It goes without saying, but Brainiac isn’t a good guy. He’s an example of the worst kind of villain: One who thinks that his way, regardless of who or what he destroys, is the only way. One who has no doubts about his perverse vision of what’s right, who ignores dissenting opinions (or cries for mercy). These kinds of villains will do pretty much anything to get what they want, and in Brainiac’s case that’s knowledge—and the power that comes along with the accumulation of information.
Unfortunately for any hero who comes up against them, villains like Brainiac also have a deep-rooted sense of self-preservation, and will do pretty much anything to keep themselves—or at least a part of themselves—alive. In “A Better Yesterday,” the fifth episode in Krypton’s second season, Seg-El realizes just how true that is.
But hear me out, the situation actually isn’t all bad.
At first, it wasn’t clear that Brainiac had survived the events of this season’s debut episode, but we should have known that such a nefarious villain wouldn’t be overcome so easily. And good thing too, or Seg would have fallen prey to Zod’s reconditioning, and Krypton would have turned into a very different show.
Seg’s obviously uncomfortable with the idea of toting Brianiac—even a very small part of him—around, especially when he almost lost himself to Brainiac earlier this season in the episode “Ghost in the Fire.” But even he can’t deny that while not ideal, having Brianiac in his head has been useful. Not only when it came to avoiding the somatic reconditioning, but also when he, Jayna and Dev had to fight their way past the Sagitari in “A Better Yesterday.”
Of course, it’s no surprise that Seg avoided telling Jayna and Dex about Brainiac and instead attributed his amazing reflexes and preternatural shooting skills (shades of his grandson’s future powers, hmm?) to his time spent in the Phantom Zone, but it was obvious that he wasn’t totally horrified to have Brainiac in his head, allowing him to be something more than he was before. Although it’s probably extraordinarily disconcerting and more than a little frightening having a wholly different consciousness talking to you and aiding you in your actions—lack of bodily autonomy, anyone?—I can’t blame him. Those reflexes were very impressive…and maybe even a little sexy, in a very Keanu Reeves trapped-in-the-Matrix kind of way.
And although Seg likely really, really doesn’t want to listen, Brainiac's knowledge and highly logical way of thinking might actually be useful. In Krypton’s most recent episode, “In Zod We Trust,” Seg’s able to save himself, Nyssa and baby Cor from crashing to their deaths in the Outlands only with Brainiac’s help.
In that same episode, while really not wanting to believe it, Seg comes to the realization/agrees with Brainiac’s assertions that Zod can’t be beat without Brainiac’s help. Naturally, he doesn't trust Brainiac as far as he can throw him—which, thanks to Krypton’s red sun, really isn’t far—but he acknowledges the harsh truth of the matter. Zod’s brilliant and ruthless...and so is Brainiac. Seg’s no dullard, but he’s ruled by his passions and tends to make rash decisions that are highly influenced by his emotions. A little logic against the “greatest military mind Krypton has ever seen” is a good thing, no matter the form it comes in.
I don’t foresee a redemption in Brainiac’s future, nor is their relationship going to turn into a comedy gag. (Again, that would make Krypton a drastically different show.) Seg’s got his own conscience to listen to and it’s served him well in the past. But with Brainiac in his head, he’s got an additional avenue to bounce ideas off of, an additional voice to turn to for advice. Albeit a green-skinned, black-eyed, megalomaniacal voice with a penchant for manipulating situations to meet his own needs, but one that realizes his precarious position, and has come to see the logic in helping his “ride” make it out of the war relatively unscathed.
How do you think the relationship between Seg and Brainiac will turn out? Is it only a matter of time before Brainiac turns on Seg, or will Seg get the drop on the twelfth-level intellect? Let us know!
Krypton airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. (9 p.m. CST) on Syfy. For more news, features and conversation on Krypton, click here.
Mandy Curtis writes about comics, specifically DC’s Young Adult line, and TV for DCComics.com. You can find her on Twitter at @mandyannecurtis.