This episode continues where the last left off, with Hal Jordan in the honour guard. It also answers a few questions as to what happened to Hal’s old crew of Razer, Aya and Kilowog, while adding Green Lantern Tomar Re, a humanoid fish with a beak, as a new member to the “team”. The episode takes place completely in space this time (Guy Gardner does not show up but that's because he’s the Lantern for Earth) and has quite a shocker of an ending.
Play by Play
Hal Jordan and Tomar Re fly to a barren ice planet with a temple which Hal mentions is “like the one he saw on Earth,” referring to the tomb-like container in the facility. Despite Tomar’s reluctance, advising Hal to call the Guardians, Hal decides they should just go in now and apologise later, which they do. Inside they activate three Manhunters who yet again prove to be quite difficult to destroy even when Hal attempts to crush them under the walls of the temple.
They try to escape, but meet more Manhunters as they make their way out, not knowing where they came from and not caring as they literally steamroll through them and head back to the planet Oa. There they report their findings to the Guardians (who don’t seem to be concerned with them just exploring the temple, so much for Tomar’s precaution) and Hal is convinced that there is a plot that is activating all the Manhunters even though the Guardians and Tomar believe that the Manhunters' activations are all isolated incidences. Still they decide to be on the safe side and let Hal form a small team of his own to investigate. They also let him have his interceptor back.
Hal decides to recruit Kilowog into his team and so he goes Green Lantern boot camp where Kilowog is busy being the hard core instructor to the Green Lantern corps, shouting orders and insulting the trainees, though you’ll never see the recruits. Anyways despite Hal’s persuasion, Kilowog claims he likes his old job of being instructor and won’t join Hal. So Hal makes a wager that if he can beat Kilowog’s best, Kilowog should join him. So Kilowog offers his best: An alien squirrel (it could be Ch’p or B’dg from the comics, you won’t learn in this episode). Of course this turns out predictably: Hal laughs at the challenge, he gets pulverized by the ultra-competent and super strong squirrel and Kilowog laughs at him, it turns out that Kilowog just wanted a laugh and was going to join Hal anyway.
They head to the interceptor and there they meet Leynos, who is the new AI installed into the computer and he is annoying. He flies at high speeds and low altitudes all over the planet which pisses off both Hal and Kilowog and they want Aya back, so after asking, Leynos shows them that she’s about to be disassembled. They head to the facility where that is happening, uninstall Leynos from the interceptor and Hal and the squirrel(who Hal was keeping in a bag) sneak in and swap Aya’s AI with Leynos in her body and sneak out, while a Guardian who wants to put an end Aya, does so to Leynos. As they head off however they are interrupted by Tomar, who was somehow inside the ship and probably saw the whole thing, informs Hal of an anti-matter pulse that is activating the Manhunters and decides to join him on a mission to end it.
They then travel to the junk planet “Biote” from last episode, which now has no more of those security drones but a lot of angry Manhunters who activate and attack the team once they’re off the interceptor and to escape them the team head to...another temple. However this temple is the source of the anti-matter pulse so they enter it only to discover that it’s a Manhunter factory and the Manhunters spot them. This leads to a desperate battle where Hal calls Aya to save them by targeting the factory. However somehow the Lanterns make it protected by force fields they constructed, only for the Anti-Monitor to rise from the Garbage and introduce himself, tell the team of his origin from another universe, which he has conquered, and his plan to conquer our universe.
After that a battle ensues where the Lanterns are outmatched and Hal again calls for Aya’s help but even she can’t take the Ant-Monitor down, so they plan to escape; however the Anti-Monitor prepares one final, ultimate attack that catches Hal and completely finishes him, nothing is left of him.
The episode ends with Hal Jordan finished, completely gone without a trace! Of course he is probably still alive since the show must go on but it is none the less a little shocking to see him disappear like that as he is likely completely gone. The events directly leading up to that “death,” though, were a little silly. The scene plays out with the team escaping to the interceptor while The Anti-Monitor charges up his ultimate attack, and the interceptor and the team are right on his attack path. They could’ve just moved to the side!
The Anti-Monitor is also underwhelming here in that he exposits his quite boring “I will conquer this universe!” plan in the blandest way as possible. His voice actor doesn’t give him any menace and it sounds as if he is just reading a title card as he just pops up out from the ground(what was he doing in there anyway?) and explains his plan and that he comes from another universe. The heroes have absolutely no dialogue with him at all to find out some information about him (ok, the Anti-Monitor was hostile but this would let the villain be fleshed out a little more and made him more menacing, we don’t even know how he knows about the Manhunters and how to activate them nor why does he even want to use them in his plans since he came from another universe which he conquered). Atrocitus was way cooler than this guy!
We do find out that Razer is on Sabbatical, Kilowog is back to his old job being an instructor though how he still is in his position considering how long he left it and what he accomplished and then he just freely leaves it again. What is going on with Aya is interesting as it appears a member of the Guardians wants to take her out, though this is just touched on with no-one even bothering to question what was going on with Aya at all. In fact that entire part of the plot had too many problems. This was supposed to be some big secret yet Leynos simply showed Hal and Kilowog what was going to happen to her without any problem.
The facility itself was poorly guarded and somehow Hal was able to convince the security, who did not even know who he was (I would think Hal Jordan would be somewhat famous around here) that he was a technician. So while it is nice to know that now there will be a mystery sub-plot it’s off to a bad start.
However Tomar Re is nicely presented as a strict, by-the-book character until he decides to join Hal on the reckless mission without telling the Guardians, which tries to show Hal is a good, wise idea, but the problem is that what he did was reckless. Why didn’t Tomar simply send his information about the anti-matter pulse to the Guardians and they could organise a far better response, I mean they were willing to let Jordan investigate the whole thing, surely this would concern them?
Apart from that though there were some funny moments, such as when Hal gets beaten up by a squirrel. There were also some cameos of Larvox, the centipede-like Green Lantern who was being distracted by Kilowog so Hal could get into the facility where Aya was about to be disabled and Chaselon, the sentient Diamond Green Lantern who was a nerdy security guard inside where Aya was to be disabled.
So in the end this episode expands from last episode in that we learn who the villain is, where he comes from and why he’s in this universe. We also learn of what happened to Hal’s old friends and it will be pretty interesting to see how Razer has changed if we see him again and if Aya not having a humanoid body will be taken somewhere. I personally found that the barren ice world at the beginning and the junk planet with its dusty atmosphere kinda looked good in the series animation at least far more than Oa, however the Anti-Monitor’s all robotic and looks a little too silly, as he lacks the menace of the comic-book version. Despite the episode’s faults it is good to see that the show is still going forward and building up from where it left off as well as changing itself: Hal Jordan’s “death” at the end of this episode is a cliff-hanger that will hopefully go somewhere. The mystery behind the Guardians and Aya means that the Guardians are still not going to be portrayed as absolute good guys and will hopefully go somewhere cool.
Will conservatives like this?
There is the idea that doing “good” is more important than following protocol that some may like.