Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Legend of Korra – A Voice in the Night

Last week when faced with the overwhelming strength and organization of Amon’s terror group, the seeds of doubt and fear were put into Korra. This week, Amon broke any resolve she had left. As I’ve mentioned in previous reviews, Korra has had a very sheltered life. She has been forced to live in a compound in the Southern Water tribe run by the White Lotus’. She has not come across a challenge she could not defeat. But since moving to Republic City, she has found an entirely new world with very real problems that the compound was a poor substitute for. Korra spent most of this episode in fear, trying to busy herself with training rather than face her concerns, all the while riddled with nightmares of being overwhelmed by Amon’s force. When Tenzin tried to give her an outlet to share her worries, she turned away from his help. Unfortunately, Tenzin missed a great opportunity to talk to Korra about Aang’s troubles. When it was time to face the Fire Lord, Aang’s doubt and lack of confidence led to sleepless nights riddled with nightmares and hallucinations. Aang was not sure how he would fare in his confrontation with the Fire Lord, and almost lost the battle before it had even started. With his friends help, he was able to overcome his fears and face them. This is a story I have no doubt that Aang would have shared with Tenzin, and in turn, it would have been wise for Tenzin to tell this to Korra. But, without this knowledge, Korra charges her way through this episode without any sage wisdom.
Korra broken and defeated
Tenzin was having difficulties of his own this episode. On the city council, where he sits as a representative for the Air Nomads of the city (there is a representative for each nation but there doesn’t seem to be anyone for non-benders!), Tenzin was faced with a proposition to build a task force whose sole purpose it was to take on Amon and the Equalists. This is very similar to the start of the United States’ FBI, which was created with the sole purpose of taking on organized crime. It was a good idea, but the councilman who proposed the idea, Tarrlok, has a very greasy/slimy feel to him (complete with ponytails and apparently perfume). No doubt he is going to use the task force to make himself look good in the eye of the public and use the people’s good will to gain power for his own nefarious purposes. Quite frankly, I’m surprised that something has not been done before. A threat as great as the Equalist movement merits quick and decisive action, at the very least an outreach program to those who don’t posses bending abilities. Tarrlok wants to use force to quash the movement, which sounds overly totalitarian for this republic. No doubt they need to come off strong against terrorists, however, they need to address the real issue that is giving the Equalists such drive; the treatment of non-benders. Tarrlok brings up a previous threat (couldn’t make out the name of the baddie he mentioned) that Republic City has faced in its past, but said that Aang acted swiftly to prevent any lasting issues. This seemed to sway the other council members to vote in favor of having the task force.
Tarrlok leading his Task Force
Tarrlok initially tries to bring Korra into the task force, but his request falls on deaf ears. After trying to buy her favor with increasingly more expensive gifts, Tarrlok organizes a gala in her honor, as well as a Q & A session for some well placed journalists, and as a result, Korra gets manipulated into joining. She doesn’t want to seem weak or scared, so when confronted with questions questioning her resolve to the city and its people, she feels she has no choice but to join, falling nicely into Tarrlok’s plot. Their first raid goes well, giving a momentary boost to Korra’s spirits to the point where she foolishly challenges Amon to a duel one on one (on Aang Memorial Island!). Tenzin tries to stop her, but she goes in head first without much thought to any other plan of action. Once on the island, Korra is forced to wait, her nerves on edge, but Amon appears to be a no show. Eventually, she is ambushed by the group and this is where Korra is broken. She is outclassed by the non-benders, bound in ropes with her chi blocked. She is positioned in front of Amon where he calmly and coolly tells her that he will destroy her, but when he feels the time is correct, not when she wants it. He didn’t have to lay a finger on her, yet he had her on her knees at his feet. A quick jab to the neck and she is knocked out. We catch quick glimpses of some old friends; old Sokka looking troubled, a grown up Toph in her police uniform, some shots of master Aang looking very badass, and some mysterious guy (possible baddie from the past) who I did not recognize. Korra might very well have been peering into Aang’s life while knocked out, and if so, this would be the first time she has had any spirit connection on the show. Aang was very connected to his spiritual side, but Korra has yet to find affinity for it (as mentioned in the first episode). This meeting with Amon might have been the kick in the ass (or jab in the neck) that Korra needed to finally take her avatar training to the next level. Only time will tell what is to come of these images.
Amon leering over Korra
Aang looking older and ready to kick some ass
The B story this week involved Batman… I mean Mako. While leaving work, Bruce Wayne, Mako gets run over by a very pretty girl (Asami Sato), who turns out to be the daughter of the rich inventor of the Satomobiles. All Mako’s immediate problems are over; Hiroshi Sato becomes a corporate sponsor for the team (putting his logo on their jerseys) and Mako gains a girlfriend (now that makes sense, not when the girls run for Bolin). Asami likes Mako a lot, and seems genuinely interested and in love with Mako. It will be interesting to see the inevitable Korra/Asami fight for Mako that will happen. Korra and Asami’s brief meeting was overshadowed because Korra had the task force and Amon on her mind. However for now, love is in the air, and as the show goes on, we shall see where these relationships end up. Bolin tries to get Korra’s attention by giving her a flower and cup cake as a thank you for saving him in the last episode. Sadly for him, Korra’s full attention was on Amon. Meelo has a great off scene moment where it appears he tries to piss into a fountain at the gala much to Tenzin’s horror, and Ikki effortlessly makes fun of Tarrlok without really meaning to (bye bye ponytailed man). Chief Lin Beifong briefly shows up, once again showing her seemingly misplaced animosity for the avatar. I’m sure there’s more to the story that we will eventually learn about. I also haven’t mentioned the opening recap after the opening titles for the last couple of episodes. It has a very 20’s old timey feel, and helps set the mood for the entire series; it’s a nice touch. This was another great episode. 
Asami, finding boys the only way she knows how, by running them over

Posted by Dogfish.

1 comment:

  1. Great stuff - really like the review. I guess I should watch the series!!