Korra 1×09: Out of the Past

Legend of Korra 1×09: Out of the Past

Full episode available at Nick.com

Episode summary (from the Avatar Wiki): “Korra tries to understand her visions while being confined in an unknown area; Tenzin and Lin Beifong search for Equalist hostages. Tarrlok creates a fake story about how Korra got kidnapped”

My initial thoughts: Have I mentioned how much I like this show? Lin Beifong is officially my favorite character ever. The woman can even make getting dressed look badass, and then watching her casually break the rest of Team Avatar out of prison (though that seemed almost too easy – no guards anywhere?), which was perfectly punctuated when she uses metalbending to zip Bolin’s fly. I would totally watch a Lin Beifong series. I’m just saying.

I think it’s safe to say that Tarrlok and Amon aren’t the same person. I didn’t see that resolution coming, but Amon taking away Tarrlok’s bending works.

I grumbled last week about flashback confusion, and voila: this week we get the full flashback, complete with the revelation of Tarrlok’s father, not to mention Aang going into the Avatar state and whooping some bad guy. Sweet!

Once again, I could have done without the romantic conflict, but ah well. They wouldn’t be teenagers if they didn’t have relationship drama.

I loved that being forced into confinement forced Korra to finally meditate and move more beyond brute force. (I presume it was a platinum cell? How common is platinum on this world, anyway? Never mind. Several people have pointed out that metalbending is a very specialized skill Korra hasn’t mastered, so no need for platinum.) Not just with her visions, but when she listened to what was coming and figured out how to foil the Equalists’ attempt to electrocute her in her cell.

Confused newbie says huh? I followed pretty much everything. I know Beifong’s foot-stomping sonar is a callback to the original series, but we’ve also seen her do it in this show, and while I’m not 100% clear on how that works, it doesn’t throw me out of the story. I’m curious why the full moon was important for bloodbending, but again, it’s something I can accept on faith for now.

Thoughts from the seven-year-old: “It was a little bit better than the last one because of all of the visions. Korra actually could see Avatar Aang’s spirit! He was trying to warn her about Tarrlok. I liked the part when the bad guys rescued Korra accidentally, because it was kind of funny. They tried to electrocute the box and knock her out, but it didn’t work and when they opened it… [pantomime of firebending] …she firebended in their face! I’m scared and excited about the finale. I saw the statute of Avatar Aang, and I saw Amon’s face on it!”

Predictions: The team is back together, Tarrlok has lost his bending, and all hell is about to break loose between the Equalists and our heroes. I expect to see more of Tarrlok. Bending wasn’t his only power, and while he’s been outed to the council, I still see him as manipulative and conniving enough to try to turn things to his advantage. Particularly now that he has even more of a reason to hate Amon. We haven’t seen Hiroshi Sato, and I suspect he’ll turn up again. The biggest mystery would be Amon’s true identity, and I confess I haven’t got a clue. Have we ever seen anyone except Aang take away someone’s bending? I don’t believe Amon is Aang, but I don’t think we’ve seen anyone else who would have that kind of power – taking away bending and resisting Tarrlok’s bloodbending. Which makes me suspect there’s more flashback or background still to come.

A thought – bloodbending requires blood, and it was only partially effective against Amon. We’ve seen Sato’s armored suits. How big a leap would it be to imagine Amon as someone who incorporated some of that technology into his own body, cyborg-style? They’ve set up a bit of a recurring Technology vs. Bending thing, and Amon as the ultimate representation of technology would certainly fit with that. Perhaps someone whose body was horribly damaged by benders.

And extrapolating from there, didn’t Mako say their father was killed by a firebender? That would certainly scar someone up.

Three episodes to go. I suspect in the final episode we’ll see Korra get a handle on airbending and enter the Avatar state. I’m very much looking forward to it!