TV Review: The Legend of Korra—“The Spirit of Competition”

First off, my apologies for my absence last weekend; with the Summer months coming upon us, it’s been extremely busy here at TMP (in addition to, you know, actual real life).  Once again, sorry.  Hopefully, it will never happen again!  And by the way, I enjoyed last week’s episode a great deal; it was less action centric than the first three episodes, but the overall tone and foreboding nature worked for me.  Also, we see an adult Sokka with a goatee.  So awesome episode all around.

That said,  it was only a matter of time before things really slowed down for The Legend of Korra. For the past few episodes, The Legend of Korra has been moving forward with the speed of a freight train, rarely taking a breath in unveiling the show’s overall narrative.  Sure, the last episode really didn’t have as much action as the previous ones (and, you could argue, “The Spirit of Competition), but the overall tone was nerve-wracking enough to make it feel intense.   In the midst of all that choas, the relationship amongst the three main characters had taken a back seat.  Until now, that is.

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So in exchange for the dourness and constant sense of danger, The Legend of Korra took on a lighter tone this weekend.  For any other show, that might be a bad thing.  But one of The Last Airbender’s finest attributes was how it deftly blended its adult themes with wacky comedy, and pulled it off spectacularly.  Thankfully, it seems like The Legend of Korra has the same gift as TLA, for I really enjoyed this episode.  And for an episode about a love triangle amongst three teenagers, that’s really saying something.

Honestly, that all has to do on how strong these characters are.  I really enjoy seeing these characters on my TV screen every week, and witnessing their various interactions with one another.  And it was only a matter of time before Korra had an episode for all the shippers out there (ala “The Cave of Two Lovers” and “The Fortuneteller), and I appreciated that they decided to face the love triangle head on.  They didn’t waste time with the whole “Does she like me?  Like, like me like me?” bull that most other shows about teenagers employ, and it was refreshing to see teenage romance dealt with so adeptly.  That said, I felt the ending was too rushed and provided no closer to the story, but I have hopes that next week’s episode will deal with the leftover drama between the three kids.  And if anything, Amon will be back, which is always a welcome thing.

Score: 7.5 out of 10

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Loose Ends:

-This was a standout episode for Bolin, who is quickly becoming my favorite character on this show.  When he witnessed Mako making out with Korra, his proceeding outburst of tears had me laughing for like a minute straight.  Also, getting drunk on noodles is always cool in my book.

-Speaking of noodles, fat Pabu was also a standout this episode (especially as he dragged himself out of the restaurant).

-Also wasn’t a huge fan of how Korra won the final match of the episode.  Seemed way too convenient to me.  Yes, she’s a great fighter, but a little effort would have been nice.  If she could do that the whole time, what the hell was she doing before?!

-Thahno is such a stereotypically anime douchebag…and I love him for it.

-Ikki and Jinora’s advice about love was hillarious.  Those two characters are great fun when used in small doses.

-Flame-o Instant Noodles…did Aang start a noodle company?!

-So I’m taking bets now…Cheif Bei Fong was totally hooking up with Tenzin before Pema, right?  It’s pretty much a certainty at this point.  Still…seeing how THAT happened should be a lot of fun.