This Krypton review contains spoilers.
Krypton Season 2 Episode 3
This week, Krypton spent a lot of time lauding main character Seg’s will to live, also the title of the episode, only to kill him off. Well, “just a little,” before Adam un-deaded him. But the show continued its streak this season with solid performances, if light on action.
Yet what happens when the happenings of Krypton itself are the least exciting part of the story?
Picking back up on Colu, Seg (Cameron Cuffe) and Adam (Shaun Sipos) are running like mad through the planet’s lush forests to evade Lobo. But it’s more difficult to evade Brainiac, who is squatting in Seg’s head. The dynamic between our heroes continues to fuel the show, even in its comedic attempts at tenderness (such as when Adam tries to say he won’t kill Seg if he goes full brainy, despite the facts that it’s kinda uncomfortable, or maybe annoying, having Brainiac inside him).
Cuffe deserves a nod for his acting this week as he covers a range of emotions. We have the standard Seg we know, jocular with Adam. While he slowly transforms into Brainiac’s host, he does a nice job of becoming more rigid, and controlling his voice. But he also delivers a defiant, then emotional performance within his mindscape opposite Blake Ritson’s Brainiac.
I believed Seg was falling for Brainiac’s creepy Lyta ploy when he began to cry and embrace her. It was annoying at first to see him duped, only to reveal he was stalling for time, and using his own emotions against Brainy. It was a cool moment to see him flip the tables on the villain, calling him out for being afraid of losing control, and telling him to “savor it before you devolve into nothing.” Well done, Mr. El. Your grandson would be proud of your emotions, and resolve.
Meanwhile, Sipos is a master wingman as Adam. The writers clearly love coming up with lines for him, and the actor delivers them with excellent timing, and a bewildered expression. I think you could point him at any other actor, and he’d bounce off them well. For some reason, I laughed out loud when Adam jealously asked if Seg was talking to Brainiac at the same time as him.
It’s especially fun to see him and Emmett J. Scanlan’s half-Lobo together in the Brainiac birthing room. Even though he doesn’t arrive until 29 minutes in, Lobo is still the main man of the episode, but the character needs a counterpart, and that’s what Sipos offers. The “You’re so soft”/”You’re so … mean” was pure hilarity.
The stuff on Colu – and in Seg’s mindscape – was so good it overshadows what is happening on Krypton and the moon Wegthor. The resistance led by Val and Jax-Ur plan an attack on Zod’s conscripted Sagitari using stolen oxygenators, and a confrontation at a choke point.
I am not feeling the stakes of all this yet, even if it is nice to see Kem again (who doesn’t seem like a good choice for a Sagitari).
The problem with Val (Ian McElhinney) is that while he’s a likable good cop to Jax-Ur’s bad cop, he’s also a bit of a dum-dum. You’d expect him to see Nyssa’s deception a mile away – or maybe he went soft after all that time in the Phantom Zone. I get that he is supposed to reflect Seg, but I wish the show would give him more fire.
A pleasant surprise this episode was Nyssa. Wallis Day is a compelling actor, and she hasn’t had a lot to work with this season yet. I was concerned the show had turned her into a milquetoast character, easily manipulated. But she talks her way out of a cell, hooks up with her old girlfriend straightaway, and engages in some post coital deception for Zod. Yes, she’s doing it to get her child back, but she’s best when being devilish.
In Kandor, we get the most awkward hug ever between Zod and Lyta. Dru-Zod doesn’t look as if he’s used to being hugged much, but that may come with the territory as one of Superman’s greatest foes. Still, the past version of his mom goes for it after he shares the story of her death in the alternate timeline. Zod’s intimates his mother committed suicide after Kandor was bottled by Brainiac, and she stopped making hard choices.
It is an interesting character development for Zod’s dedication to do all that is required, and Georgina Campbell and Colin Salmon play off of one another nicely. However, Salmon is so big as Zod that he can’t help but overshadow Lyta, and one wonders if every line he delivers is a deception. It will be good to get Lyta on her own for a while to let her shine as a solo badass.
Finally, Dev and Jayna get some good moments as two people who knew one another in another life, reuniting as entirely changed people. Dev is broken down, and angry after everything he knew was revealed to be a lie. Jayna, too, has been operating under incomplete information – after all, her daughter is now a tyrant in training alongside Zod – but she has resolve. We’ll see where this goes, but my bet is Dev doesn’t survive this season.
While the acting in the episode continues to be enjoyable, I must admit I am sad to leave Colu (and Lobo?) behind. It was an excellent detour for the show. Hopefully, with Seg back on the planet, the events on Krypton will pick up more.