EPISODE REVIEWS - "DARK MATTER"
Green Lantern: The Animated Series
"Dark Matter" (Series Finale)
Original Airdate - March 16th, 2013
In the season finale episode, the Aya Monitor returns to the dawn of time to stop all emotion and all life from ever existing. Now, Hal must find a way to stop her - while Razer realizes the only way to save the universe may mean killing the woman he loves.
Written by Jim Krieg
Directed by Rick Morales
Review by Neo Yi
Media by Warner Bros. Animation
This is going to sound stupid and cheesy, but here goes. Alright, I'm the type of person who watches something, see a sad scene, lamely declare, "Wow. This scene is sad," then shrug it off and go about my merry way. I never thought Aya and Razer's love would impact me until I saw this episode. I was glued to the screen the entire time because I could not look away until I was certain these two crazy kids would finally have their happy ending (or end in another manner that I'd be happy with). Their interaction throughout "Dark Matter" got me more invested than I thought possible that I had butterflies in my stomach. Yeah, I almost wept like a baby. I didn't, but that fact that I was even remotely close (and at one point I think I really was fighting back tears) is a testimony to how well-written these characters; I've become emotionally invested in these guys. What do you want from me, I'm only human.
It's not without its flaws. The revelation that Aya didn't destroy all life is a cop out, pure and simple. I think it really undermines the intensity and capability of Dark Aya. There's a bit of handwave that kinda sorta justifies it, what with her not being purely artificial (which neatly supports my analysis for "Love Is a Battlefield" when I said Aya isn't as purely statics as she claims to be) and it neatly does support her universe reboot (where she didn't so much want to destroy life as much as fix it to fit within her own ideals). but it lacks the consequences I think she needed. She also flip-flops a little too fast after she accidentally hurts Razer, but otherwise, the scene is golden. Kudos to Grey Delisle; over the course of twenty-six episodes, she's managed to transform a cold, nearly lifeless machine into a thinking, feeling robot. She's utterly devastated after what she did to Razer and oh my goodness he was in tears when he was about to kill her and there goes all my feelings. And just when they reunite, Aya ends up sacrificing her life again and my heart just broke in two. Thanks a lot, fictional cartoon show, you made me care a lot more than I think is healthy.
I'm very glad the ending did leave with the implication that Aya is alive. I would have just been fine with Razer searching the entire universe for his love without the shot of the blue ring. I previously said in my review of "Blue Hope" that Razer shouldn't get a new ring, but instead channel his rage into something positive. However, with the quest he's now undertaking, I think the blue ring is very appropriate (also, I think "Blue Hope" is now foreshadowing of Razer's potential future role.)
Oh, and those other two guys did good, let's moe on. Nah, I kid - Hal and Kilowog had plenty of awesome moments. I love that Hal pretty much just stuck with Aya all the way to the end, talking even during the beginning of the freaking universe. However, the best moment that actually comes from him is shortly before Razer almost stabs Aya: when he tells her he's regretful. Man, that is a powerful scene. It's so nice to see Kilowog and Razer has gotten along over the course of the show, but the hug at the end? Made me giddy. They are a family. Really, this is all just lengthy gushing to what amounts to, "Dark Matter = TOO MANY EMOTIONS." I think there was a bit more talking than what I personally would have wanted during Razer's near death; I'd rather brief moments of silenced gesture and subtle words to do the trick. In fact, I think a few scenes would have benefit from less talking to let their expressions and music to do it for them (because even I admit some of them come off a tad bit cheesy as a result), but there is one scene that did manage to get its naunces across perfectly: when Aya is spreading a virus to all the Manhunters, the musical score is dramatic, but somber. There's little to no talking during this portion and I think it's a powerful, inevitable scene. I'm assuming this tune isn't in the Green Lantern soundtrack. If it isn't, can DC make a second one just so I can listen to this score again? It's beautiful!
The battle scene at the beginning is also topnotch and a vast improvement from last episode's. I love seeing each of the Green Lantern's get their minor victories.
I have too many feelings. It's flawed, but not by much. It's a shame this show had to be cancelled. I wanted to see more. As it is though, it hits all the right notes and gives it that bittersweet touch that I love in my endings, yet also provides a sense of hope that eventually somewhere down the line, there is a happy ending. We don't know how, but it's there. It's ambiguous and though I wish there would be a Season Two, this is the kind of ending I really love, so I'm very satisfied with it. Green Lantern was a very fun show - a very fine show. Great action, lovely visuals, and fantastically written characters. Here's hoping for more series like these in the future.