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Interview: Killjoys creator talks game-changing episode

Well, D’Avin got his wish, but at what cost? Friday’s episode of Killjoys saw our heroic trio hunt down the ever-elusive Grayson Hicks (played by Republic of Doyle‘s Mark O’Brien), who in turn lead them to Dr. Jaeger (Amanda Tapping).

But “Kiss Kiss, Bye Bye” didn’t stop there. Rather than shut down the memory blockers per D’Avin’s request, Jaeger turned on his “kill” mode, directing him to dispatch his team. That lead to some truly shocking scenes where Dutch and Johnny felt the full force of a career military man and good soldier. Where does the team go from here? How can Dutch and Johnny trust D’Avin?

We got Killjoys creator Michelle Lovretta on the phone to discuss such matters.

We finally got to see Dr. Jaeger! How did you go about snagging Amanda Tapping for the role? Did you always have her in mind?
Michelle Lovretta: We haven’t made a big deal in the first season of trying to do anything in the vein of stunt casting and thinking of who would bring eyeballs. Instead, we tried thinking of who would have the right feel for the role and the presence for it. I basically thought of Amanda because of the past work that she’s done. I think in the future I’d like to do that again, to bring in people who have more of a science fiction legacy because it’s fun and of what it can add to the show.

What was it like working with her? 
She came into the office and we had a really great chat about where life had taken her and the show and some of the other projects she was working on. She’s just a really, really, lovely woman and I really enjoyed my time with her. On set they had a hell of good time as well.

It’s been really interesting to see her journey from being in front of the camera as a lead to behind it as a director.
One of the reasons she came to mind in the role is because we had an opening to get her as a director and the schedules didn’t mesh. But she’s fun and full of life and I really hope we can get her back in some capacity.

The last we saw of Jaeger, she was being hooked up to have her memory erased. Will she be back this season?
No. By the time we get to Episode 7, part of what we were trying to do was give us some closure with D’Avin with a hell of a bang and push us forward into the last third of the season so that we can concentrate on Dutch’s dilemma and the broader mysteries of The Quad and the RAC.


This was a really big episode for Luke Macfarlane. He ran the gamut of emotions with Dutch, first being intimate with her and then being programmed to kill her. Did you talk to him about the content beforehand? That was some pretty scary physical stuff.
We certainly had an open policy with the actors throughout where they’d come to us about where the characters were going. One of the first things Aaron asked me early on was whether Johnny was headed somewhere romantically with Dutch and I said no. We’ve talked about some of the larger turns.

I think, in the end, what’s interesting to me about the fight scene … I don’t pay lip service to Dutch’s physical prowess. There is never a moment when I doubt that. She’s almost infallible. When I wrote those scenes in the hallway on paper, I never felt afraid for her. The heartbreaking moment in that hallway for her is she’s lost that ability to control the situation and to protect the two of them from whatever the hell is going on. When you watch the scene it’s no longer the character, it’s this young woman and a physically larger male and it brings all of the additional gender violence to it. It was hard to watch because, again, on the page there were no worries for Dutch. It’s been an interesting process and I don’t know that Luke or Hannah felt the weight of that in the moment either because they were in character. But I’m sure when they do see it they’ll have the same reaction that we did, which is to hide your eyes and say, ‘Oh shit! I’m worried about her.’

One of the things going through my mind when I was writing it was something along the lines of, ‘If you wondered who would win if Dutch and D’Avin threw down, you’re about to find out.’ With someone who has such a history of killing, I guess you do need something shocking to, for a moment, feel as though there is jeopardy for that character. I really credit the cast and our director, Paolo Barzman, for the performances in this episode.

‘If you wondered who would win if Dutch and D’Avin threw down, you’re about to find out.’

By the end of the episode, this team is no longer the same. Where do they go from here? Jump ahead two years?
[Laughs.] Excellent idea! We’ll pull an Alias! When the show began, one of the things Johnny was worried about D’Avin was that he was going to fuck everything up for them. Now, Johnny was worried it was about sex and romance, but it was actually about his brother becoming an automaton killer monster beast. That scene with Johnny, when he’s telling Pree that he’s not jealous, he’s worried about his brother and sister. That scene was, before we were ordered to series, used as a way to illustrate to those who were going to work with us that’s the moment where we put to bed the worry that Johnny was lusting after Dutch.

Now after all of this blows up we also have to deal with the fact that D’Avin’s not culpable. It’s a weird, very uncomfortable position to put the team in because they can’t hate him, they can’t blame him but there are some things that they can’t immediately forgive. It’s not about logic, it’s about a feeling of trust. What this whole story allows us to do is put the team together in a stronger way, reminding and renewing the bond between John and Dutch because John very clearly chooses Dutch. Previously, we had a partnership that had a new person, but what this does is add history and sharing and trauma as a new way of bonding that now involves D’Avin. As we go forward, I think there’s a lot more depth between them.

There are just a few more episodes before the season finale. What can we expect?
There is a drum beating. There is an escalation of secrets and intentions and we’re building towards a bit of a showdown and some surprising reveals that make it impossible for our characters to exist in this world the way they existed in it before. They can’t be naive anymore and assume they have this legacy of, ‘bang bang, grab the bad guy.’ There is something else, and greater, afoot.

Killjoys airs Fridays at 9 p.m. ET on Space.