Summer used to be something of a dead time for TV, but in this new golden age of television there are still plenty of things to watch once the major network shows have run their course by May. Among my favorites of these options over the past couple of years have been the shows of Syfy Fridays. Space opera series Dark Matter and Killjoys have been a staple in that line-up for a couple of years now. Defiance was there before it was cancelled, and now Wynonna Earp is taking its place as the third show on the roster.
If you haven’t seen any of these shows, I definitely recommend checking them out. My descriptions below have spoilers from previous seasons, so if you want to watch them without knowing anything, close out of here now and go find them on stream. Trust me, you’ll enjoy.
I have to say that I found the first season for Dark Matter to be rather mediocre. It had a cool premise with the whole crew of the spaceship losing their memories, basically Jason Bourne in space with seven Jason Bournes. But I felt the writing was a little uninspired, and though the show was enjoyable, it wasn’t great. Mostly I kept watching because it was a quality space opera show, and there aren’t a ton of those around at present.
Season Two mixed things up quite a bit, which helped. I thought the writing and story were both much better, but the series also spent some time reworking itself and trying to eliminate some of the problems from Season One. Perhaps the biggest rework was removing one of the main characters, One, and eliminating the love triangle element between him, the female lead Two, and the Jayne-like Three.
While I think the show improved from these changes, it felt a little strange, as a lot of the the plot tension from Season One was built on the romance subplot, and One (being the first of the crew to have awoken from the stasis nap that resulted in everyone losing their memories) appeared set-up to be one of the main protagonists in the ensemble. Instead he was eliminated, and the show has appeared to move on without him.
The second season also gave us a lot more background on both the world and the characters. We learned a lot more about the conflicts between the corporations that run the galaxy and saw how the crew of the Raza fit in with the whole thing. Getting to see the characters discover their pasts was also cool, as knowing their backgrounds and getting to see how they reacted to learning about themselves made them more likable and relatable.
The season ended with the crew fleeing a space station that was about to blow up and with one of their new members, Nyx, in critical condition after being injured by their former crew member’s bodyguard Misaki Han. That former crew member, Ryo Ishida, had gone on to retake his throne as emperor of the of the major factions. He also decided to steal the plans for the Raza’s blink drive, a type of hyperdrive that would give his kingdom a major tactical edge over other competitors.
It seems that this season the Raza crew is out to get revenge on Ishida and most likely to try and steal the plans of the blink drive and, perhaps, to avenge Nyx. Given the improvement in Season Two, I’m hoping the show can build on what it established in Season Three. I think the second season rework helped the show overcome a lot of its baggage in terms of its lesser plot lines, and I’m excited to see how it will move forward, now that it appears to have established its story and character arcs.
This is the second season for Wynonna Earp but its first as part of the Syfy Fridays line-up. The urban fantasy western is set in the town of Purgatory, a place where demons known as revenants are trapped, tied there by a curse. Wynonna, the eldest remaining descendant of Wyatt Earp, is caught up in the curse as well, and is the only mortal who can wield her ancestor’s gun, a weapon that will send revenants back to hell.
After stumbling through a weak pilot episode in its first season, I felt the show grew pretty quickly as it progressed, and by the end of the season I would say it had certainly found its footing. We saw Wynonna deal with the revenant threat and grow into the role she was born to. She reconnected with her sister Waverly and developed complicated and potentially romantic friendships with both her boss Xavier Dolls, a deputy marshal with the FBI’s paranormal Black Badge Division, and Doc Holliday, Wyatt Earp’s best friend who is still alive due to some witchcraft.
The season ended on quite the cliffhanger with Dolls being taken into custody by his superior at the BBD and Waverly being possessed by some strange demon thing. In fact the very last shot of the finale is her leveling and firing a gun at either Doc Holliday or Wynonna. I’ve been waiting about a year to see how that resolves, and I can’t wait to see how things turn out.
Now that the show has hit its groove, I’m really excited for this season, which I expect will be better than the first. With the revenant threat handled, I’ll be curious to see what Wynonna faces now, what happens to Waverly, and how the BBD figures into all of it. I’ve also heard that Waverly’s new girlfriend, Officer Nicole Haught, will have a larger role this season, which is awesome. I can’t wait for that either.
Killjoys, also returning for its third season, will be hitting the airwaves later than these first two shows, arriving on June 30th. Of the three, I think Killjoys has actually been the most consistent. I liked it right out of the gate, and I feel like it never slowed down. Perhaps the closest thing to Firefly’s spiritual successor, it has a great combination of action, adventure, spaceships, and humor.
The show’s second season saw it expand from a focus on bounty hunting to really exploring team leader Dutch’s background and finding out why exactly she’s so significant. This revealed a grant conspiracy that holds The Quad together and set-up a major showdown and alien invasion that will be coming this season.
The season also ended with the core Killjoy team fractured. Following the death of his girlfriend, Dr. Pawter Simms, John Jaqobis kills (or at least attempts to kill…I’m not 100% sure she’s actually dead) Delle Seyah Kendry, a major member of The Quad’s leading aristocracy who was responsible for Simms’ death and decides to flee the system with his friend Clara. I imagine that the early parts of the season will involve the Dutch and D’avin trying to find Johnny while also preparing for the approaching invasion.
I think this show is really great, and I’m excited to see how the story continues to build. I also hope that Clara might serve some role in the upcoming season. I know the actress who played her (Stephanie Leonidas) wasn’t listed as a series regular, which is a shame because I think she’s awesome and was great Defiance, another Syfy show. I hope that at the very least her character is realistically written out of the show rather than just sort of disappearing off-screen.
This is another long shot, but I also hope the character Sabine comes back. She was played by Tori Anderson who went on to be the lead in No Tomorrow. With that show being cancelled, I hope that she finds her way back to Killjoys, both because I thought Sabine was a fascinating character and because I think Anderson is a great actor.
Anyway, I’m very excited for this Friday. Which of these shows are you most excited about seeing again? I think I would have to give the edge to Wynonna Earp, but it’s close between that and Killjoys.
Thanks for reading, catch you next time!