WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for the Season 1 finale of Krypton, “The Phantom Zone,” which aired Wednesday on Syfy.
Virtually from the moment Colin Salmon's mystery man was formally introduced on Krypton as the Man of Steel's classic foe General Zod, the Syfy drama has given winks and nods to the line made famous by Terence Stamp in Superman II, with the declaration, "Kneel before the House of Zod" and the insistence that a Zod kneels to no one. There was even that eye-rolling moment when Dru-Zod knelt to help unlock the vault containing Doomsday, and sheepishly admitted he was unaccustomed to that position. But in its Season 1 finale, the series threw off the shackles and embraced that moment fans have been waiting for.
It arrives at the end of "The Phantom Zone," of course, an episode in which Kandor's doom appears imminent: Brainiac walks among a panicked populace left unprotected by either the city's dome or the decimated Sagitari as the Collector of Worlds' gargantuan ship casts its long shadow. With Doomsday secreted away by the Cythonnites, Zod is convinced Krypton's only hope is Val-El (Ian McElhinney), who's spent the past 14 years within the Phantom Zone. Luckily for everyone on the planet, the time-traveling General Zod knows his way around that dimension.
But while Zod succeeds in retrieving Val, the scientist possesses no secret knowledge to ensure Brainiac's defeat. Like Doctor Strange in Marvel's Avengers: Infinity War, he's viewed a multitude of futures, all of which end the same -- with Brainiac's victory. While Zod quickly surmises that Val holds no strategic value, he possesses something useful to the Collector of Worlds: knowledge of the future. So, he offers an exchange, Val-El for a guarantee from Brainiac that he'll leave Krypton alone and go on to his next target.
Intrigued by the lengths Zod is willing to go to ensure the planet's survival, Brainiac accompanies him back to Val-El's Fortress of Solitude to assess the tribute. However, unknown to either Zod or Brainiac, it was part of a scheme by Seg-El (Cameron Cuffe) to lure the Collector of Worlds to the portal to the Phantom Zone. It's a terrific plan, except that Brainiac isn't willing to go without a fight; his tentacles drag Seg into the Phantom Zone with him.