RTF Review: “KRYPTON – Season 1, Episode 3”
By: Adam Basciano
“During a military crackdown on Seg’s home district, Seg and Adam Strange race to find a deadly Sentry. ” (SyFy)
After the hologram of Val-El analyses the scorch marks and rocks left behind by Braniac’s ship, he tells, Seg-El, Kem and Adam Strange, that Braniac must have left a probe behind. Within that probe is a Sentry. When the probe is opened, the Sentry acts as a parasite, infecting a host, and uploading all the military defenses, culture, and scientific information of Krypton to Braniac, so he can prepare for conquest. Our three fast friends determine that from the Outlands, a probe would likely be sold by salvagers, to the Council of Elders or, on the Black Market. Adam Strange eventually finds the probe on the Black Market, and steals it from a vendor. When he brings it back to the Fortress, Val-El informs him and the others, that the probe has been open and the Sentry has already found a host. Through a mix of flashbacks and present day scenes, the audience learns that the Sentry’s host is a woman named Rhom. To make matters more personal for Seg-El, Rhom was a friend of his parents, who we saw in previous episodes with her daughter, who came to give Seg their condolences. This makes the thought of failure, all the more unbearable for Seg.
As Seg-El sets out to find and stop Rhom, Daron-Vex and his daughter Nyssa, have ordered the military guild to do an inspection, and evacuation of Sector 19 of the Rankless guild of Kandor, in search of Black Zero Terrorists.. Despite Lyta Zod’s leadership, and attempts to stop this witch hunt last week, she can no longer hold off the order given by a higher ranking member, of a higher ranking guild. Still, she tries to protect the innocents, by stressing to her unit, that innocent rankless members of society are not their enemy, and not to be harmed. Still, when military guild soldiers get on the ground, they are shown to be using excessive force, when the rankless Kandorian’s they question, claim not to have any knowledge or contact with any members of the Black Zero terrorist group. Lyta even has to arrest one of her soldiers, after the soldier killed a shackled rankless man, who was coming to the aid of a fellow citizen who was being abused. While Krypton is a hard science fiction show, this episode deals with socially relevant Earth issues. The issue at hand here is obviously police brutality and excessive use of force. The rankless of Krypton are representing people of color, while the military guild stands in for the police. Watching that shackled rankless man get shot, echoed seeing news clips, or viral YouTube videos, of police officers beating on, or bullying someone they’ve arrested. I’ve come to expect to see this on a more grounded show like Black Lightning, but it’s great to see real world parallel’s here. The best science fiction stories make social commentaries without being preachy. This episode definitely propels Krypton into that category.
Seg eventually tracks Rhom down to what is the communication center of Kandor. He finds her connected via wires to all the tech devices in the room. He tries to appeal to his friend by evoking memories of her daughter but to no avail, Braniac’s Sentry has completely taken control. Seg-El eventually subdues her with an EMP grenade he got from Lyta. Seg-El takes Rhom to the Fortress of Solitude, in the hopes of freeing her from the Sentry’s control and programing. However, Val-El warns that her connection to the Sentry is keeping her alive and removing it could kill her. Furthermore, the damage has already been done, as she has uploaded all of Krypton‘s vital information to Braniac. Rhom being connected to Krypton‘s communication grid via all those wires, takes it’s visual cues from the Braniac story written by Geoff Johns and drawn by Gary Frank. It’s quite horrific and painful looking. In addition to that, the fact that the Sentry was like a parasite or virus, seemed to me like a nod to Superman: The Animated Series Braniac, which was conceptualized as more of a computer virus. I love that Krypton is paying homage to two different versions of Braniac, from two different mediums. That’s some fanboy deep cuts going on there!
Each episode of Krypton has built off of and improved off of it’s last outing. For me, episode 3 is easily the best. Socially relevant themes and hard-core sci-fi moments made this the most exciting episode yet. And they pulled that off without a obvious Superman reference or musical cue. This is why I always say you have to give a new show at least 3 episodes, before you make a decision on it. After 3 episodes, my verdict is that Krypton is a must watch for Superman fans.