Krypton: 1.08 Savage Night
Stop the presses, hold the phone… this episodes opens with a cool, entertaining scene! We’re treated to a two weeks ago flashback to Adam Strange having a conversation with Sardath. This short scene is both witty and informative of character and, unlike anything else we’ve really seen in the show, very comic booky. It doesn’t last long and before the credits roll we’re back in the doom and gloom of Kandor.
We get some more time with Kem this week, while he goes on a mission to save Ona from the Voice of Rao. For all its major issues and problems as a show, I quite like, in the middle of all these wannabe heroes shouting about saving Kandor/Krypton/Superman/The Universe getting to see Kem motivated by a smaller, personal mission to help one little girl. This is backed up later in the episode when Kem calls out Adam, pointing out the fact they are dealing with real people in real danger, not an imaginary messiah child from the future.
It feels like the show is gearing up for more action adventure now that Brainiac is basically out in the open (at least to our main characters). Brainiac it turns out is draining the embryos in Krypton’s genesis chamber to power himself, which could result in all the embryos dying and the end of the Kryptonian people. Zod reminds us that the chamber is the only way Kryptonians reproduce. No further explanation is given as to why this is the way people reproduce other than it being a cultural one. Also, does this system apply to the Rankless? Surely if reproduction is in some way governmentally controlled and the government is as corrupt, elitist and controlling as it seems to be here then the Rankless population is something that needs controlling? Krypton is full of what seem like cool ideas but lacks structure to support them.
There is now a tedious, teenage drama level tension between Lyta and Nyssa. We can pretend its because they come from different ideological and cultural backgrounds but it comes across as mostly being because they both fancy Seg.
A lot of this episode is spent with people plotting and planning but very little happens. Zod and Jayna go to Black Zero to ask for help attacking Brainiac, Seg, Lyta and Nyssa go to Space Grandad for help with Dev-Em who they want to help them against Braniac and Adam goes top Daron for help against everybody. We also get another flashback to Adam’s time with Sardath, this time being joined by Alanna – which was not as cool as it should have been.
There is a nice scene between the elder Zods this week; Jayna and the General share a quite drink where General Zod explains to her about Superman, Earth and the yellow sun as well as his spell in the Phantom Zone. In reality the scene brings nothing to the wider narrative and only tells us things we already know about the characters but Ann Ogbomo and Colin Salmon, sell the scene so well and add depth to a brief moment.
This whole episode lacks any urgency, the gang think they might have got rid of Brainiac but they just have drink and hang around instead of taking immediate control of the government or thoroughly checking if Brainy was gone. There are a couple of nice moments, Nyssa forgiving her father before she turns him over to Black Zero was actually a good touch and I’ll give the show credit for the way they dispatched Ona. She and Kem where the real (only) emotional centre of the show and to see her used so cruelly by the being she’d put unlimited faith in was genuinely gut wrenching.
This might be the best the show has been… but that’s not saying much.