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"Turning the Tides" review and thoughts

Bolin who? - Rassilon of Old's review of "Turning the Tides"

My initial reaction to this episode was "bugger, I hope my tears don't screw up my computer keyboard," because honestly, it was heartbreaking. And although for the most part I really enjoyed the episode, there are some gripes I've been holding from the past few episodes that has really bugged me. Let's get started!

"Turning the Tides"
Team Avatar eating
Korra works to recover from her time spent imprisoned by Tarrlok, but when she is interrupted by an Equalist attack on Republic City, she is forced to take action against the revolutionary group and their mysterious leader, Amon. Meanwhile, Pema goes into labor as the city is overrun by Equalist forces, Tenzin's family escapes on Oogi as Amon takes away Lin's bending. Team Avatar also goes into hiding. Towards the end of the episode, General Iroh is seen leading a large fleet of ships to Republic City.

The suspense created in the episode was excellently done, in fact I think it was one of the most suspenseful episodes we've ever had in the Avatar cannon - in saying so, there was also a lot of nods to older episodes, or so I thought. The capture of Republic City council members - not unlike the arrest of the Council of Five in the Book 2: Earth episode, "The Guru"/"The Crossroads of Destiny".

This is where my review turns into a bit of a rant, so be patient...

I have a huge issue with the relationships formed in The Legend of Korra, in particular, the Asami/Korra/Mako love triangle. If you all remember back to the original series, we all knew through Book 1 & 2 that Aang had a thing for Katara. We knew there was a bit of a crush, but it wasn't developed too much until the final season. There was some Sokka couplings with Suki and Yue, but that was really it. Mike and Bryan themselves said that the relationships on the original series weren't intentionally formed, but that it naturally happened...

Apparently, after the popularity of Kataang and Zutara, the creators decided that relationships were a part of the winning formula. WRONG! The relationships in The Legend of Korra are far too forced, and so they're not believable. Sure, they've created a rift between Asami and Mako, but who couldn't guess that Korra was going to end up with Mako after seeing 102. "A Leaf in the Wind"? It's too obvious that somehow, Asami and Mako will break up, and then Mako will coe running to Korra. I hate it, and I think it'd make me hate both Mako and Korra. And my biggest gripe about the series?

Bolin! You know that guy that occasionally provides comic relief and acts as a trigger for exposition? What's he doing? Hmm!? The only character development we've seen with him is that he's in love with Korra, and now he's not. I haven't seen anything else. He still relies on his brother, if not other people. Bolin could have had such an interesting arc, but instead he was thrown aside. He's not even the comic relief character anymore: we've got the airbender kids for that. He's just a character design being animated and voiced.

So, rant over, back to review.

This episode was still excellent, the fight scenes, coupled with the score, was gorgeous - and let me take a divergent here, to congratulate the work of both Sifu Kisu and the Track Team. I've always admired those behind the scenes workers, and I think these three guys have done an incredible job with avoiding repetitive action sequences and music. So Kudos to you.

To wrap up, I must commend the writing of this episode, done so by Bryke themselves, for its depiction of Lin Beifong. *gets the tissue box ready* As tragic, heroic, and all around devastating it was to the audience for one of our "big six" to lose their bending, it was beautifully executed, and a tribute to Lin. I only hope that she isn't discarded now, and that she returns next season. And while we're talking about execution, General Iroh's introduction was nothing short of perfect. We begin with the introduction of his status, being a general, then, then, THEN, THEN! The voice of non other than Dante Basco, and the brain explodes with awesome, and then the final revelation being his name: Iroh. I applaud and kiss Bryan's feet at this character's introduction, as it truley is, 100%, perfect.

This episode really did feel like a season finale, and the only issues it had were ones introduced in previous episodes, so I can forgive it, sort of. I'm struggling to see how Bryke will top this for next week's one hour finale, but "In Bryke I Trust".

Final verdict: 9.5 out of 10

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