[This is a review of The Legend of Korra season 3, episode 9. There will be SPOILERS.]
Team Avatar does its best to take the fight to the enemy, as they track the traitorous Aiwei to the Misty Palms Oasis. Korra and the gang think they have the upper hand, but Zaheer proves himself to be more illusive than we could ever have imagined.
Let's delve straight into the meat of this week's outing, with Zaheer revealing that he's part of an ancient order called The Red Lotus. The ruthless criminal informs Korra that The Red Lotus stands in opposition to the Order of the White Lotus, whose sole purpose was to protect the Avatar and maintain balance where chaos exists. Like a good Sith Lord straight out of the Star Wars universe, Zaheer claims that order is a lie.
According to Zaheer, "The natural order is disorder." True freedom only exists when political institutions are disbanded. Zaheer perfectly fits the mold for any charismatic freedom fighter, by speaking truths and lies simultaneously. He does have a point when mentioning Zuko's father and the Earth Queen. These monarchs have enslaved and caused nothing but death and subjugation. Could Zaheer be right after all?
Probably not, but Henry Rollins pulls you in to his melodic speech with effortless tranquility, and it's hard not to wonder what would happen to Korra if she had trained with him. Is Zaheer Korra's Darth Vader, where Tenzin is her Obi-Wan? Like the great Jedi Master once said, everything depends upon one's point of view. As with any good villain, Zaheer believes in his own worldview unequivocally.
This statement may come out as blasphemous to some, but Zaheer may be the most well-developed and diversified villain of the entire Last Airbender franchise (so far). Sure, Zuko (this reviewer's favorite character) had his "bad guy" moments, but he was more a victim of circumstance, as opposed to a true villain like Ozai and his daughter Azula. Zaheer will most likely never side with Korra and remain in opposition to her until the season finale.
Are Zaheer and his miscreants all that remains of The Red Lotus, or is there someone else pulling the strings? Aiwei may be trapped forever in The Fog of Lost Souls, but his words from last week's episode still ring clear: "You have no idea what's coming for you Avatar." So, what's coming?
Hopefully, all of you had few difficulties watching 'The Stakeout' online. Also, what did you think of Zaheer's little communication trick with the outside world while in the realm of the spirits? Looks like Korra still has a lot to learn. Stay tuned to see what happens next when Team Avatar journeys to Ba Sing Se.
The Legend of Korra continues with 'Long Live the Queen' next Friday on various streaming sites.