The Legend Of Korra Episode 5 – The Spirit Of Competition Review


K105 The Spirit Of Competition


Shipping + Pro Bending is this episode in a nutshell. In my Opinion that combination worked very well, in that the episode was not just shipping, the pro bending gave the episode some amazing action while also showing the effects the romantic interactions have on teamwork, the arena echoed the out of arena stuff.

Shipping is a big part of this episode and the Avatar fandom has a large history with shipping, the difference between Korra and ATLA is that we are actually presented with conflicts of interests between characters while in ATLA we were not and it was the fandom who made up the conflicts. The romantic moments in this episode add some amazing character development to many characters. Bolin, IMO was a real focus of this episode, with him being captured in K103 and only in a few scenes in K104, it was great to get more of his character who is already a fan favourite and definitely one of mine. The “date” scene with him and Korra was brilliant, we see just how much he really likes Korra, because he has really thought out the date with bringing her to get some Water Tribe food and even the mass amounts of compliments which made her accept. It really made me like the two as a couple as they were getting along so well, emphasised especially after Korra used Naga to scare Tahno, Bolin is just such a nice guy, so much so that  it makes to feel so sorry for him when he sees Mako and Korra kissing later. This brings up another great thing about this episode, it was full of emotion, but the tone never got to full on angst, which really helped the episode overall, they kept it light hearted while still a bit serious. The best example is Bolin bursting into tears and running off flailing his arms and even where he runs off to, he and Pabu drown their sorrows in food, it both added humour to the scene so it was not soul destroying to see Bolin like that while still making you feel so bad for a nice guy like Bolin.

We also saw the best bit of character development in the whole episode for me, which was just the little moment of during the tied round, Bolin stepping up infront of his big brother (and Team Captain) who has pretty much been in charge of him and taking command of the situation by making the decision as Mako was not playing well. In fact that whole match against the Boar-Q-Pines was amazing for Bolin, we got to see just how good of a pro bender he is.

I will move on to Korra now, we see in this episode that she really has no clue what to do when she likes someone, being contained in the Avatar facility for most of her life coming into play. She is so confused that she asks Ikki and Jinora for advice, which is a great scene in itself showing the characters of those two, Jinora reading about history and romantic sacrifice, Ikki more imagination fluffy rainbow romance, but the best scene here was Pema coming into this “Girl Talk”, I was excited when I saw her come over as we have only seen bits and pieces of her in the series so far. She gave us some backstory on her relationship with Tenzin, in that he was with another girl before her (Lin is the popular theory), the advice she gives resonates throughout the whole episode, “be honest with your feelings” in that pretty much all of the characters do open up with their feelings, despite the consequences.

Back to Korra, she does confront Mako and tells him how she feels, but is rejected and her inexperience comes in here where she really does not see at all that they were on a full on date, she thought it was just fun with a friend. Later when Mako admits he likes her but is confused, she does a 317 on it AKA “Kissing the confused person”, it was in character as she is a direct person, and we see Mako kisses back (Hope Makorra shippers !!!). But her real amazing moments in this episode were in the arena during and before the final round of the Semi Final, she is the only one who has not given up, she tries to bring the team together despite the romantic complications, her words fail, but her Actions in round 3 do show the team what is important at that time. She gets a hat-trick and wins them the semi, it was a great display of pro bending in that she completely set up the Buzzard Wasps, moving them all into position and then eliminating them in one attack (which may or may not have broken the 1 second attack duration rule), shows how much she is learning.

Mako is also very interesting in this episode, in that he does like both Asami and Korra, in the  ”Guy Talk” scene when Bolin asks him about Korra as a girlfriend, Mako is only thinking about himself, but when he realises Bolin means for himself then he switches to being a protective brother, in that he knows dating a team mate will only be bad. He lies about his feelings when Korra first confronts him and his face tells you he felt bad about it, then after the date we see he knows exactly what is going on he knows Bolin thought it was a date and that Korra just thought it was 2 friends having fun. The big scene for him and also Bolin was after they were eliminated in the final round, he has no anger at Bolin, he simply helps his injured brother out of the water and the two in a very male fashion make up in a few words “We’re Brothers” simple as that for the 2, showing how close they are.

I feel that this review is all over the place, mainly because it is less focused on plot and more one relationships, so sorry about that. The Pro Bending itself is much improved from K102, we see much more strategy and team work in the matches and we see more rules here with the Yellow Fan, Roughing and especially the Tie Breaker. That was amazing, it was great to see a close quarters fight and I loved the grappling, I hope we see more of these tie breakers.

An interesting reveal was that Korra is a healer, I enjoyed that it was in terms of the episode quite out of the blue, she did not immediately rush to heal him after the match and the way when he asked she was just like “Hey, I’m a healer” made for a nice moment in the episode and a nice reference to Katara. While not a surprise to see she can heal, it was a cool reveal.

I could talk about so many other points and I have probably missed some great points but there are two more things I want to talk about. First is Tahno, who while only in this episode for 2 scenes really made his presence felt. He just has a presence about him, he is not a villain, just a bit slimy and self obsessed. We have yet to see that much about him, but I like this introduction as the rival of the Fire Ferrets and he also seems to at least be attracted to Korra (but the shipping may just be rubbing off on me). The mystery at the end of the episode as to how they won the match so quickly while causing injured to their opponents will be fascinating to see next episode, just how good are the Wolf Bats ?

The other point is the scene where Mako goes to take Bolin home after he finds him a mess eating a lot of food. We get some brilliant voicing acting from P.J Byrne here, with great lines like “You’re a bad Idea”.

Overall an episode that I was a bit concerned about just because of how much Nick were promoting the shipping, but I was pleasantly surprised at how much I liked it.  The key reason is that the character interactions were very realistic, they did not force the episode to be super angsty and has some fun with the shipping while developing the characters. The Pro Bending continues to improve. I cannot wait to see how the tournament ends and as we suspect what Amon’s plan is.

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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 - 3 Posts

  1. Avatar Yangchen Said: Comment by Avatar Yangchen on August 2, 2012 at 4:03 pm | Permalink



  2. momo2009 Said: Comment by momo2009 on November 20, 2012 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    worst episode in the whole series. even the finale wasn’t as bad. I stop watching korra for 3 week because of this.


  3. BOLIN(combustion specialist). Said: Comment by BOLIN(combustion specialist). on April 20, 2013 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    burping contest



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