Dammit, there’s something in my eyes! No, I’m not crying! Shut up!
Great! Thanks Green Lantern for making me feel emotions while watching a cartoon. I go to you for action and adventure and what do you give me? Politics, humor, drama, and…oh, God, here come the waterworks again! Okay, Sam, breathe. Just breathe. It’s not real, it’s just a cartoon…where Razer and Aya finally admit their love for each other and then the Anti-Monitor…he…he…Oh, God!
Okay, so, if you’re wondering where all this is coming from, this week’s episode of Green Lantern, “Loss,” gives us a pretty substantial one. But how did they get there, you ask? Well, I’ll tell you. It all starts on the planet Ysmault, the seat of power for the Red Lantern Corps under the leadership of Prime Magistrate Zilius Zox (Tom Kenny) who took over after Atrocitus was defeated by Hal during the mid-season finale. Scar, the Guardian Science Director, is also there to sign the treaty between the Red and Green Lanterns since it seems that Appa Ali Apsa was “busy.” The matter most pressing is that nothing happen that could endanger the peace treaty. I repeat, NOTHING CAN GO WRONG!
Cue the inevitable everything-goes-wrong series of events. The Interceptor is on its way to Ysmault as a sign of good faith, but Razer makes a request that they stop at his home planet that was torn apart by war, killed his first love, Ilana, and made him into a Red Lantern. While exploring the wreckage of his home world, Razer finds that Aya has followed him. Instead of asking her to go away, Razer takes her by the hand and shows her that, though his planet is in ruins, new life has begun to emerge. This resurgence, this growth, also applies to Razer as he admits to Aya that he’s no longer the same man who accepted the Red Lantern ring out of rage and anger. But before anything else can happen, they get a call from Hal. Guess what? Remember how the Anti-Monitor was sending out antimatter pulses? Well it just so happens it reactivated a stray Manhunter leftover from the previous war that created the Red Lanterns. And wouldn’t ya know it, the thing is on its way to Ysmault and Scar needs Hal and the crew to make sure that Zox and the other Red Lanterns don’t find out lest they perceive it as an act of hostility by The Guardians…again.
It’s at this point that the episode slides nicely into the farcical as Hal, Kilowog, Aya, and Razer attempt to take down the Manhunter without attracting too much attention to themselves. This, of course, doesn’t work, but kudos to them for trying. It’s especially hilarious when Zox catches them trying to move the Manhunter and is quickly bound and gagged to keep him quiet. Our heroes, everyone! But before Hal can be chewed out and blamed for starting a second war, Aya discovers that the Anti-Monitor is hanging out in Forbidden Space, consuming the maelstrom and wreckage left behind. With the Anti-Monitor so close, Hal uses this as an opportunity to show Zox that the Manhunters and the Anti-Monitor are the enemy of all sentient beings, not the beginning of a second Guardian attack on the Red Lanterns. Scar even gives us some nifty background on the creation of the Anti-Monitor. This educational exercise, however, is interrupted when the Anti-Monitor discovers the Interceptor and attacks.
The rest is just flat-out action and suspense. I will never get tired of watching the Manhunters being destroyed. They’re like the Nazis from Indiana Jones, always good for killin’! Which leads us to the underlying theme of the episode. If you’ll recall, Aya was nearly erased by Scar in the episode “Reboot” because of her anomalous growth from A.I. to sentient being. Her presence and continued existence is a reminder to the Guardians of their failure with the Manhunters and Krona’s creation of the Anti-Monitor. The difference is Aya embraced emotions by overcoming her programming while the Manhunters took their programming to its logical extreme. The problem with the Guardians, and Scar in particular, is that they don’t differentiate. A malfunctioning machine is just that and must be destroyed before it causes anymore harm. One could see it as the Guardians just trying to avoid their past mistakes, but they haven’t really earned any good will from anyone in the universe at this point. The emotional climax of the episode shows how wrong Scar’s been when Aya sacrifices herself to save Razer, giving us just enough time to hear Razer admit his love for her while Aya confesses to understanding the meaning of “regret” before she dies. It is a beautiful and sad moment in a cartoon that continues to get better and better.
Like I said, it’s just something in my eyes.
DC Nation Short: The final part of Shanghai Batman! You can see the whole thing here.
- Hal gets a lot of good lines in this episode.
- Zox makes the perfect politician. Calling out Appa for not being present in front of all the Red Lanterns is a cold but clever move.
- The look on Razer’s face when Hal calls just before he and Aya were about to kiss. Hal Jordan: unintentional cock-blocker.
- Scar wanting the gag put back on Zox
- Razer has Wolverine like constructs!
- Aya’s look at Scar right before she goes and saves her man!