Wow, that was something else. I had to give it a couple of days between watching the episode and writing this ‘cause the only thought I had after watching it was: arghwysofnshapd, and I figured that wouldn’t make for a particularly insightful post. Sadly, my thoughts haven’t collected themselves into resembling anything a bit more intelligent since then but, couldn’t put off writing this for much longer!
This was a Frankenstein’s monster of an episode, smooshing, (a very technical term, OK!?) every single aspect of the show- the comedy, the pro-bending tournament and the Equalist rebellion- into just 20 minutes. Forgive my being wishy-washy but, I’m still not sure what I think of this smooshing, on one hand Amon launching an attack on the tournament undermines its importance, making the whole thing, (which the show has divided a fairy bit of time to during previous episodes) seem extremely trivial but, on the other hand it made for a more exciting conclusion of the tournament then I suppose simply having our protagonists win would’ve. And it did make sense for Amon to attack the stadium; it wasn’t simply a thoughtless ploy to inject a little bit of excitement into the episode! Of course our villain would want to target such a publicised event with such a large audience- it’s the easiest way to convey his message to as many people as possible as quickly as possible. Not only that but, the audience was made up of both benders and non-benders, giving his attack a dual purpose: to inject fear into benders and encourage camaraderie in non-benders. So, whilst the episode was, um… busy, I can’t do much to criticise it as, overall, it was pretty well thought out. I mean, played wrong, having Amon target Korra instead of the Wolf Bats, for example, could’ve made this seem more a desperate, personal attack on Korra than on corrupt benders in general, contradicting his claims to be fighting on behalf of the oppressed non-benders and possibly turning them against him as Korra had done nothing in the way of oppressing the non-benders and played fairly throughout the entire duration of the match.
Here’s food for thought: wouldn’t it have been interesting if Amon was the one who paid off the judges so the Wolf Bats could unfairly win, enabling him to use them as examples? It would’ve added a whole new level of evil to his character. Right now Amon’s very much a noble villain, sure, his methods of standing up for the oppressed are pretty ruthless but, you still can’t help but admire him for representing a good cause all the same. Something like that’d make him just as dirty as the benders he’s waging a war against; I’d like to see him try to justify something like that!
I tell you what I’m not undecided about in this episode though, Amon’s attack and Korra’s retaliation itself- whoo boy that was some intense action! What was so brilliant about this fight was how amazing it managed to be despite it only using some very basic camera angles and animation techniques! There were some more low-angle camera shots of Amon, (the choice camera angle to use whenever the big cheese is on screen) making him seem super-duper threatening and adding a dash of mortal peril to the scene, wide-angle camera shots to make the fight seem as though it were on an EPIC scale and slow-mo which, despite it being the oldest trick in the book, I am a bit of a sucker for in a fight scene- all quite basic, wouldn’t you agree? Yet, I don’t think anyone can deny how awesome that scene was regardless, huh?
I suppose now the pro-bending tournament’s been wrapped up we can expect the show to wholeheartedly focus on the Equalist rebellion- good, that means plenty more Amon, the show’s best feature. Korra’s definitely going to have to do some major grinding to match up to him! I can’t help but notice she still hasn’t trigger the Avatar state yet, despite having been in mortal peril several times now, instead this mortal peril seems to trigger those flashbacks. Perhaps these flashbacks are her spiritual connection to Aang, the previous Avatar, trying to break its way to Korra’s surface? Here’s hoping continued airbender training, (a more spiritually inclined bending form in the first place) will further help Korra’s spiritual side to burst forth- she’s definitely going to struggle against Amon if she never manages to call forth the power of the previous Avatars!