The Spirit of Competition
We ended episode 4 with Korra being comforted by Tenzin and his wisdom and she begins to deal with her feelings regarding Mako’s budding relationship with Asami. As she trains with the brothers for the impending probending championship, Asami arrives with the new team uniforms and the display of affection between her and Mako prod Korra to ignore Bolin’s attempts at romance. Bolin asks Mako for advice regarding Korra and swiftly ignores it while Korra confides to Ikki and Jinora about her conflicted feelings toward Mako and they offer suggestions (a volcano and a magic love potion) before they’re interrupted by Pema who says all she had to do was put herself out there and confess her love in order to get the one she loves attention (Tenzin). This obviously strikes a chord with the headstrong Avatar and she smiles off in the distance, obviously intent on taking the chance and confessing her feelings.
The Fire Ferrets are swiftly victorious in their first match of the championship and Korra uses the moment of joy to confess her feelings to Mako who states he doesn’t feel that way about her. Crushed, Korra listlessly watches as Asami runs in to greet the team and Bolin takes the moment to make his move and tells Korra all the good he sees in her before asking her out, which she accepts, much to the jealousy of Mako. The two enjoy a fun-filled time together but Mako confronts Korra after the date and berates her for leading him on. She denies this and provokes Mako to try confessing his true feelings which leads to a heated argument before the team’s second match. The group’s chemistry is upset by these events and they end up barely winning. Mako goes to Korra afterward and admits he has feelings for her but is confused as he also likes Asami. Our headstrong Avatar runs to Mako and kisses him, taking him by surprise but he returns the kiss. As they break apart, Korra notices Bolin behind them, who is clutching a bouquet of flowers for her and he leaves crying. Again, this affects their teamwork in their last match and although the brothers are knocked off the stage and Korra manages to win the match, they maturely work things out between them.
Seriously, why can’t all people be this mature? The brothers apologize to each other and Korra apologizes to Bolin, comforting him that she had a lot of fun with him. This could TECHNICALLY be considered a filler episode but the character development was extremely welcomed and necessary.
And the Winner Is…
This episode begins with the Fire Ferrets training relentlessly while listening to the radio program (brought to you by Cabbage Corp, Republic City’s trusted name in technology for the past 50 years!!!) which is interrupted by Amon who threatens probenders, urging the Council to cancel the match later that evening. Korra immediately storms to the City Hall and urges them to not cancel the championship. After a stirring speech from Bolin, resident badass Lin Bei Fong comes to their defense and states she will personally oversee the extra security so no harm will come to the spectators or benders. Tarrlok agrees to keep the arena open and an angry Tenzin argues with Lin about how Tarrlok is playing her. She angrily storms out as Korra comes to speak to Tenzin and she questions him relentlessly until coming to the conclusion that Lin and Tenzin were once a couple, citing Pema is the one who stole him from Lin. Tenzin waxes poetic for just a moment before catching himself and walks away flustered.
Meanwhile the Lieutenant informs Amon about the Council decision (who the EFF is the mole!?!!) and he is pleased that all is going according to plan. Security preparations for the arena are underway and Tenzin offers his assistance to which Lin responds, “like old times?”, hinting that this is perhaps something they did in the past together. The match begins (after a flashy entrance from the Wolf Bats) and almost immediately the sheer amount of uncalled fouls clues us in that this is not a fair match. As the second round ends and Korra faces off with Tahno for the tie-breaker, the replay of the finishing move is a wonderfully hilarious touch. Tenzin and Lin share several remarks about the match itself and he mentions to her that she would like Korra if she only warmed up to her. I love the mix of boxing moves with bending and the animation really shines here.
As the third rounds comes to a close, numerous audience members pull on Equalist masks and begin electrocuting the police force, including Tenzin, Lin and the announcer, as Amon makes his way to the center of the arena where he very quickly and efficiently defeats the benders and takes away Tahno’s bending with relish. Korra and the brothers had been electrocuted by the Lieutenant and she has another vision of Aang, this time of him going into Avatar state. Amon speaks to the crowd and warns all benders about standing in his way much to the audible fear of the crowd. He informs them that he intends to make a NEW Republic City and unveils the Equalists’ new weapon, a glove capable of a debilitating electric shock, while simultaneously proclaiming the revolution has begun. This is where shit gets real intense as Korra goes after Amon (who has left the arena by air) and this is when I start to realize how much of a hindrance it is to Korra to not have airbending mastered. Luckily, Lin swoops in on her metal wires and assists where she can, but not before Korra has a BEAUTIFULLY choreographed fight with the Lieutenant on top of the arena’s dome. As they regroup with the rest of the team, Tenzin grimly states that Republic City is at war.
Tahno – Elaborately coiffed captain of the reigning probending champions The Wolf Bats, Tahno first encounters Korra and Bolin while they’re on a date. He is condescending and slightly antagonistic but maintains an air of flirtatiousness with Korra. She doesn’t stand for his personality long before she whistles for Naga, who promptly musses up his hair. Not much more is known about Tahno at this point, other than the swift severity that his team deals with their matches.
1. I want to believe that Korra and Mako will end up together as all signs point to their inevitable pairing, but my heart belongs to the hilariously effable Bolin. Can’t the funny guy ever get the girl?
2. Who is supplying the Equalists with all this fancy equipment? Don’t they need money to fund their terrorist activities? Hmmm. I wonder who all the rich people are in Republic City and where their loyalties lie…
3. The flashbacks have begun fleshing out bits of a story and as Aang has gotten older, I’m sure he’d have gained more control of his Avatar state so what kind of event could have pushed him to enter it? It’s obviously directed at this same guy from the other flashbacks but I wonder what he could have done. Aang’s been fiercely protective of his friends and family before so at this point, I’m thinking this man made an attack of some kind very personal. We shall see what future flashbacks show.