In brightest day, in blackest night... no SPOILERS shall escape your sight.
Seriously, don't go on if you want to avoid spoilers!
Usually I can start pumping out a review right when an episode ends, but this one left me speechless and I needed a few minutes to reflect on just how good this one was. 'Loss' is by far the best episode this show has yet to offer. The action was ferocious, the Razer/Aya relationship was powerful, there were plenty of laughs and the plot took a few steps forward. It's impressive how much the creative team packed into the mere 22 minute runtime.
First and foremost, I'm not embarrassed at all to say the Razer/Aya development almost made me tear up. Was it predictable? Sure, the episode is even plainly called "loss." But this romance was beautifully handled and helped us realize how much Razer has suffered through the years. The somber moment on his homeworld took a cute (but cliche) turn. Right when Aya said "be careful," we knew things weren't going to go his way, but that by no means made the following scenes any less compelling. Personally, I think it's brilliant that they never kissed and it made those final words really pull at your heartstrings. It was some seriously gripping stuff. I can only imagine how much power Razer will possess with that Red Power Ring when he really decides to let loose.
Zox is a terrible leader for the Red Lanterns. He's the true definition of a coward and has an inflated ego. That, my friends, is why he makes this episode so hysterical. Trying to make things right, the Guardians tell him they will help rebuild Ysmault and he loves every single second of it. He's so pathetic that you can't help but smile with every idiotic moment he has ("WHO CARES IF YOU'RE IN DANGER?!"). That little sphere had me cracking up throughout this episode.
The action in this episode was jaw-dropping. Kilowog sawed a Manhunter in half, Razer went all Wolverine on them, and seeing characters ragdolled into mountains was just tons of fun. Every single shot of the Anti-Monitor demolishing everything in his path with a fleet of Manhunters soaring past him was an overdose of awesomeness for my eyes. It's not often a character intimidates you in these shows, but after shots like that I can understand the sense of danger Hal and his friends must be feeling. Regarding the Anti-Monitor, we finally get to see its origin story. Told by a Guardian, the exposition doesn't kill the pace of the show and provides us with the mandatory information we need in a timely and entertaining fashion.
"Loss" has raised the bar for this series. It was emotionally powerful, packed with laughs and super energetic. You know all of those memes that say "still a better love story than Twilight?" I now fully expect to see one with Razer and Aya!
Gregg Katzman is a freelance writer for Comic Vine & IGN Entertainment. Be sure to follow him on Twitter!