The Legend of Korra: And The Winner Is...   Rewatch 
January 23, 2016 10:44 AM - Season 1, Episode 6 - Subscribe

Korra and the Fire Ferrets ready themselves for the pro-bending championship as an evil threat looms over the arena.

This episode brings in the following:
  • Cabbage Corps exists. They have been in Republic City for 50 years. And they love to sponsor stuff.
  • The armour worn by the metalbending police force is impervious to chi blockers. I'm guessing it's because it's just covering up the necessary bits.
  • Lin and Aang got along together famously.
  • Yes, Tenzin admits that Lin was Pema's "other woman". And Lin tried to throw Pema in jail.
  • Pabu gets his own Fire Ferrets outfit.
  • Not only do the Fire Ferrets have fans, they have fans that dress up like them.
  • Unfortunately, the Wolf Bats have paid off the referees and cheat like cheating things.
  • "These Ferrets aren't just bending the elements, they're bending my mind!"
  • Equalists were hiding in the audience, complete with their shocker gloves hiding in the popcorn. Unfortunately, while the police force's armour protects against chi blocking, it does not protect against electricity.
  • The Wolf Bats might have won the championship, but they've now lost their bending.
  • Bolin speaks fire ferret. (Yes, really.)
  • Amon played Lin's ego and destroyed the Arena.
posted by Katemonkey (7 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Thank God, something happens in this episode. No more relationship nonsense, just some freaking amazing fight scenes. From the minute the Equalists start putting those scarves up onwards, it's just so well scripted and storyboarded and painted and the music and ugh, it all just looks ridiculously good and the pacing is just perfect. The airship, the cables, the shocker gloves, the speeches, Korra's amazing water spout matching with Lin's swinging cable action...god, the entire fight sequence is just freaking beautiful.

And there's so much Lin Beifong! So much! With her metal cables and her snarky asides. Plus, I love hearing more about the whole Lin/Tenzin relationship. Because as much as I love Pema and Tenzin being together, I also love Lin and Tenzin. I love seeing them getting over their long-standing resentments for the Avatar, and I love seeing them work together.

Come on, where's my epic tale of their teenage ridiculous relationship? How long do you think it's been? 15 years? 17? Was Aang alive when they broke up? Did they break up because of Aang's death? Was it because of Tenzin needing to not be the only airbender? Was it because of her work on the force? Give me this story! Give it to me now!

(Also, I would kill for baby Lin hanging out with Uncle Aang. Sure, Tenzin's his little airbender, but Lin's totally his little earthbender of stubbornness. "I can't believe your sweet-tempered father was reincarnated into that girl.")

I love the fact that the Fire Ferrets have fans that wear costumes that look like them. I think Mako missed a trick by not licensing the red scarf - c'mon, buddy, you need money, that's definitely money! And Bolin speaking fire ferret! Adorableness!

So much of this is just such a great episode. I honestly just finished it, and I was like "Wait. Is that it? Is it over? What? Seriously?" It goes by so fast, especially compared to the two previous episodes, and seriously, just give me more Lin Beifong swinging on metal cables and I am the happiest woman in the world.
posted by Katemonkey at 10:46 AM on January 23, 2016 [1 favorite]

I forgot that the Mary Sue recap had gifs of Lin.

posted by Katemonkey at 10:51 AM on January 23, 2016

Avatar Team-Up Starring: Spider-Lin and Korraverine! I love this fight, it's one of my favorites in the series. Kick-ass bending, excellent use of setting/space, and has the narrative purpose of not just making the Equalists even badder badasses but establishing a great female friendship/mentorship.

I'm not as down on last episode as some, but the contrast between the last and this episode makes it so very, very clear how much more mileage LOK gets out of its adult cast than Mako and Bolin. Which is not going to change, really.

I love the throwaway detail that Aang and Lin got along well -- I can see Aang's easygoing but responsible nature being a balm to Lin compared to her fraught relationship with her blood family that we see in s3 and 4.

As for why Tenzin and Lin broke up I suspect Tenzin's need to raise a family and produce more airbenders was a factor -- even if Lin wanted kids, it's a lot of pressure to have them knowing at least one has to be an airbender, and she's obviously dedicated to her career. I like this theory because it makes sense but also hate it because if it's true it makes Pema's hilarious but kind of awful speech about the "wrong woman" less hilarious and very awful.

I'm disappointed one of the Fire Ferret cosplayers wasn't an Equalist.
posted by bettafish at 1:39 PM on January 23, 2016

Actually, something else I thought of.

Who was the first person to start swinging from cables?

I don't think it was Toph, because being up in the air would not be her idea of fun, but it had to be a metalbender on the force. Could it have been Lin?

Oh man, I bet it was. I bet she picked up metalbending as a kid, and then started playing with cables, and then wanted to fly with Aang and started swinging around and there are still holes in the buildings on Air Temple Island where she latched on with those cables and oh, there goes my heart.
posted by Katemonkey at 1:06 AM on January 25, 2016 [4 favorites]

Unfortunately, the Wolf Bats have paid off the referees and cheat like cheating things.

I'm interested to see if this aspect is followed up in future episodes. I think there's a larger conspiracy, possibly including Tarrlok:
  1. Tarrlok seems to imply his support for the Probending final is pending Lin putting her name/safety on the line - "Are you saying that you will personally take responsibility for the safety of the spectators in the arena? "
  2. The game is fixed, with even the announcer mentioned it a few times - but I'm not 100% sure the Wolf Bats paid their own way, which could be part of the set-up
  3. The Fire Ferrets lose, the Equalists strike and shock the Fire Ferrets, only to tow them out of the water and tie them up, out of sight of the audience
  4. Amon seems to have a larger plan for when to "clense" Korra of her "impurity"
Tarrlock is up to something, either in connection with Amon, or looking to use bender/non-bender unrest to his advantage. The Wolf Bats look like unwitting props in this episode, and I don't know how far they can get on their annual winnings. I looked on the Avatar wikia, but I didn't see any mention of White Falls as a company, so I'm guessing it's just a location? So their sponsor is not being flashy, unlike Hiroshi Sato and Future Industries, or the Cabbage Corps (!!).
posted by filthy light thief at 7:29 AM on January 25, 2016

I have a feeling that most of the probending teams aren't sponsored, and that the Future Industries sponsorship is a fairly new thing. So most of them will be locale-based rather than sponsor-based.

It'd be like if there was...I don't know. The Disney Angels playing against the New York Mets.

It's only because the Fire Ferrets are so poor that sponsorship even becomes an issue. And woo, boy, there's a lot of classism in probending to unpick there. Really, they should be having sponsorship opportunities right and left (Official Fire Ferret Mako scarves! Korra's Authentic Seaweed Noodles - just like the Southern Water Tribe! TOY PABUS.), but it doesn't even seem to come up.

Which makes me think that the idea of sponsorship just isn't coming up for the other teams. That they don't need sponsorship, because they have plenty of money already. God knows Tahno acts like it.
posted by Katemonkey at 2:35 AM on January 27, 2016 [1 favorite]

The fire ferret is the best. And Bolin speaking fire ferretese reminds me of when Aang thought he could understand Momo, but was just sleep deprived.

I'm pretty sure the Wolf Bats knew the officials were paid off. They were cheating immediately and didn't seem surprised when they weren't called on it.

So Tenzin gave up Lin in order to have a family and propogate the Air benders. Duty before love? It sounds like it turned out OK for all three of them in the end, so far. But that would be a hard decision.

I am very glad to see Lin be so capable and amazing and also to finally help Korra instead of just be mad at her. Those cables are fantastic. I was disappointed that the battle at the end didn't produce any progress on the Amon front, but it did bring Korra and Lin together a little bit.

I agree that Tarrlok was wayyyyy too eager to change his vote once Lin showed up. (And are all the other members of that committee just his rubber stamps?)
posted by jillithd at 6:45 AM on March 27, 2016 [1 favorite]

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