Thursday, May 30, 2024

It All Starts to Go Downhill

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Spoilers for Krypton 1×08: Savage Night

We open, curiously enough, with Adam! First time an episode has opened with Adam I believe. And it’s a flashback to the pilot! Back when he had a baseball cap. A black baseball cap, because heaven forbid we have any bright blues or oranges in this show. So, remember how in the pilot Adam got beamed away? And how it was never really addressed what happened or why? Well, it turns out that he was being brought to this weird space tunnel thing by the creator of the time travel device that he did not invent, as he’s been claiming, but stole. And, yeah, I like this. I don’t know a whole lot about Adam Strange in the comics, but I do know that he didn’t invent his Zeta Beam device. Though I believe he got it from a shipwreck, rather than stealing it technically. Either way, I like that they’re not making Adam Strange some sort of genius.

Regardless, the alien he stole from (whom we never see but do hear quite a bit) is rather snarky and unimpressed with Adam. Until, that is, Adam reveals that he stole the device after learning that someone was planning on going back and preventing Superman’s birth. After hearing that, the alien is taken aback and suggests that they send someone more…qualified then Adam. Adam isn’t having that though, and gives quite the impassioned speech about destiny and how he needs to be the one to do this.

We return to the present (of the show that is, so still two hundred years in the past) and Adam finds Kem. It appears that Seg told Kem about Adam’s beliefs and lies at some point off screen, because Kem isn’t pleased to see Adam. Adam tries to give a speech singing Superman’s praises, but Kem is utterly unimpressed and attempts to walk away. Adam stops him, revealing that he isn’t planning to talk to Seg, he just wants to kill the General. Curiously, Kem refers to the General as Zod, which is odd considering that there’s two other Zods besides the General staying in his bar, but oh well. Kem does actually display some concern for Adam, and doesn’t believe that the human can kill the General. So, he makes a deal, and offers to get Seg to meet with Adam in exchange for not going on what Kem considers to be a suicide mission. Adam takes the deal, and Kem heads off.

Back in the bar, Lyta is concerned about their diminishing supplies, and Seg tells her they have to make due. And then they kiss. In the bar which, last we saw, was also housing Seg’s wife and Lyta’s mother. Not the best plan. Admittedly, Seg and Nyssa’s marriage isn’t exactly one either chose out of love, but still.

As for Kem, he’s heading back to the bar when he sees a shadowy figure running around. For some reason he decides to follow this figure into a dark alley. Fortunately for him, it’s not a Brainiac drone but one of the nuns. She reveals that every night Brainiac goes into the Genesis Chamber (the place where two Kryptonians go and have a computer make and name a baby for them) and plugs himself in. The nurse believes that Brainiac is getting energy from them, using the embryos as batteries. So…he’s doing a less efficient version of the Matrix then? Like, seriously, how much electrical power can be in an embryo?

Well, according to the General, quite a bit. He refers to the Genesis Chamber as the greatest source of energy in Kandor which…seems wrong. I’m sorry, I know that killing all those embryos is bad, because you know, Brainiac isn’t the parent of any of them and so that’s not his right, but really? The Genesis Chamber is better than an actual power plant? I mean…seriously? Questionable ethics aside, while there may be lots of embryos in there, there can’t be more than a million. That’s a finite resource, one that people are going to notice him draining. Unless he’s smart enough to only be taking from the ones designated to be ‘born’ after his takeover I guess. Regardless, the General seems concerned that this plan will wipe out the future of Kandor by depriving them of all their children, which shouldn’t be a concern unless he believes that it’ll take more than nine months before Brainiac takes over…ugh this plan is stupid.

Over with Daron and Brainiac, we learn that Brainiac has completely abandoned the Voice’s mask which…seems odd. I mean, okay, he’s convinced most of Kandor that he was reborn and given a new body and new powers but really? Nobody is confused as to why the embodiment of the benevolent sun god has black eyes and a deep, reverb filled voice? Brainiac seems to be deeply convinced that subtlety is stupid, which is stupid. Either way, the main point of this little moment is that Brainiac promises to let Daron take over Kandor when he leaves which…I mean probably? Kandor will still be functioning and full of living beings when he puts in a bottle, so I suppose that’s not a lie.

Back with Seg and friends, Seg has a plan (never a good idea). According to the nun, when Brainiac drains the Genesis Chamber he goes into a sort of trance. And Seg believes that if Brainiac is in a trance, then not only will he be unable to defend himself, but the guards that Brainiac has made into drones will be cut off from him and he’ll be alone. That’s a big assumption to make, but they go with it, deciding to use Dev’s corpse to exploit his former connection to Brainiac and use it as a backdoor.

The General and Jayna head off to get supplies and allies from Black Zero, prompting a quick conversation about why Jayna is a fugitive. She explains that she chose family over honor and, to her surprise, the General agrees. Not only because he believes that a duty to Kandor means being willing to remove bad leaders, but also because if she’d let Lyta die, he’d never have been born. Here’s hoping Adam doesn’t realize that and decide to kill Lyta in order to kill the General. In the bar, Kem leaves to try to rescue Ona. Seg and Lyta start locking and loading, and Seg says that Nyssa is going to come with them. Lyta protests, saying that she doesn’t trust Nyssa. Seg rightfully points out they already discussed this in the last episode. Also, Nyssa’s literally sitting behind Lyta.

Nyssa seems cool with it though.

I’m starting to get some definite catty vibes from Lyta with regards to Nyssa, which is insane. I mean, okay, yes, Seg and Nyssa are married. That is awkward. But at the same time, Seg has literally never expressed any romantic interest in Nyssa at any point in these eight episodes. Hell, he seems to have no problem kissing Lyta in front of Nyssa. And Nyssa seems to be aiming for a BrOTP, or maybe FWB, so there’s not really a reason for Lyta to be threatened. This is literally just Lyta being catty for the sake of being catty!

Out in, well, the Outlands, they find Dev…who’s up and walking around. I’m not really sure why this surprises Lyta so much, he’s a zombie cyborg and you only shot off his arm, but okay. Either way they incapacitate Dev and take him away while a mysterious figure watches. At the same time, in Kandor, the General and Jayna meet with the leader of Black Zero, who it turns out is a woman. At first she seems rather calm, willing to listen and joke with Jayna and talking about creating a more egalitarian and democratic Kandor, but the minute the General speaks she attacks him, slashing his cheek with a knife and telling him he’s not allowed to speak.

Seg, Lyta, and Nyssa take Dev back to the Fortress of Solitude, where the Valogram is able to stabilize him. Nyssa expresses her shock to learn that the Fortress is real, which Seg sympathizes with. They get contacted by the General and Jayna, who have news. Black Zero believes them about Brainiac and will help them to stop him in exchange for Daron Vex’s life. Seg, in a surprisingly tactful move, declares that that’s not his decision to make and leaves it up to Nyssa. After a moment’s hesitation, Nyssa agrees that saving Kandor is more important.

At the same time, Adam runs into Kem, who is deeply stressed out about finding Ona. After a brief blow up on his part, in which he starts yelling at Adam, Adam swiftly agrees to help find Ona and the two head out. They manage to find her in the Rankless slums doing her own small missionary work. Sadly, Kem’s attempts to convince her that ‘the Voice’ is bad and she needs to leave him are for naught, and he and Adam are forced to leave her by the approach of guards. It’s a remarkably touching scene.

And then Adam manages to get an audience with Daron. And this is where Adam’s character starts to get especially dark. Understandably dark, but still. Remember, from Adam’s point of view, he cannot afford to change the timeline. Kandor must be taken, and Krypton must explode. He’s not here to try and turn Daron against Brainiac. No, he’s here to offer up Seg and friends on a platter, to make sure that they can’t stop Brainiac. And in return he asks for Seg, safe and sound and out of Kandor.

In a surprisingly moral act, they wake Dev up and free him from Brainiac’s control in order to ask his permission to use him to hack into Brainiac’s network. They ask for consent; that’s distressingly rare. But they manage to take advantage of it, breaking into the Genesis Chamber and attacking. Daron is captured, and Jayna shoots Brainiac in the heart, causing him to topple off the platform into the Genesis Chamber and fall hundreds, if not thousands, of feet.

We then cut to Black Zero headquarters, where Nyssa says goodbye to Daron, who shows a surprising amount of regret and emotion. At any rate, Daron is quickly handed over to the leader of Black Zero, who wants to conclude her business with the General. He argues however, that the deal was to exchange Brainiac for Daron, and without the Voice’s body their deal isn’t over.

And indeed he is right to be concerned, as Brainiac appears in the palace. He’s in bad shape, his robes filthy, a hole in his chest, and his face covered in blood. He reveals himself to Ona, surprisingly taking the time to comfort her. We cut away to Adam, who was waiting in Daron’s office. He sees Ona walking down the hall, but she doesn’t respond, staring blankly ahead.

Over in Kem’s bar, Jayna speaks to Seg and Kem. She has concerns about the General, having learned his backstory involving the coup and the Phantom Zone. She believes that he has come back to Krypton not to save it, but to rule it. This conversation is interrupted by the arrival of Ona. At first Kem is relieved to see her, but then her face begins to glow. Brainiac has turned a small child into a suicide bomber. Before she can detonate however, Adam arrives, leaping between them and Ona and activating his Zeta Beam. When the flames clear Adam and Ona are gone.

But Adam is, of course, not dead. He wakes up in a strange place, where he sees a strange woman doing the mannequin challenge. She moves her eyes to look at him and…the episode ends. I…don’t know what that means. I don’t know who that woman was or why she was standing still, and I don’t know where Adam is. They were going for a dramatic episode, but it just felt confusing.

So, that was Krypton 1×08. I’m not going to lie, that was kind of rough. There’s been frustrating moments and dud episodes before, but I don’t think I’ve ever been so frustrated with an episode of Krypton so consistently before. Wallis Day and Rasmus Hardiker gave excellent performances, and I appreciated getting to know more about Adam, but aside from that I don’t see many positives. I haven’t loved every episode of Krypton, but I think this is the first episode I have to give a negative review of.

Image Courtesy of SyFy

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