Ep. 3 The Harvest: Fleshing Out the Characters

The episode is off with a bang as it picks up from the episode 2 cliffhanger, and we see Dutch interrogating Khlyne’s pick for her to assassinate. Elsewhere in the Quad, D’Avin has applied to become a RAC agent and receives approval, along with Level 4 Killjoy status. Not too shabby for the new guy. The catch, however, is that he must pass a psych evaluation and his next obstacle becomes finding a RAC approved doctor who can provide this service. Luckily for him, Dutch is able to offer a recommendation, but this doctor’s help comes with strings attached. Meanwhile, Johnny is distressed to learn that a certain female friend is in trouble: her husband holds an off world work permit for farm work on Leith, but he has gone missing and is about to default on the permit. Why is this a problem? As his consigner, his wife will be the one forced to serve out the sentence (10 years working in the mines) if he doesn’t make a miraculous appearance in the next 3 days. Not surprisingly, John agrees to help, and manages to talk Dutch into it. The newly established trio depart for Leith, where Killjoy-typical danger and intrigue ensue.

I enjoyed this episode much more, I found I could more invested in the story and the characters more than the previous two episodes. That being said, however, it is notable that it was a better episode when the characters were separated and we learned more about the three of them in isolation. It reinforces what I’ve been saying so far about the show having weak interpersonal relationships.

What I liked

  • D’Avin finally came into his own in this episode rather than being the dangling problem about which both Dutch and John were scratching their heads to solve. In this episode we learn that D’Avin has something called Stress Response Syndrome (really just another way of saying Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), and it’s why he has nightmares. Even more than this, however, we learn that under the right conditions, D’Avin might react violently to this stress, presumably because he reverts back to his days in the military, perhaps to a particular raid or mission. I like this particularly because it’s a very organic way to show D’Avin’s insecurities and vulnerability.
  • We get more insight into Dutch and Johnny’s team dynamics. We find out that Johnny is a sensitive guy who likes to help out the downtrodden. We also learn that he has a reckless drive to get to the bottom of things, a drive so strong he lets a stranger cut off his ear to gain entrance into an operation that spells nothing but trouble. We also learn that Dutch has a thing for undercover missions where she gets to play a role, and we see her enjoy pretending to be a high status buyer who can make demands and expect them to be met.
  • D’Avin ranked a higher level than Johnny. That is what natural tension between characters looks like, and for the first time I actually bought that they were brothers.

What underwhelmed me

  • Is it just me, or are neither Dutch nor Johnny all that good at their jobs? Johnny’s job was to be Dutch’s eyes and ears on the ground and keep her informed of any leads he finds. What we see, however, is almost the opposite of that. He makes a preliminary report, and then when he’s actually on to something big, he leaves her to fumble blindly in order to get him out of trouble. Conversely, Dutch’s job was to to distract the landlord, and manipulate him in order to extract information. At first, this is exactly what she does. She plays the part of a buyer interested in the available wares, and even flirts shamelessly with the landlord. It’s all downhill after that; she gets sloppy and half-heartedly seduces him, breaks into the computer in a way that – predictably – raises alarms, and ends up putting John in even more danger than in which he put himself. If you ask me, that is not the level of competency we’re supposed to expect from Killjoys
  • The way Dutch handles her assignment from Khlyne. She manages to extract no information whatsoever, and doesn’t kill him either. For a plotline that had a two episode build up, this was decidedly anticlimactic.

Reoccurring Theme

Even though I did enjoy this episode considerably more, I’m still irked by the weak episodic elements. I’d like to see more complexity to each warrant this team gets than simply something that can be resolved in one episode. An even better element would be if the nuances of each warrant had stronger ties to the overarching plotlines of each of the three protagonists.

I’m Looking Forward to…

  • Finding out more about D’Avin’s past, and specifically the events that haunt him so strongly
  • Seeing more of this doctor – she’s badass and unapologetic, and a much better actress than the three leads
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