Mark Watches ‘The Legend of Korra’: S01E07 – The Aftermath

In the seventh episode of the first season of The Legend of Korra, the aftermath of Amon’s attack on Republic City is even more horrific than the benders could have anticipated. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch The Legend of Korra.

This is getting real fucked up.

Because this show only has twelve episodes for the first “book,” the pacing of Korra is far more intense and rapid than Avatar: The Last Airbender. That’s not a criticism of A:TLA. I actually enjoy the slower, more character-heavy story in that show. Still, there’s a lot of room for the characters on Korra to grow, and I’m interested to see how Asami, Lin, and Mako change after the events of “The Aftermath.”

Oh god, THIS IS ALL SO MESSED UP. There’s not going to be an easy, neat ending to this, is there? I mean, we open this episode with the sight of Mako and Bolin packing up their belongings, as they’ve been kicked out of the Pro-bending Areana. They’ve been in this building for years, and now their whole life has been uprooted. It’s such a jarring experience for them, and I’m sure Amon intended to negatively affect the lives of those who used that place. Thankfully, Asami has agreed to let the two brothers stay at her place. There’s a brief moment where Korra is disappointed that she can’t help them out, but most of the time, she keeps her jealousy at bay. She’s growing up, oh my god. That doesn’t mean she isn’t sad that Mako isn’t dating her, but she controls what she’s feeling because of the context of the situation. They’ve just been made homeless, and her own romantic feelings are kind of super irrelevant by comparison. We see this again at the end of the episode, BUT I WILL GET THERE. I PROMISE.

Another aspect of the aftermath of Amon’s attack addressed here (SORRY I REALLY WANTED TO HAVE TONS OF ALLITERATION HERE) is the political fallout that Lin faces. I really like the fact that the writers thought about how such an act of terrorism would reverberate through Republic City, especially one with a very defined sense of government. We’ve seen how politicians like Tarrlok act, so as frustrating as it was that Lin was blamed for Amon’s attack, I can’t say that I was really that surprised. Someone would have to be the scapegoat, and Tarrlok made sure he didn’t look bad at all. But it also provides a crucial motivation for Lin’s behavior in this episode. She’s more dedicated than ever to not only prove Tarrlok wrong, but to take Amon down. It’s why the next thing we see is her successful raid of the Cabbage Corporation’s headquarters. (OH MY GOD MY CABBAGES I AM D Y I N G.) She is committed to bringing down Amon’s reign of terror, and she goes after a possible source of Amon’s weaponry. For the moment, it must boost the confidence others have in her, but it’s also a significant plot point. Who else is working with Amon? Does he have more people on his side than the benders realize?

It got me thinking about how we’ve never seen any non-benders in positions of power in the Republic City government. There’s no one on the United Republic Council to represent their issues or needs. It makes this situation so much more complex than it might otherwise be. Again, I can’t ignore this fact, and I seriously hope someone starts listening to Tenzin. It is true that the non-benders are probably oppressed in this society, disenfranchised from ever having any significant power in the government.

That being said, the scene with Tahno in the police headquarters further complicates my opinion of this situation. For every point Amon makes, it’s sullied by his behavior and treatment of benders. Seeing how dejected and miserable Tahno is after having his bending stolen from him, I can’t see how Amon’s “revolution” is a good idea. How is it equality to degrade people in this very physical and mental way permanently? It’s not like Tahno is just going to wake up one day and feel totally awesome about his bending being taken away. For the rest of his life, he’ll be traumatized by this experience. Is Amon seeking equality, or does he just want to put benders below him? I guess I don’t know yet, but it’s really disturbing to see the aftermath of Amon’s treatment of Tahno.

On a positive note, I’m really happy with the treatment of Asami in “The Aftermath.” She could have been portrayed so negatively here, either as a spy herself or as someone who was tricking Mako. Instead, I really enjoy that she just is a really nice, considerate person who cares about the people around her, especially those who aren’t as privileged as she is. The whole Satomobile race scene is just awesome, especially since it shows that Asami is willing to go out of her way to make Korra happy, too. And her resistance towards Korra isn’t based on her being a shitty person. Korra is accusing her father of being an Equalist collaborator. Who wouldn’t be upset by this?

But the idea of Hiroshi Sato being an Equalist is just disturbing, isn’t it? There was a part of me that just hoped it wasn’t true. It would destroy Asami! I knew it would. But it would also hurt Korra, Bolin, and Mako, especially since Future Industries sponsored the Fire Ferrets. Ugh, why does everything continue to get more and more awful? But this whole show is about a world returning to war after a period of peace, and everything is going to keep getting more confusing. In the case of Hiroshi Sato, he believes his treatment by the Agni Kai Triad justifies his alliance with Amon, so much so that he’s willing to torture and seriously harm Korra, Tenzin, and Lin. And it’s important to acknowledge these moments because they evidence of the complicated moral choices being made during wartime. It’s why Lin is so gung-ho about finding out if Sato is really helping the Equalists. It’s why Asami disobeys Mako’s request to stay behind. It’s why Sato thinks building GIANT ROBOT TANKS is totally within reason.

I sat rapt in attention when Asami confronted her father. Would she take his side? Would she empathize with his sadness over the loss of his mother? Would she forgive him for insulting her for falling for Mako? Then she takes the electrified glove and EVERYTHING IS AWFUL. NOOOO, DON’T DO THIS, and WHAT THE FUCK SHE JUST SHOCKED HER OWN FATHER OH MY GOD THIS SHOW WHAT THE FUCK IS IT DOING TO ME. I honestly thought for a moment that Azami would turn against her friends to stand next to her father. That’s what I thought the earlier scenes were hinting towards, that Asami was loyal to her father over others.

But she’s chosen her side, and she’ll be against the Equalists. I simply adore that Korra returns Asami’s kindness and offers her a place to stay on Air Temple Island. Now she understands how important it is for her to show unity in this moment of heartbreak and chaos. It’s why she tells Mako that Asami needs her more than ever. Oh god, Korra you are giving me so many feelings. And so is Lin, who totally shocked me with her admission that she’s resign. She’s going to get Amon OUTSIDE THE LAW. Oh FUCK. She’s gonna destroy him, isn’t she? I CAN’T WAIT TO SEE MORE.

Today’s video is for Salomon! Thank you!

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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