In its first season, The Legend of Korra proved to be a show where anything was possible. From the world of Pro-Bending to a jazz-aged wonderland called Republic City, the writers were always giving their viewers a visual feast with each new episode. Season 2, however, has yet to find its footing, and the series that was once so magical is in danger of drifting closer to predictability.
‘Civil Wars, Part 2’ takes us exactly where where we thought it would, and that’s why this week’s episode is so disappointing. Unalaq came off as the obvious villain from the very beginning, and now it’s clear that he’s been behind everything bad that’s happened. Korra’s father (Tonraq) was set up by his brother during the trial, and also when he was a younger man back in the Northern Water Tribe. With the tribes headed toward Civil War, where does that leave Korra?
With this season being referred to as ‘Book 2: Spirits,’ it would make sense for the story to be headed in that direction, yet there has hardly been a whisper of spirits since the season premiere. Was Unalaq telling the truth about Korra not being needed to open the other Spirit Portal? What are the portals? There needs to be more development of the mythology surrounding the spirits and the portals for us to invest in the story. Korra is one of the most formidable characters on television, but when she’s not given a clear task, her character suffers.
This is not to say that the show is doomed. ‘Civil Wars, Part 2’ was at its best in the quiet moments. Tenzin’s pretend tea party with Ikki was touching. Both father and daughter sought solitude away from their respective brothers and sisters, only to discover how desperately they all needed each other. The picture of Aang and his family was heartwarming, and these small character-building moments are what make The Last Airbender franchise one of the best series on television. Korra may be the focal point, but it’s the supporting cast that brings this show to life.
Some of you have suggested that there may be someone “pulling the strings” of Unalaq. Do you think that still holds true, or is he working alone? The question of who will be Korra’s adversary still needs to be answered. While Bolin is always good for a laugh, his relationship with Eska (Aubrey Plaza) is wearing thin. One of the key components from the The Last Airbender series is world-building, and this season needs to find its way back to those core fundamentals.
There are still mysteries to be uncovered in the weeks to come, like who was the man that Ikki saw in the hall of the former Avatars? Will Korra bounce from one battle to the next, or will there be a central antagonist for her to contend with besides Unalaq? The Legend of Korra is still capable of being magical; hopefully, that magic will reveal itself sooner rather than later.
The Legend of Korra continues with ‘Peacekeepers’ next Friday @7pm on Nickelodeon.