Krypton: 2.02 Ghost in The Fire
This week's episode of Krypton is really a showcase for Lobo and as such, its one of the better episodes they’ve offered up.
Lobo here is actually pretty fun; I’m not the biggest fan of Lobo – as a character he has a place in comics and can be used well when acting as a parody of extreme, dark superheroes. But he very quickly became the thing he was created to mock so I wasn’t sure which Lobo we’d be getting in Krypton. Surprisingly, the characterisation and Emmett J. Scanlan’s performance is so extreme and oddly charming that is manages to work. More over, it adds a little manic comedy that the show desperately needs.
A lot of this week's episode takes place on Braniac’s home world Colu and involves Seg, Adam and Lobo interacting. I quite like Seg and Adam being separated completely from Krypton; I’m not sure how long it will last but I’d be happy for the season to focus almost entirely on Seg and Adam trying to get back to Krypton while the other characters tackle the direct problems facing the doomed lanet. Lobo realised pretty quickly that Seg has Braniac in his head, so any potential tension and intrigue of that story thread is lost pretty quickly – but to be fair to the show, I don’t think they were trying to hold this for a later twist.
While Seg and Adam mess around with a suspicious Lobo, Lyta is back on Krypton training new soldiers. This is pretty dull, to be honest. While it's obviously meant to mirror the scenes of her and her mother in the previous season, those were some of the dullest, more tedious scenes in the show. While they were clearly being used as an opportunity for character development they were, as was so much of the show, a little stilted and obvious. Here they’re even more sluggish. We’re shown that Zod has been drafting everyday citizens of Krypton and giving them quick training and sending them out as cannon fodder in his plans to take over the universe. We see Lyta training the inept subscriptions, while starting to see Seg everywhere; there is a genuinely intense sequence where she first tries to seduce a young soldier who reminds her of Seg, then beats him half to death for not being him.
This is an interesting angle to take but I can’t get over how weak Georgina Campbell is in this role and how all her dialogue feels clunky and soap-operay. In a very disappointing twist, Zod, who is shown to be easily controlling of his oddly trusting mother, tries to abate her feelings of unrest by… giving her a stolen baby? Because women just want to be mums? I realise there is an argument to be made for Lyta’s yearning to motherhood, especially with her quick acceptance of Zod as her son, but it feels very old fashioned to see the women as mother/caregiver trope used here.
On the flip side of this stolen baby story is Nyssa, as its her baby (with Seg) that has been stolen. Zod took the baby as to control Nyssa and send her back to the rebels as a spy. This leads to the weirdest encounter; when Nyssa finds the rest of Team El, she literally walks up and tells them that Zod has taken her baby and sent her there as a spy and asks them if they can help her get her baby back… but they shun her and act like they can’t trust her and call her a spy!? It’s a really odd scene and reminded me how frustrating this show can be in its plotting.
We have a little bit of a side plot with the reveal that Jayna is alive and surviving in the outerlands. This is all quite balnd and we’re treated to some terrible dialogue about breathing outside the city. Ann Ogbomo was an acting highlight of the last season but here she seems to have lost something, with her delivery feeling awkward and stilted; but I think it’s simply the terrible dialogue she has to deliver this week.
There was a lot of fun to be had this week; The opening scene of a patrol ship being attacked in the wastelands on Krypton, gives us a pretty decent rendering of Doomsday and I really like Lobo mispronouncing names, calling Seg-El Seagul and Krypton Crap Town. The fun stuff with Seg, Adam and Lobo reinforced that the while the actors in this show are charming and can be fun, too much of the material on Krypton itself is gloomy and cheesy. Lobo is a fun introduction but I suspect unsustainable for the full season? Lets see if they can keep it up…