Season 1, Episode 13
Airdate: May 26, 2012
Kilowog volunteers to stay behind and slow down the Red Lantern armada, while Hal Jordan and Razer head off in a desperate plan to get to Oa first. Suddenly, Hal wakes up on Earth, but amnesiac. Carol Ferris tries to jog his memory using the power battery he’d left in his locker, and Hal finally remembers that he had the Star Sapphires teleport him home, as it’s close to Oa. The transport process just scrambled his brains a bit. Meanwhile, Kilowog is being overrun by the Red Lanterns’ might…until he’s suddenly supercharged by a blue light. Saint Walker, the first Blue Lantern, appears along with his friend Mogo. The pair manage to stop the fleet, but Atrocitus has already made it to Oa. He easily breaks through to the Guardians’ citadel, but Hal arrives and the two duke it out. Hal barely defeats the villain, and after Atrocitus is locked up, Hal and the Guardians offer to help the Red Lanterns rebuild the Forgotten Zone. Their new leader, Zilius Zox, warily agrees.
And thus, the first season of Green Lantern: The Animated Series comes to a close…sort of. (More on that later.) All of the hanging plot threads from the past few months have been resolved, giving us a clean slate for when the show comes back on the air in the fall.
Take a wild guess as to what my favorite part of this episode was. Yep…Saint Walker. He’s finally sporting his Blue Lantern duds, but more importantly was how he used his newfound powers. Kilowog got the usual boost, of course, but Walker also had some slick tai chi moves which he used to take out goddamned battleships. If that’s not enough, his literal blueshifting of Mogo’s Death Star blast to disable Shard was just awesome. Between this and his recent exploits in Green Lantern: New Guardians, Walker’s shaping up to the have the best year yet.
One quick nit with Walker, though it’s clearly not his fault: in a closeup shot with Kilowog, his Blue Lantern emblem is slightly incorrect. (I’ve placed the proper one on the right.)
I couldn’t tell if it was wrong in any other shots, but I’m assuming this was just a production error given the attention to detail everywhere else.
The scenes with amnesiac Hal were better than expected, because absolutely no hints were given as to what were going on until the very end. The audience was just as clueless as Carol, but once Hal recharged his ring, everything fell into place with perfect clarity. Salaak defending the Guardians was also very cool to watch, especially his quad-wielding of sword constructs.
Unfortunately, “Homecoming” stumbled towards the end. The battle between Hal and Atrocitus was fine, up until the fistfight that ended it. Why the hell was Atrocitus just standing there while Hal belted him in the jaw? And why were neither of them using their rings anymore? It made no sense, it felt rushed, and it was a rather crappy ending to the Red Lantern saga. (I know they’ll be back, but still…)
So was this a proper season finale, or not? That depends on who you ask. The official press releases for this episode refer to it multiple times as the season finale. However, the upcoming DVD boxset states that the first thirteen episodes are “Season One, Part One.” Interviews with production staff also support the latter assessment. Personally, I think that “Homecoming” works better as a season finale than a mid-season break; the Red Lanterns can be placed on the backburner for a while, and the second season can focus on something else. I’d love to see more characters and villains who don’t use power rings, but I’ve got a feeling we’ll end up with someone like Larfleeze instead. (Which could work, if he’s not handled as comic relief.)
Regardless, the first season or whatever of GLTAS was a fine one. Very few slip-ups, only one crappy episode, some fantastic character development, and overall a fresh and exciting take on the Green Lantern saga. Bring on the next batch of episodes!