic and owner of TV, Eh?, Greg David was a critic for TV Guide Canada, the country's most trusted source for TV news. He has interviewed television actors, actresses and behind-the-scenes folks from hundreds of television series from Canada, the U.S. and internationally. He is a podcaster, public speaker, weekly radio guest and educator, and past member of the Television Critics Association.
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