“Krypton” Episode Review – S01E02 “House of El”

Superman Homepage writer Michael J. Petty reviews episodes from the “Krypton” TV series, airing on SYFY.

Check out his review of the 2nd episode of Season 1 in which, after suffering a tragedy, Seg is forced to adjust to a new life, a new rank, and a new threat.

Originally Aired: March 28, 2018
WRITTEN BY: Cameron Welsh
DIRECTED BY: Ciaran Donnelly

Cameron Cuffe as Seg-El
Shaun Sipos as Adam Strange
Georgina Campbell as Lyta-Zod
Aaron Pierre as Dev-Em
Wallis Day as Nyssa-Vex
Elliot Cowman as Daron-Vex
Ann Ogbomo as Jayna-Zod
Rasmus Hardiker as Kem
Blake Ritson as Brainiac
Ian McElhinney as Val-El

Alexis Raben as Rhom

4Rating – 4 (out of 5): “You are the torchbearer for our legacy now.” – Val-El

This week’s Krypton further opened the universe a little more, showing us that Brainiac isn’t coming, he’s already here. Seg is finally to the point where he believes Adam Strange’s claims that the Collector of Worlds is coming for Krypton. I’m glad that the writers decided not to drag this out any longer than this week’s episode. Last week, Seg dealt with a lot, getting a new rank, losing his parents, and finding the Fortress (and meeting Adam and being told about Superman), and this week was dealing with the ramifications of all of that. Had we spent half the season watching Seg doubt Adam’s claims, the series would have lost a lot of steam and the Brainiac story would’ve been put on hold, but thankfully that’s not how it went down.

Seg, Adam, and Kem are going to have to figure out what to do about this Brainiac scout pretty quick, because if Brainiac is right around the corner, Kandor is not going to have much time (and we know he’s coming for Kandor). Also, Kandor, and Krypton’s other cities, are protected by these bubble shields because apparently Krypton is too harsh an environment. Is Krypton just in a long winter right now or is this how the planet always is? I have no clue, but it could be interesting if Krypton’s core begins to malfunction (leading to its eventual demise) and the weather on the planet begins to change as a result, almost like climate change. Just a thought.

It seemed like Nyssa’s plan both backfired and succeeded this week. Seg will no longer be a Vex, but now he trusts her. My hope was that Nyssa actually cared about our hero, but it doesn’t seem like that’s the case given her apparent lust for power (it must run in the family). It was interesting to see the Voice of Rao be the one to stand up for Seg and actually give him rank within the Science Council, giving Seg an “in” with the Voice that Daron-Vex doesn’t seem to have. However, since Seg’s plans have [possibly] changed from revenge to the salvation of his people, it’s now up-in-the-air as to what he’s going to see the nature of his relationship with the Voice as. It could be interesting if he and the Voice get close for a while, almost in a Palpatine/Anakin kind of way, so he can restore his family name and possibly get rid of Daron in the process.

Now, I talked last week about how I liked the addition of the Fortress of Solitude to the greater Krypton mythology, showing its existence on Krypton as well as on Earth, but this week I’m starting to question this decision. While I still think the Fortress is an important element to this series and serves as a way for the House of El to live on (as Val-El shares with Seg), I’m wondering if they may be introducing too many elements of the Superman mythos too early. This was a concern that some of you raised in the comments last week under my review of the Pilot and at first I disagreed but after seeing this week’s episode I’m beginning to wonder…

The inclusion of Val-El to this story is important for Seg-El’s character development going forward and will give him, like Kal-El in most Superman stories, a member of his family to guide him, as well as being an important exposition device. However, I’m wondering with the inclusion of Adam Strange, who benefits from his knowledge of the future, if we really need Val too. Going off that, Val-El talks about his discovery of the Phantom Zone, but if my memory serves me correctly, most Superman stories say Jor-El (Seg’s son and Superman’s father) is the one to discover the Phantom Zone. Don’t get me wrong, I love Phantom Zone stories, and it seems like this may be where Seg will inevitably trap Brainiac(?), but at this point I’m not sold on the decision. Maybe the mythology will be changed so that while Val-El discovered the Zone’s existence, it was Seg-El, or Jor-El, who found a way to unlock or open it? That I could get on board with.

On the Zod side of this week’s episode, the Military Guild was about to embark on their new “Rankless Offensive” where they’re going to sweep the streets and either incarcerate or kill anyone who “might be” Black Zero. This includes anyone who gets in their way. Lyta doesn’t like this and shows her strength as a warrior by killing her superior officer in combat, taking control of the unit herself. While the romantic in me is rooting for Seg and Lyta, I can’t help but already see how Seg is becoming an El, and Lyta is becoming a Zod, and usually those two houses are incompatible. I guess time will tell.

Some questions to leave you with…

Is Kryptonian and English spoken the same way but written differently? If not, how can Adam speak Kryptonian?

Will the Brainiac scout turn into a robot and attack Kandor? My guess is yes.

What or who killed Dev-Em’s family? Black Zero? Someone in the Military Guild? Doomsday?

Over-all I’m still optimistic about this series and I’m just as excited for next week’s episode as I was for this weeks!

Check out the “Krypton – Episode Reviews” Contents page.

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March 29, 2018 8:03 pm

I figure Adam has either learnt Kryptonian or has some kind of translator on him. It would be interesting if he did have a translator device and lost it for an episode to see the communication difficulties that ensue. From the little I know of Adam Strange and his planet-hopping adventures it wouldn’t surprise me if he had a facility with languages. I’m pretty sure he knows Rannian at some point. The one thing I felt this episode missed a beat on is the fact that Adam is an alien. He might look Kryptonian but on a DNA level he… Read more »