Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Legend of Korra – Skeletons in the Closet

What a show. There were a lot of questions that needed to be answered, and we were not disappointed. At times this miniseries felt rushed, with an abundance of missed opportunities for stories focusing more on side characters, but it did help focus the show on Korra and Amon, making it a very well told and personal affair. This story was nicely wrapped up in this two part final, starting with General Iroh’s assault on Republic City.

While Team Avatar (living underground with the Tramp from the series premier) is conducting recon around the harbor, they see the United Forces sailing into a trap. For a man awarded the titles of not only General, but also Iroh, I expected more. No general will send his entire fleet into the harbor of hostile territory at once. Usually a smaller reconnaissance ship is sent into enemy territory to find mines and determine threats. Iroh lost most of his fleet in the opening minutes due to this glaring blunder, However, I might be a little too harsh; he did take out three planes single handedly, and it was a beautifully choreographed naval/aerial battle.
It's a trap!
Inevitably, Iroh is saved by Korra and the two regroup with the rest of the team to plan. It was surprising to see this huge fleet reduced to just one member. Sure they had Aang’s oldest boy Bumi and his fleet waiting in the wings, but why did they make the effort of showing the rest of Iroh’s fleet in the first place if they were to be taken out in the opening minutes. I’m sure the remaining soldiers were up to something, but we never saw any of what they did. It feels like a missed opportunity as we didn’t get to see a full scale battle within Republic City. 

Once the Team calls for Bumi’s help, they split up into two groups; Korra & Mako; Iroh, Bolin & Asami; each going to their individual destinations to complete their missions. Korra and Mako go to Air Temple Island to bring the fight directly to Amon. Making their way to the attic to wait for Amon’s return, Korra and Mako stumble upon Tarrlok locked away, and it’s here the former blood-bender steals the show by revealing Amon’s true identity as Noatak, the oldest son of Yakone. Yakone’s shadow has loomed over this series since we first heard whispers of his name mentioned by Tarrlok episodes ago. His battle for control of Republic City against Aang was well known among the citizens, but remained mostly unknown to Korra. This battle, it turns out, spilled over to the next generation. 
Yakone equipped with a new face
As children, Noatak and Tarrlok seemed close, and even though Noatak was clearly more talented than Tarrlok (much like Azula and Zuko), there was no animosity between the two. Any wedge that arouse between the brothers was due to Yakone. One can only imagine the hatred and venom that Yakone would have spewed about the Avatar and the people of Republic City, and clearly this fueled the two brothers to make the decisions they made. Almost chained to their fate, the two put Republic City in their sights; one through politics, and the other through revolution. It also explains why Amon went out of his way to put Tarrlok in his paddy wagon while letting the Lieutenant deal with the Avatar in the episode “Out of the Past”. Clearly he still cared for his little brother but was not going to let him get in his way. But the huge difference between the two was not just talent, but when Noatak blood-bending Tarrlok. Tarrlok knew what it felt like to be blood-bended, and he hated it. If Noatak had experienced the same sensation, he might have not gone down the path he chose. If given the chance, these two kids could have accomplished anything, but Yakone ruined them, proving to be Korra’s true villain even after his death. 
These two were never given a chance
The music and animation continued to be beautiful. Clancy Brown (of Lex Luther fame) did a great job voicing Yakone, as did Dee Baker with Tarrlok. I need to take a break to watch the Euros (England Vs. Italy!), so part two of the review to follow shortly.

No comments:

Post a Comment