The Legend of Korra episode 6 review: And the Winner Is...

Review Kaci Ferrell 19 May 2012 - 17:22

A threat looms over the arena in this week's The Legend of Korra. Read Kaci's review here...

This review contains spoilers.

1.6 And the Winner Is...

 This week's episode of The Legend of Korra is the most action-packed yet, at the same time managing to advance multiple plots and give us some great character moments. Needless to say, it's a vast improvement over last week's teenage angst love square and my faith is restored.

My favorite thing about this show is the way it delves into the past. Unlike some spin-off shows that feel like they have little to no connection to the original, The Legend of Korra is intrinsically tied in with the events of The Last Airbender. A good example of that is when Tenzin talks about growing up with Lin and how she and Aang got along well, or how Lin muses that she can't believe someone as spiritual as Aang reincarnated as Korra. We are never very far from the characters we knew and loved, and it makes the transition into the new show easier.

And speaking of Tenzin and Lin, this episode confirms what I've been suspecting since the first episode but only voiced last week: they have a history together, specifically a romantic one, and it was in fact Lin that he left to marry Pema. The situation is too complicated for me to feel comfortable passing judgment - Tenzin explains to Korra that he and Lin had been growing apart before he met Pema - and who am I to judge any of them without the benefit of actually seeing what went down all those years ago? That's the beauty of the situation, really, from a writing standpoint: it's not black and white and there isn't anyone who is completely right or completely wrong. It's just a sad situation all around.

From an animation standpoint, this episode featured some of the series' best work. The pro-bending matches were beautifully drawn, as was the battle between Korra, Lin, and the Equalists.

Interestingly, Amon's speech in the arena contains a few key words that stood out to me. At one point, he refers to bending being "unnatural" and I'm sure that I don't need to tell you about the real world parallel there.

But perhaps more relevantly to the discussion that's been going on in the comments (which is amazing; thank you so much for sharing your theories and thoughts with me) is that he mentions that thanks to technology, everyone now has the ability to have a chi-blocker at their fingertips. Last week, commenter anonymous12 theorized that perhaps Mr. Sato and Asami were secretly Equalists, and that maybe Mr. Sato got the technology to build his Satomobiles from Amon. After hearing Amon specifically mention technology here, and thinking back to my review a few weeks ago about the lightning rods Equalists use being comparable to the bending firebenders can do, I started to wonder: is it possible that they really are working together?

This episode was action-packed and gave me so much to think about, while also progressing multiple plots and delving deeper into the relationships between Tenzin, Lin, and Korra. What an amazing improvement over last week's episode!

So what do you think? Is it possible that the Satos are working with the Equalists to create all this technology? Are you upset with Tenzin and Pema for what they did to Lin, or do you just feel sorry for everyone involved? Are you shocked that the Fire Ferrets lost the pro-bending championship? As always, I can't wait to hear your thoughts.

Read our review of last week's episode, The Spirit of Competition, here

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I am very shocked they lost, but I was even more shocked when Amon had seen it come. Like, overall in this episode I felt how powerful of a villain he is. I had my hands grabing my hair ferociously when I saw the 'electric' chi-blockers electrifying the metal benders (which I had made my mind up as completely unpenetrable and undefeatable) and I was just stoked at how much thought he had put into the attack.

But back to my original point, I can see where Amon is coming from with the 'unfairness of benders' and stuff. He made a pretty decent point on how benders actually abuse of their power to intimidate powerless citizens to do as they say, and its not irrational. Him and the equalists have a point, and I think thats what ennoys me the most. They are aiming for world domination, but they are looking to represent the non-benders as members of society as suppose to outcasts in a bending world. Its a fair aim to make when the group has been understimated and to a certain extent, abused even.
So yeah, best episode so far, really action packed and super-duper pumped to see whats next. Oh! But I would just like to say, how proud I am of the creators and animators! I just cant believe how much they learnt from the original series, and their experiences are CLEARLY manifested in the kick-ass fighting scenes! It really is amazing and satisfying as a fan to see that such a WORTHY sequel is being produced....just saying.

By the way, love these reviews, I read them after every episode! I really do aspire to write as professionally (and critically) as you do!

Abigail J.

"The Spirit of Competition" is now justified. As a stand-alone episode it was disappointing, but taking the focus away from the Equalists and putting it on the tournament made their attack in this episode have all the more impact.

I was also quite surprised that they lost, but it was also a nice transition to Aman coming in. What got me the most interested was... vision (I guess you could say) that was shown when the Chi Blocker guy was dragging Korra over to be tied up. It showed an older Toph as the chief police talking to (I can only assume) Aang. Then the next scene was a guy with (what is probably) an evil smile. Forgive me, but he looks like someone shown ealier in "The Legend of Korra" who's name I cannot recall. I'm wondering what kind of vision of the past this was and what it means.

Other than that, everything was well done. The animation did not disappoint and the bending battles shown were very well done.

Hi new Den of Geek... can we please have our previous comments from this review posted as well?  It would be a shame to lose such a great discussion!!

Great episode. I loved the original show, but I feel like LoK might just become even better. The characters are older (well, I don't really know how old Korra is, but she looks at least sixteen), there is less slapstick humour and the overall feels more mature and complex. I am very excited about how it's all going to turn out.

On a sidenote, what's up with those flashbacks Korra's been having? They're very ominous. It feels like something shady happened with the adult first generation. I can't help but think that they had something to do with what made Amon what he is, and I'm don't really believe the sob story he feeds to his followers. Maybe his real identity even ties him to first generation somehow? That'd be awesome!

Anyway, great reviews, keep up the good work!

So, since we may have lost our previous comments in the transition, and I do keep copies of my Korra posts, I hereby repost.  Wish I'd kept a copy of everyone else's too... (Kaci, go hassle the DoG techies, please!!)

"Yes, an awesome episode! Only Lin's amazingness was really a surprise, though.  The whole Amon crashing the championship and smashing the ceiling dome was expected.  It's all very "Phantom of the Opera"... anyone else think the dome looks a lot like the doomed chandelier?  Not to mention the whole damaged guy with a damaged face who wears a mask and wants to take over and hurt everyone more privileged than he is, for revenge.  I'm just praying Amon doesn't start having a thing for Korra... that's taking the Phantom parallel too far!!  Oh, and as TheTeacher said, Sato and Asami were suspiciously missing from the story once the Equalists got going.  I've no doubt Sato's "selfless" loan came from Amon... so where did Amon get money like that?  Did he really have enough followers to fundraise it so long ago?  Sounds instead like someone very wealthy and powerful is behind Amon, Sato, and the technology.  It remains to be seen if Sato and Asami are just tools or active participants.  They have a lot to lose by running afoul of the Equalists, but they could easily be sympathizers too.  One thing about all this electrocution bothers me, though.  Why is no one getting burned or having after-effects??  Even if the electric weapons are supposed to be like tasers, it still makes no sense that they stun hard and painfully without injuring.  That's too Star Trek for Avatar, IMHO.  And finally: my take on the mild bending we're usually seeing now is that the characters from ATLA were actually much more gifted benders, forced to use their skills all the time to survive.  PS: Your reviews, and our discussion here, puts all other websites to shame!"

After a rewatch, today I'm adding that I think Asami paid off the ref so Mako wouldn't have his bending taken away.  I believe she knew of the Equalists' plan, yet she likes Mako so much now that she wanted to protect him.

New episode soon--huzzah!

The thing that I don't like about this episode was how the creators just seemed to stuff comic relief in places where I don't think it was needed. I feel like Bolin was just awkward in a lot of parts and made himself look stupid. I liked Sokka's skepticism better, despite it being wrong a lot of the time. Also I hope the creators bring up Mako's and Bolin's parents more often. Because there was a bit of that in Last Airbender and I thought it was pretty interesting. But the outlook doesn't look very good so far. We've gone through too many episodes that have raised too many questions and I don't think they can be answered in one season. It's a pity the creators didn't decide to make LoK into two seasons. Was it because they didn't want it to get old? Because with the way things are going right now, there's a lot left to be explained.

Hi Alex... we do get two seasons of Korra, but they're short seasons.  I think it's twenty-six episodes total.  But I suspect there might be a third season in the works if the show remains successful.  I know the creators, as always, want the story to have a beginning, middle, and end.

I agree that the comic relief in Korra, most especially with Bolin, is far inferior to ATLA and Sokka.

Also, I'm absolutely sure we'll find out about Mako and Bolin's ancestry, but it's being kept as a surprise for later.  Which is why I won't say any more about who I think they're related to and what happened to put them where they are.  :-)

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