Republic City Hustle Part 1
Written By: Tim Hedrick
Designed By: Evon Freeman
(Before the episode begins, we get a brief title scene that features Mako and Bolin as young boys standing in an alley way in Republic City in the background and a yellow and dirty title card in the foreground which says "Republic City Hustle Part 1". The soundtrack of "On the Lam" plays as well.
Episode opens up to a view of several rooftops in Republic City and a metalbender police blimp patroling the sky. The animation style is a little rustic and kind of similar to Genndy Tartakovsky's "Samurai Jack" cartoon. Music gradually fades away and camera slowly pans down to street level where a door chime is heard and we see a bespectacled old lady with her hands full of grocery bags exiting a store. Young Bolin can be seen peeking out of the corner in the foreground and observing the elderly woman. She nearly drops her bags but picks it up again in time and we see young Mako popping his head out of another corner in the background.
Cut to a close up of the woman and camera pans down to her arms as she struggles to carry her groceries. The point of view travels down a little more to focus on a blue handbag that is dangling on her arm. Mako can be seen quietly approaching her from the back. Camera zooms out to a frontal view of the elderly lady and Mako as he nods towards Bolin off camera and we see his little brother winking back at him but he looks back at the scene worriedly. Seizing the opportunity, Mako runs forward and snatches the blue handbag from the old woman's arm, surprising her and making her drop her groceries.)
Old woman: (angrily) Hey! Come back here! (She waves an arm at Mako furiously before sighing. Footsteps can be heard and Bolin pops into view and lays a reassuring hand on the old woman's arm.)
Bolin: Don't worry, I'll catch him!
(We cut to what appears to be the old lady's point of view as Mako runs down the alley and turns right into a side lane with Bolin chasing up to him. Scene then moves to the little lane the brothers have ran off to as they have a fake fight.)
Bolin: Give it back, you dirty thief!
(Bolin stomps the ground with his foot and a little bit of earth protrudes from the ground. Both boys are clearly delighted and are thoroughly enjoying their acting. Mako puts a hand up on his mouth to raise the sound of his voice and tosses the handbag to his little brother.)
Mako: Hey! I stole that fair and square!
(Bolin earthbends the wall behind him as it crumbles and he hurls the chunk of bricks towards Mako as he kicks the pile aside with firebending. We cut back to the old lady as she sees a chunk of firey earth fly out from the side lane into the alley.
Mako: Ow! (Scene returns back to the brothers who continue to fake the confrontation. They still have cheeky smiles on their faces. Bolin kicks a crate into the alley to simulate a rough hustle.) Stop it! (fake a grunt of pain) Okay, you win!
(We cut to a view of the alley looking down at the side lane as Bolin stumbles out and fake limps towards the old lady. Camera shifts to the old lady who has a look of delight on her face.)
Bolin: (pretends to pant and offers the handbag back to her) Your purse... (pretends to be out of breath) ma'am.
Old woman: (retrieves her handbag) Aren't you a little hero? (there's a sound of coins jingling) Here, let me give you a reward. (Cut to Bolin's hands as one yuan drops into each of his palms)
Bolin: (in disbelief) Two yuans, seriously?! (the old lady is taken aback by his behavior) I risked my life for you! (There's an awkward pause as Bolin straightens up to be more polite) As far as you know.
(The elderly woman isn't amused and Bolin reaches down to grab a loaf of bread from the lady's grocery bag. She realizes his antics a little too late and as she attempts to grab him, the little earthbender boy has already ran off.)
Old woman: (displeased) Why you little hooligan!
(She pushes her glasses up and scene changes to Mako waiting for his brother in a lane with a puddle of water on the floor. Bolin catches up to his big brother.)
Mako: Nice grab, little brother! (Bolin splits the loaf of bread in half.)
Bolin: Thanks! (he hands one half of the bread to Mako and proceeds to eat his portion with relish) Mmm... that tastes so much better than what we ate yesterday!
Mako: (the firebender pulls back before he takes a bite of his food and says matter-of-factly) We didn't eat yesterday.
Bolin: (crunching on his bread loudly) Mmm, so much better...
(Scene fades to the Triple Threat Triad headquarters and camera pans down to reveal the two brothers pushing the doors open. Camera cuts to inside the HQ and we see Toza being offered a stack of yuans by character in the shadows. Toza looks rather reluctant and sad. Cut back to the young siblings as the door closes behind them.)
Bolin: (gesticulates with excitement) Mako, you know who that is? It's Toza! Legendary earthbending captain of the Boar-q-pines! He's my hero! What do you think he's doing here?
Mako: If you'd stop talking, we could hear.
(Camera rapidly pans to Toza and the mysterious shadowy character who turns out to be a younger Shady Shin. The latter thrusts a stack of yuans to Toza.)
Shady Shin: Here's your ten thousand yuans. (Cut to a top down view of Toza's hand as Shin places the bribe in his palm. We rapidly cut to Toza's scruffy chin as it pans to the side to reveal Bolin who is a little disappointed.) Not bad considering all you have to do is lose your match tonight. (The view returns to the two men and Toza has his head turned to the side and is visibly torn. Shin gently pushes Toza's arm towards the older man to accept the money. Toza sighs loudly, pocketing the dirty money, and walks away. Shin is a little offended.) Hey, you're welcome!
(We see Toza walking out of the HQ sadly and Bolin glances at his idol as the brothers walk towards Shin.)
Shady Shin: You believe that ingrate mook? (Mako smiles and nods in agreement and turns towards Bolin as he begins to speak.)
Bolin: Wow, I'm going to hate to see Toza lose. (Mako rolls his eyes) Even if he means to.
Mako: (shrugs) Why? He got paid. (He raises his voice slightly at Bolin) You didn't see any probenders crying for us (Bolin eyes well up with tears) when mom and dad died and we got dumped on the street. (Bolin blinks his tears away) Life is hard; you either hustle or get hustled.
Shady Shin: (impressed with Mako and interrupts the conversation) And speakin' of hustlin', (Cut to the brothers looking at Shin) you two need to hit the bricks and collect enough bets to make this little investment (Bolin turns his head to the side sadly while Mako continues to pay attention to Shin) pay off. 'Cos if you don't... (voice turns threatening) you're gonna be right back in the dumpster where I found ya. (Shin gives a creepy smile at the boys)
Mako: (pats Bolin shoulder comfortingly) Don't worry bro, we'll do fine.
(Bolin is cheered up and without another word, both brothers open the door and run out of HQ with their task in hand. Music turns a little ominous as camera cuts to Shin observing them intently.)
Shady Shin: Seeing those young crooks (the light on his face fades to black to indicate that the doors have closed) really gives me hope for the future.
(Shin breaks into an evil grin and episode ends with a "To Be Continued..." card featuring Pabu in the foreground and Bolin tailing Toza in the probending arena in the background.)
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