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[Warning: Spoilers ahead for the season finale of Killjoys.]
Talk about a cliffhanger ending. Just when Dutch (Hannah John-Kamen) and John (Aaron Ashmore) thought they were about to take down Khlyen (Rob Stewart), the villain turned the tables by kidnapping D’Avin (Luke Macfarlane) and transporting him to Red 17 for apparent Level 6 genetic mutations.
The Hollywood Reporter caught up with creator and showrunner Michelle Lovretta to find out where the story goes from here, if a second season is in the works and whether Killjoys does in fact share the same universe as Friday companion series Dark Matter.
Was the plan always to end on a cliffhanger?
One of our writers, Aaron Martin, had come up with a visual that I liked for the bomb at the end. That’s how the seed was planted of where we finally ended up, but the intent had always been that we end at some sort of dramatic climax that weaves together all the different political and mythological arcs.
The second half of the season was quite serialized. How did that evolve?
That was in the bible. But there’s a much larger story on the canvas that we planned on unfurling. I didn’t want to be overly bogged down by that in the beginning because we had so much world-building to do just in terms of what is The Quad and what is a Killjoy. We also wanted to have some fun with our team and see what they’re like as bounty hunters before we gave them something bigger, so that they can look back at that and think, ‘Oh, how young we were, how naïve.’ We’ve got a lot of places we plan on taking them and the show. We’ve just given the first peek of that.
How confident are you in a second season at this point?
We were told from the beginning from both Space and SyFy that it would take until around this window. So none of this is unexpected or an alarming sign at all. I’m expecting it might be a little while yet, so we’ll just have to wait and see.
How far ahead have you planned ahead?
Pretty far. It’s a balance you always have to strike. While I begin every series with a template with some very firm plot that I intend to meet and visuals that I intend to have happen and certain bits of conversations and scenes, you have to also have a fluidity and flexibility in your template that allows for these other writers to come in and have these ideas that are fun to play with. I know where we are going in the macro; the micro will be filled with all sorts of surprises.
We leave the team in a pretty dire place — are you in a corner heading into a hopeful season?
I like to mess with people a little bit, but I also like to be merciful because I myself am a viewer. I understand that part of the joy of genre television and in this serialized storytelling is the “what happens next.” It’s not something you do to be a sadist, you do it because there is a rewarding element to that fraught tension where hopefully you’re invested in these characters as well as I am. But the way I left the series… I don’t plan on starting with three new Killjoys next season, let’s put it that way. Those mofos need to figure out if they’re getting back together. The home and heart for me is that trio and absolutely the journey will be where do we take them next once we solve the riddle of where we left them.
What’s the thinking in keeping Khlyen as the continuing big bad into next season?
Dutch is the Luke to his Darth Vader. He’s not somebody I’m done with because I don’t think Dutch can be done with him yet. There’s still a connective tissue between the two of them. Slicing into that tissue and cutting it in half is going to be very rewarding. But in the end it’s something I don’t want to rush. If she does come to a point where she kills her father figure, I really want to get into what that means. Frankly, if you look back over our 10 episodes, we’ve done a lot of storytelling while also servicing an episodic engine. We try to tell true emotional stories that are organic and adult in the service of all these science fiction stories. But that’s a lot to fit in. We haven’t been able to put Dutch and Khlyen in a scenario yet where they’re able to talk to one another as who they genuinely are. We need to do that before we decide if he’s going to be killed or stay.
Can viewers assume that message to John meant Carleen dissected the Level 6 genetic code before her death?
Oh Carleen. Let’s all have a drink and raise our glass to Carleen. I would say don’t assume anything by what you’ve seen visually. It is a story that we will make more sense of in season two. Johnny is going to be instrumental in putting some of these pieces together. But it is a small part, a small clue as to the larger story. Mostly the journey next year is going to be for our trio to have a greater understanding of what really happened on Arkin, what is the connection that Khlyen and or Dutch have to that and what does that mean to their greater existence.
There has been plenty of talk from fans that Dark Matter and Killjoys exist in the same universe. Have you discussed that with showrunner Joseph Mallozzi and his team?
In terms of whether there is actually, legitimately and factually some existence that they share, none that any of us have discussed. I’m really good friends with Vanessa Piazza, one of the executive producers over there, and I have met Joe and think he’s hilarious and lovely. It’s something we had talked about in the hallway once while editing some stuff. There was just that strange oddity of Rob Stewart having been in our show and their pilot. We’re bound to share occasional guest stars and some directors and some locations. … We are a lot of very creative people working in a small city of locations out in Toronto. It’s just exciting to be able to look at any crossover that we have and be able to think that there is something fictional there to support it.
Would you do one in season two?
It sounds logistically nightmarish because I’ve never done one. The cast is why it would be appealing to me just on a selfish, hey what’s that like level, and also because it is interesting to fans. But I don’t know enough about their world in terms of where they’re actually set and whether that would work. We’d have to get super sci-fi about it to figure out. But never say never.
You also created Lost Girl, which kicks off its final eight episodes next month. Do you have any insight?
I don’t know what’s going on. Lost Girl, once I decided to leave, was like having a good separation with a romantic relationship. You’ve run your course and when you run into the person on the street, you’re like, ‘OK, I don’t want to be there right now but I also don’t particularly want to meet your boyfriend and see your travel pictures.’ There’s always been an emotional distance between me and the later seasons. Part of that is because I will always creatively and emotionally feel a debt to everybody that was a part of that show. I’m so in love still with the stories that I had started telling that that’s where it froze in my head. It’s a kind of a protective mechanism where I put them on a shelf in my head and protected them there.
So you probably won’t watch?
I don’t think so. No matter what people are going to make different choices than you would make. They aren’t necessarily better or worse, but you will notice that they’re different. Since those characters are so primal and important to me, if I saw that one ended on a path I didn’t want, it would just be an awkward dissonance to me.
Do you have anything to add?
I’m very excited at the thought of starting season two. I’ve got a hell of a lot on my mind in terms of where I want this show to go and it takes more than two seasons to tell.
What did you think of the Killjoys season finale? Hoping for a Dark Matter crossover? Sound off in the comments below.
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