Share & Connect
Nickelodeon’s hit show ‘The Legend of Korra’ (2012), the sequel series to ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender’ (2005), continued Saturday, May 19, 2012, at 11 a.m. EST with its seventh episode, “The Aftermath.”
Seventy years after Aang and his friends defeated Fire Lord Ozai, Korra (Janet Varney) is the newest Avatar and is training in Republic City to master airbending with Aang’s son, Tenzin (J.K. Simmons). She is also friends with Mako (David Faustino), a Firebender, and his brother Bolin (P.J. Byrne), an Earthbender, and plays on their team, the Fire Ferrets, in a competition known as pro-bending. In this game, teams compete to knock each other out of a ring using their bending.
In the previous episode, directly after the pro-bending championship between the Wolfbats and the Fire Ferrets, in which the Ferrets lost due to the Wolfbats’ cheating, the leader of the anti-bending movement, Amon (Steve Blum), burst in and attacked all of the players as well as the police officers. Amon had learned a technique that removes a person’s bending permanently, and he took away the Wolfbats’ bending powers, promising that he would do more to “help” the non-benders of Republic City.
In “The Aftermath”, the arena is mostly destroyed, meaning Mako and Bolin will have to move out as it had been their home. Korra arrives to tell them they can stay with her, but it turns out Mako’s girlfriend, Asami Sato (Seychelle Gabriel), daughter of automobile titan Hiroshi Sato, has offered to let the brothers stay at her place. Korra later visits them at the mansion and learns there is a little more to Asami than her money and her looks. She can drag race and she knows self-defense.
However, Korra overhears her father on the phone and is led to believe Sato is working with the Equalists, Amon’s anti-bending group. She goes to Tenzin and the Chief of Police, Lin Bei Fong (Mindy Sterling), to tell them what she heard. Bei Fong starts an investigation on Sato’s estate, which angers both Asami and Mako. Mako tells Korra to drop the issue or they will no longer be friends, but Korra trusts her instincts and pushes onward.
They search Sato’s factories and find nothing, but then an anonymous worker tips them off to a secret underground factory beneath Sato’s mansion. Bei Fong, Tenzin, Korra, and a handful of police officers find the factory only to be caught in a trap by Sato, who has a new army of mechanical suits.
He defeats them and starts to capture them to take to Amon, but Bolin, Mako, and Asami intervene, freeing everyone except the captured officers. Bei Fong vows to resign from her post and rescue her kidnapped officers outside the law while Mako apologizes to Korra for his actions and comforts Asami.
This episode is relatively solid, but it does have a couple of noticeable flaws. First, the plot is incredibly predictable. As soon as Korra learns of Sato’s secret phone conversation, a savvy watcher will be able to tell he has set a trap for her and wants to lure Bei Fong, Korra, and Tenzin into his clutches to prove his valor to Amon.
Similarly, when Sato confronts Asami and asks him to side with him, a sharp viewer will know she will decline the offer based on the brief characterization we see of her earlier in the episode. Thus, most of the tension in the episode is minimal.
Second, the forced tension between Korra and Mako is becoming more of a problem. The writers of the show are well aware of the “shipping”, i.e. supporting two characters in a romantic relationship, that the fans engage in for the show and so they delight in poking fun at them whenever possible.
This notion was exemplified in episode five, “The Spirit of Competition”, where they basically forced a love triangle among Korra, Bolin, and Mako only so they could immediately destroy it. The romantic tension has only been building since episode two and so the characters’ interactions do not have as much weight as the characters preceding them in ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender’ where the main heroes’ relationships developed naturally over time.
Mako accuses Korra of being jealous just because he is in a relationship with Asami, and it is a predictable move by the writers to use this angle, especially when it is quickly resolved by the end of the episode. If they had not forced Mako and Korra’s possible romance in the fifth episode, it could have felt more tense if Mako did not know Korra had feelings for him, which would then compel her to decide what to do about the issue. As it stands, their relationship comes across as rushed.
On the upside, the fight sequence between the Equalists and the benders, while short, was breathtaking. This is the first time we see Tenzin cut loose and show off his airbending skills, and they are quite a sight to behold. Furthermore, there is also a rather clever Shout Out to the Cabbage Man from the previous series who is a meme in the ‘Avatar’ fandom and the joke lands with brilliant success.
Overall, the episode is predictable, but enjoyable all the same. It is yet another good stepping stone of building tension on both sides of the pro-bending and anti-bending war brewing in Republic City.
‘Korra’ premieres Saturdays at 11 a.m. on Nickelodeon. Don’t miss it.