Mark Watches ‘The Legend of Korra’: S03E02 – Rebirth

In the second episode of the third season of The Legend of Korra, Team Avatar sets out with Tenzin in order to rebuild the Air Nation, which proves much harder than anyone expected. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch The Legend of Korra

I’M SO INTO THIS SEASON’S STORYLINE ALREADY, Y’ALL. It’s a perfect combination of humor and terror, there’s a brilliant mystery that I’m eager to see unfold (WHO THE HELL ARE THOSE PEOPLE), and I need someone to make a gif of Korra tormenting Mako with her airbending, looking at Asami, and the word MISANDRY appears over them. I need this so much, y’all.

I’m glad that the show did not try to make it seem like Tenzin’s recruitment would be an easy thing to pull off. I admit that like Korra, I envisioned all of these interactions with a different end in mind. I honestly believed that these newfound airbenders would be so thrilled to meet people who could teach them that they’d jump at the opportunity. Who wouldn’t want to basically go to this world’s version of Hogwarts??? (Go ahead, put these characters in their house. GO AHEAD.)

But it’s so much more complicated than that. These people who are now airbenders already have cultures. It’s not like they were raised separate from this society. They’re all earthbenders by nature, even if they were previously non-benders. (Moment of silence for the lost potential in season one’s non-bender storyline. MOMENT OF SILENCE.) On top of that, they have their own lives! Their own goals! Their own ambitions! How can anyone expect them to throw all of that away for a group of strangers? Well, not just for a group of strangers, but to help rebuild a community that these people know nothing about. I think Tenzin misjudged how interested anyone would be in air nomad culture, you know?

So the group cycles through one disappointment after another. I know that it’s funny to see Tenzin get rejected because his technique is so terrible and tactless, but I think it actually shows us just how unprepared he was to win anyone over. He thought the mere mention of rebuilding airbending society was enough! So, Mako, Bolin, and Korra give it a go with a slightly modified approach, one that’s more personal and highlights the adventurous nature of the quest ahead of them. Unfortunately, their mark is a lazy hipster, which we all know is one of the most apathetic creations of all humanity. Korra, you were fighting a losing battle before you ever started.

I’m also going to imagine that Bolin’s time as an actor last season utterly informed his performance here as the ringleader of the Airbender Caper Act. Just… he hams it up so quickly, y’all. Look at the mustache! It’s too perfect! And while I wouldn’t call it the greatest recruitment technique of all time, it at least brings Kai to them. Now, it’s virtually impossible at this point to see Kai as anyone other than The Legend of Korra’s version of Briar Moss from the Emelan books I’m reading on Mark Reads. A brown-skinned thief who does whatever he can to get what he needs? HELLO. But I think he’ll be an interesting addition to the team because he’s not like any of these people at all. He’s a thief by necessity for the most part, and these characters might not understand why he does that. It also doesn’t sound like he’s had much discipline at all in his life, so I’m guessing his training is going to be a challenge for everyone, you know?

SO LET’S TALK ABOUT ZAHEER. What the hell did he and his friends do to get them locked up so severely? It’s obvious that each of the three convicts warranted the kind of specialized cell that would prevent them from bending their way out. (Except for Zaheer, who is a non-bender, right?) Even worse, they were purposefully separated, each one stuck in a different tribe, hundreds of miles from one another. It doesn’t take much to imagine how powerful they are by themselves, given how Ghazan earthbends or how Ming-Hua uses waterbending to provide her with prosthetic arms. CANONICALLY DISABLED BENDER, Y’ALL. THIS IS SO FUCKING COOL. I just… what power does Zaheer’s girlfriend have? Firebending, I’m guessing, but can she also do something unique? Why do they want to end the Avatar??? WHAT ARE THEIR PLANS?

I’m so thrilled by this season so far.

The video for “Rebirth” can be downloaded here for $0.99.

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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