This episode, Johnny Be Good, was overshadowed for me by the death at the end (stop reading now if you haven’t seen the show), so my recap may be a bit different this week.
The episode opens with a flash-forward: Dutch is in nerve cuffs being tortured in Old Town inside the Royale by a mining union official named Regin. A mob yells for blood outside, held back by brawny monks. I found this segment confusing, probably because it went on so long before the show returned to events of the night before. At the Royale, Pree was trying to help Dutch, arguing with Regin, at one point even brandishing a weapon, offering Dutch, “You, me, blaze of glory,” before he was sent outside. I was impressed with Pree all over again, for his courage trying to protect his friend.
Then we finally go back to last night, where the previous episode ended, and Dutch and D’avin rescuing John and Pawter, who seem to have gotten married in their wall-induced euphoria (or at least are wearing matching rings). Once safely inside Lucy (“I’m a spaceship, John”), Johnny receives sobering explanations about the wall technology and the facts learned on Arkyn last episode. A decision is made to invade Spring Hill and force Jelco to turn the wall off. “Liam Jelco is a murderer, a sadist and a threat to everyone in Old Town. Tonight we bring down his wall and then he dies,” Dutch says with her usual fierce intensity.
John and D’av have a few brotherly moments as they gear up. John doesn’t think Dutch will forgive him for lying to her, but D’av says, “Hells, I tried to kill her and we got past it.” He also helpfully explains, “You chose Dr. Crazypants over our Lady of Perpetual Ass-Kicking.”
Dutch and Pawter have their own heart-to-heart. Pawter never seems to realize the full extent of her own actions. “He lied to me,” Dutch says of John. Pawter answers, “I asked him to … I’d never ask him to risk himself …” Girl is so well-intentioned and terminally naïve. “But you already did,” Dutch tells her.
Spring Hill is curiously deserted. John squares off with a snarky computer system named Julian, who sounds like Jelco in artificial intelligence form to me. “Whoever programmed this is an a**hole,” says Johnny as the system cheerfully thwarts him at every turn. D’av gets tangled up in his thoughts. “Well, my a**hole is bigger than his a**hole … I mean you’re smarter than … whatever.” Johnny brings Lucy to bear on the problem, and she attacks Julian with a cold, “It’s on.” Lucy triumphs, of course, with glee, guile and snarky remarks Julian is no match for.
A Jelco hologram shows up and calls for F Squad to fight off the invaders. (Made me think of the old F Troop …)
Pawter’s in the control room, watching the monitors, seeing people die in Old Town. She calls Delle Seyah for a Qreshi master code to turn the wall off. Again, naïve. Why would Delle help her? And indeed she doesn’t. “These things have been in motion since before we were born,” Delle says. She then outlines the entire Company plot and says millions will die on Westerley as each town is walled in, poisoned and “culled.”
Pawter amps up the wall’s effects to enrage the Old Towners into attacking it while she broadcasts the carnage Quadwide. “I’m Qreshi born but Westerlyn made,” she says. “Everyone needs martyrs,” she whispers in a dire foreshadowing moment, telling the trapped people to “hate the wall, fight the wall.”
Dutch catches Jelco on a lower floor of Spring Hill, which has been converted into a Level Six creation facility. He says he’s just a middleman and a cog in the machine, but if she saves him, he’ll tell her where the rest of the green plasma is. Dutch stays to delay the rampaging citizens who have broken the wall and invaded Spring Hill, while D’av gets Jelco to safety. Which is how Dutch ended up being interrogated at the Royale.
D’av takes Jelco to meet Big Borna, a turncoat who has a huge rocket launcher for rent, which he needs to destroy Spring Hill. Remember her from an earlier episode this season? In a nice touch of irony, he forces Jelco to use his own secret slush fund of “joy” (Quadspeak for money) to pay for the artillery.
Back in real time, Regin allows Johnny to talk to Dutch, who says she loves him. She explains there’s a monster inside her, all crazy and hateful, and he’s the only one who stops it from coming out. She just wants him to be happy. He makes a rather unfortunate reference to having his cake and eating it, too, only mentioning Dutch and Pawter. “We’re not baked goods,” Dutch says with genuine amusement.
Enough time has passed so Dutch feels she can explain the “blowing up Spring Hill” plot to Regin, but the mob outside still wants blood, anyone’s blood. Spring Hill is destroyed in the nick of time. (Good thing D’av is such a supersoldier and superb marksman.) Delle Seyah Kendry arrives to negotiate with Pawter and Regin for Westerley’s independence. Is there a saying in the Quad about not trusting the Kendry family? If there isn’t, there should be.
Pawter and Johnny take a short walk at one point, and she tells him she has to give up everything, her Qreshi title and lands, to pay for Westerley’s independence and satisfy Delle Seyah’s anger over losing to her. Pawter is still shaken by her own actions, driving so many people to die attacking the wall and says she’s sick of it all. She doesn’t want to fight anymore. Johnny tells her as long as he has a home, she has a home. Sweet kiss ensues.
Inside the Royale, the deal is signed. Regin pulls out a knife to carry out the old custom of cutting his palm and bleeding so he can make a bloody handprint on the document. Pawter follows suit and hands the knife to Delle. Promptly and with no hesitation, other than murmuring, “Pretty Pawter,” Delle Seyah stabs her in the gut. She dies on the floor in a spreading pool of blood, unable to say a word as Johnny begs in vain for instructions on how to save her. The monks, who are actually Sixes (raise your hand if you’re surprised by this. No? Me either), kill everyone else. Dutch and D’av fight but are outnumbered, knock Johnny out and escape.
Inside the Royale, Delle substitutes a fake document and then broadcasts a touching tribute to Pawter and how she died for all of them, to ensure a free Westerley. Remember that need for martyrs? Delle gave them one.
Dutch, D’av and an unconscious Johnny arrive on Lucy to find Fancy Lee waiting for them. He’s allowed Jelco to leave and says they have to come with him, Khlyen is waiting.
I still have a feeling Delle Seyah might be a Six herself. She’s pretty emotionless.
“You make me so happy I could die.” That was Pawter to Johnny last episode. I have to say I called it — once a character on TV utters those words, they’re inevitably doomed. Poor pretty princess. Her heart was in the right place. I’ll miss her!
What about Pawter’s poor younger sister, though? Is she now a penniless, homeless orphan … or will Delle Seyah make her the Lady of Land Simms and manipulate her as part of the ongoing plots?
CHATTING WITH AARON AND LUKE
Regarding this episode and the finale, of course neither Aaron nor Luke gave spoilers, but Aaron did say, “There’s an outside force asserting its will on the Quad,” and reminded us that Romwell, the collector in the I Love Lucy episode, alludes to that as well. As far as the finale, Luke shared that it will be “the biggest episode so far, the biggest set pieces, and action, with a big reveal.” Aaron added that the last two episodes “are pretty emotional on different fronts” and “Viewers should get a box of tissues ready.” Luke added there’s no “makeout” between his character and Dutch’s in the finale, as they have “bigger fish to fry.”
Speculating on a possible season three, which hasn’t as of this writing been approved by SyFy (I know I’m hoping for it), and what’s next for the three main characters, Aaron felt there would continue to be repercussions from the actions of the characters in seasons one and two, and that Johnny would need support from his brother for being “shaken up and off-kilter” after the events with Pawter. Luke hazarded the three would be a “family together,” figuring out the problems. Both actors indicated their respect for, and trust in, the show’s writers and, as Aaron said at one point in the context of being happy about the journey of his character, are “content to let them do their thing.” Aaron indicated the show has been an “amazing ride … so much fun … hope we get to continue.”
Discussing the team having been torn apart this season, Aaron said that the “heart of the show is about the team … the drama and tension between these people is real … we care about each other so much, we will make it work.”
Pulling back to share a few more lighthearted comments from the interview, Luke and Aaron said of Pascale Langdale, who plays Jelco, that in real life he’s a “cool guy.”
When the actors were asked about favorite one-liners, D’avin’s a**hole line in this episode was brought up, which, Luke said, “was oddly upsetting and weird.”
I asked about the I Love Lucy episode, where the actress who voices Lucy, Tamsen McDonough, got to portray one of the fembots. I reminded Aaron that fans had been shipping Johnny and Lucy to somehow meet. “They wanted it and they got it,” he said. “The AI-Johnny thing happening!” We agreed though that timing was everything. Since John was in love with Pawter by the time of the Lucy episode, I’m guessing the kiss between Lucy-as-fembot and John wasn’t exactly what fans had been hoping for. Both Aaron and Luke spoke warmly of how important Lucy is — the fourth member of the team. Luke said Tamsen is “so connected to the show, loves the show and the world, knows it all … all of us were genuinely thrilled to have her walk onto her ship.” Aaron said, “Tons and tons of fun.”
One more light note: I asked if they could switch identities and play one of the other characters for a day, who would it be? Aaron picked Alvis, because of the “scarback stuff … the cool story line … love the outfit.” Luke said Dutch or Pawter, because of the costumes, and there was much discussion between the three of us for a moment over the amazing dragon-scale-sleeve jacket Pawter got to wear in episode eight when she came to Spring Hill to free Johnny.
Tune in next week after the season finale recap for more snippets from the group interview. Fingers crossed for good news on season three!
Amazon bestseller Veronica Scott is a three-time recipient of the SFR Galaxy Award and has written a number of science-fiction and fantasy romances. Her latest release is Trapped on Talonque. You can find out more about her and her books at veronicascott.wordpress.com.
Source: Happy Ever After