Episode 2: A Leaf in the Wind
As Korra grows accustomed to life in Republic City, she begins training to master the art of airbending. As challenges mount for her in her new environment, Korra becomes enamored with the latest sport: pro-bending. Tenzin tries to keep her on the right path but the two continue to fight until a realization is made that causes everyone to see things in a new light.
As Korra and Tenzin eat breakfast, she reads over the newspaper about a pro-bending match that took place the other night. Tenzin quickly denounces the sport, calling it a mockery to benders everywhere and that Korra shouldn't read anything to do with it. She pleads with him to at least let her watch a match but he refuses, stating she is there to learn airbending and that the members of the Order of the White Lotus are there to ensure that she stays on Air Temple Island to train as oppose to goof off. The two go off to begin their first lesson as Tenzin points out that airbending is her weakest element, something Korra has known since she was a child. He comforts her, letting her know that Aang had difficulty earthbending as it is the element most opposite their personalities that is the hardest. The first lesson involves a series of wooden panels that Jinora explains that one must weave through, not touching them while they spin. As she demonstrates this, Tenzin makes a metaphor using a leaf: the goal of airbending is to change direction at a moments notice and flow with the course of nature. Korra attempts this several times with Ikki and Meelo cheering her on but she continues to fail.
Bolin realizes who Korra is the Avatar
Later that night, she forces herself to airbend but to no avail as she yells out in frustration. She confides in Naga that maybe she is simply unable to do it as she listens in to a pro-bending match that the White Lotus members are tuning into. Before the match finishes, Tenzin unplugs the radio and reprimands them all for disobeying his orders. The next day, Tenzin leads his children and Korra in a meditation group but Korra can't sit still and leaves soon after. She decides that night to visit the Bending Arena which is right across the river. After a run in with one of the trainers, a pro-bender named Bolin vouches for her as he allows her to watch him and his team, the Fire Ferrets, from their pit. As pro-bending is explained, the Ferrets win thanks to their firebender member Mako. After the match, Mako acts coldly to both Korra and Bolin, revealed to be Bolin's brother. Korra asks for pointers as Mako realizes that he insulted the Avatar. Bolin is amazed and helps her with her earthbending as she promises to return the next night.
The next day, Korra attempts to go through the wooden doors once more as her tensions mount, letting out her anger by firebending and blasting all the doors off their hinges. Tenzin looks on in horror as Korra destroyed an ancient airbending treasure as the two butt heads. Tenzin states that Korra is too quick-tempered and isn't willing to be patient while Korra rebuts by saying that she can't learn airbending because he is a horrible teacher. Korra heads back to the arena as Tenzin discusses with Pema what to do. Pema suggests he give Korra space and let her work things out by herself.
At the arena, Korra greets Bolin and Mako, who act solemnly towards her. They state that their waterbending teammate hasn't shown up and if they don't get a replacement in within five minutes, they forfeit the season. Korra volunteers as Mako is reluctant but accepts her help. As they suit up, the match begins and Korra immediately breaks a few rules by knocking out an opponent over the ropes and moving in between zones. It is during this time that she gets pummeled and uses earthbending as well as waterbending. The officials pause the game as Tenzin asks where Korra is, finding out over the radio that the Avatar is playing pro-bending as he leaves to retrieve her.
Korra learns how to move in the wind
After some deliberation, the officials state that Korra may play so long as she only waterbends. Soon after the game starts back up, the other team gangs up on her to knock her out. As she waits for the next round, Tenzin approaches her, reprimanding her once more for disobeying him as she claims she is learning things here and that she probably doesn't need airbending. Tenzin remind her that the Avatar is not just about fighting but also a spiritual side to it, a concept Korra has never learned. Remembering what Pema said, he leaves her to her own devices but stays in the shadows to watch. The Fire Ferrets continue to do poorly as Korra is on the edge once more. Recalling her airbending lessons, she finally grasps the concept of 'a leaf in the wind' as she seamlessly dodges all the attacks. Korra is able to withstand the attacks before the team tires out and knocks all three members out, earning a victory.
Mako and Bolin congradulate her, the former apologizing for thinking she didn't have it in them. They were impressed with her defensive moves as she knows that she cannot take credit. As the Air Nomads repair the damages to the wind gates, Korra apologizes to Tenzin for her behavior as she knew it was her frustration at herself that made her mad. Tenzin also apologies for losing his patience with her as he credits that not only did he watch her perform, he knows that pro-bending will help with practical bending. Korra gleefully tells him that she'll be ready to train tomorrow and that she's joined the Fire Ferrets as a permanent member.
Points of Interest
- First Debut: Mako and Bolin make their first appearances.