Legend of Korra
2 x 5: Peacekeepers
Episode Summary (from the Avatar Wiki): Korra attempts to gain support for the Southern Water Tribe from the United Forces, but her request is denied by President Raiko. As a result, she, Bolin, Varrick, and Asami attempt to take matters into their own hands.
My Thoughts: This episode started out with Lin Beifong. Woo hoo! And then … sigh.
First, let me throw something out there. Eska has been creepy-possessive about Bolin, claiming him as her possession, then going over-the-top abusive/vindictive when he gets away. Now let’s switch over to Korra barging into the station where Mako works to not only yell at him, but to blast his desk across the room. Not okay. Not even close. And I have a lot of respect for Mako’s response, both refusing to be drawn into that level of messed-up conflict, and also for drawing a line and breaking up with her.
I get that Korra is a mess right now. She’s had her whole world turned upside down. The truth about her father’s past, her uncle’s betrayal, the invasion of her home … that’s gonna mess anyone up. But she’s basically stuck on the one-size-fits-all idea that the solution to all your problems is to hit them really hard. And anyone who doesn’t go along with her is the enemy. It’s more Anakin Skywalker-level thinking, and Mako was right to call her on it. What is it with you and sides?
I don’t mind characters making mistakes. I mind when they continue to make the same mistakes over and over and seem unable to learn from them. And I get that we’re setting Korra up for various spiritual revelations, but I feel like that setup is too much, too clunky, and coming at the expense of her character.
Then there’s Varrick and Zhu Li. Zhu Li, whose only role in the story so far is to serve Varrick’s every whim, without speaking a single word. Once again, a character who could have been interesting and wonderful (like the different incarnations of Alfred on Batman, to pick one example), is relegated to a one-dimensional caricature.
Speaking of one-dimensional caricature, I actually liked Eska and Desna a little bit more in this episode. Which isn’t the same as liking them, but at least they were out there being their bad selves and taking on the Avatar.
Finally, we have our other storyline, in which Tenzin teaches Meelo to be a trainer, sucking the joy out of Meelo’s relationship with Poki the flying lemur. By the end of the episode, Meelo has turned the flying lemurs into a trained and disciplined flying force, and Tenzin says he’s created a monster. Sure, fine, Tenzin needs to find balance between discipline and joy. But Tenzin also needs to get involved in the larger story and catch up with his Avatar. Korra is so off-the-rails right now, and needs her Watcher.
Yeah, I was not pleased with this episode. Though Meelo’s line “Being alpha lemur is lonely” was wonderful…
Overall Rating: Tired of black-and-white, with-me-or-against-me thinking in the real world. Tired of it in the show. I liked Mako in this one, but beyond that, I’m firmly in the land of meh.
Predictions: Korra getting eaten by giant spirit is good. Hopefully this will force her to start confronting her spiritual shortcomings. I assume we’ll get lots of reaction shots to the news that the Avatar is dead. Tenzin and Mako will have guilt. This could be a rallying point to get Team Avatar back together (sans Avatar). Unalaq’s gonna be pissed, since he needed Korra alive for whatever he was up to with the northern spirit gate. Beyond that, I dunno. I just hope we get a bit more depth and complexity in future episodes.