'Krypton' Tackles Police Violence in "The Rankless Initiative"

Warning: minor spoilers ahead for tonight's episode of Krypton, titled "The Rankless Initiative."

During tonight's episode of Krypton, "The Rankless Initiative," the Kryptonian Sagitari (military police) made a raid on the Rankless District, and it all got a little bit...real.

Like Black Lightning before it, Krypton tackled the idea of police violence in a way rarely seen in popcorn entertainment.

While the Sagitari are, nominally, an elite military force, the truth is they have been presented so far as essentially well-armed police. Lyta Zod, seeing a corrupt, bigoted, and violent mindset at the top, challenged her supervisor, defeated him in combat, and took his rank in order to minimize the damage...

...but there is only so much that she was able to do.

When the titular Rankless Initiative, a Sagitari raid on the Rankless District meant to root out Black Zero, made their way through the streets of Kandor's 19th District, Lyta was not there when tempers flared and a Sagitari began abusing a Rankless.

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(Photo: Warner Bros. TV/SYFY)

"I can't breathe," the man pleaded while he was being beaten, echoing Eric Garner's infamous pleas caught on video while he was dying in police custody. The remark was met with indifference and sarcasm.

That Sagitari, Kol-Dar, then killed someone in the crowd who stepped forward to object to her behavior.

"You, a Sagitari, felt threatened by an unarmed man in shackles?" Lyta asked Kol-Dar, incredulous, after a plea of self-defense, and told her subordinate that she would have the day in court she had denied the man she killed.

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Lyta, the Jim Gordon/William Henderson/Last Good Cop of the bunch, returned later to place the Sagitari in question under arrest, earning rousing cheers from the audience and the disgust of fellow Sagitari and the richest 1% of Kryptonians. She did, however, manage to keep the situation from turning into a full-scale riot by instructing the Rankless to get to their designated checkpoints and follow directions. The goodwill she earned by arresting Kol-Dar managed to convince them.

Krypton airs on Wednesday nights at 10 p.m. ET/ 9CT on SYFY.