In the eighth episode of the third season ofÂ The Legend of Korra, Zaheer attempts to abduct Korra. Intrigued? Then itâ€™s time for Mark to watchÂ The Legend of Korra.Â
There has not been a major misstep this entire season, yâ€™all. Holy shit, â€œThe Terror Withinâ€ delivers on the promise of its title with a thrilling and creepy episode that advances the seasonâ€™s arc while still shrouding Zaheer and his groupâ€™s motivations. But this episode complicates matters by revealing that Zaheer was somehow able to recruitÂ another personÂ to his crusade. How? And more importantly: WHY? What is so important to him about Korra that he could convince another person to betray a lifetime of trust in order to get access to the Avatar?
We still donâ€™t know, and I appreciate that this doesnâ€™t feel frustrating. Iâ€™m not a big fan of fictional seriesÂ dangling the carrot for too long (hello,Â LOST), and I donâ€™t think thatâ€™s happening here. I think the fact that Zaheerâ€™s goal is hidden from us heightens the tension and terror. By not knowing what Zaheer wants, we are left in a state of existential fear. Sure, heâ€™s kidnapping Korra,Â but for what purpose? Whatâ€™s the next step? Death? Experimentation? Exploitation? WHO FUCKING KNOWS?
Thus, the abduction attempt feels a lot more urgent and scary to me because all I have to rely on is my imagination. These four criminals are clearly determined to capture Korra, and Iâ€™d almost offer that theyâ€™reÂ desperateÂ to get her. On top of that, thereâ€™s another aspect written into â€œThe Terror Withinâ€ that makes this such a suspenseful episode. The writers brilliantly use Zaofuâ€™s security against itself. How many times have we heard Suyin tell us that Zaofu is the safest city in the world? Truthfully, itÂ is.Â The problem ended up being human nature, not the construction of the city. So it became instantly intense when the city sealed itself for the night and then, seconds later, we see Zaheer and his gang sneaking around Zaofu, looking for Korra. How did they get in? We ask the same question when they disappear in a matter of seconds after the fight ends. HOW??? WHAT SECRETS DO YOU HAVE?
But letâ€™s just talk about the abduction attempt becauseÂ GOOD FUCKING LORD. Look, I donâ€™t want to devalue these charactersâ€™ fighting ability. Lin, Suyin, Bolin, and Mako are powerful benders, and yet? I constantly felt like Team Zaheer were stronger fighters. Part of that is because they bend in ways most people havenâ€™t seen. LAVA BENDING, Yâ€™ALL. I still canâ€™t wrap my mind around Ming-Huaâ€™s bending either. United, these four benders are a formidable enemy, and that makes me incredibly nervous. If it werenâ€™t for Pabu, they absolutely would have gotten out of Zaofu with Korra. But even when Bolin and Mako begin attacking them, joined later by the Beifong sisters and the rest of the troops, I still didnâ€™t feel like theyâ€™d be able to stop Zaheer. Maybe delay them? I had faith that Bolin would be able to strike Pâ€™Li, but could he do it in time? LOOK, I WAS VERY NERVOUS WATCHING THE FIRST HALF OF THIS EPISODE, OKAY?
And then, as quickly as they came, Team Zaheer slinks away and disappears, leaving a scorched plot of EarthÂ andÂ Korra behind them. It might have been a failure on their part, but it certainly frightened Team Avatar. It also destroyed the sense of security within Zaofu, which leads to the transition of the story here in â€œThe Terror Within.â€ The title initially refers to Zaheer, but then becomes an uncomfortable question: Who betrayed everyone and helped Team Zaheer?
I think I figured this out right before Mako did, and somehow, that didnâ€™t deflate from the actual reveal. Hong Li was simply way too obvious of a suspect, first of all. But that suspicion eroded upon any sort of strenuous examination because it wasÂ tooÂ convenient. How did someone so young strike up an allegiance with someone who had been in prison for most of his life? Yet even as I ask that question, I have to turn my own disbelief towards Aiwei. We know he was responsible for the betrayal, butÂ why? Why give up everything heâ€™d worked for? Hell, itâ€™s not just the betrayal that stings; his exit strategy involved A MURDER ATTEMPT on anyone who followed him on his escape route!!! He destroyed any evidence that may have implicated him, too, suggesting that there must be some deeper conspiracy at work beyond the four members of Team Zaheer. What theÂ hellÂ is waiting for Korra, yâ€™all???
I really thought that this episode would end with Korra being escorted back to Republic City, which was kind of disappointing. Aiwei has the answers!!! Why arenâ€™t they going after him? AND THEN SUYIN GIVES KORRA THE GO-AHEAD TO PURSUE AIWEI WITHOUT LIN ANDÂ I CANâ€™T DEAL WITH THIS. Oh my god, I am so terribly eager to find out what the fuck is going here, yâ€™all. Iâ€™m thrilled by this season, and I think this isÂ The Legend of KorraÂ at its strongest.
The video for â€œThe Terror Withinâ€ can be downloadedÂ here for $0.99.
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