"A Better Yesterday" opens on a much grimmer note than your average episode of Krypton: the rebellion on Wegthor has been crushed, with Zod's Sagitari troops successfully cutting off oxygen supplies to the resistance. Rage and sorrow compete for equal time on Jax-Ur's (Hannah Waddingham) face as she scans the field of corpses before her.
Seg-El (Cameron Cuffe) confronts Dru-Zod (Colin Salmon), with Zod thinking that Seg has been reconditioned. That didn't work, which probably has something to do with a segment of Brainiac's (Blake Ritson) presence still hanging out in his head.
Lyta (Georgina Campbell) is taking control of the rebel survivors on Wegthor, and sets the rebels free to set up a meeting between herself, Val-El (Ian McElhinney), and Jax, who are still reeling from the realization that Nyssa-Vex (Wallis Day) was behind the tainted oxygeniators that killed all of the rebels.
Nyssa didn't know that she had been set up to deliver that fate to the rebels, and decided to work against Zod and Lyta, too. She sets Adam (Shaun Sipos) and Kem (Rasmus Harker) free to send a warning to Val and Jax.
Seg and Zod take turns holding each other hostage, with Seg finally getting the upper hand and escaping with Jayna-Zod (Ann Ogbomo) and Dev-Em (Aaron Pierre). The Brainiac remnant in his head helps him become an exceptional soldier, and the trio makes it out of Zod's fortress.
The climax of this sleepy little episode was a lot more jarring than I expected, though, with Jax taking justice into her own hands. Combine that last moment with Seg's escape, and this otherwise dull episode of Krytpon ended up being pretty compelling television.
Don't get me wrong— I understand the need for episodes like this, especially when you have so many characters at play at once. Unfortunately, this type of segment can come across like a very dramatic game of chess, with lots of huffing and growling between attempts at pawn control.
There does look to be quite a bit of excitment on the way, though, with future episodes showing a major conflict between Doomsday and Zod's Sagitari forces. It all looks so much more exciting than this episode of Krypton.
Still, there where some bright moments on this episode of Krypton: Brainiac is always a treat, and the previously mentioned escape was really well done. Jax and her secret weapon was pretty cool, and The long dramatic moments were nicely executed, but felt, after the third or fourth one, like one of the dreaded "bottle shows" that used to crop up mid-season on Star Trek— where everything happened on established sets to save on budget.
The plot was moved forward a bit, at least, and kept the audience invested in the events yet to come. It was especially interesting to see that all Zod had to do to get Lyta on his side was erase her empathy— once that was gone, she was game for aggression.