Its back into space we go as SyFy aired episode two of its new Superman series, Krypton. “House of El” sees Seg adjust to everything that’s happened to him since the pilot. That and many other developments!
“House of El” plays it smart by immediately picking up where the first episode left off. It also further expands on nearly every aspect of the series, providing better worldbuilding now that we got all the setup out of the way. The worldbuilding in this episode might be its strongest aspect. Adam Strange brings up that he used a Zeta Beam to come find Seg-El, the voice of Rao, the Kryptonian military, and the creation of the Phantom Zone. “House of El” really starts to double down on introducing the big part of Superman mythology here and it’s commendable.
The main conflict Seg find himself in this week is that Daron-Vex (Elliot Cowan) and his daughter, Nyssa (Wallis Day), are set to officially make him part of the House of Vex. This would strip Seg of all that remains of his family, while he is still trying to figure out this whole Brainiac business.
Seg is improved as a character in this episode as he struggles to remain true to his family’s identity. The scene with Val-El’s (Ian McElhinney) projection at the Fortress and discovery of the Phantom Zone was a bit touching. It added some emotional depth, more than Seg’s secret romance with Lyta could at the moment. It helps to further build the show’s mythology and give a wider scope of Krypton most non-comic reader audiences might never have had before.
I wanted to touch on Rao again as he seems to more or less be the driving force of the episode. Rao, both here and from the comics, is seen as the Kryptonian deity that is essentially the planet’s sun. He’s represented by a person in a strange, yet admittedly cool, multi-faced gold mask. He’s seen and heard, yet even in full view of the camera and in the light, he comes across as incredibly ominous. He’s especially ominous when throwing a wrench into Daron and Nyssa’s plans, as Nyssa reminds daddy-dearest that she has his trust now.
The supporting cast is still the main highlight, especially Shaun Sipos and Georgina Campbell. Adam Strange is perfect to have for the show since his history would allow for him to be a messenger from the past. He also has a rich history from the DC lore himself, including plenty of partnerships with Superman. Sipos is fun in the role and is lively as a fish out of water on Kandor, though he knows his way around the Fortress of Solitude quite well.
Campbell performs better here than last week, asserting Lyta’s dominance in the presence of not just her mother, but her squadron of Kryptonians as well. Her arc throughout “House of El” shows off her strengths in adapting to whatever situation she finds herself in, be it her secret romance with Seg or the combat scene towards the end. She wins in a fashion that Michael Shannon’s General Zod would be proud of.
Technical aspects of the show continue to impress – that is, when it’s not too busy trying to fit in as many Easter eggs as it can. Honestly, this was something else that got in the way of the pilot upon re-watching that. Designs, effects, costumes, were all wonderful.
By the end of the episode, all seems fine, or it would seem that way.
What did you think of this week’s episode of Krypton? Better? Worse? Let us know in the comments!