Last we saw Korra and Friends, they were fighting for their bending lives in the Pro Bending arena against an Equalist attack. So how did that all turn out?
On one hand, Mako and Bolin are staying with Asami right now so there’s still jealous relationship shenanigans going on. On the other, the metalbending police have come across an Equalist cache of electric gloves and propaganda. At Cabbage Corp no less! Could this be the Cabbage Seller from last series finally getting his dark revenge upon the Gaang? But moving on.
After last episode, you’re probably wondering what happened to the Ultrafab Tahno. And here’s your chance to find out. Has he gotten super buff to make up for his lost bending ability? Has he started retraining in pre-law? No, he’s all depressed, hanging around bending city hall and going to doctors trying to get his bending back to no avail. He even looks a bit sad and droopy too. It’s all a bit like that scene in the Golden Compass, with the kid who has bad stuff happen to his daemon and ends up traumatized for life. I bet spirit bending actually lobotomizes your soul and Aang was carrying around the ability to do that last series. Pacifist my ass. At least Korra says she’s going to avenge Tahno, which is a total turnaround from when she was smacking him in the face with water last episode. It’s obvious he’s not going to join up with any of them, but it’ll be interesting to see if he makes an appearance after Amon inevitably gets defeated.
And if you weren’t suffering from mood whiplash already, the next scene features what I’m guessing was a shoutout to Tumblr. The guys have 1920s style onesies on, and a million Mako and Bolin fangirls cried out in the misery of a missed shirtless opportunity and were silenced. However, what’s good about this scene is that Asami and Korra end up going to the racetrack to check out the Satomobiles (and have a ride in one together), so it all turns into a neat little female bonding sequence. See guys, Mako’s totally not worth it, you two can drive around in Satomobiles and have fun being badass ladies together. I’m just saying, it’s pretty obvious at this point Asami’s going to be the Sokka of this group. Which would be cool, because if there’s one thing cartoons aimed at preteen boys need, it’s more awesome friendships between girls.
However, it may be too soon to speak as when they get home, Korra overhears some suspicious conversating coming directly from Mr. Sato’s study after she dramatically powders her nose. And what do you know, Mr. Sato is an equalist, and not just an equalist: he manufactured the Doom Gauntlets that crispy fried the entire metalbending police force! And not only that, he framed Cabbage Corp! You bastard!
But we end up hearing the shock of the episode from an Equalist informant after Korra rallies Lin and Tenzin to help her get to the bottom of the Case of the Mysterious Mr. Sato. Turns out Sato’s been hiding a subterranean factory underneath his mansion! It’s like he’s a real Bond villain! So Lin, Tenzin and Korra go with the metalbending police to investigate and Mako is still in don’t hate the player hate the game mode and they find nothing. Until, that is, Lin pulls out a bare foot and does some super cool earthbending echolocation to find a tunnel. It’s awesome seeing more of what you can do with earthbending, especially since the series has mostly focused on its offensive capabilities.
But holy Hell, you thought that last shock was big. When they get down there, turns out Sato has been building MECHS! Real life, honest to God, stomps down Tokyo once a week mechs! They look a bit like Big Daddies from Bioshock with the whole dieselpunk thing the Avauniverse has going on at the moment. I am just in love with these things. Cause if Avatar is basically bringing Japanese-style giant arc storytelling to Western kids animation, you’ve got to have mechs in there somewhere. It makes the whole aboveground interlude with Mako firesneezing at the guard a bit meh.
Whatever, back to the mechs. Sato locks the entire metalbending police force of Republic City down in the factory with him and the melee begins. If you thought mechs were bad, these ones have been made with a special metal that’s about as pure as you can get. And if you took anything away from the metalbending episode in the first series that wasn’t about badgermoles, it was that metalbending works by earthbenders bending the impurities of iron or whatever. So we’ve got these upright tanks, impervious to bending and weaponed out against Republic City’s Finest. We also got a Tenzin fight scene out of this, which is amazing since the dude mostly just did politics stuff and got harassed by his kids before now. It turns out, airbending is pretty good as an offensive martial art too. Who would have thought it.
It looks like it could be the end for our Avatar now. The metalbending police have been subdued and Sato’s saying something about loading them all up in trucks and taking them to Amon to perform his soul lobotomy mojo on them. But wait up, we still have at least a few more seasons on order from Nick. The Fabulous Bending Brothers make an appearance and try to sneak off with Tenzin, Korra and Lin, but fail spectacularly. At least Asami shows up to bail them out of the mess when Sato feels compelled to give a “join me, together we can crush the benders beneath our feet” speech. He offers Asami the electricity glove, she accepts and then turns it back on him in a moment of “screw you, Dad.” She started off boring, but I get the feeling she’s getting up to Korra levels of awesome since they’re actually giving her stuff to do.
So we end the episode in an airship. The metalbending police are still captured. Asami will probably not be getting birthday presents from Dad anytime soon. And Lin, lying on a gurney and a bit understandably depressed, becomes the Dark Knight. No seriously, she’s going to get her men back “her way, outside the law.” Because she’s the hero Republic City deserves, not the one it needs right now.
It looks grim, but we’ve only just begun the Book of Air.
(Screenshots are all from thebestofkorra.tumblr)