Why does the Avatar ever go to Ba Sing Se? From everything we know, only bad things happen in Ba Sing Se when the Avatar is around. First time there was the entire coup and subsequent death of Aang, and this time the Earth Queen seems to be raising some sort of airbender army. Oh, also there is some civil unrest because the queen has gone Marie Antoinette in this place by obsessively taxing all of her citizens, and Kai proves he is a little dick who does not know when he has a good thing going for him. Safe to say “The Earth Queen” was kind of a jam-packed episode that had a little something for everyone: great action, an exciting reveal, even some warm feels with all of the Mako and Bolin material. So let’s dive in and remember, there are no airbenders in Ba Sing Se.
I think I speak for nearly everybody when I say Earth Queen, what a bitch. I mean she is not just a huge departure from our favorite goofy king, but she has sought multiple ways to screw over her gang and her people without batting an eye. I did enjoy a lot of the dichotomies between her and her father as they created some great tension for Korra to soon fight back against. The Earth Queen’s “taxes” felt like something her father would never do as he loved his people and eventually aimed to help them in anyway he could. You could clearly see the people of Ba Sing Se had somehow drank all of the Kool-Aid, with even Mako and Bolin’s grandmother refusing to besmirch the Earth Queen’s “good name”. Luckily, Korra does not seem to be as dense as she was in past seasons and is slightly prepared to fight back against her and free the airbenders.
Speaking of airbenders and people with dickish attitudes, Kai is turning into quite the little d-bag. I mean he is now safely among a “family” that cares about him and is refusing to leave him for the seemingly first time and he decides to engage in more self destructive behavior that he previously did. I mean Mako and Bolin are going out of their way to make sure the kid does not entirely self destruct, but he still manages to find a way to get caught by the Dai Li. His excessive showboating will hopefully lead to a quality resolution of him taking on responsibility as an airbender and possibly leading the revolt against the Dai Li and the Earth Queen. Point is someone is going to get their comeuppance soon and I pray to some sort of deity all the parties involved in dickish behavior learn some sort of morel.
I will say that one of the major highlights of this season has been the return of Mako and Bolin working together as brothers and showcasing their family dynamic. By separating the brothers from Team Korra x Asami, they have actually been given the chance to grow as characters and discover their real family. The family reunion was a nice touch and the idea that Mako and Bolin’s father had been keeping the family updated on how he was even brought a tear to my cold heart. It was slightly odd that no member of the family ever thought to go to Republic City and check on Mako and Bolin, especially given how young they were when they became orphans. The story paid off in a major way and I can’t wait to see the rest of Team Avatar interact with Mako and Bolin’s family, especially Korra and douchey fruit stand guy, I think they will get along the best.
I would say the funniest scene of the entire episode definitely went to Zuko arriving at the secret Ice prison in the northern warted tribe. Watching his awkward elevator ride with Eska and Desna where he informs us of P’Li and her Combustion Man like abilities was satisfying enough, but when Eska and he bonded over attempting to kill the avatar I nearly lost my shit. Bruce Davidson killed it as our favorite awkward Fire Lord and I can’t wait to hear his interactions with Korra and attempt to see him hold off Zaheer. As for Korra’s material it was the most “fetch quest” like we have seen in quite a while, so I can only hope that this material becomes less stale in the future, because the team up fight with Asami was the only thing that made this bearable.
Overall a fantastic wrap up to three very strong episodes.
Final Grade A-
+Mako and Bolin meet their family
+Zuko and Eska becoming fast friends
+Korra Asami teamup
-Earth Queen being a major bitch
-Kai being a little douche
-How in 70 years did Aang not talk to the Dai Li about being dicks. I feel that should have been the number one priority on Aang’s list after rebuild the world.
-I have a feeling the Earth Queen hates animals because her Father loved Bosco more than her. At this point I agree with her father.
-Tenzin and Bumi were oddly absent this week, hopefully they get a lot of material next week.
-So in Nick’s effort to confuse everyone the next new episode will air on July 11 and we will be getting two episodes a week from now on. So strap in, it’s gonna be a lot of story very quickly.