Killjoys: Vessel
July 10, 2015 11:54 AM - Season 1, Episode 4 - Subscribe

The Killjoys navigate the ugly side of intergalactic politics as they transport priceless cargo in a bullet-riddled ride from a badlands fortress. It's the Killjoys vs. armed nuns over a wanted pregnant girl, while a dangerous new enemy waits in the wings
posted by rednikki (10 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
So Dutch starts to open up about her past, but of course she does it to D'Avin and no her long-time partner, perhaps because he's a big muscly distraction. D'Avin appears to acquiesce to John helping him and setting down the family rules, but does anybody believe he's going to abide by what he says, especially when it comes to the hunt for the doctor. And poor John, it seems like he's fated to one doomed relationship after another. Overall a much better episode than last time.
posted by sardonyx at 5:12 PM on July 11, 2015

This was a good episode, and they managed to give a nice amount of characterization, motivation, and personality to the various nuns. But yeah, poor John, he's outlived two love interests in only four episodes...not his fault he's not the ladies' man his brother appears to be, it's just that the "type" he goes for appears to be "heroically doomed".
posted by mstokes650 at 7:03 PM on July 11, 2015

I'm really enjoying this show. The effects are cheesy and it's kind of silly overall but it's holding my attention in a way that no SyFy show has since BSG, and I'm not sure why. It's fun and entertaining, I guess. And D'Avin sure is nice to look at.
posted by something something at 7:30 PM on July 11, 2015

I found it interesting listening to the women who wanted to be "vessels" talking about why they made that decision rather than having a career. It reminded me of the actual real-world conversations about motherhood vs. career, and women who choose to become stay at home mothers.
posted by rednikki at 10:40 PM on July 11, 2015 [1 favorite]

It is silly, the plots and characterisations are wafer thin, the effects are daft (even the prac stuff... that flamethrower looked about as dangerous as a soggy bean) but it's too much fun to worry about that. It's great to have some cheery good-guys-win brain brillo in amongst all the doom and gloom that makes up genre TV at the moment. That female characters get to be proactive and explain their motivations (however goofy the explanation, they still get to do it, so how about you try that on, True Detective?) is a welcome bonus.

The similarities of tone and general (appealing) wonkiness mean comparisons to Firefly are inevitable, but I do hope it finds its own feet, and starts to draw its universe more richly. The Nine, the RAC, Scarbacks, the Company and the other nuggets of culture we've been getting are derivative for sure, but they're adding up to a colorful background with no small potential for adventures.
posted by prismatic7 at 3:51 AM on July 12, 2015

I think it does a really good job of balancing story-of-the-week with deeper world and character building, too. That's not easy to do, and I've abandoned so many shows in the past few years that had potential (iZombie, I'm looking at you) because they weren't successful in holding my broader interest with regard to the world building.
posted by something something at 5:57 AM on July 12, 2015

I wish I shared the positive impression that others have of this episode. I can see the kernels of all the good things that everyone is describing, but I feel like the execution of all of this is really bad. Not to belabor the point, but the stuff involved in the "don't patronize me" thing, a pregnant women kicking ass, Dutch showing some political acumen -- these are all very solid ideas but the way that they were all realized is very much like the flamethrower.

I've been disappointed with all but the first episode. This show has more style and vitality than Dark Matter, but both suffer from being about 20% good and 80% deep and predictable mediocrity. I recognize that this is about what's normal for SyFy and I have a limited tolerance and experience with this sort of SyFy programming, but there have been some SyFy shows in the past that I thought were quite good, or at least weren't quite so lopsided into mediocrity. The only other current SyFY show I've been watching, aside from Dark Matter, is 12 Monkeys, which, honestly, I think is a better show than these two but also has variously frustrated, disappointed, and bored me. I'm very excited about The Expanse, but maybe I should be anxious, instead.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 2:57 PM on July 13, 2015

You're not wrong, Ivan. It's not that this is a great show. It's a show with potential that isn't anywhere close to realized. And who knows if it ever will be? (Likely not.)

As for why I'm following it, it's the summer doldrums. Most of the stuff I usually watch is in hiatus, and besides The Brink, Killjoys and Dark Matter are about the only new series that have started up that interest me in any way. (I did try the first episode of Mr. Robot, but it annoyed me more than entertained me.)

Of the two, I'm enjoying Killjoys more. It feels less derivative, and, to me at least, that glimmer of potential shines through a bit stronger. Either way, for now both shows have my attention, at least until something better comes along, or until they start to drop in quality beyond where they are now.
posted by sardonyx at 5:29 PM on July 13, 2015

I thought this was a pretty solid entry in the series so far, but its heritage as a cheap SyFy hiatus-filler is still pretty obvious. I guess the best-case scenario is that this (and Dark Matter) garner enough viewers that SyFy will throw some more support behind the shows and let them take more risks. I'd have more faith in that happening if it were some network other than SyFy though. It seems like their overall stance is "Just good enough is good enough!"

Still, I find the character interactions and world-building entertaining enough that I'll continue watching with hope for a general trend of improvement.

Also, hooray for women making shit happen and getting things done both in front of the camera and behind it.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 8:24 AM on July 14, 2015 [1 favorite]

Yeah it was nothing exciting and the moment The Breeding Engineer started talking about her background and clicking with John I thought "well, there's our Important Death." But even if it's just sci-fi fluff that is Refrigerator-free and passes the Bechdel test that's better than a lot of other stuff going on.

That said, driving the larger plot exclusively through people sharing with the wrong folks is now at the fully tiresome level. You want to have the characters keep things secret, fine, that's a legitimate character trait. Having them keep things secret except when you need to drop some knowledge on the audience is bullshit. Put them in a situation where they can't dodge shit - what's in the red box? Who is this doctor you're space-googling? Okay. Sudden foxhole sharing? Nonsense.
posted by phearlez at 1:25 PM on July 14, 2015

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