We spend the most time with Korra who’s torn between the Southern and Northern water tribes, both of whom wish her to side with them. Korra sticks to her Uncles side despite her parent’s warnings and tries to use muscle and sheer will to become the Avatar she’s always wished to be. Instead, considering its only episode three, everything begins to fall apart with the tribes whispering about wars and retaliation. It’s interesting to get a sense of politics in a world that only thrives when there is unity. If their policies were to fall apart different nations would side with certain tribes which could result in a disastrous standoff.
However, despite the show being driven by Korra’s story and her striving to achieve Avatar status not only in power but respect, the story is this episode belongs to Tenzin and his siblings. Bumi and Kya in premiering episodes decided to tag along for some misadventures with Tenzin and his wife and kids and instead of some sweet reconciliation, childhood bitterness seeps through. Despite the love we had for the character, Aang apparently wasn’t always the perfect father, at least in Bumi and Kya’s eyes. They saw him as a father who was doing his best but didn’t always do well enough, focusing more attention on Tenzin and his air bending and the world at large that would always require the Avatars assistance. Tenzin on the other hand idolized his father and saw the man in which he wished to grow up to be and now with a runaway daughter, is afraid he hasn’t lived up to his father’s standards.
It’s an interesting storytelling choice to take because like Tenzin, we loved Aang. He was the protagonist in the three series of Avatar: The Last Airbender and the idea, I’m sure to some, that Aang could have possibly discredited two of his children due to their lack of power is sacrilege. He was a peace loving monk who never wanted to be the Avatar in the first place and had to grow into it. So here the show runners have presented this idea that even the most powerful can screw up their children, even the most well-intentioned ones.
The episode ends with him and his siblings parting ways after arguing about their dimly shaded shared resentment of the other and Tenzin continues to search for his daughter.
Meanwhile Korra has just reconciled with her parents, admitting that she was wrong and is simply lost amidst her duties just as he Uncle comes in to arrest them in front of her on charges of attempted kidnapping.
We all know he’s evil-or will turn out to be-but at least this will prove for some satisfying drama.
The only complaint I could mention is the lack of focus on Mako and Bolin’s involvement in Korra’s life. We have to believe they’d follow her into trouble and to do so there needs to be character development beyond brooding boyfriend and goofy sidekick.
Can’t wait for the continuation of this plot next week in part two.