Korra s2 ep9

I lazed around long enough for episode 10 to come out, but it doesn’t feel right to combine them into the same post since they didn’t have much to do with each other. Hopefully I’ll get to doing episode 10 before 11 comes out…

Book Two : Spirits, Chapter Nine : The Guide

This time Korra meets up with Tenzin and company, and after briefing them on the war situation she starts training to go to the spirit world so she can close the spirit portal from the inside. Tenzin is eagerly trying to act as her guide, but it turns out that he actually never managed to go to the spirit world himself, so his daughter Jinora goes instead. Meanwhile, Mako is framed for the crimes of which he’s accusing Varrick, and Korra’s uncle is revealed to take orders from the evil spirit from the previous episode.

tenzinfamily

Tenzin’s bratty behaviour came pretty much out of nowhere and felt really out of place. Ok, I can get it that while he usually manages to keep calm, this is the first time we see him deal with such a personal issue as a failure to live up to his father’s expectations and not being able to help the Avatar at a critical moment, so it’s not surprising that he’s more strained than usual, but… I could easily see why Korra would act this way (I probably wouldn’t like it, but at least it’d be consistent with her character), but Tenzin behaving like that felt really out of character. I don’t know, maybe it was the fast pacing. Tenzin failing to keep his usual composure under heavy pressure would be super interesting, but now it looked like he couldn’t sit still for five seconds before starting to snap at a five-year-old.

Mako’s storyline has yet again everyone else acting like total idiots while Mako is the only one with a brain, which is pretty jarring to see. I thought Lin was supposed to be very competent at her job? She had better get a grip on herself soon.

Also, the stupid love triangle is back, strong as ever. I’d much rather have Mako with Asami than Korra, but somehow I can’t see that happening. Or maybe the unexpected happens and everything in fact doesn’t turn out the way Korra wants?

loveTriangle

The revelation that Korra’s uncle works under the evil spirit was kind of goofy (I’m sorry). He’s been acting all “I’m such a cunning evil mastermind, hu ho ho!” until now, and now he’s just a mook. But since we’ve upped the story levels to include the original Avatar Spirit I guess it’s necessary to include the evil spirit too. So I’m okay with this as long as we do not get the super surprising twist that the evil spirit promised the uncle something for his services, but -surprise surprise- discards him as soon as he’s outlived his usefulness, with him being utterly surprised that a deal with the devil could end that way.

Overall, somehow I didn’t feel most of this episode that much. I don’t even know what it is really, something just didn’t feel right. It felt like a checklist of events that are needed to keep the story moving and nothing more; right at the start of a scene you knew that “this is the scene where the bad guy reveals he’d pick his goal over his children, and the children end up acting against his orders” or “this is the scene where Mako is framed for Varrick’s schemes” or whatever. Characters just acted their predictable roles (and in Lin’s case it was totally out of character), and I don’t feel that I really needed to see the episode for these; just reading the summary is enough since I didn’t find the scenes touching or surprising or anything at all.

That’s a lot of whining, but I didn’t totally hate the episode. Korra herself was acting sensibly for once. Okay, that was totally undeserved since you won’t get me to like a character who acts like an idiot for twenty episodes but gets handed some magical knowledge while she’s in a coma and now supposedly got some character development out of it, but let’s be honest, I’ll much rather have this instead of what we’ve seen so far. And even if the knowledge was totally just infodumped on her, at least she’s now acting on her own and not feeling like a complete tool other characters move around. So um, good for her? Keep this up for another twenty episodes and I’ll grow to like her?

korraTenzin

At first I was really angry because it seemed like Korra ditching Tenzin seemed to be brushed under a rug, but luckily it wasn’t and Korra gave a proper apology to my beloved Tenzin. That raises anyone’s points in my book.

Also, even if I didn’t like how it was executed, I liked the revelation that Tenzin has been unable to go to the Spirit World, and how much it bothers him. Hopefully we’ll get more on that.

And since sadly female characters who don’t need a romantic plotline aren’t as common as they should be and the Bechdel test is a thing it should be mentioned that while Tenzin is awesome it’s very cool that it’s his daughter who acts as Korra’s spiritual guide and not him.

Bumi with his “Bum-ju” (or whatever you’re supposed to spell its name, “Bumi Junior”?) lines made me smile.

bumju

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2 Responses to “Korra s2 ep9”

  1. What About That Episode? Says:

    I wonder what the writers have in store for Jinora.

  2. Vee Says:

    I agree with most of your review, apart from Korra improving. To me, she is just flatlining, becoming neither better nor worse. She WAS super-annoying when whe was all angsty at everyone for no reason, but now the sudden complete change in her personality – what is with that? She’s no longer Korra – she’s someone who looks like her but is ~way too nice~ to actually be her. She’s gone from rage-inducing to boooooring. And still annoying. I hope the writers fix this for Book 3, because I do NOT see how boring!Korra could be a good thing for the story.

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