The Legend of Korra Episode 3 "The Earth Queen"

The Legend of Korra Book 3 Episode 3 Review: “The Earth Queen”

I think I cracked the reasoning why reviewing The Legend of Korra is such an interesting challenge for me. For the most part, I handle plenty of one-hour dramas, all of which have an over arcing story. Next to that, my other comfort zone is the half hour comedies that have over arcing stories but tend to be more situational episode to episode. Korra, on the other hand, is sort of the best of both worlds. It has the different situations from episode to episode, but it follows a very carefully constructed central plotline, all in the course of half hour episodes (20 minutes w/o commercials). This means that I have to write these full fledged reviews in a different way that acknowledges the situations per individual episode, as well as the central plot line which governs the whole seasons path. It’s a lot of fun and I’m enjoying it, but it also makes it a bit difficult to not think about both episodes released each week as a single unit. Enough of my rambling though. The third episode of Korra is called “The Earth Queen, and it introduces us to a new villain, and a plain out mean character.

The Legend of Korra Book 3 Episode 2 Review: “Rebirth”

Korra and the gang arrive in Ba Sing Se, which should be familiar to fans of Avatar, as it’s the capital of the Earth Kingdom. We meet the new and somewhat obnoxious Earth Queen Hou-Ting, who is the type to make a deal with you before she stabs you in the back. As Korra requests her help in finding the newly discovered airbenders, the Queen is mostly passive aggressive and demands that Korra do her a favor before the Queen even thinks of assisting the Avatar.

Ba Sing Se is an interesting throwback to the classic series. I don’t remember it remarkably well, as it has been some time since I saw The Last Airbender, but I don’t remember it being as socially unjust as it seems in The Legend of Korra. The city is divided into 3 sections, or rings, according to peoples’ social class from poor to rich. A nice little reflection of the current economic classes is one of those things that puts Korra above so many other kids shows. Though it may go over some of the younger viewers’ heads, the idea of having this class system is a classic fantasy trope that actually still resonates in today’s society.

Kai, reverting back to his sneaky ways already, runs off from the group at his first chance to steal peoples’ money using his airbending. I must admit that, while Kai going back to his bad habits is a bit predictable, it is giving us more of an insight into the character and helps to develop his personality further. Bolin and Mako give chase to Kai through the lower rings of Ba Sing Se and, through some hilarious jibber jabber, end up meeting their long lost family members. Not only do we get to see Kai develop a bit, but we also get some great background on Bolin and Mako. This part of the episode also provides some poignant elements about the nature of death and the power of family.

At the end of the episode, aside from the proof that the Earth Queen is a total nut case, we get to spend a bit of time with Zuko. He recruits help from the new chiefs of the water tribe Desna and Eska (two of my personal favorite side characters), as well as Korra’s father, Tonraq. Their apparent mission is to go forth and check on the fourth prisoner, a fire bender who can also create explosions with her bending. Korra meanwhile goes to retrieve the “Queen’s Gold”, and runs into some bandits that reminded me a lot of the gangs of crazies in Mad Max. Though here they may not be as bad or crazy as they seem at first.

“The Earth Queen” feels like the first serious episode of set ups towards this season’s main storyline. We now have multiple villains in play, and I’m sure we will find out their plans soon. I couldn’t be more excited for Friday nights now!

Grade=A-

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