The Legend of Korra: Out of the Past   Rewatch 
February 13, 2016 12:07 PM - Season 1, Episode 9 - Subscribe

Korra attempts to understand her cryptic visions, while Tenzin and Beifong lead a search for Equalist hostages.

This episode brings in the following:
  • For a rather industrialised city, the mountains around Republic City seem pretty...empty.
  • Meelo on occasion sleeps in his parents' bed and answers the phone.
  • Lin is a minimialist when it comes to interior decoration. But has nice pajamas.
  • Rather than unlocking prison doors, Lin will just pull doors open.
  • Bolin has a shy bladder, even around his brother.
  • Republic City fashion uses metal zippers for flies on trousers. The things Lin notices.
  • There are plenty of tunnels under Republic City. Equalists are hiding out there. Which ties in with Sato's underground factory.
  • Bolin probably isn't the best person to tell you your boyfriend kissed someone else. Sorry, Asami.
  • Lin can open giant locked doors with the power of metal bending.
  • In the tunnels, the Equalists have made some neat trams to get everything around.
  • There are now a large number of former metalbenders.
  • Tarrlok is Yakone's son. That's how he learned bloodbending.
  • Amon is almost completely impervious to Tarrlok's bloodbending.
  • So naturally, now Tarrlok has no bending.
  • Korra isn't just brute strength. She's got some smarts when it comes to avoiding electric shock.
  • But ice-sledding down a mountain? A little less adept. Luckily, she has a polar bear dog that goes looking for her.
FLAAAAAAAAAASHBAAAAAAAAAAAAACK TIIIIIIIIME:
  • Even at 40, Aang is still Twinkletoes.
  • Aang doesn't normally get involved with Republic City Police matters.
  • Yakone was repeatedly arrested, but the charges never held. He's been ruling the underworld through blood bending at will, rather than under the full moon.
  • The Council is made up of someone from the Earth Kingdom, someone from the Fire Nation, SOKKA, an Air Acolyte (not Aang), and someone from what must be the Northern Water Tribe.
  • Sokka still likes to talk. And mentions his trusty boomerang.
  • Rather than retractable soles like her daughter wears, Toph just has little steel strips over her arches.
  • Instead of Satomobiles, they had carriages pulled by bird-creatures of some sort.
  • Aang invokes the Avatar State and takes away Yakone's bending.
In "I've heard that voice before", we have:
  • Aang is D.B. Sweeney, who spent some time in a Harsh Realm, saw some Fire in the Sky, and had some Strange Luck.
  • Toph is voiced by Kate Higgins, a steady voice actor, especially in anime dubs, and might be best known for being Ami in Sailor Moon.
  • Sokka is Chris Hardwick, CEO of The Nerdist (and speaking of The Nerdist - Janet Varney does the voice that says "Now entering/leaving Nerdist.com" on all the podcasts.)
  • And that gravelly evil voice of Yakone was, of course, the gravelly evil voice of Clancy Brown, who was also Long Feng of the Dai Li in Book 2 of The Last Airbender (start with City of Walls and Secrets and then just keep going).
posted by Katemonkey (7 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Lin pulling on her outfit is so cool. Just the way the bodice flows over and locks, and the sleeves are separate, and damn, just amazing. And then she keeps on just opening doors and sonic sensing everything and how much Lin Beifong do I need in my life? ALL the Beifong.

I could've done without Mako trying to be all "Korra needs me to protect her she is in trouble oh no I am worried", but he's young and stupid. I just roll my eyes at their teenage issues. I secretly wish that Asami would also roll her eyes, but, y'know, teenagers.

Then we get our flashback! And oh my god, look at these unbelievably attractive people! Look at Aang and Toph and Sokka! Oh my God, Sokka! Why don't I have my Adventures of Sokka! Sokka and his "trusty boomerang" and all his fun? Man, the lack of Sokka in Korra is one of the major bummers for me. And the lack of him in the comics too. At least the next storyline in the comics is going to be all Water Tribe all the time.

I mean, there's a lot to be said about the flashback, about Yakone and how Aang has to do something that he must have not have done since he was 13 and jeez, how must that have felt? What about how the only people who seemed to know how to bloodbend were Katara and Hama, and Hama definitely must have been dead by then - what does Yakone's bloodbending mean for Katara, on Air Temple Island, waiting to hear what happened during the trial, and what happens?

Ugh, all my thoughts. They go nuts over how deep and awesome everything is.
posted by Katemonkey at 12:08 PM on February 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


Everything Lin this episode! Probably my favorite bit for her is the really powerful moment with her officers in the cell where just for a few seconds she lets her grief, regret and compassion show on her face. She's tied with Korra for my favorite character of season one, I think.

The flashback – Sokka is perfect. He's so competent and leaderly and he looks exactly like his dad and of course even with all that he's still telling rambling anecdotes about his boomerang. Of course. Toph is fine, though not as well-realized. Katara's absence is… a strange absence considering the context, which I was willing to overlook the first time I saw the show but now seems like a warning of problems to come with the way her legacy is handled in Korra.

Aang seems really bland, even considering the darker context. Plus Toph, Katara, Sokka and Zuko all look consistent from their earliest to last chronological appearances, but Aang has changed dramatically and it makes me sad. One of the reasons Aang means so much to me is that he's an American fantasy protagonist who's not just an Asian kid, but specifically a round-faced, flat-nosed, big-eared Asian kid with a sweet, playful nature who is the world-saving hero, and not sidekick material. Obviously his era has passed and I love Korra, but every time he makes a flashback appearance he's like Blandy McSquarejaw with a side of angry Abe Lincoln (?!) and I am disappoint.

One thing the flashback does really, really well is establish how intimidating Yakone and Tarrlok's bloodbending is, even moreso than last episode's climax. Which means that when Amon powers through Tarrlok's bending and then easily takes him down, he's become an order of magnitude more terrifying. Korra's face when she sees him! I feel you, Korra.
posted by bettafish at 3:46 PM on February 13, 2016 [3 favorites]


There are plenty of tunnels under Republic City.

Given earthbenders, I'd be surprised if the city wasn't honeycombed with tunnels.

The Council: so we see it did have non-bender representation in its early years, but over the decades, it must have just seemed easier to appoint benders. Because that can't go horribly wrong, right?

Bloodbending: I wonder- either Hama taught other people, or somebody figured out our from something Katara said, because I don't see her teaching anyone. I think the former is more likely.
posted by happyroach at 4:22 PM on February 13, 2016


Rather than unlocking prison doors, Lin will just pull doors open.

Don't forget - she's outside the law! now


Yakone was repeatedly arrested, but the charges never held. He's been ruling the underworld through blood bending at will, rather than under the full moon.

It's weirder than that:
Defense attorney: The prosecution's entire case is built upon the make-believe notion that my client is able to bloodbend at will, at any time on any day. I remind the council that bloodbending is an incredibly rare skill and it can only be performed during a full moon. Yet, the witnesses will claim that my client used bloodbending at every other time except during a full moon. It would be a mockery of justice to convict a man of a crime that is impossible to commit.
So he can't bend during a full moon? What the what?


Oh my God, Sokka! Why don't I have my Adventures of Sokka! Sokka and his "trusty boomerang" and all his fun? Man, the lack of Sokka in Korra is one of the major bummers for me.

I agree. I think Bolin is supposed to fill some of that mix of kooky, cocky, and creative problem solving, but it's just not the same.


The Council: so we see it did have non-bender representation in its early years, but over the decades, it must have just seemed easier to appoint benders. Because that can't go horribly wrong, right?

Alternative possibility: The Council started off with noble aims of being inclusive, but benders have risen to the tops of their professions and social circles because of their abilities, so once Team Avatar left their posts, there were few to no non-benders who held as much sway as the current Council.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:18 PM on February 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


So he can't bend during a full moon? What the what?

I always thought that he could, he just didn't to fuck with people, and provide exactly this defense.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 5:00 PM on February 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


Somehow no one questions whether Tarrlok's chosen appointee should continue leading the police as they hunt for Tarrlok?

When Aang took Yakone's bending I was expecting the same fireworks as in the Last Airbender finale. Instead it looks... just like when Amon does it? Interesting.
posted by mbrubeck at 4:36 PM on February 21, 2016


Oh, my heart, there was Sokka! Being all clever and smart and officious and with a jaw and cheekbones that could cut glass. *sigh* I miss the Gaang.

Amon goes and takes Tarrlok's bending. I wonder if he was on Amon's list before we knew he was a blood bender.
posted by jillithd at 6:02 PM on April 1, 2016


« Older Podcast: The Adventure Zone: E...   |  Grimm: Star-Crossed... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments