Man, that was a juicy bit of Korra with all the excitement from the word go. “In Harm’s Way” seems to have upped the pace by both quickly resolving the Ba Sing Se plot and increasing the terror that is Zaheer. Of course it was not a big surprise that Zuko and Tonraq were going to be taken down by the superior fire power of the Dark Benders, but just the sheer ease that Zaheer’s team faced was astounding. On the Korra front the team finally managed to recruit some more airbenders to their team, but made another huge enemy in the Earth Queen herself. Also, Kai proved he is not as big of a dick as he has been made out to be and has kind of become the de facto leader of the new airbenders. Overall this was a fantastic episode to amp up the action, so let’s dive in.
First off, that was quite the way to start off the episode. We were all wondering how long it would take for Zaheer’s squad to reach P’Li and within a few seconds the fight was on, with team Zuko trying and failing to go toe to toe with Zaheer’s team. There was some spectacular choreography throughout this entire sequence and the artists at Studio Mir are really showcasing exactly how cool and fluid waterbending can be. Whether it be Ming-Hua’s Spider-Man-esque maneuverability or Eska and Desna’s tag team icicle field, each attack look more beautiful and deadly than the last. Similarly once P’Li was finally freed and brought into the battle there were a few wonderful moments where her firebending and combustion skills were highlighted. I don’t quite know how but she definitely seems way more powerful that the original combustion man as she KO’d Zuko’s dragon with one hit. Needless to say, now that this team is complete Korra has plenty to worry about on her hands.
Speaking of Korra, she finally got to be a large part of the plot in her own show, and you know what it totally worked out spectacularly. One of the major problems with the series thus far in my opinion is that Korra has too often become an auxiliary thought to the entire plot, but with this season Korra has taken a much more active role. It actually feels like she wants to be the Avatar and do the duties that come with the role. Case in point when she stood up to the Earth Queen about liberating the airbenders. I do not know if a pre harmonic convergence Korra would have taken the action to not only free the airbenders but also make herself an enemy of the Earth Kingdom. Korra is quickly pissing off all of the major power players not directly related to her so it should be very interesting to see what happens in her time of need.
Even more surprising was our revelations about Zaheer or the lack there of. What we managed to find out once Lin showed up to warn Korra of Zaheer is that he tried to kidnap or kill Korra about thirteen years ago, but no one knows why he did it. Zaheer is obviously a very intelligent and calculated man so the fact that no member of his team divulged why Zaheer went after Korra makes him all the more terrifying. Both Amon and Unalaq had very clear cut motives for wanting to take Korra off the board but with Zaheer we are playing a whole different type of game. The more I hear about how dangerous Zaheer is, the more I fear he may have been involved in Sokka’s death and that Sokka being the bizarre genius he is probably invited the prisons to keep Zaheer and his crew locked up. It will certainly be interesting to see the eventual flashback where Zaheer faces off against Sokka, Zuko, Tonraq, and Tenzin.
My highlight of the episode was definitely our big set piece of Team Avatar breaking out all of the airbenders and the confrontation with the Dai Li. There were so many moving parts to this sequence, but once again Studio Mir managed to animate everything to such a high quality that I am simply astounded. Even more so I am amazed by the seeming 180 that Kai experienced while imprisoned as he has seemingly gone from annoying punk to leader on the rise. His determination to stand up to the Dai Li for his fellow airbenders definitely showed that he has promise, and his skills during the final breakout show just how much creativity he has in his fighting style. I am definitely looking forward to seeing him evolve at the Northern Air Temple and grow into the role of being leader. Also he’s got a nice thing going with Jinora so little bro’s got some game.
Where we stand now is that the team has split, but to be honest I can’t wait to see what happens to either squad.
Final Grade A-
+Kai became likable
+That opening fight sequence
+Freeing the airbenders
+Korra being more Avatar like
-Zaheer is still slightly under developed
-Bumi is right on the money: code names are super fun
-I love how everyone is shocked Jinora can go spirit mode.
-Mako and Bolin’s family better come back because they are awesome.
-Seriously, I know I said this last week but how in the hell are the Dai Li still around? They are just a bunch of assholes.