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Krypto Hope Review: A Last-Minute Stumble

krypton hope review

We’re only one episode away from the end of the first season of Krypton, and it feels like this episode,”Hope”, regressed mightily in its attempt to progress the story. Things happened just because. You can clearly tell the writing team was ramping up all of their plotpoints faster than necessary just to get to the point where Brainiac finally shows his true form.

It’s annoying! Just last week, I wrote that the show was definitely getting more and more entertaining. I thought that perhaps the show had ironed out its time management issues. But alas, it has not. The same mismanagement of time that allowed the show to go through three to four episodes without moving the plot along has now forced the writers to speed things up because there are only 10 episodes comprising this season, and a lot has to get done in those 10 episodes. If only the prior episodes were paced better, we could have gotten to Brainiac much quicker, and the story would be in a much better place by now.

Let the love triangle die

A little personal side note about me: I’ve been an Archie Comics collector since my middle school days, and even though I fell in love with the art style and the witty stories, I always hated the dreaded love triangle between Betty, Archie and Veronica. Thankfully, today’s Archie Comics stories (and The CW’s Riverdale) have largely squashed the triangle, forcing Archie to pick just one girl, Veronica. (It was always going to be Veronica. Sorry, Betty).

So, I wish Krypton would let their Archie-esque love triangle die a swift death. I can’t go on with Seg flip flopping between Lyta and Nyssa. Just pick a woman already and stay with her. If Seg wants a real relationship, he can’t go flitting off each time he has an argument with a woman. That’s not what a healthy relationship is, and it’s getting tiring seeing him bip-bop from kiss to kiss. Technically, he doesn’t even have time to think about relationships when he’s trying to save his home planet. I mean, sure, this whole series is about relationships, because ultimately, Seg’s going to have to become Superman’s granddad, which requires a love interest. But at this point in the story, Seg’s love life can wait until everything with Brainiac is sorted.

Seg’s flip-flopping is more indicative of writing insecurity than it is actual character development. Seg is written to fall back in love with whatever woman whenever the script requires it. I think if Seg were allowed to choose for himself, he’d either stick with Lyta or go it alone and sort out everything later. But, Krypton wants its love drama. So we as viewers are stuck with two separate will-they-won’t-they stories that aren’t satisfying in the least.

Is General Zod really evil?

The show is desperately trying to push this idea that Zod’s intentions are somehow impure. I still don’t really see it; maybe it’s because the actor, Colin Salmon, is playing Zod as noble, the hero of his own fable, when he maybe he should be playing him more along the shifty side. But honestly, I really like Zod, and if he said opening up Doomsday was the key to saving the planet, then I as a viewer would be on board to see him awaken the beast.

Jayna’s motivations for distrusting Zod are both disingenuous and, once again, convenient writing. Jayna distrusts Zod because he wants to rule Krypton? But didn’t she try to create a coup to rule Krypton just a few days ago? How is she any better than Zod at ruling when no Sagittari I’ve seen is good at any type of political subterfuge (remember Dev’s poor attempts at lying)?

In any case, the distrust was built solely for there to be a Zod-against-Zod fight. Grandma against grandson. Jayna was about to kill Zod, but Lyta shot her mother, breaking up the fight. After Zod complained about his honor, resulting in Lyta reprimanding him about the potential cost of that “honor,” both of them made their way to try to finish Zod’s plan of awakening Doomsday. But why does Lyta even go along with the plan? It’s not that I don’t believe she would – she’s kinda flighty and doesn’t really think through her off-the-cuff plans, to be honest – but we never get a scene between the two where Zod wins Lyta’s trust with regard to his plan. The theme of the night is plot convenience.

But a surprise happens! Who rescues a dying Jayna other than her brother, who was presumed dead but has been living in the frozen outlands ever since Jayna left him as a kid! He seems like he’s a friend since he clearly still cares for his sister. But I’m eager to know how he’s survived and what he feels about Jayna and the fate of Krypton.

Jax and Daron remember old times

Jax might be one of my favorite additions to the show. She’s hardcore, and most importantly, like Salmon as Zod and Rupert Graves as Ter-El, I believe the actor, Hannah Waddingham in her role. She’s an actor who knows what type of show she’s in and is playing her role to its strengths. I wish every actor on the show had that acumen, because some seem to think they’re in a prestige drama.

Jax’s scenes with Daron were the most entertaining ones of the night. Seeing her torture Daron was marvelous, because he’s actually a character who deserves such terrible treatment. I must also say that actor Elliot Cowan is another one who knows exactly what type of show he’s in and what type of character he’s playing; except for the pilot, he’s been serving up nothing but camp, and it’s fantastic. That’s really all this show needs is a bit of tongue-in-cheek camp to really make it awesome.

Somehow, Daron still manages to escape by buying a ship and heading towards another enclosed city on the planet. But Jax is still able to torture him by lighting up the device she’s remotely wired into his neck. The shocks immobilize him, sending his ship crashing into the outlands. Is he dead? Of course not. But hopefully he’ll be back in Jax’s clutches again.

One of the reasons he wanted to escape so badly, aside from his fear of death, is because he has history with Jax. He was once one of her allies in the science guild, or so she thought. He ended up selling her out in order to gain access to her embryonic technology. The goal: to clone high ranking families so their line will never die out. The result is something akin to Star Wars: Episode II: Attack of the Clones. Maybe Seg’s grandpa is among the clones, since Zod said that – surprise surprise – Val isn’t dead after all. Not only is he apparently still alive, but he’s the one who could help Zod in his quest to defeat Brainiac.

No Adam Strange, but there’s still conflama

Honestly, it was nice to not see Adam Strange this week. But I can’t help but wonder what kind of world he ended up in. Apparently, it must be a big secret since they didn’t even give any clue as to what he could be doing in this episode. But whatever the secret is, it’d better be good.

The lack of Adam Strange proves my point about him being a nonessential character. Even without him, the fate of Krypton carried on as if he were still there, mucking things up. Thankfully for Adam, Seg filled in for him, making bone-headed decisions such as inexplicably moving Doomsday and damaging the ancient technology housing him in the process, meaning he could awaken at any moment and kill everyone. I guess it was through Seg’s “plan” of moving Doomsday that we got one of the burning questions about Zod answered; his blood is of El and Zod, meaning Seg is his father. How Zod just happened to remember this factoid about himself rings as laughable, since, once again, it’s only for plot convenience. But whoop, there it is.

There’s only one episode left before I give the final verdict on the quality of this series. I can say I’ve been surprised this season by how far the show has come since its dismal pilot, but this episode makes me nervous about how many plotpoints might be sped up just to get to the finish line.

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