‘The Legend of Korra’ Season 2 Premiere Review

Published 10 months ago by , Updated September 16th, 2013 at 6:16 am,

Legend of Korra Season 2 Premiere Review The Legend of Korra Season 2 Premiere Review

The Legend of Korra exists as one of those rare moments in television where children and adults alike can enjoy an animated program without feeling apologetic for appreciating the series. With the premiere of season 2 (a.k.a. Book 2: Spirits), creators Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko continue that tradition with the show’s heroine experiencing more growing pains on her journey to becoming not only a better Avatar, but a woman.

If the season 1 finale left its viewers with any questions, one of those had to be who the major villain was going to be in the following season? In Avatar: The Last Airbender, Aang’s nemesis was clear, and so was his mission. The journey may not have been a straightforward one, but Fire Lord Ozai’s presence could always be felt lingering in the shadows. Korra faced Amon in season 1, but she has yet to face an adversary like Ozai.

Like many season premieres, The Legend of Korra reacquaints us with our favorite characters. It’s nice to see Bolin leading a new team of Fire Ferrets in a Pro Bending match, only to have them lose in record time. Mako working on the police force seems like a fitting occupation for the heroic young man as he singlehandedly captures a group of criminals in Republic City. At first glance, Asami’s attempts to rebuild her father’s empire (Future Industries) are, while admirable, the least interesting of the bunch. And though the Avatar’s entourage has always been an important aspect of each season’s story, Korra is the real star of the show and we quickly realize that she’s not in a peaceful state of mind.

Legend of Korra Season 2 Premiere Date and Trailer The Legend of Korra Season 2 Premiere Review

Even while witnessing Korra as a young girl in last season’s premiere, it was obvious that she was a strong, willful, and persistent child who could not be controlled. It wasn’t until the season 1 finale, when she was at her lowest point, did Korra finally learn to tap into the spirit world and make the connection to the past Avatars. Sadly, that moment is six months in the past, and even though the young Avatar can channel the spirit world at will, she doesn’t understand its true potential.

Tenzin, voiced by the talented J.K. Simmons (Spider-Man), believes he has the remedy that will clear Korra’s head -  taking a family trip to the various Air Temples. A family road trip sounds fun, but pleasant family getaways are not what this franchise was built on, and Korra discovers that her destiny is ever-changing.

The introduction of new characters like Tenzin’s brother and sister are a welcome one. Hopefully, the extent of Aang’s family will be discussed in greater detail as the series progresses. However, the most important of these new characters is Korra’s uncle (Unalaq). While Korra and the gang are preparing to enjoy a festival, we are introduced to Unalaq, who is the fanatical chief of the Northern Water Tribe, hellbent on making sure the heathens of the South learn to respect the spirits.

It’s too early to tell if Unalaq will be the season’s primary villain, but if he is, it feels like the writers are exposing him far too soon.  Korra’s uncle is conveniently able to send the spirits away with his control of the spirit world. Is he simply that good, or somehow responsible for the spirits attacking the villages? Unlike Amon, Unalaq does not have that air of mystery surrounding him – he just appears to be another power hungry villain. But again, perhaps it’s premature to label him as the villain. Only time will tell.

Legend of Korra Season 2 Evil Spirits The Legend of Korra Season 2 Premiere Review

Without the Avatar by their side, Tenzin and his family decide to continue their journey to the place where Aang once called home.  As exciting as Republic City is, seeing the temple in all its glory is a pleasant break from the noisy streets of the city.

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TAGS: legend of korra, the last airbender

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  1. I could only think of one thing when I watched the ending; ‘Then everything changed when the Water Nation attacked.’

    • Only the Avatar, master of all four elements, could stop them. But when the world needed her most…

      …hopefully she stuck around this time?

    • Ikr? I don’t think Korra quite understood what they meant by “there’s a lot more to be done”

  2. Am I the only one that thinks the Northern Water Tribe leader was obviously evil the whole time? The only spirit attacks that leave witnesses are when he’s around. I would almost put money on him releasing/angering the spirits and then using his abilities to get them under control. He was clearly just trying to get the Avatar on his side.

    That’s another thing – he seems to ‘control’ them to get them to stop. Tenzin tries to reason with the spirits, much like his father would have wanted. Forcing them into submission isn’t ‘bringing balance’ and I have a feeling that Korra will discover this too.

    • exactly what I thought. Now get out of my head

  3. I feel like I already know how this season is going to play out. I never really got attached to any of the characters in the first season and the relationships of the main avatar gang seem really forced as well. Unless I hear of a major curve ball in storyline I probably won’t be tuning in every week. I will say though, that the animation looks beautiful and a real step up from the original series.

    • Sure, the animation is good, but i HATE the art style. It just doesnt fit.

      • What do you mean by art style?

  4. I hate aubrey plaza…. she is the most monotone bland actress ever to be put in film. Ill wait to see how she does

  5. They’ve released on and off hints who the major villain of season 2 is. The Dark Spirit is being played by the woman who was the voice of Azula, and this season is supposed to be a focus on dark spirits along with Ko the face stealer.

  6. Forget about the obvious fact that Korea’s uncle had totally convenient timing(foreshadowing his villainous roll in the series) – is anyone else upset that the series has revealed that the water benders ha e yet ANOTHER ability that somehow the other three benders can’t? Not to mention the Avatar(as under trained as she is) can not do either?
    First series, they could heal(some what acceptable) then came blood-bending, followed by bending-blocking/chi-blocking with Among, and they have Spirit manipulation?? Come ooon. Bantha fodder if you ask me! I figure the air-bending monks would have that at least.
    Hopefully there’s a good explanation as the series progresses.

    • Amon** sorry. Stupid auto correct. Lol.

    • Amon was just a unique blood bender, he didnt actually take away their bending just cut it off.
      Also we dont know as of yet if other elements can be used to calm spirits, I can easily see air and fire being able to, but waterbending is known to be the most adaptable of the elements.

    • Earth benders can metal bend as well. Plus fire benders can use lightening. So water benders have 3. Who knows what else will come with more episodes.

      • Don’t forget sandbending for Earthbenders.

      • Yea I didn’t forget those. But that’s my point, most of the others have a bonus ability but it seems like water has an abundance.
        Air-bending: none(as far as I know)
        Earth-bending: metal bending*
        Fire-bending: lightning
        Water-bending: healing, blood-bending, and now Spirit-binding.

        *didn’t both mentioning sand-bending(as @Boopy mentioned). I figure sand is just an extension and still earth, only very small so its more of a fine tune skill rather than an extra ability.

        • Im pretty sure an airbender could make a vacuum around a persons head and make them suffocate or suck all the oxygen straight out of their body but since there are so few and they are usually peaceful we’ll never see it.

          • That would be the most bada$$ extra ability in the world! But also, didn’t Aang have a heightened sense of sound and hearing? Maybe the airbender’s extra ability could be something involving sound? But then again, you can’t bend sound I guess…

            • and superspeed in one episode, oh and yknow…flying!
              Also not every waterbender can use the heak ability I think, just like every earthbender cant metalbend unless it takes certain training.

              • *healing

              • I’ve thought about those as well, it’s the first thing I usually bring up when defending the capabilities of air-bending with my friends. Saying that they can create a cyclone around some one’s he’s and sucking the air out of them is totally feasible even though, like you said air-benders are peace and wouldn’t do that.
                However I wouldn’t necessarily say that would be an “extra ability”. Same goes for superspeed and flying/gliding. All those are like the equivalent of an earth bender being able to cover themselves in rock bodysuit or using a sledge of rock as a land surfboard. Plenty of examples for fire and water as well.
                Granted as you also mentioned that only few benders have those extra abilities, I just generalize/simplify those things to marking it as a tally of what cool bonus stuff each element can perform, and air pretty much is getting left in the dark while water has a growing list, you know?

        • Airbenders have speed. Aang could run as fast as the wind.

        • Airbenders can fly! Kinda. They need a glider though.

        • Does no one remember Meelo’s fart bending?

  7. It was awesome.

  8. Those who think they already know every thing after two episodes are silly. We thought we knew how everything was in season 1 only for everything to take a complete U turn and then completely destroy your feels.

    • Season 1 also ended like crap… it was terribly forced and tied all loose ends that could have been explored in this season. I dont like that amon was solved after 1 season. It was 3 seasons to stop firelord ozi. Havent watched these 2 episodes but i hope they are better

      • Well, as much a I agree with you on all accounts, to be fair they only intended f

      • Well, as much a I agree with you on all accounts, to be fair they only intended for it to be a mini series as opposed to a fully fledged series. But really though, it felt so rushed near the end, I agree.

        • Your right they did only intend it to be one season. This season started off well tho

      • You can’t argue with how season 1 ended because Legend of korra was intended to be a mini series!

      • You have to consider that this was supposed to be a mini-series, that is why you feel rush. But do not worry, there are two more season to look for. First season was Me’h, it was okay but I’m looking for a whole new level I hope this season can bring

  9. I kind of got the idea that Unaloq’s ‘spirit bending’ could just be a form of the waterbending healing just applied to spirit creatures.

  10. My one complain is that Korra hasn’t grown at all. Did we learn nothing from the fight with Amon 6 months ago? Why is she still being so difficult. She’s got the airbending, she’s got the guy, and she’s in the avatar. Why is she still so difficult and mean. We need more with the airbender kids, and Aang’s kids. I have a feeling this series is going to be interesting because we will learn more about the Avatar and even meet the first Avatar which should be cool. Hopefully we will see some of the old gang again too.

    • She hasn’t ‘got’ airbending – she can do the speedball thing, but is still at the ‘punch air at people’ stage she was ‘six months ago’ during the fight with Amon. She’s frustrated because, from her point of view, she’s studying and training every day with Tenzin and not getting better – she had control over the other elements from a very young age.

      Then another guy comes in and offers to teach an entirely new ability. If you are only learning an offshoot of air bending techniques, there’s not as much change compared to an alternate style such as… spirit control? She’s meant to be the most powerful person on the planet and it annoys her that she can’t progress as quickly as she would like and she knows that, no matter how much pressure she puts on herself by thinking that, a lot of other people are also wondering when the ‘all-powerful Avatar’ will fix everything.

      • She isnt nearly as complex or interesting as aang. That is obvious, she is at times annoying

  11. Once again, “glowing-eyes avatar state, ACTIVATE!” Solves everything. It beat Ozai, Amon, Amon’s father, and reset all the damage done in season 1 with 60 seconds of screen time and an Ang cameo.

    It’s obvious that the spirit world is a metaphor for balance, both emotionally and in nature.

    From a mile away, you can see that the great danger is that Korra won’t be in control of her emotions and Koh could steal her face in a hot second. There needs to be a bigger threat than Koh, though. The avatar state needs its nemesis to avoid deus ex machina per season 1.

    • “glowing-eyes avatar state, ACTIVATE!” fixed one issue – airspeedballthing racing. When she tried it in a fight against a spirit, it didn’t help. It only helped when at a spirit portal focal point, but that’s because the Avatar is meant to commune with the spirits, so the Avatar state would probably help with that. I think.

      • Nice try, but it is where this series will fall short or surpass ATLA. Eyes glow, and the Avatar wins. It was epic to see Ang come back against comet-enhanced Ozai, and even more awesome to see his predecessor fight a live volcano, but now the narrative needs to grow and change. Despite what you said, the spirits attacked, her eyes glowed, and it was all better…yawn-inducing better. I’d love to see a spirit-enhanced and scarred (I.e. immune to Koh) Amon come back deadlier than ever, but that’s just me. Avatar state NEEDS it’s nemesis the series to stay awesome.

        • The Avatar state makes all of the Avatar’s abilities better – it helped Korra win the race by making her (slightly shoddy) airbending better. Korra isn’t very good when it comes to the spiritual side of being the Avatar, so the state would boost her latent spiritual skills.

          Korra wants a quick fix, so instead of staying with Tenzin and learning properly, she tags along with someone else who promises great advances. I would prefer the Avatar state to have more obvious drawbacks or for it to simply be a way of ‘being powerful’ without all the training, so when an Avatar is skilled enough, they simply won’t need it.

    • The avatar state did not beat amon! She did not go into the avatar state for the first time until at the very last second of the season!

  12. What the hell has happened to this program!!!!?????
    Book 2 animation quality is AWFUL
    Plus the writing quality’s gone down, neither episodes were remotely funny, the dialogue was plain boring.

    Korra’s turned into a spoilt brat. Last season she was fiesty and independent, a little headstrong, but not annoying! Her maturity seems to have morphed back a couple of years, instead of crossing half the country to find her own path and maturing as she came into her airbending and slightly more into her spiriutal side, she’s now a rebellious tween.

    Bolin has gotten even more stupid, to the point that he’s annoying rather than funny.
    Strange that the characters with the most depth seem to be Desna and Eska

    So wierd. I loved season 1 so much as well! Was so disappointed. And was kind of convinced I’d watched a fanmade video at first, had to check other links to make sure!

    • im sorry, I stopped reading after you said the animation was awful.

      • Did you actually *watch* it? Other than the fight scenes the animation was incredibly choppy.

    • Well, Korra is actually portrayed as the “rebel avatar”, yepp its a fact

  13. I wont judge too harshly because it’s only been two episodes. I agree with a lot of the posts about character development. As for the storeline I think Korra’s uncle is possessed. During his years of research on the spirit world something happened and he got taken over by dark spirits. Korra and the gang will figure this out in a few episodes and Korra will have to go to the spirit world to rescue her uncle, while the rest of the gang deals with what he’s done in the real world.

  14. I have nothing but tepid feelings towards this new series, Legend of Korra. Though I watch it for completeness’ sake, there are no captivating or memorable facets to the plot or its characters to keep me intrigued or vaguely amused. In Legend of Aang, we had Uncle Iroh; his pearls of wisdom and undying loyalty to his family. We had Zuko; his struggle to attain and define his honour. We had Aang; the inescapable chip on his shoulder to bring balance to a world that he was already a century too late to protect, and his conflicted feelings to the people he loved, both past and present. It is my presumption that the producers had destined the Legend of Korra to be tantamount to a spin-off mini series, consequent of the lack of chemistry, potency and overall magic of the Legend of Aang that made it the incredible series that it was.

  15. “The Legend of Korra exists as one of those rare moments in television where children and adults alike can enjoy an animated program without feeling apologetic for appreciating the series.”

    Yep! 24 years old here and I still love the Avatar series very much. I watched the original during high school and was beyond pumped for Korra.

  16. Is it just me or is Korra more meaner this season than last season? :P

  17. I didn’t enjoy the first two episodes as I believe I expected. But, the writing team and animation squad of Legend of Korra has their excuses to it being not as amazing as its previous shows because they were not prepared for a season two at the beginning of the first season of LOK.

    For those of you quite disappointed in the premiere as I was, have hope. I believe these episodes were just jump-starts for the real action and stories we love and in a few episodes, we’ll be loving the series.

    Anyway, I’m still pumped to see how this goes.

  18. Great recap David! I have always found Korra to be too aggressive, keeping her from tapping into her more spiritual side. She is a waterbender, but it seems like her default is to always go to fire. While we got to follow Aang in his journey to Avatar-dom, with Korra we met during her firebending test. But wow did they kick off season 2 with a bang, I can’t wait to see the battle between her Dad (voiced by the great James Remar by the way) and uncle for the balance of the world.

    It seems like the world of avatar is always out of balance, so the quest has to be if the world does achieve balance, will they still need an Avatar?

    • On Korra using firebending a lot – aside from matching her ‘fiery’ temperament, it’s the most obvious choice. Waterbending requires there to be water around, earth bending requires earth and she hasn’t mastered airbending. In a way… don’t hate me… you can kind of see why that film that must not be named removed this firebending advantage.

      Spiritual balance isn’t instantaneous and doesn’t last forever. Probably. Even in the real world, ‘peace’ doesn’t last because it only takes one evil person to ruin it for everyone.

  19. AVATAR is a great series! Love it! TLAB is great because it is full of positive messages and values.

    TLOK is cool, however, I feel as if it was this pro government/corporations system series, I obviously don’t know what will happen in this season 2, but it feels like they are doing what they did in the 1st season, which is make a guy have a good idea to make a better world and then make him an extremist evil guy. It’s like, “yeah we got a president in Republic city so now it’s fine”… I hope someone understands what I’m trying to say, TLOK is still very fun and enjoyable to watch, I just miss the originality of the world and story line they made with TLAB. I can’t help but think that TLOK message is basically: “Our real world is great and anyone who thinks differently will be evil and an extremist”.

  20. I’ve been reading some reviews and I’m surprised at the reaction Unalaaq is getting. Yes, he is an antagonist. Yes, he is not a nice guy. Yes, he overstepped all reasonable bounds with his invasion. But I can’t help but feel the writers are setting people up with their own expectations. Its easy to assign him the villain role because of his actions. Too easy. Because one thing everyone is missing is that he was absolutely right in everything he told the heroes. I know some people will say he set up the whole situation but evidence is almost non-existent for that theory. All they have are assumptions. Until such evidence comes to light Unalaaq fits better in the well-intentioned extremist mode then your typical cruel power hungry villain.

    • I’m pretentious enough to want to quote that Sherlock Holmes thing, but I’m too tired/lazy to Google it. Something about how once you’ve removed the impossible, whatever’s left has to be the truth. The flip-side of that is that something that’s possible but seems unlikely might also be the truth.

      This guy can manipulate spirits. OK, he can ‘calm them’ but it doesn’t seem proper. Tenzin tried to reason with a spirit Aang-style and it just smacked him down. There’s apparently only one guy in the world that can control spirits and just as he turns up, there’s a spirit attack right after Korra says she is on the fence as to whether or not she should learn about spirits or go on an Air Temple world tour. It’s possible and it’s plausible that Unalaq is a bad guy.

      • Unalaq IS a bad guy. Lets just get this out of the way. He’s occupying the Southern Water Tribe with an army. He’s going to forcefully ‘teach’ his wayward tribesman, whatever it takes. This is clearly established and with an equal clear motivation, he is fanatical about curing the spirit problems of the South.

        What’s arguable is if Unalaq is the irredeemable villain behind the spirits acting up. The spirit storm is a problem thats been decades in the making and for somebody as sensitive to the spirits as Unalaq he would of been keeping an eye on it. It IS his sister tribe after all. He’d feel some responsibility for it. Its very plausible, given what I just said, that he would show up as things get worse as an attempt to fix the problem. He may of been waiting specifically for the Avatar to return as well so he could teach her ‘properly’.

        With that in mind I could see Unalaq as a cat’s paw for another villain in the shadows, or maybe just an unintentional participant. A few spirits have long standing grudges against the Avatar. They could easily manipulate events to sucker in the Avatar for their own ends.

        Just to be clear I’m not defending Unalaq or his actions. I just think there is a good chance he is going to be the decoy for the real villain.

  21. Season 2 of The Legend of Korra is missing something…It’s missing the adventure and action that made The Last Airbender so good. Still a good show though, though I wish it had more action and adventure. Will continue to watch it to see how the show develops.

  22. I am so disappointed at this show, sending awful messages to the audience… TLAB was full of positive messages and deep values, now with TLOK they put a guy with a good idea and make him an extremist evil person (in both seasons), now the values in this series lay on making good business out of a war and politics, lack of critical thinking from the characters except for Mako I guess. They destroyed the original world they made in TLAB and made one closer to our s***** real world just to make us think that having a president is the way to go and the only way to go and to make us keep thinking that corruption and monetary interests to make things work are just normal. I have this naive hope that the series will suddenly change and leave all this BS aside and make an original show with positive critical thinking messages. So very disappointed.

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