“Killjoys” Gave Its Queer Characters the Happily Ever (and Ever) After We Deserve

I think I always took Killjoys for granted.

It was there when SyFy Fridays first began — that glorious trifecta of Killjoys, Dark Matter and Defiance. It stayed when Defiance left and was replaced by Wynonna Earp. It remained when Dark Matter left, too. Hell, it even persevered when Wynonna’s production got delayed and it was left all alone on Friday nights with only old monster movies to keep it company.

It didn’t really hit me until I was watching the series finale that it was really goodbye.

dutch dav and johnny

I didn’t even hate the men on this show! A high compliment, from me specifically.

Over the years, we’ve been through a lot with Team Awesome Force. Queens fell from grace only to rise again. Enemies were defeated. Allies were lost. Bartenders became warriors. Spaceships became friends. Strangers became family.

Killjoys imagined a futuristic world where sexuality isn’t really discussed, but there’s a wide range of sexualities nonetheless. In fact, by the time the curtains closed on our core crew, they were bare minimum half queer, though the numbers get a little fuzzier when you get to five. Because as I said, it was never really discussed. But when all was said in done, at the very least, we had Pree being promoted to governer and living happily ever after with his husband, Gared; queer nerd Zeph found her presumed-dead boyfriend was actually alive to get her happy ending, and, as my friend Bridget pointed out, the queer lady couple — Green Queens Aneela and Delle Seyah Kendry — not only survived the bury your gays trope, but turned it completely on its head by spending the finale becoming immortal.

I also feel like I didn’t give Killjoys enough credit back in Season Four when it did exactly what I praised Jane the Virgin for doing, but took it one step further. And maybe not as purposefully, maybe it was just a lovely coincidence. Where Jane the Virgin saw people shipping Petra and Jane but knew that wouldn’t work for their overall story so they gave us a Rosario-Dawson-shaped Jane, Killjoys flipped it a bit. Killjoys saw people shipping Dutch and Delle Seyah (and I mean, how could you not with an exchange like this: ““I snap and you come.” “You must be one hell of a snapper.”) and so they gave Delle Seyah a new girl to crush on…who had Dutch’s exact face. Aneela slithered out of the Green and into our hearts, doing the double duty of showcasing the raw talent of Hannah John-Kamen and for giving us the Mayko Nguyen/HJK team-up we deserve.

delle seyah and aneela kiss

The kissing didn’t hurt, either.

One of my favorite things about the Delle Seyah/Aneela pairing is that, on paper, those two were originally the villains of our story. But their queerness was never villainized, and their characters or motivations never fell flat. And by the end, they were fighting side by side with our heroes. They didn’t fully change who they were, they weren’t magically redeemed or transformed because they found love. They were still the “Be safe,” “Be brutal,” couple we grew to know and love. They just found a way to get what they wanted without hurting anyone more than they’d already hurt. So by the end, they’d more than earned their happily ever after. As Delle Seyah said, she will never be nice but she’s going to try to be Good.

While TV has come a long way over the last decade as far as queer representation, it’s still nice when a show seems to get us. When it gives us new stories and new characters. When it’s not a cookie cutter coming out story, or a story we’ve seen before in any way. I mean, an immortal goddess of the goo and a former leader who got impregnated by a magic baby who turned into a teenager hours after being born? And that’s just the half of it. They were going through the same kinds of sci-fi shenanigans, the same kind of emotional journeys that the rest of the characters were going through. And even though they were technically secondary characters, so their plots were often technically B-plots, they never felt like second string.

Sure, you could have gotten most of the picture with all the Dutch, Johnny and Dav pieces, but it wouldn’t be quite complete without Delle Seyah and Aneela. They’re complicated, sure, but as the opening to the finale called them, they’re part of “this strange, messy, impossible family.”

Because that’s what they are, family. All of the friends who were with us in the finale came from a difficult past. A family who rejected them for who they were, abuse, betrayal, loss. Some people are content to stay where they were born, some are lucky to feel fulfilled by the life they were brought into, some are fortunate enough to be loved by and love the people who raised them. But not all of us are so lucky. Some of us had to leave. Some of us had to escape. Some of us had to fight tooth and nail to become who were are. And some of us had to make our own family along the way. But as the finale also says, “It doesn’t matter how your story begins. It’s about who’s with you at the end.” And it was nice to see, in a show like this, plenty of people like us at the end.

delle seyah and aneela share the green

They have a son, an empire, and eternity together.

One thing I loved about the end of this story is that it didn’t quite feel like The End. It was satisfying enough that by the time it was over, it felt like the right place to leave our friends, but it was exciting enough that I knew they would be out doing their thing and fighting the baddies and loving each other for years to come. It was like the end of Fleabag (spoilers!) when you’re following her and you know her story isn’t over but she lets you know… it’s time to say goodbye.

And on a show full of destruction, in a sci-fi world full of explosions, death, and terror… it was a blessing to have a happy ending. Even though I burst into tears when Dutch said, “I’m going to miss this,” before her and her boys lead us into the field one last time, I still felt a triumphant feeling. I was sad that it was over, but I felt… lighter somehow, not having to fear for anyone’s life. And while I wasn’t really worried that this show would bury any gays or truly torment me unnecessarily, I didn’t realize until it was over that I had been tensing a little bit. When I watched the finale for a second time, I was able to watch without even that little inkling of fear that other shows have conditioned me to go into finales with, and it made the ride that much more fun.

I’ll leave you with a quote from Killjoys creator and writer Michelle Lovretta in her interview with the TV Junkies, because I think it sums up the heart of the series and the way it went out very well:

“Happy endings are out of style, but these days, hope feels bold, man. Joy feels weaponized. We’re obviously not afraid to kill characters, we’ve done it in the past. But why can’t everybody live, for once? Why can’t the story be about all the good guys winning?”

And to take it a step further, in a time when we’re still recovering from the queer character massacre of 2016, and the number drop in queer characters in the years after, in a time when queer stories are still majority dark and tortured, and when the real world is still so hard on us — we deserve this happy ending, too.

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Just a TV-loving, Twitter-addicted nerd who loves reading, watching, and writing about stories. One part Kara Danvers, two parts Waverly Earp, a dash of Cosima and an extra helping of my own brand of weirdo.

Valerie has written 275 articles for us.

8 Comments

  1. Yay, I was hoping you’d write something for the finale! Love this piece, you’ve captured all the good things so well. I started out just watching it because it was on and then fell in love. It’s time frame also neatly corresponds to my own coming out to myself and others so watching Dutch fight against how she was raised to be and claim her own identity and watching the show’s queer aspects deepen and blossom has been really poignant for me especially. Also shout out to my mom for letting me yell YESSS LESBIAN SPACE QUEENS while watching the finale on her tv.
    signed, one of your Eagles campers, Tashi (ca-caw!)

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