We saw how poorly the coup attempt went in “Civil War.” Now we see the aftermath as things spiral out of control in “Transformation.” If they keep this up, Krypton won’t last long enough to get to Jor-El, let alone the far more famous Kal-El, Last Son of Krypton. It starts with Jayna Zod running for her life as Brainiac claims her guard for his servants.
Daron Vex get summoned to the Voice’s chamber, and goes into full weasel mode. The man has no backbone or redeeming qualities, aside from his daughter, if you count her. He’s a survival instinct with a beard. He also seems to miss the Voice talking about being a different species. He goes get told there is no Voice of Rao, just the agent of Brainiac. Sadly, Brainiac’s catspaw doesn’t seem interested in killing Daron.
Guards flood the streets of Kandor, and Seg, Lyta, and Zod dodge and bluff their way among them. Daron continues to try and wheedle his way into Brainiac’s good graces, or at least not being killed by him. Brainiac, or Voice-iac, or whatever you want to call him, plays lethal twenty questions with Daron, and we learn some of his family background. There are a lot of self justifications from the former Chief Magistrate, and then Voice-iac demands a high price for Daron’s survival. Someone finds out about this when they try to leave their home and get placed under house arrest instead.
Kem’s actually having a good night at his bar, so we know that can’t last. Seg, Lyta, and Zod stagger in, and Seg demands Kem clear the place out. I wonder how the poor man stays in business. Being as busy and out of town as they’ve been, Seg and Lyta missed the coup, and Kem brings them up to date. Lyta is stunned to hear her mother was supposedly part of this, and Seg is worried about Nyssa. I think he’s got some divided loyalty issues, Seg.
Adam is out at the Fortress, getting startled by Val popping up. Despondent and resigned to none of his trip working out, Adam wants Val to fix his Zeta beam so he can just go home. Adam is clearly over all of this, and Val looks on but is unable to help.
As Zod gets patched up, Seg and Lyta trade barbs about Nyssa and Seg’s family history. Seg, starting to show some of the heroism the Els are known for, decides he needs to help Nyssa, whether Lyta agrees or not. Finally, they split up on separate missions.
After Nyssa proves she’s a lot slicker and tougher than her father, Lyta finds a disguised Dev-Em on the streets. They catch up on recent events and Dev is a bit surprised by some of the things Lyta knows. They take off when Lyta has an idea as to where Jayna may have ended up. They get some supplies and have a painfully honest conversation.
Nyssa tells her father off in a way guaranteed to keep his attention. Seg manages to bluff his way past the guards and interrupt the family meeting. Daron finds a new level of pathetic to sink to as he keeps trying to justify himself and his decisions. Daron ends up weaseling away and Nyssa once again impresses me. I have to admit, that character is really growing on me.
Adam bemoans his fate and lack of a nickname as Val tries to encourage him. Nyssa and Seg make their escape. Lyta and Dev-Em wander the Outlands and finally find Jayna. What should be a happy reunion goes south when there’s a big surprise about one of the three that I have to admit I did not see coming. It’s an ugly upheaval and the end of a character. That’s going to be a hard thing for some of them to deal with down the road.
Daron begs for his life from a bored-sounding Brainiac. The traitorous, self-serving Kryptonian then goes from weasel to full-on collaborator as he starts suggesting ways Brainiac can seem like he’s still the Voice of Rao. Daron makes some reference to increasing security for him, and Brainiac shows he has it covered. It’s an impressive display.
Lyta and Jayna have a mother-daughter heart to heart, and Lyta learns some things that stun her. Jayna just pushes on, talking about what they need to do now to resist. Lyta decides it’s time for some introductions, and Jayna meets Zod, her future grandson. Kem gets chased out of his own bar, and Zod makes a claim about his parentage that doesn’t still well with Jayna.
Seg and Nyssa plot their way back to Kem’s, and Nyssa reveals a few interesting secrets from her background while discussing her fighting skills. Again, she’s really growing on me. Nyssa then gives Seg one of the worst thank yous on record, which amuses him. They compare notes on attitudes, which lead to some very distracting choices that end when they have to run for their lives again. Bad timing, guys, really.
Zod explains his affiliation with Black Zero, and talks about the difference between his motives and Jayna’s. Seg and Nyssa have their luck run out temporarily with the guards, but then get a timely last minute save as more of the cast manages to reunite. Everyone meets up back at Kem’s still-nameless tavern, and they debate what to do and who to trust. Kem makes his own priorities clear, and the others decide on a big risky gamble. Ironically, if it works, it would be a posthumous justification for the late Val-El’s beliefs.
Val finishes fixing Adam’s Zeta Beam, and Adam goes into full-bore whine mode. I’m really getting sick of this new trait from a character that’s an actual hero in the comics. He fusses about his choices, and the Justice League of America back home. Then he comes to a decision that virtually no one in the JLA would support and does something kind of nasty to Val to keep his plan going.
The Voice-iac goes to hold the closing Nova ceremony, the resistance is assembled, and tensions mount. There’s an old saying among tacticians along the lines of, “Remember the opposition has a plan, too.” I’m not sure if the budding resistance’s plan would have worked, but Voice-iac beats them to the punch and does something completely unexpected that throws everyone off and stuns the crowd. It’s going to be hard coming back from this one.
What I liked: Nyssa Vex. Just everything about her. I liked how she handled herself, her revelations about herself, and her spirit. She may well be my favorite character on the show. The character death was surprising, but made sense and was well done. Lyta and Jayna both have no quit in them. While I despise the character, Zod is doing a good job ingratiating himself here in his past.
What I didn’t: Daron Vex. Everything about him. He’s a spineless coward and a traitor. I’m not enjoying Adam’s character at all. Kem should be good for more than just comic relief.
It was a good episode with some surprises all over the place. I’ll give it a 3.5 out of 5. I wonder how the rag-tag band of rebels are going to come back from this ending.