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The Legend of Korra – “The Stakeout” Review: Building Momentum

The Legend of Korra debuted its first online episode “The Stakeout” on Friday, marking the beginning its remaining online life. Not to bury the lead, but what an episode to kick off on!

Lets begin…

Legend of Korra The Stakeout

Plot

So when the Korra Krew tracks Aiwei to an oasis town in the desert they decide to stake out his hotel room in hopes he’ll lead them to Zaheer. However, they soon discover the meeting is actually in the spirit world.

Following Aiwei into the spirit world, Korra learns Zaheer’s motives while the others are forced to fend off an attack by two of Zaheer’s partners who have come to collect the Avatar’s body.

Legend of Korra The Stakeout

It’s Getting Better

This episode is a marked improvement over the last episode, “The Terror Within”, which I thought was a big turn for the better. In fact, this episode might be one of the best of the season.

We’re treated to a combination of divulging more about the mysterious Zaheer and just the right amount of fighting in a way that really works. Which is amazing considering the formula of having Zaheer and Korra just sit and talk about his motives has such a high potential to be boring, especially in such a kinetic medium as animation.

I think it’s due to both finally uncovering the mystery of Zaheer and what I’ve been saying all along. The show is finally getting to a powerful conflict. The heroes are in the middle of said conflict, fighting for their lives. It makes the show much more fun to watch. It’s more enrapturing. I’m excited now, I’m looking forward to the next episode. The story is actually working again!

Legend of Korra The Stakeout

Z is for Zaheer

So Zaheer, the leader of the so called Red Lotus, is out to tear down the world governments and give everyone ‘true freedom’: chaos. It’s an interesting choice in motivation as the last two Big Bads were more-or-less right — bender’s privilege over non-benders and the need to bring the spirit and physical worlds together — but went at it in horrible ways.

Is Zaheer right? Who knows, maybe. He makes decent points. Korra doesn’t agree with him, but offers no solid counter examples, instead shouting “ENOUGH WITH YOUR PHILOSOPHICAL MUMBOJUMO!” Obviously, Korra isn’t the character to engage in a discussion of ideals, but it really does make it seem like Zaheer is right and she can’t think of why he’s wrong outside of not accepting change.

I know that they’ll probably stop Zaheer before he gets too far along, but I’d love to see his plan carry out a little ways. Destroy of the government of Ba Sing Se, do something. It’s a unique motivation for the Avatar universe, he’s not power hungry at all, he’s just the opposite. He wants disorder. I’d like to see it explored some more.

The Legend of Korra Stakeout

The last two episodes have been an increase in quality. If this keeps up, we could get a pretty solid season. For the first time since the premiere episodes, I can’t wait for the rest to come out. Although, with how things have been going lately, now that’s it’s getting really good it’ll probably get canceled before we can finish.

Rating
6.5
Pros
  • Mysteries uncovered in a satisfying way
  • Good blend of exposition and action
Cons
  • A bit of a slow start

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