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EPISODE REVIEWS - "LARFLEEZE"

Green Lantern: The Animated Series
Larfleeze

Original Airdate - February 23rd, 2013

The crew of The Interceptor searches the planet Okaara for the mythical Orange Lantern battery as a way to combat the Aya Monitor. The problem is, it's guarded under the watchful, and very greedy, eyes of Larfleeze, the one and only Orange Lantern.

Written by Ernie Altbacker
Directed by Sam Liu
Review by Neo Yi
Media by Warner Bros. Animation

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Review:
"You're a liar. It's mine, mine, mine, mine, mine!"
"...He's insane."

That among others - Hal dumping a Lantern-induced truck on one of Larfleeze's goons is one of those "Did-not-see-it-coming-but-funny-as-all-hell" moments, the return of "LAME-O" and Razer's nonplussed reaction to him, some of Larfleeze's reactions - cements this as one of the funnier episodes. This is quite unusual given the amount of drama "Larfleeze" emphasizes. The destruction of hundreds of stars is impossibly fast, but a clever way of showcasing just how dangerous Aya has become without showing hordes of dead bodies that censorship would likely never allow. Not to mention it emphasizes what little time the heroes have. It gets across the desperation very neatly and I felt more strongly for it than the overall plot of "Larfleeze." If Aya ends up redeeming though, she'll have the blood of billions - trillions, maybe more - in her hands. I don't think it'll be brought up since this show is ending, but I can't help but wonder if Season Two could have covered that.

I think Larfleeze generally portrayed his role well, but I was also underwhelmed by his performance. He's crazy enough to feel believable - his obsession seems to draw a lot from Gollum (at one point, I was specifically thinking about his fight with Frodo for the ring when Larfleeze wrestled Hal for the Orange Lantern) - yet it's countered with an almost childish sense of behavior that while produces some hilarious actions and dialogues (she's taking his stars XD), it removes any threat I wished he had. Sending a few of his minions and battling Hal felt lacking in retrospect. I think the only true horrific moment came when Larfleeze commands Glomolus to consume Razer and Kilowog and the beast does this slowly. That's several shades of unnerving.

For that matter, I didn't care too much for Hal's transformation outside of that super neat Orange Lantern outfit he gets. That's pure Bruce Timm style; bodysuit with a simple, but elegant design. Otherwise, he succumbs to the greed and changes back by fighting it off in the most generic way possible. If anything, it certainly explains why the Green Lantern Corp chose him because if that isn't a demonstration of a strong will, I don't know what is.

I loved every other interactions between the crew members though. While saving Aya is their biggest priority, I'm pleased that they're smart enough to consider a backup plan, one that will deactivate and potentially erase her memories. The series capably shows how much Hal's gangs care for Aya and her safety, but they're not so dumb to realize the potential of a Plan B, even if it's as harsh as essentially ending her life. I'm glad the episode juggled with the idea and while they ultimately go back to their original plan, the fact that they even thought of it is a good indicator that these guys aren't a group of, say, kids or teenagers. This is also why the brief scene with Razer and Kilowog intrigued me. Kilowog tries to comfort Razer. He doesn't jump and start accusing until Razer snaps at him. It's only when the two are angry that they start blaming others (Kilowog) and themselves (Razer). They are fully aware of their actions and the massive consequences. Though Razer is quick to cut the conversation short when it's brought up, I love that they aren't getting into a full heated argument and constantly pointing fingers at one another. Their brief fling is just that, brief. They don't unnecessarily drag it out knowing it won't do them much good. Kilowog is quick to apologize and Razer...well, he does push the subject away as much as possible, but at least he knows he did wrong and discovered it pretty quickly to boot. Razer may not enjoy talking about it, but he doesn't avoid the issue. He's actively offering possible solutions and last episode had him confronting Aya face-to-face instead of shoving it away (especially since Razer seems to get doing exactly that lead to Aya taking it out on the universe).

They're being adult about this. They're also a team that understand each other better than when they first started where such arguments would have likely occurred on a frequent basis. There's emotional drama, yes, but never consistent to equal that of what a typically younger set of protagonists would go through. These guys are grown adults; they can figure out how to sort out their life problems after a major crisis like Aya (unless it's specifically brought up) because petty bickering won't get them anywhere. They know ending Aya's life must be a possible option because the world isn't black and white. Razer is usually the exception to these rules (arguably he comes the closest to being The Moody Teenage Loner), but it does signify that he's the youngest of the three and is much more subjected to his emotions than the other two. And hey, he's gotten waaaaay better since his beginning days!

I'm not entirely sure if this is what the show was going for (maybe they were; one of the things I like about Carol's love speech is that she is clearly speaking from experience appropriate for her age instead of acting like some clueless fourteen-year-old), but I like it regardless. It's refreshing.


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