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There's no cross domain hackery or tracking voodoo, it's just some sweet jQuery animations. For once I felt like Bolin was being the practical one of the group, suggesting retreat and to come back later felt like a good idea to me. This scene was a fun bit of physical comedy that we rarely get to see outside of anyone but Bolin.
Meelo's paint bomb plan surprised me with it's brilliance, but I didn't expect Kuvira to have wiper fluid on that mech. On the other hand, bending has done and continues to do much the help the world despite technological advances slowly outpacing their abilities. It seemed the script for the show had decided that the Equalists were totally in the wrong and never once swayed from that opinion. But perhaps the biggest issue with the ‘Praestigiator ex Machina’ resolution is that it denies Korra the ability to realize her role as the Avatar. Apart from the afore mentioned, I seriously have very few nice things to say about the supporting cast of LoK. If I had one complaint about Aang’s story in the original TLA, it would be that the ‘Journey of Self Discovery’ thing has been done to death. I suppose the strongest element of Korra’s character is how much she gets smacked around; how utterly and completely out of her depth she is despite having excelled in nearly everything she’s tried before coming to the big city. And well, as someone who pretty much binge watched the entire Avatar: the last airbender show within a week this year, and fell completely in love with it. It’s always frustrating to look back and see how awesome Amon was and then how badly they fucked it up. This episode is definitely the most romance-heavy of the series, and even though I’m not a huge romance fan this episode is my favorite thus far. We start off by watching Mako, Bolin, and Korra practice for an upcoming pro-bending competition. However, I will say that the show never tells us that she stole Tenzin, it just tells us that she told him her feelings. What I appreciated about this scene was that they talked about Korra as potentially being a girlfriend without objectifying her. Then Bolin comes in and makes Korra feel better about herself by telling her how awesome she is. This dude waltzed in with his swag and make a semi-sexual remark to Korra and I completely fell in love with him. So Korra tells off Tahno and then she and Bolin finish their date off with a nice trip to Republic City’s eiffel tower. So long story short, Bolin gets drunk off noodles, the trio makes up, they win their match at the last minute and have another run-in with Tahno. Rather than a peace-seeking, fun loving child monk; she was a hot-headed, pent-up young adult.
Usually one is born with an affinity for only one (Earth, Fire, Water, Air) unless they are the Avatar (who can do it all). Korra intervenes, but the ensuing fight (with earth, water, and fire being tossed around in a wonton display of excessive and undisciplined force) utterly wrecks the block; a sobering demonstration of the dangerous power certain individuals can wield and the utter helplessness of those who cannot.
It is little wonder why some would throw their lot in with Amon, the charismatic leader of the ‘Equalists’ with the mysterious power to take a person’s bending away permanently.
Without exploring why the Equalists were motivated to do what they did beyond simple bigoted prejudice, any complexity they had to offer as villains was wiped away. In the eighth episode of the season, as non-benders are being rousted by the bender police, one of them cries out to Korra “You’re our Avatar, too!”. In original drafts of the scripts she was designed as an Equalist spy who had infiltrated Team Avatar.
Now Sokka and Katara are really tough acts to follow -that’s a given- but even having mainlined an entire season of the show, I came away with very little from the sibling duo Mako and Bolin. This was played for laughs, and there were moments in the original series that were played for laughs too.
This isn’t to say that I like her getting beat up for its own sake, but that every time she makes an uninformed assumption; it costs her. Throughout the season, she barely resolves a single plot through her gumption and abilities alone, resulting in what is -overall- a weak character (for THAT season).


Hodge is a science-fiction author and works for Konami Digital Entertainment US (His opinions are his own). And also perfect timing for it to, with korra’s final season now underway, looking back at the previous seasons feels fitting. The conflict Amon introduced was VERY interesting, but it was never truly explored from both sides, and worse still, the issue is never brought up again in later seasons ever again. Though do know that at least myself would love to see your thoughts on the rest of the series… Specially season 2, which is a fascinating mess to me. If the guy wasn’t attracted to you then why on Earth would you manipulate him to like you? So I guess I can let it slide, because we never find out exactly what made Tenzin change his mind. I’m a logical, level-headed person who finds guys like this completely repulsive in real life, but I adore them on television for reasons that are probably so complex and terrible it would take years of therapy to understand. Later on, Mako confronts Korra and tells her that she’s just hanging out with Bolin to get back at him.
We find out that Tahno’s totally kick-butt team is going up against the trio at the finals soon, which just gives us another reason to worry. Instead of facing off against the world-ending threat of the insane Fire Lord Ozai, however, her challenges would be more political (thus lending frustration to her character).
From start to finish, the entire affair is instigated by benders; from the Triad, to the Avatar, to the police pacifying the situation. The arguments for and against the Equalist movement go far beyond this, but one thing is clear: the answer shouldn’t be simple.
For all of his rallying and pontificating; his sole aim was to be the only bender in business. Compare this to the original TLA: the show took great pains to demonstrate (in direct contradiction to statements by one of the heroes, no less) that not everyone in the Fire Nation (the antagonists) was evil. In the final version, they dropped that sub-plot and I think it was a damn good thing they did. Severe and stoic, I think she is meant to be portrayed as a minor antagonist to Avatar Korra…however I found myself agreeing with Lin in almost every instance. I don’t mind that they were different, but they lacked the big character moments we got in the original. But the key difference is that the supporting characters in the first series were necessary to resolve the plot of an episode on multiple occasions; from inventing war vehicles to rallying the oppressed.
The first time she steps into the pro-bending ring, she gets schooled like any amateur should.
My first complaint is that she treats the Equalist threat like a minor inconvenience that gets in the way of her sports career. She is then able to use her newly revealed abilities to defeat Amon and expose him for the fraud he is. I took issue with the fact that nearly ALL of Korra’s dilemmas were solved *for* her. There’s some other shows I want to get my thoughts out for first, but I might come back to it. Then Asami comes in and starts macking on Mako in a super suspicious way (did I mention I really don’t trust her?), which makes Korra jealous.
She tells Korra that Tenzin was attracted to another girl when they met, and that she was too shy to tell him how she felt. He could have liked her all along and just thought he didn’t have a chance until she told him her feelings. But when I discovered that it was centered on a completely new Avatar, almost a century in the future, I became much more optimistic. Between all the Fire Lords, Earth Kings, Air Nomads, and Avatars shaping history, it’s got to be real easy to feel helpless. On the one hand, removing someone’s bending has proven to be the only effective means of pacifying otherwise unstoppable forces (short of killing them, of course). As soon as his con is exposed, the Equalist movement implodes almost instantly with no further protest.
In fact, they were just as oppressed by their own government than any of the invaded nations –more so, perhaps, as there would be no one to help them should they decide to fight back.


See, the whole point of the philosophy of the Avatar (or so I thought) was to ‘bring balance to the world’, not just smack down the bad guys. You see, without Asami literally ALL of the heroes would have been benders, lending some credence to the idea that benders are somehow naturally superior in morality as well as ability. Korra, on the other hand, is no child and well versed in bending by the time we meet her in earnest. The first time she faces off against either of the villains; only sheer luck sees her through.
In that it shines light in a very valid issue, but chooses to handwave it and provide an easy and seemingly clear answer, but also fails to be properly fair or insightful. Rather, she thought that they were just hanging out while Bolin got wrapped up in the moment. Avatar Aang himself employed such a technique to halt the genocidal advance of Fire Lord Ozai. In fact, by the end of the show, a few fire benders or fire nationals who began as villains become heroes in their own right. If Amon hadn’t been a charlatan, what reconciliation would there have been for his army of loyal supporters had Korra simply beaten him into submission? While, as I said, the Equalist issue is vague and someone joining in with them does not necessarily make them evil, I feel that there would have to be more than a few non-benders who are plainly against them. This disparity between physical strength (of which Korra has plenty) and mental and emotional discipline (of which she is much in wanting) is an excellent theme and very appropriate given the demographic targeting of somewhat older viewers than the original TLA. What troubles me, however, is not the refusal itself; but rather that she is proven correct in her refusal as the leader of the task force, Tarrlok, is in fact just as big a charlatan as Amon. I say TLA is my favorite show, regardless of who it was meant for, because it sought to challenge its audience. 0.2 seconds later, Bolin sees them and every Borra shipper nearly drowned in their own tears. Its story, while not exactly ground breaking, dares to explore territory and themes few shows care to –let alone ‘kid’ shows. How do you make your voice heard when nearly all cultures world-wide are fixated on bending and benders?
One could argue that depowering the benders simply ensures that men like Ozai and Chin the Conqueror can never truly threaten the world again.
Zuko, the Fire Prince, has perhaps one of the most complicated character arcs outside of Shakespeare; thus demonstrating that simply being in the wrong does not negate a character or his motivations. However, every plot critical non-bender is an Equalist save for Miss Sato and thus, for her being there, the show is spared the intellectually stunted ‘us vs.
Beifong seems to be the only person in the main cast treating the Equalist crisis with any seriousness, going so far as to stand her ground and lose her own bending than let innocents be harmed. I could have accepted that as a well intentioned -if clunky- lesson in sacrifice and finding new opportunities in spite of loss. Some men are actually capable of seeing a woman as a compatible companion rather than eye candy. I was legitimately sad when the credits rolled on the final episode; not so much because I felt the experience was incomplete (it most certainly was) but because I had witnessed something so rare and I craved more of it. The political landscape she finds herself thrust upon is jagged and treacherous as she quickly learns that trust is a valuable commodity that can be very painful if misspent. But then Avatar Aang literally returns from the dead to not only give Korra her powers back, but gives her the power to restore bending to all those who have lost it.
Watching Aang coming to grips with the loss of his lifelong animal companion are some of the most heart-wrenching moments on television. What’s even better is that Asami has more reason than most to join the Equalists (her father is a major financier of the movement), thus making her conviction all the more potent.
Korra could have spent the entire season doing basically nothing (and arguably did just that with pro-bending) and not have made the least bit of difference in terms of how it played out. Watching the maternal and sympathetic Katara actually come within inches of killing a man in cold blood is a character moment forever burned into my memory.



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