This post originally appeared on The Mary Sue.
Welcome to season three, where Korra and Asami flirt with each other and make fun of Mako behind his back. I think I’ll like this season.
It’s been two weeks since Korra decided not to close the spirit portals, and things are… uh… less than settled. Vines have started taking over parts of Republic City, which has the city’s human inhabitants screaming GENTRIFICATION! GENTRIFICATION!, while the spirits are all “Uhhhhh, but we do need somewhere to live, though. We are spirits. We do not live in condos.” Korra’s unable to get rid of the vines, which means the President and just about everyone else is pissed off at her, BECAUSE SHE WAS DOING HER DAMN JOB. I’m the Avatar, assbasket! Humankind is only half of my constituency! Lin indicates that she miiiight be returning to form by giving Korra this epic stinkeye:
But the most exciting thing going down this episode is that Korra leaving the spirit portals open has an unexpected side effect: Random people have started airbending, including Bumi! Good for you, Bumi! Also: He knits sweaters for bearded spirit rabbits. Awwwww.
Another post-season two development: Bolin has started living with Tenzin and his family, because his apartment has been taken over by those pesky vines. Mako has taken to sleeping under his desk at the police station, instead, because he’s still a bit awkward about his breakup with Korra and is in prime brooding mode, a fact that Bolin makes fun of. I like that, after last season’s OH MAKO HE’S SO SERIOUS SERIOUS COP HMMM YES, Korra has gotten a little bit of its fun back regarding its resident emo teen. If you’re going to attempt so blatantly to set Mako up as the next Zuko, at least remember that Zuko was a dorky loser at least 75% of the time.
Speaking of Mako, he’s called to the scene of a fight that involved some dude all of a sudden developing the ability to airbend… so it’s not just Bumi. Mako and Lin go to Air Temple Island to update everyone on the news; Mako’s suuuuper awkward about being in close proximity to Korra and Asami at the same time, and Tenzin does this marvelous side out of frame:
Wait, wrong gif:
Asami and Korra, much like myself, are completely over everything love triangle-related, and I love it. “Fine, whatever, Mako can be weird about it all he wants. We have flirting to do.” The two of them go off in Asami’s car to look for the escaped newbie airbender, and Korra tells Asami that “Whatever happened with Mako, I’m glad it hasn’t come between us.”
“I’ve never had a girlfriend to hang out with”
“and talk to before.”
Asami also did a hair flip. WHO ELSE HAS SHE DONE A HAIR FLIP TO, HMMMMMMM?
While Tenzin’s off getting all emotional and teary-eyed about the resurgence of the Air Nation, Korra tries something else to get rid of the vines, all the while being watched by the press corps and the president, who’s a vindictive little manbaby. He and Zhao would get along great. Korra fails and goes and has a pep talk with Tenzin, who tells her that change is neither inherently good nor bad, and also it’s not like she is ever up for re-election, so fuck poll numbers. Bolin shows up and tells them that the new airbender is at the top of Kyoshi Bridge and refuses to come down, so Korra flies off to talk him down.
Already at the bridge is Lin, who tells the new airbender he better GET HIS ASS DOWN FROM THERE or they’ll kick it. I… LOVE… THIS, because we learn that this dude is scared that he’ll hurt someone, but for all Lin knows he is legitimately suicidal? Or, at the very least, in a very bad mental state. And she’s just like UGH, GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER. I CAN’T BE DEALING WITH EMOTIONS RIGHT NOW, YOU’RE FUCKING UP TRAFFIC.
Korra gives the dude a retread of the pep talk Tenzin gave her–change is scary but it isn’t necessarily bad, you can’t turn back time but things will get better if you give them a chance, yada yada, the theme of the episode. He accidentally falls off the bridge, but Korra saves his life. Then, in front of a crowd of people cheering for her, the President tells Korra to GTFO out of the city, even though, uh, she’s the Avatar, and the city’s overrun with spirits, so maybe they might need her. This guy’s not as dumb as Trump, but it’s close(ish).
Korra tells the President that the spirits and the vines are here to stay, so he’d better just put on his big boy panties and get used to it, and also, she was leaving anyway to look for other new Airbenders, so nyah.
The episode ends with us meeting one of those new airbenders. His name is Zahir. Dislikes: Being in prison, rice. Likes: Long walks on the beach, poetry, USING HIS NEWFOUND AIRBENDING SKILLS TO OVERPOWER HIS GUARDS AND LOCK THEM IN HIS CELL, LEAVING THEM TO STARVE TO DEATH WHILE HE ESCAPES.
General thoughts: This wasn’t a particularly WOWZA GEEZ EXCITING!!!! season premiere, final scene aside. It was mostly set-up with some good character work thrown in. I’m fine with it. It’s a nice palate cleanser (or… dare I say… “A Breath of Fresh Air”? Oh, fuck off.) after season two’s WTF finale.