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It’s All About Timing in Krypton’s “The Rankless Initiative” 

It’s All About Timing in Krypton’s “The Rankless Initiative”
Photo Credit: Steffan Hill/Syfy

There’s an unfortunate trend in these early episodes of Krypton where the problems seem to be piling up faster than they can be solved. Meanwhile, there are hints of more interesting relationships than what the surface would suggest.

Photo Credit: Steffan Hill/Syfy

Picking up where we left off, Seg and Adam Strange take the Brainiac probe Adam and Kem found to Val-El’s fortress of solitude and the holographic A.I. of Val-El. He analyzes the probe and determines that it is only the shell of a data-collecting parasitic sentry that Brainiac uses to gather intel on planets he plans on absorbing.

For some unexplainable reason, Seg asks Holo-Val to open the shell (maybe because he and Adam are prepared to face it?). Unfortunately, when the shell is opened, they find it empty, meaning the sentry may have already found a host.

Photo Credit: Gavin Bond/Syfy

Flashback three days in time and we see Seg’s neighbour, Rhom (Alexis Raben, Banshee), and her daughter Ona (Tipper Seifert-Cleveland, Call the Midwife) having a meal at Kem’s establishment. Rhom doesn’t want to take his charity but eats the meal as she needs to keep her strength up for a new job she’s starting that night. As a part of the salvage crew in the outlands, she stumbles upon the sentry in its shell and manages to open it.

Returning to Seg and Adam Strange with Holo-Val, they figure out that the sentry most likely grabbed a salvage crew member as a host. If the salvage worker follows protocol, they’ll report the sentry to the Guilds. If they want to earn a quick buck, they may try to sell it on the black market.

Our optimistic heroes make a lot of assumptions about this sentry that they really know nothing about and plan to track it (and possibly its host) down before it can “completely” infect the Kryptonian.

Seg sends Adam Strange to check with Kem to see if something is being peddled below ranks while he returns to the Guilds and plans on asking Lyta (who he JUST broke up with) if she’s heard of anything being reported.

Photo Credit: Gavin Bond/Syfy

Of course, it’s Nyssa who intercepts and welcomes Seg back to the Guilds and escorts him in Lyta’s direction. She pokes fun at how bad he is at lying and slyly reveals as she leaves that Lyta’s been promoted.

Dragging Lyta aside, Seg scolds her for the risk she took challenging Quex to the Kandorian duel. She explains she did it to change the way the Sagatari treat the Rankless for which Seg thanks her.

She thinks it’s nice that he came to find her to make sure she was okay after her duel but then he tells her he actually needs her to help find out about salvage crew reports. And suddenly she remembers he broke up with her already.

Back in the Rankless zone, Rhom offers the sentry to one of the alleyway dealers. He low-balls her but she ends up taking the price he names when she considers her daughter’s needs. She hands it over, taps to gain the credits, then pulls Ona away from the table and leaves.

In Magistrate Vex’s office, the Voice is confirming with Daron and Nyssa that the Rankless Initiative will be going forward that night with the intent on destroying the anti-establishment group, Black Zero. One of the acolytes listens intently. I’m curious what the acolytes actually DO.

The Voice warns Daron that his own well-being hinges on the success of the Initiative. He leaves with his entourage and Daron lunges for a drink.

Photo Credit: Steffan Hill/Syfy

In the war room, Primus Zod briefs her commanders on the hierarchy of Black Zero’s leadership and lays out the plan for the Initiative to take Sector 19 street by street, scanning and evicting all its residents in order to find the Black Zero element. Lyta speaks up against the plan but is shut down by Daron and her mother.

Lyta meets up with her mother outside the briefing room and is warned about her sentimental connection to Sector 19 since Seg lived there with his parents. The General reminds her that warning anyone in the sector of the Initiative puts her squad in danger and now that she is their commander, they must come first.

Photo Credit: Steffan Hill/Syfy

Lyta finds Dev clearing out Quex’s belongings from the commander’s locker. He reminds her that it’s her locker now. She expresses sympathy for his loss as he was close with Quex but he shrugs it off as necessary.

Now, we know that Lyta and Dev are betrothed the same way that Seg and Nyssa are. There was a definite implication in this scene that Dev and Quex were involved the way that Lyta and Seg were. Lyta killed Quex while Lyta’s mother killed Seg’s parents. There’s a lot of parallels here and it will be interesting to see the repercussions that ripple through the various relationships.

She shares with him her feeling that the Initiative will drive more people to Black Zero and questions whether their squad should follow the orders. He reminds her that the orders are not to be questioned.

In Sector 19, Adam Strange visits the same dealer that Rhom sold the sentry to. He sees the sentry and the dealer wants 20,000 for it. With a little misdirection, Strange disappears into the crowd with the sentry.

Lyta addresses her squad as their commander. She reminds them that the Initiative is to root out Black Zero and not to beat up on the Rankless. She orders them to hold their fire unless she give the command. Kol-Da (Andrea Vasiliou, Wonder Woman) does not look convinced.

Photo Credit: Steffan Hill/Syfy

Adam Strange dashes into Kem’s tavern and hides behind a counter. Once he’s sure the dealer hasn’t followed him, he reveals that he has the sentry. He and Seg head out (passing a girl dressed suspiciously like Supergirl) to see if Holo-Val can deactivate it or possibly reverse engineer it but before they get far, the Sagatari skimmers show up to evacuate the Sector, evicting all its residents.

Chaos and violence ensues. Seg spots Lyta across the line of Sagatari weapons. He sends Strange to the fortress and tries to talk to Lyta. She assures him that she’s trying her best to keep things calm and then sends him away.

Adam Strange waits as Holo-Val analyzes the sentry. He mentions in passing that his zeta-beam isn’t working and wouldn’t mind if Holo-Val could tune it up for him. Unfortunately, Holo-Val is a more concerned with the fact the sentry seems inactive which means it has already found a host.

Photo Credit: Gavin Bond/Syfy

Kem comes across Rhom and Ona trying to move to a checkpoint but Rhom is in distress and falls to the ground. Her skin begins to change colour and a couple of Sagatari come to hurry them along.

Kem and Ona are moved away but when they force Rhom to her feet, her eyes suddenly become pupil-less and she picks the soldier up and throws him away, knocking away the others who come to his assistance. She strides away and Kem leads Ona back to his tavern where they hid behind the (entirely porous) counter and wait for Seg.

Seg checks in with them and then heads out to find Rhom. Communicating with Adam Strange, he insists that Rhom be spared if possible and swears that he’ll find a way.

Meanwhile, Lyta’s squad has shackled a number of Rankless and Kol-Da is interrogating them with physical force and shoots one when he protests her nearly choking out another man. The Rankless start rising up in reaction to the death and Lyta enters the scene. She assesses the situation and places Kol-Da under arrest for killing the Rankless man.

Photo Credit: Steffan Hill/Syfy

The Rhom-Sentry enters a communication hub and cracks open a terminal in order to access the data on Kandor. It’s a great scene. She tears off the top of the panel and sticks her head into the wiring like a horse eating oats, ravenously.

Seg gets Lyta alone and asks her for an electro-static discharge grenade. She deduces that it has something to do with her dead soldiers and a recently reported communications hub breach. She demands answers but he insists she needs to trust him. She gives him the grenade and then has her squad hold their position, despite a direct order from her mother, outside the hub while he deals with Rhom-Sentry.

When he enters the hub, he tries to address Rhom but Rhom-Sentry knocks him away which causes him to drop the grenade, unactivated. The sentry states that Krypton “will be collected” and that Rhom is no more. Suspended off the floor by data wiring, Seg cries out to Rhom to fight the sentry’s influence by thinking of Ona.

This causes a moment of hesitation and Seg is dropped. He manages to grab the grenade before the sentry reasserts control and restrains him again. Seg detonates the grenade and knocks out power for a significant radius from the hub.

Photo Credit: Steffan Hill/Syfy

Commander Em and his squad enter the hub after Seg has taken Rhom away. They assume that Black Zero was trying to hack the system and then escaped.

Up in the Guilds, Daron and Nyssa see Kol being brought in and despair at having to report the Initiative’s failure to the Voice. Kol and Daron exchange a rather meaningful glance as she’s being led past. We are left hanging as to whether the Voice carries out his threat.

Back in Sector 19, Lyta and Seg are waiting with an unconscious but alive Rhom. Seg explains about the threat of Brainiac. Adam Strange arrives with the skimmer. Lyta want Seg to take Rhom to the Council but Seg takes her to the fortress instead in order to try to heal her.

At the fortress, Holo-Val examines Rhom and says that removing the sentry may kill Rhom. Adam Strange points out that they stopped her before she could get to a transmitter but Holo-Val reveals that she actually is the transmitter and that the information about Krypton has already been sent. A distance away, Brainiac (Blake Ritson, Indian Summers) pronounces Krypton’s existance at an end.

So what have we learned?

One: Seg has a messed up idea of what breaking up with a girlfriend looks like

Two: Brainiac’s sentry-hosts are somehow able to meld data wiring with their biology which is pretty horrifying and mind-bending at the same time.

Three: Dev might’ve been intimately involved with Quex. Daron may have something going on with Kol. Seg and Lyta definitely have a history. Only Nyssa seems to be playing the lone wolf card at the moment.

Four: Some of the Voice’s acolytes may be Black Zero.

Five: The Voice of Rao is definitely mortal (because he fears for his safety) so his identity may be the season’s big reveal.

From finding the shell too late, to finding the sentry too late, to rescuing Rhom too late, it seems like time was the real antagonist in this episode and Seg et al lost this battle, setting up an impossible Brainiac situation.

My concern about Brainiac is that, at this moment, there is no reasonable way for them to stop, delay, or defeat him and yet there’s still a couple hundred years before Krypton is meant to be destroyed. I guess the success of the season really rides on how well they can sell us on the UNreasonable solution they come up with.

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

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