The Legend of Korra episode 9 review: Out of the Past

Review Kaci Ferrell 9 Jun 2012 - 17:18

This week's Legend of Korra is a treat for fans of The Last Airbender, and an all-round belter. Read Kaci's review here...

This review contains spoilers.

1.9 Out of the Past

In this week's episode of The Legend of Korra, things get awesome.

While I'm sure there are a handful of people who are watching The Legend of Korra without having seen The Last Airbender, I also think it's safe to say that those people are in the minority. And for those of us who loved the original series, let's also not pretend that part of what drew us to this show had nothing to do with the temptation of getting to see how things turned out for the characters we knew and loved.

This week's episode is almost uniquely catered to us, while also managing to stay fresh and relevant to Korra's story so that it doesn't veer off into feeling like fanservice. This week's episode manages to take the fragments of the past Korra has seen and confirm for us that they are the result of Aang's spirit trying to send her a message to warn her about Tarrlok. As it turns out, special bending abilities run in families, and the revelation that Tarrlok was Yakone's son is dropped squarely onto our shoulders. (We also get a brilliant moment in which Toph refers to Aang as "Twinkle Toes" despite his protests that he's too old for nicknames. In that moment, I could've forgiven this show for every flaw because admit it: that scene was perfect.)

I admit that I'm already tired of the Asami/Mako/Korra love triangle, but what I'm not tired of is the way this show continually defies my expectations. I don't post theories very often in these reviews, but I do read each and every single one of your theories in the comments. A popular one has been that Amon and Tarrlok are actually brothers, and for awhile, I started to believe that myself. But that was torn apart in this episode when Tarrlok spoke to Amon as though they didn't know each other, informing him that he'd never before faced a bender with powers such as Tarrlok's, and then asking, "What are you?" when Amon managed to defy his blood bending.

It makes me wonder, though: why come after Tarrlok now of all times? In a very real way, Amon almost...assisted the Avatar by taking away the bending of the man who held her captive.

The most important question I have for all of you, however, is: what exactly is Amon? How can he defy blood bending? We've seen two Avatars fall prey to that ability, and yet this man can somehow withstand it better than either. Aang was only able to overcome it by going into the Avatar State. Is it possible that Amon uses a similar spiritual meditation technique?

This episode gave us so many answers, but each one only lead to more questions. It was probably one of the most tense episodes so far, and all the fights were gorgeously animated. Hearing the grown up voices of Aang, Toph, and Sokka threw me for a loop, but there was something so exciting and wonderful about seeing and hearing them as adults that it didn't matter.

All in all, this is one of the more standout episodes of the season.

Read our review of last week's episode, When Extremes Meet, here.

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I have a theory.  Hopefully I'm the first person to come to this conclusion.

Korra and Amon are Aangs reincarnation.

Aang took away someones bending for the second time.  It looked like he thought it was necessary and "for the greater good".

I think that if he stopped bending more than those two times then when he reincarnated the part of him that thought that punishment was a necessity reincarnated  into Amon while the rest of his soul became Korra.

The reason why he's going after Tarlokk now is to show that he stands for "swift justice." The next episode is the finale where there's an all out fight between equalists and the city. Debending Tarlokk a few days after the roundup would show everyone in the city just how effective he is and it would have a bigger impact than if he waited longer.

Kevin Duffy's theory is not plausible because there is nothing in the episodes to even slightly suggest that. My theory is that Amon is some antagonist from the previous related series. He could be Zuko's father (forgive any inaccurate spellings) because we haven't seen him bending. however, he has managed to deflect all bending and even overpower some of the benders. I still can't explain how he mastered the taking-away-bending power.

What an episode! They gave us so many awesome revelations, and I really wasn't disappointed by any of them. I agreed with how the voices of the old gang was a little odd at first, but each of the characters were recognisable at heart. From Toph's 'twinkle toes' to Sokka's boomerang references, they were all grown-up, but still the same characters we loved.

Lots more gorgeous action, and how better to make Amon appear even more potent, than by having him take out the previously unstoppable bloodbender.

Can't believe the season is nearly over!

Zuko's father's going to be practically ancient by this time - I really don't see him being Amon. I'm actually rather intrigued by Kevin Duffy's theory. 

My theory on Amon is that he is actually an advanced blood-bender, and has developed a way of using blood-bending to manipulate a person's physiology in such a way that he/she is no longer able to bend - it also makes sense that a blood-bender would be able to resist the attack of an opposing bloodbender. 

But I'm not sure how this would explain his motives....

No kevin, many people have come up with the theory that Amon is a reincarnation.  I agree to an extent.  Aang did
die at the end of Season Two when he was struck by Azula's lightning,
only to be resuscitated by Katara. Perhaps the Avatar Spirit went and
choose the next in line, only to be transferred back to Aang. Amon
fighting against the bloodbending makes me reconsider this as only a
strong waterbender or the Avatar could avoid it.  Maybe there's some "Avatar residue" within Amon if this theory holds. Roku did say that if
one was killed in the Avatar state, the chain would be broken but that
was proven wrong with Aang's resuscitation and Korra as
the new Avatar.

This theory might also be a reason why Korra has a difficult time with airbending, meditation and connecting to the Spirit World.

I really like the sound of chaoswalking's theory. Could this mean Amon is a water bender maybe because to be a blood bender you must be a water bender and i have always noticed Amon has very fluid motion when evading attacks much like the form of a water bender. Also quick question anyone know a site i can watch the latest episode i live in England so its not on TV for me :/  

Just have to say, your username is awesome. 
Meelo is a legend, and I also think he's going to woo Asami. 

Amon only partially resisted the blood-bending. He still showed signs of struggling to walk as Tarrlok tried to control him. 

Just a whacky idea to throw out there: perhaps with all these steampunk-esque advances in technology, -- so often used by Amon and his equalists -- Amon is in fact a kind of synthetic human: part bionic, part biological (hence the partial struggle). 

I like this idea, and it seems to fit with a lot of what we've seen about Amon. Perhaps the firebenders who killed his parents really damaged him too, to the extent that he had to have all these bionic implants. 

Only thing, I would've thought that metalbenders would've been able to sense something like this in Amon, if he did indeed have more than normal amounts of metal in his body?

alright this is my theory, Amon is actually a bender but he's not bending yet. I beleive he is not taking bendings away, he's absorbing their bending (their powers). I think in the final fight between Amon and Korra, Amon is going to bend all 4 elements too and he's gonna be strong but again only the avatar can stop him. Thats just my theory.

Amon is Bumi, the "Non-bender" son. I don't think he's a non-bender at all, I think he inherited energy bending.

I actually don't think Amon is a bloodbender/waterbender. I'd say it may have to do more with energy bending. Amon doesn't seem to be bending any element, and it could be that energy bending is not limited to "benders". And since bending all derives from energy bending, if you control the energy in your body, the bending can't affect you.
Also - you'll notice that once the avatar state starts, Yakone can't bloodbend Aang anymore, and this may be a result of him controlling the energy in his body more directly.... He may be energybending himself while in the avatar state.

how were you guys able to see the episode. please let me now I am searching everywhere

Amon is a water bender!!! did anyone else notice the light of the full moon when Turlock was blood bending the equalist??? that would explain why Amon was able to resist the bloodbending. I'm leaning on the idea that Amon is Aang and Katara's daughter (she's a water bender).

Okay, I'm totally with you! I just watched the preview for the finale and it TOTALLY looks like Mako is being bloodbended. Which would make perfect sense, if Amon was able to absorb powers when he takes them from other people. That also explains why he's so crazy powerful and fast- if anyone had that much bending inside of them, they'd be just about unbeatable, too.
All I know is I can't WAIT until June 23.

Well I'm kind of confused of what's going on for next week episode... Although, I'm still too exited for this week's episode, how did Amon managed to resist bloodbending for crying out loud?! I thought on episode 8 that bloodbending would be the perfect way to take down Amon and that Korra would had to learn it (kind of dark I know)... There goes a theory.
About episode 10 I have no clue of what's going to happen, yeah... the equalist begin their atack, as fire nation did 170 years ago xD I don't see a big plot going on in this episode.
On the other hand, I'm stilld loking towards season's finale, here's my theory: "Korra says goodbye to her bending, she's completely unable to recover her bending, therefore, that's why se becomes a legend! She would be the only Avatar wich becomes a non-bender that safes the world without what peoples thinks makes the Avatar so special" Mark my words ;)

unless Amon has platinum metal then they wouldn't be able to bend 'him'

I like your theory alot actually!! : D

On television.

My theory is that Amon does have a grudge against benders, but is actually one himself. He shrugs off Tarrlok's bloodbending, similar to the way Katara did against Hama. Only master waterbenders can do that, so that's my theory. The permanent-taking-of-bending ability, however, doesn't have anything to do with waterbending, as that one dude Korra fought in the final pro-bending match saw multiple master waterbenders, and none of them could figure out how his bending was taken.

I also like the theory of Amon and Korra both being avatars. It's similar to the way slaying worked in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, like how at the end of Season 1 Buffy "died," but even though she was brought back to life, (Similar to Aang.) a new slayer was chosen, causing two Slayers to exist at the same time. This is something I thought could've been a plot in the original Avatar, but never materialized. 

It COULD be what the writers are trying to do now, but that would mean that there had been around 70-80 years of 2 avatars existing at the same time, counting Aang to Korra, and at least 2 other avatars. (One when Aang "died" at 13/14, and another who would have been the precursor to Amon.) They would have been in 4 different families, and no one ever noticed or reported it. Kind of unlikely.

Here are my thoughts on the popular Amon theories out there:

Amon being a bloodbender. Unlikely. Amon seems to hate bending with a passion and I really doubt he is the sort to deceive his supporters. Maybe its just me; I think very highly of Amon. He is obviously based off V from V for Vendetta.

Amon being a messed up reincarnation of Aang when Azula 'killed' him. This was very interesting initially but if you go by the exact lore, killing Aang in the Avatar State would have destroyed the line of Avatars. It is possible something with the reincarnation process got screwed up somewhere so we may still see this brought up.

What I think ties up very well with everything is that Amon is an energybender. Like the Lion Turtle explained, it is the root of all bending abilities. Mastering energy bending explains how Amon can take bending away and resist bloodbending. And being a very rare and complicated art (that seemed limited to the spirits and the avatar), this isn't a form of bending that the Equalists despise. Amon must have learnt it from a spirit somehow, one of the nastier ones perhaps (like Ko).

june 23rd 1 hour finale!!! cant wait for it

I think Mako was just bound by his hands and feet, not bloodbended. His face would be strained if he was.

Try streaming websites. Not the best quality, but it helps get the suspense out of the way.

Also why all the attempts to link Amon to someone from the original series? I think the writers have done a very good job of creating a whole new set of characters for the present series. I really doubt they would feel the need to pull someone out of the past to be the new villain.

i think korra will enter the avatar state when amon tries to take her bending 

you my be right, Hiroshi Sato could have made amon part (robot) when he joined the 
Equalists

the only reason katara was able to shrug off hamas bending, was that the moon was full and both katara and hamas bending were equal in power 

2 reasons why your wrong: 1, amon has no breasts 
                                        2, its a mans voice 

I think the finale will have Korra stripped of her ability to bend any element she's already learned, leaving her with only air bending to master in season 2?

The only other person to be able to take away someone's bending, except Amon, is Aang. Also Aang & Amon were the only ones able to withstand bloodbending. In the episode it said unique bending abilities were passed down by family. Are Aang and Amon somehow related?!?!?!?!?!?

Maybe Aang had a non bender son and he became Amon. Maybe The story of his family is fake

What if Amon was taken over by a spirit and is now half spirit half human. or maybe he's a full spirit that crossed over from the spirit world... the ocean and the moon spirit were able to live in the mortal world as real fish that could die when the whole thing with Admiral Zhao happened... that's just my theory though...

aaahhh yes and perhaps when he learned of this fact from Koh, he got excited and made an expression and got 90% of his face ripped off before going back to a straight face and keeping only his eyes and mouth. and now he uses the fire story as a cover up

I think this random guy is right, energybending seems like the only probably theory out there as far as I'm concerned. Sad for Korra, though. Her arch enemy is more spiritual then she, the Avatar, is. :O
I do hope we're gonna see something nice with that energybending, though. And we just got a name for the next book, as it's the only element left. :D

I didn't like Aang's voice, didn't know he was from brooklyn

I agree with you, during the preview they showed Korra closing her eyes when Amon put his hands on her so when she opens them it's highly possible she would be in the avatar state

I don't think she'll enter the avatar state.

I think it will end in her losing to Amon, Amon taking the city and the next book will be about the aftermath.  The people find out he isn't a saint and Korra has to build a rebellion against him while she relearns bending with airbending being the key to get the rest back because it was the only one Amon didn't seal at the time.

For some reason, I feel that Amon wants Korra to go into the Avatar state. I have no clue why he would want that, but the whole reason behind not finishing her off earlier has to mean something. Why would he wait so long to take her bending away? Anyone else agree?

Oh that's a really interesting point. The only way to permanently kill the avatar is to kill him/her in the avatar state. Perhaps Amon believes that taking away the avatar's bending while he/she is in the avatar state will remove the avatar permanently...

I have a few things to say one is that I think Amon might be Aang's non-bender son because think of it he was born into a bending prodigy and so he is filled with jealously, yes I know in episode two he tells his origin story but I do not buy it. Aang probably tried to give his son bending abilities but it only backfired creating a monster in the process. Also I wonder if a bender loss their bending can they still pass on bending ability to their post de-bend offspring because if I'm right everything Amon is doing a waste of time.    

I gotta say, I totaly disagree with the review and although most of the season had consistently exceeded my expectations, this episode did not. For me it was slightly disappointing and pretty underwhelming.
After being shown snippets of the Yakone incident over several episodes, i was under the impression that Yakone had posed much more of a serious threat to republic city and was much more of a lasting ordeal for Aang just as Amon is proving to be for Korra. Instead, what we got was just another bad guy who gets the upper hand in the beginning only to be subdued by Aang 5 minutes later. The whole segment had too much of a baddie of the week feel to it that you tend to get from other, less awesome programmes.
Then there's Tarlok, to spend so much time in previous episodes setting up Tarlok's character, to have his more sinister side come to light bit by bit and then to just have it all just blow up in one episode and to find out that "oh he's Yakone's son" and that explains EVERYTHING just felt a bit rushed and for me it was just a bit of a shame really. Tarlok, to me seemed much more of a formidable foe for Korra not just because of his bloodbending but because of his position as a "good guy" at leased to the majority of the benders in the city anyway, and because of the power he holds as a council member, plus the fact that he's such a clever schemer, to have his whole plan crumble around him so suddenly and easily just felt slightly premature and just a bit rushed. 
Maybe being blown away episode after episode has raised my expectations too far, they will be lowered for next week and hopefully the show can get back to making my week!

Amon said earlier that he was saving her for last because she'd become a martyr for the benders if he took her bending away before "equalizing" everyone else. 

I don't see Aang 'trying to give his son bending abilities'. It seems rather extreme, and there shouldn't be anything wrong with being born as a non-bender, and I doubt Aang or Katara would feel the need to force their son to become a bender. And I can't imagine children of Aang and Katara turning out this evil, it just doesn't feel right. 

And on your second point, it all depends on how Amon is blocking the bending - perhaps it's something psychological, or a permanent, but reversible, blocking of chi pathways, either of which shouldn't affect genetics. But if it's something more spiritual, using really powerful forces, perhaps it fundamentally changes a person to such a degree that even their DNA is affected. 

Also, as you mentioned, Amon's origin story could easily be fabricated. The problem is, this guy is shrouded in mystery. We don't know anything about him, even his exterior appearance is a mystery. 

I like your theory of Amon being a energybender but I see Amon being more like Hitler in that he is out purifying the world, V only killed those that created him, yes you can say that with Amon since supposedly firebenders disfigured him as a child, but would he not then just try to kill those responsible only, meaning the landlords family and those that took apart in the attack. Amon is going after innocent civilians those that use their bending for good. I would have like it if Amon just went after gang leaders and government officials instead that would make for a more 3 dimensional character because the Avatar would have a rival, a batman of sorts. That would been awesome:o    

I agree with some of the points you're making: Yakone's story did lack a certain depth. 
But I think ultimately, this whole Yakone, Tarlok saga has been about two things. Furthering Korra's connection, spiritually, to Aang and the past avatars. And more importantly, setting up Amon to be an incredibly dangerous foe. It's definitely upped the ante for the last three episodes. 

i hope mako and korra get together at the end of book one like aang and katara did at the end of the series 

does anyone think amon is aang's son bumi.they said hes a non bender but i think that he inherited Aangs ability to energy bend.

 I don't believe so. Bumi may appear in Book 2 as Korra tries to find answers about whatever problem she is seeking a solution to depending on how the season Finale goes, but I don't believe he's related to Amon, and I don't like the idea of Energy Bending being inherited from Aang. It would mean he's the rise and fall of Republic City by passing it on to someone who would use it for evil. I much rather like the idea that he learned it from Koh, because Amon himself said he was granted this ability by the spirits who had deemed the Avatar a failure. Propaganda to sway people away from the idea of seeing the Avatar as a savior? Possible, but I think its more or less true.

And although I feel like this is unlikely to happen, I'd like to see Katara come on board and temporarily take the place of Councilwoman, but seeing as she's from the Southern tribe and I think that Tarlok was from the Northern tribe, its unlikely.

And am I imagining things or in the original series, didn't Katara also bloodbend without the full moon in the Southern Raiders episode? I didn't think it was night time in that episode when she did it, but I guess I'd have to rewatch it to be certain. Call me a fanboy, but I still believe Katara is the strongest waterbender in the world, or was rather, during her prime years. But I'd LOVE to see Katara fight now, and in a unique way.

Hama seemed to be able to fight well even in her old age, and despite being well.. fat.. I'd love to see Katara utilize waterbending to keep herself fast and mobile in a fight. The animators are MORE than capable of doing so from the gorgeous animation thus far. And I can't help but dream of a bad ass old woman Katara holding her own against Amon in an effort to save Korra, but ultimately losing her life when she's double teamed by Equalists, but thanks to it, Korra manages to escape losing her bending.

I don't think it'll happen as we've had little character to character development between Katara and Korra, so an effort to save Korra that costs Katara her life might feel rushed and a bit cheesy if not done right, and given the circumstances, it'd be difficult to pull it off..

Sigh.. I can dream though. That's what fanfictions are for.. Excuse my rambling.

if she goes into the avatar states and dies then she will become that last of the avatars they would die with her and thats probabley what amon wants

but korra will be more powerful then amon in the avatar state so he may want to kill her before hand

Aangs decedents will become air nomad avatars

I will personally hunt and kill you if Katara dies saving Korra, screw Korra

 LOL, ah, but wouldn't you rather Katara have an honorable death than dying like a shriveled up old woman from natural causes? Katara is much better than that and deserves a meaningful and noble death.

LALALALA

NOT LISTENING....

Well, yea, but no, so no...   :D

Korra will avatar state them both out of trouble, or even better, 

Ang will avatar state through Korra like Roku did through Ang, and save Korra and his loved one, Kitara

How about that ? ;)

 Eh, that's what would happen in the original series, but this one is much darker. Death is a definite possibility now a days.

i hope katara kicks amons ass 

Anyone ever stop to think that amon might just be a spirit? hello......... (-_-)

Y'all, seriously. I cannot believe the people who think Amon is Bumi, Aang and Katara's son. Or who think he's some sort of Zuko or Azula offspring. That would be entirely too convenient, and if we've learned anything from watching the A:TLA and the episodes of Korra so far, it's that the convenient answer is very rarely the right one.

(Although I do have to admit, when Tenzin and Lin first interacted I joked to my husband that "can you imagine them as teenager feeling forced to go to the prom together? Most awkward prom ever" - and then we find out they did have a thing. Color me corrected.)

I do think the spiritual theory may be closer to the true answer than any of the other things I've read tossed around. Amon does mention in one of the earlier episodes that he'd been given his "gift" from the spirits. Koh would be a very meta-answer to that, since he's the face stealer - and would have a history with the Avatar, if we remember back to Aang's conversation with Avatar Kuruk.

What I'm really curious about is how much of this storyline will carry into Book Two, since originally this was a one-series deal that was extended. I love the richness and complexity of the story - it was one of the things that drew me in to the first series, and made me very excited for the "new" Avatar. One thing is definitely for sure - all we can do is guess, because what happens at the end will most likely surprise us all.

actually i think amon might be aang's son. Not tenzin but his other son that was not mention in the series but if you do research katara and Aang had i think 3 or 2 sons. it was also stated that one of his sons was a non bender. its possible it could be him and he got in touch into his spiritual side knowing which chakras can take your bending ability.

it gives him a motive because he was jealous of not having bending powers himself. Or if aang did have a 3rd son the one with the bending ability also has the motive to try to get rid of benders so he can be the only one with a power thus becoming the most powerful ( or something along those lines)

well you may be right about nonbenders being able to energy bend, however i think aang was able to resist yakone's bending when he entered the avatar state because it made him a more powerful waterbender like how katara resisted hama because she was the more powerful waterbender. 

i hope meelo becomes the next avatars air bending master how fun would that be

I loved this episode, but there was something troubling in the story.

They built up these flashbacks of Yakone, and the difficulty that Aang had to fix the situation. Then, you see the whole story, about how Yakone possessed this unbelievable power, but Aang overcame him and defeated him a few minutes later.

THEN you find out that Tarlok is Yakone's son, eluding to how strong he is, but then a moment later, he's destroyed by Amon.

So what was all that buildup for? We saw how powerful Yakone was. And we saw how powerful Tarlok was. And in one episode, both of those threats are gone! In the end, it showed the Amon is even more bad-ass than originally thought, but I just thought something more would come of it.

I thought we might learn that Yakone was responsible for Aang's death. Or that Tarlok IS Amon.

Am I the only one that noticed Amon use airbending when Korra attacked him?
 

amon toke tarloks bending 

However I also think it was kind of important...firstly as you said to establish Korra's ability to communicate with Aang spiritually but also, and perhaps more importantly, so add yet another aspect to Amon. Because the thing is Korra was always going to find out about Tarrlok the closer she got to being the avatar but what we never expected was for Amon to step in. THAT adds a whole other mysterious dimension to the story. Why did Amon step in? How did he know where Korra and Tarrlok were? I think there is also something important in the connection between Aang taking Yakone's bending and then 4 seconds later we see Amon taking Tarrlok's bending. So to me it shows there is a connection between Aang and Amon, but we are not sure what it is yet.

Something I TOTALLY missed until I rewatched this episode for the 3rd time. Every time Aang energy bends away someone's bending, it's from the front. (Ozai and Yakone). Whereas everytime Amon does it (even in trailers), he's doing it from behind them, even when their hands are tied and they're no threat to him. A sign that there is a difference in Aang and Amon's ability to energy bend? Methinks so.

You could definitely be right, just (to me, anyway) it looked like his hands were twitching the way they do when someone is being bloodbended. But maybe I'm just crazy. :P

katara will not die before any of tenzin's daughter will have their fourth child.. remember the episode in the first avatar series. the one with the fortuneteller. she said katara will die peacefully in her sleep after the birth of her fourth great granddaughter.

 No I don't recall that but let's not forget that Tenzin is the youngest of the three children of Aang. They could have children already who are much closer to having children than Tenzin's daughters.

Ahhhh!!! When they were talking about the hour long episode of korra, when they showed a clip of Amon taking away korra's bending, did you notic that Korra closed her eyes? well have you noticed that every time Ang went into the Avatar State his eyes close? Amon can not and will not take away Avatar Korra's bending!!!!!

Amon is a bloodbender as well, plain and simple. If you watch the previews for the season finale, he is bloodbending korra and mako while he starts to "take korra's bending" (I dont believe he can actually spiritbend). If you recall in ATLA, Katara could withstand being bloodbender from hama because Katara is a stronger bender. Meaning Amon is a stronger bloodbender than Tarrlok. Which leads me to believe that they have SOME relation, but what it is I do not know considering Tarrlok was confused as to "what" Amon is. Hopefully Korra's desperation will finally lead her into the avatar state avatar junkies like me are just waiting for. All in all it was a great episode, but for me, this episode gave fewer questions and more answers than any episode so far... Except if Tarrlok could bloodbend because of his dad, how did Yakone learn to bloodbend without a full moon? And where are all of the mini combustion men?

As the only adult Korra fan i know.... I love reading these reviews. I haven't seen a single flaw in the series and the love story is needed. She's a young lady and Mako is hot!!! Asami kind of worries me. I could see her being a powerful ally to Korra and maybe a representative to Non Benders...

Here's a good theory... Amon is an energy-bender who stole the power from the lion turtle spirit. He's gonna take EVERYONES bending including Lin and Mako and try to take Korras but she'll go into the Avatar State and take his energy bending away and restore bending to all the benders Amon hurt!  That might take a few seasons though

I noticed that too and I was like, "wait did he just... No no it couldn't have been..." and then I watched it again and it really did look like he was airbending to jump higher and move the smoke or whatever out of the way. Did anyone else notice this?

Korra will go to the avatar state and defeat Amon no doubt bout it

What if Amon was taken over by a spirit and is now half spirit half human. or maybe he's a full spirit that crossed over from the spirit world... the ocean and the moon spirit were able to live in the mortal world as real fish that could die when the whole thing with Admiral Zhao happened... that's just my theory though, anyone else thinking the same thing?

this is too good. korra will recieve help from aang and past avatars while in the avatar state to learn who amon is and how to defeat him.

it could be plausible that amon is a child of aangs, they have neglected to mention anything about the other children aside from tenzin in this book.

they could be showing more backstory to amon in this finale, i dont believe he can be the only force of evil. how could they develop this series with only one main evil.

Ah, I don't know. I was really annoyed with the script. I understand that Nickelodeon is trying to cater to a younger audience as well, but it was so cheesy. Bolin wasn't terribly funny in this episode either. And although the next episode will be the last, I thought the writers gave a little too much leeway in terms of moving the story along. 

In this episode, I was particularly annoyed with the fact that Tarrlok's servant just came out with everything so easily. I don't know if there's a better way, to move the story along, but I think there should have at least been some sort of implication that the servant knew anything at the beginning of the episode and when he appeared he just spilled everything that he knew about Tarrlok. Also I felt like Mako went a little too crazy for Korra in this episode. I understand that she went missing, but I just felt like it was a rush job, which I guess comes along with the sad fact that there are only 20 episodes of LOK...Ack. Anyone else annoyed with the script? I feel like there's a serious lack of creativity and I was actually more excited with the first few episodes, especially with the one where Bolin was caught by the Equalists. The escape was clever. But even then, the pieces of a map on the back of the posters? Really? 

Unlike Hitler, Amon is fighting against the superior people, by putting them down a level, not killin' them. Simply taking their bending away, make everyone equal but after he does that? What? I wouldn't know and I don't know how my font went like this either.

Has anyone else found this season to be a bit rushed? I realise that they only have half the number of episodes per season as TLA, but as a result I'm finding the story development to be really fractious. I like the idea of this story arc, the whole equalist revolution angle, however I think the lack of episodes has really hindered the storytelling. Several aspects such as the building up and subsequent removal of Tarrlock as a threat seem rushed, while other aspects such as Korra's avatar training seem to have been ignored. We are now at the end of the first season and I still have no real clue about how everything fits together, I get that there have to be some big reveals for the finale, however at the moment I feel like there are loads of things that were brought up early on in the season which have never been referenced again/developed further, for example: Mako, Bolin and Amon's backstory. The effort was made to highlight that all three lost their parents to firebenders however there has been no further development of that thread. We still have no real  idea of what Amon's practical end game is, yes he wants to equalise the world, but how exactly? Aligned to that, we have had no further development on WHY he wants to equalise the world. Why does he hate benders? At the moment he seems like a really two dimensional villain, we have had no real explanation of his motivations and thoughts. The actual character of Ozai in the original may have been largely under developed but the backstory of the Fire Nation and the war as a whole was very well thought out so that from an early stage we fully understood why what was happening was happening. As of yet this season hasn't really developed the Equalists beyond their 'We hate benders' slogan. 

I like trying to figure out how the finales of seasons will play out, however with LOK I really don't think we have been given anywhere enough information to be able to really make an educated guess as to what will happen. At the moment the majority of the guesses made are really just shots in the dark. I'm quite worried that either the finale will spend a long time on story exposition and will become too weighed down with multiple rushed thread resolutions, or it will go the other way and leave loads of angles frustratingly unresolved.

I think that giving LOK longer seasons would really allow the writers to produce a much more rounded piece if storytelling. The number of as yet underdeveloped plots shows that they have loads of ideas they want to share, however they are being hamstrung by a lack of episodes.

 Amazon Streaming Video has them all up now. Just search "Korra" on Amazon and you get the choice of HD or regular.

Oh but who knows if they will be truly equal once they lose their bending, What if Amon decides to mark them, what if their post debend offspring still become benders. Who knows, all I was saying was that he and Hitler are similar trying to get rid of a minorities way of life.  

I like your response to my comment but all I was saying was just a theory and yes Aang and Katara would not mind but what if the child did and went to seek out a power from another source that all. I still go on my theory that the de-bend can still have bender children. 

No Korra can not lose her bending that easily because that be the end of the series, no Korra is the only one that can defeat Amon and his energybending.

I think people are really on to something. When Azula killed Aang whilst he was in the avatar state maybe it did mess up the reincarnation cycle and two avatars were born, only one inherited the spiritual side without the bending(Amon) and the other was left unable to properly connect to the spirit world(Korra). 

I think Amon is an energybender, they can manipulate the energy inside their own bodies, so Amon could have used his own energy as a kind of "shield" which enabled him to resist Tarrlok's bloodbending. This makes sense as spiritual energy is more powerful, and can overcome things that may be happening to the pyschical body...Which could explain why Amon was struggling to walk initally; the bloodbending was affecting him pyschically, but then he manipulated his own spiritual energy to counteract it. I definalty do not think that Amon is a bloodbender/ waterbender or is collecting peoples bending to become the strongest bender in the world..I think it just goes againsnt the theme of the series and I kind of agree with the person who said Amon is like V from V for Vendetta. I think his character would lose all it's depth if he was doing all of this for power.

A couple of other things have been on my mind since watchinng Korra though...

such as why does Tahno look completly different from every other Waterbender we have ever seen during the series? Is he mixed race like Mako and Bolin becuase he dosent look Watertribe in any way... Also he is one of my favourite characters, I would like to see much more of him in the show/ would like to see him become good at hand to hand combat or somthing to fight agaisnt to equalists, despite not having his bending anymore.

How did Yakone learn bloodbending? Katara and Hama were the only ones who could do it and I highly doubt Katara would want to make that public knowledge. Which means Yakone may have randomly discovered it on his own like Hama did, only his ability was far stronger than hers/ he passed this down to Tarrlok. I was thinking that Yakone may have some connection to Hama, but during the Puppetmaster episode it was clear that Katara was the first one she had ever taught, as after Katara was able to do it Hama said "my work is done" and congratulated Katara. Besides Hama lived in the Fire Nation after escaping from prison/ appeared to be a spinster so there is no way Yakone could be her son/ grandson really. 
 
Is anyone else sick of peoples families/ parents keep being killed off as their back story? I mean it's happened to quite a lot of people in both ATLA and The Legend of Korra. I would just like to see somthing a little different.

 That would be excellent, however the creators said in an interview that Amon is a Season-1 antagonist only, because they originally wrote 12 episodes for a miniseries. When Nick ordered another season, they had to come up with a separate story arch.

 I like the idea that Amon is a synthetic human, maybe he got so burned as a result of the firebender attack that he had to get prosthetic limbs.

This is what I've been thinking too, and for me this ep confirmed it!  I already mentioned how Amon didn't even flinch when Korra surrounded him with fire... yet supposedly his face was burned off... so he should've at least flinched/ducked/etc.  Then there's the whole Sato/robots/technology tie-in to the Equalists.  Now we have Yakone vowing to return and take over the city, yet needing some way to extend and enhance his physical abilities (due to age, etc.) to do so... and Aang SHOWED him what it looks like to take bending away.  So for me, the answer is that Amon is Yakone: a Darth Vader-esque cyborg---and his son Tarrlok doesn't know it.  Which also explains why Amon was going to "take care of Tarrlok himself".

Amon hasn't been close enough to Lin yet for her to sense the metal inside.  And I'm not sure your average metalbender would have a chance to sense it before having his bending taken away by Amon.

I'm disappointed because I was really hoping Zach Eisen could do the older Aang.  Still hoping that maybe Aang's spirit will appear to Korra as a teenager, so she can relate to him better; then maybe they'll get Zach to do his voice again. 

Agree with you in several ways: I think the weakest part of the ep was the flashback story/Korra meditation.  Much as I enjoyed the Twinkletoes bit, and especially Aang's air scooter Yakone smackdown, Korra entered (and kept) her meditation too easily, and the story from the past was too straightforward and simple.  At first Tarrlok's easy crumble annoyed me a lot, but now I think he was always a coward and always underestimated Korra, allowing him to basically be caught with his pants down.  Also, if he's Northern Water Tribe, he was likely brought up disrespecting the bending abilities of women, too.  Big mistake, Tarrlok!

My sentiments exactly. There are too many unanswered questions and there definitely won't be room for them to be decently answered in the next 11 episodes. 

But what I heard is that Nickelodeon was the one who brought up the idea of LoK and they wanted to experiment with the fandom to see how successful LoK would be. The writers didn't actually expect to have another show foisted upon them, ergo, the lack of episodes in both quality and in number.

So, we've had many comments on theories, etc; but now to say what I really enjoyed about this ep:

Loved the prison tram segment!!  How cool was that!

LOVED Lin Bei Fong's overall awesomeness, and her concern for her officers, too.  (All right, I admit that having a kick--#&& female character close to my own age who I slightly resemble in appearance and attitude makes me biased.)

LOVED how Mako became so focused on Korra and protective of her---been waiting for that!!  He pretty much forgot Asami was even there.  As I said before, he's always used relationships for personal gain.  Now he's finding out for the first time what it feels like to be in love.  Anyone else think Bolin and Asami might get together after Korra and Mako do?  Although I still don't trust Asami.  I think she's hanging back, playing it safe, waiting....

LOVED Tenzin's forcefulness.  In his life he's still being pulled in too many directions, but having Korra in danger really focused his energy... and I love when he and Lin work together.

Which brings me to: how awesome was watching the entire ensemble working together to find Korra!?!  Loved it.

I'm not really a fan of the flashback story we were given, but I do have to say it was nice to see that Sokka overcame his public speaking block and became a councilman.  He was able to still be his goofy self while comfortably making his point.

Anyway, it may not have been the best ep of the season, but it was still amazing.

Now for something that's been bugging me:  What's up with Mako's animation?!?  His face always seems flat, or weirdly pointy, or out of proportion, or ??.  Compared with all the other characters---and especially with Zuko---his face is just not drawn with the quality I've come to expect from both Avatar series.  Sometimes it comes close... but really, what is going on with such an important character being treated this way?

(reading this back, I realize I've been hopelessly spoiled by these two series to have such high expectations.  Sorry Mike and Bryan... is this problem bugging you too?)   

HA. I'm totally agree with the parent being killed thing. d

Maybe Korra will win against Amonb since if he were to energy bend her and if her heart is more pure, she can over power him

maybe amon lost his limbs for some reason to the firebending accident is why he can u know withstand it

as for the energy bending i dont think hes actually taking peoples bending away maybe he just does a weird qi block thing in their mind and makes them think they are yeah bcuz his eyes dont glow or anything maybe im wrong idk but it seems unlikely

all i can say is I Love This Show, so much!  aha

it gets you thinking and debating, the whole plot and idea of bending the elements it is genius and a masterpiece.

I am pretty certain amon is a bender of at least air element, i rewatched over and over again the scene where he chased korra towards the end, and shockingly noticed how he took a super high leap and cleared the smoke surrounding him

So, it turns out that the council CAN have non-benders as members, as "councilman" Sokka was a non-bender! Maybe that is no longer the case, and it built up resentment among the non-benders that later became equalists. (After all, being the brother-in-law of the Avatar, and one of the key people who stopped the fire nation may have had something to do with that...).

I think whoever came up with the theory that Amon is an energy-bender is probably right; it's the closest that makes the most sense to me.

However, I disagree that the vision that Aang has been giving Korra has only to do with Tarlock; He was giving these visions to her while she was getting beaten up by the equalists way before she knew Tarlock was a threat. I think Amon's story is somehow related to Tarlock and Yukone's story, or that bloodbending has something to do with Amon's mission. Maybe this is what pissed Amon off in the first place. Maybe he's somehow related to Yukone--a victim of his terror. 

Though Amon isn't in it completely for power, it still has a little to do with his mission. Something has happened to him that seriously screwed him up. Once he makes everyone "equal", then what? What will he be, but the new leader of an "equal" society? Will he then go for world domination, after conquering republic city? Or will he make a martyr of himself, like V, in V for Vendetta?

Also--I want Korra to airbend, already!! :)

"(We also get a brilliant moment in which Toph refers to Aang as "Twinkle
Toes" despite his protests that he's too old for nicknames. In that
moment, I could've forgiven this show for every flaw because admit it:
that scene was perfect.)"

YEEEEEEEEESSSSSS. :D

I've seen the moment you're talking about, but you've got to remember that in the avatar universe, expert martial artists are capable of impressive feats, even without bending. I've seen Zuko and Azula make huge leaps like that and they're not air benders, and then there's Ty Lee who moved with the agility of an airbender. 

I think that Mako and Asami's relationship was definitely dealt a blow by this last episode. But if they do break-up, my bet is that it'll be Meelo who'll get Asami. 

Yes, I noticed the non-benders on the council too... but then I realized that having them there might be somewhat by default: to have any representative from the Southern Water Tribe, they'd have to have a non-bender (unless their rep was Katara), or a waterbender under 30 years old... and I'm guessing you must need to be 35 or so to serve on the council.  The air acolyte rep was, of course, a non-bender.  Aang didn't seem to be a council member.

So: perhaps the council was always set up with benders as reps, unless none were available, which could definitely fuel Equalist anger.  Maybe Aang and Zuko's original idea was: by having benders on the council, they can protect themselves and others when criminal benders are brought before them (since Toph's police force of metalbenders would've taken a lot of time to train and prepare).

Agree/disagree?  

Couple things, I rewatched the episode multiple times because I recorded it on my DVR and I was able to come up with a few things:

Amon wasn't blood bending Korra and mako. They were tied up and the preview clearly showed that.

Second, the moment where Amon comes to "equalize" Tarrlok, I don't think he took his bending away. It looked like all he did was knock him out or paralyze him. I think Amon wants tarrlok on his side because he is a blood bender and it's a usefull ability when your trying to do what Amon is doing.

Any thoughts?

ive thought about that too. i would have thought she would have gotten in the avatar state by now, and you bring up a good point but i don't think that Amon will win. That would be a very weird series if the avatar didn't win in the end. I'm anxious to see her go into the avatar state, but now that you have said it, maybe she wont...

LOL... he's waiting for the rebound... ;-) 

Am I the only one that noticed the dialogue in this episode wasn't nearly as well written as the dialogue in the rest of the episodes? It was still a good episode that had its moments, but the writing seemed dumbed down, like they were trying to ring in some more younger viewers. This kind of bothered me. I understand veiwers are important, but I feel as though dumbing down the writing takes away from the storyline. Overall a good episode, but I certainly hope that the dialogue is brought back up to the level of the previous episodes in episode 10 and the finale.

Before I begin, this is going to sound, well out there but I believe Amon's mother is Ty Lei, one of Azula's best friends from ATLA. Why? Well, in ATLA, the audience was introduced to the technique by Ty Lei. Second, Ty lei, was very agile. Third, looking how Amon chased after Korra this last episode, reminded me on how Ty Lei ran on the rope in the "Boiling Rock" episode part 2. I believe Amon learned those techniques from her and like anyone who has an ax to grind, perfected it even further.  Again, just a theory but the writers are good a providing subltle clues, you just have to look.

 This was initially intended to be a mini series. Just like with many anime that only run 12 episodes, there isn't time for fillers. The second season was ordered by Nick and as far as I know it wasn't originally planned.

Aang isn't the only one to defy blood bending, katara did it very easily against the old witch aasomme in the last season because like katara said to her " you have no power over me because my bending is stronger than yours" and she overtook her. So I thought it was another water bender but Iman doesn't use any "bending movements" . I'm really puzzled, ugh!

Yes... and another thing: Ty Lee also became a Kyoshi Warrior, so she learned all their fighting techniques too.  I definitely think Ty Lee and Amon are connected, because chi- blocking was basically unheard-of in the original series. 

What if Amon was the son of Avatar Aang that no one knew about and inherited some of the Avatar's ability? 

 Benders are not minorities.

Unless they show that Amon is actually a criminal, like Yakone was, in following episodes, I don't think this theory holds. Amon is like Zuko who is not totally bad.
The syntetic human theory explains why he improsoned the metal benders, and took Tarrlok; there is no point keeping them after taking their bending away, but if he thinks they discovered his secret, he might keep them.
Also, if you remember Lin referred to Amon as "monster" when she freed her metalbenders. Maybe the metalbenders already know he is not human. It would also seem like Tarrlok understood he wasn't human through his bloodbending. Actually I thought Tarrlok's line "what are you" is a clue given to us.
That theory explains certain things, but I don't think Amon will turn out a syntetic human. IT doesn't explain how he takes bending away.

 I thought the same when Amon just held Korra's face in the earlier episode, he expected she would go into avatar state. I think the point of telling Tarrlok's story in all this to help Korra develop her connection with her past life, so that she can go into Avatar State at the end.

 Yes, chi-blocking temporarily paralyses them.

Got a theory. I think Yakone is Amon. Hear me out. Aang has been warning Korra about Yakone not Tarlock. Yakone if he was a powerful blood bender would be able to overcome being blood bended. Maybe his power came back and he is now able to block Chi with blood bending that stops it more permanently.

I think it's pretty obvious that Amon is actually Aang's other son and Tenzin's long lost brother, and that is why he has the ability to withstand the blood bending as well as take people's bending away. I think this will be revealed when Amon takes off his mask and has the arrows on his head that both Tenzin and Aang have.

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