The Legend of Korra: Peacekeepers (2×05)
Synopsis: Korra and the gang return to Republic City to try and convince President Raiko to send the United Forces to the South. Meanwhile, Bolin gets a taste of the high life and Tenzin teaches Meelo the finer points of winged lemur training.
Is it me, or has this show become way more political this season? I was advertised Korra in the spirit world and all I’ve gotten so far is the more behind-the-scenes aspects of a civil war.
Korra and the gang out run Eska and make it back to Republic City, where they’re immediately greeted/shamed by Lin Beifong. Like mother, like daughter, I suppose. I’m just happy that Lin is back in the picture.
Lin immediately puts Mako back on the beat, assigning him to help with crowd control at a Southern Water Tribe peace march happening that night. Korra decides to go to the march to show the South that she is on their side. Asami and Varrick go off in their own directions as well, leaving Bolin to his own devices. Seeing the lonely earthbender, Varrick turns around and asks if he’s really seen Republic City at night.
Meanwhile in the South, Unalaq sends Desna and Eska to find Korra and bring her back. It turns out that he does actually need her to open the Northern spirit portal. I thought… he said… oh, never mind. It helps my soul that Desna points this out too. Eska, however, only agrees to go because she’s convinced that Korra has stolen Bolin from her. Okay, it was cute in the first two episodes, but now Eska’s obsession with Bolin is just creepy and abusive. I guess this is what I get for hoping for an animated version of April Ludgate and Andy Dwyer.
Back in the city, the peace march happens with Korra leading the way to the Southern cultural center (which has a statue of Sokka holding a boomerang in front of it because of course it does). Northerners flock to the streets to shout at the Southerners, which I guess is supposed to drive the current issue home. While Mako patrols the perimeter of the cultural center, he spots a group of fire benders that set off a bomb that goes off in the top floors of the center. After a short chase, Mako tries to tell Korra that it was firebenders that set off the bomb, but she doesn’t believe him, insisting that it was the North that was responsible.
Varrick and Bolin are out for a night on the town at the Probending Arena when the crowd notices Bolin in Varrick’s box and starts chanting his name. This prompts the announcer to call him over for an interview. It’s a bit awkward, but Bolin knows how to get a crowd going when things get a bit dark (like admitting that he cries himself to sleep sometimes). Varrick sees this as an opportunity, but I’m just happy to be reminded that, yes, Bolin is a charismatic guy.
The next day, Korra and Varrick go to see President Raiko to convince him to send the Republic Forces to the South. Despite his concern for the Southern Water Tribe, Raiko has made the decision not to send troops and to try and reach a diplomatic solution. Korra gets mad and shoves a bit of guilt in his face to remind him that her home is riding on this. I was expecting her to go a bit more Kyoshi, but you don’t always get what you want.
Mako and Korra have another bitchfest at each other over Raiko’s decision, which causes Korra to storm out and to go see Varrick. She runs into Asami along the way, who needs to talk to him about Future Industries. During an “idea storm,” Varrick proposes that Korra speak to the Republic Forces directly without the president and that Asami should sell her Mechatanks to the South because “if you can’t make money during a war, you just flat out can’t make money!” Between that proposal and his plans to make a propaganda film with Bolin as a Southern Water Tribe hero, it’s starting to become obvious that Varrick might have a hidden agenda. The kind that makes me want to sing the chorus of ‘This Ain’t A Scene, It’s An Arms Race.’ Still, desperate for solutions, everyone agrees that these are great ideas.
Back at their apartment, Bolin comes home to Mako looking over a book full of mugshots when Bolin tells him what they’re planning. For once in my life, I’m agreeing with Mako that these are terrible ideas, but he quickly finds the guy he saw setting off the bomb and runs to tell Chief Beifong. He makes his way to the precinct, only to interrupt her meeting with the president and get chewed out. He tries to tell what he’s found out to Detectives Lu and Gang, but they ignore Mako and insist that it was the Northern Water Tribe involved. When the President exits Beifong’s office, he asks Mako if he knows anything about what Korra is planning with Varrick. It seems like Mako will hold it together and not say anything, but he quickly gives in and tells Raiko what he knows.
Korra goes directly to General Iroh to ask for his help. He seems happy to assist and even comes up with a plan that doesn’t look conspicuous right there, but Raiko shows up and tells him not to leave Republic City without his orders and reprimands Korra for trying to go around him. As Raiko leaves, Iroh apologizes, but tells Korra to go to the Fire Nation to see the Fire Lord and ask for her help. Look, if this is just a way to get in old man Zuko and his daughter, I’m not going to argue. I could use some Zuko right about now. Maybe him and Korra can go on a life-changing field trip where she figures out how to not be so hot headed and how to defeat Unalaq in one go.
Korra shows up to the set of Varrick’s propaganda film, where she asks sweet and surprisingly jacked Bolin to look after Naga while she makes a journey to the Fire Nation. She has no idea who ratted her out, but it all becomes clear when Bolin tells her he told Mako. Did I mention that Bolin is only wearing shorts in this scene? I mean, I know it’s an important set up for the next scene, but… Earthbender muscles.
She storms into the precinct and starts yelling at Mako for snitching on her, even air punching his desk in the process. The two start yelling at each other about trying to do their job, and before I can even shout, “I GET IT. YOU’RE BOTH ASSHOLES,” the previously unimaginable happens: Mako and Korra break up! I’m certain that they’ll get back together because Bryke has a hard on for Mako for some reason, but HALLELUJAH. One of my least favorite canon couples is dead for now.
Plus, the scene gives us Lin hinting about how much she wrecked Air Temple island when her and Tenzin broke up, which is a double win for me. Frak yeah Beifongs!
Korra makes her way to the Fire Nation on one of Varrick’s speedboats when Desna and Eska catch up and begin to attack her. She fights them for a bit, but they suddenly back off when they notice an angry spirit rising up from the ocean. The spirits knocks Korra out into the water, which causes her to trip the Avatar State and try to calm the spirit down. It seems to work…
…until the sprit gets mad and SWALLOWS KORRA WHOLE. WHAT THE HELL?
There’s also a plot line about Tenzin teaching Meelo about how to train flying lemurs. I guess this is supposed to be a metaphor or something about how Tenzin needs to learn how to loosen up in his teaching methods, but that seems way less important than the fact KORRA WAS JUST EATEN BY AN ANGRY SPIRIT LIKE THE STORY OF JONAH AND THE WHALE.
I know she can’t be dead. We still got a whole two and a half seasons to go with Korra, but after a few episodes of just politics, it was a little surprising to see the protagonist being swallowed up by an angry spirit. And considering the summary for next week’s episode and the ‘Beginnings’ episodes being after that, it may be a while before we figure out what happens to Korra.
Besides the surprising eat her up ending, this episode was kind of boring. Even with a war on and angry dark spirits, most of this season so far has been talking about said things and how to prevent said things. It’s like In The Loop, but without the creative cursing. I seriously do hope the plot picks up soon cause I don’t know how much more I can stand them talking about the war and not acting on anything. I realize war involves a lot of behind the scenes politics, but there is a way to do that and make it seem interesting and exciting to the viewer. I don’t think The Legend of Korra has mastered that art yet.