Legend of Korra, “The Sting”

Tonight’s episode of “Legend of Korra,” entitled “The Sting,” is a slow burn of sorts. After the massive cliffhanger last week, which saw Korra dragged into the depths of the ocean by a massive dark spirit, the first half of this episode comes off as an inbetween-episode, merely biding time until Korra’s fate is revealed so as to build suspense around her disappearance…but what transpires over the course of the episode will ultimately turn the direction of the narrative on it’s head. Like it’s title might suggest, the episode follows Mako still investigating the recent bombings, which have now spread to seas (Varrick’s ships are being attacked by what is believed to be Northern Water Tribe supporters). So he sets up a sting operation, borrowing one of Varrick’s Cargo ships with Asami and a few local gangsters so as to ambush any potential saboteurs, only to discover that the gangsters have been paid off to keep Mako and Asami distracted while Asami’s last Future Industries warehouses is robbed, leaving her business ruined (and prompting her to kiss Mako in a moment of weakness, having learned that he and Korra had broken up).
Meanwhile Bolin is becoming a movie star in Varrick’s Nuktuk film serials. Now this plot line may seem extraneous, after all what does Bolin becoming a movie star have anything to do with industrial espionage and civil wars? Well, it is actually though this loose plot thread that fan conceived notions comes crashing down. While visiting the set of his brothers latest film, Mako witnesses the pyrotechnics used during shooting…as well as the device used to control them, identical to one Mako retrieved from the scene of the first bombing, and immediately thereafter Mako finds Asmai selling her company to Varrick. The lovable eccentric Howard Hughes of the avatar world-The fan favorite I’ve been raving about for weeks-turns out to be a corrupt war profiteer. This revelation brings thoughts of his role throughout the season. The fact that he’s essentially had his voice in the ears of so many characters: the Southern Water Tribe (the rebellion was his idea), gently nudging the Avatar towards taking action against her uncle, accepting Asami’s arms manufacturing with open arms, and turning Bolin into a citywide symbol of support for the War effort though his line of films. How far back do his schemes go? Could it be that he is true antagonist this season, with Unalaq merely being another piece on Varrick’s board? However far the writers take this development, I’m am thoroughly riveted by this plot twist.
The episode also features a distinct absence of it’s titular character, Korra. Declared dead by Eska to their Father in the North Pole spirit forest, Korra is not seen or heard from until the final scene of episode, where she is found by Fire temple acolytes with no recollection of how she got there or who she is, a development not nearly as profound as Varrick’s true nature, but still interesting nonetheless. The amnesia plot device could easily degrade into plot contrivance depending on how long they drag it out for, either way I forsee it resulting in a moment of literal self-discovery that will hopefully show Korra the error of her bullheaded ways. Predictable, yes, but needed. However this is only speculation on my part, and the writers have proven this very episode that there are still surprises to be had in this show.
All in all a great development of the characters, completely shifting the status quo of the season. One final note, the animation was particularly well done tonight, as the quality of the animation has been fluctuating quite a bit this seasons. That being said, I can’t wait for next week.

One comment

  1. Pingback: LoK The Sting | AoPS Homework Help

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