After a break from the main story last week, The Legend of Korra is back on track in regards to both of its recurring plot points; the finals of the Pro-Bending Tournament, and the increasingly dire situation with Amon and the Equalists. What followed was a quite hectic, but rewarding, episode. There’s a lot to take in here from the opening onwards. First of all, “And the Winner Is” did a good job of making the Equalist threat more palpable; since Nickelodeon really couldn’t do guns (being a network for children and what not), they inclusion of the electricity glove was a smart move on the creators part. Now non-benders have an effective means of fighting against benders, and actually feel like a legitimate threat. Apart from Amon, of course, he felt like a threat from his first appearance onwards.
This episode continued that trend, as Amon seemed more terrifying than ever. I don’t know what it is about that character, but his voice and movement patterns makes him a scary and formidable foe. That said, Korra is no slouch either, as she’s shown easily dispatching various Equalist fighters in the final, epic action scene at the Pro-Bending Stadium. That scene was staged amazingly well, continuing this show’s terrific track record with action. The music, like always, was certainly a huge part of that.
Also, kudos for The Legend of Korra taking its time to establish some of the more ancillary characters in today’s episode. As I (and many others) predicted, Chief Bei Fong and Tenzin DID have a thing going on, and it was fun to see those two characters interacting with each other once again. Tenzin’s increasingly father-like frustration at the ref for not calling the Wolf Bat’s fowls was hilariously well acted from J.K. Simmons, and this was overall a standout episode for Chief Bei Fong, as she got to kick much ass in the final ten minutes. Metal bending is a really cool idea, and The Legend of Korra uses it to its upmost potential. I hope we get to see more of it going further, especially since it seems like Bei Fong will be a bigger part of the show from this point forward.
“And the Winner Is” marks the half-way point of Korra’s first season, and it seems like we’ve barely scratched the surface of what’s really going on here. As Tenzin put it at the end of the episode, Republic City is at war. And, if this episode is any indication, the rest of this season is all going to be forward momentum from here on in. No more relationship episodes, no more Pro-Bending…things have finally gotten real for Korra. And I can’t wait to see where the plot will go from here.
Score: 8.5 out of 10
-So I’m very curious what’s happening with Korra and the flashbacks…I imagine that we’ll probably get a flashback episode in season 2 ala “The Avatar and the Firelord” to fill things in.
-So I’m starting to feel some tension in the relationship between Tenzin and Aang. Like he never calls Aang his father…only “Avatar Aang.” I’m curious to find out what caused a rift between these two (maybe in that aforementioned flashback episode that I feel is inevitable at this point)
-The worst part about the lack of Pro-Bending from this point is losing the announcer guy. Man, is that dude dedicated. Even in the face of being shocked with a jillion volts of lightning, he wouldn’t stop narrating. That took some guts.
-Loved the slow motion shot of Korra taking down Tahno…it’s such a sports cliché but, in animation, it looked really cool.
-When Korra says she’s going to go attack Amon, Mako and Bolin just wish her good luck…they got to learn to be better sidekicks. The Aang Gang would NEVER do that!
-Pabu is still adorable, but the lack of Naga in the last few episodes is…disturbing.