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Question: Rate This Episode:
10 - 21 (21.2%)
9 - 29 (29.3%)
8 - 33 (33.3%)
7 - 5 (5.1%)
6 - 5 (5.1%)
5 - 2 (2%)
4 - 2 (2%)
3 - 0 (0%)
2 - 1 (1%)
1 - 1 (1%)
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Author Topic: [201] Rebel Spirit  (Read 59371 times)
BlackPanther1012
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« Reply #750 on: Oct 13, 2014 07:30 pm »

Unalaq was family. A blood relative at that. It's well-established (or at least, that's what I, Bryke and quite of handful of other people have determined) that in the Water Tribes, family is everything.

Korra not only admired him as an spiritually enlightened person (something she clearly wasn't) and a mighty waterbending master, but she admired him because he was her uncle. Plus, he was also her chief.

Unalaq was so treacherous, he betrayed himself. Seriously. His crackdown on the southern water tribe was necessary: he needed to assert himself and he needed the southern portal secure. He didn't want anybody (especially Korra) to go in or out of the spirit world because they would've met Vaatu or started speaking with spirits; spirits would've likely spilled the beans as spirits are incapable of lying.

But his persecution of Tonraq (some would say he was trolling Tonraq but I digress) was completely unnecessary. He already had Korra eating out of his hand and it spelled out the beginning of the end for him. Especially when Korra donned her bull-in-a-china-shop, taking initiative cap.

I think Unalaq just severely underestimated Korra's sense of loyalty and eagerness to save her tribe/the world.
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« Reply #751 on: Oct 13, 2014 07:59 pm »

See, it's that part of securing the Southern Portal that I question. He didn't need to crack down on the Tribe to guard the portal that was outside the city, that no one apparently cared about before Unalaq brought it up to Korra. Even a full scale rebellion didn't wind up threatening it, so what would have been the problem with Unalaq just having some of his guards set up around the portal, leaving the Southern Tribe itself alone?

The only reason I can think of was that Unalaq himself just got off on the whole thing, and/or he was using the whole thing as a way of breaking Korra.
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BlackPanther1012
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« Reply #752 on: Oct 13, 2014 08:04 pm »

But the only thing I can come up with as to why he would want to break Korra is because he never expected Korra to be so kind, patient....and acquiescent.

Maybe the Korra he remembered was the hard-headed, "punch it hard" go-getter
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Colonel_Brian
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« Reply #753 on: Oct 13, 2014 08:07 pm »

I thought he did because he wanted to cover up the real reason he was there. It is better to have the people think you are an invader with sibling-issues  than the Anti-Christ
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« Reply #754 on: Oct 13, 2014 08:17 pm »

I thought he was doing better positioning himself as a good guy, coming to the South to restore their spirituality with cross speeches, and he had a really good platform after guiding Korra to defeat the Everstorm.

He should have tried being a good guy before he settled on playing the villain.
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Colonel_Brian
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« Reply #755 on: Oct 13, 2014 08:19 pm »

Hey, I'm just throwing out some ideas. Though I don't know if he'd make a convincing good guy. His speech at the dinner party was kind of akward and riddled with red flags.
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« Reply #756 on: Oct 13, 2014 08:25 pm »

Good guys can be jerks. Grin

Honestly, I can't rule your idea out. Unalaq is just kind of bonkers, so trying to apply what supposedly makes the most sense doesn't really work for him.
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NextFireBend
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« Reply #757 on: Oct 13, 2014 10:42 pm »

I had such hopes for Unalaq, mostly because he and Tonraq kinda reminded me of Thor and Loki. Tongue

Hopes were crushed obviously, but hey, Tonraq is a badass.
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Ikkin
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« Reply #758 on: Oct 16, 2014 04:14 pm »

I have to ask, what do you actually think was going on with the Civil War? Why was Unalaq persecuting Tonraq? Why arrest Tonraq in front of Korra? Why arrest Tonraq at all? Why was Unalaq bothering to conquer the South when it had nothing to do with his wider goals, or the portals themselves? What was the point of the whole thing, from his POV?

As far as I'm concerned, Unalaq was acting on false assumptions.  He assumed that Korra would set herself against him because she was the Avatar and he wanted to overthrow the order that Avatar Wan had constructed ten thousand years ago.  He assumed that Tonraq would lead the South against him once Korra figured out what was going on and warned him.  He assumed that he had to take what he wanted by force instead of trusting that no one would find any reason to oppose him.

In other words, Unalaq assumed the worst of everyone and used what ought to have been a last-ditch backup plan as a primary plan because of it.  It makes a lot more sense than him just having that much irrational hate for Tonraq (who he ended up leaving alive for no real reason anyway!), and it plays in nicely with the season's theme of perception altering reality in spiritual matters ("If you look for the dark, that is all you will ever see," etc.).


Quote
Because you're stepping around those very big questions while baselessly claiming that Korra was totally sticking it to the man by doing nothing to stop him from running roughshod over her people, when none of it had anything to do with the Spirit stuff. In fact, when Korra brings up that the Southerners were upset, Unalaq said that it could jeopardize their plans, but then immediately goes on to say that Korra should be "neutral" and let him continue to do everything the same.

Korra being "neutral" was granting legitimacy to Unalaq's takeover because she was treating both sides as equal. That's the whole point; by being "neutral," she was saying that Unalaq had the grounds for declaring martial law over the South and oppressing its people. By forcing the Southerners to work within a system that Unalaq controlled, she was saying that she didn't want them to have the freedom Unalaq was taking away.

Did Korra realize this? Probably not. But that's why I say Unalaq was taking away her agency. He tells her to go out there and do nothing effective, to not take up sides, when she was prepared to take up the South's cause.

I'm pretty sure I've answered those questions at some point.  =P

The thing with "neutrality" is that, while in this case it definitely did work to Unalaq's advantage, it wasn't something that he came up with and convinced her of.  Unalaq's not the only character talking about neutrality -- some of the good guys do, too -- and Bryke treat it as something that's built into the Avatar concept when they talk about Book 2 in interviews.  And so, it's absurd to say that Korra's being manipulated by Unalaq (whether it's advantageous to him or not) when she's acting on a principle that got beaten into her for thirteen years.

As for "granting legitimacy," I have to ask, granting legitimacy in whose eyes?  No one seemed to care what Korra thought; the Southerners didn't question what they were doing because she tried to be "neutral," and the Northerners didn't question what they were doing when she turned against them.  Unalaq might as well have convinced a random passerby to remain neutral, for all the good it did him at winning hearts and minds.

If Korra did convince people to turn against their own interests, she might have questioned the "neutrality" thing.  But since her "neutrality" was completely ineffective, the lack of effect was what she focused on.  =/

I disagree completely with the idea that Korra was ready to take up the South's cause in Civil Wars Part 1, in any case.  She was ready to ask Unalaq to stop because his actions were making her own job harder, but she abandoned that because her greater interest in fixing the spirit problem meant that she was never convinced that they were unnecessary.
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« Reply #759 on: Oct 16, 2014 06:02 pm »

As far as I'm concerned, Unalaq was acting on false assumptions.  He assumed that Korra would set herself against him because she was the Avatar and he wanted to overthrow the order that Avatar Wan had constructed ten thousand years ago.  He assumed that Tonraq would lead the South against him once Korra figured out what was going on and warned him.  He assumed that he had to take what he wanted by force instead of trusting that no one would find any reason to oppose him.

In other words, Unalaq assumed the worst of everyone and used what ought to have been a last-ditch backup plan as a primary plan because of it.  It makes a lot more sense than him just having that much irrational hate for Tonraq (who he ended up leaving alive for no real reason anyway!), and it plays in nicely with the season's theme of perception altering reality in spiritual matters ("If you look for the dark, that is all you will ever see," etc.).

That doesn't actually make any sense. If he was expecting all that opposition, why did he start by convincing Korra to go with him of her own accord to the first Spirit Portal, accepting Tonraq into their party? He only conquered the South Pole after that trip. If he was expecting the opposition that you're saying, why didn't he do that from the very beginning? Why did he bring the army in once he was already getting everything he wanted?


The thing with "neutrality" is that, while in this case it definitely did work to Unalaq's advantage, it wasn't something that he came up with and convinced her of.  Unalaq's not the only character talking about neutrality -- some of the good guys do, too -- and Bryke treat it as something that's built into the Avatar concept when they talk about Book 2 in interviews.  And so, it's absurd to say that Korra's being manipulated by Unalaq (whether it's advantageous to him or not) when she's acting on a principle that got beaten into her for thirteen years.

You're mistaken. The only characters who used the word in any dialogue are Unalaq and Mako, and Mako was portrayed as being in the wrong there.


As for "granting legitimacy," I have to ask, granting legitimacy in whose eyes?  No one seemed to care what Korra thought; the Southerners didn't question what they were doing because she tried to be "neutral," and the Northerners didn't question what they were doing when she turned against them.  Unalaq might as well have convinced a random passerby to remain neutral, for all the good it did him at winning hearts and minds.

It was a way of framing the situation, for both the Southerners and the rest of the world. The Southerners even considered themselves "rebels," compared to citizens of a country being invaded by an illegal/foreign power.


I disagree completely with the idea that Korra was ready to take up the South's cause in Civil Wars Part 1, in any case.  She was ready to ask Unalaq to stop because his actions were making her own job harder, but she abandoned that because her greater interest in fixing the spirit problem meant that she was never convinced that they were unnecessary.

She wasn't ready to outright overthrow Unalaq, but she was definitely against the way the Southerners were being treated. Varrick was the only one advocating the extreme action, and eventually picked up supporters after Korra failed to do anything.
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Ikkin
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« Reply #760 on: Oct 31, 2014 06:18 am »

That doesn't actually make any sense. If he was expecting all that opposition, why did he start by convincing Korra to go with him of her own accord to the first Spirit Portal, accepting Tonraq into their party? He only conquered the South Pole after that trip. If he was expecting the opposition that you're saying, why didn't he do that from the very beginning? Why did he bring the army in once he was already getting everything he wanted?

Because, as far as I can tell, he thought that he could convince Korra to open the first spirit portal before her Avatarness caused her to catch on.  There's no way that navy could have gotten there at the exact moment that Korra finished her portal quest if Unalaq hadn't called it in ahead of time -- that's why I'm assuming that he didn't think he could get what he wanted past the first step.


Quote

Mako wasn't portrayed as being in the wrong, though.  Bryke have said the same sorts of things that Mako said about the Avatar needing to remain neutral on numerous occasions.  If I had the time, I'd find them for you, but it's been in a lot of their recent interviews.


Quote
As for "granting legitimacy," I have to ask, granting legitimacy in whose eyes?  No one seemed to care what Korra thought; the Southerners didn't question what they were doing because she tried to be "neutral," and the Northerners didn't question what they were doing when she turned against them.  Unalaq might as well have convinced a random passerby to remain neutral, for all the good it did him at winning hearts and minds.

It was a way of framing the situation, for both the Southerners and the rest of the world. The Southerners even considered themselves "rebels," compared to citizens of a country being invaded by an illegal/foreign power.

It's a way of framing the situation that did Unalaq absolutely no good, though.  Even Raiko was concerned about the situation; he just didn't want to help because he was worried about his approval ratings.  And Korra certainly framed it as an invasion once she turned on Unalaq.


Quote
I disagree completely with the idea that Korra was ready to take up the South's cause in Civil Wars Part 1, in any case.  She was ready to ask Unalaq to stop because his actions were making her own job harder, but she abandoned that because her greater interest in fixing the spirit problem meant that she was never convinced that they were unnecessary.

She wasn't ready to outright overthrow Unalaq, but she was definitely against the way the Southerners were being treated. Varrick was the only one advocating the extreme action, and eventually picked up supporters after Korra failed to do anything.

She tried to argue in Unalaq's favor until Tonraq outright asked her to talk to Unalaq, and she seemed pretty irritated that he'd asked.  It seemed more like she did it because she was afraid of what people like Varrick might do if she didn't resolve the issue than anything.
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« Reply #761 on: Nov 09, 2014 05:07 pm »

Because, as far as I can tell, he thought that he could convince Korra to open the first spirit portal before her Avatarness caused her to catch on.  There's no way that navy could have gotten there at the exact moment that Korra finished her portal quest if Unalaq hadn't called it in ahead of time -- that's why I'm assuming that he didn't think he could get what he wanted past the first step.

But why? It makes no sense. He framed everything as being for the good of the world, that even Tonraq agreed with so long as there were no shenanigans, and Unalaq knew that even if Korra wandered into the portal and saw Vaatu, Vaatu was hardly going to reveal that the portals were the key to his escaping. You're reading things into Unalaq's behavior that don't really make sense.


Mako wasn't portrayed as being in the wrong, though.  Bryke have said the same sorts of things that Mako said about the Avatar needing to remain neutral on numerous occasions.  If I had the time, I'd find them for you, but it's been in a lot of their recent interviews.

I'd love to see that, because Varrick's treatment throughout the series has hardly been as someone with bad motivations, and he was the poster child for the rebels in Republic City; he even got more screentime than Tonraq in Book Spirits.


It's a way of framing the situation that did Unalaq absolutely no good, though.  Even Raiko was concerned about the situation; he just didn't want to help because he was worried about his approval ratings.  And Korra certainly framed it as an invasion once she turned on Unalaq.

Well, the entire Southern Water Tribe was hardly rising up, unless you're saying that Unalaq had more soldiers than there were people living in the South Pole. Certainly, there was an audience at Tonraq and Senna's trial that pretty much just accepted the whole thing.


She tried to argue in Unalaq's favor until Tonraq outright asked her to talk to Unalaq, and she seemed pretty irritated that he'd asked.  It seemed more like she did it because she was afraid of what people like Varrick might do if she didn't resolve the issue than anything.

She was clear to Unalaq, though, that the reason the Southerners were rising up was because they felt that they were being invaded. The way she phrased it indicated to me that she could see where they were coming from.
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Ikkin
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« Reply #762 on: Nov 10, 2014 02:55 pm »

Because, as far as I can tell, he thought that he could convince Korra to open the first spirit portal before her Avatarness caused her to catch on.  There's no way that navy could have gotten there at the exact moment that Korra finished her portal quest if Unalaq hadn't called it in ahead of time -- that's why I'm assuming that he didn't think he could get what he wanted past the first step.

But why? It makes no sense. He framed everything as being for the good of the world, that even Tonraq agreed with so long as there were no shenanigans, and Unalaq knew that even if Korra wandered into the portal and saw Vaatu, Vaatu was hardly going to reveal that the portals were the key to his escaping. You're reading things into Unalaq's behavior that don't really make sense.

It makes more sense for him to send in the navy assuming that Korra was going to turn on him than it does for him to sabotage his best chance of getting the portals open by upsetting her.  Sending in the navy was a terrible idea in general, but it's not quite as self-defeating if Unalaq was convinced that Korra would change her mind before Harmonic Convergence.
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« Reply #763 on: Dec 05, 2014 07:19 pm »

Why would it make more sense? I think it's a pretty dumb move, either way. If he thought Korra was going to go against him, taking a single hostage to compel her cooperation would have been a lot safer than invading her entire home, and possibly bringing the whole rest of the world down on his head before Harmonic Convergence.
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Esperaholon
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« Reply #764 on: Jan 08, 2015 04:49 pm »

Could it have been simple redundancy? In the case a single captive proves pointless there are far more, and in the case the International Community takes offense pwn the Avatar by threatening to dismantle her father, and then her mother, and then her mentor, and so forth until the last infant is dead until she gets them to back off or does what you say.

Honestly tho - if Aang is what most people remember of the Avatar then it is safer to threaten a group of people then one very special person. Aang afterall was more likely to freak out over Katara then over an entire city. So...yeah.
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« Reply #765 on: Jan 08, 2015 10:12 pm »

On the other hand, there comes a point where threatening that many people is counter-productive, as Unalaq soon discovered.

As for the comparison with Aang, I actually think threatening his love ones worked fairly well. The General guy in The Avatar State had Aang at his mercy by threatening Katara. Aang was held at bay by Long Feng in City of Walls and Secrets by a threat to Appa. It was only after Aang thought his friends lost- the General guy making it seem like he had buried Katara, Aang going after Long Feng once he thought Appa had been sent away- that he struck out.
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Esperaholon
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« Reply #766 on: Jan 09, 2015 09:45 am »

Yeah, but what I meant was Aang was known to lose his pasted on pacifism if he thought someone he really cared about was threatened - but Korra is far more aggressive than Aang.

So while he might have waited 'til the last moment to do something, Korra might just completely loose it and wreck everyone's crap.

Honestly it's a very ... risky gamble to be making considering how differently each instance of the Avatar can go in regards to how they handle the AS mode of themselves.
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« Reply #767 on: Jan 09, 2015 09:54 pm »

I kind of feel like it's the opposite. If Korra is aggressive and dangerous as a matter of course, then why not try threaten her loved ones? It's not like the situation can become significantly worse.
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« Reply #768 on: Jan 10, 2015 02:11 am »

I kind of feel like it's the opposite. If Korra is aggressive and dangerous as a matter of course, then why not try threaten her loved ones? It's not like the situation can become significantly worse.

...Psh. ATLA S1 Finale levels of bad? I mean... eh - I personally wouldn't risk it unless she was literally about to charbroil me to crispy critter levels of complete dead, but I'm just really cautious like that. I know, I know - completely lame, but what can I say?
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longman83
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« Reply #769 on: Jan 11, 2015 11:49 am »

I kind of feel like it's the opposite. If Korra is aggressive and dangerous as a matter of course, then why not try threaten her loved ones? It's not like the situation can become significantly worse.

...Psh. ATLA S1 Finale levels of bad? I mean... eh - I personally wouldn't risk it unless she was literally about to charbroil me to crispy critter levels of complete dead, but I'm just really cautious like that. I know, I know - completely lame, but what can I say?
That's not what happened when Unalaq did just that by threatening to extinguish Jinora's soul. And that only became necessary because he had thoroughly antagonized Korra in the first place. And for what? In episode 206 Unalaq showed little concern for rebel activities as long as the spirit portals remained protected and safe. So why didn't he just do that before??

Toph Bei Fong was right. It was 'civil war nonsense'.
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Spiritwhisperer
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« Reply #770 on: Jan 12, 2015 04:34 am »

I kind of feel like it's the opposite. If Korra is aggressive and dangerous as a matter of course, then why not try threaten her loved ones? It's not like the situation can become significantly worse.

Probably because antagonising Korra is the way to trigger that agression swiftly. Korra was willing to follow Unalaq's line for a while, but almost immediately came into action when her father was threathened with life imprisonment - going after the person she thought responsible and putting his head in Naga's mouth.

And when Tarrlok triggered Korra, his face nearly got burned off.
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« Reply #771 on: Jan 12, 2015 08:06 pm »

Yeah, triggering her is a bad idea. But telling her that you don't want trouble, you respect her very much, now walk away and the hostage won't get hurt... eh, it can't hurt to try.

Unless, of course, you're Unalaq, and you already have Korra on your side, going along with everything you say. In that case, putting the pressure on can only ruin things.
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« Reply #772 on: Jan 13, 2015 12:34 am »

Yeah, triggering her is a bad idea. But telling her that you don't want trouble, you respect her very much, now walk away and the hostage won't get hurt... eh, it can't hurt to try.

That is pretty much what Unalaq did. After he arrested her parents he goes on about how sorry he is that it happened, but that if Korra's parents are innocent they should have nothing to worry about - especially with the honorable judge Unalaq personally appointed. And then he tried to seem even more of a good guy by getting Tonraq's sentence reduced. He tried to temper and redirect any potential agression from her, and put a wedge between her and her mentors, while getting closer and being supportive to her. Up until the judge snitched Unalaq was a textbook succes.

He was trying to have his cake and eating it too; getting rid of Tonraq, but doing it in a way as to try to not directly antagonize Korra. Too bad he pushed his luck too far. At that point he just purposefully antagonized her in the prison hallway (and I have no idea why precisely).
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« Reply #773 on: Jan 13, 2015 08:15 am »

He was trying to have his cake and eating it too; getting rid of Tonraq, but doing it in a way as to try to not directly antagonize Korra. Too bad he pushed his luck too far. At that point he just purposefully antagonized her in the prison hallway (and I have no idea why precisely).
But wait... he wanted Korra to open the Northern Portal. So why the heck did he bother sending Tonraq to a Northern Water Tribe prison? I thought he wanted to keep her away from him.
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« Reply #774 on: Feb 17, 2015 11:45 am »

Rewatching this ep, can we note how really good the animation is? Especially facial expressions and secondary animation? It's blowing my mind.  Which studio did this one?
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