The fourth episode of The Legend of Korra
which aired on Nickelodeon
on April 28th, 2012.
Korra is sleeping in her bed. Suddenly, masked Equalists come flying into her room. They easily dodge Korra's attacks, and she's soon brought to the ground. Then Amon comes from the shadows. He grabs Korra by the chin and stares into her eyes.
Amon: Once I take your bending away, you will be nothing.Korra catapults awake suddenly
. Thank the spirits, it was All Just a Dream
! But Korra is shaken.
That day, Tenzin is having a meeting at the City Hall, and the scene introduces his political rival, Tarrlok from the Northern Water Tribe. Tarrlok urges immediate action against Amon by forming a task force (run by himself) with the purpose of capturing Amon and his minions. Tenzin opposes it, feeling that such sudden action will increase divisions between benders and non-benders. However, the rest of the council vote in favor of the task force.
That evening, Korra is practicing outside, appearing to be dancing to jazz on the radio. The music is cut off by a menacing voice in the night.
Amon: Good evening, my fellow Equalists. This is your leader, Amon. As you have heard the public council has voted to make me Public Enemy Number One, proving once again that bending oppressors of this city will stop at nothing to quash our revolution. But we cannot be stopped. Our numbers grow stronger by the day. You no longer need to live in fear. The time has come for benders to experience fear.
The expression on Korra's face shows that not only is she experiencing fear, she's downright terrified.Cut to Mako trying to catch a tram.
He jaywalks and is hit by a moped. Mako realizes that not only is the female rider of the moped extremely apologetic, but good-looking as well. He's immediately smitten. The girl recognizes him as Mako from the Fire Ferrets. She introduces herself as Asami and invites Mako out to dinner, offering to take care everything.
At sunset on Air Temple Island, Tenzin's family and Korra are gathered around the table, when Tarrlok invites himself in. He wants Korra to be the second-in-command of his task force, but Korra declines. Both Tarrlok and Tenzin are taken by surprise. She insists that the only reason she came to Republic City was to train in airbending, and she does not want to be distracted.
Meanwhile, Mako arrives at Kuang's Cuisine. To his surprise, he is welcomed as 'Master Mako' and quickly styled and dressed in formal wear by an attendant, but he insists that "the scarf stays." His date with Asami proceeds excellently - she is a major fan of the Fire Ferrets and is looking forward to seeing them play in the tournament. Mako learns that Asami is the daughter of Hiroshi Sato, inventor of the Satomobile and successful captain of industry. Hiroshi sympathetically agrees to finance the team, so long as they wear the Future Industries logo.
In the evening, Tarrlok continuously showers Korra with gifts, which she shuns. Bolin also gives her a rose and food as thanks for saving him, while inadvertently triggering her fears. Korra receives an invitation: Tarrlok is hosting a gala for Korra. She reluctantly accepts. There, she runs into Mako, Bolin, and Asami, and is less than thrilled about Asami being with Mako. Tarrlok maneuvers Korra into getting ambushed by reporters and thus goaded into joining the task force. Said task force raids a chi-blocking dojo and arrests the blockers, and Korra, emboldened by the success, announces her intent to face Amon one-on-one on Aang Memorial Island. Tenzin and even Tarrlok try to stop her but she refuses to back down.
Amon and his chi-blockers ambush Korra on the island. He decides not to take her bending away, explaining that if he were to attack her now, she would only become a martyr. Therefore, she will be the last bender to lose her bending. Korra is then struck unconscious and sees visions of adult Sokka, Toph, and Aang. Tenzin arrives to the scene. Korra embraces him and starts sobbing, admitting that she had never felt so terrified and helpless. Tenzin tells her that admitting her fears was the first and most difficult step in overcoming them.
Tropes in this episode:
- Batman Gambit: Tarrlok arranges for a group of reporters to accost Korra at a party he is throwing in order to force her to join his anti-Equalist task force. They accuse her of cowardice and abandoning her duty to the city, in response to which she reacts by immediately joining the task force.
- Blue with Shock: Tenzin's reaction to Meelo's off-screen antics thinking something is a toilet.
- Break the Haughty/Break Them by Talking: Korra was showing fear of Amon, but as soon as she started to get confident again, chi-blockers capture her and Amon psychologically rips the girl into pieces. When Tenzin comes to rescue her, she cries in his chest.
- The Cameo: Chief Beifong appears at the party, but she disappears after insulting Korra and has no other role in the plot.
- Can't Kill You, Still Need You: When Korra challenges Amon to a duel, he has his men restrain her and refuses to fight. He then explains that while he could take her bending away, he won't because that would make her a martyr. He instead plans to take care of her last.
- Catapult Nightmare
- Combat Pragmatist: Amon. When challenged to a one-on-one duel by Korra, not only does he ambush her, but he doesn't show himself until his crowd of Mooks have her completely subdued.
- Costume Porn: Everyone dresses up for the gala. Even Korra. And the kids.
- Crash into Hello/Meet Cute: How Asami and Mako meet.
- Cry into Chest: At the end of the episode, Korra cries into Tenzin's chest as he hugs her.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Amon's crowd of chi-blockers make ridiculously short work of Korra.
- Dangerously Genre Savvy: Amon's response to a challenge to one-on-one combat with Korra? Have his Mooks ambush her in the dark with a complete aversion of Mook Chivalry, and then drop in to deliver a Breaking Speech. The only way he could have been more savvy is to have stripped her of her bending there and then. And he even completely justifies why he doesn't, namely to avoid making her a martyr for benders the world over to rally behind.
- Death Glare: Pema gives Tenzin a glare after he allows Tarrlok to join them for dinner, to which he can only shrug since, according to Air philosopy, you cannot turn away a hungry guest. Ikki then trumps her mother when she really glares at Tarrlok after declaring him "weird;" her glare continues for twenty seconds, even after the camera pans to the left to cover his conversation with Korra.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: Amon's capture of Korra is played disturbingly similar to rape.
- Do Not Adjust Your Set/Musicalis Interruptus: Amon hacks into a radio music broadcast to boost Equalist morale after Tarrlok's task force is approved.
- Face Your Fears: Korra goes that route. It didn't help.
- Fearless Fool: Everyone expects Korra to jump on every opportunity to fight the Equalists and Amon. Subverted at first.
- Fiction 500: The Sato family.
- Fingersnap Lighter: Korra manifests a ball of fire in her palm to verify that she can still bend.
- Flashback Cut: Played for Drama; Korra has one near the end of the episode. Interestingly, they seem to be memories from when Aang was still alive...
- Heart Symbol: Mako has them fluttering around his head after meeting Asami, but more subtly, the table and chairs they sit at on their first date are lit in such a way as to strongly imply a heart◊.
- Heroic Breakdown: Korra has one after her confrontation with Amon.
- Knockout Ambush: Just when Korra thinks Amon ignored her challenge and walks away.
- Mook Chivalry: Completely averted by Amon's chi-blockers, who see absolutely nothing wrong with not only ambushing Korra, but giving her a group beatdown.
- Motifs: This episode features a lot of gift-giving. To wit:
- Bolin gives Korra a cupcake and a rose.
- Asami treats Mako to dinner, for which she provides him with a tuxedo, and later gives him a silk scarf, though he refuses to wear the new scarf because his scarf is actually his murdered father's scarf.
- Hiroshi Sato promises to give the Fire Ferrets the money to enter the Bending tournament, on the condition that they wear the Future Industries logo on their uniforms.
- Tarrlok tries to bribe Korra to join his task force with a basket of flowers, a sports car, and an invitation to a party in her honor, at which he coerces her into joining.
- Noodle Incident: The incident involving somebody named Yakone that Aang dealt with 42 years ago.
- Not-So-Omniscient Council of Bickering: Republic City Council is a mild example of this. There are five members, but only Tenzin and Tarrlok have strong opinions on what to do about the Equalists, and the remaining three side with Tarrlok because he's more persuasive.
- OOC Is Serious Business: When Korra declines the offer to join Tarrlok's proposed task force to take down the Equalists, everyone is surprised. Tenzin correctly infers that Korra was doing it out of fear of Amon.
- Pretender Diss: Tarrlok brings up Aang's defeat of a man named Yakone 42 years ago during his speech calling for an anti-Amon task force. Tenzin replies with "This is a completely different situation, and how dare you compare yourself to Avatar Aang!"
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: Korra's firebending lighting up the room is reflected on the chi-blocker's masks, making the eyes look demonic.
- Sacred Hospitality: Tarrlok gleefully barges into the Tenzin family dining room and invokes this trait of Air Nomads to get a free meal and a foot in the door to recruit Korra.
- Scarf of Asskicking: Mako insists on wearing it even in formal attire. Turns out that it belonged to his father. Fortunately, it manages to work with the outfit just fine.
- Scenery Porn: And more than once.
- She Cleans Up Nicely: No one comments on it in-verse, but Korra looks rather nice in a dress with her hair down. In a male example, Mako and Bolin look sharp in their (Sato-provided) suits.
- Shout-Out: Mako and Asami's Crash into Hello is very similar to how Naota meets Haruko in FLCL. Both females are even riding on yellow mopeds! No guitars though.
- The Rival: This episode introduces Councilman Tarrlok, Tenzin's political rival on the United Republic Council.
- Throwing Down the Gauntlet: Korra challenges Amon to a one-on-one duel When the Clock Strikes Twelve.
- Your Worst Nightmare: Bolin as well as Korra have recurring nightmares of Amon taking their bending away.