Korra 1×10: Turning the Tides
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.”
June 19, 2012 @ 9:58 am
Lin Beifong is too awesome to lose her powers permanently.
Lin Beifong didn’t lose earthbending. Earthbending lost Lin Beifong.
And yeah, that and Amon putting his hand on Korra’s forehead in the teaser both make me think that she’s going to find a way to reverse it–either immediately, or else season two is going to be about her learning to spirit-bend (I’m hoping immediately).
Plus a million on the love triangle, especially the woman scorned part. So far, Asami seems to be being pretty mature about the whole thing–she blamed Mako and not Korra for the kiss, even telling Mako she likes Korra as a person. So I’m inclined to think she’s not shallow enough to rejoin her father over Mako being a jerk (even though he’s being a giant honking jerk).
As far as General Iroh at the end–do you want Zuko and original!Iroh’s story arc spoiled for you? It’s a major part of the first show, and I don’t want to wreck it for you if you’d rather just watch until you get there, but understanding what happens to Zuko and Iroh will explain why those of us who’ve seen the first series FLIPPED THE HELL OUT when they introduced the new General Iroh.
Jim C. Hines
June 19, 2012 @ 10:02 am
No spoilers, please. I’ve already got some bits and pieces, but I’d prefer to save some surprises for watching the old episodes. Thanks 🙂
Honestly, I wish I’d been able to handle relationship drama as well as Asami does back when I was that age…
June 19, 2012 @ 10:36 am
If Mako and Asami do break up and Mako tries to go for Korra, I’m really, really hoping that her reaction is “Heck no! Sisters before misters, a-hole.” At least until Asami is over him. Because if anyone in that trio is going to spend several episodes/a season moping about lost love, Mako deserves it way more than Asami.
June 19, 2012 @ 11:26 am
Amen to this.
In that teaser clip for the finale, it ends with a close up of Korra’s eyes closed. I’m on board the she-opens-her-eyes-in-full-avatar-state train.
Jim C. Hines
June 19, 2012 @ 11:30 am
Ooh, I could totally see that.
June 19, 2012 @ 11:43 am
There may have been full-on squealing in our house when General Iroh showed up. As well as during fight scenes. “OhmyGOD, that was AWESOME!” was said about 12 times during the episode. (There are no kids in our house, only two 30-year-old geeks.) The fart-bending was a huge hit here, too.
I honestly don’t know how I’m going to make it through a week of waiting. I may have to watch the first 10 episodes again before then.
June 19, 2012 @ 11:44 am
I really, really want that to happen.
June 19, 2012 @ 12:04 pm
Oops. Forgot to add my thoughts about this – “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.”
During Yakone’s trial flashback/vision, Aang mentions that he’s met people who seem to be born with the ability to bend outside of the known ways, and that he believes Yakone is one of those gifted people. And Yakone may have been able to instruct his son, despite being powerless after that. My only gripe about that whole thing is that it feels like such a cheap-and-easy infodump. Toss it out, hope people notice, move on to the next part of the story. And I like a bit more resolution to things.
Ummm…completely random Amon-related thought. We know that Aang had two other sons, and that bending can be inherited. Have we seen his other sons at all? Great. Now I’m worried that Amon is related to Aang…
June 19, 2012 @ 12:08 pm
Katara mentioned them having two other kids–Kaia and Boomie. I think the website said somewhere that Kia is a waterbender and Boomie is a non-bender. I’m kind of wondering if Boomie was the guy we saw representing the air nomads on the Republic City Council during the flashbacks?
Really I just want to know what the deal is with the air acolytes.
Jim C. Hines
June 19, 2012 @ 1:12 pm
In a way, I feel very fortunate that I haven’t seen Avatar: TLA, since it means we can watch those episodes during the week while we wait for the next Korra 🙂
June 19, 2012 @ 4:26 pm
I love Asami so much. She seems seriously underappreciated to me– mostly viewed as ‘GAH LOVE TRIANGLE’ by a lot of people I know. I’m convinced she’s going to dump Mako and there will be no official couples at the end of the season. I am also wondering if the ‘romantic destiny’ is more Korra/Iroh or something, reflecting how most people don’t end up with their first serious crush.
But Asami–! She Does Not Hesitate. She is so awesome. I think the writers are doing their best to utterly avoid tropes for the sake of tropes. Like, the ‘love triangle’ works a lot better if you don’t watch it assuming ‘of course Mako and Korra are going to get together by the end of the season’.
June 19, 2012 @ 5:53 pm
Ooh, I love that! Korra + Iroh. I also love that Mako’s name is a tribute to the first actor who played Iroh.
June 19, 2012 @ 6:44 pm
I love Asami too. She’s great and I’d be happy too if nobody got together at the end. But if Iroh is not too old, then I fully support a hookup between him and Korra.
June 19, 2012 @ 8:06 pm
Republic City Dispatch had a copy of Aang’s family tree. Wouldn’t Bumi, even if he was allowed as a nonbender, have been too young in the flashbacks?
June 19, 2012 @ 8:56 pm
Well, based on that picture of Bumi, definitely isn’t him. The guy on the council was pale, like Aang. Bumi appears to take after Katara, and doesn’t seem to follow airbender traditions re: hair and clothes. As far as the bender/nonbender thing, Sokka served on the council at the time, so nonbenders must have been allowed–at least at that point, if not in the present.
The air nomad (or acolyte?) we saw in the flashbacks didn’t have an arrow, though. I’m confused as to whether arrows are only for benders, or what? Jinora is ten and arrowless, and Aang had an arrow at twelve, so maybe it’s a rite-of-passage thing.
June 19, 2012 @ 9:20 pm
Right! A son and a daughter, not two other sons. This is what I get for trying to think before my coffee has kicked in. 🙂
June 20, 2012 @ 1:06 am
To explain how awesome the General Iroh thing is in broad terms, the original Uncle Iroh holds pretty much the exact same place as Lin Beifong has for this series – secondary character who is cool enough to carry an entire series on their own (even if he is fire nation).
Plus, others may disagree, but I think that Zuko really becomes the most developed character in the original series making it as much his story as it is Aang’s. Even if Team Avatar gets the vast majority of screen time (just wait until you meet Toph, should be interesting especially after getting to know Lin first), but Zuko is probably a deeper more explored character than any of them – and they all are interesting characters!
June 20, 2012 @ 1:48 am
I agree entirely. All four of the main characters develop over the course of the original series, and the series is “about” Aang’s mission, but there’s also a sense in which it’s really Zuko’s story. I hadn’t thought about the parallel between Iroh and Lin Beifong, but it’s a very good analogy. I wonder if she’s in the Order?
June 20, 2012 @ 9:23 am
I kinda want Korra and Asami to get together, because they’re both so damn awesome. But since we all know that’ll never happen, I’m hoping Iroh helps stabilize the triangle out one way or the other.
He’s clearly a very pretty man, so I could see him showing up and Asami being like “HEY THERE, handsome,” and that being the kick in the pants Mako needs to get over himself and quit being a jerk.
June 20, 2012 @ 10:13 am
As far as the two points you mention being confused about: I think one of the previous posters got it about the Yakone mention. Tarlokk being Yakone’s son meant that they didn’t have to worry about how two different bad guys figured out the bloodbending thing because dad could be presumed to have taught his son (either as a small child before he was caught and maybe afterwards).
As for General Iroh, I think your confusion here is more a factor that you aren’t a complete newbie. I think the show was going for the following reactions:
People who didn’t watch Avatar: 3 days? I hope Korra and friends can hang on that long. That’s the general Tenzin messaged earlier? He looks kind of young. Sounds like his name is Iroh and, judging by appearances, probably a firebender.
Meanwhile, people who were fans of Avatar: Squeee! Zuko’s grandson is named after Iroh! I hope he likes tea and is at least half as awesome as his ancestor! He won’t get there for 3 days. I hope Korra and friends can hang on that long.
June 20, 2012 @ 12:32 pm
I just assumed that Yakone’s Special Bloodbending was kind of a mutation or something, and therefore inheritable.
June 20, 2012 @ 3:55 pm
My prediction is that Iroh Jr will end up with either Asami or Korra, thus “fixing” the broken love triangle issue. He’s certainly young enough and the girls are certainly old enough.
As far as the fixing the bending problem goes, I’ve been assuming since day 1 that there was going to be a “Avatar has to learn to reverse it” moment given how much emphasis they’ve been putting on the issue. It’s like Aang broke the balance of the world by using it so carelessly when he went after Yakone. There was no soul searching by him or anything. He just whipped it out and passed judgement.
Regardless of how bad of a guy Yakone was, there has to be something in that which disrupts the balance of how bending is supposed to function in the world.
June 21, 2012 @ 12:14 pm
Maybe the solution to the bending problem will also solve the legitimate complaints the Equalists have, by allowing non-benders to gain bending if they want it?
June 27, 2012 @ 12:57 pm
Please please please blog about Avatar: TLA. These have been delightful to read.
Jim C. Hines
June 27, 2012 @ 12:59 pm
Thanks! I probably won’t do an episode-by-episode review, but I’m sure I’ll be posting something 🙂