Monday, October 13, 2014

Recap: Green Lantern: TAS "Into the Abyss"

Today, I’m still in a little bit of an outer spacey mood, having just fizzled finished my Guardians of the Galaxy Week. So let’s take a look at the do-gooders for the Guardians of the Universe, the Green Lanterns!

Man, it’s been a while since I’ve done one of these. Of course, it’s been longer since I’ve recapped Batman: the Brave and the Bold. Man, I kind of want to do an episode of that now. Oh well, too late. The post title already says “Green Lantern.”

Let’s do this.

Are we talking, like, "bottomless pit" abyss, or "my soul's pit of despair after watching Agents of S.M.A.S.H." abyss?
Previously on Green Lantern: the Animated Series…. Read these Recaps.

Come on, there’s only three of them. You can do it.

The episode begins with Razer politely eating his lunch on the Interceptor before being joined by Kilowog. By “joined,” I mean “Kilowog bumps into Razer on purpose before eating his grub.” And by “grub,” I mean actual grubs. As expected, they exchange insults before Kilowog grabs the little emo by the neck. Luckily, Hal arrives to break it up. He demands that they shake hands to make up. Razer and Kilowog, being aliens unfamiliar with this Earth custom, follow the letter of the law by shaking fists in each other’s direction.

Why, I oughtta....
At this point, Aya brings a distress call to the attention of the three crew members. Apparently, a nearby freighter has ended up in the gravity well of a “pinhole,” a tiny black hole. As you might expect, his ship is stuck with a failed engine. Kilowog suggests this might be a Red Lantern trap, but Razer tells them that there aren’t any Red Lantern traps in the area.

Kilowog: “How do you know?”
Razer: “I was in charge of setting those traps.”

Our heroes head to the rescue and park the ship just outside the gravity well. Unfortunately, the gravitational wibbliness of the area makes it impossible to use the tractor beam, and the freighter’s tow cables miss the Interecptor. As Hal and the others go out to manually attach the cables, Razer and Kilowog bicker like Spider-Man’s teammates, and Aya has a question.

Aya: “Why are we risking three lives to save one?”
Hal: “A Green Lantern protects innocent life even at the risk of their own. That’s what we do.”

Careful, Hal. You don’t want to start giving her ideas.

As they get the cables, Razer starts having trouble flying with the gravitational wibblyness. Kilowog ignores him, but Hal helps him make it back to the Interceptor. They successfully attach the cables, but go to rescue the captain anyway, because the aforementioned gravitational wibblyness is making the structural integrity a mite wobbly.

As they enter the freighter, Hal confronts Kilowog over not assisting Razer, which, given the situation, basically amounts to leaving him to die. Before this can be fully explored, the captain runs to meet them. At this point, the captain’s ready to give up on his cargo of eggs, what with the refrigeration going out. But after closer examination, the eggs aren’t going to spoil. They’re going to hatch.

Razer: “Who cares? Only insects and vermin hatch from eggs.”

Also, birds, Razer.

Kilowog: “I hatched from an egg.”

Pigs too, apparently. According to what Aya finds in the Encyclopaedia Galactica her database, the eggs are from some rare species that was almost wiped out when their planet went all volcano-y.

Hal: “Change of plans: We’re going to rescue every life form here.”

"Razer, scrape the mold off the trash. Kilowog, get the bacteria from the lavatory."

To do this, Hal suggests that they turn on the engine and leave on max power. Now, this is actually a valid idea. There’s a common misconception in science fiction that black holes are sucky holes of inescapable death. And they are, but only up to a point. For the most part, they’re just like stars, planets, or anything else with gravity. They just happen to have a lot of gravity. The idea of escaping from the black hole is sound, mainly because they’re not in the black hole yet. It’s a bit more complicated than that, but that’s the gist. If I wanted to explain science all day, do you think I would have gotten that English major?

Hal decides that he’ll get the captain clear while Kilowog and Razer are left to “bond.”

This is not a valid idea.

Hal takse the captain back to the Interceptor, where Aya informs him that she has several ideas to conserve power while the repairs are going on. Hal blows her off politely and goes back to help the others.

Aya: “He must not have heard me.”

He’d probably listen to you if you looked like a hot lady. Oh, well, wishes and horses and stuff.

Over on the freighter, tensions are high as Kilowog and Razer look for the engine room. As they try to make small talk, Razer explains that without a Red Lantern battery, his ring will eventually lose its charge. A storage container almost falls on Kilowog, and he naturally blames Razer. The two begin fighting before Hal comes to break it up again. Speaking of breaking, that’s what the freighter’s slowly doing.

I'd make a joke about Hal threatening to turn the spaceship around... but Hal does it for me.
Onboard the Interceptor, all the non-essential systems and power suddenly goes out. The captain freaks out and commandeers the Interceptor away from the pinhole, which rips away the cables and sends the freighter towards the pinhole. This, in turn, sends the Lanterns flying. After some flight maneuvers, Kilowog saves them all with big, puffy, bouncy balls made from green energy.

Pretty ballsy plan. Okay, I apologize for that joke.
Hal quickly repairs what he can, and Kilowog heads outside to by the others some time by using his ring to make a jetpack and some cables to keep the ship in place. He manages to slow down the ship’s descent into the pinhole, but the very tip of the ship begins to compress under the gravitational strain. The other Lanterns fly through the ship to escape the crushiness, but it seems that the eggs are hatching. Many little things are scuttling around in the dark and screwing around with the power lines. Razer finds an easy solution to this: hurting them!

Hal: “Hey, hey, hey! Remember? Incredibly rare species!?”

Also, being newly hatched, babies. Razer is literally willing to hurt babies.

The two redouble their efforts to reach the non-collapsing end of the ship as the alien captain tells Kilowog that the computer’s not working, but he’s piloting the ship in to help tow his freighter. Back in the ship, the Lanterns are determined to get to the engine before the scuttling things get there and break it. As a shortcut, they exit the ship and climb the outside to reach the engine section. Somehow, this is faster than flying through the ship. Even faster, as they discover, is using ring energy as rocket boosts. After they go back inside the ship, they find more oddly-shaped hatchlings which prompt Razer to doubt their chances of succeeding in fixing the engine before the hatchlings tear it apart.

Hal: “Look, I have no problem bringing a Red Lantern onto the team. But I will not tolerate pessimists.”

They manage to get into the engine room and shut the doors behind them, but there’s a complication. The engine’s not just offline. It’s frozen like a V6 in winter. Nothing to do but just turn it on and see what happens. Razer wants to blast the hatchlings as they enact this suicidal plan, and one crawls in. Hal looks at the oddly iPod-ish thing, and realizes something. whatever it is, it makes him tell Razer to hold his fire.

Hal: “Those things didn’t come from the eggs. They came from the Interceptor! They’re Aya!”

As it turns out, Aya downloaded herself into robot bugs and came to help. The Aya-bugs manage to get the engine back online, and the ship starts to fly out of the pinhole’s event horizon. But the Razer/Kilowog subplot needs a moment of mirroring bookends, so it’s at this moments that Kilowog passes out from the strain of pulling and entire ship, only to be rescued by Razer.

Kilowog: “Not a bad shot… for a Red.”

Anyway, Hal aims the ship at the pinhole in order to slingshot around it and use the acquired momentum to escape the gravity well. Did you ever see Armageddon? It’s like what Bruce Willis did with the moon. This gets odd when the freighter slams into the red energy swirls around the pinhole like it was sand. I guess we can chalk it up to “space dust” or something, but it’s like finding out that Pig Pen’s dust cloud is a liquid; it messes with your perception of things. An odd visual choice, to say the least.

Hal’s fancy flying succeeds, the fanfare plays, and the eggs have hatched into little eye-larvae. The captain heads off with his new compliment of larvae and speaking of larvae, Razer and Kilowog are eating in the mess hall again. They’re still not on the best terms, but at least they respect each other a bit more now.

Hal: “And thank you, Aya. We’d all be feeling pretty cramped right now if it wasn’t for you coming out of your shell like that.”
Aya: “Yes. Like a hatchling from an egg.”

Well, look’s who’s all metaphorical today.

Hal: “I’m not done. It’s dangerous to up and leave your post. We need to set a few parameters, young lady.”

I agree, Hal. First, no dating that emo kid, Razer. Second, no trying to destroy the universe. There, that should take care of that.

Aya: “A Green Lantern protects innocent life, even at the risk of their own. Correct?”

Like every teenage daughter, Aya is twisting her authority figure’s words to her advantage.

Kilowog: “Aya, you do understand you’re a nav-com, not a Green Lantern, right? You can’t be a GL.”
Aya: “Why not?”

Because he said so, young lady! Now march to your room and think about what you’ve done.

Kilowog: “Well, first off, the ring’s gotta pick you.”
Aya: “Why?”
Kilowog: “Help me out.”
Hal: “No, no, I want to hear this.”

So Kilowog plays his trump card and tells her that Green Lanterns need a body. So she fits her bugs together and makes herself a body. And what a body it is.

Girl, you're hotter than the bottom of my laptop.
And with Aya now taking the physical form of Razer’s dead girlfriend (whoops, spoilers), the episode ends.

Let's review, shall we? Yes. Yes we shall.

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