Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Legend of Korra – The Aftermath

After the aftermath of last week’s attack on the pro-bending arena, things moved quickly. With Mako and Bolin moving in with Asami, we see Korra’s frustration at Mako’s and Asami’s continuing relationship meaning she has not buried her feelings for Mako. On the flip side, Bolin still tries to impress Korra (possibly unintentionally), obviously still harboring feelings for the Avatar despite being so hurt two episodes ago. When you find yourself attracted to someone, it’s hard to let that feeling go, so it’s only natural that the love triangle persists.

Korra reluctantly goes along to Asami’s mansion quickly finding herself impressed. Asami has come across as a ditzy rich girl who runs to daddy when she needs something, but today we find out there is more than just beauty; she’s been trained to fight since she was a kid, and has no problem going toe to toe with the “big boys” in a F1 race. It was fun watching her trying to impress Korra; you get the feeling Asami knew she was not liked,  to get the Avatar on her side. Korra has a big personality, and with the level of confidence Asami showed, it was only a matter of time until Korra was won over. Back in the mansion, Korra overhears Hiroshi discussing some sinister sounding plans. With a quick exit, Korra is off to meet with Lin and Tenzin. We find out the police are doing their jobs, following up leads, clamping down on the Equalists, even finding evidence against Cabbage Corp and freezing assists. This is in line with how policing is conducted (or at least should be) in the real world. It’s about time we see some level of competence from the police, especially after last week’s debacle.
Cabbage man, triumphant at last
However, Mako is distrustful of Korra’s motives due to her feelings for him. It was a bit of a leap for him to make that assumption. After all, even though Korra admitted her feelings for him, she has never done anything to raise suspicion on her integrity and honesty. She deserved a little more patience from Mako. Asami’s reaction betrayed some anti-bending sentiment, while her father was more careful with his words. Even if Asami was unaware of her tone, it’s clear that at home, she has heard some anti-bending speeches from her dad, and that translated into her anger at the metal-bending police.

Eventually the police, along with Korra and Tenzin, are led to a secret underground factory under the mansion. From here, the episode had a very Metal Gear Solid vibe. From a giant service elevator to the team facing off against mass produced metal gear like mechs (made out of unbendable platinum), the episode takes a very dark tone. There are some great action pieces at this point; Lin bending the metal into spikes and going into berserker mode like Wolverine on one of the mechs, Tenzing created a ring of air to fast travel on the floor while finally seeing some quality air-bending was long overdue and the overwhelming abilities of the mechs taking out all their opponents with electricity and force. 
The only person missing here is Solid Snake.
Unfortunately, the good guys get caught and tied up, so Mako and Bolin make their way down to try and save the day, which goes about as smoothly as you would expect. Just when they are about to be caught, Asami shows up to confront her dad. Its here we get the reason behind Hiroshi’s “madness”; his wife was killed by a fire-bender. Loving your parents or children are easy (hopefully). You don’t get to choose who your parents or children are, so it’s somewhat unconditional. But meeting someone, falling in love with them, planning on spending the rest of your life together with them, staring a life together, only to have that person taken away from you would drive anyone mad (just ask Ra’s al Ghul). I really sympathized with Hiroshi over his motives; he lost the love of his life! Further, there really seems to be a theme with fire-benders killing people on this show; Mako/Bolin's and Amon's parents, and now Asami's mom too. It's amazing that fire-benders didn't learn anything since the 100 years war, or maybe they are just predisposed to violence. I’m finding it hard to define the Equalists as traditional villains.
Asami being tempted to the dark side.
With Asami taking her father and the Lieutenant out (with some swift martial arts), team Avatar make their retreat. Back in the airship licking their wounds, Lin decides that it’s time to quit the police force and become a vigilante. Mako, Bolin, Asami and Pabu are to move into Air Temple Island, and the core team finally receives their fourth member. I'm really looking forward to future episodes with Lin living like a vigilante. It's clear that the show makers are Batman fans, and this could be awesome, especially if Toph comes back to play Robin (one can only hope)! There was some great fan service with Cabbage Corp (not my Cabbage Corp) and a statue of good old cabbage man triumphantly holding up a cabbage, and the brief action was some of the best in the series thus far. The music was once again top notch (subtle yet powerful), and the animation was very smooth. This was another great episode.
Metal... Gear!

Posted by Dogfish. 

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