K306 – Old Wounds Episode Review

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Another 2 episodes to review, so lets start with the first episode that aired on Friday.

K306 Old Wounds


Written By: Katie Matilla
Directed By: Ian Graham
Animated By: Studio Mir

This episode makes it abundantly clear that it should have aired last week with “The Metal Clan”, it made for a fairly odd 2 episodes last friday. Neither episode is very plot focused, very much reminding me of what “Peacekeepers” and “The Sting” did last book. ¬†Not that this episode was bad, it wasn’t not by any means, but this and the next episode have made it clear that we really do not have much plot at all this book. There is a lot going on, but not much connecting it together just yet. The scenes with Zaheer and the others are prime examples from this episode, in a way the plot of this book revolves around them, but at the same time we are not being told much if anything about them and this combined with them not getting any character development yet has me slightly annoyed at how they are being shown right now. Otherwise this was an excellent character focused episode, filled with family history, drama and emotion.

I will start as I have most of these reviews with the Red Lotus scenes. This episode really showed me that we really do not know these characters at all, only Zaheer of the group has anything resembling a character. As of now all that is keeping them interesting is that they are being presented to us as being important and powerful in terms of their abilities. The problem is that we do not know Ghazan as a character outside of his lavabending, he is a tough guy???? that is all I know about him right now. P’Li seems crazed and very sadistic in how she has no issue with just blowing up police cars, but why is she in a relationship with Zaheer and who is she as a character. Ming-Hua is a unique bender because she has no arms, but beyond that who is she? Again she seems vicious, but that is all right now. Zaheer is somewhat interesting because he has got solo time on screen and has actually talked a lot. He is calm, collected and fairly spiritual, he is also more interesting than the others, because he was not always a bender yet was still part of this group, given how powerful the others are that makes him fascinating, how did he become the leader of such a powerful group as a non bender. He knows airbending history and has at least some experience with airbending form, yet he has been in prison for years, add to that his new power to find people by meditating, it creates the theory of him gradually learning the ability that Jinora seems to have mastered already. With the others they have potential to be good characters, but right now only Zaheer has mysteries related only to him, while the others just seem interesting to find out how they came to form the group.

Then in terms of what they actually do in the episode, many of the scenes did not seem overly necessary, did they really need to show the group escaping republic city. It seemed like simply another way to put them in an action scene to show how amazing they are as benders, when they drastically need character development. The key scene was the end one where Zaheer meditates to locate Korra in the metal clan, in a way this is the only moment of plot in these 2 episodes, set up for an incoming attack on Zaofu. I am still interested in this group, but the longer we go without learning anything about them the more and more I am losing interest. This group needs a “Skeletons In The Closet” esque episode where the focus is nearly fully on them. Thankfully it seems like episode 8 will have more focus on them, but will they just remain as awesome benders or will they show themselves as characters?

In complete contrast to the red lotus, the Zaofu characters get great character development. Avatar once again shows us how effective a good flashback can be, it is a storytelling device that I adore when it is used effectively and here it is done very well. The flashbacks here are extremely focused, in the past there is usually more going on in the background and we meet other characters and get lots of nice references, but this time out we only have Suyin, Lin and Toph and the focus is completely on the issues between the sisters. No reference to who the two girl’s fathers are, no sign of the other Team Avatar members etc. It didn’t annoy me as the flashbacks did what they needed to, showing the moment that Lin does not want to remember, the moment she is so angry and upset about. The episode title comes into play “Old Wounds”, we get the explanation for Lin’s scars, and what a strong explanation. There really is no deeper wound than one that comes from a family member (Zuko anyone), a constant reminder to Lin of how her family fell apart and because of the impact it had on her a reminder of what she doesn’t want herself (a family of her own), explaining how her relationship with Tenzin ended. What I really enjoyed is that Lin is not mad at Su over the scar, she is angry because Su did not own up to what she did and accept what she did, she just let her mother risk her career to save her from jail. She is mad because Su’s inaction led to Toph having to quit as chief of police. She is still mad in the present day because Su still won’t fully accept what happened, she is always talking about how she is different now and how she has patched things up with Toph, but it is fine to change, but that does not negate what you did do in the past and Lin wants her to know what she really did. It is not just Su at fault here, Lin has allowed this feud to go unspoken in 30 years, Su started it, but Lin won’t allow it to end.

I loved how we saw the physical impact these memories had on Lin, it was very much a Zuko 218 moment, his decisions made him sick and now Lin dealing with her repressed memories is painful. I love the continuity, even the little moments between flashbacks, we cut to her sweating and grimacing, then she even stops the memories from coming just before she gets her scar sending the needles flying into the walls. Powerful stuff.

I liked that Lin and Su did come to blows, it made for an amazing earth/metalbending fight and some great tension between the two sisters. When Su brought up Tenzin breaking up with Lin, it was the burn-iest of burn moments, a great way to start the fight. Even Opal being the one to stop the fight worked very well, she brings up an obvious point, but one the sisters lost. “Why would you want to hurt your sister?” they are fighting because the emotionally hurt each other when they were young and now to resolve that they physically fight each other, Opal points out the obvious and ends the fight. What the sisters need is just to talk which they do at the end of the episode. It is a nice resolution as they both apologise and agree to try and be part of each other’s lives again, we even get more info about Toph. Su says that she knows Toph is proud of Lin, is not would be, so further confirmation that Toph is alive.

I was very surprised by Bolin in this episode, he seems to have a new arc for him with learning metalbending. I liked how it started with just Korra being thought by Su and you think that will be the focus, but instead the focus is more on Bolin wanting to train, but being to scared to potentially find out he is unable to metalbend. It is something he bonds with Opal over, she is too scared to be honest with her mother about wanting to got to the Northern Air Temple and train in airbending. It is one of the most mature relationship moments we have had in Korra, the two calling each other out for being scared to pursue what they really want to for fear of failing in Bolin’s case and upsetting her mother in Opal’s. I have a feeling that Bolin will struggle to Metalbend and that we may be waiting until much later in the Book for it to finally happen, he explains that Toph is his hero and it is because of her that he even wants to metalbend, so I think he may get a Toph-like moment where he discovers he can metalbend in the heat of the moment like Toph did when she discovered the technique. Opal on the other hand may not make it to the Northern Air Temple with the potential of a Red Lotus attack on Zaofu. I hope she makes it to the temple before the attack happens, as I would love to see what dynamic she brings to the air temple group.

Varrick had a scene in the episode. I found it reasonably funny, but completely pointless. I hope this is not all Varrick will be doing this book, I did notice the second magnet reference of the book from him. 2 appearances and 2 magnet references, I take it something magnet related will be happening with Varrick down the line.

Final thing I will mention is that I really enjoyed the Lin and Opal scene. She apologises to Opal for shouting at her, but urges her to do what she wants, not what she thinks would make her mother happy. Without this advice Opal would not have went to tell her parents what she wants. Very effective scene.

Overall this was a great character focused episode, only let down by some unnecessary Red Lotus scenes and their lack of development. Otherwise everything in Zaofu was excellent, despite an overall lack of plot progression.

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Comments - 1 Post

  1. Jenna Said: Comment by Jenna on July 22, 2014 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    This review reminded me that I need to watch more LoK.



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