Season 1, Episode 20
Airdate: February 2, 2013
Razer grieves over the death of Aya, but the Lanterns have bigger problems; the Manhunter fleet and the Anti-Monitor are gaining on them. The military might of Shard and even the female Guardian’s powers aren’t enough to stop their foes; the Red Lantern base is destroyed, and the Guardian is blasted into oblivion. As the troops prepare for a last stand on Ysmault, they get some welcome news: Aya is alive! She downloaded herself into a broken Manhunter, and she rejoins the crew. Razer is very confused, and says he doesn’t really love Aya; she just reminded him of his lost love Ilana, and he doesn’t think he can truly love a machine. This causes all manner of problems for Aya’s growing emotions, but the battle is soon joined, and she cannot focus. She decides to lock everything away, and once she does, the solution becomes clear. She drains all power from the Interceptor, supercharging herself and pushing a concerned Hal Jordan aside. Aya Sonic Booms her way through the Manhunters and smashes into the Anti-Monitor’s chest, blowing his head off from within. The victory is hollow, however; Aya has now taken over the Anti-Monitor’s body! She states that emotional beings are inherently flawed, and takes the Manhunters under her wing.
Aya returns! Not too surprising, and it did address some of the concerns I had last week. She was able to download herself (albeit to another machine), and she has spare bodies back on board the ship. Normally, her return would’ve seemed a bit too quick, but it was handled realistically and sensibly.
Speaking of other theories, I was proven correct with my theory about the powerless Guardians, too. Now it makes sense why Ganthet didn’t do shit when the Manhunters attacked Odym, and even why the female Guardian was reluctant to fight back before. If she’s been slowly retraining herself to use those powers, she probably (and wisely) wanted to keep it a secret until there was no other choice. Watching her get killed was a bit of a shock; I think we all expected her to become gravely wounded and become Scar. (No Black Lanterns, however; heart-ripping zombies are hardly appropriate for a children’s show.)
My only problem with this episode was that Aya’s conversion to a villain did seem to happen too quickly. It also had an unpleasant reek of the lame “Rise of the Third Army” plot in the comics, wherein the Guardians stupidly turned evil and sought to rid the universe of emotion. Thankfully, things will almost certainly be better handled here. The twist is that now it’s not just some faceless bad guy for the Lanterns to face; it’s their friend. And in Razer’s case, his lover, even though he refuses to admit it! The endgame is fairly obvious in that Razer will be the catalyst in getting Aya to turn back to the light, as it were. Remember, she only shut down her emotions; she didn’t erase them. This would be a storybook ending, to be sure, but at least it would still make sense.
We’ll end this review with a bit of trivia. It’s no secret that the producers of this show really like Star Trek, as there was another reference this week. I won’t tell you what it is, but here’s a hint: it’s from “The Best of Both Worlds.” (Sound off in the comments if you caught it!)