K209 The Guide Episode Review

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K209 The Guide


Korra, did Sokka teach you how to tell stories from the beginning?

Written By – Joshua Hamilton
Directed By – Colin Heck
Animated By – Studio Pierrot (Last episode)

For the first time this Book my opinion on the episode from my initial viewing, through the podcast and finally preparing for this review has not changed. Usually I miss out on some stuff that comes to mind during the podcast. With this episode my opinion is simply this; I think this is a great character focus episode in all 3 plots (Korra, Mako and Unalaq) that also advances the plot forward pretty well, but ….. WHY ARE THEY BRINGING MASAMI BACK? Basically I love this whole episode minus the 20 or so seconds that are Masami focused. It doesn’t drag the episode down too much on the whole, as the Mako plot is the C plot and by far the least interesting (it does have a lot of potential though) and the other stories were so well done in this episode. It is the first time I have honestly been mad about something this show has done.

The reason it annoys me so much is that it is piling so much drama into an already dramatic situation. I get that Mako and Asami are both under pressure in their jobs, to the extent that adding in this romance plot, a plot that everyone was glad when it appeared to end at the end of Book just makes it overkill. It is needlessly adding romance; I really do not see why they are doing it. I like where the story besides this is going as I think the idea of Mako trying so hard to prove himself and prove Varrick is behind everything and then it all turns on him and suddenly he is finding himself framed, that is a great story, the character they have been building up as a very intelligent person has been taken out of the game with no one believing him. Having Mako also for some reason have to deal with getting back together with Masami really has no point.

I didn’t even have a problem with the other characters dismissing Mako’s evidence, because unlike Masami I can actually theory out a reason why they are doing so. His evidence, while it appears to be 100% perfect is not actually that good. His whole proof is that a detonator he found at the bombing is the same as the ones that Varrick’s company makes. Nothing directly linking Varrick himself with the bombings. Lin has already made a mistake before when she arrested Lau Gan Lan, so she must be wary about doing so again, not to mention she definitely needs to work on the atmosphere in the police with regards to the treatment of rookies. Asami and Bolin obviously have only had good stuff happen to them because of Varrick, all of this leads to the obvious comparison, Mako is having his 107 The Aftermath moment. In that episode Korra had to stick to her guns while people around her would not believe her about Hiroshi, Mako is experiencing that now and also more recently why Korra was so annoyed at no one backing her up before she left. I hope Mako grows from this experience. I would like a bit more about what exactly Varrick is doing, but on the whole I find this plot interesting as with Mako now arrested this will place the focus on Asami and Bolin, will they come to their senses now and see who Varrick really is or will they turn on Mako? It gives the two characters huge potential to have the big moments that everyone has been waiting for from them, Asami and Bolin need some big moments and they are now in position for this to happen, which is a huge success in my book.

With the story of Beginnings now out there, we can at last get some details on what Unalaq’s plan is. In a way it explains why he has not had much screen time in the lead in to Beginnings; they needed to explain Vaatu and Harmonic Convergence before we could at last here him talking about it. It was the obvious prediction that he wants to free Vaatu, but what we still do not know is why he actually wants to do this, as someone so spiritual he has to know that it is a bad idea. We also do not know how he knows about Vaatu and the portals; I feel there is a bit more Unalaq backstory to come to explain how this “alliance” came about. That is the plot on this side of the story, but we also get some really good character moments between Unalaq and his kids. He is so eager to open the Northern Portal and free Vaatu that he didn’t care when one of his kids was injured, that is insane, for his desire to help this spirit be so huge that he will put his family at risk, what has Vaatu been telling Unalaq. It is for this reason that I believe that Unalaq’s wife may be key; she has not been mentioned at all. This show nearly always mentions immediately if a character has lost a parent or loved one, so for this family to be missing a member with zero mention is odd. Vaatu may have told him that he can bring her back (if she is dead) or something like that, that said I am probably over thinking this and Unalaq just wants the power that Vaatu could offer him. I can definitely see the twins turning on their father at some point, which would be a big moment for them as characters given how loyal, especially Eska, has been to their father. I am excited to see what comes next.

The highlight of this episode was everything at the Eastern Air Temple. This is the power of a character reunion you care about, I forgot how much I missed Korra’s interactions with Tenzin and his family, it was so much fun to watch. Especially with how they departed it was great to see everyone get straight down to business focusing on what needed to be done and not on personal issues. That said the way they handled the Tenzin and Korra reunion was very well done, I really enjoyed the decision to have the apology take place towards the end of the episode and not the first thing that the two said to each other, Korra used the apology as a way to give Tenzin something to be proud of after finding out that his destiny was not meant to be. Which itself was a very emotional little story told in this episode, it added a great layer to Tenzin’s character. We had always suspected that Aang’s kids would help the next Avatar, but to find out that Tenzin had devoted his life to learning to help the Avatar when the moment came to go to the Spirit World was crazy to hear. So when he is forced to admit he has never been to the spirit world himself and that in his mind he has let himself, his father and now Korra down, it is really emotional coming from a character that we have not got too many emotional moments from. All that alone time with his father that was talked about in the earlier episodes was for nought. We know that this will be coming back at some point from the episode descriptions for upcoming episodes, so I am excited for this going forward too.

It is not Tenzin’s destiny to guide Korra into the Spirit World, but it is Jinora’s destiny. After 7 episodes of waiting she at last returns to the spotlight in an episode and it did not disappoint. We get the reveal that she does not just have a connection to spirits, but can see them when others cannot, an ability we only know Iroh to have had previously. I love the decision to not just have her be the one “called” towards the statue in K202, but have her be unique and special beyond that, she has actually had a connection to spirits all her life to the point where they reveal themselves to the others when she asks. She will be a huge help to Korra in the spirit world and I am pumped to see their interactions, she is really moving away from just being a part of a trio with her brother and sister. Kya’s involvement in things was great to see also, at last we see the connection that the two have, Jinora was shy about her ability and only Kya’s push allowed her to find her path and destiny. I do wonder if Jinora will have a plot of her own in the spirit world outside of just showing Korra how to connect with the spirits, we know from the trailers that she goes to Wan Shi Tong’s library, seemingly on her own, but for what reason?

The common thing between all 3 plots covered in this episode is that I am excited to see where things go based on what this episode presented, the only negative I have is Masami, though it is a small part of the episode. Special note has to go to Studio Pierrot, this was their last episode on Korra book 2 and probably overall. I feel they have been vilified unfairly by some parts of the fandom. Considering the crazy series of events with the animation studios and delays and coming on board for a short run on Korra, a show they have no experience on (Mir were formed from JM Animation who did most of ATLA), they did a pretty good job considering the circumstances. They are not as good as Mir, that is obvious, but they do good work, I would never say Pierrot’s animation was bad. K209 The Guide managed to follow up Beginnings reasonably well, which I think makes this episode a success.

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My name is Morgan Bannon, I am a 22 Year old Male from Ireland and I am the Site Super Moderator. I have watched and been a fan of Avatar since it premiered. I am also a news post writer for the site and host the site's podcast, The Avatar Online Podcast. My strength as an Avatar fan would be just a good knowledge of Avatar Canon and characters.

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Comments - 1 Post

  1. johnny Said: Comment by johnny on November 5, 2013 at 4:20 am | Permalink

    yeah, Masami doesn´t make any sense at this point. it´s like they want Mako to be hated by the fandom.
    and Tenzin´s line “i know this would happen” was the best reaction to Korra´s story. i cracked up so much.



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