Sunday, June 17, 2012

The Legend of Korra – The Empire Strikes Ba… I mean Turning the Tides

A lot continued to go wrong for the good guys this episode, with the remaining council members and metal bending police taken out of the picture in the opening minutes. Team Avatar had to save Tenzin, and Naga had a short lived action moment. Asami tried confronting Mako about his feelings for Korra, but he avoided answering her concerns. He should show both Asami and Korra a little more respect, they both deserve to know where they stand so they can get on with their lives. The White Lotus even showed up again, and true to their cause, they sacrificed themselves for the Avatar. 

This gave room for the air-benders to shine. Tenzin has not had enough chances to flex his muscles this series, but when he has, it’s always been fun to see his take on some of Aang’s moves. When the Equalists came to take him, he took them out with style and held is own against insurmountable odds when surrounded by Metal Gears. But he wasn’t the only air-bender this episode; his kids got to have some fun too. They showed the skill, determination, and fearlessness that kids genuinely excel at. Clearly they know there is trouble, but probably not what’s at stake, which allows them to go into battle throwing caution to the wind to protect their “dad’s ex-girlfriend”. Jinora, Ikki and Meelo did well, each having a very different style of bending. Jinora kept her distance with a strong blast, Ikki got up close, and Meelo was all over the place with well placed fart-bending. It’s interesting to see that these third generation air-benders have each developed their own unique style.
Tenzin and his kids about to show us what air-benders are capable of
And now for the elephant in the room; the fall of BatLin. Lin went out this episode exactly as I would expect a Beifong to go out, kicking more ass than most people and refusing to cooperate with the enemy. She weaved her way around the enemy taking them out until she was backed into a corner, only taking the aid of Tenzin’s kids as a last resort. Then, Lin made her final sacrifice and charged down two airships to help Tenzin and his family get away. The stakes were high; we knew what will happen to Lin once captured, and I genuinely feared for her. 
Battered, but not yet beaten
The final shot of her bound in front of Amon was difficult to see. It was even harder to watch when he took away her bending. In just a short few episodes, I’ve really come to like Lin. Toph was my favorite character from the last series, and we had two full seasons to get to know her. Lin has not had that luxury of time, but from what little we saw, her character shown through, and I hope there is more to come. And I agree with Meelo, she’s my hero too, not the one Tenzin deserved, but the one he needed. Her courage better be rewarded.
This Dark Knight shall rise once again
Other than that, there wasn’t any scene this episode that was there just for fan service. Everything served a purpose. From the call to the United Forces, to Tenzin’s new boy Rohan, to the final, huge reveal, there wasn’t a wasted second. And what a reveal! When I heard that Dante Basco was returning to the show, I assumed it was to voice Zuko. But the final shot, with the United Forces navy advancing to the city’s aid wet the appetite. What took me overboard was hearing the words General Iroh once again, and this time a General Iroh (Zuko's grandson?) voiced by Dante. It might take a while for me to get used to hearing Zuko’s voice coming out of someone who isn’t Zuko, but I’m stoked. Dante can bring the heat in terms of voice acting, so I can’t wait for more. 
Ever since Iroh went to jail he's been looking better and better
But this introduction did more than just tickle my nostalgia bone, it reminded me that this is a huge world, and that there are many other people who populate it, and who knows just how powerful they are. So I have a warning for you Amon. A General Iroh is coming, are you ready? This was another great episode.

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