If it's crap ... We'll tell you
Well, I said last week that I suspected that the season would finally get into gear here, or else suffer the wrath of my disinterest. And luckily, they managed to keep the boat afloat... although in a very strange manner and still kind of bailing water. To sum up the events that happened, Korra's parents along with the rest of the rebels go before a court trial, with Unalaq promising that they will get a fair trial. But they are nonetheless sentenced to life in prison, with only Korra's mother being cleared of all charges. This move forces Korra to find some course of action to save her father, but along the way uncovers some truths that changes her perspective on things completely.
It is a slightly slow episode to build up, as it also deals with Bolin's on-going relationship woes as well as Tenzin finally finding his daughter, and helps talk her into returning home. There are some very... strange scenes included throughout, the least of which is Varrick hiding from the Northern Waterbenders in a stuffed platypus bear since he fears getting arrested. It does provide some very good comedic moments, but also a few that don't really work so well. Then there's Bolin's girlfriend who gets even more crazy and controlling than her usual self, which was something I was getting a little tired of before I saw the final scene. And then they increased the crazy to the next tier to rather hilarious effect.
These scenes seemed on the whole, to work more effectively than in previous episodes. This is probably down to the tempo of the story picking up and allowing for more inventive situations to take place. We also see Tenzin, Kya and Bumi see past their bickering and arguments, in scenes that could have been a bit longer to make them more effective. But it was all still relatively entertaining, but could have balanced the events of the previous episode to a stronger level.
But what really raised this episode up for me was Korra, which had been the primary issue in the season so far. Where before she had been downright unlikeable in her decisions, here she is more on par with how she was in season one. She faces some very tough decisions, and has to be held back from reacting straight away with force. There are still scenes where she changes her mind almost fifteen seconds after saying she will not take action, but you do understand why she wants to. As opposed to before where she was just letting her emotions completely boil over with dire results. She is trying to protect her family, but at the same time anything she does runs the risk of allowing civil war to break out. It is an interesting conflict that finally becomes apparent in this episode. She is still unsure of what the end goal to her decisions is, but she will do anything to protect those close to her, and I liked when that was shown.
We also get some proper action sequences too, and the effects to them are very impressive indeed. I did feel that the corridor they were done in was artificially widened to accommodate it, but it wasn't a major issue. The return of Asami to the fight with the electrical glove was cool to see as well, I had been missing that technology so far. The second sequence has some very good scale to it and a bit of creativity too, it wasn't a huge amount but helped in providing more action to what would have otherwise been, a pretty straight-forward episode.
This has been the best episode of season two so far, although that isn't saying a whole lot when the opening ones have been riddled with issues. It is a step in the right direction however that I won't drag down; I want this to succeed and aim as high as it possibly can. There were several little bits dropped throughout that had me questioning what they might mean for future episodes, and the end broadens out the season to the wider world at last. I think I will be sticking with this season and seeing where it will go; hopefully this one will mark the point where it brings out the big guns and not just the super-soaker.
Thanks for reading! ^__^