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Matt Patches

‘The Legend of Korra’ Book 3 Review: “Enter the Void” / “Venom of the Red Lotus”

Legend of Korra finale
Nickelodeon

The best way to stop an anarchist is to allow his or her plan to backfire.

If the hero can't shut him or her down with brute force, if the villain's motivating world views veer a little too close to sound logic, then it's all about going along with the plan until it blows up in someone's face. Emotion overtook Zaheer's methodical planning; Sure, he jetted off like Neo in the Matrix in the final moments of “Enter the Void,' but when his one true love P'li kicked the bucket in an epic duel with Lin and Su, the Red Lotus leader lost his cool. It was only a matter of time. Zaheer didn't believe in the power of collective empowerment, where individuals choose to become one of many. What a thrill it was to see powers combine to tornado him in the butt.

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‘The Legend of Korra’ Book 3 Review: “Long Live the Queen”

Legend of Korra Long Live the Queen
Nickelodeon

With “Long Live the Queen,” 'Korra' takes a step over the line into darker territory. Or that's how Zaheer puts it, when he suffocates the Earth Queen by airbending the oxygen out of the body. If the Parents Television Council knew how to navigate Nick.com, its members would be flipping out.

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‘The Legend of Korra’ Book 3 Review: “Stakeout”

Legend of Korra Stakeout
Nickelodeon

Though “Stakeout” begins as a cheeky detective story — somewhere between Richard Dreyfuss' 1983 screwball action comedy of the same name and Paul Auster's merciless short story, “Ghosts” — it's conclusion is like flipping through Snyder's Buddhist playbook.

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‘The Legend of Korra’ Book 3 Review: “The Terror Within”

The Legend of Korra The Terror Within
Nickelodeon

A great villain can usurp the fortitude of a great hero. Look at 'The Dark Knight' — is Batman even in that movie? Heath Ledger's Joker was an instantly iconic performance that overshadowed the small effort put into complicating the Bruce Wayne character. Worth the sacrifice, but Christopher Nolan's Bat-sequel is forever flawed.

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‘The Legend of Korra’ Book 3 Review: “Original Airbenders”

The Legend of Korra Original Airbenders
Nickelodeon

Books 1 and 2 of 'The Legend of Korra' didn't have time for episodes like “Original Airbenders.” The closest half hour might be “The Sting,” last season's Korra-less, Mako detective tale. It was an exciting deviation from the stream of plot-driven episodes ... at least, it was in theory. “The Sting” was still adding stepping stones for how Book 2 would wrap everything up. “Original Airbenders” is essential without feeling concretely tied to any big picture, Zaheer's nefarious motives or everything Korra's dealt with in Zaofu. Much like 'Avatar: The Last Airbender,' 'Korra' strays from the path to detail its well-worn characters. It's a breath of fresh air(bender).

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‘The Legend of Korra’ Book 3 Review: “Old Wounds”

Legend of Korra Metal Clan
Nickelodeon

Last week's “The Metal Clan” saw Lin and Suyin clenching their insides to keep from biting the other's heads off. This was their first interaction in 30 years. It was no easy feat; meditative, green juice-drinking Suyin was in a better position to calmly avoid the situation. Lin's rage transformed her into a rabid dog, teeth out, ready to bite. In “Old Wounds,” that passive aggression literally cripples the diligent cop. The only solution: memory-provoking acupuncture!

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‘The Legend of Korra’ Book 3 Review: “The Metal Clan”

Nickelodeon
Nickelodeon

In “The Metal Clan,” the upswing of a new Book 3 arc, Korra is the blissfully ignorant student, learning the facts for the first time. We've known Lin Bei Fong since the very beginning of the show, but we've never known her. And a thinner show would have been OK with that; Lin's the gruff, overly-rational policewoman who will do anything to protect the Avatar from danger. That's enough characterization. But not for 'The Legend of Korra,' which shook up the Korra/Lin relationship by traveling to the heart of the Metalbender's past.

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‘The Legend of Korra’ Book 3 Review: “In Harm’s Way”

Nickelodeon
Nickelodeon

If anyone thought this season was skimping on the action — and after last week's mini 'Warriors'-meets-'Mad-Max'-meets-'Akira' throwdown, I'm not exactly sure why you would, but hey, we all require varying amounts of stimulation — the 'Korra' creative team delivers 24 minutes of wall-to-wall action worthy of Danny Ocean.

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‘The Legend of Korra’ Book 3 Review: “The Earth Queen”

Legend of Korra Earth Queen review
Nickelodeon

As Korra's ship enters Ba Sing Se airspace, Tenzin warns her that the Earth Queen can be... a prickly personality to work with. A glimpse of the city's three sectors, ringed with a serious of walls, tells us exactly what we need to know about this woman. We might as well call her Prince John; Modern Ba Sing Se is a socioeconomic hell hole, the poor starving on the fringes while the Queen and other royalty live it up in the center. Traveling the radius of the city is a sharp bit of visual info from director Ian Graham. Studio Mir, the studio behind 'Legend of Korra,' is up to the task.

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