The Legend of Korra: The Terror Within
July 25, 2014 7:17 PM - Season 3, Episode 8 - Subscribe

Perhaps the last Legend of Korra episode to premier on live television, the peaceful sanctuary of Zhao Fu is shattered by an attempt to kidnap Korra by Zaheer and Company. As Lin expresses outrage over the failure of Suyin's Metal Clan to keep Korra safe, Suyin furiously hunts for an accomplice - the only way Zaheer's team could have infiltrated the city successfully. Also, Bolin and Opal bid a temporary farewell, they will always have kale.
posted by Atreides (18 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Ai Wei's betrayal was so transparent. Why did having just one lie detector not trigger a few "who watches the watchmen" questions? Other than that, it was pretty good. The fight and bending sequences were really impressive, especially Ming Hua's water arms.

I'm of two minds about this getting the boot from TV premieres. On one hand, I'm annoyed that it's not going to be released on live television anymore! I enjoyed watching an American animated drama live as it aired, because it is an increasingly endangered genre. That there aren't going to be any of those on television anymore is sad and a bad thing for the artistic development of the form.

On the other hand, if the digital distribution is successful, then maybe it would create a new awareness that American dramatic series animation has an audience, leading to more of it actually getting made. That would be the best outcome of this whole fiasco.

But seriously, how great is it we live in an age when shows that get horrible TV ratings can be aired somewhere and still get seen at a reasonable hour? If this was the 90's, and they just cancelled it at this episode, people would complain endlessly on messageboards. Now, we can actually see the narrative arc get resolved!
posted by Small Dollar at 8:23 PM on July 25, 2014 [1 favorite]


That fight between Team Avatar and Team Zaheer was awesome. Lavabending, combustionbending, metalbending, airbending, waterbending, Bolin's ability with tiny pieces of rock...

Plus, how great was Ming-Hua actually cutting glass with ice? Seriously, I'm beginning to think that Korra should just go with Team Zaheer to learn even more kickass bending techniques.

Also, when the chef brought Opal her favourite food, I was briefly worried that it would turn out that the metalbending clan was also found of exotic meat like the Earth Queen, and everyone would find out that Suyin and her family also enjoy baby sky bison steaks. Thank fuck for kale, man. Crunchy raw vegetable rolls sound so good.
posted by Katemonkey at 1:32 AM on July 26, 2014 [2 favorites]


Plus, how great was Ming-Hua actually cutting glass with ice? Seriously, I'm beginning to think that Korra should just go with Team Zaheer to learn even more kickass bending techniques.

The water bending creativity has risen to a new level with Ming-Hua, which I reckon, when your arms and hands are water, you start thinking in all sorts of new directions. Is it too soon to claim that she's the most powerful water bender alive at the moment? (Could old Katara kick her butt?)

I agree that Ai Wei immediately began to crystallize as our traitor, particularly during the interrogations of the guards. I always thought his nose ring and chain to earring combo was suspicious. It might just be me, but I feel like that little vase has something to do with the origin of the Red Lotus, as in, it came from a location where it all started. Or, it could just exist as a simple device to allow Ai Wei to help notice that Team Avatar was on to him. I just thought its design was a bit more complicated than something so simply cast aside as a minor plot device. I could be crazy!

My new favorite conspiracy is that Opal was converted to the Red Lotus cause by Ai Wei. This will be revealed when Korra makes her way to the Northern Air Temple. I base this entirely on her mostly plain expressionless behavior for 80% of the time we see her. She's too sweet and nice not to have something hidden and not remain a main character.

I loved Pabu's brief role in the spotting of the Red Lotus approaching Korra's house.

I was surprised that the darts were so effective against Korra, too. I half expected the Avatar state to kick on in some form of anti-poison reaction and half the guest house to explode as Avatar State Korra counter attacked. The decision to remove her from the fight was especially an interesting one and I thought it was a good one. I loved Bolin's admiration at the lava bending and now want to see Zaheer fight Tenzin in an air bender duel. The manner in which Suyin perforated Zaheer's glider was great, another instance of the creativity (there's that word again) that the animators/directors bring to the show.

Holy Bending P'Li! (I think that covers it)

I want to send the other member of the Track Team, Benjamin Wynn (I think?) a thank you note for putting a clink/clank in the metal armor that the Zhaofu guards was wearing when he stepped into the room to report on the update for the search for Ai Wei. Jeremy Zuckerman's scoring for Book 3 continues to rock. I'm really enjoying the Red Lotus battle theme.
posted by Atreides at 8:21 AM on July 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


Bolin is confirmed (as if it were necessary) as the Sokka of this group. He did some good earthbendng before he took out P'li also.

Always listen to Pabu. ALWAYS.

Varrick proved useful! Also: poor Zhu Li. Girl you need a better job than rubbing that guy's feet.

It's nice to see Zaheer's group get defeated, since they made such mincemeat of all their opponents so far. Makes the fights more exciting.

Also, Lin/Suyin tension remains, despite Lin's weird smiling bliss (that smile gave me shudders) after her acupuncture session. Lin, having Suyin interrogated, dude, that's Not OK. Serves you right that she went under your nose to aid the Avatar.

Ai Wei was always creepy. Who wants to be around a guy who always knows if you're telling the truth? Bet he's fun at parties.

Also, this episode was on Amazon this morning, along with all the others, finally. Now I don't have to use other means (or god help me, the glitchy, ad-filled version on the Nick site) to see it. I'm glad that they caught on that for those of us without cable, they should just shut up and take our money already.
posted by emjaybee at 11:24 AM on July 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


Also thanks to Tumblr we have an amazing image of the Red Lotus as a punk band with Ming-Hua on drums.
posted by emjaybee at 11:44 AM on July 26, 2014 [4 favorites]


According to the official tumblr, new episodes are going to be released at noon Eastern (USA) on Fridays on nick.com, and presumably other places later than that.
posted by Small Dollar at 3:12 PM on July 26, 2014 [2 favorites]


Also, this episode was on Amazon this morning, along with all the others, finally. Now I don't have to use other means (or god help me, the glitchy, ad-filled version on the Nick site) to see it. I'm glad that they caught on that for those of us without cable, they should just shut up and take our money already.

I see it under my Amazon list of episodes (I have the Season Pass) and it's kind of weird. I've been used to waiting a couple weeks to see episodes pop up and in one night, BOOM, there they all are. I can watch last night's episode again....within less than 24 hours. Awesome wonderful!

Ai Wei was always creepy. Who wants to be around a guy who always knows if you're telling the truth? Bet he's fun at parties.

True, but at least you get to hold the definitive Truth or Dare games.

Also, Lin/Suyin tension remains, despite Lin's weird smiling bliss (that smile gave me shudders) after her acupuncture session. Lin, having Suyin interrogated, dude, that's Not OK. Serves you right that she went under your nose to aid the Avatar.


I definitely appreciated this rise in tension between the sisters. It seems the spell of happy sisterhood broke the second the Red Lotus appeared. Perhaps because Lin realized her current mission, because she's a police bad ass, and Suyin was officially getting in the way of her doing her job again. Old times ain't long forgotten!
posted by Atreides at 6:07 PM on July 26, 2014




For some reason I don't trust Suyin. I think she and Aiwei are both helping Zaheer.
posted by Pendragon at 8:27 AM on July 29, 2014


I'm pretty sure they mean "If you have seen future episodes, please don't talk about them in discussions of previous episodes." If conjecture about a future episode is off limits, I'll definitely apologize. If referencing an easily accessed trailer (and linking to it), put out by the creators to tease the next episode, to encourage people to watch it, I'll also apologize. I can resoundingly state that I have not seen any future episodes.

If it's about using the term Red Lotus, which is predominantly everywhere in Korra fandom/professional reviews, even in places that are all about no future spoilers from future episodes, I can go back to the "Zaheer and Company" shorthand I've used in the past.

I'm really scratching my head as to what level of impenetrable fog you're wanting with regard to discussions about the show. A very strong element of discussing events that have happened is often based on what they might portend. Again, the only thing I can honestly think of is the linked official trailer which allows for speculation on future events, and the trailer basically is nothing more outrageous than something that Nickelodeon might play right after the credits. I'll be happy to request a Mod to delete my comment regarding as such, though, it's certainly not really any more spoiler-y if they ran the thing at the end of the credits on the tv channel.
posted by Atreides at 11:06 AM on July 29, 2014


I see no problem with the discussion, Atreides.
posted by Pendragon at 12:04 PM on July 29, 2014


[Folks, please stick to discussing the current episode. Forward-looking material, especially non-official stuff like screengrabs, is too close to spoileresque material to be appropriate in a non-spoiler thread. ]
posted by restless_nomad at 12:11 PM on July 29, 2014 [2 favorites]


Here's a link to an article on the best ways to legally catch the online episodes this Friday and in the future. DiMartino, who shared the story, also shared:

Here’s a good article that lists the viewing options for Legend of Korra as it currently stands. Unfortunately, it’s not available on iTunes at the moment. Episodes will be available on Nick.com at 12 PM eastern every Friday, starting this Friday, Aug 1st (the other outlets should be available shortly thereafter, with Hulu being a couple weeks behind the others). One episode per week, until Aug. 22nd, when the 2-part finale will be released. Thanks for sticking with the show! Some of the best episodes are yet to come.
posted by Atreides at 6:20 AM on July 30, 2014


I also re-watched the episode last night and noticed the blades/metal daggers that Suyin threw at Zaheer's glider were actually her necklace. That continues her practice of having both decorative and lethal jewelry from her teenage rebellious years.

Also, Korra was using a metal cable setup similar to the one used by Lin 30 years ago, with the reels situated on her waist. Short of some kind of harness, it's the easiest way to wear them instead of on the back like RCPD and present day Lin.

For some reason I don't trust Suyin. I think she and Aiwei are both helping Zaheer.

Incidentally, when Team Avatar was searching Aiwei's place, Bolin becomes fixated on a small vase on Aiwei's shelf. He pretty much says, "It's like a desert on the surface." I wouldn't be surprised if that's the writers tipping us off that the search for Aiwei will lead us to the desert. WHERE....Suyin hung out as a teenager, as we know from the Metal Clan episode. During her wandering the world phase, she spent time with Sandbenders. So there' definitely could be a connection between her and Aiwei with Zaheer, or, it could just be where they met.

I did notice during the interrogation scene, everyone who is interrogated answered looking straight forward. Suyin, however, glanced off to the side, a behavior in interrogations some construe as to indicate lying. This would also definitely be plausible, as if she's in cohorts with Aiwei, he definitely would not reveal the lie.

I did like that Asami, though apparently unable to do anything to fight Team Zaheer, never ran off and hid during the fight. She's right behind the barricade with Mako and Bolin. Which reminds me of another point, when we open up the episode with Korra sparring with Suyin's son, Mako and Asami walk up with no visible appearance of awkwardness. I think it's safe to say that Mako has overcome that problem from the start of the season.
posted by Atreides at 6:30 AM on July 30, 2014


Went back and rewatched The Earth Queen just so I could see Asami fight. I wish we had spent more time with the Earth Queen's Mad Max enemies. The leader was really committed to his bandit aesthetic.

I am torn on Su Yin. On one hand, if Lin is your older sister, you kind of have to have a distaste for authority if you want to not be run over by her. On the other hand, Su still hasn't really apologized for scarring her sister's face or driving a getaway car in a robbery. Even if she and Toph worked it out (and now I wonder about that too) she really did owe Lin an apology, and we never saw that happen.

But then, her kids don't seem to be scarred, so she is doing some things right.

(my son piped up while watching the twin boys hurl metal disks at each other "That would really hurt if it hit you!" and I agreed. I don't see how a sport like that wouldn't eventually be lethal to someone; those two have been lucky so far though. Seems like the damage would be worse than being hit by an earth disk, unless it was a really light metal, maybe)
posted by emjaybee at 10:10 AM on July 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


As I've been thinking about the fight over the last few days, a couple of things have started to bug me:

* Combustion-bending that isn't line of sight just feels like cheating to me. It's already a powerful attack as it is.

* No earthbending attacks against the island beyond tossing small to midsize rocks? Why not move the earth beneath the moat or even the island? OK, Ghazan might have countered or lavafied or something, but show it, that's something any of the half-dozen+ earthbenders present could have tried.

* Most of all: no lightning from Mako? He's done the lightning thing for small-time street thugs and big-badies like Amon. Kindof seems like it'd be an intuitive thing to deploy against Ming-Hua in particular. Or possibly even P'li (who may not be as able with its redirection as she is with fire attacks).

Bolin is confirmed (as if it were necessary) as the Sokka of this group.

I wish he were written with as many dimensions as Sokka had. I sometimes feel like the writers thought "OK, he's the Sokka of the group... but we'll give him bending, and to make up for that, we'll make him really dumb. But he'll be able to do good things on accident and when the plot needs him to!"

Particularly this time I have trouble believing he wouldn't be more attentive to / curious about Pabu's strange middle-of-the-night behavior than he was.

OK, enough crankyfan for one night.
posted by weston at 10:59 PM on July 30, 2014


I am torn on Su Yin. On one hand, if Lin is your older sister, you kind of have to have a distaste for authority if you want to not be run over by her. On the other hand, Su still hasn't really apologized for scarring her sister's face or driving a getaway car in a robbery. Even if she and Toph worked it out (and now I wonder about that too) she really did owe Lin an apology, and we never saw that happen.

I didn't realize this until you pointed it out. Now I wonder if she's trapped Toph in some kind of wooden cage somewhere. She's on my list until I see a clear apology!

(my son piped up while watching the twin boys hurl metal disks at each other "That would really hurt if it hit you!" and I agreed. I don't see how a sport like that wouldn't eventually be lethal to someone; those two have been lucky so far though. Seems like the damage would be worse than being hit by an earth disk, unless it was a really light metal, maybe)


I just re-watched The Blind Bandit, the Toph introductory episode, which had competitive earth bending. I immediately thought of it when we learned about pro-bending as being a proto-pro bending type thing. In that competition, they're hurling boulders and all sorts of stone at fast speeds at each other. While I think the metal disc game isn't unique in its danger, comparatively, it definitely gotta hurt like heck if you get hit by it. It's definitely as lethal as the competitive earth bending.

In general, any type of sparring situation can immediately cross into lethal, if you think about it, in the bending world, though less so with air and water, depending on how they're used.


* No earthbending attacks against the island beyond tossing small to midsize rocks? Why not move the earth beneath the moat or even the island? OK, Ghazan might have countered or lavafied or something, but show it, that's something any of the half-dozen+ earthbenders present could have tried.


Perhaps it was thought any major attacks might threaten the virtually unconscious and paralyzed Korra? Seem might go for the Mako lightning attack.

I really think that rather than say Bolin is Sokka, it's a better analysis to say that Bolin AND Mako are Sokka - they split him in half, gave his serious and cynical side to Mako and his comedic elements to Bolin.

Also, when Zaheer got pulled out of the group of metal benders off to the side, one of the guards was a fire bender. WHAT? Is this a case of Suyin attracting all types of people to Zhao Fu, even different type of benders? And is the Metal Clan designation given to all residents or just metal benders?

* Combustion-bending that isn't line of sight just feels like cheating to me. It's already a powerful attack as it is.


I'm still coming to grips with it. It's obviously related to fire bending, and I'm trying to remember if fire benders can bend their fire at all? I know that in non-attacks, we've seen fire bent, and really controlled like water, in the ATLA series - be it the street performer with his dragons display or Aang creating a ring of fire that burned Katara....whoa. Never made that connection before. Heh. So I suppose it's logically acceptable for the combustion bending to turn out of light of sight with regard as a fire bending skill, but it's kinda crazy.
posted by Atreides at 7:55 AM on July 31, 2014 [1 favorite]


FYI, friends, folks and countrypeoples, Episode 9 - The Stakeout is currently available to watch on Nick.com and Amazon Instant Video, but not on Google Play yet. Nor is it on Hulu (or Hulu Plus), but then, none of the Book 3 episodes are on Hulu, either.

As soon as I get the chance to watch it (it may be not until tonight) I'll toss a post up, but anyone else is certainly free to do so if they want to get to discussing the newest episode sooner!
posted by Atreides at 6:46 AM on August 1, 2014


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