Legend of Korra: Civil Wars, Part II
Legend of Korra
2 x 4: Civil Wars, Part II
Full episodes available at Nick.com.
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.
September 30, 2013 @ 10:26 am
I’m hoping them heading back towards Republic City means we’re going to correct the appalling lack of Lin Bei Fong soon. And if Republic forces do get involved, maybe we’ll get to see the young General Iroh again.
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.
Jim C. Hines
September 30, 2013 @ 10:34 am
“I’m hoping them heading back towards Republic City means we’re going to correct the appalling lack of Lin Bei Fong soon.”
September 30, 2013 @ 12:36 pm
My response to this episode: “g’doi.” Seriously, how did it take the characters this long to figure it out? Most of us had Unalaq pegged, even the setting his brother up to be kicked out of the North, from episode 1.
I agree with the whole Bolin/Eska thing. It’s degenerating into this bizarre scenario that it looks like they’re still trying to play for laughs, but I agree with your assessment that it’s unfunny and demeaning and needs to stop. Oz the Great and Powerful did this kind of scenario better, and that’s saying something because it was awful there, too. I do not understand Eska’s motives at all and I can’t figure out where they’re going with this. If it’s all just a giant joke about crazy possessive women who misunderstand a guy’s motives in entering a relationship, shame on you, writers of Legend of Korra. I really hope she and her brother turn out to be spirits trapped in human form and that’s why they have no concept of human relationships.
September 30, 2013 @ 9:43 pm
Agreed on Bolin/Eska.
I’m scratching my head at the clumsy set up, when the previous season was fairly strong. My hope is that it’s something going to come together and make sense. Hope. This episode has felt the most predictable of any yet.
But I am very much enjoying all of the familial undertones happening.
September 30, 2013 @ 9:44 pm
“My hope is that it’s something going to come together and make sense.”
October 5, 2013 @ 2:56 am
First off, I love, love, LOVE Korra’s design, I can’t begin to express how refreshing it is to see someone outside the barbie doll body type.
I too am loving the family dynamics and like you was hopping for a better villain. The best bad guys IMHO(within storytelling) are the ones you can identify with, the ones that make pause and think would I have done something different. Anyways, just my two cents.
PS sorry for any grammatical error English is my second language.
Jim C. Hines
October 5, 2013 @ 10:12 am
Your English is great 🙂
And I agree. Korra is a wonderfully refreshing change from the norm, but I’d really love to see more depth and complexity. I haven’t seen last night’s episode yet, but I’m hoping…
October 6, 2013 @ 2:37 pm
I still think that the deal with the sprits is that creeper uncle is pushing them all the way to light instead of them being balanced they are all on one side. This kind of explains all the negative and “dark” behavior of the northerners like Eska being casually cruel and the solders being all obey us. My main evidence for this would be when Korra tried to calm the sprit it turned white and black kind of normal then the uncle pushed it to all gold light.