One of the things I’ve personally enjoyed about Green Lantern: The Animated Series is the way that the show’s creators build in some nods to things like Star Trek or Lord of the Rings and so on. This week’s episode, “Fear Itself” feels like a classic Star Trek episode where the crew encounters two races at odds with each other and it’s not clear who is right and who’s wrong. As the story unfolds we discover that everything isn’t what it seems to be and in the end the two races are more alike than they thought.
“Fear Itself” starts out with Hal and Kilowog lamenting the quality of the food stocked by the Interceptor and the differences in the their cultures leads to some humor about each Lantern’s idea of what’s appetizing. Aya, still recovering from her dismemberment
at the hands of Atrocitus, points the two to a nearby planet where the two set out in search of food. The two Lanerns goe their separate ways and each encounters an alien race which has come into a misunderstanding with the other. Ultimately we learn that one side is harvesting the food supply of the other, a food supply which just happens to be the mysterious yellow crystals we saw in the prison during the “Razer’s Edge”
episode. After a battle between Hal and Kilowog the two Lanterns help both races find a peaceful solution to their dilemna. Razer meanwhile wrestles with charging his ring in light of his feelings about the Red Lanterns and Aya tries to help only to have her lack of understanding of organic life stick out like a sore thumb.
While “Fear Itself” seems like a very loose nod to the classic “Devil in the Dark” episode of Star Trek the tribute to the show is thematic in nature only and there are a number of great moments that continue to flesh out the show and provide hints about what is to come for the crew of the Interceptor. We see via a dream sequence the tragic nature of Kilowog’s past and the desruction of his homeworld, Bolovax Vik which does a nice job of adding some layers to the character. The moments between Aya and Razer continue to be high points of the show, and the care that Aya takes to craft a replacement oath is matched by Razer’s willingness to let her think she helped him while he resigns himself to take the true oath and recharge his ring in solitude.
Kilowog gets the romantic interest in this episode in the alien female Galia, voiced by Vanessa Marshall. Marshall also provides the voice of Black Canary in Young Justice and has done previous DC Comics projects like Batman: The Brave and the Bold (Poison Ivy), Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths (Wonder Woman) and Lego Batman: The Videogame (Catwoman/Poison Ivy). Galia provides Kilowog with a connection to his past and by the end of the episode he is clearly taken with her and, like Captain Kirk in any classic Trek episode, leaves her behind on an alien planet while he once again takes to the stars.
The foreshadowing of the emotional spectrum plays out once again in this episode as we see the effects of the mysterious yellow crystal which nullifies the Green Lantern power rings as well as instills fear at close proximity. This time we see the long term effects of the crystals with Galia’s people using it in so many things in their daily lives that they live in a natural fear of the Nadara, the jellyfish-like creatures for whom the crystals serve as a main source of food. Kilowog ingests so much of the substance that he launches into an attack on Hal when he see him in the company of the Nadara, a sequence which stands and the main action of the episode in a neat battle between the two friends.
|My enemy, my ally
Green Lantern: The Animated Series is something I look forward to each week and while “Fear Itself” is a lot of fun and is a bit lighter of an episode, it points out the inherent problem of assuming that those who seem to oppose you are wrong – a good lesson for everyone when we see so many examples of people rushing to judgement rather than trying to learn from our differences. Four out of five lanterns.