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Recap / The Legend Of Korra S 2 E 5 Peacekeepers

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Ironic, isn't it?

Well, if we're both putting our jobs first, maybe there's no room for our relationship!
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The fifth episode of Book Two of The Legend of Korra.

The group arrives in Republic City, where Varrick has already arranged a meeting with President Raiko (who he supported during his campaign). Korra takes part in a peaceful demonstration in support of the South, but the Southern Water Tribe Cultural Center is destroyed by a remotely activated bomb. The context of the situation incriminates the North, but Mako disagrees, having witnessed one of the perpetrators Firebending, but no one believes him.

Unalaq meets with his children, and orders them to retrieve Korra for him — he lied to Korra about opening the northern portal, and does still need her to do so. The insane Eska, believing Korra to have stolen Bolin from her, has to be reminded by her father that he wants the Avatar alive.

During the meeting, Raiko expresses concern for the civil war, but refuses to send aid, believing that throwing troops into an internal Water Tribe affair would not help anything, to Korra's rage. Varrick suggests that Asami sell Future Industries' weapons to the South so her company can profit and the South can have a better chance against Unalaq. Mako hears of the plan, and also learns that Korra has decided to go to General Iroh for military aid, behind the president's back. Raiko gets wind of the underhanded scheme from a reluctant Mako, whose loyalty is to Republic City as he is a police officer. Threatened with a court-martial, Iroh suggests Korra go to his mother, Firelord Izumi, who he believes will help Korra in her plight.

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At the Southern Air Temple, Tenzin gives Meelo a strict course in how to train his new pet lemur, Poki. Meelo is successful, but laments the harsh, authoritarian style of training he has to give to his new pet. Tenzin sees this, and informs Meelo he may stop. Meelo reveals that the damage is done, and that he now can command the colossal population of lemurs at the Air Temple, to Tenzin's bemused horror.

Varrick asks Bolin to star in a series of propaganda films meant to stir up support for the South and eventually persuade Raiko to take action against Unalaq. It is here that Korra learns that Mako ratted her out to Raiko, and she angrily confronts him over not siding with her. The argument escalates until Mako decides that they should break up, weary of their constant arguing over sides.

Korra departs on her own for the Fire Nation, and is attacked by her cousins. However, a large Dark Spirit attacks and swallows Korra, and Desna and Eska flee the scene, believing their cousin to be dead.

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Tropes:

  • Both Sides Have a Point: Mako really does want to help Korra, but his loyalty is to Republic City, and that means having to put an end to Korra's plans. Korra is right (something needs to be done about the occupation of the South Pole), but forcing Republic City into war with the Northern Water Tribe would be very dangerous given they had nothing to do with it beforehand.
  • The Cameo: A statue of Sokka briefly appears in this episode in front of the cultural center.
  • Cliffhanger: The episode ends with Korra seemingly devoured by a Dark Spirit.
  • Cross-Melting Aura: Korra goes into the Avatar State and uses Unalaq's spirit purification technique against the Dark Spirit that attacks her at the end. It doesn't work.
  • Da Chief: When Mako tries to present some evidence to Lin, led on by the two lazy detectives, she instantly starts yelling at the rookie barging in on her meeting with the president and refuses to listen to him.
  • Diabolus ex Machina: A Dark Spirit attacks Korra when the twins are trying to apprehend her.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: Mako ends up spilling the beans about Korra's plans to get around the President and have Iroh assist the South.
  • Exposed to the Elements: Bolin notes that his skimpy "Water Tribe" outfit would be cold.
  • Flipping the Table: Korra ends up flipping Mako's desk when she confronts him about spilling the beans on the plan to enlist the United Forces navy without presidential authority.
  • Frameup: The bombing of Republic City's cultural center, blamed on the Northern Water Tribe, is hinted to have a more sinister motive.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: If you look closely at Mako's book of criminals, you can see Shady Shin, Lightning Bolt Zolt, and the equalist doorman.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!: Lin does a family-friendly Precision F-Strike, using a Totally Radical slang term from the previous series:
    Lin: What the flameo happened here?
  • I Lied: Unalaq reveals that his claim that he didn't need Korra to open the Northern portal was a lie, as he was trying to manipulate her.
  • Irony: The title is "Peacekeepers". Sure they're trying to end it quickly, but other than the president and maybe Mako everyone is pretty pro-war.
  • It's Pronounced "Tro-PAY": The show uses a couple of Jerkass cops to mock the people who pronounce Mako (the actor who inspired the character's name) as "May-ko."
  • I Want Them Alive: Unalaq has to stress that he wants Korra alive when he orders his children to track her down, since he needs her to open the portal and Eska is clearly out for revenge.
  • Lonely at the Top:
    • While teaching Meelo how to train his pet flying lemur Poki, Tenzin instructs Meelo to make Poki sleep on the floor instead of in the bed with his owner, as Meelo must assert his dominance as the "alpha lemur." Meelo responds with this line:
    Meelo: Being alpha lemur is lonely.
    • Tenzin himself echoes the sentiment, and it's implied Aang taught him to train lemurs in the same manner. Also, Tenzin is the only one in the world who can train new airbenders, a grave responsibility.
  • Loophole Abuse: Iroh considers using a self-defense loophole to aid the South without presidential authority, but Mako's already warned the President about this and he makes sure to warn Iroh against trying it.
  • Misplaced Retribution/Never My Fault: Eska blames Korra for taking Bolin from her, rather than acknowledging she drove Bolin away by forcing him to marry her.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Played for laughs when Tenzin teaches Meelo how to train his lemur Poki, only for Meelo to train the entire population.
  • Noodle Incident: Lin's response to Korra and Mako breaking up implies she caused major damage to Air Temple Island when Tenzin broke up with her.
  • No, You: A loud argument between Korra and Mako ends with the former storming out while saying: "I can't talk to you while you're like this." Mako's Lame Comeback is to simply say: "You're the one who's like this!"
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat/Reasonable Authority Figure: It's hard to say which of these Raiko is. On one hand, he refuses to aid the militarily-weaker South, but on the other he does have a point about it being an internal affair.
  • Only Sane Man: Mako is the only member of the police force actually doing police work about the case. Lin is too much of a dismissive hardhead, thinking Mako is a Naïve Newcomer not even fit to speak with her, and the veterans assisting her are jerkasses who want to see him completely shamed.
  • Playing Both Sides: Varrick funded both the President and his political rival, in order to hedge his bets.
  • Police are Useless: Mako seems to be the only officer actually trying to solve the bombing case. Everyone else immediately assumes the Northern Water Tribe was responsible, ignoring the evidence Mako found and the perp he identified as an Agni Kai firebender. Two of his coworkers also trick Mako into interrupting a meeting between Lin and the President for a laugh at his expense.
  • Propaganda Machine: Varrick's idea of helping the South is to create a film series where Bolin stars as a hero to fight against the North.
  • Shout-Out: Bolin's reaction to Eska in the film of the invasion refers to the urban legend of the 1895 Lumiere Brothers short "Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat" causing people to think the train was about to run them over.
  • The Un-Reveal: We're teased with an appearance by Zuko's daughter, the new Fire Lord, and then Korra gets eaten.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight:
    • Unalaq has absolutely no reaction to the fact that Eska tried to get married, got left at the altar, and is still wearing her ruined wedding outfit while being obviously upset about the whole situation. The closest he gets is saying that Korra needs to be brought in alive when Eska says she wants revenge.
    • Avatar Korra bursts into Mako's office, gets into an argument with him, and trashes the room. Nobody, except for Mako, seems to regard it as a major thing.
  • Wham Episode:
    • Mako breaks up with Korra.
    • Korra leaves for the Fire Nation to find help and gets swallowed by a Dark Spirit.
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