[This is a review of The Legend of Korra season 3, episodes 6 and 7. There will be SPOILERS.]
Just like that, The Legend of Korra season 3 (Book 3: Change) is halfway complete, as this week's episodes feel like the calm before the storm. Family squabbles are settled, yet Zaheer's ever-menacing presence lurks in the shadows waiting to pounce.
Episodes 6 and 7, entitled 'Old Wounds' and 'Original Airbenders,' slow down the ferocious pace we've been pleasantly subjected to over the past few weeks. The dilemmas our heroes face are of a more personal and intimate nature, but that does not mean they were any less impactful.
'Old Wounds' does a marvelous job by giving viewers a look at Lin and Suyin Beifong's past. During a flashback sequence, watching Toph scold her daughters was entertaining, but also heartbreaking. Did our favorite earthbender from the original series ever find happiness? She appears to have passed her bitterness and anger on to her daughters and now she's somewhere roaming the wilds in search of enlightenment. Hopefully there is more to the story of Toph Beifong that creators Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko are saving for a later date. Only time will tell.
While Korra's metalbending lessons and Varrick's "magnet armor" were interesting, Zaheer's persistent search for the Avatar nearly stole the show. From the bits of dialogue that we are privy to, it seems that Zaheer and his miscreants were planning to kill the president in Republic City, only to forgo their assassination attempt after they were discovered on Air Temple Island. It's still unclear why these criminals are so adamant about destroying Korra. Do you think they're working for someone else, or is this a personal crusade orchestrated solely by Zaheer?
An even greater mystery was how Zaheer knew Team Avatar was with The Metal Clan? At his encampment, we see him in deep meditation, so was he communing with the spirit world, or is there some other force at play? Henry Rollins is doing fine work by giving Zaheer the intelligent, yet frightening voice that any super-villain needs to possess. Now that he knows where to find Korra, the storm is definitely on its way.
'Original Airbenders' has to be the least memorable episode of this season, so far. That's not to say it was disappointing, only the family squabbles between Jinora, Bumi and Tenzin, were not as engaging as the Beifong plot. It's still nice to see Tenzin acknowledging his daughter's high skill level as an airbender and a potential master. Perhaps we'll see Jinora with some new tattoos before the season is over? Also, the lessons about how the bison are the original airbenders was a nice touch to end the episode. Family has always been an important aspect of The Last Airbender franchise and these two episodes are excellent examples of how well written (even in the small moments) this series can be.
We're halfway to the finale and still no clue as to what's going to happen down the line. As always, we love to see what theories you come up with. Are you pleased with how this season has been developing? Stay tuned to find out what happens next.
The Legend of Korra continues with 'The Terror Within' and 'The Stakeout' next Friday @8pm on Nickelodeon.