Krypton is really finding its groove this season. And I couldn’t help but feel that the acting has improved as well. I’m not sure why this might be, but I suspect that maybe the performers are enjoying working on the show a bit more than they did last year.
As an example of what I am referring to, Ian McElhinny and Hannah Waddingham, as Val-El and Jax-Ur, were given a fair amount of expository dialogue this week. That could easily have dragged their scenes down, but both actors seemed to be on the top of their craft. They imbued the lines with more characterization, and more naturalness, than the words merited, honestly. And that’s a real credit to them. They are both highly skilled, which is why they were able to breathe life into the scenes, but it’s still the kind of thing that, in the first season, would have dragged things down.
I have to admit I was less than enthused to see Rasmus Hardiker back, as Kem. But I also didn’t care particularly for Aaron Pierre as Dev-Em last season. In this week’s episode, Dev-Em and Jayna Zod (Ann Ogbomo) get some really good moments together, and his character develops far more than it did before now. So since I have changed my views on Dev-Em, I am willing to give Kem a chance.
The bulk of the episode remains firmly in the soap opera genre, with General Zod (Colin Salmon) playing Nyssa (Wallis Day) and Lyta (Georgina Campbell) against each other, using Seg’s child as bait for both. The two rivals have not yet come face to face this season, but the story is working them towards it, and building the number of issues they will come into conflict over.
Still, the best parts of this season’s episodes have involved Lobo. And that is true this week as well.
Seg-El (Cameron Cuffe) and Adam Strange (Shaun Sipos) are still on Colu. Last week they spent much of their time dealing with Lobo. In this episode, Seg also has to deal with Brainiac, who has made himself a nice little home in the hero’s brain. I was very impressed with Cuffe’s performance in this episode. Even without the big scary black eyes, it was easy to tell when he was being controlled by Brainiac. His voice, movements, even the way he stood and held his head were different. He also got to play a wider emotional range in the episode than he usually does, and did so with ease.
Emmett J Scanlan can do no wrong as Lobo. It’s astounding how well this character is being handled, and how much fun he is. His role is much smaller in this episode than in the previous one, but he still steals the show with his over the top method of gaining access to Adam Strange, who thinks he is safely inside a force field.
But more than that, I was very glad that Blake Ritson really got some time as Brainiac. The character has been so important in this series, but not an awful lot of screen time. Not much opportunity to do much other than be masterfully in control of things. This episode explains more about his creation, and we also get to see how he can use emotions to manipulate people, even though he doesn’t actually possess them himself.
So this makes three episode in a row that have each been better than the last. It’s a trend that I hope will continue!