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Recap / The Legend Of Korra S 3 E 10 Long Live The Queen

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Separated and captured, the Krew are all headed for Ba Sing Se. Korra and Asami are imprisoned in an airship controlled by the Earth Queen. Mako and Bolin are in the care of the Red Lotus. With some quick thinking and feminine wiles, Asami frees her and Korra from their cell, but Korra's excessive force makes the airship crash in the desert. With a sand creature stalking them, Korra and Asami must join forces with the crew to repair the ship.

In Ba Sing Se, the Red Lotus hands over Mako and Bolin to the Earth Queen. Zaheer proposes a deal: the location of the escaped airbenders for Korra. They convince her that imprisoning the Avatar would turn the other nations against her, but they could make Korra disappear. The Earth Queen agrees.

Lin Beifong is hot on the Krew's trail. She finds Aiwei and Korra's jeeps and the animals.

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The half-Krew and the airship crew dig out and repair the ship. But right before take-off, it's eaten by the land shark. Asami builds a sandsailer. With the creature closing, they sail away just in time.

News of the Avatar's escape reaches Ba Sing Se. With their deal falling through, the Red Lotus go for a secondary objective - assassination of the Earth Queen. The Dai Li are no match for the Red Lotus, and Zaheer asphyxiates the queen with his airbending. Zaheer announces his deed to the city as Ghazan tears down the wall of the lower ring. The revolt has begun!

Korra, Asami, and the airship crew make it to the Misty Palms Oasis. They run into Lin, Tonraq, and Zuko in a bar. They catch up on the grim news, and the episode ends.


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Tropes:

  • Affably Evil: Ghazan definitely comes off as such when he's talking with Bolin, and even Ming-Hua comes close, but being Ax-Crazy may prevent her from being in this trope as a whole. Zaheer is his usual polite, soft-spoken self.
  • Anarchy Is Chaos: Once Zaheer assassinates the Earth Queen and has the walls brought down, the people promptly turn to looting and rioting.
  • And There Was Much Rejoicing: Everyone in Ba Sing Se but Mako and Bolin's grandmother seem to be rejoicing once the Earth Queen is killed. Korra has no reason to rejoice either, but only because she failed to prevent the chaos that would follow.
  • Ascended Fridge Horror: It's indeed possible to use airbending to asphyxiate people.
  • Bound and Gagged: Mako and Bolin are tied up in the back of the truck while Bolin tries to make small-talk with Ming-Hua and Ghazan. Zaheer orders them gagged once they near the wall of Ba Sing Se. Meanwhile, Korra is still tied up like Hannibal Lecter. Korra and Asami eventually escape, while Zaheer plans to release Mako and Bolin so they can pass on a message to Korra.
  • Breaking the Bonds: Asami makes her escape by ripping the railing she is chained to off the wall. It's at least partially due to the "shoddy workmanship" of the Earth Kingdom's Cabbage Corp manufactured airship.
  • Brick Joke: Korra forgot to bring treats for Naga last episode. Lin has them.
  • Cassandra Truth: Korra tries to warn her captors of the Red Lotus's plans, but they don't believe her because her warnings amount to "I met terrorists in the Spirit World."
  • Coincidental Broadcast: Just as Tonraq asks Korra if she heard about what happened to the Earth Queen, the news comes on the radio and reports about what just happened to the Earth Queen. Though it apparently was a rebroadcast.
  • The Comically Serious: Lin having to deal with Naga and Pabu on her own definitely puts her in the role.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Korra and Asami get stranded in the Si Wong Desert, the same desert that the original Team Avatar was forced to traverse on foot after escaping Wan Shi Tong's library. They also ended up leaving by sandsailer.
    • Ming-Hua and Ghazan discuss their imprisonment with Mako and Bolin.
    • The outpost Korra and Asami are first held at is called Fort Bosco.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Zaheer bends the air out of the Earth Queen's lungs then forms it into a sphere around her head, asphyxiating her.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: The Red Lotus shows how dangerous they are yet again, by easily defeating the Dai Li, and never even taking a scratch.
  • The Day the Music Lied: Every time Bolin tries to metalbend the prison bars triumphant music starts up, only for him to fail.
  • Dirty Coward: Grand Secretariat Gun flees in terror after the Red Lotus defeats the queen's Dai Li guards, ignoring her protests that he should die in defense of her. However, given the way she's treated him, the fact that he's a civilian, and the Red Lotus have already mopped the floor with several Dai Li agents, one can't condemn him too harshly for doing so.
  • Do Not Adjust Your Set: Zaheer hijacks the city's PA system, proclaiming the deposition of the monarchy to the citizens of Ba Sing Se.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?:
    • The Earth Kingdom's quick descent into chaos after the elimination of a tyrant is very similar to many real life events when an oppressive regime is brought down suddenly. Specifically the fall of the Russian and Chinese monarchies.
    • The Sand Shark calls to mind the Sand Worm from Dune.
  • Enemy Mine: Korra and Asami are forced to team up with the Earth Kingdom airship crew that was transporting them to Ba Sing Se after crashing the airship in the middle of the desert. They end up parting on friendly terms.
  • Eviler Than Thou: The Earth Queen learns too late that the Red Lotus are the villains of this season.
  • Evil vs. Evil: The Earth Queen and the Dai Li vs the Red Lotus.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: The Earth Queen's death is without a doubt the most brutal this show has ever gotten away with, including a nice closeup of her eyes going bloodshot as she struggles to breathe.
  • Foreshadowing: The Earth Kingdom guard tells Korra that he won't bring her any water, or rocks, or fire... but can't really do anything about the air. Zaheer disagrees.
  • From Bad to Worse: The Earth Queen is an evil tyrant who brings misery in all of the Earth Kingdom. Zaheer has toppled the Earth Queen, and now Ba Sing Se has fallen into complete chaos and lawlessness that potentially threatens the rest of the Earth Kingdom.
  • Funny Background Event: When the camera pans to Zuko's dragon, two other mounts tied to the nearby tree are desperately trying to free themselves and run from the giant, winged predator staring at them.
  • Genre Blind: Asami is able to convince the guard that chaining her to a railing instead of the floor won't cause any harm.
  • Go Mad from the Isolation: Discussed. Bolin asks Ghazan and Ming-Hua how they managed during their 13 year imprisonment. Ghazan would rename the constellations, while Ming-Hua would mostly make up stories about the guards.
  • Good Cop/Bad Cop: When hijacking the PA system, Zaheer is polite with the operator while Ming-Hua roughs him up.
  • The Great Repair: With Korra's bending and Asami's engineering genius, they get the crashed airship flight-ready in record time.
  • The Guards Must Be Crazy:
    • The Earth Queen's guards take every precaution with Korra, but only make a minimal effort to chain Asami up. Furthermore, Asami then sweet-talks one of them into chaining her to the railing instead of an in uncomfortable position on the floor... and proceeds to rip the railing off the wall.
    • Korra and Asami take out their guard with the classic "prisoner is sick" ploy. In a bit of a variation, Asami has actually already escaped the cell. She just needed the distraction so she could knock out the guard when he looked through the slot.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Ghazan beats three of the Dai Li by bending their own rock gloves back at them.
  • Honor Before Reason: The airship captain seems to recognize that an unchained Korra is out of his league, but he has orders and has to keep her prisoner regardless. He's also pragmatic enough to know that they aren't escaping the Sand Shark without her help. He eventually decides that it's not his problem after they finally get out of the desert.
  • Hook Hand: The airship captain has one on his right arm, though he waits until the end of the episode to reveal it.
  • Hope Spot: The airship is repaired and ready for takeoff... only to get eaten by a Sand Shark.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Hou-Ting calls Gun a coward for not laying down his life to save her, while she hides behind her own throne.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: The airship captain declares this after everything's said and done.
  • Ironic Episode Title: "Long Live The Queen"; she's dead halfway through the episode. Doubly so when you consider it's a Complete-the-Quote Title, being a gender conjugated version of the phrase "The King is Dead, Long Live the King," a reference to the inheritance of the throne. Zaheer has made quite sure that won't be happening here.
  • Karmic Death: The Earth Queen had been capturing airbenders and forcing them into slavery, as well as eating baby flying bison. It's appropriate that she would be killed by an airbender and with airbending.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Hou-Ting certainly did her best to justify Zaheer brutally murdering her.
  • MacGyvering: Asami builds a sandsailer out of the airship wreckage.
  • Minion Shipping: Bolin speculates that there's an "unspoken attraction" between Ghazan and Ming-Hua. Ghazan may have confirmed or debunked it, depending on interpretation — he comments that "two out of three isn't bad"; with the other two guesses Bolin made about him being that he was raised by his sister, and had grown a mustache at the age of ten.
  • Mix-and-Match Critter: The giant landshark Korra, Asami and the airship crew encounter has the body of a great white shark, and is made even more terrifying by having the jaws of a fish called a Sarcastic Fringehead.
  • Mugging the Monster: The queen really had no idea what she was getting into when she tried to sic her Dai Li on the Red Lotus.
  • Myopic Architecture: The Cabbage Corp airship is very shoddily constructed. Which makes it ill equipped to contain Korra and Asami for long.
  • Never Say "Die":
    • They don't outright say that the Earth Queen was killed, but rather "taken down". Nevertheless, they make it pretty clear that it's the permanent kind of "taken down".
    • Zaheer's speech to the queen rather conspicuously avoids mentioning death in the final sentence.
    Zaheer: You think freedom is something you can give or take on a whim, but to your people, freedom is just as essential as... air. And without it, there is no life. There is only... darkness.
    • Averted in that Ming-Hua mentions that she'd have killed for some rain, though she meant it metaphorically. But, judging by her character, she probably meant it literally, too.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Korra quite literally breaks the shoddy Cabbage Corp airship when she airbends the first mate into the steering wheel, then into the captain when he's using the radio, destroying both objects and sending the airship crashing into a sand dune.
  • No OSHA Compliance: Cabbage Corp obviously cut major corners if a Badass Normal can pry off a railing with the ease Asami did.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: Ghazan makes his most impressive lavabending display yet by using it to collapse a section of Ba Sing Se's inner wall.
  • Pet the Dog: After they've killed the queen and need to announce it to the people, Ming-Hua threatens a radio operator who is initially reluctant to help. Zaheer calls her off, as it's people like him they are trying to help.
  • Practical Voice-Over: How Korra and everyone else hear about what has happened in Ba Sing Se. The news reports the Earth Queen's death and the violence consuming the city.
  • Pragmatic Villainy:
    • The airship captain insists that Korra is still his prisoner, but is smart enough to know that they have no chance of containing her and need her help to survive the desert.
    • Zaheer convinces the Earth Queen that trying to hold Korra prisoner would bring unwanted international attention upon her kingdom. Instead, he convinces her that bartering the location of the new airbenders in exchange for turning Korra over to him is a better idea. The Earth Queen agrees to the deal, but it falls through when Zaheer overhears that Korra has escaped and confronts the queen about it.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • Zaheer points out to the Earth Queen that holding the Avatar captive would get the other nations on her back.
    • Zaheer offs the Earth Queen, has Ghazan break down the walls of the city, and tells the people to do as they please. Suddenly bereft of any sort of controlling influence and with newfound access to the upper rings of the city, most of the peasants start looting the wealthier areas.
    • Bolin and Mako are imprisoned in the Earth Queen's dungeons. Mako tells Bolin to metalbend the doors and gets the whole cell block to cheer him on. Bolin digs deep, focuses... and achieves absolutely nothing. You don't instantly gain a very difficult and specialized skill just because people believe in you.
  • Sand Worm: The giant Sand Shark that chases Korra, Asami, and the airship crew.
  • Save the Villain: Korra tries to warn the queen about the Red Lotus, but never gets the chance before Zaheer decides to take her out.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: The Grand Secretariat Gun runs away screaming like a little girl after the Dai Li are taken down by the Red Lotus.
  • Shout-Out:
    • An expert in building vehicles is part of a group stranded in the desert, and is able to put together a crude new transportation out of their old one that lasts just long enough to get them to safety. It's basically a Whole Plot Reference to The Flight of the Phoenix (1965).
    • Korra is still all trussed up Hannibal-style.
  • Smug Snake: The Earth Queen is convinced that she is an untouchable queen right up into Zaheer kills her.
  • Spoiler Title: With a title like "Long Live The Queen", it was easy for viewers to predict that this would not be a good day for the Earth Queen.
  • Stockholm Syndrome: Mako calls out Bolin for getting chummy with Ghazan.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Yeah, Hou-Ting mouths off to the dangerous benders who just took out Dai Li like they were common soldiers. She even knows they want to do something to the Avatar that'll permanently neutralize her, but thinks that they'll balk at hurting a queen.
  • Two out of Three Ain't Bad: Ghazan says this after Bolin guesses his history. It's not clear which two of the three Bolin got correct.
  • Underestimating Badassery:
    • The Earth Kingdom soldiers go to great lengths to restrain Korra, but only make a minimal effort to restrain Asami since she's a non-bender. This naturally backfires.
    • The Earth Queen thinks the Red Lotus are mere bounty hunters and tries to force them to tell her where the airbenders are. They quickly schooled her.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: When they finally make it to the Misty Palms Oasis and part ways with Korra and Asami, one of the airship crew points out Zuko's dragon near a tree. The captain takes one look and decides he needs a drink.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: The only reason Zaheer decided to kill the Earth Queen immediately, as opposed to waiting until he had Korra, is because he heard Korra had escaped captivity and they would be unlikely to recapture her.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: To the oppressed citizens of the Earth Kingdom, Zaheer is a hero, though he avoids giving his name.
  • Wham Episode: Zaheer proves he isn't making idle threats when he says he plans to eliminate all governments. The Earth Queen becomes his first victim, and the city falls into chaos.
  • Wrench Wench: Asami shows that she is every bit her father's daughter when it comes to engineering genius during this episode. First she manages to get the airship running again then forging a makeshift sandsailer out of scrap metal.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: Throughout the episode, Mako tries to encourage Bolin to metalbend the cell bars to set them free. At the end, Bolin redoubles his efforts and all the cell doors but theirs spring open. Bolin is initially proud of himself, but Mako points out that it wasn't Bolin that opened them.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: It's hard to say if Zaheer ever intended to honor his deal with Hou-Ting — even if he did, certainly, he would have tried to kill her on general principle eventually, as it is his goal and something he wouldn't pass up — but as soon as he learns that Korra has escaped custody, he abandons the trade and decides to bring Korra to him by assassinating Hou-Ting.
  • You Wouldn't Shoot Me: The Earth Queen tries to stand up to the Red Lotus after they've beaten her guards, confident they would not be so foolish as to kill someone as important as her. Zaheer shows her otherwise.
    Hou-Ting: You wouldn't dare attack a queen!
    Zaheer: Maybe I forgot to mention something to you. I don't believe in queens.

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