Um…I don’t really know how I feel about this episode. I know I experienced a plethora of reactions to various scenes ranging from “Hell yeah!” to “OH. MY. GOD!” but the monster at the end of this episode just leaves me a bit baffled.
We pick up right where we left off with the Interceptor flying like hell to get away from The Anti-Monitor and the Manhunters. When Razer makes his way on to the bridge, Hal asks where Aya is to which Razer replies that she’s “gone.” And since Razer doesn’t know how to use quotation marks or use his voice to inflect emotions well enough, Hal and Kilowog don’t quite understand what he means. When he spells it out for them that Aya is dead, Hal immediately assumes she downloaded herself into the ship again, but Razer tells him they were too far for her to do so. Then everyone starts yelling and they all finally realize that they’re still fleeing from the bad guys and maybe they should concentrate on that for a second.
With Aya “gone” they don’t quite have the power to outrun the Manhunters and Hal asks Scar if there’s anything she can do to help. If Krona created the Anti-Monitor by using a great amount of power, surely there’s a way that another Guardian could control their former creations. Scar orders them to stop the ship so she and Hal can face the Manhunters. Revealing that she’s mastered the old powers of the Guardians, Scar manages to take out some Manhunters before the Anti-Monitor blasts her out of existence. The machine captures Hal and forces him to watch as he devours the Interceptor, but the day is saved by the Red Lantern home base after Zox ordered his people to come collect him. Unfortunately, their victory is fleeting as The Anti-Monitor destroys Shard and begins to devour it, forcing the Red Lanterns from their ship. Following suit, the Interceptor follows the Red Lanterns, but discover something has attached itself to the hull. The bay doors open and…it’s Aya! Sure, she’s inhabiting a monstrous looking Frankenstein-like Manhunter body, but it’s Aya nonetheless. And though everyone’s happy to see her, Razer – of course – is conflicted.
After Aya downloads back into her usual form (she has spare pieces since this has happened a few times), she asks Razer to re-admit that he loves her, which, yet again, he won’t do. Instead, he decides to tell her that she’s merely a machine and that he doesn’t love her. You. Are. Killing. Me. Razer! Ugh! The unfortunate aftermath is that Aya can’t handle her emotional response to Razer’s rejection. It’s distracting her in a way that she’s unaccustomed, which prevents her from focusing on the battle at hand between the remaining Red Lantern fleet and the Interceptor versus The Anti-Monitor and the Manhunters. When Hal proves to be useless in providing adequate answers to her questions on how to deal with her emotions, Aya goes straight to Razer and asks him how he can focus after what’s happened between them. He tells her that he’s capable of shutting down his emotions to focus on the task at hand, which gives Aya a brilliantly stupid, but probably necessary idea. Shutting down her emotions, she goes to the Interceptor’s power core and absorbs all of the green energy and heads straight for the Anti-Monitor. Though she succeeds in destroying the machine, it’s not so much a victory as a changing of the guard. Aya, now as emotionless as the other machines, takes control of the gigantic robot – and the Manhunters – declaring herself their mother and that she will decide what to do with her children, rejecting the emotional beings out to destroy her and her kind. Thus, she becomes the Aya-Monitor!
Okay, on the one hand, this whole Aya-wasn’t-dead-all-along bit is a huge emotional cheat on the part of the show. While it’s true that no one in comic books (or cartoons, apparently) stays dead and I understand that Aya’s an artificial intelligence, it feels like her “sacrifice” was nothing more than another means of dragging out the Razer/Aya star-crossed romance. On the other hand, her return prompts the reject-her-to-protect-myself response from Razer and pushes Aya to an honest emotional breaking point. If you think about what she was trying to accomplish with the damaged Manhunter in “Blue Hope,” her rejection of emotions as a coping mechanism is far more tragic than her “death” last week. Aya believed she’d evolved beyond her programming by becoming a sentient being, but no one ever explained to her that with emotions like love and compassion come sorrow and pain, neither of which she was prepared to deal with. Rejecting her emotions is truly the end of the person we know as Aya.
- Hal does a lot of watching things happen in this episode
- Did you really need to talk about your feelings in the middle of a battle, Aya? Really?
DC Nation Short: Lightning and Thunder get ready for school, but Lightning’s feeling a bit under the weather.
- Kilowog talking Razer down
- Scar’s ancient Guardian powers were awesome until she got vaporized and all
- Hal is super uncomfortable with Aya’s emotions
- Aya taking down the Anti-Monitor and then becoming the Aya-Monitor