Sunday, July 17, 2016

The Geekcap: Killjoys "Shaft"

In a dark, cavernous area, Dutch wakes up surrounded by skeletons. She hears a voice calling her over an intercom, but, when she rises, she sees Khlyen. She demands to know what he has done, but he merely tells her that she must return to Arkyn. She fights back, demanding to know why he turned her into a murderer like him. He remarks how she doesn’t seem to remember the truth and then proceeds to cut her abdomen. She bleeds green ooze.

12 hours earlier, Turin fills the group in on a possible lead to Khlyen through a new warrant. 3 Killjoys, Paolo, his wife Tanya, and her sister Dina, were sent on a Level 2 warrant of reconnaissance in the Northern Badlands. They never returned. While they did send a signal for rescue, Khlyen intercepted the message from the RAC, preventing them from receiving help. Turin gives the group the coordinates to the location and leaves them to find out what happened to the missing bounty hunters.

Dutch, John, and D’avin search across the Badlands until they find the missing Killjoys’ ship located a distance away from any assistance. They open the hatch to find the opening covered in moss. With the Killjoys being missing for only a week, they wonder how this moss could grow so quickly. More importantly, though, the controls of the ship are down with the crew still missing.

D'avin: How did it grow so fast?
John: Seriously, what do you guys think that I'm a mossologist?

The three return to Lucy where John requests for a topographical map of the area to find possible locations for the missing crew. In the meantime, he also consults Pawter on her current status at the Spring Hill compound using her hidden comms link. She softly speaks to him as she appears to be searching for something in Jelco’s space. The DNA code prevents her from accessing anything further from the previous footage of Jelco shooting Hills. John keeps wondering why she chose to stay behind, but she reiterates that she can do more help at the compound. They finish their discussion just as Pawter finds a holophone.

Dutch later finds Alvis sitting in the kitchen wearing D’avin’s clothes as he examines a knife. Dutch jokingly offers him a position as a Killjoy to which Alvis surprisingly considers. Dutch rebukes him, reminding him that he needs to return to the Scarbacks for his faith. He mournfully reminds her of his willingness to sacrifice lives at the compound for his faith. She remarks that the action was one of hate not of faith, even if she herself cannot tell the difference sometimes. Alvis questions what she believes, but Dutch does not have a clear answer. With that, Alvis considers her words and hands her his knife.

The three return to examine the terrain for the crew. D’avin asks Dutch how long they plan to keep Alvis on their ship. Dutch reminds him that since they have taken him in, he is their responsibility. As they search, they are quickly shot at by an unknown hostile. Dutch quickly recognizes the shooter as Tanya, one of the missing Killjoys and announces that they are here to recollect her. Tanya answers back that they sent out a distress signal a week ago with no response. Dutch reveals that the group was likely betrayed after stumbling upon something they weren’t supposed to see. With their help, Tanya requests that they help save her sister Dina who is trapped beneath a mine.

With Alvis’s help, the three dive into the mine with Tanya to search for her sister. Since there appears to be no record of the mine on the map, they follow Alvis’s experience as a miner to guide them through the tunnels. Fortunately, the crystals on the walls act as some illumination despite also blocking connection outside the mines. Tanya reveals that her group were sent to retrieve a monk when her husband Paolo seemed to have snapped underground and began trying to kill the women. In the chaos, Tanya escaped, but her sister and husband are missing. Slowly, as a group, they keep looking.

Back at Spring Hill, Pawter beseeches her father to help her with Old Town, but he refuses to act. She requests to speak with her mother, but he insists that there is nothing she can do either. Instead, he tells her that she is better off staying at the compound. Jelco suddenly arrives, noticing that Pawter is using his holophone. Despite the apparent secrecy, Jelco invites Pawter to dinner with him while also offering a proposition for her. Pawter refuses to spend any of her time with in and attempts to leave, but Jelco reminds her about the monitor on her ankle. If she wanders too far from the compound, she will be killed.

Down in the mines, the group keeps searching. Alvis finds that the caves have likely been present for at least a century while the rest of the team discovers more of the moss found on the ship. With the moss continuing growing around the walls, they wonder if Paolo was likely infected by the substance. Moreover, they find that the walls are clearly unstable with any sudden movement leading to a cave-in. John questions why there would be a warrant for a monk, but Alvis simply replies that they are recyclable. With no lead on where Dina and Paolo are or what Khlyen could be hiding, the group splits up in the paths.

At Spring Hill, Jelco finally comes clean with his proposition for Pawter. Because of the inbreeding between the nine families, he was born with a failing membrane around his heart. With Pawter’s expertise, she can give him a chance to survive. Pawter responds that he could have had any doctor help him with surgery, but he merely wants to take advantage of her captivity. With no choice, she has to help.

In the mine, Alvis finds some older markings on the wall that he believes could serve as a map. John and Dutch continue to look but are distracted upon hearing some distant movement. D’avin searches as well before coming across a deep hole in the ground. Suddenly, Tanya breaks from the group in a panicked attack to find Paolo. He tells her that he has to kill them, that they couldn’t be trusted. Tanya shoots at her husband, but he seems to fight back without bleeding. The group finally catches up to her as Paolo seems to disappear. With Tanya in a desperate state, Dutch orders her to be taken back to the ship since she has proven to be compromised. Before the group can leave for the ship, however, the mines begin to cave in, blocking everyone except for John from the exit.

With the group cut off from the outside, John plans to go back to the ship and return for some tools to break the crystals. He implores the others to stay where they are as he will return shortly. As he leaves, a creature covered in moss begins to move.

Pawter begins her procedure on Jelco while being watched over by a bodyguard in case of any tampering. She gives him a heavy sedative as she begins to operate. Jelco realizes that she can do what she pleases but knows that she won’t get too far under watch. She then accidentally cuts an artery, causing his blood to spill. The bodyguard tries to stop Pawter, but she quickly stabs the man with the sedative, giving her the opportunity to escape.

On the ship, John gathers the supplies as Lucy updates him on key information. While Turin had told the truth about Red 17’s destruction, she had found that a massive data transfer had been transmitted prior to the explosion. John asks for an update on Pawter, but Lucy states that her direct communication has been cut. All Lucy can gather is that Pawter experienced a spike in her stress levels. With that in mind, John advises Lucy to tell Pawter that he will come back for her as soon as he is done in the mines.

John: What? When were you going to tell me?
Lucy: Given that I just did, is that a rhetorical question?

Back in the mines, D’avin, Dutch, and Alvis search for Tanya and come across what looks like a tree on the wall surrounded by human bones. On the ground by the bones, D’avin notices the same symbol he found on Red 17. Alvis reveals that it was related to a story from the scriptures. According to the scriptures, twelve Scarback monks went off to Arkyn to fight the devil. None of them returned. With bones surrounding the area, Alvis believes that the mine was shut down, but they have no way of knowing how. Suddenly, they hear the echo of Tanya in the distance and race to find her.

Tanya once again comes across her husband Paolo. She pleads for him to stop, only for him to remind her how she failed to save her sister. Tanya tries firing back, but her bullets prove useless once again. In her panicked fighting, she unfortunately falls in the same hole discovered by D’avin. The others come to her assistance but find they are too late as they see her at the bottom of the pit. To their shock, dozens of creatures covered in the moss surround and slowly encompass her.

After discovering the creatures, the group become even more desperate to find a way out of the mines. Unfortunately, the creatures appear to swarm around their back path, preventing them from returning to where they left John. They group come to understand that these creatures were likely the reason that the people abandoned the mines and beg for John to analyze the moss-covered insect. In his quick study, John finds that the moss is actually a centipede (a “mossipede”) that appears to have a psychotic reaction when they come into contact with people. They theorize that Paolo and Dina were likely killed earlier, the bones surrounding the tree, with Tanya hallucinating her husband throughout the mine. However, they have no idea what these things could do with Khlyen or Red 17. With their old way surrounding, the group must search for another way.

Dutch: Johnny, do an analysis.
Johnny: An analysis of what?! 
Dutch: I don't know! That's just something we say and then you make it all better!

Lucy finally gets into contact with Pawter as she sneaks into Jelco’s office. Using his blood, she manages to move past the security system. Lucy informs Pawter regarding John’s promise to come back for her, a notion that touches Pawter. In her research, however, she discovers something more surprising. Not only does she find the model for the wall around Old Town, there appear to be plans for more walls all over Westerly.

In the mine, John begins dissecting the mossipede to learn more about the creature but finds that it still manages to move when cut in half. D’avin suggests simply stomping on the creatures, and the resulting action reveals that the mossipedes contain a form of green ooze. From that discovery, D’avin deduces that the ooze from the mossipedes must be the same green substance that Khlyen used to create Level 6 warriors. Khlyen then refused to send an evac to avoid others from discovering this substance. Meanwhile, the monks were likely searching the area for the creatures as D’avin recalls that the Scarbacks and Level 6 go back hundreds of years.

Meanwhile, Alvis discovers more symbols around the walls and then, without the eyes of the team, finds the body of a mummified monk. As he looks through the body, he discovers more symbols around the body, creating a deeper mystery. Also, Dutch’s search is cut short when she discovers a new figure in the mines: Khlyen himself. She informs her team on the arrival and quickly rushes in without assistance to find Khlyen. The rest regroup as Dutch rushes in and falls through the pit to the Scarback shrine. There, just as the beginning of the episode, she confronts what she believes to be Khlyen. She tries to shoot, but he easily avoids the bullets.

John breaks through the wall and regroups with D’avin and Alvis, but Dutch is still gone. He theorizes that the mossipedes will all gather where she is, so they don’t have much time. Suddenly, Alvis remembers the shrine for the monks surrounded by bones, the site where Dutch may be. Just as before, the vision of Khlyen stabs her in the abdomen, revealing her to bleed the green ooze.
Dutch fires back that this has to be a trick, but the vision changes to that of herself reminding her that she never really escaped Khlyen. Despite what happened, she still became a killer. Dutch remarks that she only does what she has to do to protect the people she cares about, but the vision reminds her that Khlyen is the same. She is merely molded in his image.

The others finally find her just as the mobs of mossipedes are edging closer. John tries to get Dutch to move, but she is still shaken from what she sees, believing that she could be used by Khlyen to hurt John. Alvis then kneels beside her to speak. He reveals that she has stabbed herself and, just like the rest, bleeds regular blood. Although he knows Dutch does not have a clear belief, Alvis tells her to believe that he won’t leave without her. If she wants to help the people she cares about, she has to leave herself. With the group’s help, Dutch manages to stand and limp her way. Before they started looking for another way out, D’avin discovers that the creatures seem to avoid him as he draws closer. Using D’avin as a shield, the team make their way back to the exit.

Back on the ship, John patches Dutch’s wounds from her own stabbing. In addition, he believes that he has extracted the venom from the mossipede, preventing her from experiencing any visions. In addition, he has also secured a single mossipede to find out its connection to the Level 6 experiments. Nevertheless, Dutch prefers to have a professional doctor’s perspective and suggests that now is the time to rescue Pawter.

At Spring Hill, Pawter nears the exit of the compound when she is confronted by Jelco who appears to have healed from the surgery. He remarks that he seems to have found her weakness: she is too much of a doctor to let even him die. More seriously, he appeals to her in the fact that there were both ostracized by their families who found each other. Rejecting his advances, Pawter makes her way to leave despite the ankle monitor. However, she reveals that, in his surgery, she also made a few adjustments. Instead, she adjusted the monitor to respond to his membrane rather than the monitor on her ankle. Now, Pawter can leave the compound with Jelco forced to stay behind.

She makes her way outside on Westerly as she waits for John to respond. However, she is suddenly shot by a stun gun. A mysterious figure then drags her body from the scene.

Back on the ship, Alvis makes his way to Dutch’s room but not before finally offering his thanks to D’avin for saving his life at Spring Hill. Alvis then speaks with Dutch as he reveals that, while he did not kill the people at Spring Hill, he did kill a man in his escape. He still bears the scar he gave himself for that death. Dutch admits that she feels as though she was turned into a weapon by Khlyen, but Alvis admits that she can be forgiven. Moreover, he reveals that he had found the missing monk in the mines as well as the marks he had left on his skin. Just like the other Scarbacks, the monk had the prayer of the twelve monks who went to fight the devil. However, the monk contained one key difference: twelve went to fight the devil, but one came back. With that in mind, he plans to go to Leith to learn more about the history for the team. The two then lean in as if to kiss, before Dutch is interrupted on a new location.

On Westerly, Dutch approaches Turin at knifepoint. She reveals that she knows about the data transfer from Red 17 but also admits that she knows Turin has a piece of it. He claims that the data is encrypted with no way of deciphering it, but she instead orders him to get her a warrant of where the data was sent. He is somewhat reluctantly, but Dutch states that she is tired of people telling her what to do. Now, she is the one giving orders.               

Level 6 Notes

  • Andrew Gillies, who plays Pawter's father should look familiar to Syfy fans. He also played Dr. Adler on 12 Monkeys!
  • For clarification, Dutch is proven to not be a Level 6 following her cut which causes her to bleed.
  • Just like the green ooze, D'avin is proven to be immune to the mossipedes. 

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