Korra continues her training with her Air Bending Master, Tenzin. That is, she WILL if she doesn't get to distracted by the sport of Pro Bending.
Credits & Solicit Info:
As the latest Avatar, Korra continues her training in air bending, and is hampered by it. She is soon tempted instead by the allure of the physical contact sport of Pro Bending. Can she juggle both at the same time while also hiding it from her Air Bending Master, Tenzin, who highly disapproves of the sport?
Continuing what the first episode kicked off on, we're given yet more introduction as we get two new cast members showing up in the episode and the introduction of a completely new sport never seen before in the Avatar world with Pro Bending. We also get the first stage of Tenzin teaching Korra how to air bend. Not surprisingly, things don't go well. As we know, patience and being swift aren't in Korra's attire of tricks.
Seeing the spectacular fail on Korra's part is an amusement to behold, and seeing the baby steps the show is taking continues the previous show's tradition of our protagonist having a nasty time trying to learn something. Seeing her interact and be obviously flustered in how to air bend is a treat because, really, in the past series, the only real troubles we saw with Aang was fire bending yet somehow the show listed Earth bending as the one he had trouble most with. I can see on some levels why he had trouble, but the fire bending was a key plot point in one episode during season one and again in the final season. I'm kind of disappointed that wasn't followed up on here.
The introduction of Mako and Bolin are an intriguing pair. There's a Sokka-like nature with Bolin that I enjoy. Mako is playing the Zuko-like role being the loner gruff type and we don't really get much out of him other than he's a great Fire Bender. Though a bit predictable, we're also given a love triangle set up between the two brothers and Korra, because every show must have that right? That sort of bit I'm not too happy about given it's repeats elements from the previous show's romance during the first half of season two. However, I get this show is doing a bit more mature storytelling and it might appease some of the crazy fandom the series has had with the Zuko/Katara pairings from the previous series.
Given how nice and light this episode was, I get the feeling this show will take a dark or very much more serious tone in future episodes. All the better since we're already enjoying the relationship between Tenzin and Korra. There's a nice mentor/student relationship going on with one teaching the other subtle things. J.K. Simmons as Tenzin is inspired. He and his family are just so entertaining. They could be a family sitcom by themselves. I especially enjoy Tenzin's oldest daughter who reminds me of Mai with the deadpan delivery of lines. Past stories have shown me this can only mean something bad will happen but if it does, so be it. All the better for the enhancement of the story.
As for the fluff we get in Pro Bending, well, really this was the big highlight of the episode. Seeing a sport relying completely on bending is a nice idea. Even more, Korra being a fan of the sport and seeing her utterly get trounced even when using three of her four bending abilities was a nice twist. It just goes to show you that even with all her skills, an experienced fighter will destroy her.
So with this episode we get two new characters who will not doubt be the Korrang as the original Gaang was. I'm not too hyped of the possible love triangle that was teased here but maybe one of the brothers might turn more Sokka-ish and be a player or just want to be friends with Korra. One can only hope but I doubt it. The relationship between Tenzin and Korra gets some added meat plus we get more progress on her learning air bending. I guess all that's needed now is to truly see the villains of the series, the Equalists, and their leader Amon strut their villainous muscles on why they're so deadly.
4.5 out of 5
Review by: Zechs