A woman and two men look into the camera.

Killjoys’ showrunner Adam Barken: “F—k yeah, we won”

Spoiler alert: Do not continue reading until you have watched the series finale of Killjoys, “Last Dance,” written by show creator Michelle Lovretta.

And, just like that, the final episode of Killjoys has come to a close. Personally, I loved the way it ended, with our three heroes—Dutch, D’avin and Johnny—getting ready to kick some alien butt one last time. Zeph reunited with Pip. Pree and Gared together and off on their own adventures. The Lady defeated.

And while the door closes on the final episode, Michelle Lovretta’s script certainly left things open for more. We spoke to showrunner Adam Barken about this wild ride and the possibility of more stories.

Your job has been done for a while now. Has it been kind of weird watching these last episodes air and knowing that there isn’t another season of Killjoys?
Adam Barken: It’s been really nice, to be honest, but yeah, it’s weird. But at the same time, it’s been nice to be able to watch this without the … oftentimes before the panic of ‘Oh God, what are we going to do next? And how are we going to do it?’ And also just knowing that we’re headed towards an ending.

A woman and two men a dressed for battle.At what point did you know how that final frame was going to be of our three heroes all together again stepping out with their guns?
AB: Although we didn’t know the exact, ‘OK, they’re running up with their guns to shoot up a bunch of aliens.’ The details of that we didn’t know. But we knew pretty early on, like before we even started breaking Season 4 that this show was going to end with these three together.

We also knew that there might be some change in the situation, we knew that we wanted to pay off this idea that Johnny had wanted to go a different path of his life. So we weren’t sure as it just going to be Dutch and D’avin in a ship. And maybe Johnny’s with Clara. There were options, but we knew that the vibe at the end of it was, in my mind, I don’t know if this was Michelle thought because as a Star Trek nerd, my mind was kind of the end of The Undiscovered Country, with Kirk saying, ‘The second star on the right and straight on until morning.’

Just that vibe of on we go to the next adventure. Michelle and I had talked right at the very beginning and one of the first questions we asked was, ‘What would a final season or final two seasons look like?’ We both said, ‘Does anybody die?’ And we both kind of simultaneously I think had the feeling of, ‘No they don’t.’

There was nothing in our DNA that wanted to do it. There was nothing in the character stories in the same way that say, Pawter, who really was a character who Michelle, I think, will say was created with a sacrifice in mind. Her story that way with Dutch, D’avin, and Johnny, it did not feel like that sort of sacrifice was necessary. It didn’t feel like it fit. It didn’t feel like the show we wanted, we were making.

A woman looks up, angry.We wanted a show that at the end felt like, ‘Fuck yeah, they won.’ And they’re going to keep going and it’ll be in a different situation. There’s a reason why we’re ending here. The trio is going to split apart, but is this one moment we’re still going to see that thing that we love, seeing them together and we know that in the future they will get back together every once in a while and go kick some ass. And that’s the vibe we wanted to leave on.

You left this wide open for, maybe, five years down the line reuniting for an exclusive on Crave or something like that.
AB: Sure, yeah, absolutely. With Dutch’s story, it took her from where you started at the very beginning saying, ‘I’m a Killjoy because I don’t take sides. I don’t take bribes. I don’t get involved. I am a central part of something that I believe in. I have a family, I have a people, I have a community and I accept it, and I will fight for it forever.’ So that’s the journey for her. In a way, it’s the strongest arc in the series. So that’s why it begins where it does. That’s why it ends where it does. And that’s why it felt like the right place to go out. But that doesn’t require anybody to die. It doesn’t require there to be a tragic moment at the end. There’s no need for that because what was achieved for her was this positive thing.

Pip returned. Did you want to have a happy ending for Zeph
AB: Yeah, yeah. And a happy ending for Pip. This was one of the interesting things about taking over a show, running it, still wanting and needing Michelle to be there as my partner. We would definitely give and take and go back and forth on things. And one of them was when I said to her, ‘I think we really need to kill Pip, and I think that sacrifice going to really resonate. I think it’s going to really help us with Zeph. I think it’s going to be really median, good stuff.’ And she agreed with that but said, ‘Yeah, but I don’t want Pip dead at the end.’ So that’s where I can say, ‘Well, OK, what do you got?’

And she came back with, ‘He was in a pod,’ and honestly it was on the board a long time and I just kept laughing going, ‘I don’t know how you’re going to sell it, but if anybody could you will.’ Then, sure enough, the script came in and the minute I read the scene I was like, ‘Yeah, OK that works.’ And if it’s wish fulfillment, I think by the end we earned it, and that’s fine because who doesn’t want to see Pip back? And who doesn’t want to see Zeph happy?

Two men stand together, smiling.Is there a favourite character or character that you’re most proud of because of their growth? For me it was D’avin. 
AB: Oh yeah, absolutely loved seeing D’avin. I mean I think all the characters are super fun. In a way, I think about it more in terms of relationships and dynamics. I would say the one that was for me, because it was the most unexpected and yet paid off in some many wonderful dividends, was the Pree and Gared story.

You play around with these characters, you put different people together and see what happens. And there was just this moment back in Season 2 that Michelle was watching, where there was the wonderful Gavin Fox in as Gared. He was just supposed to be the jerky guy who keeps trying to take over things and failing and gets a knife in the hand at the end.

She just saw this moment between Tom and Gavin where she thought, ‘I think Pree likes him.’ As soon as she said that, we said, ‘Oh, that’s interesting.’ And we just started exploring it, and thanks to those actors, where we did it the better it went.

By the end I was just really happy with, proud of, excited by all the things that we were able to do with that couple, and what the things we’re able to put them through. And it still has us, and then the audience, cheer for them to be together. I think the ending we gave for them feels really great. So I think that’s probably my favourite discovery.

 

What did you think of Killjoys‘ series finale? Who were your favourite characters and relationships? Let me know in the comments below!

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2 thoughts on “Killjoys’ showrunner Adam Barken: “F—k yeah, we won””

  1. I thought the series ended well. But, I’ll tell you right now, I want want Killjoys to come back someday! Wait a few years then reboot. That’ll give the creative batteries time to recharge. Killjoys Forever!

  2. I hadn’t heard of the show til this summer. Watched the first 4 seasons in a couple of weeks. Thought the ending was great but wish there was more.

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