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Korra 1×10: Turning the Tides

Korra

Legend of Korra 1 x 10: Turning the Tides
Full episode available at Nick.com

Episode summary (from the Avatar Wiki): “Korra works to recover from her time spent imprisoned by Tarrlok, but when she is interrupted by Republic City coming under attack from Equalists, she is forced to take action against the evil group and their mysterious leader Amon.”

My Initial Thoughts: So much love for Meelo and combat fartbending and “Not now, baby!”

Even more love for Lin Beifong’s quiet determination to help Tenzin and his family, her reaction and facial expressions when she gets stuck taking care of the kids, and her heroism and sacrifice at the end of the episode. “That lady is my hero.” (She even inspired me to make a LiveJournal icon.)

I love this part of a story, the do or die turning point when everything is coming together, the stakes are reaching their apex, and everyone is fully invested.

Oh look, Amon captured most of the council. Will anyone notice? All they did was sit around and agree with Tarrlok.

Loved seeing Tenzin thwart that initial attack, and the rest of Team Avatar coming along to kick butt. It was nice to see Mako turn electricity back against the Equalist mech, and Asami taking out another one with the car. Asami struck me as the most badass in that conflict. I imagine she’s working off a lot of anger.

The battle on the island was great too. I really enjoyed seeing the kids come to Beifong’s aid, even if it was predictable. And those poor benders who stayed behind … you know they faced the same fate as Lin Beifong :-(

Still not invested in the love triangle. Also, getting more annoyed with Mako. I get that this is pretty realistic for a lot of teenage romance, but … I dunno. Maybe I’m just too old and cynical and lived through too much of this drama.

In the end, we’re left with Tenzin and his family safely away in one direction, and Team Avatar hiding near the city: a breather before the hour-long finale.

Thoughts from the Seven-Year-Old: “I liked the scene where the boy was like, ‘Not now, baby!’ I think the council getting captured and Tenzin being the only one left wasn’t right, because his wife was having a baby and he had to focus on two things at once! In the next episode, I think that Korra should learn airbending right when she’s fighting Amon and then use it against him. I felt sad at the end because [Lin Beifong] lost her bending, and all of the other things.”

Confused Newbie Says Huh: I poked around to find out who the General at the end was supposed to be. Iroh is the grandson of Zuko, the villain from the first series? (We’ve started watching Avatar, so I’ve met Zuko now.) This bumped me out of the story, because it was obviously supposed to be a big dramatic reveal, and it meant absolutely nothing when I saw it.

“That explains how he can bloodbend without a full moon.” Huh? How did being Yakone’s son give Tarrlok that ability? I get that bending seems to be an inherited power, but unless I’m missing it, I don’t remember an explanation as to how or why Yakone could break that rule in the first place.

Predictions: When Lin Beifong lost her bending, I started to suspect Korra would find a way to reverse it. We’ve sees a scene in the preview where Amon appears to be taking Korra’s bending away. I’m guessing that’s what will finally push her into the Avatar state, at which point she’ll be able to counter/unblock whatever Amon has done. At least, I hope so. Lin Beifong is too awesome to lose her powers permanently. Damn you, writers!!!

Regardless of whether they restore her bending, and I’m not sure they will, I fully expect Beifong to bust out and play a part in kicking Equalist ass from within their stronghold during the final battle, because that’s how she rolls.

The show seems to be pushing Mako and Korra together, which makes me wonder what they have planned for Asami, who’s looking more like a fourth wheel by the end of the episode. I hope and trust they’ll do better than the “woman scorned” routine where she rejoins her father as a bad guy.

Beyond that, I’m just gonna steal a bit from Mythbusters: “My prediction? Mayhem.”

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

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Comments

( 42 comments — Leave a comment )
professor
Jun. 19th, 2012 01:45 pm (UTC)
I am also so tired of the love triangle. Frankly, during episode 5, I was hoping they would change it up -- when Korra went out with Bolin, I was seriously hoping she would decide that Bolin was sweet and awesome and they had a lot in common and maybe she should think about dating him, for real. The Korra/Mako pairing just leaves me cold because it's so predictable and boring.

I like Asami a lot, and if they have her betray Team Avatar in a "woman scorned" move I am going to pitch a fit.

I like how Korra is handling this, so far. I mean, she seemed happy that Mako paid attention to her right at the end of the last episode, but other than that, she is really just concentrating on being the Avatar, which is exactly how it should be.

Mako on the other hand is pissing me off, with his denial and his statement this episode about can't we worry about our relationship later? Because he was using the current crisis as an excuse to put his head in the sand, not because he actually felt that he should concentrate on the crisis instead of get his head on straight.

Lin Beifong is awesome and badass and will continue to be so.
jimhines
Jun. 19th, 2012 01:48 pm (UTC)
Agreed. Korra's handling things about as well and maturely as anyone could ask (and far better than I coped with this kind of drama as a kid). I can't blame Asami at all for being fed up and angry. I also appreciated Pema's approach when she looked at the two of them and gave them space to talk ... which Mako promptly shut down. Sigh.
professor
Jun. 19th, 2012 01:55 pm (UTC)
On one hand I want Asami to dump him already, but on the other, I'm about 90 percent sure Mako is hoping she will, because that lets him off the hook.
beccastareyes
Jun. 19th, 2012 01:51 pm (UTC)
It seems likely, that General Iroh is one of Zuko's descendents -- Iroh is also the name of Zuko's uncle, who you have met. Considering Zuko's sister is named for their grandfather, the whole 'name kids for relatives to honor them' is established as a family tradition. If my ears aren't misleading me, General Iroh also seems to share Zuko's voice actor.

Notably, of the major characters, Zuko's the only one who hasn't been shown in flashback or mentioned what happened post-series, besides that his is one of the three statues we see. Also, Tenzin is Aang and Katara's son and Sokka's nephew, Lin is Toph's daughter, so having one of Zuko's descendents fills out the 'previous series' characters descendents' role.

Zuko's also totally a fan favorite.

“That explains how he can bloodbend without a full moon.” Huh? How did being Yakone’s son give Tarrlok that ability? I get that bending seems to be an inherited power, but unless I’m missing it, I don’t remember an explanation as to how or why Yakone could break that rule in the first place.

My guess? Even without bending, Yakone could teach his son how. I don't think it's established how he can, but I suspect (rampant speculation here) it's more a matter of philosophy and technique to circumvent the rules. (For instance, metalbending was invented in the original series the same way -- not a matter of power, but of realizing that enough impurities remained in most metals to let earthbending work on them.)

But I would like some confirmation as to what changed.
jimhines
Jun. 19th, 2012 01:54 pm (UTC)
D'oh! I hadn't caught Uncle Iroh's name. (We've only seen a few episodes so far, and I tend to suck at names.) And I think you're right about it being the same voice actor as Zuko.
professor
Jun. 19th, 2012 01:58 pm (UTC)
It is the same voice actor, which is kind of what threw me during the reveal -- the voice actor is using the same Zuko voice, which is suited to a teenager, but the General Iroh character is clearly drawn as early to mid-20s, and so the voice doesn't "match." I realize they were really trying to drive home the Zuko connection by having the exact same voice, but I wish the voice actor had chosen to age up his voice a little instead.
realmjit
Jun. 22nd, 2012 08:38 pm (UTC)
I thought it *was* Zuko, until I looked up at the screen and the underling addressed General Iroh. I don't agree that Dante needed to age his voice-- once the bottom drops out of a boy's voice, it stays that way.

Katara is still the only character from Last Airbender to make an appearance (as Korra's Gran-gran!), except in flashbacks. I keep hoping for someone else to make an appearance.
professor
Jun. 22nd, 2012 09:05 pm (UTC)
I keep hoping for someone else to make an appearance.

Me too! And god I hope it's Toph. Not only is there canonical evidence that strong earthbenders routinely live to the century mark and beyond, but also, Toph would be the best crochety badass old lady ever.

Edited at 2012-06-22 09:06 pm (UTC)
tithenai
Jun. 19th, 2012 03:25 pm (UTC)
That was part of the Big Reveal; it was confirmed during production that Dante Basco (voice of Zuko) would return to voice a character in some way related to Zuko, so the BIG REVEAL was more HERE IS DANTE BASCO'S VOICE FOR YOU ATLA FANS! I squee'd because I called it being him from the moment Tenzin sends the call to the Forces (which I can't bring myself to call the United Forces because of reasons).
pretzelcoatl
Jun. 19th, 2012 02:03 pm (UTC)
I don't really care for the love triangle stuff either but I have to say that they are at least doing it better than most shows/books/movies/etc. I got a great deal of joy in the fact that Asami says she really does like Korra, instead of pitting the two of them against each other.
jimhines
Jun. 19th, 2012 02:06 pm (UTC)
True enough. It could be *so* much worse.

I think the fact that I like the writing so much, for the most part, makes this piece more glaring to me.
grav_ity
Jun. 19th, 2012 02:20 pm (UTC)
FEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEELS!

Lin Bei Fong and the Baby Airbenders is totally the name of my next band.

I think it was more "Hey, if he's Yakone's son, that's why he can do it." not "Hey, we know why Yakone can do it." We never did find out how [redacted for Avatar spoilers] did his thing, so I guess...they just accept it?

I'm clinging to the fact that Aang's spirit bending is VERY DIFFERENT from Amon's. Also, I think that chakra is insight, blocked by illusion, or something? So...I HAVE HOPE.

So. Over. The love triangle. I'm kind of 'shipping Iroh/Korra, JUST TO BE DIFFERENT. And also because that would be AWESOME. I really, really trust the writers of this show not to screw up Asami. I can't tell you any of those reasons, because they're all spoilers for TLA, but...I have faith.

Mostly I am just FLAILING ALL OVER THE PLACE every time I think about Lin. And while "That lady is my hero" and "Not now, baby!" are great, my favourite line is "Stay away from my daddy's ex-girlfriend!".
jimhines
Jun. 19th, 2012 02:37 pm (UTC)
"Stay away from my daddy's ex-girlfriend!" was beautiful too :-)

Based on the writing and storytelling so far, I'm mostly trusting them on the love triangle bit ... but I'm getting twitchy about it.

Iroh/Korra could be interesting, though we don't know much about Iroh's character yet. But I could see that making Mako even grumpier, and I don't know how much more of that I could take.
merriehaskell
Jun. 19th, 2012 04:29 pm (UTC)
Yes, but wouldn't it be lovely to subvert the trope that the first dude who lays eyes on the heroine is the One Twue Love? Yes. Yes it would.
akiko
Jun. 19th, 2012 04:39 pm (UTC)
Korrasami's where it's at ;)
grav_ity
Jun. 19th, 2012 06:57 pm (UTC)
YES. YES IT IS!

(But, you know, if I can't have that, Korra/Iroh will be fine.)
pandoradeloeste
Jun. 19th, 2012 08:08 pm (UTC)
HELL YES.

I'll be in my bunk. And by bunk I mean "AO3 looking for Korra femslash".

(Realistically, though, I doubt Nickelodeon would let that happen. Any time you combine media for people under 18 and QUILTBAG stuff, someone's got to scream and clutch their pearls and say "WHAT ABOUT THE CHILDREN?!!!!``one1!" If it happens it'll be hella subtextual, all loaded glances and sneaky hand-holding.)
lsanderson
Jun. 19th, 2012 02:21 pm (UTC)
Oh my
Grasshopper. Listen you must. Watch you must. Learn you must. Muzzle myself I must. Sometimes you gotta see beyond the curtains.

They're usually pretty good storytellers. I think you have to oughtta cut 'em more slack. I didn't think you needed to know more than that he was the handsome prince sailing the fleet in to save the day, but then I've watched the original more than a couple o' times.
lissibith
Jun. 19th, 2012 02:34 pm (UTC)
Ugh, the love triangle. I was so, so worried when Asami got told about how Korra likes Mako, and I said to my sister, "She has a right to be angry. I just really hope she puts her anger in the right place."

And she did, confronting Mako about his omissions and his treatment of her instead of being angry with Korra. It made me love her so much more than before (not as much as Bolin or Lin, but that's quite a bar).

So now, I'm hoping very hard that a. Mako doesn't blame his brother for telling her and b. that they don't turn Asami against team Avatar over this. The show's writers rarely let me down. I'm hoping it's a continuing trend. It wouldn't be the first time I thought I saw where a plot point in Avatar was obviously going only to be happily blindsided.
jimhines
Jun. 19th, 2012 02:41 pm (UTC)
I really like how Asami is doing so far, especially when you remember all of the other upheaval she's dealing with in her life. She's a much tougher character than I suspected when she was first introduced.

I'm trusting the writers based on what they've done so far, but I admit I'm starting to get twitchy about this.
lissibith
Jun. 19th, 2012 04:17 pm (UTC)
She's a much tougher character than I suspected when she was first introduced.

Agreed. And I love that they make her so confident in pretty much everything she does - and so competent in a fight. In a world where people can sculpt the world to their will, a person with no bending would be so easy to sideline or diminish.

I agree with you about being twitchy about it though. Honestly, in addition to being trite and unfair to Asami, I also thing its just not as interesting as the writers seem to think it is. And its making Mako stray steadily into unlikeable territory, especially in comparison to the rest of the team.

((There's a comparison I really really want to make - how far are you in the original series so far?))
jimhines
Jun. 19th, 2012 04:21 pm (UTC)
Only five episodes in so far, but I suspect we'll be catching up on a lot more over the summer.
lissibith
Jun. 19th, 2012 05:12 pm (UTC)
Just far enough. In that, I liked how they give Sokka a trait that could easily become so terribly irritating in his sexism toward his sister and women in general. But they had good timing with it - they planted it early, they ramped it up pretty quickly and they gave him growth and a resolution in the fourth episode, before it had time to really grate on the viewers too much.

The more I think about the love triangle, the more I think it's a matter of timing - they let it go too long and because of that, its getting harder not only to fully sympathize with Mako, but harder to see a resolution that won't feel uncomfortable and unfair.
d_c_m
Jun. 19th, 2012 02:37 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the icon. :) I will of course credit you. :)
shadrad
Jun. 19th, 2012 02:51 pm (UTC)
They address the bloodbending without a full moon during the flashback to the trial, with Aang and Sokka. The defense's argument was that bloodbending outside of a full moon is impossible, and none of the accusations place him bloodbending on a full moon at all, the entire prosecution was ridiculous.

However, the verdict was against him on the grounds that every so often, some benders can accomplish things that were previously thought impossible, the example given being the creation of metalbending (which, as you're only now watching Avatar: The Last Airbender, you haven't seen it happen yet. Or met Toph, for that matter.) So, the justification for his ability to bloodbend being passed on to his son is that yes, that remarkable ability to bloodbend without a full moon was passed on from father to son, both in technique and probably some measure of genetic aspect as well.

I enjoy reading your episode reviews, as a note! Thanks for posting them!
jimhines
Jun. 19th, 2012 02:57 pm (UTC)
I do remember that argument from the trial, now that you mention it. Hm ... this might just be an issue with how my brain works, and wanting more of a spelled-out step-by-step explanation. (Which is only exacerbated by the book I'm writing right now.)

And thank you! :-)
merriehaskell
Jun. 19th, 2012 04:28 pm (UTC)
I see being vexed by the mere existence of the love triangle, because why does everything have to have a love triangle, REALLY?

But since I work in the field of near-compulsory love triangles (I'll tell you THAT story some time), I really, really, really appreciate that one is being handled well and properly (thus far). Because Twilight is not MY exemplar. Nice to have something more... better. (/strongbad)
jimhines
Jun. 19th, 2012 04:32 pm (UTC)
My next book is urban fantasy. Therefore, according to The Rules, it had to have a love triangle.

I'm having a great deal of fun busting that trope all to hell.
pandoradeloeste
Jun. 19th, 2012 08:10 pm (UTC)
You have no idea how much I'm looking forward to that.
swan_tower
Jun. 19th, 2012 06:09 pm (UTC)
I've suspected for a while now that Korra will find a way to reverse Amon's work, because of how liberally they've been strewing it around the plot. If it was permanent, I'd expect the writers to use it more sparingly, with greater focus on how shocking and tragic it is. (Not that shock and tragedy aren't there, but it's being treated just a touch too casually for me to think it really can't be turned back.)

As for the love triangle, I liked how they started it, with the characters being relatively sane and adult about the matter. How I feel about it in the long term will depend on where it goes -- but I doubt it's going to be "Asami joins her father because she's spurned." (Though she might pretend to do that for a while, and act as a mole in his organization.)
jimhines
Jun. 19th, 2012 06:17 pm (UTC)
Assuming they're aiming to wrap up Amon and all that by the end of the season, I don't think they have time to do an Asami-as-mole story well. Though if they're planning to make this a multi-season arc, I could definitely see that working.
swan_tower
Jun. 19th, 2012 06:27 pm (UTC)
I don't expect Amon to be totally wrapped up at the end of the season. I'm assuming he's the Fire Lord Ozai of this show: far more present, of course, and far more of an immediate threat, but we've seen nothing to indicate there's somebody behind him to be the actual Big Bad. So while I'm sure something thrilling will happen in a couple of episodes, I don't think that's going to be the last of Amon and his people.
jadesfire55
Jun. 19th, 2012 07:23 pm (UTC)
I'm actually ok with the love triangle stuff so far. Depends on how it all comes together.

OMG Lin. That was so powerful! And I'm glad she finally said what I've been thinking for weeks: Tenzin and his children are the only airbenders. I'm surprised Amon hasn't come after them before now.

Based on the flashback, Aang's technique apears to be different from Amon's. Part of me wants to see the Avatar ultimately work her balance between benders, non-benders, and non-benders used to be benders, which would be all the more powerful if the loss of bending is permanent. However, if it turns out that Korra can restore bending I'm all for that, too. Because LIN.
pandoradeloeste
Jun. 19th, 2012 09:57 pm (UTC)
I have some hope for the love triangle, because rather early on they introduced Lin, Tenzin, and Pema as an example of a trio who had some romantic drama and have weathered it relatively well. So if Team Avatar gets too embroiled in their drama, they have people around them to say "it sucks, but we went through it, here's how we handled it, and we can still work together well". (And Lin would add, "so get the hell over yourselves PRONTO".)
snapes_angel
Jun. 20th, 2012 03:35 am (UTC)
I get that bending seems to be an inherited power, but unless I’m missing it, I don’t remember an explanation as to how or why Yakone could break that rule in the first place.

You're not the only one missing it. The one person who learned blood-bending, under duress, from a Master...did not want to use it, and probably never wanted to teach it. They don't say in the series, but I'd calla that blood-bending a mutation, since it weakens when the full moon appears, and the norm is that it is strongest at the full moon. Maybe they thought it was a "cute" masculine/feminine thing, but it really makes little sense, except as a mutation, the context of which they really did not mention in the series. But when Amon took away Tarrlok's bending, I thought, at least he did one good thing.

I see more going on between Asami and Mako then between Korra and Mako. I don't buy the "romance" thing, and I think he's concerned about her, like he would be about a little sister. Asami, of course, is pissed because of the kiss. That makes her view Mako's concern with a bit more suspicion then she would have, if Bolin hadn't blabbed about it.

As for Zuko, you need to consider his motivation. He really changes over the course of the series. His character transformation is one of the aspects of the series I really enjoyed watching, the transition from villain to hero.

That's my only complaint about Korra. The characters in the first series were more...dynamic in their characterization. Iroh was Zuko's uncle, sent as guardian when Zuko was exiled on a (then) hopeless quest to find and capture the Avatar. When his father learns that the Avatar is alive, he sends other people out to search for him, since it's not hopeless, after all.

Or, to put it another way, Zuko's family at the home from which he was exiled put the "dys" in "dysfunctional". That's in my opinion, of course.
snapes_angel
Jun. 20th, 2012 03:37 am (UTC)
And of course, Uncle Iroh was one of my favorite people in the first series.
realmjit
Jun. 22nd, 2012 08:29 pm (UTC)
and the actor who voiced Iroh was Mako. (who died about the time Season three started, so the last few episodes have a different actor.)
snapes_angel
Jun. 23rd, 2012 02:07 pm (UTC)
I know. I still tear up whenever I see the tribute episode, too
ankewehner
Jun. 20th, 2012 03:41 pm (UTC)
I didn't read it that that bloodbending was weaker at full moon, just that it was possible without a full moon, and that Tarrlok's father was careful to not use it during full moon, so any accusations could be deflected with, "Ridiculous! It wasn't full moon, so bloodbending was impossible, you're making it up!"

Did I miss something?
pandoradeloeste
Jun. 20th, 2012 04:26 pm (UTC)
That's the interpretation I had, too.
snapes_angel
Jun. 20th, 2012 04:53 pm (UTC)
They mentioned it during the episode, at the trial in the flashback - at least, that' how I remember it.
ankewehner
Jun. 24th, 2012 09:11 pm (UTC)
The way I remembered it, it was said that he was not seen bloodbending during full moon, not why he didn't.
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