By Mario Wario
Warning: this article contains light spoilers for season 1, episode 10 of Krypton.
Like a Kryptonian spaceship heading to Earth, Krypton’s first season finale has arrived on Syfy.
Fans following the series will know that Seg-El (Cameron Cuffe) has been quite busy so far making sure that Krypton was ready to face its greatest threat, while dealing with Kryptonian house drama everywhere, as well as protecting the future. Certainly, that El name could be seen as a curse by outsiders when an El tries to live up to that famous name. “The Phantom Zone” continues the familiar (dark) themes from the season with heavy dialogue-centric scenes, as well as having a satisfying plot twist at the end. This is a solid finale although it has a few issues.
The episode begins with the fallout from last week’s episode. Brainiac is up to no good (as always) and is fixated on Kandor (nothing new here again) while trying to find a good parking spot for his evil giant spaceship, which still reminds me of a basking shark when the mouth is open. The costume and makeup design for Blake Ritson’s Brainiac is superb, so kudos to the makeup/costume designers in creating something so good for television. It is very much movie quality. It is just too bad that one particular Brainiac scene at the end didn’t match the hype of this season, which had profiled this supervillain as being like a god. How it went, I did not find it to be believable. I did, however, enjoy seeing how Brainiac attacks a planet, using his spaceship in special ways to please his highly confident ego.
Seg and the rest of the crew also had their moments to shine on camera. Seg did his usual antics while General Zod (Colin Salmon) acted like…General Zod. More on their performances later. Yet a nice surprise did happen, which connected to the episode’s title nicely. Just don’t expect too much regarding the Phantom Zone, besides a few plot points being provided to the viewer and it being used as a convenient plot device later. Thus, I have a good feeling season two (which was officially greenlit by SyFy) will focus more on the Phantom Zone. So much to explore here.
Lyta-Zod (Georgina Campbell) had a decent amount of screen time to showcase one Zod House skill: leadership. She is starting to fully embrace that last name, which is nice to see that the series is finally letting her be like a Zod. Yet the more important subplot belongs to Nyssa.
Nyssa discovered something very revealing and I can’t wait to see the ramification of this discovery for next season. It took awhile to get to that moment, however, as each dialogue-centric scene slowed down the pacing a little bit. Jax-Ur (Hannah Waddingham) had a few scenes in this finale; thankfully she had one in particular being very important that directly relates to Nyssa’s origin. Jax was not wasted.
Adam Strange (Shaun Sipos) did not have much to do. He is still part of Brainiac’s collection of ‘small’ cities.
The writers clearly cranked up the dialogue machine to high to connect the key moments of this finale, rather than using any action set pieces. It was not until the final ten minutes of the episode that the pacing picked up some more to conclude season one. To be fair, this whole season has been following this theme so far—more talk, less action. I believe that it worked fine for this episode, yet not everyone who hungers for some excitement will be a fan of this path.
The dark/dire vibe did dominate the spotlight. As such, it felt as if I was watching an episode of the Battlestar Galactica remake or Star Trek: Discovery, during a few particular scenes. This is not a bad thing, in my opinion, as I do like those shows; it is just that those certain scenes did feel like another science fiction series. I’m guessing that anything involving soldiers will do that, as well as using the dark/dire theme for a story which this season has used consistently.
Of course, I can’t forget to mention the acting, as I found the performances by each actor to be fine. Ritson’s performance as Brainiac was simple, but enough in order to show how menacing this character can be. I absolutely loved it! (Speaking as a comic book fan, I would love to see The Thinker from The Flash series meet this version of Brainiac. The brain power of these two supervillains together would be crazy to witness!)
Salmon’s performance as Zod, was quite good, too, especially at the end. Zod fans should get a kick when listening to his speech. As for Cuffe’s performance as Seg, it was nice to see how much he has grown since the pilot episode. What Seg said at the end to wrap up the season was perfect, I believe. Good character development with Seg.
The plot twist at the very end should keep fans talking all summer long, due to how shocking it was. Was it predictable? I’ll let you decide on that one.
Minus a few issues, “The Phantom Zone” was rather enjoyable to watch, thanks to the fine acting and plot twist at the end. Overall, it did what it needed to do: wrap up the current storyline to set up season two. I, for sure, can’t wait to see what is next for the series.
Want to chat a bit more about this Krypton season finale now that it has aired? If so, please visit the FoCC forum by clicking here. Have a great day!