If it's crap ... We'll tell you
The series continues to progress, the past continues to merge into the present situations, and Sunday afternoons are now one of the highlights of the week for me. Yes indeed, it's worth repeating each review just how great "The Legend of Korra" has turned out to be, and with this episode bringing some very interesting resolutions to light, it should make for a fun discussion here.
After Korra's defeat to Tarrlok through Bloodbending, she is imprisoned in a remote location in the mountains, Tarrlok then returns to the city just as Tenzin hears the news of Korra's disappearance. Once they reach the scene at City Hall however, Tarrlok has elaborately set the scene up to indicate that it was the Equalists that had fought himself and Korra, and taken her away. Tenzin immediately sets out to try and track her down, but with very little to go by in terms of evidence.
Lin Beifong hears the news on the radio, and despite not having recovered from the attack by Amon, she helps in breaking Asami, Mako and Bolin free from prison to aid Tenzin in finding the Avatar. With her guidance and Metalbending, they locate the underground tunnels that the Equalists have been using, and start exploring them in search of both Korra, and Lin's old Police squad.
They sneak through the guards and encounter Lin's group, who all have had their powers removed by Amon. However, no signs of Korra are found. It is here that Tenzin suddenly realises that they have all been fooled by Tarrlok, who had set up the scene in the City Hall to cover his tracks. On encountering him and forcing him to admit to his crime, he subdues them all through Bloodbending and escaped. When the team comes to, he has already vanished, but they nonetheless seek out to track him down, which may lead to Korra's whereabouts.
Meanwhile, while trapped in a metal cell, Korra uses the time to try and connect with Aang, and make sense of the visions she has been having lately. She witnesses an old court case which includes Toph and Sokka, where a criminal gang lord is accused of Bloodbending even when there is no full moon. It is from these visions that she finally connects them with the present time, but it may have come too late as Tarrlok returns to use her as his hostage to make his escape. However, even more danger arrives that turns the situation on its head...
The title of this episode speaks it all about what it contains. Not only do we see the banned Bloodbending art it all its power, but Korra finally manages to connect with Aang and use his memories to aid her fight. The flashbacks are fascinating to watch, as we see the familiar faces of the Avatar, Top, and Sokka in their later years. They are still the strong team they always were, but appear to be facing an opponent that they had never even imagined could exist. It's an excellent progression of this past tale that connects very well with what is happening with Korra in her present situation. It is probably the first time we see her utilise of the powers of being the Avatar, and will no doubt be a trait that will be used in future episodes.
Of course, I was very happy to see Lin Beifong return to the fray, and despite her unhealed injuries show some great Metalbening and powers she has inherited from Toph. Her leadership of the infiltration of the Equalists is extremely impressive, and begins to show more emotion than before. Another side-story that pops up is when Asami learns of Mako's kiss with Korra. It only has a few moments but we do see her worries and doubts that this revelation bring upon her. It's played a lot more subtly than the Love-Triangle episode, so it feels more believable and connects with the characters better.
The action sequences for this episode are short, but still make you straighten up in your seat and take you back. The creativity still exists in every move that is done, and witnessing Aang in the past perform some of his trademark moves was great to see as well. The Bloodbending is what is primarily focussed upon here, and the power it holds is almost unsettling at times. Even the most experienced Benders cannot fight it off and it even has the power to take away life, not just restrain it. Even in the days after the Hundred Year War, times were still unbalanced and dangerous, and the flashbacks illustrate this very well.
The finale upon which the episode centres to is another shocker and turns the overall story in a new direction that I hadn't thought would happen. It's not a part I will spoil in this review, but it asks yet more fascinating questions about one particular character. It had me glued to the screen, but the part afterwards sadly felt... rushed. They had to tie together the two stories of Korra and the team in the episode, and it felt like they cut corners to make it happen. (for example, where the heck did Naga come from??? You'll know what I mean when you see it) Which is a little disappointing, because it ended on a big point that deserved to have more focus. To be honest though, it was the only sticking point that stood out for me of the whole episode, and it could be the typical case that it was simply cut down for television. Maybe on the DVD we will see more footage; I'm crossing my fingers that we will.
All in all, this was a great episode that illustrated excellently the turbulent times of both the past, and the present for Korra and Aang. The flashbacks were fascinating as was the stories of the enemies, and it provided a strong return for Lin Beifong, showing that her role will continue to be a prominent one. We continue to be teased with snippets of information, only to have another big question to think over, and I love that the series is beginning to do this more and more. If you enjoyed last week's episode, this is going to make your day. Definitely check it out.
Thanks for reading! ^__^