The Legend of Korra Book 3 Episode 4 Review: “In Harm’s Way”
One element in The Legend of Korra that I haven’t exactly mentioned yet, but find to be absolutely incredible, is the action. As a fan of both american and japanese animation or anime, I can say that the latter almost always trumps the former when it comes to memorable action sequences. Fortunately, Legend of Korra takes a page from anime’s handbook when it comes to creating the action sequences. As Zaheer and his allies head to free their fourth and final cohort from an ice prison, “In Harm’s Way” starts off with one of these signature action sequences with Zuko, Eska, Desna and Unalaq fighting against Zaheer and his gang for custody over the prisoner named P’li, who I previously mentioned was a fire bender with the added ability of creating great explosions.
The opening scene of the episode was quite an explosive one indeed, as Zuko and his allies get overwhelmed by the four powerful benders and end up escaping. It is revealed that P’li and Zaheer are romantically involved with one another. I still have no idea as to what their plan is, but we know that it involves tracking down and capturing the Avatar for some unknown purpose.
Back in the Earth Capitol Ba Sing Se, The Earth Queen continues her conniving little games with Korra and her friends. We find out through rumors that The Earth Queen is keeping all the air benders in a secret underground training facility where they are drilled and taught, viciously, how to utilize and expand their new talents. The fact that The Earth Queen seemingly has her citizens under a military regime is an interesting one and building off the last episode’s class system adds another layer of social commentary that I find works well enough. It becomes apparent early on that Kai is a standout air bender but, even though he is a thief, he’s also a kind person at heart and displays compassion towards his weaker prison mates. His behavior eventually gets him thrown into solitary confinement, but not to worry! The Avatar has a plan to break the air benders out!
Using the powers Jinora discovered during Harmonic Convergence, the lovable little scamp is able to locate the hidden air bending chamber. The beginnings of a possible love story are established between Kai and Jinora that I think will play out nicely and add some more character development to both of them. Kai is already coming more into a full fledged character after such a short time and I think he has just the right amount of brat and courage to make him likeable.
One of the most interesting moments comes just before Korra and the rest go to rescue the air benders. Lin comes to speak with Korra about the four escaped prisoners headed by Zaheer. According to her, they tried to kidnap Korra when she was a kid but a group of strong benders including Lin, Zuko and Unalaq managed to intervene and send the evil benders away to different specially built prisons. As I said earlier, we still have no idea why these 4 are trying to capture Korra, but I imagine it has something to do with Zaheer’s intense spiritual beliefs that his fate is to capture, and possibly kill, the Avatar. Not only does Korra have to go against The Earth Queen and her ridiculous military mindset, but now she has multiple, strong willed, dangerous benders after her. The season seems to be kicking into high gear already as we end the episode with another fantastic action sequence with Korra pitted against the Earth Queen’s guards. I won’t spoil what happens but it’s extremely fun and exciting.
This season is already shaping up to top season 2, and I can’t wait to see what happens next on Legend of Korra!