The Legend of Korra Newbie Recap: “And the Winner Is…”
Lin. Lin is the winner.
It’s time for the pro-bending championships! Does that mean the sports detours are going to stop soon? Asking for a friend.
The Fire Ferrets’ training is interrupted by a pirate radio broadcast from Amon, who demands that the pro-bending arena be shut down and the championships be cancelled. Far from appreciating the dorkiness exhibited by Amon, essentially, going after the Super Bowl (doooorrrrrrkkkkk), Korra goes all “YOU FUCKED WITH MY SPORT. YOU ARE GOING TO DIE.” She pops into a council meeting to yell at people, only to find that they’ve unanimously decided to err on the safe side and do what Amon says.
Mako gets all inspirational speech-y about how pro-bending brings benders and non-benders together (shut up I don’t care I don’t care, Mako!), while Korra’s of the DO NOT NEGOTIATE WITH TERRORISTS mindset. She finds an unlikely ally in Lin Beifong, who busts in and castigates the council for being lily-livered weenies. She personally guarantees that she and her metalbender cops will secure the safety of the championships, and everyone on the council (except for Tenzin) changes their vote.
(By the by, Tarrlok is realllly sleazy in the way he emphasizes how Lin is making herself personally responsible for any shit that goes down at the match. He’s working with the Equalists. I’m calling it.)
In a conversation between Tenzin and Korra, it comes out that the reason Lin is such a megabitch all the time is that she and Tenzin used to date before Tenzin left her for Pema, and Lin’s still a liiiittttle bit pissed about it. Tenzin getting all flustered while monologuing about how he used to date Lin: PERFECTION. I know Korra’s already a little old for it, but is it too much to hope for that Tenzin was the one who had to give her The Talk?
After a brief stint of Bolin showing off Pabu’s mad circus skills (awwwwww), the championship match begins. The Wolf Bats, having paid off the refs, play extremely dirty and win the first round easily. Round two is decided by a tie-breaker, with Korra going one-on-one against Wolf Bats captain Guyliner. (He has an actual name. I don’t care. He is Guyliner.) Korra… yeeeaaahhhhh. No problems here.
Pause for an observation: The announcer is my favorite. “The Fire Ferrets aren’t just bending the elements, they’re bending my mind.” All a fictional character needs to do is make bad puns, and I will love them.
Lin, watching in the stands with Tenzin (she’s reluctantly agreed to work with him to make sure no shenanigans go down), admits that she’s impressed by Korra’s toughness. But that toughness is no match for the Wolf Bats’ blatant cheating, and they win the championships (much to Tenzin’s dismay).
So the Fire Ferrets have lost and the episode is over. WHOOPS, NO, EQUALISTS IN THE AUDIENCE. They have taser gloves, and everybody gets electrocuted, including Tenzin, Lin, the Fire Ferrets, and the announcer, who narrates his own electrocution.
So, it turns out that Amon isn’t a dork with an irrational hatred for organized sports stemming from a childhood incident where he was picked last for soccer (ugh, fine)–he wanted the match to happen so he could show up and take away the winning teams’ bending ability as a way to kickstart the rebellion. Farewell, Guyliner. We knew your smarmy, sexist, swaggering self all too briefly! I’m not convinced that we’ve seen the last of him, though. It’s not like the ATLAverse hasn’t made me hate a character, only to bring them back in a way that makes me unexpectedly emotional about them, before. Never forget. FUCKING JET.
While Amon gets his Villain Monologue on (important bit: The taser gloves are also chi blockers.), the Fire Ferrets are being saved by none other than PABU, who chews through the ropes that are tying them up. Korra runs after Amon and the Equalists, who are fleeing to a dirigible that’s parked above the arena. Unfortunately, not being able to airbend yet comes back to bite Korra in the ass, and she ends up plumetting through the air to her death. She’s rescued by none other than LIN BEIFONG, who uses her metalbending to fling Korra up to the Equalists before going on the attack herself.
GO LIN GO.
Put that last gif on my tombstone, because I am dead.
After a while, Korra starts falling again (she’s gonna ramp up the airbending training after this, now that the pro-bending season is over, right?), and Lin has to decide between letting the Equalists escape and letting Korra die. Obviously, she chooses the former and rescues Korra. Because letting the Avatar die would be bad on many levels. However, I’m really pleased that Lin didn’t give Korra any shit about “letting Amon go,” or “I would’ve been able to get him if you hadn’t fucked up,” or something like that. Instead, Lin comforts Korra, in her own gruff way, when Korra beats herself up for playing right into Amon’s hands.
Lin may have her issues with Korra–stemming from her issues with Tenzin–but she’s not vindictive. She does the right thing, if not always in the nicest way. WOMEN WORKING TOGETHER TO DEFEAT A COMMON ENEMY, HELL YEAH.
I think I can add another character to my “I really love grumpy middle-aged characters because not-so-secretly, in my soul, I AM ONE” list.
And the Holy Spirit
We got some more flashes this episode from what I can only assume is some shit that went down involving Toph in Korra’s past life as Aang. Flashback episode. I want it. But for now, we get these enigmatic snippets:
Fire Ferret cosplayers! Please tell me someone has cosplayed as them.
Rebecca has newbie recapped Avatar and Battlestar Galactica for The Mary Sue before. She photoshopped The Rock’s head on a dolphin once. You can find her at Film Journal International, Pajiba, or on Twitter.
—Please make note of The Mary Sue’s general comment policy.—
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]