Heroism and Destiny are the themes to watch for as Krypton‘s first season winds towards its finale.
In a cool little flashback twist, we find out where Adam Strange goes when the Zeta-Beam Device rips him out of sight. Instead of yoyo-ing him between present-day Earth and two hundred years ago Krypton like I supposed, he gets flung into a futuristic containment area and grilled by the disembodied voices of Sardath of Rann (creator of the Zeta-Beam Device according to a quick Wiki dive) and his daughter Alanna who, get this, is Adam’s WIFE and mother to his children.
And what do we learn from Adam Strange’s little solo scene with voices? He REALLY wants to save Superman and prove himself a hero. To him, a hero completes the mission at all costs and it seems that all his self-worth is wrapped up in being a hero in order to backwards-engineer a justifiable reason for stealing/borrowing the Zeta-Beam technology from his in-laws. Also, he doesn’t have a great track record for commitments.
Meanwhile, most of the heroics are being carried out by House Zod under the also-ran guidance of Seg’s plans. There’s a cleverness to the writing when General Zod explains to his grandmother that Superman is only “super” because he’s a Kryptonian living under a yellow sun and his circumstances are mostly due to dumb luck. That dumb luck seems to run in the El line.
Jayna’s response to her grandson is enormously interesting to watch. Accepting him to be who he says he is (with NO explanation yet forthcoming as to HOW he travelled back in time), she quickly moves on to really delving into WHAT he is.
And he’s pretty straight-forward about how he survived the destruction of Krypton. He tells her that he had been imprisoned in the Phantom Zone by Jor-El for attempting to overthrow the government of Kryptonopolis. He might’ve thought this confession would strike a chord with her as she is currently wanted for her part in the attempted coup on the Voice of Rao.
Grandma ain’t so easy to win over though and she draws her own conclusions about her grandson’s motivations from his actions, attitude, and assumptions. She shares her thoughts with Seg when she has a chance and predicts that the youngest Zod will seek to rule any Krypton he saves from Brainiac.
When Kem comes across Sevi (India Mullen, Into the Badlands) one of Rao’s acolytes in the Rankless alleys, she reveals that Brainiac’s sentry in the body of The Voice spends time every day in the Kandor Genesis chamber, drawing energy from the embryos of the Kryptonian people while in some sort of trance.
Learning this, Seg forms the plan to attack while The Voice is hooked up to the Genesis Chamber. Of course, they need to deactivate the Red Shard, the sentry’s assimilated guard. With some sketchy idea of the science behind that, they decide to use the one-armed Dev to break that mind control.
It’s unlikely that Lyta thought when she shot off Dev’s arm that she’d be back a day later looking for his body. And I betcha she was as surprised as we were to find him still walking around.
That’s how she and Nyssa end up in the Fortress of Solitude, holding Dev down while Holo-Val tinkers with his brain. The sheer pompousity of the A.I. is summed up in his line:”I’m an El. We always find a way.”
Seg’s plan requires more firepower than he and the older Zods can carry in so the General heads back into the belly of Black Zero for reinforcements. He takes Jayne with him and they end up in a sit down with the true head of the Black Zero movement, a formerly-Ranked Council member, Jax-Ur (Hannah Waddingham, Twelve Monkeys).
I’m unsure how this version of Jax-Ur fits in with canon where the character has been historically male and usually in place of or working for General Zod.
Either way, she’s a real hard-ass with an axe to grind on Daron-Vex’s head. His capture is her price for the use of Black Zero forces in the attack on The Voice of Rao. There’s a moment where the decision is laid on Nyssa’s plate. She proves herself her father’s daughter and agrees to the price.
It isn’t just the children of Krypto’s future at stake. Little Ona is still running around Rao’s chambers as his favourite acolyte. Kem is worried for her when he finds out what that The Voice has been take over by the sentry.
Best confrontation in the episode has to be Kem and Adam clashing on their personal priorities. Turns out even Adam comes up for air (by pulling his head out of his butt) occasionally. Together, they track down Ona doing her Rao blessing thing. She is unafraid of The Voice and Kem, desperate for her to find happiness, lets her be and just reminds her that she can always come back to him if she needs somewhere to be safe.
Next, Adam decides the best way to complete his mission is to back Brainiac’s attack on Kandor so he heads into Daron’s office. Daron seems ready to throw in with anyone at this point and makes deals the way most people use tissues.
Speaking of tissues, he could probably use a few as, for the second episode in a row, he gets bopped but good on the nose, this time by Seg who takes the time to gloat. Which is why Seg is a terrible fighter.
The Genesis Chamber battle is exciting and tense with basically everything seeming to hinge on getting the Red Shard out of the way. At the last second, Holo-Val is able to sever the Sentry’s link to his guard and General Zod and Seg make their move on The Voice.
Which goes really badly (mostly because Zod tries to SNEAK up on the Voice with a KNIFE and, well, because… Seg) and is only successful because Jayna shows up and shoots the Voice in the chest with some nasty piece of weaponry which causes him to fall down the interminably deep chasm of the Genesis Chamber.
But as in all battles with otherworldly, near-immortal beings, you don’t count them down until you KNOW they’re down.
After the fight in the Genesis Chamber, Daron finds himself captured by Black Zero. He and Nyssa have one last heart-to-heart about the nature of survival and he is turned over to Jax-Ur.
The Black Zero contingent is cheery and celebratory but Zod wants assurances that Brainiac’s sentry is truly gone. Jax agrees to give him Black Zero forces until proof can be found but they part with guarded looks.
And like the proverbial bad penny, The Voice climbs out of the depths to find his cherished Ona.
Adam’s moment of heroism is bought with Ona’s demise which a part of me isn’t cool with. How the sentry was able to weaponize the child is a whole other matter but the sheer futility of Kem’s promise to take care of the child left me absolutely gutted. If this was Ona’s destiny, Destiny is a massive jerk.
When Adam throws himself (encased in the Zeta-Beam) between the detonating Ona and Seg, the explosion sends him to yet another dimension where he encounters a mysterious woman (Natalia Kostrzewa, Dark Heart) frozen motionless except for her eyes. I guess that’s intriguing but I’m still mourning Ona so whatevs.
KryptonÂ airs Wednesday nights at 10pm ET/PT on SYFY.
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