Legend of Korra
2 x 4: Civil Wars, Part II
Episode Summary (from the Avatar Wiki): Korra must fight for her parents’ freedom when they are wrongfully arrested for plotting to assassinate Chief Unalaq.
My Thoughts: Baby sky bison! So much cute!!!
Ahem. Anyway, I’m glad that we seem to be done forcing Korra through plot hoops by making her fall for Palpatine levels of obvious manipulation. I think the writers could have done a better job of getting the story to this point, but now that we’re here, things are beginning to work better. It feels like they’ve been trying to hammer ill-fitting pieces into place for the past three episodes, whereas having Korra, Mako, Asami, Bolin, and Varrick finally come together together against the (sadly one-dimensional) bad guy feels so much more natural.
I also appreciated how they addressed the familial conflicts from the last episode. I admit it never occurred to me that Ikki had run away because the others were picking on her, but it made perfect sense looking back, and it fit so well with Tenzin’s conflicts with Bumi and Kya. Was it a little cheesy? Maybe, but I liked it. Because baby sky bison. I particularly appreciated the resilience we saw from Ikki when she went home and joined her siblings in a game of airball. It’s a little harder for the adults, but they came together as well. The photograph from Katara was the perfect touch – not only sealing the scene, but showing that Katara has been quietly taking steps of her own to heal her family’s rifts.
Korra going after the judge who jailed her father felt like the same sort of impulsive/impetuous mistakes she’s been making all along. In this case, it turned out to be the right call, and her bit about “what Naga wants” and threatening to let the polar bear dog eat the judge’s head was entertaining, but the whole sequence still bothered me. If Korra had any evidence to suggest the judge was crooked, that would be one thing. But as far as I can tell, she didn’t. Which means when she went after him, she was just trying to bully him into changing his verdict. Slamming Naga into the car could have killed the man. Yes, it ended well, but that’s only because she got very lucky.
I loved Bumi’s scene with stone-Aang, and his hug with Kya. “You always know when I need a hug.” I like that line a lot, and it makes me really appreciate Bumi’s character. I thought that scene added a lot more depth than we’d seen from him previously.
Platypus-bear pooping money? Yeah, I laughed. Because my brain is forever 12 🙂
And then there’s Bolin and Eska. Oh my sacred cabbages, will you please end this storyline already? The only way Eska’s character and that “relationship” can possibly be redeemed for me at this point is if Eska and her brother turn out to be spirits, which would give her an excuse for being such an inhumanly extreme cliche of over-the-top possessiveness and obnoxiousness. But right now, it’s unfunny, demeaning, and flat-out painful to watch. Varrick’s jabbering about how to treat “crazy women” makes it more cringeworthy, and that final scene of makeup-smeared Eska waterbending after them? Seriously, just stop it.
Also, watching Bolin and Asami together in this one has convinced me that the Asami/Bolin shippers have a valid point…
Thoughts From the Eight-Year-Old: I liked it, especially the part where they found out that Korra’s uncle was actually the bad guy. This was all I got out of him before he went back to playing his Avatar game, which involves running back and forth through the living room, and something about the fire king’s head getting lost.
Overall Rating: One of the better episodes this season, despite the Bolin/Eska train wreck. The characters finally feel more like themselves, and I have hope that we’re moving beyond the somewhat rocky setup work for this season’s arc. I will optimistically say that I think the show has found it’s footing, and everything will get even better from here on out. OR ELSE!!!
Predictions: I suspect we’ll be bringing Tenzin and his family into the spirit conflict soon. Jinora will presumably be involved there, given her experience with the avatar statues. Korra’s off to ask for help from the President, which means we’ll have some ugly North vs. South fighting for a while. (Possibly bringing former United Forces Commander Bumi’s expertise into the conflict at some point?)
I expect Korra’s impulsiveness will get her into trouble again (also, the sun will rise in the east), which I’m hopeful will eventually lead her back to Tenzin and to a better connection with the spirits. As for the spirits themselves … we’ve gotten nothing for the past two episodes. I have no idea what’s going on there.