In the third episode of the first season of The Legend of Korra, I WAS NOT EXPECTING THIS. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch The Legend of Korra.
OH MY GOD. OH MY GOD WHAT THE HELL?!?!!?!? THIS IS NOT WHAT I THOUGHT THIS SHOW WAS GOING TO BE ABOUT AT ALL. WHAT THE FUCK?!!??
- I WISH PABU WAS REAL. I WANT MY OWN PABU. THIS IS NOT FAIR AT ALL.
- No, for real, thirty thousand yuans? WHO JUST HAS THAT LAYING AROUND? Butakha, you just took all of their money, and you know they’re poor. WHAT’S THE INCENTIVE FOR THEM TO FIGHT?
- No, seriously, I like Bolin a lot. Like a lot. Like enough to start self-shipping. Him and Pabu are easily my favorite characters out of the bunch. I DID NOT EXPECT THIS AT ALL.
- Oh god, moral ambiguity, you’ve already made an appearance, and I’m so happy you’re here. Bolin taking a job from people he doesn’t even like so he can pay for his team to compete? Be still my heart.
- MAKO CAN GENERATE LIGHTNING. Is it weird that metalbending and lightning firebending are now just things that exist in this world? Like, they were HUGE DEALS in A:TLA, but now it’s so common that you can basically just get paid to do it like any old worker.
- Oh my gosh, Korra, YOU MADE IT THROUGH THE AIR GATES. You’re learning, and Jinora and Ikki are helping you. Oh god, everyone, I love this so much.
- omg Korra has a crush omg how cute.
- There’s a fascinating dynamic to Korra and Mako that I’m picking up on. While Korra may have a crush on him, she doesn’t seem to really act on it once throughout the episode. Well, there’s that scene where they wake up, sleeping up against Naga, but that’s more about embarrassment than anything else. Mako seems reluctant to get closer to Korra, and I can’t really tell if he even likes her. Still, they both operate with a mutual respect towards one another throughout “The Revelation,” and it makes me think that the show might not pursue a romance between them. Not that I’m opposed to a romance! I just think their development as a pairing is very subtle in this episode, and I appreciate it.
- OKAY SO LET’S TALK ABOUT THE EQUALISTS. HOLY SHIT. First of all, they appear to be made up of only non-benders, and they’ve all been trained to be excellent chi-blockers. I had totally forgot that this was a thing. But these foot soldiers/guards/whatever they are mean business! I mean, they took out Korra and Mako in less than a minute. What the fuck?!?! And why kidnap Bolin? What does he have to do with this?
- The concept of the Equalists is not something I expected from The Legend of Korra, and I’m actually quite stoked about the writers bringing this up. I always forget that there are non-benders in the Avatar world, and this series is acknowledging this disparity far more regularly. While I don’t necessarily like the execution of their ideas in this episode, I admit that I’m kind of intrigued by the desire to create a more harmonious society with the non-benders getting equal amount of the power. It’s actually a rad way of talking about privilege and oppression in an honest way! Because as much as Amon and the Equalists made me want to tear my hair out in terror, I can’t deny that there is a point to their platform that should be addressed. Republic City (and the world in general) is run by and catered to benders. It’s just the way of the world. Non-benders are at a constant and distinct disadvantage in this society for a number of reasons. Why shouldn’t that be addressed? Why shouldn’t non-benders be furious with the way they are treated?
- Despite that I was thinking of these things as Korra and Mako found their way to the rally for “The Revelation,” I also have to admit that my opinions on the Equalists became far more complicated once I saw what they were up to. Amon is a fascinating, if terrifying, individual, one whose life was ruined by a firebender. He has taken this history of his and built up a resistance force based on an anti-bender stance. Is it an extremist view? Possibly. Well, okay, given what he does in this episode, I’d say he’s gone way too far. But at the same time, I don’t want to deny that there is a legitimate and justified basis for the non-bender rage we see in “The Revelation.”
- And then Amon reveals his secret, and this episode (and series) becomes unbelievably disturbing: Amon has the power to permanently remove someone’s bending. I think it is key to note that Amon demonstrates this ability on criminals, not random, innocent citizens. (Though one could argue that his kidnapping of Bolin is unfortunate, unfair, and misguided, and I’d probably agree with that.) He does not want people to feel sympathy towards those whose powers he removes, so he purposely chooses people like the leader of the Triple Threat Triad to harm. It gives his followers a sense of justice, as if Amon had just avenged their wrongs. What’s so horrifying about his actions, though, is the fact that Amon wants this to become a revolution. He wants to remove everyone’s bending. And that’s fucking scary. I think that benders certainly take their standing and status for granted, but removing someone’s bending permanently? That’s like stealing a part of someone’s identity from them! It terrifies me.
- Can I also just say that I love that Korra disarms the security guard/doorman without using bending? It’s got a nice aesthetic symmetry with the general theme of this episode.
- WHAT THE FUCK ARE THOSE ELECTRIC STICK THINGS? HOLY SHIT THEY ARE TERRIFYING.
- Amon genuinely believes that the world no longer needs benders. Oh god, I hope the benders don’t do something foolish to prove him right.
- I think it’s a sign of how serious things are that Tenzin immediately believes Korra’s story about Amon and his power. Oh fuck.
For real, this show just got so real in the third episode. WHAT IS HAPPENING??? Oh god.
This video is for Kelsey!
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