So I guess season two is just a bunch of ebbs and flows in terms of pacing and how the episodes are presented to us. Yes, “The Guide” was by no means a poor episode, and there was no way it could match “Beginnings,” but it still felt like in my heart of hearts there should have been something more to the episode. The episode managed to play out much like I thought it would, building up the multiple conflicts of the season, but that was it there was no added hook to the story. Unalaq and Varrick were jerks, Tenzin could not get into the spirit world, and nobody believed Mako. Most of these side stories could have been done at an accelerated pace but instead we are forced to slow burn on a story we know the ending to at the cost of true plot development. Lets dive in and have some fun.
The biggest revelation it seems from this week episode is that of Jinora and her ability not only see spirits but also summon them. I have to say it is a nice surprise that she is getting a good amount of character development and her ability to summon spirits is kind of a nice game changer especially if she finds a way to hone this ability and is able to commune with powerful ones like Hei Bai. Sadly the stuff about Tenzin was slightly predictable based upon how his character is portrayed, as he is just to buttoned up and regimented to believably be able to open himself up to the spirits. It was a nice touch to have his pride of research and understanding be the thing that is holding him back, sometimes you just have to go with the flow and that is what Jinora is able to do surprisingly considering her bookish nature of season one. There was some very strong animation material during this journey including Korra entering the spirit world and finally controlling some dark spirits. Hopefully this will lead to better material next week.
As for Unalaq it turns out he is indeed working for Vaatu, and that he is indeed in the running for worst father ever with Ozai, Yakone, and Mr. Sato. I mean Desna got seriously injured and Unalaq did not even blink to check on him, that is really cold. I am beginning to think when you become an adult in the Avatar universe and you are not named Iroh, Lin, or Tenzin you just natural become a dick and I will maintain that belief until I am proven otherwise. Hopefully, Eska and Desna will turn on him and side with their cousin in the coming fight. Similarly, Varrick just became a textbook villain by not only threatening Asami and Bolin, but also framing Mako for stealing the future industry machines. That was very textbook and yet Lin fell for it thanks to the douchey cops who I will assume are on Varrick’s payroll, I mean they have had it out for Mako for a while and they are seemingly incompetent at anything other than giving Mako crap.
I thought the animation and comedy this week was really angel to hit its stride as BumJun and Bolin’s entire Eagle-Hawk were always enjoyable. I mean how could you not laugh at Bolin getting abandoned by by the crew on a lunch break, Bolin must have really pissed off those PA’s. I mean there were a top of top quality comedy moments and some solid emotional beats with the whole Asami storyline. I really don’t know how much lower Asami can go but I am constantly shocked and how much pain and suffering she has to put up with. I hope she returns to season one badass format soon, I am really starting to miss that Asami. Also, I really want to know why none of Mako’s friends would believe him, has he really been that poor of an information source in the past and that untrustworthy.
Overall it was a solid episode with a good amount of room for improvement.
Final Grade C
+Solid main plot with Jinora and Tenzin
+Good animation and humor
-Varrick and Unalaq becoming paint by numbers
-Mako getting the shaft
-Another setup episode.
-Bumi + giant poking stick= equals running gag I want
-Bolin appeared for all of one scene. The “team” is getting surprisingly little time together.
-Dragonfly Bunny Spirits. Yep those are something.