The Legend of Korra "The Stakeout"

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

The Legend of Korra is officially in high gear now with “The Stakeout”. Last week’s episode was one of non stop action and suspense. This episode follows suit as the Avatar and her friends search for Aiwei. They happen upon a city and Bolin attempts quite humorously to put on disguises and make up awesome secret identities. Bolin’s is hilarious as usual but Mako’s cool “I’m a cop, I don’t have a backstory” was just the clincher. As the team travels through the small town, Korra ponder’s Zaheer’s possible plans for her while a pair of offbeat “bounty hunters” begin to follow them. This also leads to a funny encounter I didn’t expect and won’t spoil here.

The Legend of Korra Book 3, Episode 8 Review: “The Terror Within”

While the bounty hunters chase Bolin and Mako, they stumble across Aiwei walking in an alleyway. While it does seem highly improbably to find someone in a big city at that specific time but hey, it’s a cartoon show and doesn’t need to adhere to the probable. We want the story to move along and this seemed as good a way as any to keep it heading forward. For the rest of the episode we get to watch as Korra chases Aiwei into the spirit world only to find out he is meeting Zaheer there. Korra and Zaheer have a long conversation about Zaheer’s plans, and even though it feels a bit overly expository. It’s nice to finally know what Zaheer is after. The gist of it is to restore balance to the world through a secret society known as The Red Lotus (obviously a counter-group to The White Lotus). I’ll spare you the details but it seems clear that Zaheer does have animosity towards Korra and the whole idea of the Avatar.

One thing I found particularly interesting is the somewhat heavy handed political message Zaheer presents along with his plan. Essentially, he doesn’t believe in the idea of governments controlling their citizens and wants to throw the world into some kind of anarchy. Honestly he almost sounds like a libertarian friend of mine and it was kind of scary in a way. I don’t know how many of the younger viewers will pick up on this message but it’s always nice to see more adult oriented themes spliced into a show primarily geared towards kids.

The other thing I notice and love about this season is that Zaheer is such a more careful, almost relaxed villain. He knows how to plot and take his time, but he is also one of the strongest benders we have ever seen so he’s not afraid to fight head on. Even though he has crazy ideas reminiscent of Amon. He tends to seem more level headed and practical with his reasoning and approach to capturing Korra. We also find out that Zaheer had previously worked with Korra’s crazy uncle Unalaq. I kind of forgot for a while that Korra had left the spirit portal open at the end of last season and even though it’s brought up in the first episode this season. There hasn’t seemed to be a lot of ramifications or even acknowledgments to the fact that spirits and humans are now sharing a realm.

At the end of the episode, I knew we were getting close to the end game. With only 4 episodes left, I imagine these next few weeks will be filled with action and intrigue. The Earth Queen should be coming back in the next episode or two, and Zaheer does get hold of something very important that will help in his hunt for the Avatar. I can’t wait for Friday’s episode. I miss getting two a week to be honest.

Grade: B

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