Whole lotta shipping stuff happening around here in this episode!
Love the training scene at the start of the episode. The dynamic between them is great in this scene. Noting the mention of Tarrlok there, because I'm sure Korra's skipping out on his plans to practice Pro-Bending will come back later on.
THE TEAM HUDDLE OH WOW. Bolin grinning suavely at Korra, Korra grinning hopefully at Mako, Mako being all like "Ooookay then"... so awkward and so hilarious. And then Asami comes in! HAY GURL HOW U BEEN. Still being sweet and unintentionally making Korra jealous, I see. And OMG how much do I love the nose-kisses? A whole lot, that's how much.
Oh, Bolin. No, no, you're totally being subtle and cool. Not at all super-obvious. Keep on rolling, buddy!
Aww Pabu is getting a bath. And then Bolin asks Mako what he thinks of Korra as a potential girlfriend, and Mako immediately takes the question as Korra being a potential girlfriend for himself. So I guess that's interesting, or something. IDEK, the scenes between Korra and Mako in the previous eps were cute, but I still can't fully get behind the pairing yet. I'll admit, I could just be biased against it due to the shippers, but something about the pairing itself isn't quite clicking for me. Not yet, anyway. If it does happen, I'm sure Mike&Bryan will make it good. Also, "Leave some ladies for the rest of us!" LMAO
And Mako has assigned Korra to the "One of the guys" category. Ouch! And then Bolin gives his list of reasons why he and Korra are a match made in heaven (or should I say Spirit World?): "She's strong, I'm strong. She's fun, I'm fun! She's beautiful... I'm gorgeous!" But Mako thinks dating a teammate is a bad idea, which is probably true. But Bolin is undeterred: "You know what I'm talkin' about, Pabu. I'm talkin' 'bout ~real love~." DYING SEND HELP PLEASE I NEED AIR RIGHT AWAY.
The next scene with Korra, Jinora and Ikki is too awesome for words. First of all, Jinora gets a chance to be totally adorable and funny, which is good since we haven't seen much of the kids in the last couple of eps. And aww, Korra shows a slightly more insecure side as she asks the girls for romantic advice.... which, in hindsight, probably wasn't the smartest choice of romantic advisors to pick. The girls' advice is amazingly funny, though. And Pema gets some screentime! Yay! Granted, all these four ladies do is talk about men, but I still like this scene because it does give us some character insight.
Unfortunately, Pema's story gives Korra an idea of the entirely wrong way to deal with her crush on her teammate, as we'll soon see.
LADY PRO-BENDING TEAM. AN ENTIRE TEAM COMPOSED OF LADIES. IloveyouMikeandBryan. And look at how badass these women are! Just looking at them, you get the sense that they could have easily won this match (if their opponents hadn't been the main characters). Also, note how the women on this team get just as sweaty and messy and take just as many hard knocks as any of the male opponents that the Fire Ferrets have faced thus far. Generally, I hate to be like, "Hey, men, congrats on doing something feminist! Have a gold star for effort." Because that should just be the default, not the exception. But characters like this Pro-Bending team are so rare on TV that I feel like it's warranted here. Especially given that they're background characters. It's so easy to populate a fictional world with male background characters, often without even realizing it-- I've even had instances of starting to automatically write a background character as a man before thinking, "Why can't she be a woman instead?" So... yeah. Props to Mike&Bryan for creating these women.
Fire Ferrets win the match! Group hug! \o/ But then... oh, Korra, honey. -_- This whole scene just hurts to watch. Poor Korra. It's okay, honey, we've all been there. Some of us more times than others. In fact, some of us have summer homes "there". Not that I'm speaking from experience or anything.
But here comes Bolin to cheer Korra up! One thing I really, really like about this scene: when Korra says she doesn't "feel very date-worthy", Bolin proceeds to give her a list of her many, many virtues-- "Are you kidding me? You're the smartest, funniest, toughest, buffest, talentedest, incredible-est girl in the world!" Notice a word missing? If you said "beautiful" then congratulations, you also get a slightly-grudgingly-given gold star. Bolin does mention her physical attractiveness in the scene between him and Mako, but when talking to Korra herself, he acknowledges that there are more important things than looks.
Then we have Bolin and Korra devouring bowls of noodles together, and we meet another character-- Tahno. Bolin tells Korra not to make eye contact, so naturally Korra glares right at him, which is why I heart her. Man, this guy is a creep. Also, is it just me or did he pronounce it "Uhhavatar" instead of "Avatar"? Is that a subtle jab at M. Night I detect?
NAGA. ILU Naga. Korra summoning Naga to scare the crap out of Tahno = priceless.
Then we have the rest of their date and now I definitely prefer Korra/Bolin over Korra/Mako. They are just too awesome together not to ship them.
Then we have another painfully awkward scene of Korra mishandling her feelings for Mako. We also have the "Heeeeyyyy Mako--ooooh. Okay then" guy, who I think has now secured himself a spot in the pantheon of background characters beloved by fans simply for existing. And he totally deserves it.
Interesting that the Boarcupines are a team of older guys. Rule of 30 of the Avatarverse: the further you are from age 30, the more badass you are. Think about it-- the toughest people in ATLA were Team Avatar, all under the age of 18, and the old folks like Iroh, Hama, Pakku, and Bumi. So between the Fire Ferrets (late teens) and the Boarcupines (maybe in their 50s?) who's the furthest from 30?
Bolin is saving their asses all over this match! And then we come to the tie-breaker, in which Bolin continues to be the absolute best (after Korra). He wins the tie-breaker like a total champ. That's my boy!
Then Mako confronts Korra about the negative energy between them at the moment. He tells her that he's very confused and she... kisses him! Well, we all know where she got that idea, don't we, Aang? Can bad ideas be passed on between reincarnations? I guess the answer is yes!
But then Bolin sees the end of the kiss. And I laughed so hard at this scene, and then I felt like a bad person, because poor Bolin.
Bolin goes on a food binge to soothe his wounded heart or some such, and I am still laughing and feeling like a bad person for it. This scene brings us my favorite line thus far: "I told you dating a teammate was a bad idea." "You're a bad idea!"
Next match! The battle animation is flawless as always. Also: FLAMEO INSTANT NOODLES. I approve of this callback to the original series.
KORRA. KORRA. SINGLEHANDEDLY WINNING THE MATCH HOLY SHIT GUYS. I mean really, nothing else needs to be said!
My only comment about this scene with the trio+Asami is that I feel like the romantic plotline in this ep was wrapped up a little too neatly and easily. It could be that they were just riding the high of their victory and the drama will resume shortly, but it still feels a little too tidy given that the entire ep was basically about romance.
KORRA LEARNED HEALING FROM KATARA. I love you, show.
And we end with Tahno and the Wolfbats being unnecessarily brutal to their opponents just to prove a point to the Fire Ferrets, great. Next one should be interesting!