K104 The Voice In The Night

K104 Screenshot

The first thing I noticed about this episode was more about the format of the show, it seems to be going in groups of 2 episodes. K101 and K102 were very much the introductory episodes, this episode along with K103 were introducing the main problem, villain and how Korra deals with it at first. This is further proven when K105 and K106 seem to be focused on Pro Bending. I am really liking this apparent format as the episodes are not straight up Part 1′s and Part 2′s each one works well on it’s own but links in very well with another episode. In this case it deals with Korra and her feelings after seeing Amon’s powers last episode and how she deals with them, we also continue with the plot point of the Fire Ferrets needing money to enter the bending tournament. Overall I loved this episode, it had a bit of everything, Humour, Romance, Action, Emotion and a massive amount of tension.

The main plot of this episode in basic terms is “Korra is absolutely frightened of Amon and his power” that and how she deals with this. It was interesting to see her very focused on training trying not to think of Amon and her nightmares, but when he takes over the radio, the shot of her face tells us everything, she is petrified even just of his voice and again when she sees a banner of him later. The big thing that made these parts of the episode so good was the introduction of Councilman Tarrlok, and the way he is so manipulative, first his speech to the other members of the council to get them to agree with him (minus Tenzin) and then the big moment when he sets Korra up at the Gala and shoves her right into a media attack where he had clearly set them up with certain questions to ask. The key thing here is how Korra reacts here, we see from earlier on in the episode with her conversation with Tenzin that she is “Afraid to be admit she is Afraid” her personality is so focused on being direct and confrontational, fearless that her fearing something means she has no idea what to do, the way she reacts to this media attack and specifically when a guy asks her why is she afraid, she snaps and is angry to be accused of this and tries to blow through her fear by being confrontational.

Coming back to Tarrlok for a minute, I loved the little interactions between him and Tenzin, it is so clear that they have a long history of disagreeing about everything. Tenzin is extremely sensible in the meeting and calls Tarrlok’s move out as being too aggressive, which is correct, a bending task force capturing equalists is just going to rally more people to Amon’s side. The big scene in this was again when Korra was confronted by the Media, the look Tenzin gave when he saw this, he knew exactly what Tarrlok had planned and that the only way out was for Korra to join the task force.

I just have to talk a bit about the final few scenes of the episode, Korra thinks Amon has not shown up for the confrontation and goes to leave, but is captured and held helpless before Amon. This was an incredibly dark and tense scene, I cannot believe that Nick have this show on at 11am in the morning, Amon, voiced by Steve Blum, does an incredible job at making Amon sound so powerful, confident and menacing. This combined with Korra frozen with fear and unable to do anything, the shows main character completely defeated, was powerful, also what Amon says is a perfect reason for him not to take her bending away there and then, all benders would rally behind her defeat, but I also have a slight feeling that he did not do it because he has to deal with the Avatar State before hand (just a theory, but I think there is more to Amon’s decision here), though it may just be that he needs more time to gain more supporters. Then the final scene is just one of the most emotionally charged scenes I have seen in anything ever, Korra just lets all of her emotions and feelings she had been bottling up out into Tenzin’s arms and admits that she has been scared and I will use the word again, how emotionally powerful her saying “I don’t know what to do” is, she has no clue about what to do next and that for such a direct person as she is is a horrible position for her and it leaves her in an interesting position for everyone watching, where does she go from here ?. Just focus on training and Pro bending, will she for the time being quit the attack against Amon. So interesting into the future.

Now onto the other parts of the episode which for the most part focus on Shipping, yes that word that some people jump towards and some jump away from. For me anyway there is a huge difference between Shipping in ATLA and Shipping here in Korra, in ATLA many of the conflicts or shipping wars were made up ships by the fandom with no on screen “evidence” (Prime example Zutara) there was never a conflict of interests about who would end up with who, but in Korra this is set up. Korra likes Mako, Bolin likes Korra, but neither Korra or Mako are aware yet of being liked by these people, then we are introduced to Asami Sato who instantly sparks up a relationship with Mako, which as we see does make Korra a bit jealous. For this reason I do not think there will be any Wars over shipping as most of the ships are actually part of the story.

On to Asami, I was delighted to see that Seychelle Gabriel was going to be voicing a character in Korra, just happy to see she was not just ignored because she was in the movie. She does a great voice for Asami and once again we have a well introduced and likeable Avatar character, we don’t know that much about her yet as the focus here was more on her relationship with Mako, which I though while developed quickly was very well done. Though I am a bit worried that they may be making to many Avatar characters have a parent killed or parent problem when they were young, Mako, Bolin, Asami possibly Amon all with some tragedy with a parent. Nothing serious now, but it is something I noticed. I found the way that the Mako and Asami relationship led to the introduction of Hiroshi Sato and then into the resolution of the Team’s money problems very well written, it was not just shipping for shipping sake, it added to the plot very well.

Hiroshi himself for the few scenes he was in was great, I loved the choice of Daniel Dae Kim for his voice. He captured the Businessman who admires Ambition so well, I loved his speech about how he developed Future Industries from a small loan. I am fascinated to see how he and Asami as integrated into the story more.

The main scene with Bolin was short but one of my favourites, it was great to see how grateful he is to Korra for saving him and to see a male character so easily admit to a girl how scared he was something very few shows do, it also added into Korra’s character here in that him saying how scared he was made her remember her own fears, but at the same time Bolin is the only one to get a laugh and smile out of Korra this episode, testament to how much of a positive character he is.

The final thing I want to cover is of course the short flashback to Aang, Sokka and Toph which we assume is them 42 years before Korra starts. The main thing here is the designs of older ATLA  characters, it was a bit weird seeing them so much older, but they just felt right and I knew they were the same characters from ATLA. The key point about her having this vision is of course, why and why this specific one. Since it is so short it is difficult to say much about it, my theory is that the way Aang handled that threat somehow started the Anti Bender Revolution and Korra will need to learn from that how to handle the situation in a different way.

Overall yet another brilliant episode of Korra, the quality has not dipped at all and continues to introduce new and interesting things to the series. Roll on Saturday for “The Spirit Of Competition”