Because fans should be critical, too

Quick Thoughts on “Operation Beifong”

A very good episode! It definitely has the best Bending duel (between Kuvira and Suyin) that I’ve seen in a long time. All the action and suspense worked wonderfully. And it was good to see that Zhu Li was trying to sabotage the big gun all along (even if she did help build it, but she was just trying to keep up appearances, or maybe she changed her mind in the process of building it, speculation, speculation, etc.).

I was afraid that Toph’s re-appearance would be intrusive (in a bad way), but it wasn’t. It actually felt quite natural. Seeing the entire Bei Fong family together was actually kind of sweet. (I loved that Suyin’s husband tries to call Toph “mom.”)

By the way, I think I know why Opal bugs me. It has nothing to do with her anger at Bolin. It’s her voice actor, Alison Stoner, that irks me. She was fine last season, but here, she’s being asked to convey emotions that are beyond her capabilities (compare Stoner to Mae Whitman as Katara back in Avatar: the Last Airbender, where a similar grudge was held against Zuko until “The Southern Raiders”).

Maybe it’s just me. In any case, what did you all think of this episode?


9 responses

  1. Clander

    “You give metal benders a bad name”

    That could have been a hundred thousand times cooler and more appropriate than it was.
    Other than that I liked it.

    December 5, 2014 at 2:49 pm

  2. Dman

    I liked this episode too! Great action and suspense. It was nice to see the Bei Fong’s interacting with each other (we even saw that Bataar jr still cared about Opal). And it was nice seeing Korra try to solve problems without getting frustrated without the writers explicitly saying it. And we got to find out Lin’s dad! (Now we just need to know Suyin’s…) And I like how they finally “explained” why Katara did not get involved in the Water Tribe Civil War (albeit very sloppily). All around good episode. I’m excited for the fight for Republic City!

    December 5, 2014 at 5:45 pm

  3. tox

    Yeah, to reiterate everyone here, definitely a great episode. I think the focus on action really helped keep the pacing tight and keep the episode exciting throughout. I didn’t realize just how slow this season had been.

    December 6, 2014 at 12:23 am

  4. Grindal

    A really solid episode but for me the problem doesn’t lie with Opal or her voice actor, rather the ridiculous interjections of Bolin which are so misplaced an inappropriate considering there are meant to be more lives than ever on the line. Seriously, who in their right mind whilst on a dangerous mission to rescue people from a military leader with a superweapon would proclaim that this mission is to “recapture the heart of my true love” or whatever stupid line Bolin comes up with. He even has the audacity to butt in at the very end whilst the Beifong’s are resolving their problems (although at least Toph’s lines serve as a good enough slant at how pathetic Bolin is). All in all, the season is in a good place right now. But there are three episodes left and I still hate Bolin just as much as I did ever since he has been essentially detached from reality since Book 2. God I normally never get that irked by a character but I damn well despise him…

    December 6, 2014 at 9:14 am

  5. rosemon

    Did we really need more Daddy issues in this show? Lin never mentioned not having a father before, why bring it up now? Toph may as well have been Bryan’s mouthpiece in that scene that came out of nowhere, honestly. Her curt explanation as to why we haven’t seen the old female members of the Avatar crew do anything important in Korra also seemed pretty weak considering that Zuko did some stuff in the last season despite being an old man.

    “At some point, you gotta leave it to the kids.” More like “gotta leave it to the men!”

    December 6, 2014 at 10:26 am

    • Except the main focus of this show are the teens and adults where as the original series focused more on the kids and old people.

      December 6, 2014 at 12:59 pm

    • …are you really complaining about the female characters being useless in LoK? ‘Cause I think we’re not watching the same show. Even if we don’t get to see Katara and Suki in action, you still got Korra, Asami, Lin, Suyin, Opal, Kuvira, Zhu Li… even Toph.

      You won’t see the other old female members of the Gaang because this is not their story anymore. That’s all.

      As for Zuko, we only saw his ass get kicked in Book 3, and his appearances were mostly unnecessary.

      December 7, 2014 at 3:55 pm

  6. ItalianBaptist

    When I set myself up for an amazing episode, I’m usually let down. When I go in with low expectations, I’m usually pleasantly surprised. Unfortunately this was the former.

    To see the whole Beifong family reunited could have been something amazing. But Toph’s interactions concerning Lin felt so disingenuous. I believed Lin had a reason to be mad, but I didn’t believe Toph’s attempts at reconciliation. The episode definitely had its moments though, particularly Zhu Li when she is discovered to be a traitor (though really, keeping the offending item in your pocket???) and Baatar Jr. still showing compassion for Opal.

    December 6, 2014 at 10:34 am

  7. JMR

    Bleh. Reposting because apparently the site doesn’t like links in comments anymore.

    Great episode today. The fight choreography in the duel between Su and Kuvira was impeccable.

    And I have to give it to Tim Hedrick, I can usually pick out his episodes right away but with this one the credits really caught me by surprise. I’ll agree with Clander that Toph’s “zinger” at Kuvira fell pretty flat, but other than that the dialogue was actually reasonably well done. And honestly, while the line itself isn’t so good, part of the blame for its falling flat has to go to, as Marshall has noted previously, Philece Sampler’s overly broad performance as Toph.

    I really liked the handling of Toph revealing who Lin’s father is, actually. There were a lot of fans out there trying to make it into the next “Where’s Zuko’s Mom?” mystery, and I’m glad they didn’t milk it the same way they did that. That little tidbit is at best interesting trivia and doesn’t deserve to take up a lot of screen time (at least not in this story), and I’m glad they got it out there and then let it go. Lin gets over her angst about it a way too easily, though.

    Also, for anyone who still doubts that the Earth Empire is being based off Nazi Germany, I couldn’t help but notice that Kuvira’s Doom Canon is pretty obviously modeled off of the Schwerer Gustav and Dora Superheavy Railway Guns. Just sayin’…

    December 7, 2014 at 10:45 am

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