In an attempt to bring reviews that are as informative as possible, I’ve spent the last five or six days re watching Avatar: The Last Airbender. I am currently at the end of season 2 and intend on watching all the way through Legend of Korra‘s second season. It’s been a while since I watched Avatar, and even Legend of Korra seasons 1 and 2 feels like quite some time ago. With the vast array of characters and locales I needed to give myself a refresher course. Fortunately, it’s reminded me of how much I love this show and how much I urge people to watch it! It’s just a fantastic mythos that’s appropriate for essentially all ages. This is far too rare nowadays.
Coming into the fifth episode of The Legend of Korra, we have already gotten some cemented villains in Zaheer’s foursome, as well as a new enemy made official last episode in the Queen of Ba Sing Se. It’s kind of scary how incompetent the leaders of the Earth nation tend to be. That’s beside the point, however, as the groundwork has been laid for some interesting story lines to come. I am sure the not so bad Bandits from episode 3 will make another appearance, and we all know that Zaheer’s gang has some big plans to capture and destroy the Avatar. The question now is, how will the rest of the season play out? The first act has ended and I think “The Metal Clan” is our first foray into act two.
Korra and the others decide to split up in an attempt to cover more ground and find more airbenders. Lin, Korra and a couple others head to the completely metal city of Zaofu, whilst the rest of the gang makes their way to Republic City. Most of the episode takes place in Zaofu as we meet the kind hearted and family-oriented Suyin. For reasons unknown at the start of the episode, Lin has no interest in going into the city. She constantly badgers Korra about the necessity of safety now that Zaheer is after her. As it turns out, this is not the only reason Lin wants to stay aboard the airship. It is revealed towards the beginning of the episode that Lin and Suyin are actually half sisters, sharing Toph as a mother but having different fathers. I honestly didn’t expect this, and it added an interesting, and often tense, dynamic to the situation.
It turns out that one of Suyin’s children, a daughter named Opal, was one of the newly gifted airbenders. Suyin wants Korra to train her daughter, but seems too overprotective to let Opal be out on her own. Sounds a lot like Toph, and the relationship with her parents! We get to meet the other children of Suyin, one of which is a quirky, funny, hipster type “artist”, who has an incredibly humorous exchange with Bolin about a banana shaped piece of art. Needless to say, this has been a bit of a quote for my friends and I over the last few days. One of the strongest attributes Legend of Korra possesses is its ability to balance humor and drama. Much like its main characters, the show itself must perfect certain filmmaking elements that put it above and beyond the rest of the crowd.
We still don’t know the exact reason why Lin and Suyin have so much tension between the two of them. We do find out that they both were raised without much discipline and both ended up choosing wildly different paths. My guess is this relationship of sisters will return in future episodes with the eventual calming of the tides between them. For now, it seems like Suyin is a perfectly nice woman and I believe Lin is treating her with a unique kind of hostility. One reserved for those we love but constantly fight with. This back and forth was one of my favorite parts of the episode, and led to a bit of an upsetting scene at the end where Opal reaches out to Lin but is fiercely rejected. I’ll be excited to learn more about these siblings in future episodes.
On the other side of the episode, in Republic City, the team recruits a couple of new benders. One seems awfully fishy at the start of the episode, and of course turns out to be Zaheer. I’m not sure if it was supposed to be a surprise or if it was meant to be a mystery but either way it was abundantly clear who this shady airbender was. Apparently he was searching for Korra, but didn’t know she left to Zaofu. Since we can’t have a major confrontation this early on for fear of ruining the suspense, it’s nice to see how easy a time the writers are having incorporating Zaheer into the episodes. I want to learn more about him and his gang, so I am expecting this trend to continue. I’m not 100% sure where the next episode is going to take us but I do think we will start to get more answers about intentions once Friday night rolls around. As I’ve been saying after most of these episodes. It’s been a great season thus far, and I am excited as ever for Korra and her future!