The Fire Ferrets are in the finals of the Pro Bending Tournament. Only one thing stands in their way to total victory: the Wolfbats, unless Amon and the Equalists disrupt the festivities.
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It's been six episodes and we get the final match of the Pro Bending Tournament, which Korra and her Fire Ferret comrades have been fighting for. Now only one team is in their way: the previous champions, the Wolfbats. Will we have the cliché storybook ending? Nah this is the world of Avatar, things aren't ever so easy as Amon makes his big move as well.
I have to confess, I was somewhat bored with the previous episode and disappointed. Yeah it did some more character building with the relationships of Korra, Mako, and Bolin and it established their rivals, the Wolfbats, for this episode. It was just that the episode was so full of sports and romance clichés it made me weary of just sitting down to write a review on it. I was dreading the next episode instead of looking forward to it. I should have known better given the creators of the show love to pull the carpet from right underneath you.
The episode seems to be the conclusion of the Pro Bending Tournament, but really this isn't the real meat to the episode. No, it's the actual establishing relationship of Korra and Chief Beifong. Throughout the series thus far the two have had an antagonistic relationship. It pretty much ends with this episode as we learn a great deal of back-story with Beifong. I'm not going to spoil some of it, but we learn why she has been so disapproving of Korra and her uneasiness around Tenzin. Given how far she goes out on a leash for Korra in the episode, I'll be curious to see the repercussions of her actions will net.
Now the other half of the episode deals with the lingering threat that Amon is throughout the episode. At the very start, he proclaims that if the match happens, the council of Republic City and the Benders will regret it. This is the episode where we finally get to see why Amon and his Equalists are such a huge threat. To see them handle previously established characters with so much ease was just astonishing to watch.
Likewise, even though I knew it was coming, to see Amon just dish out his energy bending technique just showcases how threatening he truly is. He can use it at any moment and that thought is just terrifying for Benders. Even scarier is how easily again he brushes every combatant that comes at him. Near the end of the episode, these threats seem so minor to him even when the attacks aimed at him are so darn close. Again the episode just continues expanding on the threat level Amon is and I'm just so darn curious where they'll go next with him. Will he attack the council itself? Just how the heck did the Metal Benders overlook the easiest of details that gave the Equalists the edge? Obviously Amon is having some help from outside source, but again his strategies have been brilliant thus far.
If anything, the only thing going with the good guys in the episode is Korra's fight with Amon's right hand (voiced by Lance Henriksen). The fight he has with Korra is just a VERY nicely paced and staged fight. In fact, I'd say the fight goes up with some of the best fights we've seen in the previous series as well. It shows how far Korra has increased in her abilities somewhat and yet hasn't in others. Still, we do get again more hints of Korra's awakening spiritual nature with more glimpses of an Adult Aang, Toph, and again the previous threat they dealt with in Republic City. Interestingly, again we see Aang exhibit the Avatar State which we've yet seen used via Korra. Now, again I understand the why given such a state would be easier for Aang to have channeled than Korra. However, with more and more glances with these flashbacks, I'm beginning to think whatever Aang used the Avatar State on this foe for is the reason why Amon knows how to take the ability of one's bending.
Again the greatest strength this episode had was the nice mixture of humor and drama. The show just gives a nice balance of the two at the times the show greatly needs it. For example, when the Equalists are taking over the arena, I couldn't help but chuckle greatly at the gaming commentator's thoughts as one Equalist narrows in on him. Likewise, Bolin's antics that pretty much save Korra and his brother.
It's a startling thought, but we're at the halfway mark of the first season (it only has twelve episodes). With the climax of this episode, things appear will get only bleaker for Korra and her gang. On the plus, it means we'll be seeing more nifty toys from Amon. We had a hand to hand device. Now what kind of bigger toys will the Equalist employ? Or what will be Amon's end game? Whatever the case, this episode sparked the events that will change things for everyone now.
5 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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