NOTE: Full spoilers for this episode of, “Krypton” are present in this review
The problems on Colu, Wegthor and Krypton are all beginning to multiply during the second episode of Krypton’s sophomore season. “Ghost in the Fire” presents plenty of interesting challenges for all of the show’s ongoing factions, continuing to bump up Season Two’s storytelling with more new and improved thrills and challenges for the leads. There’s quite an extensive amount of subplots throughout this episode, but they all manage to flow pretty well, keeping Krypton going stronger than ever, even as its biggest villains continue to linger in the shadows.
Things kick off on a pretty intense note on Krypton proper, as two of Zod’s pilots end up being killed by Doomsday, who is currently wandering the Outlands. It turns out that this was an intentional suicide mission however, with Zod later confessing to Lyta that he knew his soldiers would not survive Doomsday. The question of Doomsday remains a pretty big one, since Doomsday doesn’t appear to be close to Kandor at all, but one has to wonder if, and more likely when that will change. The idea of Zod treating his soldiers as expendable, even rushing their basic training, also points to a pretty big hole in his regime, possibly suggesting how his otherwise unstoppable military machine could eventually be halted in its tracks, once Seg actually manages to make it back to Krypton.
General Zod isn’t the only part of House Zod facing some good character drama in this episode either. It turns out that Lyta is also being put through the emotional wringer, seemingly taking Seg’s loss, and the loss of the Kandor that she formerly knew, with increasing difficulty. Lyta offers to improve the training of Zod’s conscripts when they start under-performing, seemingly to distract herself, and initially this seems to help, until Lyta is come on to by a student that resembles Seg. After rejecting the man’s advances, Lyta even brutally beats him, which concerns her son, and no doubt the other conscripts! Lyta’s unfurling and increasingly unstable psychology remains compelling to see, showing those shades of darkness that Zod implied really came out after she lost Seg within Zod’s original timeline. Zod trying to remedy the situation by having Lyta raise Cor-Vex is also an interesting idea, especially when Nyssa is being forcibly separated from her child on Wegthor.
Speaking of Wegthor, the resistance’s ranks continue to press on, despite having a hard time getting a foothold against Zod’s forces. Once Nyssa is plunked on the moon however, she manages to make her way to Val and Jax, promising them valuable intel, while also passing on that Zod has taken her infant son. Nyssa claims that Zod’s supply chain is vulnerable during a periodic solar flare, which Zod exploits to move supplies without arousing suspicion, on account of deactivated communications, a tip that would initially appear to be very useful to Val’s and Jax’s resistance operation! It turns out that this is an intentional ploy by Zod however, with Zod telling Nyssa to periodically feed Val and Jax false intel. This, again, is an interesting idea, though the Nyssa storyline still isn’t quite grabbing me as much as the rest yet. Implanting Nyssa within the resistance seems like it too obviously has the potential to go wrong for everyone involved. Even with Cor being in Lyta’s ‘care’, it doesn’t seem like a sound tactical decision to coerce Nyssa into feeding false intel, especially when Zod’s soldiers don’t appear to be monitoring her at all, for some inexplicable reason.
Meanwhile, over on Colu, Seg and Adam have been tied up by Lobo, who is starting to aggressively threaten them, promising to torture and kill them, unless they can lead him to Brainiac. This is where we really get to see Lobo’s iconic insanity in earnest, which quickly proves to be both amusing and intense, between Lobo constantly making reference to how attractive Adam is, and constantly inventing increasingly elaborate ways to brutally murder both Seg and Adam, should he not get what he wants. Seg eventually convinces Lobo to let the two of them go though, whereupon he takes Lobo to Brainiac’s body… Only for Lobo’s scanners to discover that Brainiac is not present in the body. This leads to a slightly expected, but still pretty exciting twist– Brainiac is now inside Seg’s mind!
The advantage to this surprise turn is that Seg now has access to some of Brainiac’s abilities, including his massive intelligence level, and his psychic powers! Brainiac’s psychic powers, along with some quick blaster shooting from Adam, ensure that Lobo is incapacitated long enough for the two men to get away, though of course, getting back to Krypton still doesn’t prove quite so simple. Even after Adam recovers his Zeta-Beam Device, which Lobo initially tossed into the nearby river during one of his long-winded speeches, Seg impresses upon Adam that he can’t be brought back to Krypton, on account of Brainiac still being within his head. With Brainiac appearing to take more control of Seg with each passing moment, the episode thus ends with Seg demanding that Adam kill him, because the scourge of Brainiac must end on Colu. Obviously, Adam isn’t going to kill Seg, since we wouldn’t have a show without Seg, but the conundrum of how to separate Brainiac from Seg is still a pretty big one, especially since Seg still appears to be maintaining some degree of control, despite both Rhom and the Voice of Rao pretty much immediately losing agency over their minds, once Brainiac’s probes infected them during Season One.
The other storyline of note involves Jayna making it to an Outlands bar, with some help from Vidar, who is later revealed to not actually be there, and is instead a projection from Jayna’s mind. While it thus seems like the show somewhat hand-waves away the obvious plot hole of Jayna somehow finding a way to breathe in the Outlands without a respirator, a brief bar scuffle reuniting her with Dev does at least set up another potential means of striking back against Zod’s regime down the line. By the end of, “Ghost in the Fire”, all of the lead characters nicely find themselves in interesting and tense new positions, even without needing tangible villains to stand against. Sure, Lobo is a pretty clear-cut threat for Seg and Adam, but he’s still more of an anti-hero than an actual villain, especially since Syfy has already kickstarted plans to spin Lobo off into his own television series in the near future. With Doomsday still at large in the Outlands however, it probably won’t be long before Krypton has more to worry about than an iron-fisted government body. As much as Seg wants to keep Brainiac away from Krypton, perhaps he shouldn’t be so quick to cast away his new powers, considering that even the best of Zod’s army is going to be helpless to stop Doomsday, once he inevitably finds his way to civilization!
Krypton continues to keep the excitement going strong with, "Ghost in the Fire", as Lobo starts tormenting Seg and Adam, and Lyta finds herself with a surprising new charge.
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THE GOOD STUFF
Entertaining, intense threats from Lobo
Lyta's violent breakdown, and subsequent placement with Cor
Jayna's surprise reunion with Dev
THE NOT-SO-GOOD STUFF
Zod being strangely careless about implanting Nyssa in the resistance