K302 – Rebirth Episode Review

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Time to review the second episode of the Book 3 Premiere, Rebirth. The K303 review will be next week.

K302 Rebirth

 K302SCREEN3

Written By – Tim Hedrick and Joshua Hamilton
Directed By – Melchoir Zwyer and Colin Heck
Animated By – Studio Mir

I will get straight to it, this was my favourite episode of the premiere. Even though I had an issue with one or two scenes, I felt like this episode got the perfect blend of humour and seriousness, it really was one of the funniest episodes of Avatar, not just Korra. It continued the trend of strong second episodes of Korra. We got introduced to a few new characters and got right into the early plot of searching for airbenders, there was no slow build up to leaving republic city, instead boom they are gone within the first few minutes and straight into what we want to see.

I actually want to start this review with the villains. We got Zaheer’s escape in the last episode and this time round we get 2 more break-outs, leaving just one more to go. First up Zaheer breaks out Ghazan, a powerfully built Earthbender with the unique ability to turn earth into molten earth. It is such a clever ability that I am surprised we have not really seen before outside of a few scenes showing an Avatar in the Avatar state, Avatar Jafar I believe, making a volcano erupt. It makes complete sense, if a waterbender can change water into ice and steam then why can’t an earthbender do something similar with earth. Add to that the way he uses it, he does not start burning people, instead he forms it into a molten shuriken and cuts his cell open and hits guards with it. Given that he seems to have shuriken tattoos on his chest, It could be a cool theme for him, that he uses shurikens a lot. His cell and also Ming-Hua’s one later on are very interesting, the effort that has to go into containing a powerful bender is clear to see. Ghazan has a whole floating prison to himself made completely of wood so he can neither bend earth or metal, while Ming-Hua is suspended over a volcano so there is not a lot of water vapour in the air for her to bend, just how much effort has gone into their cells gets over how big of a deal these villains are and their fighting only helps to make them the craziest villains we have ever gotten. Ming-Hua basically kills some OWL guards when she throws them off the side of her prison, the only thing below is the lava of the volcano O.O Her style, like Ghazan is very unique mainly due to the fact that she has no arms and has to use water to make up for that, but it makes her extremely powerful as she has such great control over these “water arms” instantly switching from a normal arm like form to  something to swing around the place with, I cannot wait to see more of her in action.

In terms of the groups interactions together we only get a few moments. Ghazan asks where Zaheer got his bending from and Zaheer gives us our basic new airbender explanation, Harmonic Convergence, which as I said in my last review I am fine with. The key is what he says next, he says that because he got airbending he feels as if it is a sign that their path is a righteous one. It further shows the odd personality of Zaheer, his philosophy comments in the last episode and now talking about signs and righteousness. Then Ming-Hua comments that she is surprised they broke her out before Zaheer’s girlfriend, P’Li. That is the sole hint of any issues in the group, perhaps P’li and Ming-Hua may not get on well, or Ming-Hua is jealous that Zaheer focuses on P’Li so much. The slow build of these villains continues to be impressive.

I suppose I should now mention what my issue with this episode was. It was the scene where the group goes to convince Kuon (first airbender they meet in the earth kingdom) to join them in rebuilding the air nation. I get what this scene was trying to convey, that Tenzin and Korra are so excited and eager to have new airbenders around that they have not thought through their approach or what they are asking of the people that are new airbenders. But it was the degree to which this scene had Tenzin and Korra miss the mark, I was a little annoyed at how after last episode showed such emotion about the topic from both, that they would actually get angry at a man for not wanting to leave his family and life behind him. I think this scene was just a bit overdone, it was not just that the two got a little frustrated that it did not go as they thought, they seriously pushed the issue to far and jumped to huge conclusions, I felt like both Korra and Tenzin has developed past acting like this. Thankfully they immediately adjust their approach and realise what they did wrong, but they did get too angry, but it was the only scene I really had issue with.

Which brings me to the other ways they tried to get the new airbenders to join them. Tenzin thought it would be great to go straight to telling people about all of the unique airbender customs like shaving your head, getting tattoos, getting a bison, being a vegetarian and so on. This scene was funny, but also more seriously showed that there is a big stumbling block in their quest, it is one thing to help these people to control their airbending, it is another to ask them to join a whole culture, especially one so far removed from the rest of the world. Airbender culture is definitely the most demanding in terms of someone from any other nation joining them. I wonder if they will have to make allowances and change some of the customs, stuff like shaving your head may be a simple one to remove. I think Korra is a good example here, she may not be an air nomad, but she is an airbender which is the exact position that all of these new airbenders are in. She did not have to shave her head nor will she ever get tattoos, she participates in the culture in some, but not all of these ways. They may have to allow others the same allowances that Korra has.

Finally Bolin comes up with the idea that is a success, an airbending street performance to show everyone how awesome airbending is. Leading us to my favourite scene of the episode with Tenzin, Jinora, Korra, Mako, Bolin and Bumi all taking part, including moments such as: shirtless Tenzin, enthusiastic Mako, Korra channeling Katara’s “EARTHBENDING STYLE”, Jinora with some glider style and Bolin rocking the megaphone. It was a fun scene that reminded me so much of the bad acting display from Sokka and Katara from 106 Imprisoned. This led to us meeting Kai.

Kai is a character who I feel as such amazing potential as a character if they give him time to have an arc this book. It is cool by itself to have a new younger character join the main cast, he is very much like a badboy version of Aang, he is playful like Aang, but he is a thief. What I really like is that this episode makes you think back and forth on if you really like him and if he can put his stealing days behind him. When he tells his emotional backstory, you feel for him, but when it is revealed to be a lie you feel so betrayed and then you feel like you want to give him a chance when he talks about feeling different and like a new person after getting airbending. The potential I speak of is what will be the eventual thing that snaps him out of being a thief and shows him that he should respect everyone who has put their neck on the line for him. Especially with what happens at the end of episode 3, you can see some set up for an eventual turn for good.

I also like that ahe has specific relationships set up with a lot of the main characters. He and Jinora like each other and there is a hint of romance there, Bolin has taken him on as a little brother, Mako knows the type and is watching him, Korra feels he can change and has given him a chance that he does not want him to squander and Tenzin is unhappy that their first recruit is a thief and is not happy about Jinora’s interest in him. That is a great character introduction, he is interesting himself and a lot of characters already have specific interactions with him.

Speaking of Mako and Bolin we get more set up for their stories in this episode. Both are focused on family, it is how Bolin eventually convinces Mako to come with them, in an hilarious scene where Bolin does a voice for their grandmother. Bolin wants to go to Ba Sing Se and potentially meet their family as it is where their father grew up, while Mako still is struggling with his place in the group. It will be interesting to see where this goes as the season progresses.

The final thing to mention is of course ZUKO. He makes his Korra debut. The first thing that struck me was that the guard referred to him as “Lord Zuko” as far as we know he is not Fire Lord anymore, his daughter is, so what is he a lord of, or does he just keep that title as a retired fire lord. The second thing that struck me was that now around 86 years old he looks so similar to Avatar Roku, who he is related to, but he also sounds a bit like Roku too, I love this reference to ATLA in that he comes from the line of an Avatar and also evil fire lords, he chose good and has grown up to look more like his good lineage. Zuko also does a great job at hyping up the villains when he is shocked and scared that Zaheer now has airbending, he feels they could destroy the world if they get together and leaves to stop them on his DRAGON. Speaking of which they need to explain where he got a dragon from, because this is neither Ran nor Shao, so it would leave me to think that this is confirmation that the ancient sun warrior artifact that Zuko says felt alive was a dragon egg and him touching it bonded it with him and thus when it hatched it was his dragon. I do want an explanation for this, simply because Dragons being extinct was a plot point specifically addressed in ATLA.

Speaking of explanations, what is the story with Asami and future industries. How does she and her company have enough money to make such a massive airship for free for Team Avatar? I assume with Varrick gone she takes control of his company aswell as her own because she was in business with him, but I do need an explanation as it was a story completely dropped in the middle of Book 2.

So overall an excellent second episode of Book 3, featuring some of the funniest moments Korra has seen so far. Lots of new character introductions and even a character return. Just a superb episode of Korra.

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By:

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 - 3 Posts

  1. Pabu0920 Said: Comment by Pabu0920 on July 1, 2014 at 3:20 pm | Permalink
     

    This is just a new Jedi thing, most likely the new airbender will be able to keep there cultures and mix it with the airbender traditions.

    Reply

  2. F.L.Z Said: Comment by F.L.Z on July 5, 2014 at 2:39 am | Permalink
     

    Nice review.About the dragon,that was an interesting idea.

    Reply

  3. Troy Said: Comment by Troy on July 6, 2014 at 6:20 am | Permalink
     

    https://www.facebook.com/GreyDelisleGriffin

    Check out Grey’s new profile picture.

    Reply

 

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