Fellow Masterminds: after what felt like an eternity, Korra is back in action. It’s hard to believe that one series could produce such a sterling track record of great episodes, but it feels like every week the team at Avatar is somehow able to top themselves. Last week was the best episode of the season. Here are five reasons why:
1. Tarrlock: Blood Master
Isn’t it great when fight scenes actually advance the plot (we’re looking at you, Dragonball Z)? Not only was the last fight scene absolutely stunning, but it revealed some of the wildest plot developments of the season. Blood bending with no full moon? A Tarrlock look-alike in Korra’s vision? There was an influx of jaw injuries around the country due to our mouths dropping to the floor so many times during one fight sequence.
2. Fart Bending
Hands down, the most endearing part of this episode—most episodes, for that matter—was Meelo. The best bit was watching him “bend the wind” from his butt to land gracefully by Asami. (It’s a subtle animation, so re-watch the first scene on Air Temple Island if you haven’t seen it already.) The best part is that the dialogue makes no reference to the technique; it’s just a little gold nugget left by the animators. Fart bending…Talk about fresh. Or not.
3. Trying to Ride a Polar Bear Dog
It’s always satisfying to see the writers pay homage to Aang’s crew, and extend the logic of the Avatar world to a new generation. Seeing the new Avatar team trying to ride Korra’s polar bear dog made me think fondly of Appa. But it was also nice to see them show how old tactics won’t work in Korra’s new world. The result was a terrific excuse to watch a thrilling car chase scene, which is almost as cool as a flying air bison.
4. Love Triangle Bombs
The more we learn about Asami, the more awesome she becomes. (But this could still be a trap! Evil runs in the family!) Watching Ikki drop the “Korra likes your boyfriend, Asami” bomb was hilariously awkward, and resulted in a moment for Asami to show her humility. A lot of The Last Airbender dealt with Aang growing up. That theme still runs deep with Korra, but the writers are showing it from the fresh perspective of a young female. It is unfortunately rare to find a show— especially a cartoon—that can present that voice with adequate depth, and it is a testament to the writers that, in just a handful of episodes, our hero is becoming one of the strongest and most satisfying characters to watch of any series on TV.
5. Tenzin: Cooler than Ice
Tenzin started this season as one of the chilliest characters with his brisk attitude and uptight rules. But after repeatedly standing up for Korra, and showing little flashes of emotion (many of them topping Aang’s quirkiness), he is quickly becoming one of the coolest characters. Tenzin got a chuckle out of all of us when he referred to the new chief of police as the “worst ever…seriously.” Little drops of humor like that are adding a lot to what could otherwise be a dull personality, and it’s pretty obvious that the writers are going to treat the friendship between Korra and Tenzin with great care.
What’s going to happen from here? Find out on Nick, Saturdays at 11AM Eastern Time, and check back for more recaps of our favorite water bender!