I presume the episode title is intended to be grimly ironic, as by the end of Krypton Episode 9: Hope there’s very little of it left.
We’ll get to that. In the meantime, though, we begin with some hanky-panky, as Lyta-Zod and Seg-El do the no-pants-dance and make… General Zod, as it turns out. This was a pretty obvious development after a few clues last week and the whole “blood of El and Zod” Doomsday prison thing kind of teeing it up, but nonetheless this feels like a more significant development than Krypton Episode 9 really gave it credit for. The good General himself was pretty blasé about the whole thing, really, but I suppose his general disgust with the House of El is true to character.
Thanks to his dual heritage, General Zod is able to open that high-tech tomb and free Doomsday in the hope of having him do everyone’s dirty work – very much a short-term plan, but Chekov’s Doomsday does state that you can’t introduce an immortal alien killing machine and keep it in a box. He somehow convinces Lyta-Zod to accompany him on this power grab, for reasons that I didn’t quite manage to grasp.
Of course, though, Seg and Jayna have already moved Doomsday, presumably anticipating this very thing, which allowed for a weird morning talk-show dynamic to manifest as Jayna and General Zod engaged in a traditional fight to the death while Lyta idly looked on. It’d make good reality TV, I admit: “I shot my mother to stop her strangling my son.” I was just waiting around for the DNA test results. Although as much as the Zods love their familial drama, they have all their teeth, which I suppose is unrealistic.
Oh, yeah, Lyta shot Jayna before she could kill General Zod. She’s going to look real stupid when this all goes tits-up.
Jayna’s fine, mind you. Well, she’s understandably a bit pissed off that she sacrificed her honour and principles to save her daughter’s life only to be betrayed by the same in order to save an openly suspicious man she doesn’t even know, but blood’s thicker than water. Oh… they’re all related, aren’t they? That aphorism doesn’t work. Whatever – Jayna ended up getting saved by some bloke with a weird eye.
Anyway, while the Zods re-enacted the Maury show, Jax-Ur, the leader of Black Zero, was torturing Daron-Vex for information. The origins of the nebulous terror organisation were vaguely explained in “Hope”; turns out Jax-Ur was Val-El’s mentor, and his sentencing by Daron-Vex and the Voice of Rao led to her disillusionment with the system and thus to the creation of Black Zero. Makes sense to me. Daron-Vex escaped, naturally, but Jax, presumably anticipating this, implanted some device in his neck that made him crash his escape vehicle in the Outerlands. As you can probably tell, Krypton Episode 9 had an unusual concentration of, “Aha! Already thought of that!” twists.
Believe it or not, things are actually worse elsewhere in “Hope”. A combined strike-team of Black Zero and Sagitari, led by Seg, roll deep on the flaky remains of the Voice of Rao to deal with him once and for all, which, to maintain the theme of Krypton Episode 9, goes spectacularly wrong. Brainiac turns them all against each other, thus eliminating most of Kandor’s armed resistance all at once, but he’s prevented from killing Seg by Nyssa, who stabs the Voice in the back of the head with a crystal from the Fortress of Solitude. Cue Infinity War-style visual effect, and the Voice is silenced.
To celebrate, Seg and Nyssa smooch. “Hope”, indeed. I can’t say this rang entirely true, but neither did any of the other decisions characters made in Krypton Episode 9, so why not? Seg opened “Hope” by impregnating the show’s other hot lady; he might as well double up by the closing credits.
You’ll be surprised to learn that there are no such things as happy endings in Krypton. Brainiac – like, proper green-skinned socket-headed Brainiac – rebuilds himself from the ruined piping the Voice of Rao left behind, and Krypton Episode 9 closes with him staring in faint arousal over the twinkling lights of Kandor City.
It might have relied a little too heavily on established heroes behaving wildly out of character, but “Hope”, like all the recent episodes of Krypton, knows how to raise the stakes consistently. There’s only one episode left in the season, and we now have Brainiac himself knocking about, Doomsday due to wake up from his nap at any moment, a love-triangle, a family-triangle, a brief nod towards some kind of upper-class life-preserving clone conspiracy, a new cyclopean mystery figure, and the enduring riddle of why Jax-Ur looks so much like Nyssa. Whatever might happen next?