WARNING! FULL SPOILERS BELOW!
If Green Lantern is going to go off the air in the coming weeks, at least it's departing on an amazing note. I'll be the first to admit that I wasn't the biggest fan of the first half of Season One. It was a good dose of fun but never raised the bar or did anything to compete with some of the better animated shows. But ever since its the episode with Guy Gardner, this show has been bringing it 110% (it's just too bad that totally unexplained DC Nation break happened).
The last episode, 'Loss,' was a powerhouse. The death of Aya was predictable during that scene but still managed to pack an incredible impact and was executed in such an impressive manner (the animation with the Anti-Monitor's attacks look so good). Now she's gone and we're left seeing how everyone will react while still trying to take down the seemingly invincible Anti-Monitor. The reactions are fitting as Razer tells them about the tragedy. The guardian bluntly provides the cold but logical response (Anti-Monitor > mourning) as Kilowog and the others have a brief but somber reaction to the loss before getting back to the mission at hand. Razer's naturally hit the hardest and this is casually reflected in his posture and facial expressions during the first act. Then the first few minutes goes above and beyond to show us they're not messing around with the villain. The arrogant little Guardian is blasted apart in a fantastic looking and powerful scene... but I can't say she will be missed!
That's two big deaths in two episodes, but then just moments later we're hit with a real shocker: Aya's still alive! As a last ditch effort, she was able to download herself into a severely damaged Manhunter. She now looks like something taken right out of a horror movie and the appearance gives Razer a huge epiphany -- he loves a machine. Just because this is a show for all ages doesn't mean you should ever underestimate how brilliant the script can be. The love story here is staggeringly engrossing and I have no shame in saying the way he broke her "heart" broke mine a little bit, too. I was skeptical about where this relationship would go at first but I'm incredibly pleased with how everything has turned out between the two. It went from heartwarming to tragic to downright painfully sad. This show just absorbs all of your sympathy as she helplessly tries to understand her pain and Hal honestly wants to help but needs to focus on more pressing events. You almost want to reach into the screen and give her a hug.
I can't get over how enjoyable the space battles are. There's a huge war as the Red Lanterns and The Interceptor tries to save Ysmault from the Anti-Monitor and its fleet of Manhunters. There were enough explosions to make even Michael Bay slightly jealous and following the Manhunters as they soar through a sea of lasers is a blast. But the real kicker is when Aya realizes what she has to do to save the day. Shutting down her emotions and taking all of the power from the ship, her actions in the battle left my jaw on the ground. The way she blasted apart Manhunters was impressive and she essentially used a friggin' battleship as a battering ram!
The conclusion with Aya seems appropriate as well. She literally turned off the pain she felt after Razer plainly said he doesn't love her and never did (ouch, by the way). After all that this poor AI has endured, it seems natural that she'd see only the worst in organic beings and want to no longer be a part of their world. I'd love to see her incorporated again down the road, but I don't think that's likely since this show now has an expiration date and I imagine there's other stories that had set up already. It's too bad if we don't see her again but at least that was a superb way to go out.
My only real complaint here is the Anti-Monitor's voice. All I can say is good luck understanding it if you had trouble with Bane. Aside from that small problem, this was a stellar way to conclude the Anti-Monitor plot. The story with Razer and Aya is seriously engaging and the action is top-notch. This series has really stepped up its game and it's depressing to know it won't get another season.