This episode involves loss, though it does not revolve around dealing with Loss. It continues the story arc and even continues the Red Lantern Story Arc from last half season. It is nicely done, though somewhat ineffective due to feeling a bit cheap with the “loss” it deals with.
Play by play
On the dead and broken Red Lantern home world of Ysmault, the Red Lantern ship shard is re-integrated into the planet. Oa's Science Director promises the Red Lanterns reparations for all those of the Forgotten Zone for the destruction of their worlds by the Manhunters. Prime Magistrate Zilius Zox, former second in command to Atrocitus, and the rest of the Red Lanterns is suspicious of the Guardians because he expected a Guardian named Appa Ali Apsa to be present.
Meanwhile the Interceptor is heading to Red Lantern space and Kilowog is none too pleased about it, and Hal doesn’t want the Red Lanterns to know of the Manhunters. Razer asks to stop by a planet, his ravaged home world, for private reasons and it turns out he was followed by Aya.
Aya calls out to Razer and then they end up talking about the loss of his wife on the planet. Razer tells her that he has moved on from the past and talks about the return of life on his dead world, by showing Aya a flower. They almost kiss until Hal interrupts them due to a call from Guardian on Ysmault.
On Ysmault, Zilius was showing Guardian the spot where the Manhunters started their massacre of the forgotten zone. He was accompanied by winged female Red Lantern Bleeze, who threatened the Guardian to have a private conversation with Zilius, where he revealed to her his plan of duping the Guardians so that the Red Lanterns can rebuild and crush them. During that time, an energy wave passes over the planet and activates a Manhunter behind some rubble on the planet. The Guardian saw the Manhunter struggle beneath the nearby rubble and decided to distract the Red Lanterns away from it while calling upon the Green Lanterns.
Soon the Green Lanterns arrive; however the Guardian notices Aya is still functioning and is angry about it and reveals she wanted to end Aya, claiming that she deviated from “normal, acceptable behaviour”--however, she decides that they will deal with it later. She informs them of the Manhunter and orders them to take care of it while she attends the peace banquet. It turns out that the Manhunter was already on the move and nearly attacks a Red Lantern cleric until he finds out that his weapon has malfunctioned and Razer attacks him, though nosily, and they throw each other around until Razer nearly crashes on Zilius while he’s walking around talking about how many statues of himself he wants. He is angry at Razer, wondering what is going on until he notices the Manhunter after Hal and Kilowog have defeated it and decide to hide the body. Zilius panics and suspects the Lanterns and threatens to call the guards until Kilowog cartoonishly knocks him out with a constructed hammer.
They take him, gagged and half naked, to the Interceptor where the Guardian discovers what they’ve done and gets very angry, until Aya intercepts an antimatter transmission near the asteroid field, “The Maelstrom”. Hal decides they should go there and takes Zilius to the bridge to show him the Manhunter Armada. He still is suspicious but the Guardian tells him of the Anti-monitor and his past. See, the Anti-Monitor was supposed to be the ultimate being which could do anything built by the renegade Guardian, Krona, who desired a robot able to do anything, even time travel. When his creation became cognizant it recognized its own superiority and ability to turn matter into anti-matter for its consumption. It nearly destroyed everything until Krona somehow banished it to another dimension, the dimension Hal was in last time.
Zilius believes that the Anti-monitor was created by the Guardians to destroy the Red Lanterns, however Hal “talks” some sense to him and the Anti-Monitor detects the Interceptor. Manhunters begin chasing them, so Hal wants to perform an emergency ultra-warp, but Aya tells him the engines need to charge.
The Manhunters catch up and land on the interceptor so the crew Lanterns go out to take them out, Hal Jordan even offers Zilius back his Red Lantern Power Ring, but he’s too much of a coward. The Lanterns push back the Manhunters but the Anti-Monitor shows up with more Manhunters and Hal and Kilowog retreat back to the ship, while Razer, who got separated during the fight, tries to make it back but somehow gets “cornered” by the Manhunters. On the Interceptor a window pops up showing Razer's struggle to Aya, and so she decides to leave the ship to save him despite the Guardian's protests, and she ends up saving Razer from near death when he’s surrounded on an asteroid. Meanwhile Hal in the Interceptor moves to rescue them but the Anti-Monitor catches up to Aya and Razer and Aya sacrifices herself to push Razer out of the way of the Anti-Monitor's beam. After the attack, Razer grabs her and tells her he loves her; however she is unable to download herself to the Interceptor because it is too far away, so she shuts down and her green energy body disappears from her armour when the Interceptor comes around and uses a tether to yank Razer away as the Anti-Monitor's next beam strikes Aya’s helmet, which he was holding on to.
Well this is quite a loss for Razor and the rest of the Lanterns. It was good to see Ysmault again though it doesn’t look creepy or terrifying at all despite the massive hole on the planet (I wonder what was the purpose of re-integrating shard, it doesn't cover the huge gaping hole on the planet) and the red skies. Red Lantern’s Bleeze (from the comics) and Ragnar (From last season, Princess Iolande's brother became a Red Lantern) make a small appearance though there isn’t much to them in this episode.
The episode was overall well done. The animation looked rather nice this time and there were some very nice-looking moments, including the Anti-Monitor moving through space near the end that looked really epic, and the flashback showing his creation looks a bit creepy. The lighting was also nicely done. The story also contained nice moments of humour coming from Zilius as he acts very prideful throughout, reminding people to call him “Prime Magistrate” and demanding statues though he is really cowardly. Also he ends up looking rather hilarious without his Red Lantern costume on and in his underwear after Kilowog knocks him out, and the scene when Hal “talks” some sense into him involves Hal using a giant hand construct to pick him up like a ball (Zilius is a Ball shaped Red Lantern with tiny legs) and show him the Anti-Monitor on the view screen. The fact that Razer has moved on from the death of his wife, but now has to deal with the death of his new love is interesting, as it might mean he will grow back the rage and hunger for vengeance, though the scenes between Aya and Razer are still very weird. The end of Aya, though, is quite contrived. Firstly there’s the fact that Aya gets to see Razer being overwhelmed in the Interceptor from a window that pops out of nowhere (not only that but how does she get this footage? Is there a camera somewhere in space?)then rather than contacting the other Lanterns she decides to save him personally (maybe she was just overwhelmed by emotion, I guess) and then when she does save him they decide to hold hands as the Anti-Monitor’s beam is heading for them before it stops (why?) then fires again. It really ends up feeling quite cheap as the characters don’t act naturally in any way, just so Aya can die(even though the scene where her green energy body dissipates and all that is left is her armour and helmet is quite well done) and that makes her death feel cheap. Oh, well--I wonder how the team will deal with this?
Well, at least the origins of the Anti-monitor are now finally revealed and they are different from the comic. Here he was built to be literally an all-purpose robot who was banished to the Anti-matter universe by the Guardian Krona. In the comics, long ago Krona created a machine that could view the beginning of creation and disrupted the process which led to the creation of the multiverse, this ended up creating the excess of energy that formed the Anti-Monitor on the moon of the Anti-Matter universe Qward. There is also a Monitor that was created on the moon of the Green Lantern home world through similar means. So I suppose they changed the origins to keep things simpler, though one has to wonder why he/it is called the “Anti-Monitor” if he/it’s not from the Anti-Matter universe. Guess we’ll find out.
Will Conservatives like it?
I don’t see why not.