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Tuesday, October 8, 2013

You Can't Be Neutral On A Moving Polar Bear Dog

Legend of Korra: "Peacekeepers"
Spoiler alert: Post contains spoilers for the latest episode of Legend of Korra's Book Two.
In Republic City, tensions between Southern and Northern Water Tribe people rise as a Southern Water Tribe cultural center is bombed. Mako, back in the police force, tries to track down the culprits while Varrick produces anti-Northern propaganda movies starring Bolin. (Source: Wikipedia)
So the Southern Water Tribe and Northern Water Tribe are officially going at it. Between the Republic City-based acts of terrorism and President Raiko's reluctance to put Republic troops into the mix, it's no wonder Korra is tense. Hell, it's no wonder anyone is tense - everyone from Korra to Mako and even Asami are feeling the pressure of an oncoming war. So when the mess hits the fan, things quickly blow up in Korra's face in ways that she may never recover from.

First of all, let's get it out of the way: Korra and Mako broke up. The romance is over. It makes sense, since Korra has been so wrapped up in her Avatar duties and Mako is now back in Republic City and has to resume his job as police officer for the city's people. Considering how tense their relationship was in the beginning of the season, it was inevitable that they would split; it was practically foreshadowed with Varrick and Bolin's talk about breaking up, which ended up happening with Korra and Mako, and just as painful as Varrick predicted.
It also does not help that Mako snitches Korra's plan to bring the Fire Nation's troops as well as General Iroh into the water tribes' fight - and to President Raiko, of all people, who had already shot the Avatar down. Korra tried to be diplomatic and request assistance and what did she get? Roped into a photo op and rejected by one of the few people who could help her save her people from being annihilated by Unalaq's troops. Naturally, Korra doesn't think too kindly of Raiko or his tactics.
We see General Iroh for the second time in the series, here very eager to assist Korra in any way possible, only to be stopped by President Raiko himself. He does manage to suggest to Korra that she go directly to the Fire Lord herself, although at episode's end her chances of making it to the Fire Lord's palace in one piece seems unlikely. She ends up getting in a water ski scrap with Eska, who is laboring under the delusion that Korra stole Bolin (and not, you know, Bolin doesn't like her like she likes him). It's rather frightening that Unalaq had to tell Eska not to kill Korra; this girl has some major rage issues she needs to control.
Speaking of Bolin, it's nice to see him actually do something rather than just follow Asami around and occasionally impress Varrick with his awkward moments of genius. He's now the star of Varrick's propaganda film meant to stir up anti-Unalaq and anti-Northern water tribe feelings, making Korra's efforts that much easier for her. It's amusing to see Bolin walk around in his costume but the idea of making propaganda makes me immensely uncomfortable; it doesn't help that Korra is cool with it.
What is Varrick up to? In the end, he's a businessman - and when it's wartime, business is good. Consider that he pretty much ropes Asami into become a war profiteer, having her factories build mechanical suits for the troops that will be coming onto water tribe ground before long. One wonders if he's only aligned himself with Korra and the rest of the Avatar Gang as long as they continue to help his business interests, especially since Unalaq is the one keeping him from expanding his great ideas into even greater moneymakers.
The Tenzin b-plot was an amusing diversion from all the drama going on in Republic City. It's nice to see Tenzin as a father once in a while, even if it involves teaching his son some hard lessons. At least, until said son trains all the lemurs on the island to answer his every beck and call. Whoops!

With Korra having been attacked by an out of control spirit on her way to the Fire Lord and being dragged below the water, it may be up to her friends to find and rescue her. But with Asami working on bringing Future Industries back to life, Bolin breaking into the moving picture business, and Mako focusing on his police work and not dating Korra, who will save the Avatar? Oh dear, I have a feeling Tenzin's vacation is about to be cut short.