The Legend of Korra Review: “Old Wounds”/”Original Airbenders”

Episodes 3.06 and 3.07. Warning: Spoilers follow.

Okay, so before I share my thoughts on the latest two-episode block of The Legend of Korra, I’d like to do a little housekeeping: my first review for Korra began with Episode 4 of Season 3, and it’s been bugging me non-stop since (in the shower, before I fall asleep, whenever I walk by my poster of Dan and Pat of the Black Keys; it’s as if they’re saying, “Hey. Hey, you. Yeah, you. You didn’t start at the beginning, you non-officious sonuvabitch.” And it hurts. It really hurts, guys).

And although my level of OCD hasn’t got me tracing wood grains on the floor (a la Han Qing-jao of Xenocide) I feel that I’d better do something to keep it from swallowing me up.

Ratings:

Korra demonstrating her spiritual growth, a blood-pumping final scene, and a solemn, if-not-breezy goodbye to Republic City give the season premiere of The Legend of Korra: “A Breath of Fresh Air” (Episode 3.01) a B-

A near-perfect balance between of Korra/Tenzin’s recruitment of new airbenders and Zaheer’s prison-break of his fellow troublemakers give The Legend of Korra: “Rebirth” (Episode 3.02) a B+

A return to Ba Sing Se, the introduction of a very annoying Earth Queen, and a re-introduction of Zuko and the Water Tribe Chiefs give The Legend of Korra: “The Earth Queen” (Episode 3.03) a B-

The grand, metal city of Zaofu, Varrick’s return, and Zaheer and Kya’s super-awesome-watch-it-again duel gives The Legend of Korra: “The Metal Clan” (Episode 3.05) an A-

Phew, so that’s over. Now, on to the newest episodes:

Episode 6, titled “Old Wounds” is all about character development for Lin Bei Fong, with a little Bolin thrown in for good measure. Oh, and Korra starts to learn metalbending. We learn the origin of the scar on Lin’s face, and get a flashback with some screen time for Toph. It’s an extremely disjointed episode of Korra. Bei Fong’s character arc is an acutely rushed affiar. She undergoes acupuncture, an earthbending duel, passes out, and then, for some reason, is all right with all her problems. What I’m trying to say is, it all felt a little uneven. With an entire episode “The Metal Clan” (Episode 3.05) dedicated to setting all this up, the culmination, in my opinion, just seems like a letdown. The episode’s only saving grace is that Team Avatar spends a little more time in the city of Zaofu, which is so, so badass.

Episode 7 is a slow trudge through airbending bootcamp, spearheaded by Tenzin, who has to deal with a grown-up brother who acts like a kid (Bumi) and a kid who acts like a grown-up (sort of). The episode certainly has pacing issues, being for all intents and purposes, a filler episode, but what it lacks in bending action, it makes up for in humor (a certain airbending trainee’s head-shave, and, let’s be real, whenever Meelo happens to be on the screen).  And even though there is not much bending, Studio Mir doesn’t seem to relax for a second. The Northern Air Temple has never looked so grand, and the second-to-none artwork really keeps the seventh episode of season three from faltering completely.

Wandering thoughts for The Legend of Korra: “Old Wounds”/”Original Airbenders” (Episodes 3.06 and 3.07):

  • Did the bad earthbender guy bend magma? Or am I seeing things? Technically magma IS earth . . .
  • Bolin can’t metalbend. At least, not yet. But he’ll probably be able to do what that evil earthbender guy did, sometime in the future.
  • There has been so little Mako this season, it’s sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo great.
  • The Earth Queen ATE Bosco!? It’s time for her to go. Hopefully Naga eats her.
  • Suyin HAS to be Toph and Sokka’s love child. Right? Right?
  • Is it too late for Zutara? Or are we done with that?
  • The remaining episode titles have been released:
    • 08 The Terror Within
    • 09 The Stakeout
    • 10 Long Live the Queen
    • 11 The Ultimatum
    • 12 Enter the Void
    • 13 The Red Lotus
  • They’re all very ominous sounding, aren’t they? And “The Red Lotus” is possibly referring to Zaheer and his gang.
  • I am personally enjoying Book Three more than the others, and I hope there will be more seasons to come. But, ever since the series premiere in April 2013, viewership has declined steadily (going from 4.50 million U.S. viewers to 1.18 million a week ago). It would be jumping the gun to say that less people watch Korra now than before. I just think less and less people are watching it at its scheduled TV slot on Nickelodeon. (It doesn’t help that Nick did almost nothing to promote Book Three)

Ratings:

A sibling showdown in a grandiose setting, hampered by a displaced character resolution give The Legend of Korra: “Old Wounds” (Episode 3.06) a C

A shift in focus from Korra and Co., pacing problems, and all-too adorable baby Air Bison(s) give The Legend of Korra: “Original Airbenders” (Episode 3.07): a C+

What did you think of the latest installments to The Legend of Korra? Do you prefer Team Avatar on the move or in Republic City? Tune in to Nickelodeon next week for another two episodes, and don’t forget to come back here and share your thoughts!

4 thoughts on “The Legend of Korra Review: “Old Wounds”/”Original Airbenders””

  1. They were a bit off from the beginning of the season for me. I however still enjoyed them. Even the dramatic character shift of Lin when she awakens from her duel. It was odd, a little scary, but also made me smile and chuckle. Besides, I agree too, Zaofu is probably the coolest city they have shown in the series!

    Liked by 1 person

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