The more things change, the more they stay the same. Or in truth, it seems like Ba Sing Se has kind of slumped into a state of being where things don’t change. The Earth Queen rules in the center of the city with nary a care but for taxes beyond, the wealthy live in the next ring, happy to keep living the way things have forever, and meanwhile, left to literally feast on rotting food, are the poor in the last ring. I get the feeling that they’re setting up the Earth Kingdom, specifically Ba Sing Se, as Beijing in the last days of the Qing Dynasty (heck, it looks like the Earth Queen is even building the Temple of Heavenly Peace (just beyond here topiary problem). One thing that’s commonly stated as a sign of the lost of the Mandate of Heaven is when the Empire can no longer protect the lands from bandits – which is a problem the Earth Queen literally complains about. I’m curious if the Earth Kingdom will remain a kingdom by the end of this season.
Definitely, in a season named “Change” a lot can happen and I doubt that the return of air benders alone is the only change we’ll be seeing.
I can’t repeat how much I loved the elevator scene with Zuko. AWESOME.
I’m thinking that the shared suffering of the other air benders will also help rehabilitate Cai. We know that Jinora appears to get captured and presumably will join him, as she’s grabbed by the Dai Li in the trailer for Book 3. So I think that’ll be another part of the mixture as previously theorized.
I was satisfied with the Mako/Bolin family reunion. Some on tumblr have pointed out that it appears their family lives in the same or similar building that Iroh and Zuko lived in when they first arrived in Ba Sing Se incognito.
Finally, the Korra and Asami fight. One of the best orchestrated fights in the series so far. It’s so much fun to watch the two of them fight together and kick butt in the process. I had an internal squee when Asami broke out her Equalizer glove. Woot!