(This is a full episode recap, so if you don’t wish to be spoiled, watch the episode first!)
Aya is still badly damaged after her encounter with Atrocitus last episode, but Hal and Kilowog eat meals out of cans. Kilowog’s is a large insect creature. Hal’s is a grilled cheese. After Aya explains to Kilowog how cheese is made, he tells Hal maybe he should eat it in a closet next time. Aya locates a Class G planet nearby that may have food available for them, so the two GLs explore. Hal explains that Razer’s race can survive for months without food. Since they are not looking for the same kinds of food, they split up.
Kilowog encounters a female being who vaguely resembles him, foraging for food. She is suddenly assaulted by a floating, jelly fish-like creature. Kilowog fends it off, but is then swarmed by several of these monstrosities. One gets the better of him, but the female alien comes to his aid and drives it away.
Meanwhile, Hal is admiring the view from above when suddenly he crashes to the ground. There’s something wrong with his ring. He doesn’t seem phased however and the device Aya gave him to detect food indicates there is some nearby. He goes to pluck a piece of fruit from a plant but is jolted with electricity. He picks another and it turns into dust in his face.
Kilowog has a nightmare about his family and the destruction of his planet. (I’m not sure if this is a memory or a premonition.) He wakes up in the home of Galia. She gives him soup and tells him she used a secret ingredient, Orem. She asks about his family and he says they were lost long ago. Galia apologizes for bringing it up. She offers to introduce him to her tribe The Zor.
Back on the ship, Razer is sitting in the command deck watching his ring flicker. Aya greets him and says it’s good to see him out of his quarters. She asks about his ring, but he responds coldly and storms out.
Hal is still struggling to find food. The device Aya gave him doesn’t seem to be functioning properly and he tosses it aside. He leaps into the air to fly, but tumbles into a ravine. His ring once more has failed. He is then faced with the jelly fish-like creatures that Galia referred to as Nadara. He attempts to zap one with his ring, but it doesn’t work. Unable to fly, he is forced to flee on foot.
Galia introduces Kilowog to her tribe including elder Yarley and head warrior Leph. Yarley wonders if Kilowog can save them from the Nadara. Galia urges him that the Nadara steal their Orem. “We use it for everything, clothing, buildings, weapons, spice.. our existence depends on it.” When a young Zor child, Tila, begs him, he agrees.
Meanwhile Hal is still scrambling to outrun the Nadara but runs into a wall with no way out!
Hal wakes up in a cavern and views several Nadara floating outside. He gasps and finds himself facing a small Nadara in the cave with him. It raises a tentacle and Hal follows it. His ring is still dead, so he can’t reach anyone on his communicator. He dubs the Nadara “Norman” and follows him (it?).
In his quarters, Razer begins to recite the Red Lantern oath to recharge his ring when Aya interrupts him. He reacts like a 16 year old getting busted… having alone time. Embarrassed, he throws himself over the Red Lantern as if to hide it from her. She states that his vital signs spiked. He tells her the rest of the oath and remarks that it is “Vile” and hates himself for having to recite it over and over. He laments that while he turned his back on Atrocitus, the Red Lantern and Ring stayed with him, seemingly indicating that the rage in his heart is still there. He orders Aya to get out.
Kilowog rallies the Zor for their upcoming battle. Leph seems upset that his role is being usurped. Yarley agrees that Leph has kept them safe, but that Kilowog has the power to finally destroy the Nadara.
Kilowog trains the Zor boot camp style, which is his specialty, but he worries that they don’t seem to be learning fast enough. He tells Galia that she is his best student.
As night falls, Hal and Norman find some glowing yellow crystals. Hal picks one up and it has a strange effect on him, giving him the “Hebie-jebies.” Norman doesn’t like Hal touching it and knocks it out of his hand. Hal realizes the Nadara are mining this yellow crystal, then recalls his adventure on the asteroid prison, where the crystals also interfered with their rings. This is an even more concentrated amount and has cancelled his ring out entirely. He realizes that Norman knew that the crystal was bad for him, which is why it knocked it out of his hand.
Back in the village, Kilowog is sleeping, but not restfully. Also, we see Galia cooking with her secret ingredient… Orem! Obviously, this is the cause of Kilowog’s nightmare! In his dream, he sees Galia being taken by a Nadara, before seeing himself engulfed in yellow light. (Comic fans should know where all this is heading!) Despite it being the middle of the night, Kilowog grabs a spear and rallies the Zor to attack the Nadara. He tells them they should strike at first light and take them out in one fell swoop. Galia gives him a headdress with a yellow crystal on it and he leads them into battle.
The Nadara, meanwhile, are taking Hal to the Zor village to find Kilowog. The two factions meet half way. Hal waves, but Kilowog, overtaken by the power of the
Yellow Lanterns Orem, deduces that Hal has turned traitor and urges the army to kill both Hal and the Nadara!
Two Zor have the upper hand on a Nadara, but Hal blasts them off. Kilowog raises his Power Ring but it won’t work due to the overwhelming concentration of Orem, so he clutches his spear and charges him. Hal tries reasoning with him, but Kilowog is determined to kill this “traitor!”
The Nadar successfully disarm the Zor and remove their yellow crystal headdresses, which immediately seems to calm them. Kilowog still refuses to believe Hal’s ration, so Hal disarms him and removes his headdress. Kilowog’s ring powers up again. Hal tells him the crystals affect their powers and minds, but since Kilowog has ingested some, he is still under their control. He and Hal continue fighting, while on the battlefield, Galia strikes a Nadara down. Kilowog causes a rock slide and gets the upper hand. He raises a giant ring-constructed mallet and is about to crush Hal when he finally comes to his senses. “You talk too much,” he utters.
Together they disarm several of the Zor. Leph calls Kilowog a traitor. Kilowog tells them the Orem is controling them, then the Nadara removes the rest of their headdresses. Hal says that the Orem is harmless for the Nadara, but is bad for the Zor. The Nadara take the Orem from them to protect them!
Later, the Zor give the Lanterns some plants for food. They are covered in spikes and Hal comments that everything on the planet that looks harmful is delicious. Kilowog says goodbye and Yarley tells him he is one of them. Galia asks if he will return to check on their progress, but Kilowog says, “No… but I’ll come to see you.” The Lanterns then depart.
Aya has analyzed the Red Lantern oath and has crafted a positive alternative. Razer says the positive oath, but it doesn’t work. He lies however and says it does, so Aya leaves. “I wish it were that easy,” he laments. He then says the real oath and recharges.
Razer’s drug-like addiction to the Red Lantern is very apparent and tragic here. Jason Spisak does an incredible job conveying his struggle through his voice acting! Great job!
Overall, this was kind of a stand-alone episode that didn’t play into the larger story arc very much, but that doesn’t make it bad or anything. Plus, we get further development of the yellow crystals, which as comic readers should know, will eventually lead to the introduction of the Yellow Lanterns. Kilowog briefly touched on the effects of the yellow crystals when he was rallying he troops, pointing out that they were worried about the Nadara coming and taking their Orem. I think it could have been a little more clear that the Orem was causing them fear, which led to paranoia. But I’m sure more will be revealed over time, since the “evil” of the first season is the Red Lanterns.
The other big development is the introduction of a new love interest and a new extended family for Kilowog. I liked Galia a lot and hope she appears frequently!
So while not necessarily a pivotal episode, it was still fun and planted some seeds for future developments! What did you think of this episode? Comment below!