Cartoon Reviews: The Legend of Korra Episode 07 – The Aftermath

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Plot Summary
Act 1
Korra invites Mako and Bolin to stay with her at Air Temple Island, but the two have already been invited to live at Asami’s mansion. Asami invites Korra over to visit the next day, and while Korra initially refuses, she is quickly convinced by “Pabu”.

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It’s Nightmares and Daydreams all over again!

Lin and her officers find evidence that Cabbage Corp was building the electric gloves for Amon. They arrest the president of Cabbage Corp, in a scene that includes a call back to an old Last Airbender joke. Korra meets Tano at the police station, where he tells her that his bending is permanently gone.

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Korra visits Asami’s mansion, and the four of them go watch the race track where Future Industries test their Satomobiles. Asami takes Korra in a ride for one, causing Korra to reevaluate her opinion of Asami. When they return to the mansion Korra goes to the powder room, and after an unfortunate encounter with a powder pad…thingie…she overhears Hiroshi Sato having a suspicious conversation over the phone.

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I could put a relevant screenshot up, but I’m not going to. Enjoy Asami’s sexy, sexy smirk instead.

Act 2
Korra tells Lin and Tenzin what she heard, and Tenzin reveals that Hiroshi’s wife was killed by a firebender. They visit Hiroshi’s mansion, where Korra tells Mako and Asami what she heard over the phone. Hiroshi denies any involvement with the Equalists and gives Lin permission to search his warehouses.

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They find nothing during their search, and after they finish Mako confronts Korra, telling her to drop it or their friendship is over. Korra refuses and while the factory workers are closing up, one of them sneaks a message to meet him at midnight for the true story.

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Lin, Korra, and Tenzin arrive at the meeting place, where their informant reveals that he is an Equalist, but believes Amon has gone too far with declaring war on the city. He tells them that Hiroshi did make weapons for the Equalists, but that he has a secret factory under his mansion.

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Lin takes her officers to the Sato mansion, where she discovers a hidden factory under Hiroshi’s workshop. She, Korra, Tenzin, and the officers make their way down into the factory, where they discover Equalist posters and…giant mecha robots? Before they can seize any evidence, a wall goes up blocking them inside the factory, and the robots activate.

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Act 3
When Lin tries to bend the wall, Hiroshi, in a giant robot (can’t believe I’m typing that) tells her that it’s made of pure platinum, and that not even Toph could bend it. A fight breaks out, with the benders holding their own against the robots at first, but ultimately all are defeated and subdued.

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Mako and Bolin, wondering what’s going on down in the factory, trick and tie up the guard that was left with them and make their way down the tunnel. They discover Korra and the others being packed into trucks by the Equalists, and sneak in to carry Korra, Lin, and Tenzin out. They are stopped by Hiroshi, who starts to attack them, but stops when Asami appears.

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Hiroshi urges Asami to join him, and at first it looks like she will. Instead she uses the glove he gives her to knock him out and take out the Lieutenant. The six of them escape. Once safe in the police airship Lin decides to resign as chief, so she can go outside the law to get her officers back. Mako apologizes to Korra, who tells him the invitation to live with her is still open and extended to Asami as well.

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My Opinion
In case you’re wondering about the plot summary being split into three acts, that’s just a little something I decided to do on a whim, to help train myself be better at recognizing the three act structure. I like how it turned out, at least how it helped me break the story up. Not too keen on how long the plot summary ended up. I’ll have to work on this.

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While I’m glad that the plot is continuing this episode, rather than straying into filler territory like episode five (my definition of filler is any episode that wastes my time), I’m surprised at how fast we went from Amon’s declaration of war to discovering that Hiroshi is an Equalist. I suppose that if the series were longer we’d get more episodes before we’d discover something like this. As it is, the reveal that he’s evil doesn’t quite have the proper effect it was supposed to.

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I am a bit amused by the reveal that Asami’s mother was murdered by a firebender, not that I find death funny, even when it’s just fictional characters, but Mako and Bolin’s parents were also murdered by a firebender. What’s going on with the plague of murderous firebenders?

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It was Mako all along! Just look at those dead eyes!

I’m a little iffy about the use of platinum in this episode, so iffy in fact that I went and did some research. Shocking I know, but what I found is pretty interesting. First of all, and I’m relying on high school chemistry here, Platinum is an element, so the fact that it is too pure to bend holds some water. While Iron is also an element, it tends to have carbon inside it as well, especially when it is made into steel. And we’ve seen earthbenders bend coal before, which contains carbon. So when metalbenders bend steel, they’re bending the carbon inside. Chances are that iron would be unbendable for them.

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Challenge considered.

Despite the fact that I buy platinum being unbendable I have two problems with it being used the way it is. While platinum is not as malleable as gold it is more ductile, and being less malleable than gold really isn’t saying much. If it’s even close to gold then it’s too soft to be building giant robots out of. A good sharp steel spike could penetrate it.

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Like this, but through the metal part.

And that’s not even considering the scarcity of the material. As I found out on HowStuffWorks (I said I did research, not that I did a lot of it):

Platinum is even more scarce than gold. Only 3.6 million troy ounces are produced per year. Its specific gravity is 21.45, and it was discovered in the 18th century, not in 3,000 B.C. If you assume that the world has produced 3.6 million ounces per year for 50 years to estimate the total worldwide supply, all of the platinum in the world would fit in a cube that is 6.3 meters (about 20 feet) on a side. In other words, all of the platinum in the entire world would easily fit in the average home!

There isn’t enough platinum in the world to make even a fraction of what we saw in this episode. And of course you can always say that it’s less scarce in the Avatar world and I’m perfectly willing to accept that. It’s a perfectly valid reason, fictional worlds don’t need to follow the rules of our own world. Especially when people can shoot fireballs through martial arts in said world. Where I’m less willing to suspend my disbelief is altering the properties of platinum. While quantity of a material can be altered, the properties can’t be. If I were to write a story where steel is a thousand times stronger than it is in our world, and weighs a fourth of the amount it does, then it really isn’t steel anymore. Might as well call it mithril instead. 

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Please do. Mithril Mechas would be so badass!

The only way those robots would work is if the platinum in the Avatar world is harder than it is in our world. That being said…

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Robots.

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Really?

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I came here for badass elemental martial arts and now I get robots? I’m not sure what to feel. I’ve been a little iffy on the shift in technology in the first place, but now that we’re getting into sci-fi territory I’m really just speechless. I’m not entirely against it, but the introduction of this level of technology will take some time to digest. 

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Despite my wordiness, and my objection to the sci-fi-iffication of The Legend of Korra, I really did enjoy this episode. The plot finally advanced, and Asami got some much needed development. While her turning on her father wasn’t a big surprise, it was still an enjoyably tense moment. We finally get to see Tenzin strut his stuff and he doesn’t disappoint. Airbending is still such a rare form of bending that every chance we get to see it is a lot of fun.

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Lin continues to defend her title as best character in the show, especially when she demonstrates Toph’s ability to see with her feet. If nothing else I’m looking forward to her development in the rest of the series, and am disappointed that apparently there won’t be an episode this weekend.

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