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For weeks now Green Lantern: The Animated Series has built to a crescendo and this week fans got to experience what we all hoped for – a finale filled with epic moments that illustrate what we love most about the Green Lantern mythology.  Like all the episodes before it, not a moment was wasted on screen during the thirteenth episode, “Homecoming”, and in fact there was more to the story than the creators could fit in according a tweet by the episode’s director, Sam Liu, who said that there were some great moments that had to be eliminated prior to the episode reaching the animation stage.  It’s hard to imagine this episode being much better because the finished product is near perfect.

Continuing from last week’s episode Atrocitus, Zilius Zox, Drusa  and Aya head to Oa on the Interceptor while Hal, Kilowog and Razer are left stranded in space as the Red Lantern army approaches.   Hal hatches a plan to try to get them all to Oa, but Kilowog opts to stay behind and try to stem the tide against the armada to buy Hal some time.  Meanwhile Atrocitus arrives on Oa and begins his assault on the Guardians and Salaak falls before the rage of the Red Lantern in a valiant attempt to protect his masters.
Atrocitus vents his rage
On Earth Hal shows up and appears to ignore the crisis at hand until Carol Ferris talks about Hal’s adventures in space over a romantic meal and it’s then that she realizes Hal has lost his memory and, rather than accept Hal’s undivided affection, helps him get his memory back and we learn how he made the risky journey from Zamoran to Earth using his love of Carol as his guide.  His ring recharged and his memory restored Hal leaves for Oa, but not before Carol reminds him that they didn’t get their dessert.
Light years away, Kilowog faces the overwhelming odds against the alien armada and before he falls the Bolovaxian finds himself supercharged as he did in “Regime Change”, but this time the extra help doesn’t come from the Blue Lantern battery, but from Saint Walker who has become the savior he was searching for last week.  Mogo has come with the Blue Lantern to stand by Kilowog and the three of them succeed in turning away the forces that plan to lay waste to life in Guardian space.
Carol helps Hal get his GL mojo back
As Atrocitus is about to get his final revenge on the Guardians Salaak opens the dome overhead to reveal Hal Jordan, arms crossed and ready to stand between the Red Lantern and the Guardians.  But rather than pick a fight Hal makes the attempt to diffuse the situation by acknowledging the mistakes of the past and offering amends.  Atrocitus will have nothing of it and lashes out at Hal, who is seemingly unable to defeat him.  But while Hal may not have the strength to defeat Atrocitus, he does have the will to and he heroically rises above the situation to overcome the Red Lantern. 
Appa Ali Apsa offers atonement for the Forgotten Zone by working with Zilius Zox as Atrocitus is hauled away and all ends well for our heroes.  Apsa actually thanks Hal before he leaves, heading back to Earth to keep a promise and the episode closes on Carol Ferris catches a familiar green light approaching from space.
Everything is wrapped up perfectly for these first thirteen episodes and we are left with a neat little package that stands alone as a great example of how to execute a Green Lantern project the right way.  It bears repeating my previous comment that this could easily have been done the wrong way with each episode falling into hokey territory with each episode succumbing to the temptation to be nothing more than a predictable monster of the week show.  But the producers of this series clearly see the story telling potential in the Green Lantern mythology and produced a season of well-crafted episodes which build on each other, each standing independently but all a part of a greater whole.  It’s hard to believe when you look back over the thirteen episodes just how much they were able to include without ever making it feel rushed.
Saint Walker makes his Blue Lantern debut in heroic fashion
There are so many great moments in this episode that it’s very difficult to do them justice without spoiling them for people who haven’t seen the episode yet.  Suffice it to say that each member of the main cast has their moment in the limelight and many others made an appearance to make this a rousing conclusion.    From the continued progression of Razer’s self discovery to Aya’s evolution to Hal’s heroic ascendancy this episode really does have it all.  Perhaps the only critical comment I could make would be the desire to have seen both Iolande and Ganthet at some point since both have played major roles in the development of the show.  But there’s just so much to love about the show that I can overlook that and hopefully we’ll see more of them in the next thirteen episodes.  
The animation has gotten to be better and better as the show has progressed and everything was visually stunning this time around.  There was one continuity glitch that I saw with Carol Ferris, whose eyes have somehow changed from brown to blue.  But other than that the show is just beautiful to watch in high definition.  It’s really a disappointment to see that the show is only getting a DVD release and hopefully Warner Brothers will see that it deserves to be offered in blu-ray where it would really shine. 
Aptly titled, “Homecoming” brings Green Lantern: The Animated Series full circle and leaves the cast in a position to go anywhere for the next thirteen episodes and I know I’m not alone in the anticipation for what’s to come.  With the enormous wealth of material available to Bruce Timm and company there’s a lot of places for them to take the series and I know that my will will be greatly tested as the weeks crawl by until we are graced with more episodes.  “Homecoming” gets a not too surprising five out of five lanterns.

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