Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Legend of Korra Episode 10: Turning The Tides

With each episode I always make sure I sit and watch with Venessa to experience each one for the first time.  It also provides an arm for me to grab and let me tell you, it’s happened quite a bit.  There’s also a lot of couch jumping.  By Venessa, obviously, not me, duh.  So it’s been like this for the last 3-4 episodes or so: a lot of arm grabbing, shoulder shaking, jumping up and down, laughing and squealing in fright.  Yesterday, there were some tears to add to the mix.  You know that whole scene in Spinal Tap, about the amp going to 11?  This episode was an 11 and then some; upping the ante and the intensity factor at least 100 times more than the whole series so far in my opinion.  I fear for the finale, I don’t think my heart can take it.  And I feared writing the recap that follows because I didn’t know if I wanted to relive what happened all over again.  But, I will...


The episode begins with Korra getting some much needed rest.  Then after a good home cooked meal, Korra tells everyone what happened to her, Tarrlock’s true identity and about Amon showing up to take away Tarrlock’s bending.  A council member attacked my Amon worries Tenzin and Asami confronts Mako about the kiss between him and Korra.  Before Tenzin heads to Republic City, he asks Lin to look after her family.  Pema is only too happy to take advantage of Lin’s generosity.

When Tenzin arrives in Republic City, he is too late.  The Equalists have attacked the other council members and Tenzin manages to escape when they come for him.  That’s when all hell breaks loose as strategic blasts go off throughout the city.  Republic City is under attack and the New Team Avatar rush to help.  We find out Korra can’t drive and Mako has been banished to the backseat.  Tenzin arrives at police headquarters but it’s not long before it comes under attack.  As Tenzin tries to lead those that are left to safety they find themselves surrounded.

New Team Avatar arrive just in time to save Tenzin, who for the second time, was almost captured by Equalists.  But their work is not done yet when they look out across the bay and see Equalist airships heading for Air Temple Island.  Of course, unborn children always choose the worst time to be born so Pema goes into labor as the airships are coming for them.  Lin stands her ground to protect Pema and the children, but is soon overwhelmed.  When it looks like this is it for Lin, who should come to her rescue but Jinora, Ikki and Meelo!  They are able to hold off the first attack in time for Tenzin and New Team Avatar to arrive.  Tenzin and the children meet their new brother but there’s no time to enjoy the happy moment.  More airships are on the way.  They decide to split up, to regroup and return to fight another time.  The members of the White Lotus hold off the Equalists while Lin, Tenzin and his family leave on Oogi.  Korra, Asami, Bolin and Mako leave on Naga.  But the airships are hot on the trail of Oogi.

Lin turns to Tenzin and his family, tells them “Whatever happens to me, don’t turn back”, then makes the jump to the closest airship.

Lin manages to take out one of the ships.  As she starts on the second, she is captured.  The second airship breaks off its pursuit of Tenzin’s family but Lin is brought before Amon and her bending is taken away!

Republic City has fallen, the police force has been captured by Equalists, but General Iroh and the United Forces are on the way.  But is it too late?

Let’s start with the hard part first, like ripping off a band aid quickly; Lin Beifong losing her bending.  This was so heartbreaking.  I don’t know which was worse: hearing her tell the others not to look back for her, leaving us to think we wouldn’t see her alive again, or her bravely facing Amon as he took her bending.  Not even a tear from her.  But not a dry eye amongst most of us fans I’m sure.  She has nerves of steel and was not about to let the last airbenders fall into Amon's hands or betray Korra.  Toph would be so proud.  Meelo said it for all of us: That lady is my hero.  Ugh, I’m about to cry writing this.

Okay, next up: General Iroh.  It’s obvious this young man is related to Zuko from the original series (voice actor is the same too).  I’ve only heard through the internet grape vine that Zuko has a daughter.  Since Zuko was the oldest out of the Gaang, I’m going to say this is likely his grandson and Zuko would be old enough to have a grandson as young-ish as General Iroh seems to be.

And grr, I knew Tenzin would get himself into trouble heading back to Republic City.  Thank goodness Asami’s father had her take those self defense classes.  She single handedly took down five Equalists to save him.  And once again Mako is annoying but it was about time we finally see someone redirect the electric charges that has been used against the benders.  I’ll just move on and complain that there wasn’t enough for Bolin to do and I’m not counting him worrying about parking tickets then pointing out mustache guy.  This episode was also a bit Korra-lite too but she did a lot in the last one so I’ll let it pass.  But at least we got to see the airbender kids show off!

I've already said it, that Amon is using a really good chi block to take away someone's bending, or rather, to give the impression it's been taken away.  I think Tenzin made it very clear a few episodes ago, that only an Avatar can take away someone's bending permanently and that's that.  So what's Amon plan?  To attempt to "take away" Korra's bending in order to trigger the Avatar State, then he'll go in for the kill because it's only when you kill an Avatar in the Avatar State that you can stop the cycle, otherwise a new Avatar will be born.  It's never been discussed what happens if the Avatar ceases, other than there will never be another.  What if that also rids the world of bending as well?  Which is ultimately Amon's plan.  So anyways, that's what I think...

Memorable Moments:

The set up to the Equalists attack on the council members with them posing as "innocent" exterminators and window washers

Seeing Republic City under attack from Air Temple Island

You can feel Tenzin’s helplessness as he looks on unable to stop these events on his own

Preparing to attack Air Temple Island

Jinora, Ikki and Meelo coming in to help Lin

Naga gets a hero moment

The hope that help is on the way

I really don’t know what else to say.  I love this series.  This episode was just packed with action, there was no room to breathe... it was fantastic!  It looks like we’re possibly heading into an Empire Strikes Back ending and yes, this one was pretty close but this was just Han Solo being encased in carbonite.  We haven’t even gotten to the Darth Vader is Luke Skywalker’s father revelation yet!  (Side note: Oh my god, Google Docs actually had Vader in its dictionary!)  I’m just happy I can enjoy such a wonderful, well thought out show and to be able to share the experience with my daughter.  RIP Lin’s bending (for now, because darn it I won't believe it's permanent!) and whether I’m prepared for it or not, on to the finale!

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