“Krypton” Episode Review – S01E04 “The Word of Rao”

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

Check out his review of the 4th episode of Season 1 in which Seg is approached by a Black Zero leader as Rao finds a scapegoat for the failed Rankless Initiative.

The Word of RaoOriginally Aired: April 11, 2018
WRITTEN BY: Luke Kalteux

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 speak of treason while my daughter dies for it.” – Jayna-Zod


This week continued the Krypton story into another chapter by introducing new characters, conflicts, and potential alliances.

Not ten minutes into the episode, we learn that Lyta-Zod is being framed by House Vex on the order of the Voice of Rao in order to deal with the fallout of the failed Rankless Initiative. It’s not surprising that this failed attempt to wipe out Black Zero needed a “fall-guy,” and it’s even less surprising that Lyta was chosen to take the fall. We’ve already seen conflict between Daron-Vex and Jayna-Zod, and this decision will only strengthen the feud.

Lyta seems to be taking this well and continues to protect Seg-El by keeping quiet about her true reason for disobeying orders from the Primus. This decision, to remain quiet, seems to agree with what we already know about Lyta from the past few episodes and is true to character. While I don’t think we’re going to see Lyta die any time soon (so either she’s going to become a fugitive, or the charges will be dropped), it’s interesting to me that the writers have chosen to do this so early in the series. Stories involving main characters going to prison are usually told after at least half a season of getting to know said-character, but Krypton seems to be taking a risk by doing a treason arc so early. Sure, we saw what happened to Val-El in the Pilot, but necessary backstory is different than a lead cast member-in-jail story. Either way, I think this story has potential to really develop Lyta, to show her what she really wants and what she’s willing to fight for. Obviously, she wants Seg, but beyond that, it’s possible she won’t want to be apart of the military guild after this (not that she has a choice) and could be useful in a future attempt to over-throw the Voice of Rao.

An interesting component to Lyta’s predicament is Seg’s idea to use Nyssa-Vex to help vindicate Lyta of her “crimes”. What’s even more interesting is that Nyssa seems to be on board. If there is one character on this show who’s a wild card, one I can’t seem to totally figure out, it’s Nyssa, and that’s exciting. She seems to be playing everybody and it wouldn’t surprise me one bit if she would betray her father in the future. What I’m wondering is, why is Nyssa helping Lyta? Obviously, part of her agenda is to get Jayna committed to her father’s cause, but she already has Seg’s trust (see last week) so why risk being labeled a “traitor” alongside Lyta by defending the Zod? Again, Nyssa is the one character I’m having a hard time figuring out, but I always look forward to seeing what she’s going to do next.

The heart-wrenching arc of this week was Kem telling Ona that her mother is dead. Over-all, Ona took it well, and looked to Rao for her strength. In offering her idol to the Voice of Rao, Ona saw herself ranked this week and is now a part of the Voice’s servant staff. I’m mixed about this because while the scene was touching, Kem had decided to take Ona on as his responsibility and I think transferring that to the Voice of Rao is a mistake. Right now, all Kem has is his bar. Seg is his best friend and he will do anything to help him out, sure, but Kem’s only real responsibility is his establishment. On the other hand, making Ona his responsibility had the potential to develop Kem more as a Kryptonian, showing his love and care for someone other than himself. Ona would have allowed him to step into the role of a parent, and would have given this series another, non-manipulative, parental relationship to watch develop week-by-week. Personally, I thought it was a mistake on the writer’s part, but I guess we’ll see what the future holds for the two of them.

Between Lyta’s imprisonment and Rhom’s predicament, Seg-El had a tough week. Add to that, he was abducted by a group of militant Kryptonians who seem to know about Brainiac. Lead by Colin Salmon’s unnamed leader, Seg eventually ends up breaking out and finds himself stranded in the outlands.

The idea of a Kryptonian group that knows about Brainiac is exciting because while Kandor’s military is busy with Black Zero, this group will be able to do something once Brainiac inevitably invades. It sounds like this group has been studying Brainiac for a while as the unnamed leader tells Seg that he has had history with Val-El and the House of El. While I’m unsure as to whether Seg will end up working with this group, the idea is intriguing and worth the introduction this week (plus, Seg really had nothing better to do).

And then the cliffhanger…

The Voice of Rao was bad enough on his own, essentially being the dictator of Krypton, now Brainiac has control over him. I honestly am not sure what to expect now that the Voice has been taken over, but I’m excited to find out.

Some final thoughts…

Why didn’t the Sentry attack Ona or Kem, or anyone else for that matter? Does it know the Voice of Rao’s importance?

Why is Nyssa really helping Lyta? What’s her angle, is it to help her father or win over Seg?

Why did Val-El and this new group sever ties? Is this unnamed leader a Zod?

Hopefully we’ll get some of these questions, and more, answered on next week’s Krypton!

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

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April 12, 2018 2:42 am

I could be misreading this but I got the impression Ona was being used by Brainiac to get close to the Voice of Rao in order to infect him. I don’t know if she was infected herself or just being influenced though. Or perhaps Brainiac just knew enough about her from her mother to predict that she would approach the Voice of Rao.

April 12, 2018 11:17 am
Reply to  andramus

I was thinking that as well. It makes sense. If he’s trying to take over Krypton, then he would have to take control of the voice of Rao to do so.

Before the voice of Rao was infected by Brainiac’s device, I was thinking that the Voice of Rao might be Brainiac, but then Ona gave him that little statue that infected him. So I’m wondering who the voice of Rao is.