[Review] Legend of Korra episode 5 – The Spirit of Competition

Guys, I think a sadistic multi-shipper wrote this episode.

I was a little worried that I’d have to make two posts like last time to separate my thoughts on the Amon storyline and my shipping feels, but there was not a single mention of Amon this week, just plenty of pro-bending, Makorra, Borra, and even some material for Tahnorra. I know non-shippers might be a bit annoyed, but I’m glad that they did this because now no one can say things like “Oh please, the relationships aren’t even the real plot.” Uh, okay, but considering that here’s an entire episode dedicated to just their relationships…

(If you haven’t seen the episode yet, LEAVE NOW, because spoilers are a-comin’.)

Things moved fast. Like, exponentially faster than the last episode. There were a couple leaks out during the week, and we end up seeing them one after another, bam-bam-bam, right in the beginning. Before we know it, Korra’s confessed her feelings, Mako’s rejected her, she decides she’d like to go out and have some fun with Bolin, then comes “Admit it, you like me,” then the BIG KISS (which was not in the context we had hoped), then a steamroll plow toward the ending with everyone deciding that they can still be friends despite everything.

Seriously, wow. Just about everything that we’d been waiting for regarding their relationships happened, leaving us with this weird shipping void in our hearts that cries, “what else is left?!” And… I don’t know. Mako and Korra have openly said that they’ll still be friends, and even Bolin told Korra that it’s all good, so even though no one hates each other, it’s hard to say how likely it is that they’ll try anything more after the big relationship mess. I guess we’ll just have to wait.

What I really like about this episode is how you can like all three of the Fire Ferrets no matter your ship and no matter their screw-ups. Bolin is easily the most likeable character with his direct, unwavering feelings for Korra. How sorry did you feel for him when he saw Mako and Korra kiss? And when he starts bawling like a baby, so unexpected of a tough-looking, lady’s-man kind of guy? Mako, though kind of a d-bag for wanting two ladies at once, does make up for it a little in the gentle way he treated Bolin after Bolin runs off crying. I saw a real brotherly moment when he carried Bolin over his shoulder for their pro-bending match because it seems like something he’s done many, many times when Bolin couldn’t get himself together. Finally, what about Korra, who’s resorted to asking for love advice from two little girls, then got shot down when she finally got the courage to confess her feelings? To be fair, we should remind ourselves that it wasn’t right for her to get Bolin’s hopes up when she knew she didn’t feel that way about him, but I have to admit that I convinced myself to overlook it while watching because of the episode made me feel so sympathetic for her. And The Kiss that Led to Nothing… it was a pretty bad move to make, but instead of being disgusted, I still just felt sorry for Korra, who’s clearly having a hard time figuring out how to deal with her emotions. I think Bryke has done a wonderful job in placing us in the characters’ shoes.

A final note: I would have felt sorry for Asami for dating a guy who’s also interested in another girl if not for this.

This is right after Korra thanks Asami (props to her for being able to talk to her crush’s girlfriend so cheerfully!) for the Satos’s sponsorship of the Fire Ferrets, without which they couldn’t have played in the tournament. I dunno about you, but that doesn’t look like the face of someone who’s proud to selflessly help a sports team go for their dreams; it looks like the face of someone who’s guilty of whatever reason they sponsored in the first place. For all we know, Asami could just be directly involved in one of her dad’s plans, but no matter who’s to blame, this looks like something bad.


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