WARNING: If you don't want to know what happened in this episode, don't watch this photo recap!
Well, everyone knows the story of how Kal-El (AKA Superman) was sent from Krypton to survive its imminent destruction. But what do we know about the ways, mores, and people of Krypton? Practically nothing. Until now. (Thanks to a voiceover from Superman's grandfather, Seg.)
200 years before Kal-El's birth, his great-great-grandfather Val-El was tried for treason by a dictatorial new power. He refused to pledge allegiance to the Voice of Rao (the masked figure with the three heads), because he, a great scientific mind, knew that Krypton was not alone in the universe, and that they could be invaded any day.
Seg is doing whatever he can to raise money for his family, because they live so modestly. This hovel is done up in something called underground chic. When Seg's dad forgets his medicine before leaving for work, Seg ventures into Krypton to return it to him.
Speaking of Krypton, the equivalent of the national guard, the Sagitari, are training. It looks like this. The threat to national security is always present and always dangerous, and a Sagitari is taught to never give up. This one did. She's Lyta-Zod, and that's her mother, Jayna-Zod, holding the knife. Looks like Freudian analysis holds true on Kyrpton too.
When Seg arrives at the Guild to give his father the medicine, he sees a man preparing to interrupt a treason trial (there are a lot of those, apparently) with a bomb hidden in his arm. Seg springs into action and tackles the offender, after which a guard is able to blow the arm right off.
On his way home, Seg is intercepted by this guy: Adam Strange. Adam is from Earth. He traveled many light years to get to Krypton to warn Seg that someone from the future is coming to Krypton to change the course of history so that Superman is never born.
She's been following him, so she knows what's up. She decides it's time to tell him the truth, so takes him to… Seg's grandfather's Fortress of Solitude! That sandstone is the key to getting in. (You'd think they'd have copies of it.)
Seg and his mom aren't in the Fortress long before Sagitari descend on it, having tracked the vehicle Seg's mom stole and parked nearby. She's hidden Seg in a secret compartment, and sacrifices herself so that he can continue the journey.
Well, it wouldn't be a regular day in Krypton if there wasn't a treason trial. This time it's Seg's mom. The council is not satisfied with her testimony: the biotracker in the ship picked up two life forms. She says she was alone in it.
Well, to quote Oscar Wilde, to lose one parent is a misfortune. To lose two is carelessness. And Seg isn't taking the misplacement easily. He vents his anger out on Lyta, because, after all, it was her mother who pulled the trigger (he knows nothing of the mercy killings). They've got to break up. It was meant to happen sometime, Lyta is betrothed to someone else.
Feeling pretty solitary, Seg returns to the Fortress of Solitude, where he's met by Adam again. This time, Strange has brought a cape: it's meant to signal to them how much time they have left before they run out of time to save Superman.