Shows

Loki’s Self-Love Has Gone Too Far (Spoilers!)

Show Analysis:

Loki Season 1

Intro

If you want a spoiler-free review of Loki Season 1, check out this article. If you are looking for my promised spoiler analysis and thoughts on Season 1, you’re in the right place.

WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD for Loki Season 1, Avengers: Infinity War, Thor: The Dark World, and Thor: Ragnarok. Continue at your own peril.

Background

Loki Season 1 was created by Michael Waldron and released in 2021. It can be streamed on Disney+.

Analysis

First off, I want to say that I rated this show a 10 out of 10, so I am not going to bash it. I will, however, poke fun at parts that deserve it. That is not to say these parts are cons or mistakes. They actually add a lot to the oddness and intrigue that makes up Loki Season 1.

This season opens in New York in 2012, where Loki manages to procure the tesseract and escape the Avengers. My immediate reaction is, oh great. This is the Loki without all the character development of Avengers: Infinity War and all that happened after 2012. This is the undoing of Loki’s poignant death scene in Infinity War.

Loki Dying in Infinity War

And for a moment, I was frustrated. Having an audience feel strongly about a character and then killing them off is not a bad choice for a writer most of the time. Bringing them back is almost always a bad choice becomes it leads the audience to believe future character deaths are reversible.

But Loki in this series is not the same Loki. Sure, it’s the same actor. Sure, he even has the same obsession with his glorious purpose. But this Loki is just another variant in a universe filled with different Lokis. The other Loki truly died, this one is a different (but similar) character with a different path.

What I appreciate from the 2012 New York scene is that the whole series was caused by Hulk being forced to take the stairs. Think about it. If Hulk hadn’t gotten frustrated about taking the stairs, Loki never would have gotten the Tesseract and teleported.

Which brings us to the next scene, where Loki is lying in the sand of the Gobi desert in Mongolia. Everyone keeps talking about how this scene is remarkably similar to another one in the Iron Man movie.

The TVA (Time Variance Authority) find Loki there and proceed to hit him, but also slow him to 1/16th time. So we get to see the strike’s effects in super slow motion and it looks super painful and weird. This would actually be a pretty effective form of torture since even quick strikes would have their effect stretched out much longer. No doubt the TVA uses those tactics for sketchy stuff, because even from the beginning they give off weird vibes.

At the TVA headquarters, Loki is treated like a product in an assembly line. A bot destroys Loki’s clothing, showing how carelessly and intrusively the TVA treats people. The bot even twitches, so it probably isn’t well-maintained and safe. It kind of reminds me of that scene from Thor: Ragnarok where Thor gets his haircut.

He’s next told to “Please sign to verify if this is everything you have ever said.” There is a compilation of papers that definitely could not be everything he ever said, because we all know Loki likes to talk. He even has to confirm he is an organic being, which confuses him to the point where he even wonders if people could not realize they were robots.

This does establish the business-like and cold atmosphere of the TVA. He even has to take a ticket even though he is the only one there.

Then we get an introduction to the kind of annoying yet unique and interesting Miss Minutes.

Even though I find her kind of creepy, I do think her character is well done. At times, she even seems sentient and shows emotions such as concern.

The cartoon where she is first introduced is old-fashioned and reminds me of the sort of thing Mystery Science Theater 3000 would make fun of.

We learn that the motto of the TVA is “For All Time. Always.” That doesn’t really make sense because the cartoon flat-out admitted that the TVA has not been around for all time. There used to be multiple timelines until they were merged and became one “sacred” timeline. The TVA only began its existence when the Time Keepers acted to create the single timeline.

Loki is then put on trial and asked how he pleads. To that he responds, “Madame, a god doesn’t plead.” This definitely isn’t true, since he “pleads” with Sif in a later scene to stop attacking him when he is caught in a time loop.

We get an explanation for why the Avengers’ journey through time was not punished in the same way Loki was. Apparently that was all went to be. The sacred timeline sure is convoluted.

Loki tries to use his powers, but they don’t work in the TVA. Lucky for them, because Loki is a pretty formidable foe to vanquish.

Mobius stops Loki from being pruned from existence because he has this odd obsession with Lokis in general and seems to enjoy playing therapist/mentor to narcissists. He asks Loki to trust him. Now that’s pretty ridiculous. I wouldn’t even trust Mobius, so why would the backstabber Loki be inclined to do so?

Trust is for children. And dogs.”

Loki

Loki is then questioned extensively by the wanna-be therapist Mobius, who proceeds to show him a montage of some of his worst moments, including future moments he would have experienced. He gets to see that his choices got his mother murdered, which had to be more disturbing than the robot stripping him naked or existential concerns about the potential of being a robot.

Poor Mobius trying to squish a couple movies of character development into one presentation. Which, ironically, is similar to what my English professors had to do for the poor novels that only got one or two classes worth of discussion. (I feel like a good novel deserves at least a week.) I don’t know if Mobius thought it would convince Loki, but again, that wouldn’t have convinced me, since they could have used their high tech to create fake footage.

Loki is only really convinced to behave when he realizes that the TVA uses Infinity Stones as paperweights and that even the Tesseract is useless here. The revelation that the TVA is stronger even then the Tesseract is like a slap in the face to Loki, whose desire for world domination is damaged somewhat.

Loki is convinced to use his skills to hunt down another Loki. The first time they try to rely on Loki is at a medieval festival in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, where he mostly just wastes their time. Once again, the only team Loki is truly on is his own.

One thing I do love about this show is the settings–whether it’s a festival, the TVA, New York 2012…everything.

We get to see the variety of Loki variants that have been pruned soon afterwards, some of which look very different from our Loki.

Loki is the one who realizes how the other variant problematic Loki has been surviving and hiding–staying in areas where apocalyptic events are occurring does not upset the timeline.

It’s not until they track the alternate Loki down to a disaster in Haven Hills, Alabama in 2050, that Loki realizes that alternate Loki is a woman. (Big surprise. I mean, this was pretty obvious, very Disneyish move.) Not only that, she goes by the name Sylvie. No doubt to make it easier for people to understand who the heck is being talked about when the season is discussed. Not complaining. It makes it easier to review to have different names or nicknames for each character.

Loki follows Sylvie when she tries to escape and they hide in another cataclysm. They get a little bonding time where we get to see that not only are they both full of themselves, they also are highly skilled and possibly ship-able. Which is uncomfortable because they are basically the same person.

It gets even more obvious Disney is setting this up to be romantic when Loki shows off his dumb fireworks illusion and they talk about all they have in common, like being adopted, bisexual, and woefully misunderstood. (He was confirmed to be bisexual and genderfluid by Disney, so that’s cool. That makes a lot of sense considering the inspiration of Loki from Norse mythology, which he came off as genderfluid even though they didn’t have that terminology at the time.) Also, we get to see Loki dance and sing, which is hilarious and definitely deserved to be on the Marvel to-do list.

When Loki gets drunk and falls off a train, their one way home is destroyed and they have to come up with another idea on the spot, which also happens to not work because giant freakin’ chunks of rock are smashing into the earth and blasts apart their ride.

Luckily, their combined presence, and perhaps the uncomfortable fact that Loki is falling in love with another version of himself, alerts the TVA to their location, and they don’t die. Surprise, surprise.

Loki is banished to a time loop for awhile to think about what he done–time out for Loki, I suppose. In it, we see Sif, which is awesome, because it has certainly been a long time. He cut off her hair in the past because he thought it would be funny, which kind of explains why she has always hated his guts.

When Mobius finally takes him out and tells him that Sylvie is dead, you can see the shock register before he plasters it over with an apathetic look. But Mobius is a very good wanna-be therapist and understands Loki’s true emotions. Loki’s self-love has truly gone too far, because he has fallen in love with another Loki. I don’t think I’ll ever feel super comfortable with them being in any sort of relationship, but hey…it’s not really a con. It’s just another aspect of weirdness in an odd but brilliant show.

Mobius’s reaction is priceless, abashed at Loki’s incredible narcissism. That may be the funniest part in the whole season, honestly.

Loki tries to convince Mobius that all the TVA agents are variants, which is surprisingly not a lie. Mobius doesn’t believe him until he did some digging for himself, and then he tragically gets pruned by the order of Ravonna Renslayer. I found this death unconvincing.

What’s even more unconvincing? When Loki gets pruned himself after they find out the Time Keepers are fake. Yeah, Loki has “died” plenty of times already and I mean, at least we would still have Sylvie, right?

When Loki is pruned and meets the other variant Lokis, all I can think is alligator Loki? Alligator Loki? How could they even tell it was a Loki? How the heck did it start a nexus event? Are all animals variants of people, and if so should vegetarianism be the norm in the Marvel universe?

He’s oversensitive like the rest of us.”

A Loki Variant

Also, the fact that Kid Loki’s nexus event was killing Thor–holy crap. Loki didn’t even manage that. In the end, he probably didn’t even want that. And this little kid murdered his brother? Yikes!

Sylvie prunes herself, because obviously the two uncomfortably similar lovers can’t be apart.

And the Lokis basically all backstab each other in a futile attempt at ruling a junk pile. The alligator eats President Loki’s (another Loki variant) hand, which is disgusting, but also gave the alligator Loki some vague purpose.

Sylvie, Mobius, and Loki all meet up to take down Alioth. Mobius gets the heck out of there and who could blame him? But first Loki hugs him, which shows how much the god of mischief has fallen, but is also kind of sweet.

Then Classic Loki (yet another Loki variant) sacrifices himself, and at this point the broadness and variety of Loki’s own personality is just insane, but okay.

Getting past Alioth only cost one Loki, so no biggie. Miss Minutes shows up like a freakin’ serial killer and tries to make a shady deal with them and they are like, um–no. Miss Minutes is creepier than Thanos. No joke.

Then they meet the actual He Who Remains, the real Time Keeper. And he’s eating an apple in a way that reminds me of Moriarty from Sherlock. Sylvie tries to kill him a bunch of times. Loki is not as keen on killing him.

The little detail that killing Kang the Conqueror–I mean He Who Remains (pretty sure everyone has determined he is Kang by now though)–will lead to multidimensional war, makes Loki hesitate. Especially since it means Kang will be alive anyway and multiplied a bunch of times.

Loki is a liar and can spot one, so he knows Kang is telling the truth. Sylvie trusts no one. At this point it’s super obvious Mr. Kang’s gonna die. The kiss was also expected but it seemed early and weirdly timed. I mean, if you are going to kill someone, why would you stop for a quick, passionate smooch? Maybe I just don’t understand love.

I don’t know what the right word is to describe two people who are basically the same person kissing? Is this coming close to incest? Or just narcissism at its worst?

Anywho, after all that kissing nonsense, Loki gets sent back through a portal to the TVA and Kang is killed by Sylvie. Loki ends up in an alternate timeline where Mobius has no idea who he is. That’s frustrating, and I have no idea where the MCU is going from here. But I am kind of excited to see what happens next.

Conclusion

These Disney+ series have impressed me so far. I am curious to see where the story goes from here. Let me know what you thought of Loki Season 1 in the comments, and as always, if you have any suggestions for reviews or analyses feel free to share.

Shows

Loki’s Back For His Own Series

Spoiler-Free Show Review:

Loki Season 1

Rating: 10 out of 10 stars

Intro

When I heard about this series, I was concerned about whether it would be any good because I was worried it would take away from the character development we saw in other movies. Instead, it provided the means for more character development and showed a different side of Loki.

Warning: This review does not contain any significant spoilers for Season 1 of Loki, but it does include some plot details from Episode 1.

Background

Loki Season 1 was created by Michael Waldron and released in 2021. It can be streamed on Disney+.

Summary

Loki escapes the Avengers only to be captured by the Time Variance Authority (TVA) and labeled a variant to the sacred timeline. To survive, he will have to use his wits and his own self-knowledge to capture an enemy of the TVA.

Pros

  • Enjoyable characters
  • Strong character development
  • Phenomenal acting
  • Immersive setting
  • The show is unpredictable and strange, which is fitting for a series centering around the god of mischief
  • Well-chosen music

Cons

  • There are no specific cons I would like to point out. This series does stretch believability, but considering the god of mischief is the main character, I don’t see that as a bad thing.

Observations

  • Inspired in a lot of ways by the comics

Review

Characters

Loki wins the prize for most character development out of everyone from this series. Watching his character unfold was like watching a narcissistic caterpillar turn into an equally narcissistic butterfly. Yeah, he does remain a narcissist, but he’s forced to re-evaluate his entire worldview and come to terms with who he truly is.

Mobius is kind of patronizing at first, but once you figure out what makes him tick, he’s easier to understand and appreciate. He kind of fulfills a mentor role to Loki in that Loki does learn some things from him, but he’s not the stereotypical old dude fulfilling his duty to pass on unwanted wisdom.

Miss Minutes is the holographic mascot for the TVA, explaining its mission to maintain the sacred timeline to Loki when he first is captured. She handles looking up information in the TVA’s databases, but is more than just a tool. Often, she acts like a sentient being with her own feelings and concerns.

Acting

The acting was impeccable, especially by Tom Hiddleston, Owen Wilson, and Sophia Di Martino. Hiddleston using a range of complex expressions to get across Loki’s reactions to pivotal events was especially effective.

Setting

The TVA as a setting was perfect. It combined a bunch of old-fashioned propaganda posters, dated cartoons, and futuristic devices to make a unique atmosphere. It was a perfect blend of old and new to make the setting seem timeless and immersive.

Plot

The plot throws you for a lot of loops. (And not just time loops.) Every time everything seems chill and like things are going to go one way, things escalate and the stakes become even higher.

Music

The quirky and thematic music of this season added to the atmosphere. There is currently a soundtrack out for Episodes 1-3 called “Loki Volume 1” and it can be found on Spotify.

Inspiration

The whole concept of the TVA and the Timekeepers, as wells as many of the characters were inspired by the comics. I love that Disney is taking into account previous works in the Marvel Universe rather than taking an entirely new path.

Conclusion

If you like Marvel, then you will appreciate this show focused on one of Marvel’s most enduring characters.

Rating System

If you’re interested in how I rate shows, check out my rating system.

Links

Shows

LoK Season 2’s Horrible Spirit Wonderland

Spoiler-Free Show Review:

The Legend of Korra Season 2

Rating: 4 out of 10 stars

Intro

Don’t get me wrong. I love the Avatar universe and The Legend of Korra (LoK). But Season 2 takes all the worst parts of Avatar lore, runs like a bad fanfiction, and introduces lasting consequences that should never have been a problem in the first place. This is my second time watching it, and I hated it even more the second time.

If you decide to skip Season 2, I recommend reading my spoiler review of it instead of this one, because it will sum up the main takeaways from Season 2 and prepare you to understand the beginning of Season 3.

Background

The Legend of Korra Season 2, called Spirits, was released in 2013. It was animated partially by Studio Mir and partially by Pierrot. The creators are Michael Dante DiMartino and Brian Konietzko

Season 2 might have been better if it weren’t for strained relations with Nickelodeon and if the series had been planned out better in the first place. Initially, the creators of The Legend of Korra were only contracted for Season 1, so getting a Season 2 had been up in the air.

Summary

Season 2 begins six months after the first season. Korra has to find a way to deal with increasing unrest between the spirit world and the natural world and stop the embodiment of evil and chaos from being released on the world.

Pros

  • Introduction of numerous new characters
  • Get to see a beloved old character
  • The story of the first avatar was creative
  • Pretty animation at times
  • Good music

Cons

  • Abusive relationship between Bolin and a Water Tribe girl played for laughs
  • Relationship between Varrick and Zhu Li uncomfortable as well
  • Korra acting obnoxious in her relationship with Mako
  • More drama with the love triangle that is just too much
  • Bolin kisses a woman without consent
  • Bolin being a little too dumb
  • Has the worst villain of all the seasons
  • Too much spirit mumbo-jumbo
  • Serious permanent consequences that I really hate because why, oh why…
  • Really awful ending

Review

Characters

Eska and Desna are Korra’s twin cousins They are typically emotionless, passive, and disinterested in life around them. However, they can be stirred to anger under the right circumstances.

They come from the Northern Water Tribe and are visiting the Southern Water Tribe for the Glacier Spirits Festival. They are skilled waterbenders.

Bumi and Kya are Tenzin’s siblings.

Bumi, the one on the left in the picture, is a nonbender who is brash, stubborn, and fond of telling long and often pointless stories about his military career.

Kya, shown on the right in the picture, is a waterbender whose skill rivals her mother Katara’s.

Varrick is eccentric businessman and inventor that Asami seeks to make a deal with. He is a flamboyant, intelligent, bossy genius. He’s definitely a fan-favorite, but in my opinion he is at his worst in this season.

He has an assistant named Zhu Li who is willing to do almost anything for him.

Origin Story

Avatar Wan

Season 2 introduces the story of Avatar Wan, the first Avatar, and his relationship with the spirits Raava and Vaatu. This is the best part of Season 2, by far. It adds so much lore to the Avatar universe.

Raava and Vaatu

Relationships

There is one clearly abusive relationship in this season between Bolin and a Water Tribe girl. She treats him like a slave and exerts greater and greater control over him. When Bolin asks his friends for help, they shrug it off and give him less than helpful advice.

The love triangle of Asami, Mako, and Korra needs to stop. At this point it becomes painful and dramatic and it is easy to grow sick of the whole thing.

Varrick treats Zhu Li like some sort of slave and it becomes increasingly apparent that he is unable to appreciate her worth. Their interactions are uncomfortable at best, and cause one to wonder why a woman would degrade herself in this way for such a self-centered man.

The Bolin Problem

Bolin is not at his best in this season. When he is not a submissive, uncomfortable part of a toxic relationship, he is doing stupid and inappropriate things such as kissing a woman without her consent.

The Spirit World Problem

The Spirit World is like Wonderland, and I hate Wonderland. Nothing makes sense. Things change without warning. And with dark forces involved, spirits quickly turn from good to evil and back again. This whole season is about Korra finding herself spiritually, and in the spirit world she is figuratively and literally lost.

The spirit world in Avatar: The Last Airbender was so much better, because it stayed mysterious and kind of creepy. In Season 2 of The Legend of Korra it lost its cryptic quality.

Ending

The ending sucks. It’s like you are watching a completely different show than Season 1. It introduces lasting consequences that Avatar fans will be disappointed with for seasons to come.

Animation

The animation is a little bit nicer in this season than in the previous season. When telling Avatar Wan’s story, the animators changed the style. I like that choice as it feels liked it amped up the feeling of storytelling. The style was elsewhere surprisingly consistent considering two different studios were working on it.

Music

The music had a somber quality appropriate for the more spiritual themes of this season.

Conclusion

If you read this and then decided Season 2 wasn’t worth your time, check out my spoiler version of this review. I don’t recommend watching it, but if you can’t bring yourself to skip it, there are some redeemable qualities mentioned above, so it’s not a complete waste of time.

Honestly, I think this season was appropriate for most people ages 10 and up.

Rating System

If you are interested in how I rate show, check out my rating system.

Links

Related Articles

Shows

LoK Season 2’s Horrible Spirit Wonderland (SPOILERS)

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is legend-of-korra-season-2-1.jpg

Show Review:

The Legend of Korra Season 2

Rating: 4 out of 10 stars

Intro

Don’t get me wrong. I love the Avatar universe and The Legend of Korra (LoK). But Season 2 takes all the worst parts of Avatar lore, runs like a bad fanfiction, and introduces lasting consequences that should never have been a problem in the first place. This is my second time watching it, and I hated it even more the second time.

This review is filled with spoilers. It may not be worthwhile to you to watch Season 2, and if you read this blog post it will summarize everything of importance from that season, allowing you to skip Season 2 if you desire without being lost during Season 3.

Background

The Legend of Korra Season 2, called Spirits, was released in 2013. It was animated partially by Studio Mir and partially by Pierrot. The creators are Michael Dante DiMartino and Brian Konietzko

Season 2 might have been better if it weren’t for strained relations with Nickelodeon and if the series had been planned out better in the first place. Initially, the creators of The Legend of Korra were only contracted for Season 1, so getting a Season 2 had been up in the air.

Summary

Season 2 begins six months after the first season. Korra has to find a way to deal with increasing unrest between the spirit world and the natural world. When her uncle Unalaq convinces her to open the Southern Spirit portal, chaos ensues. To make matters worse, the Northern Water Tribe invades and seizes control of the Southern Water Tribe. Additionally, we learn about the first avatar and the continual fight between Raava and Vaatu–the embodiment of good and the embodiment of evil, respectively.

Pros

  • Introduction of numerous new characters
  • Get to see old characters–Iroh and Admiral Zhao
  • The story of the first avatar was creative
  • Pretty animation at times
  • Good music

Cons

  • Abusive relationship between Bolin and Eska played for laughs
  • Relationship between Varrick and Zhu Li uncomfortable as well
  • Korra acting obnoxious in her relationship with Mako
  • More drama with the love triangle that is just too much
  • Bolin kisses a woman without consent
  • Bolin being a little too dumb
  • Has the worst villain of all the seasons
  • Too much spirit mumbo-jumbo
  • Serious permanent consequences that I really hate because why, oh why…
  • Really awful ending

Review

Characters

Eska and Desna are Korra’s twin cousins and the children of Unalaq. They are typically emotionless, passive, and disinterested in life around them. However, they can be stirred to anger under the right circumstances.

They come from the Northern Water Tribe and are visiting the Southern Water Tribe for the Glacier Spirits Festival. They are skilled waterbenders.

Bumi and Kya are Tenzin’s siblings.

Bumi, the one on the left in the picture, is a nonbender who is brash, stubborn, and fond of telling long and often pointless stories about his military career.

Kya, shown on the right in the picture, is a waterbender whose skill rivals her mother Katara’s.

Varrick is eccentric businessman that Asami seeks to make a deal with. He is a flamboyant, intelligent, bossy, occasionally obnoxious genius. He’s definitely a fan-favorite, but in my opinion he is at his worst in this season.

He has an assistant named Zhu Li who is willing to do almost anything for him.

Origin Story

Avatar Wan

Season 2 introduces the story of Avatar Wan, the first Avatar, and his relationship with the spirits Raava and Vaatu. This is the best part of Season 2, by far. It adds so much lore to the Avatar universe.

Wan’s story starts in a world where lion turtles guard the secrets of the elements and allow various people of the tribes that live on their backs to borrow elemental powers from them. In other words, the lion turtles give people the gift of bending a particular element–fire, air, water, or earth.

Wan borrows the power of firebending from the lion turtle to join a hunting party, but does not give it back when he is supposed to. He then tries to help the poor in his town by robbing the rich with firebending–like a kind of Robin Hood figure. As a result, he is banished to the Spirit Wilds.

When seeking sanctuary among the inhabitants of the Spirit Wilds, Wan is initially rejected by them. After he rescues a trapped cat deer, risking his life in the process, the spirits accept him.

Two years after being banished, Wan decided to find other lion turtle cities. He left with the cat deer, Mula, and during his travels stumbled upon Raava and Vaatu locked in a desperate battle. When Vaatu begged for help, saying he had been tormented by Raava for ten thousand years, Wan used his bending to separate them.

This turned out to be a mistake, as Vaatu was the spirit of darkness and evil. Raava explained the error Wan had made and rejected his offer to help capture Vaatu again. Wan continued on his journey and found an airbending village where Vaatu turned benign spirits malevolent. Wan managed to protect the airbending village until Raava arrived.

Vaatu bragged about how he would destroy Raava when Harmonic Convergence arrived. Raava was growing weaker, so she agreed to join Wan. Wan asked for the power of airbending from the lion turtle whose village he had saved, and was granted it, though Raava was required to hold most of this power until Wan was able to master it.

Wan and Raava traveled together to other lion turtle cities as Avatar Wan mastered the four elements. Coming across a conflict between humans and spirits that escalated when Vaatu turned the spirits dark, Wan temporarily merged with Raava. This allowed him to control all four elements at once. The strain was too much and Wan passed out. After he woke up, he learned that the humans had all been killed.

Raava was so small that he put her in a teapot and carried her with him to the Southern spirit portal, determined to face Vaatu. Wan fights Vaatu and merges again with Raava to get an edge in battle. This time, the merging is permanent, and Wan becomes the first Avatar through this fusion.

Wan defeated Vaatu and trapped him in the Tree of Time. He then spent the entire rest of his life attempting to bring peace to the world. Although he was not successful, he was reincarnated in what was the beginning of the Avatar cycle.

Raava and Vaatu

Relationships

The relationships in this season are so messed up.

First off, there’s Bolin and Eska to contend with. Their relationship is meant to be funny, but it is obviously abusive. That this is a relationship without consent on one side becomes increasingly apparent, even though Bolin repeatedly and reluctantly submits in the toxic relationship.

Their first conversation offers hints and red flags.

Eska: You amuse me. I will make you mine.

Bolin: You mean like a boyfriend? Or…like a slave?

Eska: Yes. Win me prizes.

It gets to the point where Eska dictates how Bolin (and Pabu) dress. She also tries to control Bolin’s future and force him into a marriage with her.

When Bolin goes to his friends for help, they do not take him seriously. And when Bolin tries to break up with Eska, he is threatened. The entire relationship is unhealthy and destructive.

The Bolin Problem

Bolin is not at his best in this season. When he is not a submissive, uncomfortable part of a toxic relationship, he is doing stupid and inappropriate things such as kissing a woman without her consent.

When Bolin becomes a mover (movie) star, it is clear that he does not understand the concept of acting. When Ginger pretends to be into him during a scene, he kisses her even though it is not in the script. When she is understandably angry, he doesn’t get it.

While this is meant to be funny, making Bolin dumb enough to do inappropriate and irrational things makes him a far-cry from the lovable Bolin of Season 1.

The Spirit World Problem

The Spirit World is like Wonderland, and I hate Wonderland. Nothing makes sense. Things change without warning. And with Vaatu involved, spirits quickly turn from good to evil and back again. This whole season is about Korra finding herself spiritually, and in the spirit world she is figuratively and literally lost.

Korra turns into a child in the spirit world temporarily, helps a damaged spirit, and meets good ol’ Uncle Iroh from Avatar: The Last Airbender. This brings up more questions than answers. For instance, what is the afterlife for people of this universe? Just passing on to the spirit world? Why aren’t there more dead people around?

Also, Korra and Iroh and some spirits basically have a tea party, which makes it all too much like the tea party with the Mad Hatter in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. And Korra shrinks and grows like Alice… Did I mention I hate Wonderland?

Even if you like Wonderland, you’re unlikely to like this Wonderland knock-off.

The spirit world in Avatar: The Last Airbender was so much better, because it stayed mysterious and kind of creepy. In Season 2 of The Legend of Korra it lost its cryptic quality.

Ending

The ending sucks.

It introduces the concept of a dark avatar to the canon, which is honestly a mistake. The Vaatu and Unalaq combo is laughable even if it is destructive. It’s like the series jumped genres and became an animated Godzilla vs. Kong. It ends just about how you would expect – with Korra the victor and Unalaq vanquished in a bloodless way.

The real tragedy is that Korra permanently loses contact with her previous Avatar lives. It’s basically like someone hit the reset button on the Avatar cycles. It’s a horrible consequence that fans will be lamenting for seasons to come.

A cooler consequence is that Korra leaves the spirit portals open and spirits integrate with Republic City and the rest of the world.

Animation

The animation is a little bit nicer in this season than in the previous season. When telling Avatar Wan’s story, the animators changed the style. I like that choice as it feels liked it amped up the feeling of storytelling. The style was elsewhere surprisingly consistent considering two different studios were working on it.

Music

The music had a somber quality appropriate for the more spiritual themes of this season.

Conclusion

I wouldn’t recommend watching Season 2. This review says enough about the season to be able to move on to Season 3 with no problem. If you’ve already watched it…then sorry, I guess. Unless you liked it. Some people do.

Honestly, I think this season was appropriate for most people ages 10 and up.

Rating System

If you are interested in how I rate show, check out my rating system.

Links

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