A Leaf in the Wind
|A Leaf in the Wind|
|Episode No. (Season)||2|
|Episode No. (Series)||2|
|Locations|| Republic City|
Air Temple Island
Republic City Bending Arena
|Main Characters|| Korra|
A Leaf in the Wind is the second episode of the first season of Avatar: The Legend of Korra. Now that Korra is living on Air Temple Island with Tenzin and his family to learn Airbending, she is discovering just how difficult it is to master the element that is so opposite of her personality.
The episode opens showing an outside view of Air Temple Island, with an Air Bison swooping down before cutting to Tenzin and Korra eating in a room with other inhabitants of the island. Korra is reading the paper about a recent pro-bending match, and enthusiastically suggests that they go watch a match. Tenzin explains out how making a sport out of bending is a mockery to the art. She persists but Tenzin stands his ground, saying that keeping her on Air Temple Island gives her an environment most suitable for learning Airbending.
Korra and Tenzin are on their way to the training grounds when Korra explains that Airbending just hasn't come as easy to her as everything else. Tenzin tries to console her by saying it is often most difficult for the Avatar to master the element that is most unlike their personality, mentioning Aang's struggles with mastering Earthbending. Tenzin fixes Korra's sleeves, now that she's outfitted with the traditional Airbender attire and they continue to a spot where Jinora, Ikki, and Meelo are waiting for them, standing in front of a training contraption. A confused Korra queries as to the use of this apparatus, a large circle platform with a number of wooden gates standing up on poles scattered across the platform, all of which inscribed with the Airbending symbol. Given the nod by her father, Jinora explains that the objective is to pass through the platform to the other side, avoiding contact with the gates. Korra doesn't seem to scared, and Ikki quickly adds in that her sister left out that the gates would be spinning while she is maneuvering through them.
Tenzin strikes the gates with a blast of Airbending, and they begin to spin furiously. He lets loose a leaf and it slowly traverses the instrument, being moved by the wind and going with the flow all of the way through, all the while Tenzin explains that to move through it properly that Korra will need to be like the leaf. Jinora then makes a run through on her own, swiftly dodging the gates and skillfully making it to the other side, before hitting the gates with another blast of air to make sure they're spinning at a proper speed. Seeing a young girl get through with ease, Korra wastes no time and hastily tries to force her way through, only to be swiftly rejected. As she continually gets knocked around by the gates, the children shout out advice. Jinora wisely tells her not to force her way through, Ikki says to dance like the wind, and Meelo says to be the leaf while waving his arms in a fluid like motion. Unfortunately, after enough of a beating Korra is knocked out, having failed make her way through.
Korra is seen later that night with Naga looking on as she tries to Airbend a newspaper with Lin Beifong on it. After a few attempts, a frustrated Korra firebends the paper. Overhearing a radio nearby, she decides to investigate and ends up perching atop a roof, while members of the Order of the White Lotus listen in on a Pro-bending match below featuring an up and coming team named the Fire Ferrets. As the match heats up and is about to reach its climax, Tenzin pulls the plug and calls Korra down from the roof. The White Lotus members spread to the side and are shocked when Korra climbs down, and she makes her way over to him. She tries to plead her case, saying that Tenzin only said they couldn't see a match, but never said anything about listening to one. She goes even further to say that it was their radio and they were the ones listening in on it originally, so she was just overhearing what someone else was doing. Tenzin again holds his ground, saying that it's past her bed time and that she needs to retire for the evening.
The next morning Tenzin is leading a meditation session for his three children and Korra. A frustrated Korra keeps interrupting her meditation, saying she doesn't think she's doing it right. Tenzin responds and says there isn't anything to do, and that the exercise is about relaxing and clearing your thoughts. It's about being free. Korra laughs and brings up how this is a contradiction, since he's wanting to her to be free while not letting her listen to the radio or leave the island. He suggests she be more like Meelo, who upon closer inspection by Korra seems to be asleep. A surprised Tenzin at least settles with Meelo having the relaxation part of meditation down. Korra's frustration gets the better of her after a final attempt and she gets up to get some juice, to which Ikki asks Tenzin if she can have some to. Tenzin is quick with a "no", and Meelo falls onto his back in his sleep.
Later that evening, Korra escapes Air Temple Island, slipping past a few of the White Lotus members that were tasked with keeping her there. She dives in the water and heads for the Republic City Bending Arena, where the Pro-bending matches are held. She surfaces and begins to wander the halls of the arena, only to stumble upon a training room. As she makes her way in, the owner of the training room, Toza, spots her and threatens to call security for her trespassing. A pro-bending athlete saves her though, with the excuse that they are together. Korra clarifies saying that they aren't together-together, but just friends, causing the athlete to blush. He leads her to his team's locker room, where there is a great view of the field. As Korra is taking in the view, they exchange introductions, with the athlete turning out to be Bolin, the Earthbender for the Fire Ferrets. His older brother and the team's Firebender, Mako, speaks up saying that she shouldn't be here, to which Bolin says there's something special about her. Trying to get focused, Mako ignores Korra and leads his brother, as well as the team's Waterbender Hasook, onto the playing field as the match gets underway.
An announcer rises up and begins calling the match, introducing the two teams battling it out, the Tigerdillos and the Fire Ferrets, mentioning that this will be the toughest challenge the shockingly successful Fire Ferrets will have faced yet. The match begins and the Fire Ferrets are quickly put against the ropes, with only Mako showing above average skill, but even he is eventually pushed back. Hasook is knocked out of the playing field while Mako and Bolin find themselves all of the way back in zone three before the round ends and the Tigerdillos win the round. Round two starts off the same, with the Tigerdillos wasting no time to push the Fire Ferrets back into zone two, but they react with better success and take the round, leading to a final and decisive round three. The round starts out rough for the Fire Ferrets, with Hasook colliding with Bolin, causing them both to hit the deck only to be knocked out by an Earthbending blast by their opponents. At a huge three on one disadvantage, Mako stays cool and uses his great skill to deliver a striking blow to two of the opposition, knocking them off of the field and leaving a one on one fight left for the match. Again, Mako showcases great control of his Firebending and handily defeats his opponent, giving the Fire Ferrets the win.
After the match, Korra can't contain her excitement and begins to shower the team, especially Mako, with support. Mako ignores her and gets onto Hasook for slipping up, to which the latter reacts by storming out. Bolin offers to help Korra out with some Pro-bending moves, but isn't sure how effective his teaching will be since he is an Earthbender. Korra responds by stating that she is also an Earthbender, to which Bolin apologizes for assuming she was a Waterbender from her attire. She tells him that she's also a Waterbender, and a Firebender. While Bolin is trying to figure out how that's possible, Mako figures it out and says that she's obviously the Avatar, to which Bolin is flabbergasted.
They make their way to the gym and Bolin tells Korra to shoot Earth coins into a net across the room. She does so, to which Bolin is impressed at her power, but tells her that in a Pro-bending match she wouldn't stand a chance because she's too grounded. He demonstrates that you need to be mobile, striking at the right instant instead of being static the whole time. She gives it another go and Bolin is amazed at how quickly she adapted. Mako attempts to compliment her by saying her attempt was "not bad", and after a quick exchange of words Mako decides to go to bed for the evening.
The next morning, Korra is back on Air Temple Island training with Tenzin, giving another shot at the special platform with rotating gates again. Still not getting the hang of it, she destroys it in a rage of Firebending, to which an enraged Tenzin says the apparatus was a two-thousand year old relic. Korra blames her inability to learn Airbending on Tenzin, and storms off. Meelo joins in on the fun and repeats what Korra says, kicking the burnt pieces of the machine and skipping off playfully, while Jinora and Ikki console their father with a hug. That evening during dinner, Pema asks where Korra is and Tenzin confides that he is growing tired of her attitude. Pema suggests giving her a little space, to which Tenzin requests to his children that their teenage years won't be anything close to what he's having to deal with in Korra. Jinora politely refuses, saying she will make no such promise.
Korra returns to the arena and inquires why Bolin and Mako seem sad. Apparently Hasook has decided not to show up for the match, and they may have to forfeit unless they can find a replacement Waterbender. Korra volunteers, and despite Mako's objection, she temporarily joins the Fire Ferrets for their match against the Platypus Bears. Before the match begins, Mako implores Korra to do as little as possible, in hopes of avoiding any penalties due to her being unfamiliar with all of the rules. She ignores him, and at the start immediately uses Waterbending to knock an opponent over the side ropes. She is given a one zone penalty for this, because the rules state that opposing players can only be knocked out of the back of the field, not the sides. She trudges back to zone two, and the match resumes. She picks up another infraction quickly though, as her foot crosses back into zone one while she is attacking, causing her to be forced back to zone three. Shortly after, the round ends, with the Platypus Bears taking it and gaining the advantage.
Round two begins, and the Platypus Bears focus their attacks on Korra. The barrage is eventually subdued by Korra when she uses an Earthbending move defensively. The confused referee has to sort out what just happened, and learns of Korra's identity as the Avatar. Tenzin overhears the radio broadcast and infuriatingly rushes to the arena to fetch her. The official ruling is that even though she's the Avatar, she can continue as long as she sticks to Waterbending. Round two continues and it isn't long before Korra is knocked out of the field and into the water below. As she approaches a platform, Tenzin appears and demands her to return to Air Temple Island. A rebellious Korra questions whether or not she even needs to learn Airbending, and Tenzin insists that she must learn it to fulfill her duty as the Avatar. She excuses herself, saying she has a match to play in.
The final round begins with the Fire Ferrets at a huge disadvantage. Again, the opposition target Korra and are able to corner Mako and Bolin, pinning them down with attacks. Korra is pushed back to zone three while Tenzin looks on, about to leave the arena. When all hope seems lost though, Korra begins dodging the onslaught of attacks with the basic Airbending movements that had been demonstrated earlier in the episode by Jinora when moving through the gates. This catch Tenzin's attention and he's satisfied that some of it has finally started to sink in. The Platypus Bears exhaust themselves trying to hit Korra and the Fire Ferrets go on the offensive. A barrage of attacks by them end of knocking all of them out, giving the Fire Ferrets the victory for the match as a whole. Tenzin lets out some excitement before returning to his normal calm demeanor. Having helped the Fire Ferrets advance to the championship round, Mako finally gives Korra her due but she says she can't take the credit, citing the one who taught her those moves.
The following day at Air Temple Island, the wooden gates are being reset on the platform as Tenzin oversees the repairs of the training device. Korra approaches him and apologizes for her behavior, to which Tenzin apologizes for his impatience during her training. They agree to move past this and Tenzin mentions the Airbending movements he saw out of Korra at the match, saying that he was rather impressed and that Pro-bending turned out to be a good teacher. Korra is happy to learn that he saw her, and begins to walk off saying that she needs sleep so she can start training bright and early the next day. As she's wandering off she mentions that she's permanently got a spot on the Fire Ferrets team and that they'll be competing in a tournament in a few weeks. Tenzin doesn't take the news too well and sulks.
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