There's just one episode left in the debut season of SYFY's Krypton after tonight's revelatory chapter, and we're still plotting out our head-scratching genealogy tree of all the intertwining families and houses on the doomed planet.
We might not be venturing into the exotic world's Scarlet Jungle, Rainbow Canyon, or the Glass Forest, and likely won't gaze upon the breathtaking beauty of the Gold Volcano until next year (if it's renewed for a sophomore outing), but the story's wild detours and offramps should satisfy you after this slightly bewildering but nevertheless thought-provoking penultimate episode of the first season.
Last week saw Adam Strange teleported to Rann, where he was reunited with Sardath; Daron-Vex was handed over to the "shameless" Black Zero leader Jax-Ur; the one-armed Dev-Em got purged of his neural link to Brainiac; a showdown erupted in the Genesis Chamber; and little Ona transformed through fire into a human incendiary grenade. Just another day on the most infamous planet in the comic book universe!
Brace yourselves and let's blaze into tonight's installment, titled "Hope," where Seg must decide if he is willing to make the ultimate sacrifice in service of the greater good of Kandor.
EXTREME SPOILERY TERRITORY AHEAD! Below is a recap for Krypton, Episode 9, "Hope."
ON THE LAM AMID THE RANKLESS
We open with Seg roaming the labyrinth of alleyways of the rankless sectors as Black Zero wanders the streets unchecked and the Kandorian Council remains in hiding. He heads into a secluded domicile where Lyta awaits and they try to formulate a plan. She discloses that Dev is recovering in a nearby medbay and is ready to plunge back into the fight. But to confront and defeat Brainiac, they're gonna need a whole lot more courageous commandos like him. Seg contemplates his family's troubled past and doubts his role in saving the universe. Lyta comforts him with kisses and we back away quietly as the intimacy rises.
Slumbering after sexytime, Seg finds himself in a nightmare where he's aboard Brainiac's darkened Skull Ship, shocked to find numerous bottled worlds aboard the cavernous black spacefortress. Black vines erupt from the walls and form a lethal spear intent on penetrating his handsome cranium. The World Collector awakens to remind Seg that he's got the pedal to the metal and coming straight for Krypton!
JAX-UR'S NOT-SO-SUBTLE TORTURE SESSION
Daron-Vex is imprisoned in Black Zero's HQ and gets a cell visitor from their fearless leader, Jax-Ur. We learn that she was betrayed by Daron years ago but she followed his tracks to confirm his complicity. She intends to get answers to her questions and to hedge her bets, so she tests out a brutal shock device implanted in Daron's neck. You know, just to make sure the darn thing is working its painful magic. Jax goes trigger-happy with the torturous mechanism and demands that Daron admit his guilt.
She told him of her fears over the degradation of the Codex technology in the Genesis Chamber and their only means of reproduction. Something called the Varo Protocol was initiated by Daron, and now she's going to inflict blinding pain until he tells her how to access it.
Back in the depths of the rankless, Seg hears from Jayna that Lyta and Zod have taken off with a Black Zero skimmer to go grab Doomsday out of his chilly containment chamber.
DOOMSDAY DOES A VANISHING ACT
We follow Zod and his Sagitari "mom" into the Cythonnite tunnels to where the hulking cryo-pod housing Doomsday is located. Zod explains to Lyta that the monster is an apex predator and will target the most formidable threat around, which at the moment is Brainiac.
But in order to activate the Doomsday chamber's lock mechanism, you need the blood of an El AND a Zod. Zod holds his hand over the trigger plate as Seg arrives to declare that he won't provide his blood, but the time-traveling nemesis of Superman scoffs and slices his own hand. Blood drips upon the floor, illuminating the overlapping sigils of El and Zod, activating the door while Zod reveals (GULP!) that he now knows who his father is... IT'S SEG!
Huh?? Umm, okay, let's just go with it for now.
Seg seems to feel the disturbing truth of it, and while he's digesting that unexpected bit of family business, the massive doors part to expose an EMPTY chamber. Seg has removed the beastly killing machine to keep him from his supposed son, Zod.
AN ANCIENT KILLING MACHINE TAKES A STROLL
Raika and the Cythonnites transport the humongous Doomsday coffin deeper into the catacombs but are having trouble with the unit's containment field. Seg arrives to get this crazy convoy moving again and learns the beast's cell could open any moment and allow him to break free of the tomb. The ancient Kryptonian technology employed to subdue a genetic experiment gone horribly wrong is baffling, but Val-El might be able to decipher it.
Lyta and Zod are intent on finding this Cythonnite escape crowd and are close behind. Raika and Amireh (she of the huge headdress) want to bring Doomsday to Kandor via a hidden network of corridors through the Outlands. Once Brainiac arrives he will no doubt take the creature along as well, ridding the Cythonnites from the terrible burden they've been shackled with for ages.
Over in his spartan cell at Black Zero HQ, Daron begs a guard to spare his life but instead secretly palms a key to the prison's lock. Disguised as a rankless bum, Daron acquires a skimmer with which he zooms out of the city and promptly crashes the rig when Jax-Ur triggers the pain disk in his neck.
Back with Jayna, Lyta, and Zod, tempers are flaring! Zod invokes the spirit of Jor-Mon and challenges Jayna to a Kandorian duel to the death. The two Zods square off and start beating the stuffing out of each other as Lyta observes helplessly. Jayna gets her grandson in a brutal headlock, and he's about to pass out and die when Lyta blasts her mom with a non-fatal rifle shot to the ribs. Zod is enraged that she stole his honor, and when they look back to the injured Jayna, she's gone.
SAFE IN THE FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE
Val-El tells Seg about the origins of the El symbol and its meaning of eternal hope. Seg ponders his future and the far-off legend of his grandson, Superman. Hope is their most powerful weapon if Krypton is to survive this invasion. He tells Nyssa that he now knows why the infected Voice was draining power from the Genesis Chamber. He obviously needs it to juice up Brainiac's ship and bring it into the Rao system. Hey, it's a titanic piece of machinery and is no doubt a power-guzzling hog!
There's only one place besides the Genesis Chamber with enough electrical energy to satiate the power generator that runs the city's protective dome. However, the always-angry Jax-Ur needs convincing to offer her muscle. She's determined to eventually shatter the ranks, strip the guilds of their oppressive power, and return Kandor to the people. A temporary truce is enacted between Black Zero and the Sagitari in order to storm the power generator and defeat the nefarious Brainiac. But first, a little side visit to the Genesis Chamber is in order!
Meanwhile, somewhere in the bowels of the catacombs, Jayna is barely alive and sees the hooded figure of a man following her cautiously. Her vision blurs and she passes out as the man rushes to her aid and removes his hood. It's Vidar (Faisal Mohammed), Jayna's long-lost brother! Man, you never know who you'll find down in these ancient hallways.
SEND IN THE CLONES
Fortified with the password to access a secret program within the Genesis Chamber, Jax-Ur and a squad of Black Zero operatives enter the birthing complex. She recites the complex sequence of words and numbers for the Vero Protocol obtained through duress via Daron-Vex. The walls part to expose a dangling network of inert cloned bodies in vast numbers. Row upon row of clones representing the most elite ranked houses lie in suspended animation, all to ensure their power grip forever. Jax-Ur marvels at the boldness of the plan but is mentally working out their destruction.
SHOWDOWN AT THE POWER GENERATOR
Seg leads a strike force of Black Zero and Sagitari soldiers into the dome's main power station. In the background, connected via bands of black cables, Brainiac's agent is sucking down juice like there's no tomorrow. He easily invades the minds of the combined forces and seduces them into killing each other in a mass slaughter that leaves only Seg alive. The manipulation is extremely effective, and when the smoke clears Brainiac's agent levitates Seg and urges him toward the surging red stream of the power beam outside.
Seconds before death, Nyssa sprints up from behind and stabs the sunstone crystal into the alien being's neck. His skin and body parts instantly begin to tear away and evaporate through the static-charged air, before bursting into a thousand pieces. Nyssa and Seg share a romantic moment with a passionate lip lock while behind them the vital protective dome of Kandor slowly falls, exposing the metropolis to the elements.
On the floor, remnant particles of the parasitic being begin transforming, concentrating into an insidious humanoid form that stands as the true incarnation of Brainiac, green skin, armored life-support suit, data portals, and all!
Okay, that should do it for this week on Krypton. The big season finale lands on Wednesday, May 23, and from the previews, we're in for one furious finish.
What do you think about the latest developments in the Rao system? Will Val-El ever get to hang out anywhere else but the Fortress? Did anyone bother to scoop up Ona's ashes from the tavern? Is Daron-Vex still alive after wiping out the skimmer? Will Doomsday gain his freedom from the freezer? And exactly how the heck could Seg be Dru-Zod's dad? All pertinent questions to mull over!
Until then, may Rao's light forever guide your way.