The Main Man is here! Lobo clashes with Seg & Adam in the best way possible. Seg has “powers”?! Brainiac is where?! Lyta’s gone off the deep end and Jayna is back and more bad-ass than ever!
Krypton Season 2, Episode 2: “Ghost in the Fire”
Directed by Marc Roskin
Written by Kiersten Van Horne
Airdate: June 19, 2019
Let’s talk about Lobo… I wasn’t sure how he was going to fit in being so distinctly different than any other character on this canvas. I was also concerned about isolating Seg and Adam with him and vice versa; would the two distinctly separate story arcs feel offputting? Would he just not fit in at all? I should know better. Of course not. Lobo was a hit! Where Cameron Cuffe and Shaun Sipos have amazing chemistry, Emmet Scanlan fits right in with the two. The comedic timing and dialogue between Adam and Lobo alone was enough to fill an entire episode. I love that he’s given a purpose right out, he’s there for Brainiac and our boys are just a means to get him to the Coluan. Did everyone figure out the twist that was teased in last weeks promo? Those of us who ascertained Brainiac was not dead, were correct. Instead, he’s inside Seg! Come on man!!!! Now Seg and Adam only have 2.7 hours to figure out how to separate them or Adam is going to have to kill Seg. I was personally hoping the reason Seg had “powers” was because Colu appears to have a yellow sun and well we know how Kryptonians and yellow suns work! Maybe that factor will come into play next week.
Moving on. Can we marvel in the brilliance of the character that is Jayna Zod? At the start of Season 1, she was this cutthroat, unfeeling, leader of the Sagitarri who also just happened to have a child whom she lavished 0 affection on. Throughout the course of that season, the layers were peeled back, she questioned everything she had ever been taught and known to reveal this deeply complex character capable of so much love and loyalty it was fascinating to watch. The audience saw her brother, alive and well, pick her up from near death and whisk her away to the mountains at the end of Season 1 and now here in the present, we see her healing and bonding with the brother she left for dead. Reflecting on the choices she made, the choices that were ingrained by their father, the choices she desperately wishes she could take back. Jayna is a survivor; we witnessed that in her backstory episode last season when she did make the choice to leave her brother behind. She has spent her life grappling with that decision, creating an AI version of him to spar with to keep the nightmares at bay. If he’s alive in her head, the decision to let him die wasn’t all that bad, right? So it should have been no surprise to the audience that Vidar Zod was not in fact alive and well, rather a figment of Jayna’s imagination. Vidar’s memory kept her alive, kept her fighting, because she has spent her life determined to make that choice mean something. Jayna had arguably the most fascinating arc of Season 1 and I have no doubt Season 2 will provide us more depth and nuance to this woman. Reuniting her with Dev, her most loyal Sagitari, at the end will be an interesting turn and one I look forward to watching play out.
We have to talk about another Zod. Lyta. Guuuurrrlll. What are you doing? The mirror imagery of Season 1 Jayna and Season 2 Lyta is astounding. Seeing her in that room with the Sagitari, training them in the same vein as Jayna did to Lyta in Season 1 was a bit eerie and also concerning. Lyta is not taking the “loss” of Seg well at all and she nearly beats to death a young man who reminds her of him just for breathing basically. Dru is a bit concerned with his mother’s mental state and decides handing her a baby is the right move. Poor little future Jor-El. Yes, I am still convinced Cor-Vex is Jor-El and I will not believe otherwise unless told so. Its disconcerting to watch Lyta become the very person she despised so much in her mother and my hope is that she too can be brought back from it. I just worry that by time that happens, it may be too late. I’ve been concerned with the existence of Dru and the fact he hasn’t evaporated from existence yet and that no one seems worried about this, so this week when he casually mentioned Lyta still needs to give birth to him, I was happy to know that’s going to be a plot point in the future.
Meanwhile on Wegthor, Jax-Ur and Val-El have minimal screen time but are diligently preparing the Resistance to take down General Zod and my Star Wars loving heart can’t help but smile at all of this, it all feels so familiar, yet different at the same time and I love it. Nyssa returns to them as Zod’s spy but knowing our girl Nyssa, she’s too intelligent to be bamboozled into turning on her friends. The loss of her father and the knowledge she will never learn the truth of her existence has her in a bad spot emotionally especially now that Dru is holding her baby hostage. I’m hopeful Nyssa will find a way to both get her child back and stay loyal to the cause at the same time. After all she is the grandmother of Superman, right? ;)
Krypton manages to do something masterfully well that has never been done before in live action comics. They’ve taken a property, “Superman”, arguably the most popular comic book property aside of Batman and crafted an entire universe around it without ever actually utilizing Superman himself. Creators try time and time again to “make it their own”. It’s why there’s so many Batman movies/shows all featuring the same villains. “Yes, I know you know The Joker but I want you to see my Joker”. It’s why we’ve seen Batman’s origin story multiple times, because “well yes I know you know this but I want you to see my take on it”. It’s gotten quite exhausting. No one ever wants to drop you in the middle of already established action and fill in the blanks or take on a completely different aspect of the characters for fear of the mass hysteria that occurs among fandom when you dare to deviate.
Cameron Welsh somehow has managed to do just that. By basing this show around a character we know existed at one point in the timeline, Seg El, we know who he is in relation to his very famous grandson, but there’s very minimal comic book material to draw from allowing Welsh to craft something so unique and different, yet familiar at the same time. Where Season 1 relied heavily on the Superman mythos in terms of centering the audience in a story about “saving Superman”, Welsh manages to use subtle manipulation to completely push the audience to a space where none of that even matters at this point.
Adam Strange, is us. I’ve seen multiple times mention that he’s the only non-Brit on the show. Well that’s because he’s representative of the audience, he’s the outsider looking in. A character familiar to some comic books readers, molding Adam into what Welsh needed him to be was never going to elicit the kind of backlash given to more well known characters. Adam comes to Krypton in the same vein the audience does, I’m here for Superman and only for Superman. But something happened along the way, something unexpected. Adam begins to form relationships with these characters, he begins to care about them, sympathize with them, and in the end of season 1 he’s sacrifices his cause to save them, returning home and now forced to see things from their side. So when he returns in season 2, it’s not so much about saving Superman anymore, it’s about helping his friends. And if, in the process, he can save him home as well, he’s all in.
Adam is the audience, dropped in to be here for Superman and only Superman now finding ourselves so engrossed in these characters and their story, we’ve completely forgotten about the Last Son of Krypton. We’re now expecting a different timeline where things may go a bit different for Kal-El. We are so invested in the people who came before him, he’s become an afterthought in the narrative and to the audience. And that’s a good thing. Krypton manages to stand on its own, elevating the source material and crafting characters and story so engaging, the comic book audience almost doesn’t even care any more if it’s “canon”. How, in the year of our Lord 2019, was Cameron Welsh able to do that? Bless you sir. Thank you.
Krypton airs Wednesdays at 10 pm EST on Syfy.