"The Legend of Korra Episode Recaps" is a book blog feature created by the indubitably awesome Lisa @ Lisa Is Busy Nerding.
I'm back with another episode recap/discussion of The Legend of Korra.
Episode 3 "The Revelation"
I gotta say this show is already going far beyond my expectations. It's so clever at developing the plot and the characters all at the same time, like a best-selling novel. Definitely, Mike & Brian (the show's creative duo) are demonstrating that they are not a one-trick pony act. They can continue to kill it even when they write sequels.
Episode 3 basically sets up the complication and introduces us to our main villain character: It starts out innocently enough with Korra training for her Pro-bending match with her teammates Mako and Bolin. She and Mako are still not too chummy with each other. She discovers from Bolin that the two brothers are orphans and have had to scrape by in life. They still struggle to find money, and in order to enter the Pro-bending Tournament, they have to come up with 30,000 yulans. Yikes!
Korra freely admits that she has never had to earn a living because people have always taken care of her all her life. Mako sounds a bit gruff at the remark, like a bitter pauper. We get to see Korra's mentality, having been the known Avatar all her life. It makes sense that she's been treated extra-specially since her childhood, which is rare for an Avatar (they usually find out they are the Avatar at age 16).
There's a scene of Mako working at a power plant as he lightning-bends into a furnace with a bunch of other lightning-benders, showing just how common this type of bending is nowadays (it used to be rare). This is a world-building scenario, a clever one that shows us how Republic City is able to run on electricity, since there was none in the first series, and how Mako picks up a few extra bucks here and there when needed. When he returns to his loft home, Bolin is gone and he assumes he has gone across the bay to hang out with Korra (her island is in plain sight out his window).
When he goes to see if Bolin is with Korra, he finds out he is not, and they set out together to find him. Mako knows that Bolin has a knack for getting himself into dangerous situations. They find Bolin getting thrown into the back of a truck, tied up by people who are clearly working with the anti-bending folks--the Equalists. These guys fight and temporarily chi-block Korra and Mako from being able to bend any elements, but the two are saved by Naga, Korra's polar-bear dog.
After that, they spend all night looking for Bolin to no avail. The shipping ensues between Korra and Mako as they are alone together the entire time, but Mako is wanting to keep his distance from Korra, not give her any ideas. We are still left wondering if that's what he really feels about her. (She's clearly fine with him.) Then, they get a lead when they pick up some fliers that advertise something called "The Revelation," which is part of the anti-bending social movement in the city. The Equalists are headed up by a man named Amon, and he plans on revealing something amazing that nobody knows about just yet.
They go undercover to the Equalist rally and see for the first time just how many anti-benders there are... hundreds, maybe thousands. It's shocking. Amon ascends from the stage and reveals that the Spirits of the Spirit World have instructed him that bending is bad and that the Avatar system is fail. He is supposed to take away all benders' abilities to bend the elements from them, and he can do it. No. Way. That is impossible. But, he shows everyone that he can do it by demonstrating on a notorious mobster named Lightning Bolt Zolt--a fire-bender. Amon holds the guy's forehead and Zolt is left with no bending. It's permanent.
Bolin is on stage and about to get his earth-bending taken away from him by Amon when Korra wrecks a boiler, causing steam to fill up the arena, which allows Mako to grab Bolin undercover, and they all escape, barely. Korra finally returns to her temporary home with her sifu, Tenzin, who was worried sick about her. She has to tell him all about the new threat Amon poses to all benders, and Tenzin is aghast that the man has learned to do something only the Avatar has ever been known to do. It is a mystery, indeed, how he learned to do something so dangerous. (Although, I do know what he has learned, but it's too spoilery for this post.)
I'm very impressed with this new villain character, Amon, because, unlike Ozai, the villain of the first series, he seems more multi-dimensional. Amon is motivated to take away people's bending abilities because he grew up a non-bender with his non-bending family, and a fire-bender killed them all. He was left with a scarred face that he has to cover with a mask. Of course he would hate benders, and many benders are oppressing non-benders. All of this is really happening, and he wants to take the hard-line approach to fixing the problem. It's just that it's a very severe way to do it. But, I like that he is NOT motivated by greed, but a notion that he is doing good and making life better for people. That's the best kind of villain--one who doesn't know he is one.
What do you think of this episode? What do you think of Amon, the new villainous threat to the benders?