That Varrick Touch
A Television Review by Akash Singh
NOTE: SPOILERS OCCUR!!!!!!!
“Listen, pal! I had to fight off two badger moles, six wolfbats, and 18 hogmonkeys to get these guys, so sorry if I don’t have the paper work! I was too busy cramming it in a hogmonkey’s mouth while it was trying to eat me. I am in sore need of a shower and I have blisters that are the size of cantaloupes and twice as juicy!”
Reunion is a bit of a breather compared to last week, but it was a necessary half hour that begins to coalesce a plethora of story lines together in an arc that makes it clearer than ever that we will more than likely see a showdown in Republic City for the grand finale. But before we get there, well before I might add, we get the titular reunion between Kora, Naga, Asami, and Mako. Prince Wu doesn’t get a hug. The relief, anger, frustration, happiness, all of the emotions one would expect after a three-year absence between people who have such a deep relationship comes to the forefront, only interrupted by Prince Wu’s kidnapping. You had one job, Mako! On the other characters front, Bolin and Varrick launch a great border escape sequence. Kuvira is largely absent this episode, but her appearance at the end more than makes up for her absence earlier. She’s arrived at Toph’s swamp, ordering the vines to be cut down. Cue dramatic blackout.
Varrick and Bolin have automatically become one of my favorite fictional pairings ever, and this episode is no exception. Naturally piggyback riding for who knows how many kilometers must be exhausting, especially when it’s Bolin carrying Varrick. In perhaps the greatest physical comedy moment ever, Varrick struggles to take two steps with Bolin before they fall into a trap and are hoisted into the air. “Are you kidding me?” he yells loudly into the air. Nope, Bolin. In a nice twist, it so happens that they’re instead captured by Earth Kingdom refugees who believed that the two worked for Kuvira (I’m going to hazard a guess here and blame the uniforms). Troubling news arises of how far Kurvira’s power craze has truly gone. She’s begun to commit genocide, forcibly removing all of the non-natives within her new Earth Empire and stocking them in her seemingly lovely-sounding reeducation camps. To prove that they’re not Kuvira’s henchmen, Varrick and Bolin agree to take the escaped prisoners past a border checkpoint. Naturally as you have it, it goes terrible wrong and the day is only saved largely by Varrick’s bombastic brilliance (see what I did there?) and Bolin’s masterful lavabending. They escape upon a ship Varrick finds to be beneath him, hilariously falling flat on his face when he steps onto it.
Korra, Asami, Mako, and to everyone’s dismay Prince Wu had lunch together, a sort of traditional narrative get together where certain secrets and feelings spill out of frustration and unconsciously hidden feelings that suddenly find space to become loud and clear. Mako discovers that Korra wrote back to only Asami, which naturally hurts his feelings. Korra tries to explain that she didn’t know what to say, which knowing her trauma over the past three years makes sense from her perspective. But Mako’s frustration is equally understandable. Asami hopefully notes to Korra that she met her father for the first time in what is basically forever, growing angry when Korra questions Hiroshi’s intentions. And then Prince Wu, for the first time, goes to the bathroom alone. It’s a testament to how sheltered this man has been that instead of noticing the obvious and running immediately out of the bathroom he gets sprayed with chloroform-like substance in the face. The disparate tension between our old friends is cut as they discover due to Korra that the Prince had been kidnapped. Ensues a great, thundering car chase sequence through Republic City (a staple Korra sequence that always works). They find a Kuvira loyalist, but Wu is gone. Korra gets in touch with the spirit vines in a great callback to her time with Toph and the spirits she unleashed upon the world at the end of Book Two.
The trio arrives in full badass mode at the train station, ready to kick some ass. Korra explains to her perplexed follows how she could now sense things in greater multitude thanks to Toph. Quickly they grab Wu, who is as out of it as he always is. A great train fight sequence ensues, with Asami especially kicking some serious ass. I love how she’s not a bender but her ingenuity has made her an equivalent to anyone else on the team. Can I just note how wonderfully the show has taken the typical prince story status quo and turned it on it’s head? It’s not the royal prince doing the saving of the damsels in distress here. It’s kickass women and basically his servant who save the prince’s life and whisk him off to safety. It’s a welcome victory for Team Avatar at last but considering the storm clouds on the horizon, it looks to be a short-lived one. I can’t wait until next week.
P.S. Can Bolin and Varrick arrive in Republic City soon, please?
Great Moments Not Mentioned Above:
+“You know, when I fled Republic City with Zhu Li, she carried me 20 miles in one day. And that was after she sprained her ankle.”
+Varrick smiling brightly at a solider who himself was staring at wanted posters for Varrick and Bolin is one of the greatest juxtapositions this show has ever done, or any show for that matter
+Next big Broadway musical: Mechs on Ice
+“You know who else has incisors sharp as a knife? Zhu Li.”
+Octopus fritters sound despicable
+Cucumber aloe water
+Wu: “Hey! Pop into the Avatar state for me. I want to see your eyes glow.” Korra: “What? No!” Wu: “Aww.”
+The music as always was great this week, especially in the car chase sequence
+Best Sunil Malhotra line delivery: “I’m in laundry…” I almost fell out of my chair, I was laughing so hard.
+“The one time I don’t watch him pee and this is what happens.”
+Asami: “You met Toph? What was she like?” Korra: “Uh…cranky, more miserable version of Lin.” Mako: “Is that even possible?” Korra: “You’d be surprised.”
+Varrick constructing an explosive with a battery, a wire, and a metal table leg. This man is brilliant. An ass, but a brilliant one.
+Korra’s expression at Wu in the train was priceless
+Asami’s mad driving skills
+“Am I dead?”; “No, you’re on a train.”
+“I’m not going up there.”
+“I’m allergic to drowning.”
+“Grandma Mako, this is Prince Wu.”
+Everyone at Asami’s house isn’t going to turn out to well, is it?
+“Harvest these vines until there’s nothing left.”
Written By: Michael Dante DiMartino
Directed By: Colin Heck
Animated By: Studio Mir
Image Courtesy: IGN