With the Equalist threat increasing, steps are being taken within Republic City to squash it. They want the Avatar as part of their Anti-Equalist task force but due to the events of the last episode, Korra wants no part in it.
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Still reeling from the revelation that the Equalist leader Amon can take away bending, Korra now has to deal with the politics of Republic City. They want someone to take out Amon and they want Korra to do it. Meanwhile, Mako finds some unexpected help in getting some money for the Pro Bending Tournament.
Suffice to say, things are rotten in the city of Republic. We get a pair of new characters, Tarrlok and Asami Sato, introduced in the episode. Both represent different sides of the city and both are key components. Tarrlok represents exactly why there are people like Amon around. He's in Republic City to attain glory and power, both of which are expanded in this episode. On the flip side, we have Asami, who is part of the elite class of the city. Unlike Tarrlock, it appears her motives are much kinder for the moment.
Both characters impact the show and the other main cast, specifically Korra and Mako. Interestingly, even though last episode teased the relationship or hint of one between the two characters, now we get a wrench in that plan with the introduction of Asami. With her looks and attitude, she woos Mako (who suddenly appears to have the Sokka magnetism of attracting females while his brother Bolin has the goofiness). Obviously, things are just too good to be true. It makes me wonder, given Asami is a non-bender, if this isn't some Equalist trap. WHAT?! She's just too dreamy and sweet.
As for Tarrlock, we instantly get a good judge of his character. The man will do anything to attain good publicity and power, both of which he gets oodles with this episode. Even more, we see the depths to how he manipulates people to work with him when he plays Korra like a fiddle. It's good that we're given a possible antagonistic threat with Tarrlock, proving in some aspects that maybe Amon is right. But then again, maybe there is an even greater game being played behind the scenes here. These sort of theories are one of the reasons why I've enjoyed the Avatar series because the writing is just so great and the universe just so dimensional.
Let's get back to Korra, who's really put through the ringer in this episode. You can see how unlike Aang she is, given the new era and new challenges for the Avatar, namely with this episode: the press. She easily is duped twice into doing things which aren't good for her. Though the later mistake really makes her confront her worst fear, a one-on-one meeting with Amon himself. Given the lack of spirituality she has, Korra is easily frighten by the man. Even more, she's haunted by the fact that Amon can take away the ability to bend. I think it's more of her being scared at the unknown and the fact she's not fully trained in both air bending and her own spirituality.
Curiously though, we get our first hint of this side of Korra with her accidentally getting a flashback of the adult Gaang in Toph, Aang, and Sokka taking on a threat to the city which was alluded to earlier in the episode via Tarrlock. Does this hint show that Amon has a connection with this past threat? It sure seems like it. I'm just wondering why Korra hasn't been visited by Aang's spirit yet, given how Roku was a key voice of guidance for Aang. I guess it just shows how truly far from that part of training of the Avatar Korra is or maybe... something else.
Speaking of Amon, like Azula before him, this is one complicated villain. On one hand, you get why he's doing what he's doing, given how much we see the Benders act like what Amon preaches about. Even more, he's a very calculating individual who's looking at the bigger picture. He has Korra at his mercy in the episode, and he acknowledges the fact he can't do anything to her. Why? Because it paints his side in an ugly light and turns her into a martyr. Clearly, he's waiting for her to cause an even grander screw-up or worse, he'll use the Avatar's access to the Spirit world to his advantage. Whatever Amon has in mind isn't good.
Again, this show is like seeing an old friend though with new padding. I've noticed in this and the previous episode the nineteen twenties flare this series has going with it, from the old stocky footage to recap things in the beginning to the music being so jazzy and upbeat as it was from that time period. I'm curious to see what new found weapons of destruction will be seen further down in the series with the hint of the good technology in cars and aircraft. With this episode we get a larger view of Republic City. Some of it appears to be good for the people in Asami. With others, we get who are trying to leave their impact on society. Both will have a huge impact in Korra's life and what role she'll have in the greater scheme of things for better or worse. Though, I just get that bad feeling it's going to be the latter.
4 out of 5
Review by: Zechs
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About the Author - Zechs
Zechs is the lord and master of The Toy Shed, Character Spotlight, and Cartoon Reviews. He's also an aspiring comic book writer trying to get some of his works published on the Outhouse. If there's any greater quality to Zechs, it's that he's an avid fan of comic book characters and would defend them to the bitter end against the companies that use them wrongly. Zechs walks the lonely path in Chicagoland area.
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