Legend of Korra
2 x 9: The Guide
Episode Summary (from the Avatar Wiki): Korra seeks Tenzin’s help to enter the spirit world for the first time.
The Good: While not as good as Beginnings, I thought this was one of the better episodes this season. There were little things that made me happy, like Bumi telling tales about beating an earthbender in a rock-throwing contest, and Meelo’s random snot-bubble. Details that make me think someone is remembering to put a little fun and humor back into the show.
And we needed the humor to balance out cranky Tenzin. While his frustration was far from subtle — lack of subtlety seems to be an ongoing theme this season — I liked seeing his frustration at his own failure, his determination to live up to what he believes Aang dreamed for him, and his obvious pain. Yay, character development!
Seeing Jinora playing with the dragonfly-bunny spirits and eventually taking Korra into the spirit world was wonderful. I want more of Jinora, please. (Also more of Bumi and Bum-Jun!)
Korra seems to be in a calmer, more mature place after her Avatar spirit chat, which is nice to see. I enjoyed her recap, too – and Tenzin’s “I knew this would happen!” Korra hasn’t lost her sense of urgency, but she’s no longer charging every which way with that unthinking impulsiveness that kept making things worse. We’ll see how she responds to Mako and Asami, but for now, I’m happy to see her growth. You also see it in her spirit-bending, which seemed more centered and calmer … and actually worked 🙂
Finally, long after I had given up all hope, they humanized the twins! Eska defied her father and took her brother from the spirit world to find a healer. I was so happy about that scene it almost made me forget how terrible the development of those two characters has been up until now. It gave me hope they might even do something cool or interesting with Eska and her brother…
The Bad: Oh, yay. More love triangle tension.
I wish Tenzin would have gotten over himself sooner. Instead of hammering us with his angst, temper that by letting him find joy and pride in his daughter. Celebrate Jinora fulfilling that part of Aang’s dream. I liked Tenzin’s struggle, but I felt like that plotline could have been much stronger.
Mako tries to tell Bolin and Asami about Varrick. They don’t believe him. What a shock.
And once again, it feels like Lin Beifong’s character was wasted. Sigh.
Predictions: Well, we know Unalaq is trying to free Vaatu because Reasons! Korra and Jinora are off to the spirit world to close the southern portal. Mako is under arrest. We’re heading toward a Korra/Unalaq battle in the spirit world. I assume we’ll be seeing the twins turn against their father at some point. What I’m not sure of is how they’re going to bring the two storylines back together. You’ve got Korra and Team Tenzin on the spirits/Unalaq front, and Mako et al. on the Varrick conspiracy front.
I’m guessing Vaatu will get out, and Korra will have to either put him back or — depending on how gutsy the writers are feeling — free Raava to contain him. I hope Mako getting arrested will be enough of a kick-in-the-ass to put an end to the Mako/Bolin fighting. They’ve already done that once this season with the arrest of Korra’s parents, but I’ll take the repetition if it leads us to an actual team again.
Oh, and I’m looking forward to the final episodes being animated by Studio Mir!