It’s me (Borah. Just to clarify).
I’m back to rant and rave about The Legend of Korra once more. With feeling (Yeah. Went there). This time it’s Episode 5: “The Spirit of Competition”.
If you’ve just stumbled upon this and are thinking to yourself, “What’s a Korra?” you can read my little intro/catch-up/explanatoryramblefest here.
I feel compelled to warn you that:
a) this may make little-to-no sense out of context, as it will be in the live-blogging style,
b) it will probably have quite a lot of capslocks exclamations (seemingly at random), as well my theories/wishes for plot turns, and probably a lot of comments that are actually just me excitedly repeating quotes from the show,
c) it’s one of those days where I’m kind of tired (in a loopy-making way), and feel prone to burst into song out of sheer exhaustion. I’m not sure if this is a thing that other people experience or not, but on the off chance of not, I just thought I’d give y’all a heads up.
Uh-oh, we start with “Love is in the air.”
I feel about this phrase the way that Timon feels about this phrase
(Yes, Timon from The Lion King. What other important Timons are there?)
I might hate this episode.
For those of you who don’t know me personally, I don’t do well with on-screen love thingies. Romcoms make me shrivel into tiny balls of parasocial/empathetic embarrassment. Capital R Romances make me cringe and/or gag, usually. The well-done romantic elements of other stuff usually ends with me crying (star/time/dimension-crossed lovers, etc) or going “….meh,” and wondering whether the editor could have cut down the mushy junk some more. So, fair warning, this might get crazy (in terms of my reactions).
Also, they’re teenagers.
So much hormones and built-in angst.
“Will love prove to be Korra’s most formidable foe yet?”
Do they have to call it love? Calm down. It’s a crush. And he’s a troubled, scarf-wearing angst machine! Ugh. Teenagers.
I also do realize that I am the oldest 22 year-old ever. GET OFF MAH LAWN!!!
Pro-bending practice. Korra’s there! Way to be on the team, kid.
Ah she’s taking a leave of absence from the task force. Good girl. Better would be to just tell Tarlok to stick it where the sun don’t shine and officially cut all ties. But your way is fine, and my way would probably spin out of control in a media shitstorm. *Le sigh* Proceed.
Ooh. Unnecessary team huddle.
You know you guys are all the only people in the room, right?
What’s the point of sticking your sweaty foreheads on your teammates’ sweaty foreheads?
Oh. It’s to clarify the existence of the love triangle.
Dang it! Bo, I expected more from you.
But to be fair, they planted the seeds early and I should have known.
Crap! Asami’s there!
I irrationally hate her (partly because she’s turning out not to be the Equalist agent I so hoped she would be. Also she’s just so…. NICE. It’s freaky).
Hey, remember that one time when Mako said he’d tattoo his chest with a company’s logo because he’s a moron?
Yeah, these are the uniforms with the logos that the adult businessman went with instead.
Also, it occurs to me that unless Mako spends an odd amount of time sans shirt, that wouldn’t even be a very good marketing plan for the company. And theoretically, he’s never going to be shirtless while he’s in a pro bending match
Asami called Mako “sweetie.”
I have never heard anyone who wasn’t a grandma or Dr. River Song make “sweetie” work.
Oh god. Mako and Asami just rubbed noses.
I hate them SO MUCH.
They left them for a lunch date. UGH.
Oh no. BO’S GONNA MAKE A MOVE.
DON’T DO IT!
IT IS THE WRONG CALL!!
BO, YOU AND KORRA ARE NOT ENDGAME!
THIS WILL ONLY END IN TEARS FOR YOU!
And possibly a lot of bitterness toward your brother, which might cause you to go off the deep end and join Amon and be his new right hand man, and then you and the creepy goggles guy who’s his right hand man can duke it out due to master-jealousy.
…. Never mind, Bo.
Ignore everything I said before.
I would love to see this arc happen for you.
Subtle avoid, Korra.
Cut to: The Boys in their (remarkably, unexplainably spacious for poor kids) pad.
Paboo gets a uniform? Also he really seems not to enjoy being bathed.
Also… this Bo vs. Mako over Korra issue might just happen yet.
“I MEANT FOR ME. LEAVE SOME LADIES FOR THE REST OF US!”
Bo is my favorite. La la la la la la. (In my head, this was a song).
“Uh… yeah. That’s what I thought you meant.”
Meathead—I mean, Mako. You fool no one.
Also, can you actually be undecided while full-on dating Asami? I guess people do this in real life, but it’s always baffled me there too.
Like, doesn’t dating the one PRETTY EFFECTIVELY tell the other that they’re second string or something?
People be crazy.
“BRO, YOU’RE NUTS. KORRA AND I ARE PERFECT FOR EACH OTHER! She’s strong – I’m strong! She’s fun – I’m fun! She’s beautiful – I’m GORGEOUS!”
Oh Bo, you are gorgeous. And the best.
Mako points out that dating a teammate (especially during the tournament) is a dumb move.
Meathead has a point.
Whereas dating the sponsor’s daughter is a shark move.
Can you tell I don’t love him?
“You know what I’m talking about Paboo. Talking about real love.”
Oh Bo, first of all, you’re hilarious but wrong. And second of all, all of your dreams will be crushed. My condolences.
Cut to: Korra and Tenzin’s girls making girl talk
Eldest Tenzin Girl, I like you so much, but you’re weirdly reminding me of a prowling divorcee/pushy older aunt in your exposition fairyness right now.
“TELL US ALL ABOUT THE MAGICAL ROMANCE!”
Little girls, man.
“I’m—I’m, I’m not into Mako. Or any romance stuff.”
Good cover. I’m sure you sold them with that, Korra.
“But let’s just pretend: If I were… what would I do?”
…Are you seriously asking for romantic advice from elementary schoolers?
How did that sound like a good plan in your head?
Also, I realize now that Korra doesn’t have any friends her own age (other than Bo and Mako. But clearly, they would not help right now). Poor kid.
Who will she dye her hair stupid colors with?
And watch 10 Things I Hate About You (NOT THE SHOW) with?
And have the rest of this what-to-do-about-my-boy conversation with?
No joke, the world can be pretty cruddy without a best friend.
And if you were wondering, 10 Things far exceeds it genre and IS AWESOME.
And I’m pretty sure I can quote the whole thing.
Mr. Stratford’s lines are my favorite.
Writers, could you give Korra a best friend please?
Triangle participants DO NOT COUNT. And neither does Poppa Tenzin.
Back on the farm…
“I recently read a historical novel …”
Of course you did. This is why you’re great.
The other one wants Korra to make a love potion and eat clouds. Or something.
THE WRITERS HEARD ME!!
But they made the best friend actually a wise woman. And it’s Tenzin’s wife Pema.
Maybe this’ll be good for Korra.
Please let them be besties, despite age difference and the fact that Pema has looked about ready to deliver that baby since Ep. 1.
Ooh. The (very short) story of Tenzin and Pema.
Who was the Asami in that equation?
I really want it to be Chief Beifong. Writers, can that be real, please? Don’t play coy; I know you can hear me.
Uh-oh, Korra’s smiling.
She’s going to do something stupid about Mako. I just know it.
ALL I ASK IS THAT YOU DO NOT GO FOR A DUMB JEALOUSY-MAKING PLOY BY DATING BOLIN!!! YOU CANNOT DO THAT!!! OKAY?!
Cut to: The Pro-Bending Match
Oh, THAT’S what that announcer looks like.
Also, The Fire Ferrets are now The Future Industries Fire Ferrets.
The Fire Ferrets are winning super easily. Shut out?
Meathead: “Wow. We were really connecting out there in that ring.”
No no no nononononononononononononono
Don’t do it, Korra!
Still Korra: “-I feel like the two of us have really been connecting well out of the ring, too.”
Korra, why you do this?!
K: “So I was thinking that we should spend—“
HORRIBLE AWKWARD CONVERSATION.
Korra: “LOOK, I REALLY LIKE YOU AND I THINK THAT WE’RE MEANT FOR EACH OTHER!”
Whaaaaa? WHY WOULD YOU SAY THAT?!!!!
I may have said all of the above out loud. And my voice may have reached new, previously unexplored octaves. They are not pleasant and you are happy that pitch cannot be communicated here.
“Sorry I just don’t think of you that way”
And he’s wearing the wince face.
*Shudder* I hate these scenes, and OH GOD, WHAT IF THE WRITERS REALLY DON’T MAKE KORRA AND MAKO ENDGAME?!!!!
And then it’ll be awkward like this FOREVER/til the end of the season at least.
I think my heart would explode.
Oh, and now Asami’s here, being grossly sweet. I really do hate her. But I’ve been told that I have issues with randomly hating The Pretty Girl. So maybe some of my issues are seeping through here. But she’s a cartoon, so I don’t really think they are (even I am not THAT ludicrous). I think I just hate her ‘cause she seems to have no personality of her own beyond blanket niceness, and she’s moneyed but otherwise useless.
Korra is in a tragic violin-assisted fugue state.
Bo, now is NOT the time to press your suit, okay?
“I don’t feel very date-worthy.”
Mah heart, u haz it.
This is when you should go find Pema and tell her that her plan sucked and do the stereotypical girl thing and eat ice cream (which is stereotypical, blah blah blah, but who doesn’t like ice cream? Come on) and watch movies….
or listen to radio programs, I guess.
It’s adorable, and something I’m pretty sure every person ever wants to hear at some point, but also going to cause some Trouble.
Yes. That capital T is there on purpose.
To indicate the magnitude of the trouble.
It will be big Trouble.
Also, Korra, it’s not your fault that you don’t know this (because you have no best friend. This is prime best friend discussion material)—
But you don’t date guys just because they like you.
ESPECIALLY IF YOU THINK THAT YOU’RE MEANT TO BE WITH THEIR OLDER BROTHER!!!
This is just common sense, brought to you by your parasocial, out-of-world surrogate best friend Borah.
And, naturally, Mako is making crazy faces all during this exchange.
Because it ain’t over yet, folks.
Oh man. I might end up feeling bad for Asami by the end of this. Crud.
But who knows, maybe it’ll make her grow a personality.
That would be great.
“YES! WHO’S THE LUCKIEST GUY IN THE WORLD? RIGHT HERE, BOLIN!”
It’s so fluffy I’m gonna die.
Cut to: Date with Korra and Bo and noodles.
Man, I am way too suggestible about food.
When I watch cop shows/SVU all I want is donuts or the inevitable Chinese take out they eat when they’re up at all hours trying to crack the case.
Right now all I want is noodles.
Also, Bo, your insecurity is showing.
And Korra, I am also curious. Who IS that creepy guy in the corner?
“That’s Tano, and the Wolfbats. Reigning champs three years running. DON’T MAKE EYE CONTACT!”
Bo, this is why you’re great.
But really, Tano’s harem thing is really making me crinkle my nose in irkedness.
I love that Bo’s response to fear/impending confrontation is to stuff his face. Me too! I mean, for me it’s usually preceded by me running away, but still!
Oh god, he hasn’t even started talking yet, and I can already tell that this guy’s gonna drawl, and drag words out in a creepy/superior way.
No me gusta
“Weeell, welllll, welllll.”
Oh god I was super right.
Oh, please don’t hit on Korra right now. I’m at my limit with you already.
“If you wanna know how a real pro bends, I could give you some private lessons.”
WHAT DID I JUST SAY!?!?!
Ew. Nose to nose challenge but still with the remember-when-he-hit-on-you-5-seconds-ago-why-would-you-put-your-face-that-close-to-his-face?! things.
Bo providing sidebar of useful information: like that hitting Tano will result in disqualification from the tournament. You know, random trivia type stuff.
Korra can do that awesome whistle thing (I can barely regular whistle, and find this skill really impressive. Even in cartoon characters). She uses it to call her polar bear dog, which roars at Tano and makes him squeal in fear.
It really annoys me that Tano makes large, general hand gestures, and thus commands his flock.
I’m sure we’ll meet again. Ick. Probably toward the end of the episode.
Bo adores her. Crud.
Cut to: Korra and Bo, drinking soda.
They have a burp-off, which horrifies the people sitting near them. But endears them to each other.
This is going to be messy.
Cut to: Bo and Korra on the balcony of a building.
Oh, no. She’s making dumb tourist faces and he’s making the sparkly Isuperloveyou face at her
NO NO NO NO NO!!!
Cut to: Korra walking up stairs.
Our favorite Meathead is there.
“What kind of game are you playing?”
“Uh… pro bending”
Nice, Korra. Nice.
Oh no, confrontation time!
THIS IS WHY YOU NEED A BEST FRIEND, KORRA!!! NONE OF THIS WOULD HAVE HAPPENED IF YOU’D HAD A RESPONSIBLE BEST FRIEND!!
Accusations of manipulation and jealousy!
No, I’m just looking out for my little bro!
No you’re not, you secretly love me, but also your random girl!
I HATE ROMANCE.
CAN WE STOP NOW?!
“What? Jealous? Pfft. Don’t be ridiculous!”
“Admit it! You like me.”
“No! I’m with Asami.”
“Yeah. But when you’re with her you’re thinking about me, aren’t you?”
OH MY GOD THIS IS REAL AND THIS IS HAPPENING AND I’M HYPERVENILATING AND MAKO AND KORRA ARE FIGHTING AND WHY???!!!!
I mean, I know why they’re fighting BUT WHY WOULD SHE SAY THAT?!
DO THESE PEOPLE NOT HEAR THEMSELVES SPEAK?!
So… this match is going to go really well, huh?
Cut to: In the probending ring
Korra slams right into Mako, causing them to lose the round.
Bo’s the only sensible one.
And his reaction to impending poverty is to train his pet to perform minor circus tricks on the street.
This is where we are right now.
Oh, we’ve never seen a pro bending tie before.
Apparently they go into a coin toss for element choice and then a sort of duel between the bender of that element from each team.
Bo is taking charge, steppin’ up and whatnot.
Cut to: Korra and Mako outside
Oh no, more confrontation spillyourguts times for Korra and Mako.
My life is full of struggle right now.
“You’ve made it clear how you feel about me.”
“No, I haven’t.”
NO NO NO!!
STOP RIGHT THERE!
JUST TAKE THIS LITTLE EMOTIONFEST OFF CAMERA PLEASE!
They’re not listening to me.
And now he’s rambling and stuff about “it’s really complicated” which bugs me, ‘cause I don’t know, it implies that she wouldn’t understand or something. Which is stupid. She’s right there, it’s not like there’s a whole lot of back-story that she missed and you have to explain or something. Also, Mako, it’s not really that complicated, you’re just being dumb about this.
KORRA’S KISSING HIM!
Obligatory dramatic music swell
And now his little marshmallow feeling are about to be decimated.
He’s holding flowers.
(Man I feel like Luke Skywalker today)
And now he’s crying.
As much as I love him, it’s pretty hysterical actually.
It’s not my fault! It’s the way he’s crying! It’s funny!
And if he’s crying comically now, it means he’ll live and get over it.
…But he probably also won’t become Amon’s new right hand man.
…Now my dreams are broken.
Mako and Korra are fighting.
They’re going to be pains in the patooks, aren’t they?
“Well played, Korra.”
But don’t worry. I’m still petitioning for that best friend to come through, so maybe that’ll help in future.
Cut to: Mako looking for Bo
Aw. He’s at the water tribe restaurant. Eating his feelings.
Like you do.
And now in a snot-covered food coma.
And I’m currently also considering the possibility that Bo’s noodles were alcoholic.
Mako is literally carrying Bo over his shoulder out of the restaurant.
“I told you dating a teammate was a bad idea.”
“YOU’RE A BAD IDEA.”
I think we can all agree, Bo’s got a point there.
They are going to suck at this match, aren’t they?
Cut to: The Match
Well… that’s going about as well as expected.
Uh-oh, Bolin is losing his noodles.
Bo! You are really pretty awesome almost all the time! Pull yourself together! She was never your endgame! So find yourself a nice Moon Princess or Kyoshii warrior!
Also, I’m pretty sure that Flameo was something Aang used to say when they were in the fire nation colonies.
Easter eggs make me feel warm and fuzzy.
The Fire Ferrets are full of struggle.
And friendly fire.
Oh, Korra, you really do have to stop assaulting authority figures.
Mako’s concerned for him!
Their bromance is intact!
It’s all down to Korra to win the match.
Symbolistic bro handshake!
“Are … we gonna be okay?”
“Of course we will. We’re brothers.”
Good talk, boys.
AMBIGIOUS EVEN-THOUGH-STUFF-IS-PRETTY-CONFUSING-RIGHT-NOW-BECAUSE-WE’RE-ALL-JUST-SACKS-OF-RAGING-HORMONES-LET’S-ALL-STILL-BE-FRIENDS,-OKAY? BLANKET COMMENT BY KORRA.
This means she and Mako are still TOTALLY ENDGAME.
But we’ll deal with it later.
Tano’s back. And he’s being really lame and obnoxious.
Asami’s back, being sweet and warm to Korra.
Oh yeah, remember that she exists?
I hate her, I really do. And she hasn’t done anything wrong, she’s JUST SO BLAH IT KILLS ME.
“If we’re all done with the thank you party, I’m in need of some medical attention over here.”
Korra’s all, I can help and Bo’s all
“Gah! HAVEN’T YOU HURT ME ENOUGH, WOMAN!!!”
He’s gonna be fine.
Oh, she’s a healer!
Oh right, Katara was her teacher!
(I wonder if she knows how to blood bend. I’m assuming not, but man, that might be a useful dark twist come final battle time with Amon!)
Bolin and Korra repairing their friendship:
“I had a great time, honestly. You’re one of a kind, Bolin.”
“Please. Go on. I enjoy praise.”
BECAUSE YOU’RE AWESOME!!!
The Wolfbats won in like five seconds flat.
And there are threats that the Fire Ferrets will need a good doctor after they play the Wolfbats.
THAT’S THE END?!
Okay, so it’s wasn’t my favorite episode ever, because of the mushy junk/angst machines, but at the same time, they managed to keep the humor and avoid devolving into totally self-important crazy people, and clearly, I had a lot of emotions throughout.
See you next week!
Borah, over and out.