The Legend of Korra Continues: Season Finale Review!

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finale

It’s over folks; Book Two is complete. And goodness, was it an epic finale.

The episode starts with Vaatu escaping from his prison. Korra, intelligently, air bends Unalaq out of the spirit world and back to the human world through the spirit portal. She sends Mako and Bolin to hold him off while she fights Vaatu. She almost has Vaatu imprisoned again when Unalaq manages to break through the brothers’ defenses, with the help of his own children.

Vaatu and Unalaq merge, becoming the dark avatar. An epic battle ensues between Korra and Unalaq. (Side note: I love the fact that Unalaq only water and spirit bends. To me, that totally makes sense, because even though he’s an avatar, he still would need to train to use the other three elements) Unalaq bests Korra, throws her down into a rift of ice, and starts crushing her. Korra connects with Raava, who tells her the fight isn’t over and, reinvigorated, she breaks out of the ice.

Meanwhile, Mako and Bolin are imprisoned in blocks of ice, being watched over by the twins. Mako first tries reasoning with Desna, who starts to come around. But Eska cuts him off, and encourages him to stay true to their father, at which point Bolin bursts into tears and tells Eska he loves her, and that he wishes the world wasn’t about to end so that they could give it another chance. Eska kisses him, (haha, the spit trail!) releasing them both from their prisons (AWWW!). The brothers run to the fight, and Mako compliments Bolin on his acting, to which Bolin half-heartedly agrees. Aw, how cute is that?! He really actually likes her!

bolineska

Both of them get to the fight, but not until after Unalaq has managed to rip Raava out of Korra and destroy the spirit of light. Each time he chips away at Raava, Korra sees more and more of the previous Avatars being erased. Bolin and Mako try to fight Unalaq, but are completely defeated. Unalaq turns into a giant monster, somehow manages to teleport to Republic City, and he wreaks havoc.

The other half of the episode until now was full of Tenzin and his siblings trying to find Tenzin’s daughter. They get lost, and Iroh turns up to advise them. The three of them manage to get themselves taken to the mist of lost souls, which is a spirit prison for lost humans. The mist is actually a spirit who imprisons people by causing them to get stuck in their darkest thoughts, and therefore lose themselves (which is a pretty cool concept!).

Both his siblings succumb quickly to the spirit, and so does Tenzin. But thankfully, Tenzin realizes who he is and breaks free, enabling him to save his daughter, brother, and sister. As they’re walking away from the mist, Jinora senses that Unalaq has won, and leaves to go help the world.

jinora

Once they are out, they find Mako, Bolin, and Korra badly injured. Tenzin’s sister is a healer, and she puts them in spirit water to heal them. They all wake up and Korra tells everyone that Raava is dead and that she’s the last Avatar. Tenzin steps up to comfort her, and (for once) he gives her awesome advice. He tells her that she needs to connect with who she is, and that Raava did not define her. He takes her to the tree of memory, and she sits to meditate.

She connects with herself, and remembers Wan asking Raava why the dark and light hadn’t killed each other. Raava tells him that neither can be destroyed. Korra connects with her spirit, which then walks out of her body and becomes a giant spirit version of herself. She travels to Republic City just like Unalaq did, and fights him.

darkavatar

So Jaeger Korra has an epic battle with Kaiju Unalaq, during which Unalaq bests Korra (again). The only thing that saves spirit Jaeger Korra from being obliterated is Jinora. Jinora shows up right at the last moment and shows Korra the light inside the dark, Raava inside Vaatu.

Korra breaks free and manages to bend Kaiju Unalaq out of existence. Raava and Korra hurry back to the spirit world and fuse once more. Korra returns to her body (right before the hordes of dark spirits were ready to tear her to pieces). Unfortunately, her connection to the past Avatars is broken. Despite this, Korra makes the decision to leave the spirit portals open so that spirits and humans can live together again, which I think is the right decision. In the end, Korra and Mako break up for good, and so do Bolin and Eska. Not sure where Asami stands in all of this though…

I definitely enjoyed the episode, even if some parts were a little repetitive. Every fight that Korra had, she lost first, then rallied, and then lost again. Until the last fight, that is. I really enjoyed the comedic aspects of the episode and the mist prison; I thought that idea was super cool. I also liked how both couples mutually realized that they didn’t work and broke up, which is a very wise thing to do. I also appreciate that Korra is making thoughtful decisions and that she realized she’s a person outside of being the Avatar. All-in-all, definitely enjoyable!

Score: A-

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The Legend of Korra Continues: Episode 11 Review

Need to catch up? Here’s all of my previous reviews!

harmonic

In the beginning of this hour-long episode, we switch back to Mako, Bolin, and Asami’s storyline. Bolin is getting ready for his big premiere of the final movie, and he goes to give Mako a poster. Oh yeah, Mako’s still in jail, which sucks. Mako again tries to warn Bolin that Varrick is up to no good, but Bolin refuses to listen. Also, Asami doesn’t even visit Mako, because it’s too painful and reminds her of her father. Really? That’s a piss-poor excuse! Bad move, wannabe girlfriend.

Anyway, Bolin and Asami are at the premiere when Bolin gets sad and goes outside, where he notices a boat anchored where it shouldn’t be. He goes inside and finds the horrible detectives all tied up. They tell him that the intruders are going after the president. Bolin saves the president and does a fantastic job bending the crap out of the guys in the arena. It’s pretty awesome. While he has one of the men down for the count, he demands to know who sent him, and the guy says it was Varrick (duh). So chief Beifong arrests Varrick and clears Mako’s name, which is also awesome.

mover

Korra shows up and asks the president for help against the harmonic convergence and Unalaq, but the president says no (what an ass!). Then, when Mako is getting out of jail, Korra grabs him and kisses him, which makes Asami super pissed and surprises Mako. Mako asks if Korra is still mad at him, and she doesn’t even remember being mad at him, because of that whole spirit thing. I personally don’t know why Mako is so embarrassed and confused. It’s not like he was actually dating Asami. She kissed him! And he totally ran away from that. Besides, Asami didn’t even listen to him or think he was innocent of those crimes. What the hell? Regardless, it’s silly, and the faces everyone makes are pretty funny.

Because they don’t have the president’s help, they go to Varrick, who gives them his warship. They use that to get to the southern spirit portal, which is heavily guarded. What I don’t understand is why they didn’t go to the northern spirit portal. That one probably wouldn’t have been guarded, and it would have taken them to the same place! But whatever.

Korra and crew try an aerial assault, but everyone gets captured except Bumi. Bumi manages to get inside the encampment, steal a mech, rile up the spirits, destroy everything, and save everyone. Yay, Bumi! Finally getting his due! Take that, Tenzin!

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The group goes through the portal and immediately fight Unalaq. Korra sends Tenzin to go find Jinora, and Mako and Bolin fight Unalaq. Korra attempts to close the portal, but she doesn’t manage it in time. Harmonic convergence sweeps the globe, and Vaatu is released. In the special hour-long finale, Korra will have to fight Unalaq and Vaatu, who will join together as one and create a dark avatar. Yikes.

unalaq

This was definitely a fun episode to watch. There’s a ton of fun action, some silly romance problems, and there’s nothing like a life or death situation to really ratchet up the tension. Like I said, not sure why they didn’t just go to the northern spirit portal…I’m sure it would have been a lot easier to enter there, and they would have wasted less time.

Also, you’d think there’d be more weapons on Varrick’s battleship than just a plane and some bombs. And if you’re a water and ice bender, why not just tunnel beneath the ground, bypass all of the protections, and just put the opening right at the spirit portal? Then everyone could have entered without Unalaq and his guards even noticing. But then I guess we wouldn’t have had that ridiculous battle scene with Bolin hanging off of a plane throwing bombs at people.

So all-in-all, enjoyable, even if the plot had a few common sense holes in it.

Score: B+

New episodes air Fridays at 8 pm EST.

The Legend of Korra Continues: Episode 10 Review

Not totally sure what The Legend of Korra is? Check out my other reviews!

tenzinandkorra

We begin this episode with Korra and Jinora travelling into the spirit world. The art is super-beautiful, as are the spirit creatures. The transition between dark and light is smooth and well-done. I love how some of the same elements are preserved in the transformation; it’s a nice representation of how every creature has dark and light within them.

Back to the plot: Korra gets upset and they get separated. Jinora finds her butterfly-bunny, who helps her get to the great spirit library (which, if you’ve seen Avatar the Last Airbender, you’ll totally recognize this place). Within the spirit library, she meets the owl spirit and convinces him to let her look around the books so that she can find a map to the spirit portals. In a twist that I didn’t see coming, Unalaq is actually working with the guardian of the library, and he comes and captures Jinora.

jinora

Meanwhile, back with Korra, she gets dropped into a scary forest. She gets so scared that she regresses to child Korra. This is a really interesting choice for the creators. I’m not quite sure why they made this choice, but perhaps it shows how much Korra still needs to grow into being the Avatar? She hasn’t really finished her training, and she still doesn’t seem to have that peace and balance that Avatars represent.

While a child, Korra is petulant and terrified. When she thinks a bird attacks her, she hits it and injures the bird, which lies there pitifully. Korra sees how cute and harmless the bird actually is, and apologizes. She picks it up to try to help it in some way, but before she can go anywhere, the spirit of Iroh appears. (Yes! Love Iroh!) He brings her back to his home, where he is entertaining spirits for a wedding party.

On a side note, the bird’s injury was really cool looking. It looked like pieces of the bird’s spirit were missing. The holes glittered and glimmered, and it was a really cool effect. Anyway, back to the main plot…

Korra is there and enjoys herself, but then she gets super petulant and screams out that she wants Jinora now (stamps foot) and that she hates it here. This brings darkness over the land, and the spirits change into their darker natures. Iroh makes Korra see what her negativity and anger is doing to the spirits, and he manages to calm her down. He sends her on a mission to return the injured bird to its home, which is covered by darkness.

Though she doesn’t want to, Korra goes alone. She taps into her heart, love, and light and manages to convert the dark spirits who block her way to light spirits. When she puts the bird back in its nest, it combines with its brethren to become a giant light spirit. They fly to the spirit portals, where Korra begins to close the first one.

unalaq

Unalaq is there, and he has Jinora. Because Korra and Jinora entered the spirit world as spirits, this means Unalaq can bend them, and they can’t bend back. He threatens to kill Jinora’s soul if Korra doesn’t open the second portal. Even though Jinora tells her not to, Korra opens the second portal, placing the whole world at risk.

Unalaq goes back on his word (duh) and doesn’t release Jinora. Instead, he captures Korra and beings to bend her out of existence. She’s saved by the bird spirit and is transported back to her body, but Jinora is still trapped in the spirit world. Tenzin understandably freaks out, and Korra is devastated.

At the end of the episode, I had a realization. Why did Korra even need to close the first portal? I know that Unalaq was causing havoc with the open portal, but if Vaatu can’t escape unless BOTH portals are open, why would you need to close the first one? Couldn’t Korra have just waited until the day after the harmonic convergence to close the first portal? If she hadn’t gone (pretty much defenseless) to the spirit world to try to close the first one (which didn’t really need to be closed), then the second one wouldn’t have been opened. Right?

Anyway, the episode was interesting and the art was beautiful. Let me know what you think about the story so far. Also, what do you think the writers were trying to say by turning Korra into a child during this episode?

Score: B+

New episodes air Fridays at 8 pm, EST.

The Legend of Korra Continues: Episode 9 Review

Not sure what The Legend of Korra is? Check out my other reviews!

THE LEGEND OF KORRA

This episode was just meh. It was a lot of build up in regards to Korra. She FINALLY goes to Tenzin for help, and they basically spend the whole episode trying to get into the spirit world. Predictably, Tenzin can’t get into the spirit world, and it’s in fact his daughter who needs to be Korra’s guide. (Also, totally got to that scene in the opening where Korra bends evil spirits into good) Though I will say, I did appreciate that Korra admits she was wrong and asks for help. That’s a step forward for her.

tenzinandkorra

We also see at the end that Unalaq is totally working with the dark spirit (no duh) and that he’s not having any luck opening the other spirit portal. Oh, and in true villain fashion, he doesn’t care at all when his kids get hurt; he just wants what he wants.

Also, Mako, like an idiot, totally goes to his friends Asami and Bolin and tells them his suspicions about Varrick while they are all standing in Varrick’s studio. What the hell? How could Mako think that Varrick wouldn’t have people listening and watching everything that everyone does?! I mean, really.

mako

I was actually a little surprised that Asami didn’t see that Varrick basically owns her company now, and isn’t her partner. I thought she was smarter than that. I mean, it makes sense why Bolin doesn’t want to listen to Mako’s suspicions. Bolin has always been second fiddle to Mako, and now he’s finally getting to be a star. So, of course, he’s not going to want to think ill of Varrick, the guy who made him a star. But Asami? Really?

Predictably, Varrick brings in Mako and threatens the safety of Asami and Bolin. He basically says that if Mako doesn’t join his “security force,” then who knows what could happen to Asami and Bolin. Mako, again being a bit of an idiot, doesn’t quite get the implications of what Varrick is saying, says no, and storms out.

varrick

Varrick promptly sets up Mako to take the fall for stealing Asami’s goods – and Asami is in doubt about Mako’s innocence! What the hell? Haven’t they known each other for a long time? Is Varrick slipping everyone drugs? And why does Chief Bei Fong believe these horrible things about Mako? Also, it’s totally obvious that those two cops are actually the dirty ones. God, be more obvious.

So yeah, all-in-all, the episode was pretty meh for me – just a little annoying and kind of dumbed-down. I hope the next one is more action-packed and less dumb.

Score: C+

New episodes air Fridays at 8 pm, EST.

The Legend of Korra Double Whammy: Episodes 7 and 8 Review

Clueless about what The Legend of Korra is? Check out my other episode reviews!

oasis

These two episodes are aptly named Beginnings Part 1 and 2. Why, you ask? Because we get to see the Avatar’s origin story. Which is awesome, by the way. Also awesome is the amazingly beautiful art style these two episodes have. It’s like a beautiful inky water color, which you can see in the picture above. Stunning.

The episode starts with Korra being taken into the center of a temple on an island. She is lowered down into the water below the temple, because the wise woman says that Korra is corrupted by dark spirits. In order for her to regain herself, she has to connect with the spirit of the Avatar. (Side note: isn’t it convenient that Korra ended up on the random island that just happened to have a cleansing temple in it? Just saying.)

Enter Wan. A nice-looking guy who promises to show her how he became the first Avatar.

wan

Wan’s world was a very different place than the one Korra lives in now. He lived in a city on the back of a mighty turtle-lion. Spirits roam the earth, but do not come into the city. Wan’s turtle-lion controls the element of fire, which it bestows on its humans when they go into the forest in search of food. The fire is necessary to protect them from the spirits that lurk in the woods, but it’s forbidden to take the power of fire back into the city.

Wan is a peasant, living on scraps. He tricks everyone and manages to get the power of fire, take it back into the city, and start a rebellion against those in power. He is caught and banished. But the turtle-lion allows Wan to retain his power of fire, so that he can survive in the wild.

Wan battles spirits and is run ragged, when he chances upon an oasis. The spirit in charge throws him out, but informs Wan that there are other turtle-lions with humans on their backs. So he sets out to find them. On the way, he spots a trapped cat-deer (man, the animals in this show are super-weird!), and pledges to free it instead of eating it. But in order to save the cat-deer, he has to battle humans from his city. The hunters best him, but the spirit in control of the oasis saves him, and allows him to come back and learn from them.

catdeer

After a year, Wan sets out again to find other humans. On the way, he sees two giant spirits fighting, one dark and one light. The dark one plays upon Wan’s sympathy, and Wan frees him. Which is bad. It turns out that this is Vaatu, the spirit of darkness and chaos, and Wan just released it into the world.

To cut a long story short, Raava (the spirit of light and peace) and Wan join forces and go from turtle-lion to turtle-lion and collect the four elements: earth, air, fire, and water. Wan trains to use all of them in order to help Raava best Vaatu again. Their fight will happen during the convergence, which occurs every 10,000 years. If Vaatu wins, the earth will be covered in darkness and destroyed.

So why does a hugely powerful light spirit need help? Because every time Vaatu corrupts a spirit, Raava becomes weaker and Vaatu becomes stronger. In the end, the only way Raava wins is through combining with Wan, and they become the Avatar together. Wan, the first Avatar, imprisons Vaatu in an ancient tree and closes the portals to the spirit world, forever trapping the dark spirit there.

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The spirits in the human world go back to their own world, and so do the turtle-lions, which is how the world became like the one Korra knows now. But it’s not just rainbows and unicorns. The world is still beset by the darkness all humans carry within them. Wan is not able to bring about total peace, just help balance the world. This is what being the Avatar is all about.

Korra wakes up and remembers who she is, and now we as the audience know that, oh shit, if she doesn’t close the portal to the spirit world, Vaatu will come through and perhaps win. And oh man, the harmonic convergence is super soon. Her healers give her an air bison and she takes off, hopefully to close the portal.

These two episodes were awesome. Beautiful art, beautiful story, and beautiful writing. It was so cool to get to see how it all began. The way things worked was so different in Wan’s time. The whole story felt like an ancient myth; it reminded me of the different creation stories of our own world. I mean, he stole fire and their cities were on the back of a gigantic turtle! Epic! Also, before now, we had no idea what the Avatar was an avatar of. Now we know i’is Raava, the spirit of light and peace. Hopefully, this story will help Korra see that her job is more than just worrying about and protecting her family and her loved ones. Her job is to literally stop the darkness from taking over and destroying the world.

There are four more episodes left in the series, and I’m super excited about them now. I really hope that Korra will come into her own and start acting like the Avatar and not like a spoiled teenager who wants to get her way. I also think we’ll see Mako come into his own when he proves that Varrick is behind the bombings. Who knows, maybe we’ll even see more of Tenzin and his adorable family!

Score: A

New episodes air Fridays at 8:30pm, EST.

Now on to watch Full House, which for some reason airs after The Legend of Korra. Man look at how cute and tiny the Olsen twins are! *drifts off into nostalgia*

The Legend of Korra Continues: Episode 6 Review

Need to catch up? Here’s where you can find all of my other The Legend of Korra Continues reviews!

THE LEGEND OF KORRA

To refresh everyone’s memories, the last episode ended with Korra being eaten by a giant, angry spirit. So that’s bad.

The most interesting thing about the episode was that there was almost no Korra. It was definitely interesting to get an episode about someone other than Korra. Basically, the whole episode was centered on following Mako in his quest to figure out who the hell attacked the Southern Water Tribe cultural building, and who’s attacking Varrick’s ships. The horrible thing about Varrick’s ships being stolen is that the items on the ships are all Asami’s company’s goods. As a result, her company is now on the verge of going under.

Because of testimony given by one of the people on the ships getting hijacked, Mako believes the bombing and the piracy are related. The sailor specifically said that the bombs used on the ship were odd, and seemed like they were remotely detonated. This is exactly how the bombs at the Southern Water Tribe cultural building were set off.

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So Mako concocts a plan to ambush the pirates. He and Asami take out a ship, with the help of a criminal organization, and wait. But Mako overhears the criminals saying they just have to distract him a little longer. Asami and Mako race back to shore, to find that all of the rest of Asami’s goods have been stolen.

Dejected, Asami says she’s given up. But Mako refuses to give up. Aaaand then she kisses him. SCANDAL! Mako’s face was priceless after that. He pretty much just said, “Um. Yeah. I gotta go.”

asami

He leaves her to go talk to Bolin, who has been staring in the war “movers” Varrick’s been making. Bolin pretty much ignores Mako, because Bolin’s head is getting really swollen by being a “star” in a “mover.” But while Mako is there, he watches a scene requiring explosions.

Explosions set off by the same remote detonator! Bum bum BUM! It’s Varrick! He’s the man trying to force a war for his own ends, and he’s attempting to take over Asami’s company! What a scallywag! Mako rushes to Asami’s place, but she’s already signed over the majority of her company to Varrick, basically meaning he’ll make all of the profits.

So obviously, Mako will have his hands full trying to prove it’s Varrick behind all of the bombings, especially because Beifong is annoyed at his attempts to be a detective. But this is great for him! He’s obviously still upset about breaking up with Korra, but I think it’s great that he’s concentrating on his career and doing the right thing. I know he’ll bring Varrick to justice!

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Now for the other parts of the show. There were a couple of minutes revolving around Unalaq and his kids. In the scene, you see Unalaq coming out of the spirit world, demanding to know where Korra is. The twins tell him Korra is dead (which of course, as the audience, we know she’s not. I mean, the show is named after her!), and they tell him the spirits are out of control. He looks annoyed. It’s probably a good thing that he thinks Korra is dead, and it’s interesting that he can go into the spirit world. Other than that, there wasn’t anything too interesting about that part.

On to the ending of the episode, the only part with Korra in it. The ending shows her washed up and disheveled on a sandy beach. Three monks surround her, and she lashes out at them in fear, stumbling woozily. The monks assure her that they are only there to help her, and she responds in confusion. She’s completely forgotten who she is. Bum bum BUM!

I actually think her amnesia will probably turn out to be a good thing for her. Perhaps she’ll forget all of her arrogance and stubbornness too, and grow up a little bit! Again, I am cautiously optimistic about the next episode.

Score: A-

New episodes air Fridays at 7pm, EST.

The Legend of Korra Continues: Episode 5 Review

If you haven’t seen the first four episodes, you can go read my reviews of those! Here’s the link to the two-episode premiere, episode three, and episode four.

THE LEGEND OF KORRA

To start off, I wasn’t the most impressed with this episode. It felt like Korra really took a step back into being an impulsive, hard-headed person who didn’t listen to advice or counsel and just wanted to get her way. I understand she thinks she’s right, but she’s just barreling into this whole civil war without stopping to think.

The episode starts off with her in the capitol. She’s there to ask the president to send troops to help the Southern Water Tribe. But first, she leads a march of the Southerners who are asking for peace. Once they get to the Southern Water Tribe cultural building, a bomb goes off.

Mako sees the people who did it running away from the building. He observes that they are actually fire benders and not water benders at all. Korra doesn’t listen to him, and immediately assumes that the people responsible are the Northern Water Tribe. Mako isn’t convinced, and eventually makes a positive ID of the suspect who was fleeing. But the two cops above him don’t lead any credence to his evidence, and basically also assume it’s the Northerners.

To me, this again shows how Korra is absolutely taking a step back. Unlike in the past two episodes where she listened and gathered all the evidence before making a decision on how to act, in this episode she refuses to listen to Mako, who is trying to talk to her and present evidence that is contrary to her assumptions. In classic Korra fashion, she barges on, refusing to stop and think about her actions.

THE LEGEND OF KORRA

She goes to the president to ask for help, and predictably, the president really doesn’t want to send his troops to the south. Korra blows up at him and storms out. Varrick comes up with the idea that Korra should go behind the president’s back and try to get the army to go without official support.

I really don’t understand how she can think this is a good idea. She is verging on treason to try to use the capitol’s troops without the president’s permission and official order. Furthermore, once Mako hears about the idea, he exclaims about how bad it is to Bolin. Conveniently, the president sees him that day and asks him directly if Korra is planning something. Mako caves and tells him, which I honestly think was the right thing to do, and the president is able to stop Korra from convincing the general to help her.

She figures out that it was Mako who told the president, and she storms into his work, breaking his desk and yelling. Again, she is unwilling to actually talk about anything, and only yells that he betrayed her. She refuses to see it from his point of view, which is horrible. Her unreasonable attitude forces Mako to break up with her.

Again, I think Mako makes the right decision here. His job and doing the right thing is important to him. I predict that he will actually find the people responsible for the bombing, and I think he’ll probably uncover some kind of conspiracy related to that. On a relationship level, if your partner does not support the things that are important to you, then they probably aren’t the best fit for you. Korra was making their relationship all about her and her problems, which is completely not fair to him. To his credit, he was trying to help her, but when he refused to go along with Korra just because she said so, she got angry.

korra cast

At the end of the episode the twins, Eska and Desna, are chasing Korra to attempt to capture her. It turns out that Unalaq lied to her when he said he didn’t need her to open the spirit portal. So he sent his children to go catch her and bring her back. Korra was on her way to the fire nation to ask for their support when the twins catch up to her. There is a brief bending battle, when a gigantic spirit shows up. Korra spirit bends, but the creature resists. That makes me think the spirit is being controlled by Unalaq. Maybe he was controlling them the whole time, which is why they attacked the festival and the boats. The spirit overcomes her bending and devours her. Cliffhanger!

It was definitely a ‘meh’ episode for me. I really didn’t like Korra’s attitude, and I didn’t like the stuff at the air temples. It was all about Tenzin’s child training the lemurs. Sure, it was cute, but it didn’t really seem to matter much. Another thing I don’t understand is why Korra hasn’t gone to Tenzin for help. After all, he was her trainer. It’s a little unbelievable that the thought hasn’t even crossed her mind. And why didn’t she explain the situation to chief Beifong? I felt like this whole episode was about her being stubborn and making dumb decisions, hence why I’m frustrated with it.

I’ll definitely watch the next one, but I hope that Korra stops punching her way through situations. It’s getting annoying.

Score: B-

New episodes air Fridays at 7pm, EST.

The Legend of Korra Continues: Episode 4 Review

If you haven’t seen the first three episodes, check out my reviews for those! Here’s the two-episode premiere, and here’s episode three.

THE LEGEND OF KORRA

This episode started with a bang. Avatar Korra’s father and mother are immediately arrested by her uncle, Unalaq. Korra pleads with her uncle and assures him that her parents are innocent. Instead of listening to the Avatar (like people should start doing), he says Korra must leave it up to a trial. After all, her father did host a meeting of the rebels.

Like everything else Unalaq has done, my hackles rose in suspicion. I mean, yes, her father hosted a discussion, just like any good leader should do! They talked about rebellion, but her father never said yes to it. Instead, he encouraged Korra to attempt to find a middle ground and go talk to her uncle. Understandably, my suspicion of Unalaq has grown from episode one. I don’t trust him, and I think he’s up to something.

The trial plays out, and the judge finds her mother innocent and her father and the rest of the men guilty. The surprise comes when the judge sentences all of them to death. Korra flies into a rage and threatens the judge’s life. Unalaq steps in and asks the judge for clemency. The judge grants it, and sentences the men to life in prison instead. Even though Unalaq stepped into help, I still don’t trust his motivations. Who knows, maybe he set this whole thing up! For that matter, I think he set up Korra’s father to be banished too – and maybe he’s calling the spirits to attack the tribes!

THE LEGEND OF KORRA

Meanwhile, back in the air temple, Tenzin finds his daughter around a table with sky bison babies having a tea party. She says a prayer and is thankful her brother and sister aren’t there, because they’re mean. Instead of dragging her home, Tenzin asks if he can join the party. They are both happy to be away from the stress of family problems. But as times goes on, they realize that both the adult siblings and the child siblings really aren’t that bad. Tenzin’s daughter expresses her thought that maybe even though no family is perfect, they’re always there for you. Tenzin agrees and they rejoin their family, apologizing and receiving apologies in return.

I loved this whole arc. Like I said in my previous article, I could tell exactly what message the creators are trying to send. It was cute and touching. I was happy for a little break in the drama-filled Korra storyline. It was really nice to see Tenzin soften up and express love to his family and his children. Oh, and we got to see a photo of Ang as a father! Woo, Ang grew up well, if you know what I mean! Tenzin definitely takes after him.

Going back to Korra’s problems, she corners the judge, who tells her that Unalaq set the whole thing up (just as I suspected!). It turns out that no-good Unalaq actually did set up Korra’s father to be kicked out of the Northern Water Tribe. Damn him!

Korra goes immediately to her friends and the merchant Varrick. They plan together to break the rebels and her father out of prison, even though she promised her father she wouldn’t do anything rash. They find Unalaq at the prison, who reveals he sent the rebels out on a boat to the Northern Water Tribe to serve their sentence there. Korra puts some hurt on Unalaq via bending, and they rush out on Varrick’s boat to save her father. With some more fancy bending, Korra rescues everyone. Once she’s explained to her father what’s going on, he encourages her to go get help from the central government.

THE LEGEND OF KORRA

It was fun to see some awesome bending, and I do like how all of Korra’s fights end with no one majorly hurt or dead. I think that again shows how seriously she is starting to take her responsibility as the Avatar. The fact no one really dies could just be because it’s a kids’ show, but I like to think it’s Korra specifically using bending in a way that doesn’t kill, but only detains, her foes. I think her next move should be to go get Tenzin and have him help her convince the government to aid them.

I am curious, though, about the spirits. We haven’t dealt with them in the last couple of episodes. From the intro to the show, you can tell that Korra does learn how to spirit bend, so I’m definitely looking forward to see how that plays out. I’m also worried that Unalaq is controlling the spirits and encouraging them to attack.

On a side note, Bolin’s relationship hasn’t gotten any better with the creepy water tribe twin. He takes Asami’s advice this time to just be honest with her and tell her how he really feels (pretty good advice!). But when he does, Eska freaks out and says they must marry each other. Yep, this girl is definitely crazy. At the end of the show, Eska shows up, her makeup streaming down her face, chasing the boat they have all escaped on – so who knows how that will turn out. I enjoyed their relationship a little more this time, but again, I think it’s a little heavy-handed and not that funny. It’s also interesting to see the different advice he’s gotten from people; the advice they give shows a lot about their character. For instance, Varrick tells him to just lie big and then get the hell out of there. Not someone I’d want to get on the bad side of, or necessarily have as my friend.

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All-in-all, I definitely enjoyed this episode. Things are about the get a lot more complicated, and I predict that Korra will need to learn spirit bending before this mess can be fixed. I’m happy with how Korra’s character is developing. She is starting to gather evidence and consider her options before acting, which is awesome. She’s making her own decisions, and I think, so far, they are good ones. But she’s still willing to listen to advice, and if it’s sound, she accepts it and changes her plans. For instance, she wanted to stay and fight with her father, but instead she took his advice and is now going to the government for help, which is probably a good idea.

Can I watch the next episode yet?

Score: A

New episodes air Fridays at 7pm, EST.

The Legend of Korra Continues: Episode 3 Review

THE LEGEND OF KORRA

Last week I reviewed the extra long premiere that combined episode one and two, which you can find here if you haven’t read. If you aren’t sure what the show is, or want a description of the world and last season, check my first review out.

Episode three starts off immediately where the last one left off: with her uncle Unalaq, chief of the Northern Water Tribe, landing his troops in Southern Water Tribe land. He says his intent is for Avatar Korra to open the spirit portal in the north, which he says will unite both tribes, but I don’t trust him at all. Maybe it’s the foreboding music that plays when his troops march through the city, forcibly moving people out of their way, or maybe it’s just that he seems so power-hungry and sinister.

Understandably, the Southern Water Tribe see Unalaq’s troops as an invasion. They hold a meeting, with Korra in attendance. Korra attempts to sue for peace, whereas the ridiculously boisterous and outspoken trader Varrick pushes for civil war.

The show cuts back and forth between that drama and where Tenzin is at the air temple relaxing with his whole family, including his “normal” brother and his waterbending sister. We find out that one of his children has run away after his two other children teased her. So Tenzin and his siblings, Bumi and Kya, go to search for little Ikki.

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As they search, it becomes clear that they have very different memories of their childhood. Tenzin has sugarcoated the whole affair, whereas Kya and Bumi think their father, former Avatar Ang, favored Tenzin. They all have their resentments, which they argue about.

I actually really enjoyed the parts between Tenzin, Kya, and Bumi. Watching as an adult, I can see the message the creators are trying to get across to the kids watching. It seems to me they’re trying to show that no family is perfect, and that everyone has their own problems.

This theme is even more apparent at the end of the episode. Korra’s mother comes to Korra’s hut to ask her about the troubles between Korra and her father. Korra and her mom talk, and Korra finds out that Varrick is attempting to plan a revolt against Unalaq. Most shockingly, Korra’s mother says that her father might be involved.

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Korra, in a very Korra fashion, does not stay to talk to her mother (despite her pleas), but instead rushes headlong to the palace. There, she finds Unalaq being captured. She immediately thinks one of the masked men is her father, and pleads with the kidnappers to stop now and avoid civil war. They refuse to stop, and a battle ensues, which Korra obviously wins. She saves Unalaq and finds that the man whom she thought was her father is, in fact, not her father.

Worried about her father, she rushes home and finds him safe and sound. A very emotional reunion takes place, with both of them apologizing. Here, we again see the theme of strife that goes on in families. To me, it showed that even if there are problems, if you talk reasonably with everyone involved instead of running away or ignoring the problem, you can find common understanding and a resolution.

I loved this part for another reason too. I loved that both Korra and her father admit guilt and apologize. I thought it showed that Korra is growing up. Throughout the episode, she attempts to be a force of temperance. She doesn’t just throw punches and think later. I think this is a major step in her becoming an adult and growing into her Avatar powers. She is trying to think for herself and make good decisions, not fast decisions. She convinces Unalaq to give the kidnappers a fair trial, when he would have just thrown them in jail. Her advice is that if he throws them in jail, he will just anger the people more, so these men should get a fair trial, which is every person’s right. That’s absolutely great advice, because then the tribe will see their guilt and equally condemn them to jail, whereas if Unalaq attempted to just throw them in jail with no trial, the people would have seen that as a tyrannical move and revolted. On top of stopping and thinking, she’s willing to admit when she is wrong and apologize, which is really hard to do sometimes!

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One part of the episode I didn’t really care much about was Bolin dealing with his misguided foray into a relationship with one half of the ice twins. I think they were playing a bit much on the stereotype of the overbearing and controlling woman and the whipped man. Also, Mako’s description of breaking up with a girl (do it quickly, like pulling off a bloodsucking leech) kind of offended me a bit. I could see what the creators were going for with Bolin’s ridiculous relationship, but it didn’t come off as that funny to me most of the time. Mostly, I just wanted to go back to the parts about Tenzin and Korra.

I also didn’t much care for how Mako is often asking if he should “just listen to Korra’s problems or offer advice.” It seems like that might be continuing the stereotype that woman and their emotions and problems are a mystery to men. That’s a little sexist, just saying.

For the most part, I super enjoyed this episode. I think it really dove into the meat of the story, whereas the first two episodes felt very exposition-y. I thought the bending fight was awesome, because Korra did some inventive fighting. She managed to stop the kidnappers without even really hurting them much, which is pretty cool. I also loved the deepening of the relationship between Tenzi and his siblings. It’s really interesting to find out through their descriptions of how Ang was as a father. Even the Avatar isn’t perfect, which I think is a great message! I really loved how Korra’s character progressed. If you recall in my previous review, one of the major beefs I had was with Korra’s attitude. This episode shows her growth, and makes me even more excited for more episodes.

Oh, and did I mention they left us on a cliffhanger? After Korra’s emotional reunion with her father, Unalaq shows up at their hut and says he’s arresting Korra’s mother and father. Remember how I said I don’t trust him? Yeah, this makes it worse. Needless to say, next Friday can’t come soon enough!

Score: A

New episodes air Fridays at 7pm, EST.

The Legend of Korra Continues: Episode 1 Review

The second season of The Legend of Korra has finally started. The show is set in the world of Avatar: The Last Airbender (the TV show, not the worst movie ever made. Thanks, M. Night Sham.) It takes place about seventy years after the original ends. Ang, the previous Avatar, is dead, and Korra has become the Avatar in his place. If you haven’t seen Avatar: The Last Airbender, stop reading this article, and go watch it right now. I’m serious. Shoo.

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I’m not going to sum up Avatar, because if you continue reading, I’m going to assume you’ve seen it. The first season of The Legend of Korra follows Korra as she attempts to master airbending. She’s already gotten fire, water, and earth under her belt. She travels to the Imperial City in secret to train with Tenzin, the airbender trainer. The Imperial City is currently dealing with a lot of problems, including the Equalists movement. The Equalists are attempting to bring balance between the benders and the non-benders, who are feeling oppressed. Long story short, Korra manages to defeat the scary leader of the movement, who can effectively block off a person’s ability to bend. She takes away his powers and is able to restore people’s stolen bending powers.

The first episode of the second season begins six months after the end of season one. Korra (the Avatar) is still with her airbender trainer, Tenzin, and from the first couple of minutes of the show, we can see that she still hates training. Tenzin keeps trying to get her to connect more deeply, and she’s still the same old Korra: punch first, ask questions later.

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Tenzin plans to bring her to visit all of the air temples, in hopes that the temples will help her learn more about airbending and settle her down. But before they can go there, Korra and the gang travel to the South Pole to attend a festival of spirits. There, she learns that dark spirits have been appearing and attacking villages. She meets her uncle, Unalaq, the King of the Northern Water Tribe, and he convinces her to step away from Tenzin and let him train her. Tenzin and her father fight her tooth-and-nail on this decision. She then travels to a place in the South Pole to attempt to right the balance of the spirit world.

In general, I enjoyed the episode. It did feel a little exposition-y and kind of stilted, but I can tell there are a lot of dark things brewing. For instance, I really, really don’t trust Unalaq! It just feels like he’s attempting to manipulate Korra in some way. I’m worried that he’s been playing everyone from the time he was a kid.

Opposite from the serious stuff in the episode, the humor is as great as ever. I love the airbender children and Bolin! They crack me up so much!

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On another note, I really didn’t like Korra’s attitude. She was really dismissive, moody, and angry. For her, being the Avatar seems like a joke or just not that important. I thought that maybe she had learned more from connecting with the Avatar state in the previous season. I understand she’s a teenager, so I’m reserving judgement until later in the season.

The episode wasn’t all that I’d hoped it would be, but I’m still optimistic about the season. The first season of The Legend of Korra took a few episodes to warm up, and I am more than willing to give the creators the benefit of the doubt. If this season is as awesome as last season, I’ll be so happy.

Score: B+

New episodes air Fridays at 7pm, EST.