Ok before I get to the review I have one question. When were plastic explosives/ remote detonation invented? Because in a world full of magic and spirits they have apparently advanced far enough to have some sort of C4-esque compound. Ok now onto the show which had a really nice change of pace with Korra being mostly MIA due to the spirit attack at the end of last episode. This gave the rest of Team Avatar a chance to stretch their legs and us a real chance to explore the team’s new lives in Republic City. For a large part of the episode we were given a pretty nice diversion from the main plot al la “The Fortuneteller” or “The Cave of Two Lovers.” Of course it ended on a weird twist but who cares it was still fun to watch. So lets get to it.
I will start off by saying, shit, really Varrick, we thought you were cool. Yes Varrick is indeed a bad guy, in a matter of twenty-two minutes he has gone from a lovable eccentric billionaire to an evil sociopathic manipulative billionaire with a shit ton of Mecha-Tanks. I have to say I should have seen it coming and I hope he has a good reason for being an outright asshat, but damn if that was not well played. I mean a lot of people have probably been waiting for Varrick to turn because of his eccentric nature but I wanted him to truly be a good guy. I can only assume his has done this for two reasons: to actually be a war profiteering jackass, and to vastly increase the scope and reach of his company. I mean that warehouse had more than enough Mecha-Tanks to supply the equalist army twice over, who knows whom Varrick is going to sell them to. So now Varrick is a true Bond villain complete with evil chair turn and ridiculous form of propaganda to sell his Mecha-Tanks.
Of course this all comes down to Mako actually being an all around smart guy, up to the point where the whole sting operation blew up right in his face. Mako has been only one step behind Varrick this entire time and now that he knows who he is truly going after, so he will hopefully be able to nail the bastard soon. It is weird that Lin won’t listen to anything Mako is saying even with the acceptable amount of proof he acquired over the past two episodes. I would say Mako’s only misstep was trusting the Triple Threats, as there was no way they were going to remain loyal to Mako and Asami. At the very least, much like Korra last week Mako should have asked Lin for at least her tiny bit of help on his sting operation. In comparison to many of the other characters Mako was making very rational decisions up to the point where he hired the Triads. Its really satisfying to see how far Mako has come in only one season.
On the flip side however you have Bolin who has let his sudden rise to fame go to his head, in what can best be described as Flash Gordon meets Tarzan (ask your film professor kids he’ll think you’re cool). I usually like Bolin’s antics, they amuse me and usually at least lead to some great revelation for one of the characters, in this case Mako finding out about Varrick’s remote detonated explosives. However, for the majority of the episode he came off as a douchey celebrity, especially for not being down to help Asami and Mako in their times of need. Also, do you really need a hat rack/ marble statue and a hot tub in your tiny apartment Bolin? One or the other man you can’t have both. Bolin was mostly filler for this episode, but luckily the mover of Nuktuk managed to bring the laughs, it truly was to quote Naga “Nuktukeriffic.” I continue wishing Bolin becomes the capable fighter we know he can be but for now we will just have to settle for Mako Firebending on a boat and holding a fire dagger to intimidate the Triads.
The last member of Team Avatar we have this week is Asami, oh Asami is really just a glutton for punishment isn’t she. Since we have known her she has lost her boyfriend, father, company, and entire fortune. It feels like Asami is just a lighting rod for everything going wrong, and she is just so kind hearted and good natured, she really does not deserve to be shat on like this so consistently. She could really give Zuko a run for his money in terms of the shit luck department. Still I could just not get on her side when she offered the Triads a fleet of cars for them to terrorize the citizens with, how does she think that will earn her good publicity. Also when she is at her most vulnerable she kisses Mako, that was just awkward and should not have happened, even if Asami really really needs a win badly.
At the end of the day Korra manages to wash up on the shores of an island with Fire Nation sages with amnesia, hooray arbitrary plot device. Still have not figured out how she managed to get there in under two days when it took Aang’s gang on Appa three weeks to get there but we will say spirits for the time being. Sadly there were no adventures with Tenzin this week but I hope for a glorious return soon.
Overall an enjoyable side trip.
Final Grade B
+Fun side story and break from the main plot.
+Mako continues to get real character development
+Humor was great
+Varrick is becoming a Bond villain
-Really questionable choice to trust the Triads
-Bolin was kinda a douche
-Asami can’t catch a break
-No Tenzin Fun Times
-”We don’t even have hats” “That’s because we never had a hat rack.” Note to self get marble statue hat rack.
-Its nice to see the Fire Sages are still around, next up the Dai Li and Kyoshi Warriors.
-Why did Mako not go to Iroh? Its not technically helping the Avatar nor leaving Republic City.
-Also two mustached cops are dicks. Giving mustaches a bad name.