WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for this week’s episode of Krypton, “Civil Wars,” which aired Wednesday on Syfy.
A week after warning in a sizzle reel of the arrival of Doomsday, Syfy's Krypton makes good on its promise with the introduction of the creature that killed Superman, and in the process answers a couple of nagging questions while placing the proverbial gun on the mantle. Now that it's there, it has to be used at some point.
Even viewers with only a cursory knowledge of the source material will likely recognize the name Doomsday, who slew the Man of Steel in DC's widely publicized 1990s storyline "The Death of Superman," and played a similar role in 2016's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. In the comics, he's a genetically engineered killing machine created by an alien scientist on prehistoric Krypton. On the Syfy drama, Doomsday's origins are more mysterious, and complicated, and inextricably linked to the houses of El and Zod.
It's Doomsday that the Cythonnites are sworn to protect from the House of El, which possess “the power to destroy everything.” It's also why General Zod (Colin Salmon) has been scouring the network of tunnels beneath Krypton's unforgiving Outlands to find the sacred site of that cult: Doomsday, insists Superman's infamous foe, is the only weapon that can stop Brainiac. It would be just awful if Zod traveled back through time to save his planet, only to be unable to find that gun -- that hate-filled, indestructible, uncontrollable gun.
Luckily, Seg-El knows the way to Cythonnites, after helping one of their members to escape Zod in last week's episode, and he leads the way to the vault holding (and hiding) Doomsday. He soon deduces that the enormous door, an emblem that seems to marry the sigils of El and Zod, can only be unlocked by the combined blood of the two houses. Alas, he doesn't bother to consider whether it should be unlocked.
Adam Strange (Shaun Sipos) arrives as the panicked voice of reason, warning, "Don't do it! That thing in there will kill us, and everyone in Kandor -- everyone in the universe if it can." However, he's ignored, and Seg and Zod continue with their plan, revealing a creature in suspended animation that, from best we can tell, looks not too different from its comic book counterpart.
"It's a soulless killing machine that can't be destroyed or controlled," Krypton's resident Cassandra continues as armed Cythonnites arrive. "Seg, if you let that thing loose, it will kill everything that it comes across." The Cythonnite priestess joins the chorus, adding that Doomsday was the work of the Els and the Zods, who thought that "together they were creating something great." "But we've seen it," she says. "We understand the unending cloud of hatred that they birthed."
The Cythonnites succeed in the ensuing firefight to chase away Seg, General Zod and Lyta-Zod (Georgina Campbell), but for how long? Seg assures Zod that he'll join him in the fight against Brainiac, but won't agree to the use of Doomsday. However, they can't exactly unring that bell or unsee Chekhov's gun. Doomsday now looms over Krypton, and over any alliance forged between Zod, Seg and Lyta (no matter how unwise it may be). Now that Zod knows the location of Doomsday, he's bound to return to it, whether to save the planet he loves or to serve some other, far more nefarious purpose.
And if blood of the House of El is required to open the vault once more, so be it. There's nothing that says it has to come from a willing, or living, source.
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.