[This is a review of The Legend of Korra season 3, episodes 4 and 5. There will be SPOILERS.]
Since new airbenders are being discovered throughout the Earth Kingdom, it was time for our heroine to venture out of the confines of Republic City and into this new world of "change." With the formidable Zaheer and his minions on the hunt for Korra, Team Avatar finds sanctuary in the most unlikely of places.
Before delving into the delightful intricacies of the great metal city of Sao Fu, let's take a moment to examine the events that took place in Ba Sing Se. 'In Harm's Way' provided an exciting prison break scene, but still leaves us with unanswered questions, which will hopefully be explained in future episodes. The Earth Queen is an imposing figure, but it's difficult to determine if she's simply over-zealous or a "true villain" who wants to rule over everything. Her dramatic soap-opera like mannerisms will be missed, yet she pales in comparison to the menacing quartet led by the charismatic Zaheer.
Watching Lord Zuko in action was a moment of pure beauty, as our hero from Avatar: The Last Airbender shows that he still has what it takes to fight with the best of them. Now that Zaheer and his minions are back together, they should prove themselves worthy advisories for Korra and her friends, but to what end?
According to Tenzin, the criminals plotted to kidnap Korra thirteen years ago, but thanks to Zuko, Sokka, and Tonraq, their plan was thwarted. Why does Zaheer want to destroy the Avatar and the Order of the White Lotus so badly? During the premiere, Zaheer spoke of his new airbending abilities as justification that their cause was right. Perhaps he has a personal grievance with Aang? Only time will tell.
A few other moments worthy of note from this episode are Jinora's impressive spiritual abilities and Kai's progression as an airbender. The young rascal looked to be the best student in his class, but he also proved himself to be honorable by not wishing to shame his fellow prisoners. It's nice to see that the writers chose to acknowledge Jinora's ever-growing spiritual prowess, as she is quickly becoming a guru in her own right. Jinora could become Team Avatar's secret weapon in this new spiritual age.
The second episode to air this week, entitled 'The Metal Clan,' is one of the more unique and engaging outings from The Legend of Korra. Our trip to the magical metal city of Sao Fu gave us a compelling yet simple story about two sisters who've lost touch with each other and their mother who never gave them enough attention. This classic family trope is nothing new in terms of storytelling, but when your mother is Toph Beifong, the founder of all metalbending, then the tale quickly turns from the mundane to the fantastical.
Not only are we introduced to Toph's children and grandchildren, but the discovery that Toph herself is still alive somewhere wandering the world in search of enlightenment is joyous news indeed. If she is still out there, then her children need her more than ever. Lin's contempt for Su Jin and her children is not something the Avatar can easily cure.
The lovely Anne Heche's (The Michael J. Fox Show) portrayal of the proud daughter of Toph was a welcomed addition to an already stellar voice cast. As Korra's training of Opal progresses, maybe she will gain greater influence over the relationship between Su Jin and Lin, but will it be enough to mend the rift between the sisters?
The few insights given about Toph's past raise new and exciting questions. Foremost of these would have to be the identities of Lin and Su Jin's fathers. Su Jin claims that they never new their dads, so the possibilities are endless. This is merely speculation, but Lord Zuko needs to be on the top of the "who's that baby's daddy" list. What other eligible bachelors would you name as possible candidates? It's been 70 years since our television adventures with Aang and the original Team Avatar ended, so the possibilities are practically endless.
With five episodes airing over a period of 2 weeks, The Legend of Korra is nearly halfway done with its third season (Book 3: Change). Are you satisfied with where DiMartino and Konietzko are taking us, or would you like to see the story go in a different direction? Keep watching to see what happens next.
The Legend of Korra season 3 continues with 'Old Wounds' and 'Original Airbenders' next Friday @8pm on Nickelodeon.