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Krypton: Black Zero kidnaps Seg-El in Episode 4, 'The Word of Rao'

Contributed by
Apr 11, 2018

Below is a recap for Krypton, Episode 4, "The Word of Rao": EXTREME SPOILERY TERRITORY AHEAD!

Welcome, Kryptonian faithful and other planetary interlopers, to another riveting recap! We hope the red rays of Krypton's ancient sun have bathed your days with immense prosperity and profound calm.

After a trio of episodes laying the basic foundation for what's destined to be a shocking revelation for the scheming, social-climbing houses of Krypton, we're almost nearing the halfway point in this first season, and there's still so much to postulate and unpack.

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So far, Brainiac's sentry has infiltrated Rhom, and she's been rendered unconscious after an electrifying event at the power station trying to communicate with the World Collector; Lyta-Zod is in some serious s*** after disobeying direct orders from Mom during the Sagitari's ill-fated Rankless roundup; Daron-Vex is dreading his debriefing with the High Priest; Seg absorbs dire news that Brainiac's probe has been put to nefarious use; and Val is just glad to be "alive" in some form, even as a vivid computer projection.

The planet Krypton may be hurtling toward obliteration, but it's gonna be one helluva ride!

Let's blast into tonight's episode, "The Word of Rao," and reunite with our Kryptonian clans to see what brand of trouble they've been up to.

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PARTY TIME IN KANDOR

Who says the Kryptonians are a cold, elitist bunch of super scientists? They also know how to let their hair down when it counts. The fourth episode opens in the Voice of Rao's private chambers as his Word of Rao attendants assist with dressing him. We see his helmet-less, dark-haired head from behind as the High Priest tells them to begin preparations for the gala Nova Cycle Celebrations, especially with the screwup by the Sagitari down in Sector 19. The light of Rao can heal all wounds!

BLACK ZERO DRESS-UP

We're down in the communications hub where Seg stopped the possessed Rhom with an electro-static grenade and knocked out power to the whole sector. An armed detachment of Sagitari soldiers are about to enter the electro-communications room when an anonymous new squad appears and attempts to take over. It's actually members of a Black Zero terrorist strike team dressed in Sagitari gear. They take out the real commandos and get set to perform some unknown act of sabotage. (Sidenote: I want one of those badass black Sagitari helmets!)

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BACK TO VAL'S FORTRESS

Val diagnoses the injured Rhom and deduces that Brainiac's alien technology is keeping her alive, but only for a few hours longer. The tampering with her mind and body are beyond Val's vast understanding. Seg decides he must go and tell Rhom's daughter, Ona, the sad news about her mom.

LYTA-ZOD FACES DISCIPLINARY ACTION

Jayna-Zod informs her daughter that she's to report to Intelligence for review in the wake of the blunder down in Rankless-town and the death of three Sagitari under her command. Lyta defends herself by explaining the necessity of her actions. Mom is still embracing the role of hard-nosed Primus, but weakens slightly in the face of her daughter's admission that she needed a mother, not a commander, all these years.

After a quick exchange with Dev-Em where he reveals that his interest in her is much more than just loyalty, Lyta enters the formal disciplinary hearing.

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THE VOICE OF RAO'S WRATH

Sensing the mounting unrest amid the Rankless multitudes, the High Priest storms into Daron-Vex's office to express his discontent. There must be a specific party punished for the murder of the innocent Rankless man by Kol-Da during the botched mission. The Nova Cycle must kick off without the shadow of this debacle hanging over it. Kandor's gold-masked religious leader insists that the convicted must be someone of high authority. Daron gulps at this unsettling news.

STANDING BEFORE THE MAN

Lyta appears in front of the hearing council to plead her case. The inquisitors declare that her failures amid the Rankless led to the escape of vital intelligence and potential Black Zero operatives. The newbie commander states that Rankless unrest created unexpected variables that threatened the safety of her squad. Arresting Kol-Da prevented a massive riot, saving Sagitari lives. Daron-Vex marches in and accuses Lyta of conspiring with Black Zero and slaps the cuffs on her after charging her with treason.

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A TEARFUL TAVERN TALK

Seg sits down with Ona, who is still clutching her Sun God statue, to explain to her what happened to her mother. He's interrupted by Kem, who informs him that the Word of Rao came down hard on the s***storm in Sector 19 and that his girlfriend, Lyta-Zod, has been arrested. Over a bowl of Kandorian mystery stew, Kem continues the conversation with Ona and tells her that her mom is not coming home and that he'll always take care of her. Ona weeps but confides that there is still something she must do for her mother.

In the loftier high-rent boulevards of Kandor, Seg bolts into the Military Guild demanding to see Lyta. He's blocked first by the jealous bulk of Dev-Em, then by Jayna, who threatens him and demands that he stay away from her daughter. Seg sets her off by stating that she did nothing to help save Lyta, which inflames Jayna further and sends Seg skittering across the floor.

FASHION BEFORE FAITH

While Nyssa-Vex tries on glamorous ball gowns, Seg implores her to assist in getting Lyta cleared of treason charges. Nyssa gets Seg to confess that he's in love with Lyta, something she had suspected all along. Since the Voice of Rao took control of the city-state, no execution has ever been called off. Despite her latent calculations, Nyssa agrees to aid Seg in freeing her. But that black dress was still way cooler than the gold one!

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BAGGED BY BLACK ZERO

Arguing with Adam Strange, Seg believes the only way to clear Lyta's name is to show the council the violated body of Rhom, who is still clinging to life back at Val's Fortress of Solitude. Strange disagrees, thinking that Rhom is the key to stopping Brainiac and tries to stop Seg, but gets a punch to his jaw for the effort. Seg dashes out of the tavern to find transportation to Val's chilly cave. However, Black Zero operatives corner him and say hello with a vicious nudge of their stun batons, rendering Seg unconscious.

He's awoken inside a Black Zero lair, and further tortured with a sparking stun baton. To get him to talk, one of the rebel faithful pulls out a nasty Kryptonian insect from a blue-lit jar. Remember the scene in Schwarzenegger's Total Recall where Quaid extracts a steel tracking probe from his nose? Well, think the reverse of that squeamish sequence. While strapped into a chair, Black Zero goons drop the crawling bug onto Seg's face and it immediately burrows into his left nostril! Feel free to faint.

HELP ARRIVES IN A PRETTY PACKAGE

Janya-Zod visits Lyta in jail at Fort Rozz and brings Nyssa-Vex along for backup. Nyssa lets her know that she'll be acting as her advocate in the treason trial and asks her to remember discrepancies in Kol-Da's false testimony to prep for a proper defense. It's an uneasy alliance fraught with conflicts of interest, but endlessly intriguing to watch!

MORE BUGGINESS

Seg resists the mind-infecting Outland insect that climbed into his nose until the Black Zero commander halts the torture session and the bug is extracted from his ear canal. He's informed that this special bug was not being used to hurt Seg, but to determine if he was one of Brainiac's sentries or not. Admitting that he's not actually Black Zero, but merely aligned with them, this mysterious, nameless commander needs to know everything he knows about Brainiac and how his sentry came to be inside the communications hub. Rhom uploaded data to Brainiac, allowing the maniacal alien to track down Krypton. But that's not the sentry's ultimate mission. It will seek to infect a more useful, powerful host. Hmm, someone named Vex? Someone in a fancy robe?

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THE POTENT PLAN OF HOUSE VEX

Nyssa exposes the manipulations of her father, Daron, and tells him that killing Lyta will ruin their plans to unite Kandor using the trusted El family name. The Vex master plan is apparently to aid in the union of House Zod and House El and coerce them into overthrowing the Voice of Rao with the Vex dynasty assuming the throne. Nyssa admits she's not afraid of Rao and will absolutely not let him retain his power.

Back at the resistance compound, Seg and the Commander make a deal. Seg will help him hunt down the sentry and in turn get his aid in breaking Lyta out of the impenetrable stronghold of Fort Rozz.

LET THE FESTIVAL BEGIN!

Down in Sector 19, the festive procession for the Nova Cycle is nearing the tavern and Ona is adamant about giving the High Priest an offering of her little Sun God statue. She feels that it's the only way to help her mother find her way to Rao. Kem consents and, as the Voice of Rao parades down the street and stops, begs him to receive Ona's gift. His Eminence humbly accepts the toy statue and decides to bring Ona into his fanatical fold as an apprentice servant to him. A novice Word of Rao to mend the wounds caused by the aggressive tactics of the Sagitari.

RHOM AWAKENS

From within her life support pod in the Fortress of Solitude, Rhom is suddenly jolted by an immense surge of power and her invasion by Brainiac is temporarily lifted. Seg and Strange rush to her side as she warns them of a terrible fate involving Ona. They must stop her! With her link to Brainiac finally severed, Rhom dies.

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FREE AT LAST

Seg double-crosses the resistance commander and attacks one of his female soldiers, zapping her with a stun baton, then shoving one of the long-legged spiders into her mouth. Seg doesn't mess around! He grabs a cool tactical rifle and busts out of the joint to go infiltrate Fort Rozz himself.

The Nova Cycle ceremony in the Rankless streets proclaims the brilliance of a new beginning. Beaming joyfully, Ona is presented to the crowd as a newbie Word of Rao, complete with her fresh new white and gold robes.

Later, in his private chambers, the High Priest settles in alone after a long day of brainwashing the masses. He picks up the Sun God statue offered to him by Ona and reflects on its meaning for a moment.

Suddenly, a black tendril erupts from the statue and stabs him in the arm, causing greenish-black bands to streak his veins, chest, and neck, choking him violently. He rips off his multi-faced helmet and drops to his knees as the infection spreads through his fingers and seeps into his eyes. Brainiac has arrived!

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Whew! Well, now that we've ingested all the events and are now scanning the ceilings for any sign of spiders, tell us what you think of tonight's jam-packed episode and what lies in store for the snowbound Seg, the insidious little Ona, and the fate of Krypton.

Until next week, which marks the official 80th anniversary of Superman in Action Comics #1, may Rao's light forever guide your way.