Mark Watches ‘The Legend of Korra’: S03E05 – The Metal Clan

In the fifth episode of the third season of The Legend of Korra, Team Avatar visits Zaofu in order to pick up a new airbender, but unearths family drama in the process; Zaheer tries a new technique for getting closer to Korra. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch The Legend of Korra. 

What an incredible episode, y’all. I HAVE SO MUCH TO TALK ABOUT.

The Metal Clan

Where do I even start? Y’all, this an entire city built of metal, inspired by the work that Toph began decades before. AN ENTIRE CITY MADE OF METAL. And the writers for this show take this concept and give us a fully-fleshed-out world, one where magnetism and metalbending meet. I’m still in awe of Zaofu! No place in this world looks like this, and as Team Avatar spent more time within it, I was continually blown away. This is the legacy that Toph left behind before she disappeared to find spiritual enlightenment. (If she comes back, I may bawl.)

However, “The Metal Clan” offers up another legacy that Toph created, intentionally or not. Like the backstory for Tenzin, Bumi, and Kya, both Suyin and Lin did not have the best relationship with their mother. Initially, though, we don’t know why Lin is so resistant to visiting Zaofu or socializing with her half-sister and her family. Look, Lin’s always been an angry character, and it’s one of the things I like a lot about her. I admire that she keeps her anger on the surface. (I am quietly one of the angriest people you will ever meet.) So, I went into this not just wanting to know why Lin resented Suyin, but interested in hearing her side of things. Lin does not dislike things just for the sake of it; her rage is always rooted in something.

So what was it here? Did she resent that Suyin achieved prominence in the city their mother helped create? I suspected that might be the case, but then we get that painfully awkward dinner sequence, and I wasn’t so sure I knew what was going on. First of all: VARRICK AND ZHU LI. WHAT THE HOLY HELL, Y’ALL. Their presence exacerbates Lin even further, and she harps on Suyin’s apparent hypocrisy for allowed Varrick within the palace. But why that? Is Lin just focusing on anything that will allow her to direct her anger towards Suyin?

At the very least, we do get to hear Suyin’s side of things, and it’s… sad. Really sad. It’s not an easy thing to know that you’ve disappointed your parents, and it sounds like that’s exactly what happened with Toph and her daughters. I can totally see Toph being the kind of mother who wanted her daughters to have openness and freedom. But did she really act disappointed in them when they didn’t turn into what she wanted? I believe Suyin’s take on things, which certainly explains some of the tension present whenever Suyin and Lin were in the same room. But that doesn’t explain everything, does it? Why does Lin believe that Suyin is responsible for this relationship going awry?

I had hoped the final confrontation between Lin, Korra, and Opal would shed light on this. BUT NOPE. Good god, that scene is probably the most awkward thing this show has ever done. It’s brutally honest, made all the worse by Lin’s cold rejection of Opal and Korra’s vicious insults laid at Lin’s feet. What happened? What made this so terrible for them??? I NEED TO KNOW.


The more I think about Zaheer’s infiltration of the Air Temple Island, the creepier I find it. I was able to figure out it was him early on (since I’m so familiar with Henry Rollins’s voice), but that wasn’t to the detriment of the story. It’s a common suspense technique: clue the audience in to the ticking time bomb, then set it center stage. When will the other characters realize what purpose this person serves? Zaheer creepily tries to assimilate in with the other airbenders for most of this episode. I say “creepily” because it’s clear that he’s not very good at being undercover at all.

So what did he want? To see if he could snatch the Avatar out of the Temple? To gather intelligence on the airbenders and Korra? He seemed rather eager to move on to the Northern Air Temple if Korra was going to be there, so what gives? Was he hoping Korra would come back to him? Regardless of his mysterious plans, can we talk about how FLAGRANT this asshole is??? He cuts off his beard and shaves his head, walks right into the airbender camp, trains alongside everyone for days, and then bounces once Kya recognizes him. It’s so RIDICULOUS, and I don’t get why he’s doing it. But he clearly gives zero fucks about anyone and anything, and that makes him a million times more intimidating.

Seriously, this season is SO GOOD so far. MORE PLEASE.

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

Mark Links Stuff

Please help book/finalize the Mark Does Stuff European Tour!
– The Mark Does Stuff Tour 2015 is now live and includes dates across the U.S., Canada, Europe, the U.K., and Ireland. Check the full list of events on my Tour Dates / Appearances page.
– My Master Schedule is updated for the near and distant future for most projects, so please check it often. My next Double Features for Mark Watches will be the remainder of The Legend of Korra, series 8 of Doctor Who, and Kings. On Mark Reads, Diane Duane’s Young Wizards series will replace the Emelan books.
- Mark Does Stuff is on Facebook! I’ve got a community page up that I’m running. Guaranteed shenanigans!

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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