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The Legend of Korra Newbie Recap: “The Spirit of Competition”

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Oh look, it’s a sports episode! Required:

After last week’s anxietyfest, we go slightly lighter this episode with the Fire Ferrets competing in the pro-bending championship tournament. Asami shows up at practice to give the crew their branded NASCAR uniforms. She and Mako are disgustingly cute, and Korra is unimpressed:

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Same when people.

Apparently I was wrong last recap, and Bolin totally does still have romantic feelings towards Korra. Whatever. They’re still my brOTP. He asks Mako about Korra’s “girlfriend potential,” and Mako A) initially assumes Bolin’s asking about Korra’s being Mako’s girlfriend, and B) when Mako realizes that Bolin’s into Korra for himself, he immediately tries to shut it down and say she’s friend material, not girlfriend material.

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All this points to Bolin liking Korra, who likes Mako, who likes Korra even though he also likes Asami, whom he’s dating, which makes a jealous Korra think she’s a prissy, rich brat.

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This type of shenanigans is so not what I wanted to be in for. How about every time there’s a love triangle scene, I just pretend I’m watching Bolin philosophize to Pabu about love instead.

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The first match of the tournament is the Fire Ferrets vs the Rabaroos. Korra, Mako, and Bolin take out the competition easily, because they’re rocking some serious three-way drift compatibility. After the match, Korra follows the advice of Tenzin’s wife Pema and admits to Mako that she likes him. I might not like the whole love triangle dealie, and Mako might bug me, but I do appreciate the fact that being so up front about her feelings took some serious cojones on Korra’s part. He turns her down, saying he doesn’t feel the same way, even though he does.

Bolin, He of Awkward Timing, comes into the locker room and asks Korra out on a date. She refuses, saying she doesn’t feel very “dateworthy,” but Bolin shuts that shit right down: EXCUSE YOU, YOU ARE THE GREATEST EVER, NONE OF THAT SHIT ON MY WATCH. LET’S GO HAVE SOME FUN. Bolin thinks it’s a date. Korra pretty clearly thinks it’s two friends hanging out. Ugh. This interpersonal relationship shit is so complicated.

Mid-bro’ing out, Bolin and Korra are confronted by the reigning pro-bending champions, the Wolf Bats.

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The Wolf Bats’ leader, whom I shall refer to as Guyliner, comes over and starts shit-talking to try to get Korra to attack him, which will get the Fire Ferrets banned from the tournament. Korra gets Naga to scare him away, instead, and she and Bolin bond over burping.

Post-date/completely platonic hangout, Mako accuses Korra of going out with Bolin to get back at him. Get over yourself, bro. Korra confronts Mako with the fact that he’s jealous because he likes her, which he denies. They argue and storm off.

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The second match doesn’t go as well as the first, with Mako and Korra seriously off their game, but Bolin’s able to pull out a win. After the match, Mako admits that he does like Korra, only he likes Asami too. Korra kisses him, which is witnessed by Bolin, who was bringing Korra flowers:

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KORRA AND MAKO MADE BOLIN SAD. BURN DOWN EVERYTHING.

Mako goes to comfort a sobbing Bolin, who accuses his brother of being a traitor. He’s very likely drunk in a way that’s not really drunk because he’s a teenager and this is a kid’s show on Nickelodeon… but he’s drunk. There was something those noodles. The semi-final match rolls around, and everybody‘s off their game, tensions between the trio meaning they find it impossible be on the same wavelength.

Bolin and Mako both get knocked out, and it’s up to Korra to pull out a nearly impossible win, which she does, BECAUSE SHE GETS SHIT DONE WHEN THERE ARE NO FUCKING MEN AROUND. Mako and Bolin apologize to each other, and Korra tells Mako that she hopes they can still be friends. And you just know that, from now on, Bolin’s going to be really mature about the girl he likes liking his brother instead. None of this “but I’m so niiiiiiice!” shit. He’s going to let it go and respect Korra’s choice. He’s not even going to be broody, unlike some people.

Korra steps up too, being polite to Asami when she comes into the locker room to congratulate them. (Being an angry, emotional teenager is kind of Korra’s thing, so I was pleasantly surprised by this.) We may be looking at more love triangle shit, but at least it appears that–for now, hopefully for good–Korra isn’t going to get all catfight-y with Asami.

Best screencap:

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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.

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