WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for this week’s episode of Krypton, “Savage Night,” which aired Wednesday on Syfy.
Although his place in the timeline was recently cast into question, one thing on Krypton that's remained consistent is that classic Superman villain poses a threat to that world's existence. That may come in the form of the theft of Kandor City, an act that destabilizes the planetary core and leads to an apocalypse two centuries later, or something far more subtle, which nevertheless signals doom for Kryptonian civilization.
In this week's episode, "Savage Night," as the failed coup against Krypton's theocratic leader the Voice of Rao gels into a fight against Brainiac's sentry (which now inhabits his body), we learn the danger posed by the Collector of Worlds is far more imminent, and more personal.
Realizing what the Voice has become, one of his attendants flees, and tells Seg-el's friend Kem (Rasmus Hardiker) what she's witnessed: Each night, the sentry plugs himself into the Genesis Chamber, previously depicted in 2013's Man of Steel, which contains the genetically engineered embryos of the future children of Krypton. It's the way the species, which effectively set aside love in favor of politically arranged betrothals, reproduces. Earlier in the season, after their pairing, Seg (Cameron Cuffe) and Nyssa-Vex (Wallis Day), paid a visit to the Genesis Chamber to preview the future of their unborn child.
However, Brainiac's sentry has identified the chamber for another purpose. "Now, every night, he plugs himself into it, and when he does, it's like he's in some kind of deep trance," reveals the Voice's attendant, Sevi (India Mullen). "I think he's sucking its energy dry, using the embryos as batteries, getting stronger from draining the life from them."
The effect is immediate and alarming. Whereas previously, the sentry was an obvious amalgam of Kryptonian and machine, his true nature betrayed by his voice and by his black veins snaking beneath his skin, now he appears entirely human. But what's good for the sentry's ruse General Zod (Colin Salmon) recognizes as disastrous for Krypton.
"At our essence, we're all just pure energy," he tells his rag-tag group of allies. "All those cells, all those atoms that make up our body, when you break it all down, it's just electricity. And Brainiac's sentry has just tapped into the greatest source of electricity in Kandor: the Genesis Chamber."
When Nyssa wonder aloud what will happen to her and Seg's unborn child, Zod responds, "He'll be lost, along with the rest of our civilization. The only way our species reproduces now is via the Genesis Chamber. Without it, we have no future."
But the sentry's "trance" also exposes a potential vulnerability that the rebels aim to take advantage of, by severing the neural-network connection between the Voice of Rao and Red Shard, the elite Sagitari under his thrall, and then eliminating him. It's a plan that requires not only Dev-Em (Aaron Pierre), who possesses his own link to the sentry, but also the terrorist group Black Zero. It's a gamble, but it may be the only way to save the embryos, stop Brainiac's sentry and ensure the future of Kryptonian civilization, at least from this particular threat, at this particular moment.
Of course, it won't end the danger posed by Brainiac. Heck, it doesn't even stop his sentry, who's shot in the chest by Jayna-Zod (Ann Ogbomo) and sent tumbling hundreds -- thousands? -- of feet to the bottom of the Genesis Chamber, only the reappear later, injured but nevertheless able to strike a terrible blow against his enemies.
Airing Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Syfy, Krypton stars Cameron Cuffe as Seg-El, Shaun Sipos as Adam Strange, Georgina Campbell as Lyta-Zod, Elliot Cowan as Daron-Vex, Ann Ogbomo as Jayna-Zod, Rasmus Hardiker as Kem, Wallis Day as Nyssa-Vex, Aaron Pierre as Dev-Em, Ian McElhinney as Val-El and Blake Ritson as Brainiac.