damkianna: A cap of the Reverend Mother from the Dune miniseries, with accompanying text: "Space cowgirl." (Default)
[personal profile] damkianna
SO.

There was so much packed in there that I think I'm going to have to break out some lists; my yay is far less complex than my boo, so we'll start there.


THINGS I LOVED

- Bolin! I really adore Bolin and have throughout, and the finale did nothing to change that. HEARTS.

- omg Asami, the moment Show had her look at the mechsuits I was practically shouting YES TAKE THE MECH YES at the TV. And then she did and it was perfect. I love that she knows how to operate a forklift, and that she - well, she still walked into the fence, sure, but at least she was the one who thought about it! And the fight with her dad; sometimes this show's dialogue makes me sad, but other times the simplicity of it is kind of right on the nose, and I actually loved the simple basic truth of "You are a terrible father." (I'm also sort of glad Asami brought up her mom again; if you're going to kill a mom to give a dad ~issues, the least you can do is a) not forget about her and b) point out how shit the dad is being by clinging to his manpain.)

- It was so weird to have Zuko's voice coming out of a different face (HI DANTE BASCO HI), and some of Iroh's lines gave me such gigglefits - he was so sensible! Nothing like Zuko at all. It was awesome.

- Tenzin's face at the end, and that teeny clip of Bumi - who was clearly very aptly named. All that's left is to hope S2 introduces Kya, who will also be in charge of something. (And Zuko's daughter - I hear she is or has been happily ruling the Fire Nation, but you don't get points for ladies if you don't put them onscreen, Show.)

- Korra! I had various issues with this episode, but none of them were with Korra herself; she was impatient and a little reckless and selfless and angry and kickass. WHY DO I HAVE TO WAIT FOR S2 TO SEE MORE OF YOU


THINGS I MIGHT HAVE LOVED HAD THEY BEEN SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT

- Amon/Noatak and Tarrlok's backstory. I think I would have enjoyed this a lot more had it not come at us in the form of a single five-minute flashback session, but as it was, it was representative of all the problems I had with the pacing of this episode (and the season as a whole, to some degree, given how end-loaded this episode made a lot of the season). And I don't think you can explain this with them not being sure they'd have a second season; at the very least they could have asked Tarrlok's squeaky-voiced liar office staff guy about him after he was taken by Amon, and then found his mother (who could easily have still been alive, and even been living in Republic City if you didn't want to do a travel montage) and learned part of it. Not the whole thing, but at least a little bit about his father, that he had a brother named Noatak, and a mention of the hunting trips - that way, getting Tarrlok's side of the story would not have been sort of out of nowhere, and some of the details would already have been mentioned. I just think that would have helped a little.

- Mako/Korra doesn't quite fit under here because it would have to have been more than slightly different, but yeah. Still really blah about Mako; I can ship it anyway, but not like that. That was just bad. (Honestly, I think source is almost better off leaving these things to fandom, because it seems so irrelevant or silly when there's a war or the world's going to end or whatever other epic crisis is up. It's all much easier when you can have an adjunct story that's solely romance, instead of trying to wind a romance into a story where there are WAY more important problems. Or maybe I'm just heartless, I don't know.)


THINGS I AM CURIOUS ABOUT FOR NO GOOD REASON

- How did Amon/Noatak get his lip to do that? The painted-on scar was simple enough, but if you look at him when he first takes the mask off, he's got kind of a Jonah-Hex thing going on with his mouth on the burned side, and yet after he comes out of the water there's no sign of that. Did he bloodbend his own mouth to hold his lip like that? Did he glue it to his teeth? THESE ARE THE QUESTIONS.

- Did the thing with Gommu make sense to anybody whose sister didn't play through the Explore Republic City online game and share her notes? Because I knew that he used to be a telegraph operator for the fleet, before he became the homeless guy with the beauteous bush; but I didn't think the show had brought it up, and yet Korra said she knew "just the guy" to help Iroh like we were supposed to have known already. Maybe I missed something?


THINGS I AM CURIOUS ABOUT FOR (I THINK) A REALLY GOOD REASON

- How the crap was Amon/Noatak taking people's bending away? No, seriously, what. what. That, for me, was sort of a major season-long mystery, and I'm kind of startled that they just brushed it off with a "he's doing it somehow with his bloodbending" and left it at that. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN. If he was somehow - closing up those chakra points that Aang had to clip-show open in A:tLA, or using some sort of deeper method of qi-blocking - I mean, look, I don't need the exact details, but there's vague and then there's vague, and that was vague as hell. I suppose they might get into this next season, but I'm a little amazed they could make it not part of the finale. ???


THINGS I DIDN'T HATE BUT THINK DIDN'T DO WHAT THEY SHOULD HAVE DONE IN A META SENSE

- The fight near the end. I suppose I don't totally begrudge Mako his moments of awesome, although I am still pretty darn uninterested in him, and also thought having the bad guy talk about how talented he was was a bit much; but I find myself weirdly dissatisfied with the whole airbending-unlocking sequence. It does make sense to me that Korra couldn't have connected to that element before Amon/Noatak took her current bending abilities away, and so I get that it had to happen fast - but nothing that happened there felt to me like a moment of sudden deep understanding of the central truths of airbending. A point the show has been making repeatedly is that airbending is contrary in many ways to Korra's personality, and that Korra's personality is brash and strong and all about going on the offensive - we have seen her on the attack over and over again, getting in people's faces and refusing to back down, and while many things about that are awesome, the setup of airbending vs. Korra's natural tendencies seemed to imply very strongly that she would have to learn to do otherwise in order to get a grip on airbending. And yes, she did some of that, she learned to go through the rotating panels and she meditated and reached Aang while Tarrlok had her in that box; but there was no corresponding moment of understanding at the end there. She was desperate and she punched, and it worked, and she attacked Amon head-on with it, and - I'm not trying to argue that that doesn't suit her personality, or isn't something that she would readily have done during a moment like that, but that's sort of the point. She didn't do anything different from what she always did, even though different was what the whole rest of the season seemed to be calling for, and I don't understand why.


THINGS WHERE I GET WHY THEY HAPPENED BUT I REALLY DON'T LIKE IT

- Lin getting her bending back. Lin is FANTASTIC and I absolutely love her, but this felt to me like - like Sudden Wheelchair Recovery Syndrome, like an episode of Downton Abbey. In many ways, the bender-nonbender conflict makes me think of ableism; nothing is ableism but ableism, but Pema wondering why she couldn't have just one child who was like her reminded me of nothing so strongly as The Sound and the Fury, which was a documentary I watched in college about a Deaf family trying to negotiate the complexities of getting or not getting a cochlear implant for one of their children. The reason Amon is wrong, to me, is because the heart of the inequality is not bending itself, but the way people think about it, and the ways in which the world is made harder for people who don't have it; and I don't think the answer is to erase everyone who does have it, or to erase everyone who doesn't have it, but to change the way people think about it. It was obnoxious when Matthew from Downton was miraculously able to walk again because it meant not having to deal with what it would be like for him not to be able to walk; and this ends up feeling obnoxious to me in the same way. Yeah, sure, Lin's strategies would have to change a lot; but it's not like she would be a less kickass character if she were a nonbender. I feel like it makes Amon sort of right, to think that way, and it would have made him gorgeously wrong to have Lin become a nonbender and still be amazing, different but still hopelessly fantastic - sure, it would have been harder to write, but I think it would have been great. And instead the show backed up the worst extreme of the attitude Amon purported to be fighting: being a nonbender does suck, and benders are way cooler! Which is not what I want the point to be at all. And this ties into ...

- Amon's bending removal not being permanent. How much more complicated, if the answer to "but everybody keeps saying Amon doing this is for permanent" to be "yeah, and it is" and not "he was lying, the Avatar can fix it! :D"? Erasing that possibility just made everything so pat, and I get why they wanted it that way but I really didn't like it. :(

- Basically the entire ending. I could understand why they wanted it that way in case they didn't get another season, but once they knew they had the green light, WHY OH WHY did they not hack off the last thirty seconds and stick another commercial in somewhere??? Korra stuck only able to airbend when she's still not all that good at it would have been a great season-ender - apparently they have something new in mind for S2, but it would have made perfect sense for it to be about Korra working further with her airbending now that it's all she has, learning that she can't bend or punch her way through every problem, her continuing efforts to reach her spiritual side, even a quest through the spirit world to try to find a way to undo everything Amon did. And, look, I'm not going to argue that Korra in the Avatar state wasn't SUBLIMELY AWESOME, but I don't understand how we got there. It feels like the payoff for a revelation that never happened, the result of a change we never saw Korra go through fully, and so it was an awesome scene but it frustrates the shit out of me. The other way, there's a clear avenue to get everything we didn't get in this season, all the complicated shit about how, sure, Amon was doing everything wrong, but we saw him have a point, we saw the movement have a point, and nonbenders are treated differently but Korra is their Avatar too. (In retrospect, that scene with the nonbender protest and Tarrlok's task force is probably my favorite, just because it is so close to what I wanted most from this show.) But I don't know how we're going to get there from EVERYTHING'S SOLVED, HERE'S YOUR BENDING BACK - I'm not even sure the show wants to, although I still hope so. I'm pretty definitely not going to stop watching, but I have metaphorically re-fortified my heart so as not to hang all my joys and hopes on Season 2.

Much more happily, we went to see Brave, which I really enjoyed! I'm hoping it's more of a stepping stone for Pixar toward movies with girls in - not because Merida was not awesome or I did not love the movie with my whole heart, but because despite everything that's wonderful about it, it's still a really gendered premise. I mean, to some degree it moved beyond that, and became much more about Merida and her mother and their relationship (which is AN A+++ CHOICE OF FOCUS, BY THE WAY), but it still began as the Feisty Princess Who Doesn't Want to Get Married, and while the marriage was actually something of a MacGuffin to give Merida motivation, it was nevertheless the main springboard.

BUT. The movie was really lovely - visually gorgeous, the 3D did not seem to me to be obtrusive or anything, and the unfolding of the story was a pleasure. I may have cried a little at the end. I also got mad at my dad, who said in the car later that he did not perceive how any of it had required Merida to be brave, which, really? Shooting the bear who bit off your dad's leg in the face, putting yourself between your heavily-armed dad and the bear he's trying to kill - putting aside for a moment the less-tangible emotional courage involved in the whole story - doesn't qualify? FUCK YOU Okey dokey. Personally, "I will not let you kill my mother!" is up there in my favorite moments ever. ♥♥♥♥♥

And there was also Burn Notice, which I now find I have no deep thoughts about, but am enjoying even though they're still being a touch heavy-handed about Michael/Fi - not that it isn't warranted in some ways, but I could do with less of the slow-mo table-overturning, I don't need that to remember that Michael loves Fi. :P It is weird but amazing, having Dr. Cox around, and I'm glad they went for a Jesse episode. Reserving most other judgment until I have a better idea how they're going to handle this prison storyline.

Blew most of the weekend, so next chapter of LttE: 4.5k, not tremendous progress. But still progress!

Date: 2012-06-25 04:31 pm (UTC)
dhobikikutti: Masked face of Amon from Legend of Korra with text 'Team Amon' (korra)
From: [personal profile] dhobikikutti
She didn't do anything different from what she always did, even though different was what the whole rest of the season seemed to be calling for, and I don't understand why.
YES. I was so annoyed that she didn't even need to change her style of punching.

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damkianna: A cap of the Reverend Mother from the Dune miniseries, with accompanying text: "Space cowgirl." (Default)
'tis not so deep as a well

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