Below is a recap for Krypton, Episode 5, 'House of Zod': EXTREME SPOILERY TERRITORY AHEAD!
You just knew that the Zod dynasty was going to be a vital component in David S. Goyer's ambitious Superman prequel, Krypton, and now you're going to learn more about the militant clan than you might have ever known.
The infamous Dru-Zod could never be left out of this Kryptonian family reunion and the show's writers have made sure that you're going to be seeing the cool, combative general in an entirely new light after tonight's revelatory episode.
We're now officially half-way through the debut season of SYFY's sweeping epic of The Man of Steel's homeworld, and before dissecting the new episode, we must pause to wish the Big Blue Boy Scout a very happy birthday as tonight's adventures fell on the 80th anniversary of the superhero comic which launched a legend, Action Comics #1.
Now that we've paid our proper respects, let's hit the afterburner and zoom into the fifth chapter of Krypton Season 1 titled, "House of Zod," where Primus Jayna-Zod grapples with her torn loyalties as Seg fights for survival within the heart of Black Zero.
Who is the mysterious Black Zero operative and is he aligned with the Zods? What are Brainiac's sinister plans after infiltrating the High Priest? And will Seg turn into a Kryptonian Popsicle out in the sub-zero tundra of the Outlands?
Praise Rao, and let's return to the addictive danger and drama of the latest Krypton crusade!
WHAT MAKES A ZOD?
Brace yourself for a brutal training session flashback sequence with a younger Jayna-Zod and her brother Vidar being pushed to fight each other in a test instructing them on what it means to carry the noble Zod name. Her spartan upbringing by Lor-Zod (Emmanuel Ighodaro), her stern father, explains a lot about Jayna’s dysfunctional relationship with her daughter, Lyta. To be a Zod is to be an honorable warrior whose courage and loyalty are unequaled. And to get punched in the face a lot it seems. I wouldn’t last one second!
The Black Zero commander (Colin Salmon) and his underling hunt for Seg after he escaped from their secret stronghold. An icy blizzard is building and they track a trail of blood seeping from a knife wound in Seg’s arm, but Supe’s granddaddy eludes them. Seeing that his way back into their compound is now free, Seg staggers back into the interrogation room and tries to establish communications with Kandor, but the odd devices available to him offer zero help. ZERO help? Get it? (Sorry, I've devoured too much Superman birthday cake.) Wandering into a different chamber, Seg discovers a tortured female prisoner (Sonita Henry) who promises to help him to safety.
A CONJUGAL VISIT FOR LYTA?
Ha! No such chance. But she does get an unexpected visitor to her cell at Fort Rozz in the form of her Sagitari commander and muscular intended mate, Dev-Em. He doesn’t believe there’s any truth in Lyta’s being a Black Zero supporter. The two share a quiet moment together and Dev recalls the first time he saw her and knew he was in love. It’s a delicate scene, played perfectly, and in the end, Lyta kisses him and professes she has the same feelings. He's not such a bad dude after all.
A SUGGESTION FROM SECTOR 19
Kem and Strange are worried about Seg and still have no clue as to his whereabouts. One of the funniest lines in the series comes "up," as Strange uses a crude-but-popular Earth phrase about sticking his thumb somewhere that reflects the perfect blend of tones in this Krypton series.
A FRIEND OF RAIKA
Seg and the freed female prisoner named Raika stumble into the maze-like compound to try and find a safe way to her sanctuary. After a series of lefts and rights leading to more tunnels, they stop before a massive door engraved with what appears to be a variant of the House of El sigil. Raika's ragged compatriots sneak up from behind, mumbling in a different language, and take them away.
Nyssa-Vex and her father, Daron, argue about her plan to help Lyta from being executed and the strategy of bringing her mom, Jayna, onto their side to try and overthrow The Voice of Rao. Nyssa is counting on a mother’s love for her child to see this plan through. But Daron, in his penetrating way, insinuates that it’s Nyssa’s conflicted feelings for Seg behind her dangerous plan that might backfire against them if Jayna goes to the High Priest instead. Oh, what a wicked web they weave!
THE ICE GODDESS COMETH
Inside Raika’s hideout, we’re now introduced to Amireh (Beatrice Comins) a matriarchal leader in a weird hat who declares that these refugees are alive due to the blessings of Cythonna the true mother of Krypton. Seg recognizes them as Cythonnites, followers of the Kryptonian deity of ice and death. In recognition for Seg saving one of their own, the Cythonnite leader orders his wounds to be healed.
DARON’S AMOROUS SECRET
Daron-Vex pays a visit to Kol-Da, the Sagitari who killed an innocent man during the Sector 19 raid. She wants to know why she’s still being detained if she testified exactly as she was told to do, damning Lyta to a sentence of treason. Daron explains it’s a mere procedural delay, then steps closer to her and they reveal their secret romance with a warm, wet kiss.
JAYNA’S TRIAL BY ICE
In a second flashback sequence, we see young Jayna and her brother being given instructions for a trial of survival out in the remote Jewel Mountains. They’ll follow in the footsteps of great Zods in history and find the sword of Jor-Mon, the fiercest of all Kryptonian warriors. Hidden at the base of the sword is a stash of oxygen respirators. Jayna and her brother are barely alive and see that there’s only enough oxygen for one of them to survive. Jayna fends off an attack by her brother, then takes the canister and leaves her brother Vidar to die in the elements in true Zod fashion.
Later, after the ordeal, Jayna’s father bestows upon her an indestructible necklace with a Zod pendant attached. He places it around her neck to symbolize her arrival as an official protector of Krypton. She is a Zod, and kneels to no one.
Jayna and Nyssa face off in the military guild and the notions of code and honor are tossed back and forth. Nyssa explains that with one word from her, signifying her alliance with House Vex, Lyta will be saved. Janya is conflicted, recalling her father’s teachings and her harsh upbringing. It's gonna come down to the wire!
BAD EL OR GOOD EL?
After getting all patched up by Raika, Seg realizes he might not ever get out of this sanctuary of the Cythonnites. Raika explains that his family has done something awful to their society in the past and that is the reason he’ll never escape. She won’t give any details, but it certainly sounds serious enough to warrant killing him. Seg bluffs that his entire extended El family is on their way to find him, and when they do, their wrath will descend again. Raika, thinking she’s saving her people, gives Seg a respirator and clues to an escape route out of their warren and back into the blizzard.
DEATH DAY ARRIVES
In a courtroom at Fort Rozz, everyone assembles for the execution of Lyta-Zod. In attendance are Jayna, Nyssa, Daron, the High Priest and his Word of Rao acolytes, guild members, politicians, tribunals, and an ominous executioner who marches into the room carrying a wicked blade. Nyssa whispers to Jayna that it’s not too late to stop this fateful farce.
The armored executioner steps closer, blade ready between his hands. There’s a tense moment where we almost believe she’ll die, but Jayna finally gives in to her motherly instincts and nods her acceptance of the terms to Nyssa, who in turn signals her father that House Zod is on board. Daron addresses the room and suddenly declares that Kol-Da has recanted her former testimony against Lyta and all charges have been dropped against her. She’s immediately reinstated to full rank. Whew, that was close! Oh, and the council apologizes, which of course makes it all better, you know.
Mother and daughter share a moment and Lyta realizes it was her mother’s intervention that saved her. Jayna confesses that she’s been her greatest love and now her greatest shame.
Poor Kol-Da isn’t so lucky and she’s murdered in her cell as a sacrifice to the cause.
Out in the raging storm, Seg’s oxygen supply is empty, but he cleverly uses the mask’s battery to power up his communicator and reach Adam Strange back in Rankless Town. The signal is weak and sporadic, but Strange is able to get enough of a lock on his position to mount a rescue. But it’s freakin’ cold out in the frozen wastelands and hypothermia is swiftly setting in! Where's a HotHands when you need one?
Strange goes directly to Lyta with a message and gets her to organize a rescue party of Sagitari to save Seg. There’s a Level Six ice storm in the sector and little chance he’ll survive. The squad zooms off to find Seg. Dusted with snow and near-death, Seg has a hallucinatory vision of Lyta, but it’s actually the Black Zero commander!
BACK IN THE HOT SEAT
Seg is strapped into the torture-lounger once more and interrogated by the unnamed Black Zero commander. He explains that the key to stopping Brainiac lies with Raika, the Cythonnite woman that Seg saved. They need Seg alive to lead him to where their sanctuary is.
The cavalry arrives as Lyta, Strange, and her squad take out the Black Zero operatives. Lyta tracks down the commander and the two engage in a vicious battle to the death. Lunging and kicking and body slamming until the commander is about to strangle her and suddenly sees Lyta’s House Zod pendant around her neck. He instantly recognizes the iconic jewelry and its wearer. She asks how he knows and he reveals a similar Zod necklace around his own neck that was given to him by HER.
He is her son!!
Wow, now that's one weird family reunion! But exactly who is Lyta's son, and is he lying? Is it General Dru-Zod traveled back in time? Is it really Jax-Ur, the terrorist who blew up their moon, Wegthor? Or someone altogether different?
Come on, who are we kidding? It's General Zod in the flesh, bad attitude and all, but it appears that this go around, he's come to help save Krypton from Brainiac instead of reveling in its destruction, and the secret weapon he needs for the task is Doomsday!
Remember that Krypton exists in a sort of pocket universe in the Superman mythos, so anything's possible.
Give us your best theories in the comments below and tell us your evaluation of all the wheels in motion on Krypton at its mid-point!
Do you trust the diabolical Zod and what are his motivations? And think about who Lyta's father might be! Hmm. Time-travel could make for some strange bedfellows. May Rao's light forever guide your way.