There’s a Deeper Meaning to Krypton’s “Word of Rao”

There’s a distinct change in tone this week’s offering. A declaration of love (although not to the subject concerned), insect-based torture, a political coup in the works, and the always gut-wrenching emotional-blackmail of putting a child in a position of danger.

Photo Credit: Steffan Hill/Syfy

Seg is all over the place in this story. He starts out in the Fortress of Solitude which, to be perfectly blunt, seems to be getting a lot of traffic these days. The sentry-infected Rhom is still unconscious on the holo-Val’s examination table.

On his return to Kandor, he hesitates to deliver the bad news about her mother to the determinedly optimistic Ona and then charges off to the prison when he finds out Lyta is facing the death penalty for treason. He gets beat back by Lyta’s fiancé and thrown out by Lyta’s mother.

Turning to Nyssa, he is goaded into admitting that his concern for Lyta is because he is in love with her. He pleads with Nyssa, apparently one of the best law-makers in Kandor, to save Lyta.

Photo Credit: Steffan Hill/Syfy

Talking to Adam Strange, he realizes he can save Lyta if he shows the Council Rhom so he dashes out of the tavern to do exactly that. (He doesn’t really walk anywhere, does he?) Doesn’t get far this time though as he gets black-bagged by a Black Zero group disguised as Sagatari soldiers.

He spends the rest of the episode being tortured/tested with a bug in his skull and talking out a deal with The Commander (Colin Salmon, Limitless) to help break Lyta out of prison. The Commander not only knows about Brainiac and the sentries but he had a relationship with Seg’s grandfather, Val-El, before his execution.

Photo Credit: Steffan Hill/Syfy

His command style is unique as he admits that he used the Black Zero resources to collect intel on Brainiac’s movements and swiftly executes his punch-happy goon, Tak (Killian Coyle, Dani’s Castle). Kidnapping Seg is his way of finding and destroying the sentry that hijacked Rhom because he claims it’s mission isn’t complete yet.

Seg eventually strikes a deal with him but then breaks free of his guard and escapes out of the hideout only to find himself wandering the Outlands in completely inappropriate attire.

Photo Credit: Steffan Hill/Syfy

Lyta’s interrogation by the Military Council for disobeying the Primus’ orders involves creeps of the two-legged variety as her review is interrupted by Magistrate Daron-Vex barging in to charge her with treason for supposedly conspiring with Black Zero, a crime punishable by death.

Photo Credit: Steffan Hill/Syfy

Daron’s charge is backed up by a false statement by Kol-Da and a doctored autopsy. All of this comes to light when Nyssa gets involved, appoints herself Lyta’s advocate, and questions her herself.

Nyssa provides the most interesting reveal in this episode. Confronting her father about his unethical railroading of Lyta, she demands that he make a more political move to bring House Zod in line with their secret plan to overthrow Rao altogether. She makes a convincing argument although Daron is far too cautious to back her impetuous plan.

Photo Credit: Steffan Hill/Syfy

We also get a lot more insight into Jayna-Zod as she faces the potential execution of her daughter for treason. One would hope that her daughter’s death is more concerning than the taint of treason on her house’s honour, but it’s a hard call to make.

She does take Dev to task for his behaviour but doesn’t spare the rod on Seg either. Jayna is clearly a character of moral clarity. It will be fascinating to see how well that clarity stands up to the quagmire of politics swirling around her.

How staunch will her principles remain if the system she upholds executes her daughter and smears her house unfairly? Nyssa reveals House Vex’s plan so it’s not like Jayna can pretend she doesn’t know what the game is.

Photo Credit: Steffan Hill/Syfy

It occurs to me that Seg and Lyta never see each other in this episode as each faces their respective ordeal and it’s the first time that’s happened. The fact I noticed the absence of that interaction feels important some how.

Photo Credit: SYFY

It’s always brutal when innocents are placed in peril and I was more than a little irked that they played that card so blatantly with the orphaned Ona. The idea that the sentry had taken her as a secondary host was repugnant in the extreme.

So when the thing busts out of the Rao-Barbie doll she presented as an offering and takes rapid control of The Voice, I was weirdly relieved.

Photo Credit: SYFY

This was a pretty dark and sudden turn in the show’s style and my brain is still catching up on a couple of fronts. I’m invested in seeing where Lyta and Nyssa’s stories go as they both have intriguing motivations and goals. I suspect we’ll be getting a lot more of Jayna and Daron instead though.

Photo Credit: Steffan Hill/Syfy

The more we learn about the religion and history of Krypton, the more I feel there’s a carryover effect from the short-lived, Battlestar prequel, Caprica. Although we have yet to see a toaster in the ensemble, there’s a sense of the enemy-within as well as the external threat looming.

Now that Ona’s been adopted by the Rao cult novices (and The Voice is Brainiac’s newest puppet) I assume we’ll be seeing into the inner sanctum more and more. That’s ANOTHER storyline added to an already substantial load. Whether they’re able to interweave the plot threads effectively still remains to be seen.

Krypton airs Wednesday nights at 10pm ET/PT on SYFY.

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