Reviews for 106 - And The Winner Is...
The average grade for this episode is a A. You can submit your own review on our forums.

AvtrSpirit graded A

Reviewed on: January 19, 2013
[Preface: These reviews are written after having seen the first season in its entirety. Down-the-road spoilers are avoided. My focus is on the writing, not music or animation.]

During the much anticipated final pro-bending match of the season, the anti-bending revolution dramatically launches the first volley of civil war.

And the winner is... ? Well, it is Amon. Let us review Amon's brilliantly crafted strategy thus far. He first began the revolution underground, probably gathering to himself all who have been wronged by benders. He then established the righteousness of his path by taking away the bending of the Mafia elite. This move gave a measure of hope to the oppressed non-benders. Amon then taunted the benders of Republic City via the radio and showed that he could get away with it. In this episode, he makes his boldest and most public move yet. Having proved the strength of his convictions and the righteousness of his cause, Amon goes on to show that nothing, not even the most elite bending security team of Republic City can stop him. Even if you do not believe in his ideals, it is easy to be in awe of Amon's cunning and charisma. And if, like me, you do believe in his cause, then just like in his propaganda, Amon really does take on a rightfully messianic role.

The episode is paced excellently to build the tension all the way to the climax. Amon gives his warning early on, the fear of which drives the episode. At the same time, the series has spent enough time with pro-bending so as to have the audience emotionally invested in the outcome of the match. When the Fire Ferrets lose the match, the audience's emotions are already running high with feelings of injustice and disappointment. It does not take much to redirect these strong emotions to fear and horror at Amon's explosive intervention.

The only interesting character exploration happens with Lin, and to a lesser extent Tenzin and Tarrlok. We see that Lin learns to accept Korra as not just a major player in happenings of Republic City, but as someone alongside whom she can fight proudly. We also learn what past events have soured Tenzin's relationship with Lin. With regards to Tarrlok, we see that while he is happy to lead anti-Amon raids on his own terms, he is hesitant to fight Amon on Amon's terms. It shows how measured he is in his battles, unlike Korra and Lin who seem to be willing to do the right thing irrespective of the danger.

We also see some more of Aang's life play out in Korra's mind. On comparing this with The Voice in The Night, we can guess that it is fear and helplessness that brings on these spiritual visions. We still do not know what they mean.

There is one aspect of this episode that confuses me. Who paid off the referees? If it was Amon, then how did the Wolfbats know that they could play dirty? If it was the Wolfbats, then what was Amon going to do if the Fire Ferrets had won? Would he have taken the Avatar's bending and martyred her? That seems unlikely. The only explanation I can think of (without extensively combing the forums for an answer) is that Amon paid off the referees and then tipped the Wolfbats off about it without revealing himself or his cause. I bring this up here to point out one small flaw, a tiny ambiguity, in an otherwise stellar episode.

Overall, the episode does a great job of finishing the pro-bending arc and starting in full steam the major anti-bending arc of the season. Amon has declared war. There is no going back now.

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