Big changes continue as Korra deals after effects of Amon's attack on the Pro Bending stadium. And the person funding Amon's Equalist movement is revealed!!!
Credits & Solicit Info:
Korra and the gang lick their wounds from Amon's vicious attack on the Pro Bending Stadium. However one question begins to arise: who is supplying the Equalists with all these technologically advanced weapons? The answer will shock Korra. No, literally it will since the Equalist weapons have this taser-like element to them.
Right off the bat we see the effects of what happened in the previous episode take hold as the current narrator is replaced by Tarrlok, who assures the audience that Amon and his Equalists will pay for what they did. We also see that Mako and Bolin are out of a place to live with the stadium somewhat smashed up. Don't worry, things will turn out rosy with them hanging out in the Sato household. Yeah that subplot goes exactly where you almost think it does with the revelation of who is supplying Amon with his tech. Or does it?!
The thing I've always enjoyed about the Avatar writing staff is that sometimes you expect things to go one way and they take a complete 180 degree turn. You think with the reveal of a certain Cabbage Corporation (which was a nice humorous tie-in to the previous series) is it, and then we're presented with the possibility of another suspect. But nope we get a surprising one. Well okay not so shocking once Korra begins to wonder.
The other element I enjoyed about this episode was the ramifications of last week's episode on Beifong, Tahno, and Asami. I wasn't really expecting much on Tahno's end thinking the end of the last episode would be it for him. Though for the first time since Amon's ability to remove bending is revealed we finally see a victim coping with it. Tahno's reaction to the loss of his bending is quite staggering. Given how his final scene played out, I kind of hope this isn't the last we see of him. It's nice to see his journey after his bending has been taken away from him permanently (it seems).
As for Beifong and Asami, the episode marks a huge turning point for both characters. We see fallout from the fact that Beifong isn't getting results. We're seeing her obviously flustered at how well equipped the Equalists are and them one-upping her every chance they can. To see her near the climax just brutally assault some of the Equalists and then make her choice at the end of the episode makes me wonder where her character arc will lead. Obviously it will lead toward what Amon wants, which won't be good for Republic City in the long run. Then there's Asami. I have to confess I really pegged this character as one-dimensional and surprisingly the Avatar writers decided to go against the mold. I have to give major kudos to the actor for Asami in the episode.
With all this talk on character ramifications, I still haven't even talked about the real thing I enjoyed about this episode: the debut of the Equalist Mechs!!! Previously teased at the start of the show, we see the Mechs in action and they are frightening (but so nicely computer animated). Though I get the fight they have with the benders has to be a short one for the episode given the real meat is with the two characters above.
If there's anything negative I have to say about the episode, it is how Amon's right hand goes down way too easily when he's proven the opposite in the last episode. Yes, I get that the person who beats him establishes early in the episode that she was trained by some of the best fighters. It's just that this was a dude we've seen Beifong and Korra even have trouble with. That and again Tenzin does pretty much nothing action wise save a few brief air bending moves and Bolin pulling a Weekend at Bernie's move with his unconscious body (which I fully confess had me in stitches).
Overall, this episode had the right mix of drama and action with a little closure on the whole Pro Bending sport. It had some nice humor sprinkled in the right places as provided by Korra and Bolin. For a kid's show, the episode was very dark in some places though, especially Beifong going postal on an Equalist Mech (before cutting the scene to the background when the machine goes boom) and the race attitudes the show has been creating with the Equalist/Bending story-line. Again, I have to say the creators of the show prove why Avatar is just a daring cartoon. It tackles subject matter not really seen much on kids' cartoons today.
5 out of 5
Review by: Zechs