Apparently the secret to making a show that is compulsive viewing is to cram as much into each episode each week as is humanely possible. That’s what Legend of Korra’s been doing consistently right from the very start, and look at how amazing that is! This week we’ve got a lover’s quarrel between Mako and Asami, Amon kidnapping the councillors and launching an attack on Republic City, Pema going into labour, Tenzin whisking his family away, Lin sacrificing herself, and Korra… not doing a great deal apparently…
I know that, across each of my posts on Korra I’ve probably written enough about Amon to make up a small book about him, but I wanted to talk about him again (well, more specifically, about his plans) regardless of that fact. So during this episode he has his grunts attempt to take out all of the councillors, and the city’s power (though I don’t actually know whether it was just the power in that particular building that was taken), which would have sent the city into a blind panic. Now, never having taken over a city myself, I’m not sure what Amon plans to achieve by descending the city into chaos. Perhaps he plans to emerge as the new leader of Republic City in the knowledge that in this state of chaos people are likely to flock to anyone who promises order and security? Or perhaps he will simply use this chaos as a chance to round up all the benders (although that seems a tad unfeasible)? The fact that I can’t pinpoint his plans this late on in the game is either a huge testament to the show’s creators in creating this incredibly slippery character, or a painstakingly obvious indicator of my stupidity.
Something else I admire the creators for is the timing of the birth of little baby Plot Device. Clearly the creators realised that Amon simply wasn’t diabolic enough- even now he can still be seen as being a hero for fighting on behalf of the oppressed (something I mentioned in my gushing love letter to him), so what did they do to make him seem more villainous? Have him orchestrate an attack on a lady in labour and a bunch of children! Obviously Amon didn’t know that Tenzin wasn’t there when he instructed the chi-blockers to attack Air Temple Island, but that was probably the last thing running through viewers’ minds when they were approaching the island and Pema started going into labour. I suppose the creators must have been counting on the adrenaline rush creating by the Oh-my-God-this-is-bad-ness to interfere with the viewers’ ability to think clearly about the situations, preventing them from realising the above point, and leaving them thinking: “Wow, Amon’s quite the bastard attacking children and a vulnerable woman like that!” Then they went on to have Amon capture Lin (who sacrificed herself to save said kids and little baby Plot Device) and take away her bending, making him seem like even more of a giant douche-bag, ‘cause, if you recall, he’s only ever taken away the bending of the show’s bad guys up until this point: Lightning Bolt Zolt, Tahno and Tarlokk (well, and the police guys, but did you really care about them!?), and that’s simply not evil enough, is it now? All we need now is for Amon to kick an orphaned puppy on Christmas day and then we can really focus on hating his guts!
So what was Korra doing whilst all this was going on? Er… I dunno… I think she may have taken out a few chi-blockers, but that’s it! In fact, she not done much to quash this rebellion since the show started! She hasn’t taken out Amon, but a few of his grunts, and only after having her fill of Pro-bending, but more importantly, she hasn’t acted as a symbol of hope for the people, her sacred Avatar duty! I mean, I would’ve been the first to speak out against Tarlokk rounding up the non-benders for being a threat like some kind of three-ponytailed Hitler! So it’s a good thing General Iroh (who is Zuko’s grandson, not his son, according to Korra Wiki, which makes sense given how young he is compared to, say, Lin, or Tenzin) is on his way over to Republic City to bail Korra out, ‘cause I don’t think she can cope. It’s going to take a miracle at this point for Korra to establish herself as a good Avatar, or at least for my prediction that Korra stops being so scared of Amon, enabling her to more easily enter the Avatar State to defeat him to come true, something which seems more plausible given that she’s now begun to connect to her spiritual side! But Avatar tends to be unpredictable at the best of times, so it’ll probably pull something out of its derriere that nobody could’ve seen coming in a trillion, zillion years with sadistic relish!