Sunday, 20 May 2012

Legend of Korra - Episode 7 Review and Recap

the Aftermath

- Recap: The recap this time is narrated by Tarrlok at a press conference, presumably since the usual narrator is recovering from being electrocuted by the Equalists in the last episode. Interestingly Tarrlok is putting his own spin on the events of the last episode, saying how the Equalists aren't actually interested in equality at all, just waging a war against benders, and laying the entire blame of the attack on the pro-bending arena and claiming that they need someone new in charge of law enforcement in the city. Why do I get the impression that it's going to be him?

 Korra arrives at the ruins of the pro-bending arena, where she finds Mako and Bolin packing up their things. It seems that the police have ruled the place no longer safe for human habitation, so they're having to move out, at least until the matter of the Equalists has been resolved. The Avatar has good news for the brothers though, she's talked to Tenzin, and it seems that they can move onto Avatar Island with her instead of having to return to a life on the streets. But, her enthusiasm is dampened somewhat when she finds out that Asami has already offered to let them stay at her family's mansion, which is something that Bolin is extremely pleased about. It is dampened even more so when it turns out that Asami is there in person to help them pack up their stuff. Asami asks Korra to come and visit them tomorrow, but Korra tries to get out of it, saying she's got Avatar stuff to do. But Bolin manages to convince her to come along anyways, by pretending to make Pabu do the asking.

Meanwhile, in another part of the City, it appers that the Metalbenders are staging a raid on a warehouse that they've been tipped off is being used by the Equalists. They find crates of the electric-gloves, a printing press and tons of Amon posters, causing Lin to say that their tip appears to have been good. It turns out that someone's been supplying the cops information that Cabbage Corp, the company whose radio station keeps getting hacked by Amon's propaganda, may actually be in league with the Equalists. Can't say I blame them, considering all the bother their founder had with Aang and Co. back in the original series. ANYWAY, the head of the corporation is quickly arrested soon after this, and the press is right there outside of his frankly gigantic skyscraper (complete with statue of the Cabbage Man founder) to question him and Lin about what's going on. Lin admits the investigation is currently ongoing, but for the time being they are freezing the current CC's owner's assets and closing down his company. This naturally causes wails from the executive.

Later, Korra is visiting the Metalbender HQ, and she comes across the exceedingly sad sight of the completely depowered Tahno. She tries to comfort the thoroughly depressed ex-waterbender, who says that despite him going to all the best healers in the city, what Amon did to him was actually permanent. He makes Korra promise to get Amon for him, which she agrees too. Asami's dad walks past the pair along with Tenzin and Lin, having apparently given his account of the arena attack to them. He seems to genuinely shocked by what happened and wants to see the Equalists brought to justice. Tahno then says goodbye to the "Uhvatar" for one last time, before being lead sadly away to be interviewed next.

Later still, at the palatial Sato estate, Korra drops in on the brothers who are currently enjoying Asami's swimming pool. She mentions how they all seem to have settled in very quickly, and Mako admits that they did but there was something of a snag in the form of Asami not asking her father's permission first. She then says with embarrassment that it's easier to ask for forgiveness than it is for permission. Bolin, meanwhile, is enjoying the lifestyle upgrade, complete with butlerly toweling service. Korra asks sarcastically what Asami has planned for them for the day, offering examples of shopping and make-overs (Bolin enthusiastically asks for the latter), but Asami says she has something more exciting planned...

...And by exciting, she means her father's Satomobile testing course. Korra is visibly impressed by this, and when Korra admits that she doesn't know how to drive, Asami offers to take her for a spin which the Avatar quickly agrees to. After Korra is set up with her personalised helmet and goggles, she gets into a car with Asami who then proceeds to race it around the course in a race with one of her dad's employees to an awesome Baccano-ish soundtrack. She wins, obviously, and Korra apologies for having intially pegged Asami as being kind of "prissy". The rich girl tells her not to worry about it, as she's kind of used to people judging her purely on who her did is, but she's always tried to make a point of being able to stand up for herself, which is why her dad has let her take self defence classes since she was small. Back in the mansion again, Bolin rushes off to go to the loo and Korra excuses herself too... and when she finds literal powder in the "powder room" she smacks herself in the face with the powder puff, resulting in a coughing fit. Coming out of the bathroom, Korra hears Hiroshi talking to someone over the phone, about how the Cabbage Corp investigation has bought then some time and how they'd be ready to strike by the end of the week. This causes her to immediately slide into paranoia again, and runs off, making excuses along the way.

Soon afterwards, Korra has informed Tenzin and Lin of her fear that Hiroshi Sato might be working with the Equalists. The two elder benders admit that although Korra doesn't actually have any proof as of yet, he does have both the resources and the motive for supporting the terrorists. When Korra asks them to expand on this, they reveal that twelve years ago a firebender triad attempted to raid the Sato Mansion in a robbery that resulted in the death of Hiroshi's wife/Asami's mum. The three all admit that although his wife's death was tragic, he could have been harbouring anti-bender sentiment this entire time, and that he could stand to be looked at a little more closely...

The next day, Korra, Lin and Tenzin drop by the Sato Mansion to question the magnate. Mako asks Korra what's up, but when Korra admits she thinks that Hiroshi might be involved with the Equalists, this causes Asami to angrily storm off and interrupt Lin and Tenzin's questioning. She yells about how just because she and her father aren't benders it doesn't make them Equalists, while Mr Sato declares his innocence. When Korra explains what she heard on the phone, Hiroshi writes it off as Korra's imagination, as he was actually talking about a business deal taking advantage of his main competitor, Cabbage Corp, being taken off of the playing field. Despite this somewhat reasonable excuse, Tenzin still requests that they investigate Future Industries, while Hiroshi gives them permission to do...

...But after a long and heavily media covered search of all of Sato's factories and warehouses, they come up with nothing. An irritated Asami tells Korra and co. to get off of her father's property, but Korra still isn't convinced that Hiroshi is innocent. Mako even calls her to one side and tells her to drop her accusations, even saying that she's only saying these things because she's jealous of him and Asami, but when Korra refuses to back down, Mako basically calls for an official end to their friendship and walks off with his girlfriend. Just after this, the world's most suspicious warehouse worker walks over to the Avatar and slips her a note, which appears to be a tip-off to inform the authorities about the Equalists. Lin, Korra and Tenzin go to the meeting, where there appears to be an Equalist who'd joined up because he genuinely believed that Amon wanted to make life better for nonbenders, but he hadn't signed up for all the bombings and open acts of terrorism. He tells the benders that Sato was the one who'd provided the Equalists with the electrogloves and that he's making something even bigger for them too, being built in a secret factory under the Sato mansion.

Shortly after this, Lin, Tenzin and Korra are travelling by metalbender airship to begin a raid on the secret factory. Tenzin asks Lin if she wants to do this, as if they're wrong them with Tarrlok breathing down her neck she can probaly kiss her career goodbye. Lin says that she knows that, but the safety of Republic City is all she cares about, and she can't risk the chance of Amon getting his hands on a new weapon. The raid begins, and Bolin immediately puts his hands up. Lin explains that they're there to look for a secret factory, which makes the already annoyed Asami sarcastically say that she'd notice if there was a factory under her house. Tenzin asks where Hiroshi is, and Asami says that he'll be in his workshop, but once they get there even she's surprised by the fact that he doesn't seem to be there. A guard tells Lin that they've secured the place, so no one could have escaped the mansion grounds without them looking, but Lin uses her mum's seismic sensory thing to detect an underground tunnel hidden in the workshop. Asami look hurt and shocked by the tunnel's appearance, but Korra tries to console her by saying that maybe she doesn't know everything about her father. Lin assigns a metalbender to watch Asami and the brothers, while she, Korra, Tenzin and the rest of the metalbenders go to search the underground installation. Korra gives the three above a sorrowful look as she descends into the basement, while Mako shoots her an apologetic look.

Once down in the "workshop", they find a hanger entirely filled with mech suits and Amon propaganda posters. They aren't able to find Hiroshi or the other Equalists, but right when Tenzin speaks aloud about this, a gigantic metal shutter slams across the entrance to the room and the lights turn out. The noise is heard up on the ground level by Mako, Bolin and Asami, who want to go and help but are stopped by the metalbender assigned to them. When he refuses to budge, they tie him up and go anyway. Asami tries to go down too to find out the true about her father, but Mako says he's going for her as she might get hurt, and tries to make her promise to stay out, which she grudgingly cares, telling him to be careful while doing so.

Down in the bunker, Lin is having trouble bending the metal shutter in front of the exit, which appears to be the cue for Hiroshi to speak up. Apparently the door and the mechs are made of solid platinum (?!?) which apparently possessing so few impurities that not even Toph could bend with it. Huh, guess that makes sense, what with platinum catalytic converters being a standard part of car exhausts, I have to doubt the practicality of making mechs and doors out of it though, but eh, fantasy universe. Korra angrily shouts that she knew that he was an Equalist, and demands that he get out of his mech to fight her, which is a suggestion that Hiroshi points out immediately as being incredibly stupid as he'd be a normal person up against the Avatar. Lin realises that the source was fake and that the entire thing was a set up, which leads into the mechs versus bender fight. The metalbender cops themselves seem to be surprisingly well for themselves in the start, and Lin bends her suit to make claws for her to punch her way into the mech through the metal and glass in the cockpit to get at the Equalist within. Korra uses a combination of her bending techniques to fight the mechs to some success, and even Tenzin puts up a good fight, complete with what appears to be a motorcycle made of air, but they're all eventually put down through a combination of the mechs' strength and electrical weaponry.

The benders incapacitated, Hiroshi gets out of his mech to gloat, saying to Amon's Lieutenant that that made an excellent testrun for the mechs. They order the Equalist minions to start loading the benders into trucks to be taken to Amon for depowering. Meanwhile, the brothers have arrived down in the basement too, and are shocked to find that Korra was right. They quickly make up an escape plan, which consists of running up to Lin, Korra and Tenzin and carrying them out. This goes about as well as you'd think and they're spotted almost instantly. Mako identifies Future Industries founder sponsoring the Fire Ferrets and supporting Korra as just a distraction from his true intentions, which Hiroshi admits is true, but the worst part of his cover was watching his daughter "traipse around with a firebending street rat like you!" But before he and the Lieutenant can advance on the brothers, Asami appears and tells him to stop. Her presence rattles Hiroshi, who says that he wanted to keep her out of this for as long as possible. He says that he got involved with the Equalists because benders killed her mother, the love of his life, and that they've ruined the world. He offers her a chance to join up with them, and together they can make a better world, and as a sign of good faith he takes off one of his electrogloves and gives it to her...

...Which she then shocks him with, while saying that she loves him. Then she beats up the Lieutenant and shocks him unconscious with his own electrobatons as well. Mako, Bolin and Korra stare at her in amazement, before grabbing Tenzin and Lin and diving to safety. As they escape by airship, Asami looks back at her former home sadly, and while she's doing that Lin is mourning the fact that the majority of her metalbenders have been left behind to be sent to Amon. She says that first thing in the morning that she's going to send Tarrlok her resignation, which makes Tenzin say that she let herself give up like this. Lin says that she's not going to give up, but if she's going to battle Amon, she's going to have to do it outside the law. And the episode ends with Mako apologising to Korra for not believing her about Asami's dad being an Equalist, but Korra says that she has trouble believing in it too. She goes on to say that the offer for the brothers to move into the Air Temple on Avatar Island is still open, and that Asami is welcome too. Korra then says to Mako that he has to stay with Asami for the foreseeable future, as she needs him. Mako wordlessly agrees, but Korra looks sad that this has to be the case.

- Review: Good episode, though not exactly reaching the same heights as the last one. The introduction of the mechs into the setting was a neat twist, though Hiroshi being involved with the Equalists less so. I guess that the comparisons that the production team made with his real world inspiration Henry Ford extend beyond them both making cars (Ford was a gigantic racist too), though it's kind of annoying to have a yet another rich character being a bad guy, even if he has a better rationalisation for it than most. The fact that so many members of the cast appear too be the victims of firebender-related violence is an interesting theme, though I guess that it's meant to be the most destructive element or something.

Good comedy and action scenes, and a lot of good music as well, particularly in the car chase segment, and if you're wondering about the Baccano! comparison, I was referring to their similar use of music, particularly in their theme tune,


Looking forward to the next episode, though at this point I genuinely have no idea where the story is going to go from here, to be honest. Hopefully they're build on Asami's character more, as thus far she seems to be kind of flat and kind of flawless. Foibles are interesting, dammit! Also, good on Lin's character development form the last episode apparently sticking, as she seems willing to listen to Korra now. Also, yay for her using her mum's techniques and being able to take on a mech almost single handed.

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