Cartoon Reviews: The Legend of Korra Episode 04 – The Voice in the Night

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Plot Summary
While Korra has nightmares about being attacked by chi blockers, Tarrloh of the Republic City Council proposes a task force to take out Amon. Tarrlok later visits Tenzin’s home, to try and recruit Korra into his task force. To the surprise of all she refuses, and while she does not explain herself, it is very clear that she is afraid of Amon.

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In the meanwhile, Mako gets run over by Asami Sato, daughter of Hiroshi Sato, inventor of the Satomobile. She takes him out to dinner, to apologize for running into him, and reveals that she is a big fan of Pro-Bending. She takes Mako to meet her father, who decides to sponsor the Fire Ferrets for the championship.

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Tarrlok tries to sway Korra over by sending her a series of gifts. Finally he invites her to a gala he organized in her honor. While there she is confronted by reporters about her refusal to join the task force. Finally caving under pressure Korra declares that she will join Tarrlok’s task force.

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The task force are able to take out a secret chi blocker training facility, and after several more raids, Korra challenges Amon to face her one on one. Despite Tenzin’s attempts to get her to reconsider, Korra goes to the meeting place. But Amon does not show up. Deciding that Amon won’t show, Korra starts to leave, but is ambushed by chi blockers. They completely incapacitate her, and she is left helpless as Amon makes his appearance. He tells her that he could take her bending away right then and there, but he does not want to make her a martyr. Instead he is saving her for last, and he assures her that he has a plan, and once the time comes he will come for her.

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After Korra is knocked out by Amon, she sees a flashback to an event reference earlier in the episode, and grown up versions of Sokka, Toph, and Aang are present. Tenzin finds her just as she wakes up, and Korra breaks down into tears, admitting how frightened she was.

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My Opinion
If there was any doubt that Amon was an intimidating villain, and I highly doubt there was any doubt left after last episode, this episode blew it completely out of the water. Firstly, Korra’s growing fear, her nightmares, and the way she lost focus when Amon was mentioned, these were all incredibly effective at showing how scared she was of Amon. And by showing her act unlike herself, we see how this fear is affecting her, a comment by Bolin that she hadn’t been at practice recently, shows that her personal life is being disrupted. All these things together help us believe that Amon is a threat, because Korra believes he is a threat.

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When Korra joins the task force she confronts her fear, by clearly over compensating. Her challenge to Amon is foolish and made as a way to show the world, and herself, that she will not be ruled by her fear of him.

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Why Asami? No reason. Just felt like posting a screencap of her.

The scene where Amon confronts Korra, has her completely at his mercy, and yet he does not finish her. On the one hand I can’t help but yell at my TV, “Finish her now you idiot! This is just going to bite you in the butt later!” On the other hand he is so clearly confident, and Korra so clearly believes him when he says he has a plan, and that he will come for her. And while we all know that Amon will ultimately fail, and he should have taken this chance, the ease with which he overpowers Korra makes us believe he could do it again. And he is so confident, and threatening, that the scene can’t be anything but intimidating.

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Amon is a great villain. I was concerned when I first heard that the enemies in this series would be non-benders. But not only have they proven themselves to be legitimate threats, Amon himself has taken the classic masked villain archetype and made it work for him. His mask reminds me of the Jiggsaw Killer from Saw, and his voice is just the right amount of gravelly to give him that extra flair. And he is mysterious enough that there are plenty of questions to be asked about who he really is, what his goals really are, etc.

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And another.

The flashback to the adult GAang was unexpected and an absolute treat. Whatever the story is building towards, with the reference to the villain that Aang defeated, it seems clear that bit of backstory will be relevant to the plot. And if it means we get to see more of Aang and the rest as adults, then I have no complaints. Though the Aang and Sokka shown seem to be in their late thirties, while the Aang in the opening is clearly a much younger man. I hope that we get to see a flashback to Aang and the GAang when they are in their mid-twenties.

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A good episode, with a great conclusion, Korra is clearly going places and while quite different from The Last Airbender, I am enjoying the ride immensely. Also, this time around I’m going to sit back and watch the shipping wars unfold. I barely participated in the last ones, but I think I’ll enjoy my veteran status and watch all the kids complain about how, “Korra and Mako are meant to be! Get rid of Asami!”

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Frankly, I really don’t care, but if we’re going by looks, I’m siding with Asami rather than Korra. Sorry ’bout that.

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Dayum!

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