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Krypton - The Word of Rao - Review: "Consequences"

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Krypton 1.04 "The Word of Rao" - Review:
Directed by Keith Boak & Written by Luke Kalteux

Krypton's Religious figure, The Voice of Rao, is someone who hasn't been really explored as much as he could have been thus so far in the series and it was good to see this episode take up it's time to flesh him out a bit more. It's the biggest look at the Voice that we've had thus so far, where we actually see him disrobe and take off his costume. Much of the man's identity feels like a mystery still but at least we know that the Mask is not something that he wears day and night, on a 24-7 basis. It's just what he wears in public that helps present him as a godly figure who will do whatever it takes to hold onto power, which is rapidly fading away from him.

But he's finding that his stronghold over the people of Krypton is weakening, and is forced to adapt to the change, taking Ona, the daughter of Rhom, Brainiac's victim, in as a member of the Ranked in a way that should, he believes improve his standing with the Rankless. Ona ends up giving him a figurine in a well-intentioned move, but there's just one problem with that approach. The figurine happens to be a vessel of Brainiac, because of course it does, and now the Voice has found himself infected by Brainiac, in a way that instantly makes things even harder for the people of Krypton given just how much of an important figure he is to them. Whilst this move may help Brainiac in the long run, it begs the question, does someone as powerful as him even need to have The Voice on his side? From what we've seen of him so far it looks as though he could take the planet pretty easily, especially given how much of a disorganized mess it is at the moment.

This week, we got to see Georgina Campbell's Lyta face the consequences of attempting to do something good for its people, as she came under attack by those who didn't want the Sagittari to look weak. Unable to prove that she had seen Kol-Da kill the Rankless in person, she now found herself arrested and behind bars, as someone was needed to blame for this failure and Daron-Vex didn't want to be the fall guy. We saw multiple plans to rescue Lyta put into action in The Word of Rao - which also allowed spotlight to shine properly on Nyssa, who has up to this point, been criminally underutilised on this show. Here we saw her take charge as we learned that her family was planning a coup for Krypton's own interests (a move that will surely be easier to justify now given Brainiac has a stronghold on the Voice of Rao), attempting to strike a deal with Jayna to free her daughter, even going so far as to reveal the coup to her in person. It's a bold move, especially after the actions to make Lyta the scapegoat have come from her father, who clearly isn't the smartest person the house of Vex. Because not only has he managed to get on Jayna's bad side, he's also managed to jeopardise any chance of gaining Seg's trust due to his relationship with Lyta.

Nyssa however knows that she has the edge over Jayna given that it is her daughter in jail after all, and Jayna loves her no matter her tough outwardly exterior. Stuck between a rock and a hard place, Jayna has no choice other than to side with the Vexes.

Seg is the other person who is doing his best to try and save Lyta, even risking a conflict with Adam Strange in the process. He claims that Lyta is so important to him that he would rather let Krypton die than save it without her, and whilst his sequence with Nyssa where he confesses to her that he is in love with Lyta and needs her help to save her is effective, it is let down by the fact that Lyta and Seg have been kept apart for much of the show's four episodes so far, and their scenes together have been few and far between, but understandably, that's in part due to the fact that there are so many other things going on at the moment.

Seg ends up getting kidnapped before he can go progress any further with his plans to save Lyta, and he finds himself captured by a group of people who whilst do operate from Black Zero, aren't Black Zero themselves, with Seg's interrogator proclaiming that if Black Zero knew about Brainiac, they'd be focusing their energy more on stopping it than taking down the Voice of Rao. Whilst it's good to learn more about people who have connections with Black Zero it's a shame that they're still as unexplored as they are, and at this point, they're kind of like the Knights of Ren in the Star Wars movies. We've heard so much about them by this point but never seen them in action properly, it's kind of wasted potential as of this moment. I was a big fan of Seg's escape sequence towards the end of the episode however, which reminded me in parts of The Dark Knight Rises and Bruce's climb to escape the pit. He's now free from his captives, but has to navigate the wild, inhospitable nature of the Outlands to return home.

It was really cool seeing Arrow's Colin Salmon enter the show this week as Seg's interrogator in a ruthless way that's very different from his portrayal of Walter Steele. He's almost - to use another Star Wars comparison here - reminiscent of Saw Gerrera from Rogue One and Rebels - and it's interesting to learn how much of a hardliner he is. Is Black Zero as a whole as unhinged as this interrogator clearly is? Or are we just seeing an extremist in action?

For me, Georgina Campbell, Ann Ogbomo and now Wallis Day have been among the highlights of the show so far in terms of acting and the characters that they portray, but there are some characters that could use more development in this ensemble. In particular Adam Strange, whose main purpose at the moment seems to be there to drop Star Wars references based on this episode, so hopefully we'll get to see him fleshed out a bit more in the weeks to come.

What did you think of The Word of Rao? Let me know in the comments section below and be sure to check out the next episode of Krypton next Wednesday on SYFY.

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