TELEVISION EPISODE REVIEW: Krypton – S01 EP08 ‘Savage Night’

To put a stop to the growing power and influence that the Voice of Rao is gathering under Brainiac’s thrall, a resistance movement begins to form.

 

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Krypton S01 EP08 – ‘Savage Night’
Written By: David Kob
Directed By: Marc Roskin 

What You Need To Know: After a failed coup against his life, the Voice of Rao (under the thrall of Brainiac) has been taken over by one of Brainiac’s sentries and has commandeered some of the Sagitari as his own personal guard, called the Red Shard. Ona, the young orphaned daughter of Seg-El and Kem’s friend Rhom, has become a Word of Rao and is the Voice’s favorite. Adam Strange has traveled to Krypton to stop an old enemy of Superman’s, but he has just learned that the old enemy he’s meant to stop is General Dru-Zod, not Brainiac.

What You Will Find Out:
We open on a flashback from two weeks ago, where Adam Strange first met Seg-El and started to warn him that Krypton was in danger. We finally see where he was pulled away when he disappeared – and it turns out it’s a great white, space-age-y looking room where he’s talking to a disembodied voice – Sardath. Adam had stolen the technology from the Rannians to save Superman, a destiny he believes is his own. He finally wins over Sardath and Alanna and is sent back to Krypton to save it.

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Back to the present, Adam prepares to save Superman’s future by killing Dru-Zod, but for that, he needs Kem’s help. The only problem is, Seg-El will never sacrifice his planet’s future to save Adam’s actual present. Kem agrees to help Adam meet Seg as long as he controls his killer instinct of killing Dru-Zod.

After leaving Adam, Kem comes across Sevi, one of the Words of Rao, who is hiding. Kem tells her he knows the truth about the Voice and asks about Ona’s safety. Sevi tells him that she’s safe because the Voice likes her, but also fills him in on how the Voice has been sucking the energy dry from the genesis chamber, using unborn embryos as his power source.

This information is brought to Seg, Zod, Nyssa-Vex, Lyta-Zod, and Jayna-Zod. Nyssa worries for the unborn child that she is to have with Seg, while Zod tells them that without the embryos in the genesis chamber, Krypton has no future. They decide to split into two groups to take down the Voice when he’s in his trance, first by taking down the Red Shard, his personal guard, so that they can get to him. It’s an iffy plan, and Zod decides they need Black Zero’s help to push this plan through. Kem asks to sit out this adventure so that he can look for Ona since he promised her mother he would before she died.

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Lyta doesn’t trust Nyssa, though Seg says that he does. Nyssa, hearing the conversation, points out that it’s better that she’s with them, rather than being apart from them. While they’re together, Nyssa decides to push Lyta’s button by talking about how she and Seg could possibly attend a party one day. Lyta tells her that Guilds and parties may not matter after the coup, and then inquires how she expected her rise to power to go. Nyssa tells her that she expected herself and Seg to be ruling over Kandor City, but that you don’t always get what you want.

In the Outlands, they find Dev who, it turns out, is alive, and still under Brainiac’s thrall. They bring Dev back to the Fortress, where Val looks over him while Nyssa takes in the wonder of the place, surprised that it actually exists.

Jayna and Zod go to meet Black Zero’s leader, a woman named Jax-Ur who was pushed out by Daron-Vex. Jax and Jayna bond over their mutual fugitive status. When Zod speaks up, Jax-Ur slashes him across the cheek, no longer cordial. Nonchalantly, Zod takes the blood, puts a dot on his forehead, and decides to tell Jax-Ur about a bigger threat – Brainiac. Jax-Ur decides to help, but only if they can get Daron-Vex in exchange. Zod agrees to this and they shake hands over it.

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Zod tells Seg this news, and Nyssa herself agrees to the deal, giving up the father who would have killed her only the day before.

Adam finds Kem looking for Ona, and when he approaches him about Seg, Kem gets upset. He has bigger fish to fry, and Adam – ever the burgeoning hero – decides to help Kem. They find Ona blessing some of the Rankless, and she’s excited to see Kem. Kem tries to tell her that something is wrong with the Voice, but Ona thinks it’s a test and doesn’t go with him. With the Red Shard in the area, he and Adam have to leave, but he tells Ona that she knows where to find him, and that he’s always there for her when she needs him. Angry at his failure to save her, he leaves Adam behind.

Adam, remembering Sardath and Alanna, gets himself captured and taken to Daron, where he fills Daron in on Brainiac’s true intentions – to rip Kandor City out and add it to his collection, where time will be frozen for all eternity. Daron doesn’t seem to hate this idea, so Adam tells him that he’s there to help Brainiac, and he has information, but for that information, he needs Seg-El.

Dev, heavily sedated, comes to in the Fortress. There’s a way to free him from Brainiac’s control, but it could kill him.

Zod and Jayna talk about Superman, where Jayna learns that Zod was off-planet when Krypton was destroyed. When she asks how he survived, he tells her that he was imprisoned in the Phantom Zone for attempting a coup. He tells her that he grew up in Kryptonopolis, with a council as bad as Kandor’s, and he adds that someone named Jor-El was the one who sent Zod into the Phantom Zone.

Daron tells the Voice of the oncoming rebellion, being led by Jayna-Zod, but the Voice, in his trance, doesn’t hear it. The rebellion begins, and as it does, Dev starts to go into some shock back at the Fortress. Val-El manages to cut the connection between the Voice and the Red Shard, allowing Jayna to shoot him while Seg knocks out Daron. The Voice falls to his doom as Dev comes to, free of the Voice’s control.

Daron himself comes to, and Nyssa greets him, telling him that she’s not going to kill him, but that she came to tell him that she forgives him for what he tried to do to her. With that, she hands Daron over to Jax-Ur and the rest of Black Zero.

Zod tells Jax-Ur that they need the Voice’s body for proof that he’s dead, and Jax-Ur tells him that he has the Black Zero under him until they find the body.

Meanwhile, Ona is alone and sad, when the Voice finds her. Badly burned and scared, he tells her that he is not of that body and that there is nothing to be afraid of. She passes by Adam, then, as she heads somewhere, and Adam decides to follow her.

Back at Kem’s bar, Jayna fills Seg in on what she learned from Zod, and tells him her suspicions that he hasn’t come back to save Krypton, but to rule it. That’s when Ona comes in, but Seg senses that something is wrong. She tells them the little mantra that all of the Voice’s believers always say – through fire, we are reborn – and the Kryptonese script across her face starts to light up in red. Adam, sensing what is about to happen, throws himself between her and Seg and erects a forcefield. Ona blows up, and Adam is sent to a strange place, where a woman with short blonde hair stands, staring into the distance. He approaches her, and suddenly her eyes tick towards him, a very serious expression on her face.

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What Just Happened?:
Once again, the writers have swerved left in some places where it truly seemed as though they were going to go right. While it makes perfect sense that Zod would come into the past to rule Krypton and use the knowledge of what a yellow sun can do to Kryptonians to his advantage, it wasn’t difficult to believe that he had possibly come back for nobler reasons, though that clearly isn’t the case. Instead of the out and out villain that he’s been portrayed as in the past though, here he is clearly the hero of his own story, and to an extent that characterization works, because it humanizes him in ways that past versions of him have never been humanized. You may not be entirely on his side – he is, after all, Superman’s greatest enemy, but at least you get where he is coming from.

While Wallis Day’s Nyssa continues to be one of the most captivating characters in the series, the triangle between Nyssa, Lyta, and Seg is a little tired. Having two women with differing viewpoints vying for the love of the same man is a tired trope, and with two women as accomplished, intelligent, badass, and strong as Lyta and Nyssa, if they’re going to be antagonists, I’d rather have it be for something meatier – opposing political viewpoints, for instance. They’re both far too interesting women to be saddled with a storyline that does nothing for either of them except give them chances to cattily snipe at one another.

Having Dev alive is an unexpected twist, but also an interesting complication. How he plays into the future remains to be seen, as does how Jax-Ur will fit into the proceedings now that she’s been introduced. (And kudos on the gender-flip there, since Jax-Ur is traditionally a man in previous appearances. Hannah Waddingham was a delight in this episode.)

As far as the woman who appears at the end of the episode, with Adam, I’m not sure who she could be, but I have a few thoughts. While the showrunners have recently said that Hawkwoman won’t be appearing in this season of the show, that may well have been a cop-out, and this could very well be her. If not, well, the woman does bear a striking resemblance to the Earth-2 version of Kara Zor-L, better known as Power Girl. There’s also the possibility that they’re looking deep into comics history and they’ve pulled forth a character known as Karsta Wor-Ul, a Kryptonian who appeared in 2007 and was a Kryptonian soldier who had settled on Earth.

Rating: 8/10

Final Thoughts: Week in and week out, Krypton continues to be the little show that throws twists and turns and builds the story in ways you wouldn’t expect. It’s an excellent series, and the closer we reach the end of the season, the more I hope it gets a season two.

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

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