Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (January 30, 2020)
Set on Superman’s home planet generations before Kal-El’s birth, apparently audiences didn’t cotton to Krypton. The series only made it through two 10-episode seasons before it got cancelled.
Based on the lackluster first year, I couldn’t blame fans for their rejection. However, hope springs, so I decided to give Season Two a go.
Season Two includes 10 episodes across two Blu-rays. The plot synopses come from the package’s insert.
Light Years From Home: “Superman’s grandfather Seg-El (Cameron Cuffe) is stranded far from home.”
After nine dull shows, S1 ended with a bang, a strong season finale that gave me some optimism Krypton would fare better during S2. “Years” offers some encouragement there, as it brings a perfectly competent episode.
Given that it needs to reacquaint viewers with characters/narrative, it doesn’t leap off the screen. Still, it opens the year on a moderately intriguing note, especially when a flamboyant new villain appears at the end.
Ghost In the Fire: “Adam Strange (Shaun Sipos) and Seg evade the bounty hunter Lobo (Emmett J. Scanlon).”
That part of “Ghost” entertains, mainly because Lobo presents such an outrageous character. The rest of the episode tends to drag, but we see enough of Adam/Seg/Lobo to make this a fairly enjoyable show.
Will to Power: “Seg goes head-to-head with Brainiac (Blake Ritson).”
Is it ironic that Krypton works much better when it doesn’t take place on Krypton? That’s the story of S2, as the scenes off-world with Seg, Adam and Lobo prove much more effective than the mopey melodrama back on Krypton. Hopefully the two sides will eventually meld better.
Danger Close: “Seg and Adam return to a very different Kandor.”
Remember all the way back with the last episode when I said the Kandor scenes felt less interesting than those off-world? “Close” takes place entirely on the series’ main location, and that definitely becomes a drag. While we get enough action to make this a decent episode, I think it marks a turn for the blah.
A Better Yesterday: “Seg seeks answers about Lyta-Zod (Georgina Campbell) amidst a hostage negotiation.”
Still stuck on Krypton, “Better” suffers from the Shakespearean pretensions of most of the series’ elements that take place there. Some of the characters – mainly Adam – lighten up the material at times, but this remains a less than scintillating experience, and the action doesn’t quite compensate for the dreary drama.
In Zod We Trust: “While alliances fracture, Seg helps Nyssa-Vex (Wallis Day) rescue their son.”
If I bought into the “freedom fighter” theme, I’d feel more interested in S2 – but I don’t. We’ve seen so many stories of this sort, and Krypton doesn’t provide a new spin on the topic. Maybe S2 will locate greater intrigue in the final four episodes, but “Trust” doesn’t give me much hope.
Zods and Monsters: “General Dru-Zod (Colin Salmon) pushes for control of a dominating weapon.”
One of Superman’s most famous foes, Doomsday becomes part of the narrative and integrates via an unusual and intriguing origin story. While the rest of “Zods” seems more ordinary, the twists related to Doomsday give it energy.
Mercy: “Dev-Em (Aaron Pierre) and Jayna-Zod (Ann Ogbomo) help Seg and Nyssa target Zod’s fleet.”
More flashbacks arrive in “Mercy”, but these prove less intriguing than the glimpse of Doomsday’s origins. Indeed, a lot of “Mercy” leans toward soap opera melodrama, so expect a semi-limp episode.
Blood Moon: “General Zod mounts his final attack on the Rebellion.”
With little time left in S2 – and the entire series – one would expect “Moon” to ramp up the action toward a grand finale. To some degree, this proves accurate, as the threat of Doomsday adds zing. Otherwise, the show feels a little flat.
The Alpha and the Omega: “Seg and his allies face off against Zod.”
As noted earlier, Krypton didn’t get renewed for a third year, so “Omega” acts as both season and series finale. Unfortunately, “Omega” doesn’t offer a particularly rousing conclusion.
Sure, it throws out the expected action, but because we never really grew to care about the characters, these lack impact. And enough with the riffs on the famous “kneel before Zod” line – sometimes it feels like half of Krypton’s dialogue relates to that comment.
Toss in a cutesy Superman II reference and “Omega” becomes a fairly forgettable finale – and one that seems likely to dissatisfy fans, as it points toward a third season that will never arrive. As much as I hoped I’d like Krypton, it never clicked, so don’t expect me to mourn the series’ end.