Yeah, so I was disappointed.
I was thinking about whether I was expecting too much of the show, if I was reading in things that I wasn't promised and that didn't make sense for a kids' show. But I don't think so—"war in Republic City" deserves more than "terrible fathers", and all those people supporting Amon had reasons, and Avatar set the precedent for the importance of the Spirit World.
Instead Amon being a disaffected bender helps the show sidestep the issue of inequality, and it all winds up being personal rather than structural—including Korra breaking her Airbending block because Mako was in danger—seriously, not even to save herself? And then getting her bending back felt very easy and quick and unearned, not at all as serious as it should have been.
ETA: The AV Club review has an interesting theory, which is that Aang showed up after Korra contemplated and rejected suicide. I am not convinced by that reading of the scene, but the net effect needn't have been done in an evade-the-censors way: have Korra sob but then decide —out loud, please—that she may not be the Avatar right now but she's still a bender, unlike a lot of people, and she's still got friends and family and there are lots of things to do, so she's going to pick herself up and keep going. I don't know if that would have been good, but it certainly would have been better.
I mean, there is still the possibility of fixing Republic City, and I shall imagine that it will happen in-between seasons, but even just a line about there being so much work to do back there would have helped.
Other thoughts, briefly because of limited time:
As much as I was excited about General Iroh last week, I found myself resenting the time he had in these two episodes. You can't just waltz in here at the last minute and expect us to be wowed by your firebending skillz!
I am unconvinced that I should be impressed, or convinced, by Tarrlok's redemption.
Mako bores me.
At least Asami, Bolin, and Naga got some good moments?
Ugh, I don't even remember what else, I'm tired and I have to put SteelyKid to bed and then write a brief. So, in conclusion: as pretty as it was, I would've taken less stunning animation in exchange for another half-dozen episodes and less compulsory heteronormativity.comment(s) (how-to) | link