SPOILER ALERT: This is a full episode recap, so if you want to avoid SPOILERS, please watch the episode first!
At the end of the first season, Razer went off on his own. This episode, we learn that he has taken refuge on Odym, home of the Blue Lanterns, the avatars of Hope in the universe. Razer is seeking a way to calm the seething rage within him, so what better place to be than with the Blue Lanterns. It also helps that the blue energy negates his red rage powers, but while attempting to meditate, he allows a buzzing insect to infuriate him. His peace is shattered… when suddenly a scary, sharp-toothed worm bursts through the planet’s surface! Razer takes off running, powerless, but it is Saint Walker, the first Blue Lantern, who stops the creature, not with a Power Ring assault but by playing soothing music on his sitar-like instrument. It turns out, the creature just wanted to “play.”
Suddenly, The Interceptor appears in the sky. Hal and the others have come seeking Ganthet’s aid in battling the Manhunters. Ganthet introduces the first two Blue Lanterns, Saint Walker and Brother Warth, then Aya spies Razer and the pair are reunited. Kilowog teases Razer after he greets them pleasantly, if somewhat awkwardly.
Hal shows Ganthet the remains of one of the Manhunters they battled in the episode ‘Reboot.’ Ganthet questions why Hal didn’t go to the Guardian Counsel, to which Hal responds that Ganthet is the only Guardian he trusts. Before examining the Manhunter, however, Ganthet wants to show something to them… the Blue Power Battery, similar to the ones owned by the Green and Red Lanterns, that will power all of the blue rings and lanterns. Ganthet recites the Blue Lantern oath:
“In fearful day, in raging night, with strong hearts full, our souls ignite! When all seems lost in the War of Light, look to the stars, for hope burns bright! “
The Power Battery fires up, sending waves of blue hope energy out into the galaxy. Just as it has before, the blue power super-charges the Green Lantern’s Will energy… and the Manhunter’s powers.
The Manhunter reconstructs itself and ambushes the Green and Blue Lanterns, blasting them into the side of a mountain. The heroes ae forced into defense mode, fleeing the Manhunter’s destruction. Hal and Kilowog go on offense, as Hal blasts the robot through a mountain, with Kilowog waiting to bash him on the other side. The Manhunter smashes down into the planet’s surface, once more reduced to shattered pieces.
Back on the Interceptor, Hal wants to interrogate the Manhunter, so Aya turns the robot back on, in limited capacity. The Manhunter’s “revelations” are things already known to the viewer, that in their view, “Evil stems from emotion, therefore all emotion… must be destroyed.” Hal wonders if they can be taught to know the difference between true good and evil, but without thinking, Razer spews forth that the Manhunters are just machines that cannot be taught or grow and that robots don’t have souls, upsetting Aya. (Way to go, jerkwad!) He attempts to tell Aya that she is “different,” but she leaves anyway.
That evening, Razer goes to Saint Walker and asks him if he thinks robots can have souls, to which Saint Walker states that he thinks “We are all robots… programmed in our own special way.” But Saint Walker then changes the subject and says that he believes that the true reason Razer wanted to talk to him was to ask if it was possible to love again after losing one’s first true love. Razer is angered, but then sadly comments that his feelings for Aya are a lie, because she cannot love him back. He then sadly wanders back toward the Interceptor.
Meanwhile, on board the ship, Aya takes the remains of the Manhunter and flees into the forest of Odym. She settles into a cave and speaks to the Manhunter who asks why she doesn’t destroy her companions. She replies that she does not kill because she is following the examples of the Green Lanterns. The Manhunter counters that her programming has been corrupted. She counters that the Manhunter is also capable of evolving beyond its programming to which it simply utters, “No man escapes the Manhunters.”
Razer discovers that Aya and the Manhunter are missing. Meanwhile, in space, the wave of blue energy from the Power Battery strikes a trio of Manhunters, who turn their attention to Odym. When they arrive, they announce that their objecting is the device that increased their powers, but the Lanterns leap into action to stop them. Once again, however, these Manhunters are super-charged with the energy of the Blue Lantern and don’t go down easy.
Back in the cave, Aya attempts to teach the Manhunter that if he believes his programming is in error, he has the right to ammend that programming, and that without the ability to adapt and grow, he can never become sentient. She states that if he refuses to change, then he is not an “artificial intelligence” but simply a machine. The Manhunter does not see any error in his programming and doesn’t seem interested in becoming sentient. He “dies” and Aya vows that “I am nothing like you.”
Hal and Kilowog construct a barrier around the Power Battery, but they are outmatched as the Manhunters pound away at their construct. Ganthet informs Razer that it would take several hours to power down the Battery in order to weaken the Manhunters, so Razer formulates another plan, which involves aid by Saint Walker… and another.
The barricade around the Battery shatters and Hal and Kilowog are sent flying. The Manhunters descend to steal the Battery, when suddenly the ground errupts and the giant worm creature, summoned by Saint Walker’s instrument, emerges, taking the Battery in its mouth and shattering one of the Manhunters in the process. The creature burrows underground and the extra energy glow fades from the Manhunters and the Green Lanterns.
The odds now more balanced, the heroes make short work of the remaining two Manhunters. One is detroyed. The other is intact, but laments the failure of accomplishing their objective. Aya arrives and attempts to reason with this Manhunter, urging to chose alternative programming. It scans Razer and registers emotion… then it scans Aya and also detects emotion. It blasts Aya, and suddenly, despite the presence of the Blue Lanterns, Razer explodes with flaming red Rage energy! He utterly destroys the Manhunter, as Ganthet observes that his rage has grown too strong to be restrained.
The red energy fades as he gingerly scoops up Aya who comes to. He apologizes for his early statements saying, “You have more of a soul than I have ever had.”
The Blue Power Battery is put back in its proper place, but Ganthet states that it will be some time before he has enough power to rekindle it and Hal agrees that until the Manhunter problem is solved, it’s best to keep it off. Saint Walker informs Razer that he is always welcome on Odym, but he feels his place is with the Green Lanterns… and Aya.
So the Lanterns were hoping to find a key to stopping the Manhunters, but instead found something that made them more powerful. But is there hope, as Aya asserts, that they can change the Manhunter’s basic programming and change their single-minded mission to eliminate all emotion? How do you feel? Leave a comment below!