Season 1, Episode 21
Airdate: February 9, 2013
After taking heavy damage from the Aya-Monitor, the Interceptor tumbles helplessly through space. The Lanterns’ rings are down to less than five percent of a charge, and the ship’s main battery is dead. The ship crashes on a small planet with a toxic atmosphere, but our heroes manage to sneak inside a nearby settlement. Unfortunately, the settlement’s full of hostiles, and worse…their rings just ran out, leaving them powerless and unable to even communicate, since they all speak different languages. Hal Jordan tries to rally Kilowog and Razer, but they constantly misunderstand him. Eventually, the trio are captured and forced to fight a
rancor giant monster in an arena. They’ve got no chance, until Hal notices that one of the creature’s many trophies is a barely functioning Manhunter head. The trio manages to work together long enough for Hal to nab the head and recharge. Passing it off to Kilowog, they make short work of the beast, and head back to the Intercept to make repairs.
I’m going to come right out and say it: this is likely the best episode of Green Lantern: The Animated Series that has aired. It didn’t need a supervillain, or a massive space battle, or cliffhangers; it just told a good science fiction story based on an incredibly simple yet compelling premise. Kudos to the writers for making the Bolovaxian and Volkregian languages sound so realistic yet remarkably different!
The humor worked out quite well, too; Hal continually thinking he was in charge, Kilowog and Razer spoiling for a fight only to result in their asses getting kicked, and, of course, knowing that “poozer” still sticks regardless of any language barrier. Even Hal’s awesome heroic pep talk had it funny moments when we discover that the other two Lanterns had no clue what he meant at all! Finally, the sarcastic look on Razer’s face when Kilowog tossed him the Manhunter head was priceless, especially when he held up his red ring. That was easily my favorite part of the episode.
In keeping with tradition…it’s time for yet another Star Trek reference! This one’s much more general; in fact, it’s the entire episode. The miscommunication plot reminded me very much of the classic Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “Darmok,” wherein Captain Picard was placed in a similar situation.
Fantastic episodes like “Babel” are another reason why this series’ cancellation is so depressing. Perhaps the powers-that-be will squeeze a few more in before the inevitable finale.