TELEVISION EPISODE REVIEW – Krypton S1 EP07 ‘Transformation’

While Lyta-Zod and Dev-Em seek out Jayna-Zod in the aftermath of the failed coup against the Voice of Rao, Daron-Vex is ordered to to punish the conspirators behind the attempt on the Voice’s life.

 

Krypton S1 EP07 – “Transformation”
Written By: David Paul Francis
Directed By: Metin Hüseyin

What You Need To Know: 
General Zod, Superman’s greatest enemy, travelled back in time to stop Brainiac from stealing Kandor City, a mission that Adam Strange thought he had been sent back in time for, until realizing that he was actually sent back in time to stop Zod from interfering with Brainiac’s plans. Adam and Seg-El are on the outs because Adam didn’t tell Seg why he was sent back in time to Krypton. A coup was attempted on the Voice of Rao by Daron-Vex, Nyssa-Vex, Jayna-Zod, and Dev-Em, but they failed because the Voice of Rao has been taken over by one of Brainiac’s sentries.

What You Will Find Out: 
The coup has gone off to a bad start, with the Voice of Rao having revealed himself as Brainiac. Jayna has managed to escape the room where Brainiac is working on brainwashing a group of the Sagitari into the instruments of his will, ready to serve only him. Dev-Em, who wasn’t able to outrun Brainiac, is now one of these people.

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After this, Brainiac brings in Daron-Vex, who has been intercepted from a trip outside of Kandor City, and he forces Dev-Em to give him the names of the other conspirators, so that they may be publically punished for their plans against the Voice. Unfortunately for Daron, one of those names is his own daughter, Nyssa-Vex, and because Brainiac is able to tell when someone lies, Daron has to give up his own daughter to their new enemy. About to make her own escape from Kandor City, Nyssa is promptly arrested at her father’s word.

Lyta-Zod, General Zod, and Seg-El return to Kandor City, choosing to go to Kem’s bar. As they wait for a healer to come to take care of the injured General, Kem catches them up on the failed coup and how Jayna has been pinpointed as the leader of the coup, in lieu of the real mastermind, Daron. Lyta doesn’t believe the information, even as Kem explains that the entire city is on lockdown. Worried that Nyssa is going to die, Seg wants to go save her, though Lyta doesn’t fully understand why, considering all the terrible things her family has done, including killing Seg’s grandfather, Val-El. After reminding Lyta that it was a Zod who killed his own parents, he explains that when he needed help, Nyssa was the person to come and help him save Lyta.

Lyta, trying to leave the city, is caught by Dev-Em, who is neither dead nor seemingly under Brainiac’s control. Together, they decide to go to the outlands to find Jayna and rescue her. A noble idea, though as soon as they find her, Dev reveals himself to be under the control of Brainiac, like many of the other Sagitari. While Dev tries to win Jayna over to his side, Lyta does the only thing she can do – she kills him.

Daron visits his daughter, currently under house arrest, with the intent to kill her, only to discover that he was apologizing to a holographic projection. Angry, the real Nyssa sneaks up behind him and presses a knife to his neck. The tables turned, Nyssa laments the fact that she sacrificed so much for Daron, including her own ambition, and prepares to kill him, but before she can, Seg appears. They’re only able to glean a little information from Daron before he creates a distraction and calls for the guards, getting his escape. Seg and Nyssa make for a hell of a team, though, and they take down the guards, steal their uniforms, and escape Nyssa’s home.

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Unfortunately for them, they’re caught sooner rather than later, but they’re saved by Lyta and Jayna, who then accompany them back to the bar…where Jayna meets her fully adult, time-traveling grandson, who is now healed. Jayna doesn’t trust him, and no one trusts Nyssa, but everyone decides to work together because the greater threat right now is Brainiac. The best time to attack Brainiac, Seg believes, is during the end of the Nova Cycle ceremony, which everyone ultimately agrees to – though they aren’t going to outright kill him, because they all are aware that they don’t have the firepower to do so. No, instead, they’re going to make sure that the people of Kandor City know who the Voice of Rao really is so that they can rise up against him and take him down as a city.

The best-laid plans often go awry, and this plan is no exception, because though they’re in a position to take Brainiac down, despite his own new group of brainwashed watchdogs called the Red Shard, one of the Sisters decides to publicly decry the Voice as a monster. If there’s one thing that both Brainiac and the Voice of Rao have ever been good at, though, it’s turning the tide of the crowd in their favor, and here he expertly shows the crowd that their faith and belief in him has given him the ability to transcend into Rao himself, which he shows by surrounding himself with fire. He tells them that with his new ascension, he can bring an age of immortality to Krypton, as well as get rid of the differences between the ranked and the rankless, words which the crowd goes wild for. Seg and the others, meanwhile, are worried, because, with the support of most of Kandor City, it’s become that much harder to bring down Brainiac.

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Meanwhile, Adam Strange has been lurking at the Fortress of Solitude, trying to get his device fixed so he can ride a Zeta Beam back home. He confesses to Val-El that he’s not the hero he claimed to be – real heroes get nicknames like the Man of Steel, the Big Blue Boyscout – and so he’s going to go home and maybe send someone who has an actual nickname to try and save Superman’s future. Val, though, through talking with Adam, helps him see that maybe this is Adam’s chance to stand up as a hero and finally make his name. Realizing what he has to do – kill General Zod – Adam erases the entire conversation with Val, stalks off to save the future of Seg-El’s grandson.

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What Just Happened?:
It had practically seemed like a given that Lyta-Zod and Dev-Em would end up together and have General Zod as their child, especially since Dev-Em is a familiar name from Superman lore. The writers of Krypton prove that they’re not here to tell a standard, entirely predictable story, though, and kill Dev-Em off. This, mixed with Jayna’s questioning of General Zod’s parentage, calls into question just who, exactly, he might be. Presumably, Lyta and Dev would have gone to the birthing matrix already to see what their future progeny might be like, and while Zod claims that his father was someone who died in battle, it’s entirely possible that Lyta and Seg could have Zod the old-fashioned way. Granted, this would make Zod related to the House of El, and while it seems like it could be an outlandish idea, it also seems like the sort of thing that the writers of Krypton would push. If that were the case, given the kiss that Nyssa and Seg shared, it’s entirely possible that future progeny for them also include Jor-El and Zor-El. It does seem as though Nyssa wouldn’t mind giving up the Vex name, after the events of this episode.

The show did a little retconning of Adam Strange’s story here – it’s possible he hasn’t even interacted with Rann all that much yet if he’s neither known as the Savior of Rann or the Warrior of Two Worlds – but it works for the character. While it’s easy to believe that maybe Adam is entirely lying about his identity to Seg and the others, I believe that we’re only seeing an Adam at the beginning of his career and that his adventures on Krypton will be the heat that forges him into a stronger, better, more capable hero.

Back when the series was announced, the showrunners intimated that Hawkwoman would be showing up in the series, and the fact that Adam spoke of going back home to get superheroes suggests that she just might show up by the end of the season. He could certainly use all the help he could get, and a Thanagarian police officer with the strength and wherewithal to take down Brainiac would definitely be a good person to have on your side. Granted, there has been no casting news for Hawkwoman, but given the trajectory of the series, really anything could happen in the last three episodes.

As always, the cast gives wonderful, capable, captivating performances. Blake Ritson is appropriately creepy as Brainiac – the way he moves, the way he speaks, that eerie, knowing smile of his. In less capable hands, this could have been an annoying performance, but Ritson knows just went to pull back enough so that it’s not. Wallis Day continues to imbue Nyssa-Vex with hidden depths and complexity, and Nyssa is quickly becoming a favorite character and a scene stealer. Shaun Sipos is wonderful as Adam, and the writers certainly seem to be playing to his strengths as an actor, which is great to see. Casting can often make or break a series, and in this case, it’s definitely helping make Krypton appointment viewing television.

Rating: 8/10

Final Thoughts: With unexpected twists and turns that throw all foregone conclusions out the window, mixed with some great performances, Krypton continues to prove that it’s a story worth telling and watching.

Krypton airs Wednesday nights on SyFy. Check your local listings for times.


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