Howard Stark! How could you!?
BEST episode yet! Honestly, this was the action I was waiting for! Amon and the Equalists showing up at the final match was expected, but the way it played out was a pleasant surprise! We’ve seen the Equalist Soldiers use electricity before, and it makes sense that even a Firebender/Lightningbender being struck point blank by an electrical shock might not be able to redirect it (if they even know how to), but for some reason I never expected it to be like this. There were a couple of moments of creative cinematography used this episode and it really helped show how quickly things happened – between the Wolfbats winning their fourth championship through playing dirty (honestly I don’t know how Republic City can approve of such cowardly “champions”) and the strike of the Equalists, and in the tie-breaker between Korra and Tano. Which, by the way, was awesome.
For a native Waterbender, Korra uses fire a lot when fighting. I understand that she was adept at manipulating all three elements (minus the rare air) at a young age and therefore probably feels as comfortable using fire as she does water, but it was nice to see her using water so skillfully. I suppose, being the Avatar, Korra feels akin to all elements, and so maybe when in the thick of battle, Korra’s aggression is best expressed with fire. Perhaps there is also a limit to Waterbending as seen in Korra’s cyclone-water-tower; I wasn’t sure if it was a lack of water in the arena or her inability to sustain that much water in the air that it failed her. Luckily, Lin Beifong swung in to save the day.
Now my understanding is that you can’t be a Metalbender without being an Earthbender first, and don’t get me wrong: seeing Lin Metalbend is a welcome spectacle, but I really miss seeing hardcore Earthbending à la Toph! (Sorry Bolin.) And I was kind of hoping we’d see some of that mixed in with the Metalbending in Lin’s fighting. Earthbending has always had a special place in my heart; if I had to choose an element to bend, it would be Earth. And metal too.
In our second flashback to the days of Aang, we see that strange man again, and my suspicions that he was held on trial in court (with Aang in the stands) are growing stronger. Toph is also seen again with her task force; we can only assume she’s pointing at someone – I’m looking at you strange man – who’s been caught doing whatever he did that garnered time in court. There’s also one moment when Aang seems to be coming out of Avatar State. And I’m pretty sure it was after defeating and taking away that strange man’s ability to bend. Perhaps that’s when he learned how to take away someone’s bending. Or at least a hack way of doing it.
The strange man may not be the same man as Amon – maybe Amon is his son. But I’m still very curious as to how Amon can take away other people’s bending! I’m also curious to know what this “war” is going to look like – we already know he has a huge following, though I’m not sure how many will actually follow through when it comes to extreme action with a high chance of violence. I guess Korra’s role in Amon’s plan is yet to come since she sat part of the action out, tied up beneath the stand with the rest of her Fire Ferret teammates. And I’m not undermining her ability to react or Waterbend, but if I was Korra and I knew Goggles was going to stick electricity-charged batons into the water that I and my teammates were floating in, I would have turned the surrounding water around us into ice – since ice doesn’t conduct electricity. But I guess they needed her incapacitated. I still think Korra should learn to defend against electricity as part of her training.
Things should get very exciting now that Lin and Korra are on civil terms. It’d be amazing to see them fight more together – and maybe with Tenzin too! We’re just missing an expert Firebender, and please, don’t anyone mention Mako.