Legend of Korra Weekly Review – Civil Wars, Pt. 1

Hey everyone! This week’s Legend of Korra was perhaps the slowest we’ve ever seen the show, but also possibly it’s best. With a civil war brewing between the Southern and Northern Water tribes, Korra has found herself in a situation that is not only over her head and out of her element, but also in one that may very well tear her family apart. If you haven’t watched this weeks episode yet, head over to Nick.com or iTunes and check it out! SPOILERS AHEAD!

Korra and Unalaq
Totally not a bad guy.

OK so this week on Korra we were treated to a departure from our usual episode pacing and given a more slower look into not only Korra and her family, but Tenzin and his. We had a single action scene this week, and it was pretty obvious during it that Korra was holding back in an attempt to not hurt her own people. This, of course, is turning out to be a bit of a theme in Korra’s struggle this season; the fate of her own people. Korra is more or less stuck between a hard place and a hard place.

Not a good day for Korra.
Not a good day for Korra.

On the one hand, Tonraq has always attempted to protect her and hold her back; yet her uncle is MORE than willing to teach her things she needs to know and help her become a more well rounded Avatar. But on the other hand, Unalaq is esentially forcing the Southern Water Tribe to obey his rule, and enforcing that rule with a tyrants fists. The question becomes one of importance, is it more important for Korra to learn new abilities to become a better Avatar? Or keep the peace and protect the people she’s supposed to protect? She’s pretty much screwed either way, and this episode really made it obvious how hard all this was on Korra.

I wonder how much this guy regrets his life choices up to this point...
I wonder how much this guy regrets his life choices up to this point…

While Korra was dealing with perhaps the biggest dilemma of her life, Tenzin and his family are off having a “restful” vacation. That is, of course, until Ikki goes missing and we jump right into the dysfunction and problems that Aang & Katara’s family has fostered over the years. As it turns out, Aang had a favorite when it came to his children, and often placed his responsibility to the world at large over taking care of his own family. While it’s true that Tenzin was to be the future of all Airbenders (and therefore needed to most training from Aang), that doesn’t exactly make it any easier on Kya and Bumi as children; as they almost never got to see their father.

Just another happy family...
Just another happy family…

You really got to hand it to the team behind Korra; it would have been SO easy to just have Aang be this perfect father that loved his kids and made the world a better place. But the real world doesn’t work like that, and so often parents (both mothers and fathers) are forced to choose between spending time with their children and working to provide for them. There are only so many hours in a day after all, and no one is perfect. I imagine for many fans Aang has been “the best character ever” for a long time now, and it would have been easy to just keep playing on that and pander to the shows fans. But nope! It turns out Aang wasn’t perfect and actually turned out to be a pretty terrible father all things said and done. Oh sure, he was a fantastic Avatar; but that came at the expense of his family and personal life. Make of that what you will.

Not one. Not two. But THREE Typhoons.
Not one. Not two. But THREE Typhoons.

It was also refreshing to see the relationship between Aang’s children be as realistic as it was. Bumi, the non-bender, ends up with a sort of “Sokka-complex”; always joking around and trying to prove he can do anything a bender can do. And Kya, well, it would appear she inherited her fathers sense of wonder-lust; as she spent most of her life traveling the world before returning home to take care of a widowed Katara. I don’t know about you, but I loved seeing how multi-dimensional these character are. These aren’t just “Aang’s other kids”, these are fully fleshed out adults with just as much story and personality as Tenzin, the only child of Aang’s we got to meet in Season 1. I especially liked how this episode speaks directly to the fans in a way, reminding them that Tenzin isn’t the only decedent we should care about.

"Yeah! We're Aang's kids too!"
“Yeah! We’re Aang’s kids too!”

As for our good friends Mako and Bolin… well, they haven’t had a lot to do so far this season. Sure, Bolin get’s to be our comic relief as we see him struggle under the icy control of Eska; but that’s about it. And while Mako is certainly a better boyfriend to Korra than he was to Asami, he has yet to find something to really fight for yet this season. I suspect that will change in a few episodes here, but who knows?

If Korra makes you and ice ramp, you're gonna have a bad time...
If Korra makes you and ice ramp, you’re gonna have a bad time…

I’ve heard people  complain that this season leaves out so many character from the first one, and they’re right! But this isn’t A Game of Thrones, this is The Legend of Korra. And the 24 minute span we get to see these characters isn’t enough to do what I think a lot of people want them to do. We’ve got 2 more seasons after this one people, I’m sure we’ll catch up with everyone later.

Eska's Laugh = Nightmare Fuel
Eska’s Laugh = Nightmare Fuel

All that being said, this weeks episode was perhaps one of the shows best (despite the slower pace). A big theme this season seems to be on family and siblings, and this episode delivered on that theme ten-fold. From Korra doubting her father (and then eventually reconciling with him and her mother) to Tenzin and the dysfunction that both his siblings and his children have; this episode delivered on all fronts. It even gave us a small scene of brotherly advice between Mako and Bolin, and they were hardly even in the episode.

For the record, throwing a snowball at a firebender is probably not the strongest strategy.
For the record, throwing a snowball at the Avatar is probably not the strongest strategy.

And hey! That cliffhanger! Am I right? It would appear that any chance Korra had of staying neutral in this whole civil war is about to go up in smoke. And what’s up with arresting both Tonraq AND Senna?! It’s almost like Unalaq wants to start something with Korra. The poor woman has had almost no presence in all of this other than making some cookies for everyone… WAIT! That’s it! THE COOKIES! No wonder Varrick liked them so much! They’re the resistance’s secret weapon!

This can't end well...
This can’t end well…

 

And to thing I was fooled into thinking Senna was just a loving mother who made regular everyday cookies… Well played Senna. Well played.

It all makes so much sense now!
Cookies or Crack? You decide…

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