Krypton – Season 2 Episode 6
“In Zod We Trust”
Krypton slows things down to concentrate on how the various characters process their grief in the wake of Lyta’s death in the previous episode.
I’m far from convinced that Lyta’s death is permanent but it doesn’t matter at this stage as everyone believes that she is so the episode becomes about how the characters deal with it. As you might expect each of the characters deals with this in their own way which offers a range of content that prevents the episode from feeling stale or repetitive. It’s relatively light on plot progression but that makes sense as the death of Lyta is a game changer for all concerned so it’s reasonable that everyone would need to take a breather to consider their next move. Things do move forward but it’s less profound than in prior episodes.
Seg’s reaction to Lyta’s death came as a bit of a surprise because of how subdued it was. Cameron Cuffe does an excellent job portraying a man in perpetual pain struggling to keep going but this comes across very subtly. The brief collapse near the beginning of the episode is a really powerful indication of how deeply affected he is and it establishes how difficult it is for him not to break down for the rest of the episode.
Admirably he decides that affirmative action is the best way to move forward. It would have been so easy for him to be bent on revenge and travel down a very dark path but instead he doesn’t lose sight of his mission to bring Zod down. In many ways he drags himself to the point of acceptance so that he can continue to function but there are moments where he considers everything he has lost. Notably his conversation with Dev where he talks about watching his parents die highlights the losses he has had to deal with over a fairly short time frame. The conversation he has with Dev is really telling as to what the perception of that loss is. Seg brings up the reconditioning that changed who Lyta was on a fundamental level and Dev confesses the time he realised that something had changed in her. In effect they are mourning the loss of her twice as Zod took her away from them long before Jax killed her. It’s a lot to digest over a short period of time and the episode allows the characters time to process recent events rather than rushing onto the next major plot.
Seg’s mind is on justice; he wants to make sure Jax-Ur is brought to justice for what she has done though recognises that Val will have the same thing in mind and thinks that he may already have something in place. This further reinforces the influence Val had on the person Seg has become and the unbreakable trust that exists between them. Seg is also thinking practically as he is in far from an ideal position to exact any sort of revenge on Jax so he has little choice but to rely on others to do this for him. Instead he spends a great deal of the episode supporting Nyssa who brings the Codex to Zod as ordered before escaping thanks to Seg and a stolen Skimmer with the baby Cor-Vex safely cradled in her arms.
Nyssa continues to be a fascinating wildcard that is constantly used to great effect. Her true allegiance remains something of a mystery though it seems clear that she has no love for Zod and maintains a closeness with Seg. At this point her main objective is getting her son back and I get the impression that she’ll do anything in order to make sure that happens. It’s possible that she’s manipulating Seg in order to achieve that goal though I would say it’s unlikely given the available information. Giving the Codex to Zod is unquestionably a bad idea considering his open desire to weaponise it but it suits her own personal objective as it gets her son back in her arms which has consistently been all she wanted. Her tunnel vision outlook on the situation is problematic as there’s no telling how dangerous Zod is with that kind of power at his disposal but it’s also reasonable to accept that Nyssa doesn’t care about that since her involvement is only as much as she wants it to be.
She proves herself to be cunning by keying the Codex to unlock using her voice print but only when she’s calm which rules out her being forced to hand it over against her will. Her manipulation of Zod to engineer a situation where she doesn’t have him or guards to worry about as she places herself next to the window is expert level though relies on Zod not being at his best in order to not see through this. It’s perfectly understandable given that he is mourning the loss of Lyta and his general admiration of Nyssa. He seems arrogant enough to assume that she will gleefully accept the offer to join him when she has no intention of doing so. There’s a tinge of desperation in his voice whenever he talks about the Codex as well so that will be colouring his rational thinking. Nyssa on the other hand has her mind entirely focused on the task at hand and that’s why she’s able to manipulate him as well as she does.
Her relationship with Seg also remains interesting. Seg clearly trusts her and wants her by his side as the situation worsens. Brainiac is becoming more influential which is clearly a cause for concern especially when he can’t deny that he would be dead if it weren’t for the help that Brainiac provides him. Once again he faces the possibility of losing himself to the invading entity so he sees having Nyssa by his side as the best way to deal with it as he likely assumes that she will do what’s necessary should he fully succumb to Brainiac’s influence. The deal to return Brainiac to his ship will almost certainly result in Seg being double crossed in some way so having Nyssa along on this quest should provide the support that Seg needs at this point. His promise to vacate Seg and leave Krypton in peace seems too good to be true so having someone along who excels at reacting to changing circumstances will certainly be advantageous.
Lyta’s death brings with it an ultimatum for Val and his resistance. Zod tells them that they can either bring Jax to justice or be wiped out. Val has no real choice but to seriously consider this as the lives of his people are at stake. He also openly disagrees with what Jax did as he sees it as crossing a line that he is personally unwilling to cross. This feeds into a fascinating discussion about the reality of War and how ethics come into play in that situation. Val’s view is that Jax is no better than Zod because of the things she does in the name of bringing peace to Krypton. She is able to justify this pattern of behaviour without acknowledging that it’s wrong so in his mind she is exactly the same as Zod. Jax challenges Val’s ideals because she thinks that he does little more thank talk about morality without actually taking action. To her mind there’s no victory in his methods and she is willing to be perceived as a monster if it means achieving the goal of victory. War always will be an ethical minefield with no definitive answer on what the right thing is but it has been made abundantly clear that Zod is willing to make sacrifices to achieve his goals and doesn’t care about who he has to bring down in pursuit of victory.
Val does end up taking that point and refuses the ultimatum because he realises that Zod still intends to punish his people while offering Val a chance to serve him. He openly declares that he refuses to support Zod’s vision for Krypton and stamps that by pulling the trigger on the explosives planted around the space elevator. This cuts Zod off from supplies and reinforcements while also acting as an open declaration that there is no reconciling at this point. It’s a surprising action for Val to take given how passive he has been up until this point but it makes complete sense given everything he has had to consider ever since deciding to openly oppose Zod in pursuit of a better Krypton. It also continues to complicate the ethical debate and reinforce that there are no easy answers in War along with the notion that there are no clean hands. Val follows this up by acknowledging how what Jax has helped them achieve but banishes her from the rebellion because he now sees her as the enemy and can’t have that distraction around. He thinks that Jax has lost herself in the conflict which could be a cautionary tale about where Val is headed. More work needs to be done on the character to have any of this land but attacking the fact that he doesn’t get involved in the plot is a promising start.
Dev and Jayna support the ethical minefield in their simple interaction where neither of them have an answer to the question of where they go from here. Jayna finally breaking down when the full weight of losing Lyta hits her is a powerful and relatable display of grief. It means a lot more coming from Jayna and continues this episode’s commitment to exploring the emotional fallout of Lyta’s death.
An emotionally rich episode that takes the time to explore how the characters cope with grief while moving the plot forward organically. Cameron Cuffe delivers an impressively subdued and powerful performance that properly conveys the loss felt by Seg. His desire to bring her killer to justice and the trust he plays in Val to follow through on that make sense for him as a character and fit his current circumstances. Some time is spent highlighting that Lyta has been lost twice thanks to Zod’s reconditioning which allows for a really thoughtful moment with Dev. Nyssa continues to be a fascinating wildcard and her relationship with Seg is used to great effect in that area. It seems that she is loyal to Seg but her focus never shifts away from getting her son back and it’s clear that there’s nothing she won’t do to make sure that happens. The way she manipulates Zod into engineering her escape is excellent and works well under the assumption that Zod is distracted by the recent loss and far from at his best. Her relationship with Seg remains interesting and the fact that he tells her about the Brainiac influence shows that he trusts her. It’s also likely that he doesn’t believe that Brainiac will keep his end of the bargain so needs someone who will be prepared to do what is necessary.
Val and Jax-Ur’s disagreement on necessary action fuels a lot of fascinating debate. Jax sees Val as a figurehead who talks about morality but takes little action which ends up being less than useful in a War. Val sees her as no better than Zod and condemns her justification of this dangerous pattern of behaviour. Jax’ perspective is interesting as she is willing to be perceived as a monster as long as she can achieve her goal of victory. It’s a complex debate with no real answer and Val making the decision to refuse Zod’s ultimatum by blowing up the elevator highlights that he has accepted the need to get his hands dirty. He still can’t support Jax as he feels that she went too far but at the same time sees merit in some of her methods. Jax could end up being a cautionary tale about where Val is headed.
- taking the time to explore how the characters handle grief
- Cameron Cuffe’s subdued performance
- Seg handling his grief in a largely positive way
- Nyssa continuing to be the perfect wildcard
- her complex relationship with Seg
- the increasing Brainiac influence and the concerns being caused by it
- Jax and Val debating the ethics of war
- Val seeing Jax-Ur’s point of view and destroying the elevator but still condemning her
- Val still coming across as largely superficial
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