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Krypton: Brainiac arrives to bottle Kandor in season finale, 'The Phantom Zone'

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May 23, 2018

By now, if you've been following SYFY's Superman prequel show, these weekly recaps, and tie-in Krypton features exploring other corners of the doomed planet, you know more about the Man of Steel's homeworld than you ever did before. 

With this evening's tenth chapter of Krypton's debut season, you'll have all summer long to study up on Superman heroics and Kryptonian history to get you prepped for the next season as SYFY just announced the Krypton series renewal yesterday ahead of tonight's big grand finale.

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Last week, Brainiac sucked the juice out of Kandor's dome power generator and appeared in all his purple and green magnificence, Daron-Vex was tortured by Jax-Ur, Dru-Zod revealed the fact that Seg was his father, the Genesis Chamber exposed her clones, and the Cythonnites were playing Hide the Doomsday.  

Before Doomsday erupts from his lair and Daron crashes another skimmer, let's march directly into the climactic developments on Krypton, where Seg races to save his city from being overtaken as the official bottling of Kandor begins.

**EXTREME SPOILERY TERRITORY AHEAD! Below is a recap for Krypton, Episode 10, "The Phantom Zone."**

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IT'S BOTTLING TIME!

Break out your sub-zero parka and mittens as it's mighty chilly in the capital city after the dome went down. Citizens exposed to the elements in the rankless neighborhoods are gonna go first unless someone reactivates the vital protective barrier. We open as Brainiac's colossal Skull Ship arrives to begin the process of capturing Kandor. It's total panic with the city dwarfed by the gaping maw of the interstellar fortress looming overhead.

Zod and Lya find Nyssa and Seg in all the snowy commotion, but Jayna is still missing after her injurious duel with her grandson, Zod. Seg explains what happened at the power generator with Brainiac's sentry dissolving into the physical manifestation of the villainous World Collector. Zod demands that they all go to the Fortress of Solitude to bring Val-El back! Huh? Back from where?!  

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THE TRIUMPHANT RETURN OF VAL-EL

A flashback sequence unfolds to the trial of Val-El 14 years earlier. Daron-Vex and The Voice of Rao accuse Seg's granddaddy of high treason and he's sentenced to death.  But where we initially saw Val-El escorted to a gangplank and supposedly shoved off into a fatal leap hundreds of feet down, it's revealed that he held a small electronic device in his hand that immediately teleported him into the Phantom Zone.

We then shift to the present inside the Fortress of Solitude, with Zod explaining to Nyssa, Seg, and Lyta how Val-El ingeniously escaped death and zapped himself into this interdimensional realm where the normal laws of space and time are non-existent.  Zod knows this because they were imprisoned in the same netherworld together. Val felt this was a perfect opportunity to seek out Brainiac and learn more about his plans to gobble up Kandor. 

This brings up the question of how Zod escaped, and he pulls out the same luminous gadget that delivered Val to the Phantom Zone. Zod admits that he stole it to return to Krypton and carry on Val-El's mission to save the planet. Only one could be transported back, and Zod believed he was better suited for the task.

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Now they need Val's unsurpassed intellect to defeat Brainiac. Zod volunteers to bolt back inside the Phantom Zone to retrieve Val, but there's a definite risk of not finding him. The projector is activated by Val-El's hologram and Zod vanishes into the swirl of stars and dark matter overhead. After a few moments, the iconic red cape appears and Val-El is introduced to his grandson, Seg. 

It's a touching moment highlighted by the faint notes of the iconic Superman theme as his true form takes shape. But their shining hopes are misplaced as Val explains that there is no way to stop Brainiac. His sentries have already set their compasses on the next target, the savage prison planet of Cygnus 4019, aka Hell Planet.

Seg is intent on evacuating the city but Lyta wants to fight. Val tells them the horrors of the future and life inside Brainiac's bottled cities, where the inhabitants remain in a state of permanent hibernation, trapped in eternal paralysis, but still cognitive. 

We now visit the spot Adam Strange was teleported to via the Zeta Beam device where he saw a mysterious frozen woman in 'Savage Night,' and it appears to be a modern Earth city frozen in time and later adorned with a towering Zod statue.  Where the heck is he? Detroit perhaps?

Back outside in the clamor of Kandor City under seige, Brainiac's voice booms while monstrous black tentacles reach out from the hideous Skull Ship and burrow into the capital's foundations. The bottling process has begun!

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LYTA INSPIRES THE SAGITARI

Over at the military guild, Dev-Em suits up with his new cybernetic arm and enters the ready room where soldiers are abandoning their duties. He's told that he should flee the city as well, as most of the high ranking officers are gone. Lyta arrives in a crisply pressed uniform and gives a rousing pep talk to the dispirited bunch, even smacking an officer to make her point. Sagitari are the tip of the spear. They do not give up, surrender, or ask for mercy! The Battle of Kandor begins.

Meanwhile at Black Zero headquarters, Jax-Ur is evacuating her people and is intent on taking the sacred Codex with her. She's headed over to the Genesis Chamber to snag it and taking a strike squad with her.

Deep in the catacombs beneath Kandor, Zod and Seg check on a tunnel route for citizens to escape the dying city. But Zod proposes making an offer to Brainiac to spare Kandor in exchange for handing over Val-El and his vast knowledge of the future. Seg is told that he's one of the helpless that gets bottled up, so this would be an effort to save his own life along with millions of others.

A Sagitari attack squadron descends upon Brainiac's stronghold as the rankless cheer their arrival. But the malevolent being merely sneers, and with the clenching of his fist, destroys every fighter before they fire a single shot. Dozens of buzzing spaceships crash or explode amid the towering skyscrapers of Kandor. Lyta is shattered by her decision to send her commandos to their sudden deaths, but is comforted by Dev.

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NYSSA LEARNS A SHOCKING SECRET

While obtaining her gestating fetus from the Genesis Chamber, Nyssa unfortunately times her baby snatching badly as Jax-Ur and her posse arrive to take the codex of Krypton's entire gene pool to save from Brainiac. Nyssa pleads with Jax-Ur to let her take the unborn baby conceived with Seg. 

Unmoved by Nyssa's sentimental speech, Jax-Ur decides to expose the truth to her about the Vex cloning project and initiates the command to reveal the dangling cloned bodies of the guilded nobles and their families. We finally learn the fate of Nyssa's mother, who died in a skimmer crash years ago. But Jax-Ur drops one more little detail about that fatal accident: A young Nyssa was mortally wounded in that crash and she died, but not before part of her consciousness was fused into a handy spare body.  Nyssa is a clone!  

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AN OFFER BRAINIAC CAN'T REFUSE

Against Seg's wishes, Zod heads over to Brainiac's command center and presents him with a tempting offer. In exchange for Kandor's safety (thus preventing the planet from blowing up and saving millions), Zod is prepared to give up Val-El and his infinite knowledge of the future. The nefarious green alien is seduced by the possibility and here actor Blake Ritson is amazing in conveying the subtle menace and charisma of the notorious 12th-level intellect.

Inside the Fortress of Solitude, Seg and Val argue about what will happen if Brainiac finds Val-El. The only way to stop the nightmare is for Val to die. As they debate an escape plan, Zod and Brainiac arrive inside the chilly sanctuary. Brainiac marvels at the secret fortress' technology and gazes up lustily into the swirling silver chaos of the Phantom Zone. 

However, Brainiac is one smart dude and soon realizes that Val is only a hologram projection, but he's not sharp enough to predict the trap that's been laid for him.

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Seg quickly snaps on the Phantom Zone projector and zaps the greedy alien up into its churning electrical depths. Val-El is overjoyed by the effectiveness of the plan, but his happiness is soon ended as Brainiac extends a desperate tentacle and yanks Seg into the interdimensional prison with him. They both vanish into the mysterious maelstrom.

To prevent Val from trying to rescue Seg and thus potentially retrieving Brainiac with him, Zod blasts the projector unit and the Phantom Zone blinks out of existence.

Over in the corner, the disintegrating Superman cape Adam Strange originally brought to show Seg reforms with the House of El sigil now replaced with the House of Zod.  The timeline has reset with General Zod taking up the future mantle of Superman.

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A NEW ZOD WORLD ORDER

In the turbulent skies above Kandor, the bottling tendrils of Brainiac's Skull Ship begin to wither and retract as the city's power generator surges to life once again and the shimmering forcefield dome rises.

Flash forward one month and General Zod has assumed the role of Primus and stands commandingly in leather before the Kryptonian council, announcing his brutal new leadership directives.

In this new Zod era, the rankless will be forcefully conscripted into the Sagitari to fortify their military numbers. Today, Krypton looks to the stars as they rebuild and expand toward other worlds and societies. Unless they submit to Krypton's protection, they will all kneel before Zod!

Deep in the catacombs at some undisclosed location, Doomsday has awoken inside his mobile tomb and is intent upon breaking out. With a ferocious fist to the glass window, the indestructible abomination smashes himself free and unleashes a demonic roar.

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Whew! What a tumultuous wrap-up. This was an exceptionally satisfying climax (stop snickering) and I thought the show's writers did a fantastic job hitting all the emotional cues to send the season off on a high note. What were your impressions of tonight's end episode? And what are you looking forward to most for Krypton Season 2? 

Will the universe kneel before Zod? Will Seg and Brainiac escape from The Phantom Zone? Will Adam Strange find another Tigers ballcap in the bottled city of Detroit? Is Doomsday hungry after smashing out of his crib? And do you still love Nyssa even though she's just a carbon copy of her real self?

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All vital things to consider as the Kryptonian smoke settles following an immensely successful season.  Until next year, may Rao's light forever guide your way!