Legend of Korra: Book 3, Episode 9, “The Stakeout.”

Korra literally stepped into the role of the fan base this episode when Zaheer sat down and said, “Ask me anything you want…” As a result, we got the low down on the Red Lotus Society. Incidentally, it appears the actual Red Turban Rebellion may have inspired some of this season’s storyline. It involves a break off from a White Lotus Society which tried to bring down the ruling government in the 14th Century. I give Matt Patches creds for bringing that up (well, mentioning it in a podcast – it may have come from another Korra fan).

“Anarchy, Anarchy, I don’t know what it means but I like it!” – Legend of Ricky Bobby.

It’s strange that the Red Lotus included the democratically elected government of the United Republic of Nations in with the Earth Queen, based on the language of oppressed masses and having freedom. But generally, they’re saying that everything as is, is unacceptable, the entirety of all current systems must be burned to the ground because some how, this will result in a better world. Like good traditional Avatar enemies, there’s an inch of “Well, that isn’t too outrageous…” It also echoes Amon’s call for Equality from Book 1.

So some observations…Aiwei used “We” when referring to Zaheer’s actions “outing” him and others. I think again, this could further indicate Suyin is part of the Red Lotus, particularly because she’s already voiced some anti-Earth Queen/Government creed. However, also from the conversation, I don’t think there was any established trap that Suyin helped construct by sending Korra after Aiwei. There could have an inkling that Team Avatar would run into the Red Lotus, but I don’t think it was all by design. Another plot point, Zaheer refers to Aiwei as a loose end and throws him into the valley/fog of lost souls (I am ZHAO THE CONQUEROR!). By eliminating Aiwei, particularly after Aiwei had already lead Korra to him, Zaheer is basically saying that Aiwei’s presence could imperial other plans or persons. This might have been done to keep Aiwei from being caught and confessing to Suyin’s involvement. What else, based on what we know of Aiwei’s role, could his continued existence threatened?

It was fun, it’s always fun, going back to an ATLA location. The spirits were everywhere, interestingly, though I’m not so sure they easily telegraphed that Aiwei or the Spirit World was nearby. They have been present everywhere, but Ba Sing Se for the most part. I think the writers could have done something a little better there to achieve that goal of the spirit presence.

Asami has a bigger role again than just sitting tight or sitting at the dinner table. She’s sitting across from Bolin and routinely kicking his butt in Pai Sho. No offense to Bolin, but I would love to see the show reveal her skill at strategy against someone of a higher playing level (dare I say, intelligence…?). It didn’t help me, as it appeared I adopted a more Bolin style at chess. Doh.

I do think the writers have pretty much decided that in a battle involving benders, Asami isn’t a player. I really want to see her lay out a bender, even if it means really applying the Chi Blocker glove. (Wouldn’t it make sense for a father who lost his wife to a bender to have his daughter trained in chi blocking?!) Like someone mentioned in the last post, I loved seeing her kick biker gang butt. I want more Asami kicking butt scenes!

‘He was right, I do have terrible drinks.“

I didn’t mind the movers fans, though I thought it was kind of predictable the moment Bolin said they looked like bounty hunters. Avatar loves to play against expectations. It’s an Avatar thing. I thought the doll and fan excitement was more of a loving poke than a spiteful prod. I wonder if Bolin will ever get back into movers?

I did like the surprise Earth Kingdom captured them twist at the end. The end of this episode has pretty much laid down the groundwork of a season finale surrounding Ba Sing Se. Red Lotus sparking a popular uprising in the poorer slums of the city or just an assassination attempt? Given the fact we were given a strong taste of life in the outer ring, I’m thinking the latter. Likewise, our air benders in the North have to return in some form or another, or at least the ones with names, Tenzin, Kai, Jinora, and Bumi, and so on. Given the attachment by Zaheer to the Air Nomad Philosopher/guru, I got to think a Tenzin/Zaheer battle is in the formulation. (And more Zuko – totally getting more Zuko, probably the White Society in general like the end of ATLA).

The fight between the Fire Ferrets and the Red Lotus. We’ve become so accustom to seeing Mako and Bolin handle themselves and their opponents that it was kind of shocking to see how desperate they were in fighting off Ming-Hua and Ghazan. It wasn’t an even battle in the least, and I suppose this helps to console my fan hurt of seeing Zuko go down nearly as easily. One would wonder if it would have been any different if Bolin and Mako had managed to switch it up. I have the fear that it would have probably been very much the same. It’s going to take a posse of our finest heroes to bring down this quartet of anarchists.

I hope to re-watch it again this evening, but for now, dems some of my thoughts!

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