anime_babble (anime_babble) wrote in ontd_lok,
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anime_babble
ontd_lok

Tenzin, Lin and Pema



Am I the only person that really really wishes that the show hadn't gone there? Although it does provide an interesting back story, I'm not happy about the implications. Namely;

1) Are they seriously suggesting that Lin Bei Fong is bitter over her break up to the extent that it was the reason her interactions with Korra were strained prior to this episode? Really? You want to go the old woman scorned and isn't over it route?

2) I can buy that Tenzin and Lin grew apart. But even if you accept that, the implications of Tenzin choosing Pema over Lin are problematic. We know very little about Pema, except that, so far, she's had three airbending children and seems to spend her days at the Air Temple. It's probably the ideal situation for Tenzin, but far too neat. Lin clearly has her own motivations and goals in life; I'm not getting much for Pema outside of her 'true love' for Tenzin. It's...problematic, to say the least, that this is the situation which Tenzin prefers.

3) Tenzin left his girlfriend and friend (since childhood) for a fertile woman 16 years his junior. That...had to sting a little.

4) Between this and Pema's verison of the story (He was with the WRONG WOMAN and he was my TRUE LOVE), this is not making the Tenzin/Pema pairing particularly sympathetic. Audience is going to be more likely to 'side' with Lin Bei Fong, who was an original castmember's child, over Pema, who again, we don't know much about.

Thoughts?
Tags: !discussion post, lin beifong, pema, shipping is srs bsns, tenzin
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The whole Tenzin and Lin thing doesn't bug me that much because I know they are not going to delve very deep on the subject. I think Pema, Lin, and Tenzin all saw the situation of there relationship differently maybe that's why Pema was going on her 'true love conquers all' speech. But I do find the reason Lin hates Korra is because of Tenzin thing a little silly.
FWIW, I don't think Lin dislikes Korra just because of Tenzin. I think a big part of it is because Korra is arrogant, reckless and a troublemaker.

haelij

5 years ago

_thirty2flavors

5 years ago

pixiegerms

5 years ago

margerydaw_s2

5 years ago

_thirty2flavors

5 years ago

margerydaw_s2

5 years ago

_thirty2flavors

5 years ago

winninghearts

5 years ago

keithmex17

5 years ago

Like I said in the discussion thread, I felt myself more drawn to a pairing between Lin and Tenzin than of that of Pema, simply because it seems like we're not getting the full story. Growing apart's perfectly acceptable, as if Tenzin's proclamation that he made his own decision to leave, but I kind of need more development on Pema's character besides the girl who allegedly "stole" someone. People can change their minds, that's true, but the way she posed her advice just seems like there's more to the story, and I'm afraid we might not get more out of it.

Bah, I don't know. I'm not exactly down with the idea that Lin is a scorned lady because they "grew apart." Something must've happened.
Yes, this. I was expecting Pema to play a larger role so far in this story, but she's not really been fleshed out. Contrast that with Lin's epic badassery the past episode, and well, it's not exactly surprising what's been going on in fandom/tumblr.

juel1979

5 years ago

silentsymphonie

May 13 2012, 23:42:04 UTC 5 years ago Edited:  May 13 2012, 23:42:18 UTC

3) Tenzin left his girlfriend and friend (since childhood) for a fertile woman 16 years his junior. That...had to sting a little.

I'm not sure how I feel about this point. On the one hand, anyone being left for anyone else can sting but there seems to be a big assumption being made here. We know little more about Lin than we do about Pema, and we know nothing of Lin's fertility, wants, or desires regarding children. From the way this is worded, the implication seems to be that Lin is infertile so Tenzin left her for someone who could reproduce airbenders. I suppose that this is a solid theory, however, Lin (as far as we know) is unmarried and has no children of her own. It's been at least ten years since she and Tenzin broke up; she could have 'settled down' by now. In my opinion, I think Lin didn't want to have children because she is very focused on her career. Tenzin obviously wanted to have a big family and so he moved on to another person who wanted the same things that he did. It doesn't mean that Lin is infertile, but simply, as Tenzin said, that they had different goals.

This is more about number 2, but I don't understand why Pema staying at the Air Temple is 'far too neat'. Pema is a stay at home mother, as is her choice, and that is that. It doesn't seem problematic to me. As you've said, we don't know a lot about Pema yet, but really all we know about Lin is that she is a great metalbender and she is the head of the police force. Aside from that, the only things we know about Pema and Lin are that they were both romantically linked to Tenzin.
ita.

I think we're making A LOT of assumptions based on very little. There's no indication that she doesn't like Korra initially because of Tenzin - she released Korra into his care when he asked. As chief of police, she's probably just very unimpressed with the Avatar in terms of civilian protection, and does not see why a 16 year old girl from Bumfuck Antarctica (lol rude sry) would have any kind of authority in terms of how to control crime in Republic City.

Plus Lin seems the kind of person who would just be abrasive by nature, though I do wish she came off as a little less bitter but it's not that bad, really. I like very much that Tenzin pointed out that Pema didn't steal him at all, and that in the end they were going two different directions in life. It might hurt, but that's just the truth.

anime_babble

5 years ago

silentsymphonie

5 years ago

juel1979

5 years ago

silentsymphonie

5 years ago

Yeah...I hope we get more insight on Pema/Tenzin now because so far I haven't like the explanation of their romance together, which when the show first started I was excited about but now wish I didn't know lol. I love all three characters and I'm disappointed it's been set up like this especially with how ~tumblr~ reacted in the Pema/Pemzin tags. I just hope we get more like I seriously don't like how it is right now more so since I shipped Pemzin harder then I have other couples in this show so far and just ughhh disappointed by it when I think about it.

OTL i just want Lin and Pema to be badass and friends together because they're both awesome in their own ways.

Tho I think, at least my impression of it, was the reason Lin doesn't like Korra that much might be because Korra is very different from Aang. With the implications of Tenzin saying how well those two got along and she called him 'sweet tempered' makes me think she hasn't accepted Korra as the Avatar yet? At least makes what she told her in episode 4 more understandable.
Wow, I hadn't thought of that re: Lin disliking Korra because she's so different from Aang, but it makes a lot of sense. I really think Tenzin is only a small part of it.

silentsymphonie

5 years ago

lovely_masoka

5 years ago

crystalzelda

5 years ago

lovely_masoka

5 years ago

crystalzelda

5 years ago

lovely_masoka

5 years ago

crystalzelda

5 years ago

lovely_masoka

5 years ago

keithmex17

5 years ago

It's...problematic, to say the least, that this is the situation which Tenzin prefers.

lol what even

He and Lin wanted different things in life, he says so himself. So then there's Pema, who clearly has similar long-term goals to his (live on the island, have children, etc) and that's problematic? Because it's not ~dramatic~ enough, or because Pema isn't ~a strong female character~ like Lin is? Like I can't for the life of me understand how you find Pema and Tenzin problematic when they are shown to be very happy and successful together.
This entire comment <3

pixiegerms

5 years ago

silentsymphonie

5 years ago

_thirty2flavors

5 years ago

What I will criticize is the fact that while the show is definitively lady friendly, so far it's not lady friendship friendly at all. We've got 4 adult/teen female characters, and the show effectively pitted them all against one another, or at least threw a guy in the middle. Lin/Pema over Tenzin, Asami/Korra over Mako. I want some women being friends with each other, not fighting over guys (though to be fair their hasn't been any "the boy is mine" cat fights, so silver linings I guess).
If Asami doesn't turn out to be an Equalist, then I suspect that Korra is eventually going to come around and she and Asami will make out become friends.

Or if she is an Equalist then Korra will be all smug like 'I knew it all along', which isn't really that great in terms of the female friendships idea.

keithmex17

5 years ago

_thirty2flavors

5 years ago

juel1979

5 years ago

_thirty2flavors

5 years ago

juel1979

5 years ago

_thirty2flavors

5 years ago

juel1979

5 years ago

crystalzelda

5 years ago

juel1979

5 years ago

harlowrd

5 years ago

pixiegerms

May 14 2012, 00:01:48 UTC 5 years ago Edited:  May 14 2012, 00:07:01 UTC

1) I didn't really get the vibes of 'old woman scorned' from Lin. For me it was more like they parted on awkward terms and Lin seems like the kind of person who is abrasive when she's not comfortable. And Korra's first ever interaction with her was pretty entitled.

2+3) If you're suggesting what I think you're suggesting, namely that Tenzin went after a younger, more docile woman because Lin was a motivated, working woman, then I agree and disagree at the same time. I think, yeah it's pretty obvious that Pema is more 'homey' and obviously younger and Lin is clearly very driven, but I'm sure things aren't as black and white as that. I don't think he picked Pema purely because it was convenient for him. Pema obviously knew him for a while too (since Lin and Tenzin were dating at the time) so there's clearly history there as well.

4)They didn't present this whole situation in the best way, so yeah I could see why people would side-eye Pema and automatically side with Lin. But I still want to give Pema a chance, because we haven't seen enough of her yet to pass any real judgement. I trust Tenzin's judgement though. :3
Hmmm, I guess what I'm saying is this; I'd like to give Tenzin the benefit of the doubt in that he truly fell for Pema and it worked out well for both of them in that they both happened to want a traditional family set up.

But, well this: http://jazzpha.tumblr.com/post/22949112310/lin-and-pema-tenzin-my-boy-you-done-goofed

I don't agree with everything in that post, but I do agree that the whole thing makes Tenzin look bad and Pema's version of the story doesn't do her favors either. And yes, it's far easier to side with Lin with the way the show presented the information, which is why I really wish they didn't go there.

silentsymphonie

5 years ago

pixiegerms

5 years ago

acausedusoleil

5 years ago

Pema comes off as the type who seems docile and sweet on the surface, but underneath that she has wicked scary girl game skillz and probably had no qualms about snatching Tenzin right from under Lin's nose. The kind of girl that everyone loves and thinks is so sweet and ideal, but she will CUT YOU if you cross her and suffer absolutely zero social repercussions for doing so.

Someone upfront and direct like Lin had no chance.
You could interpret Pema that way, though I don't think we've been given enough in the series to tell what Pema's really like. But the fact that your interpretation of Pema is not unpopular at the moment is part of the reason I dislike this storytelling choice.

Plus with Lin vs Pema and Korra vs Asami, that's two sets of girls at odds with each other over A GUY. Where are my fierce female friendships?

foodsthatcan

5 years ago

anime_babble

5 years ago

foodsthatcan

5 years ago

runandtelldat

5 years ago

juel1979

5 years ago

Just going to casually leave this here.

B&

crystalzelda

5 years ago

silentsymphonie

5 years ago

katyperry

5 years ago

lovely_masoka

5 years ago

2) I'm really having issues with what it seems you're implying, OP. Tenzin and Aang were the last airbenders. It's understandable that Tenzin would want a family so that he could possibly produce more airbenders. Wanting a family, especially when you are the last of your race, isn't wrong. Just like not wanting a family isn't wrong. If Tenzin couldn't have a family with Lin, then they had different goals for their relationship and it's not a bad thing to pick someone who has the same goals for a potential life together. Pema wanted a family and so did Tenzin. There's nothing wrong with her choosing to be a stay-at-home mother. Just as there's nothing wrong with Lin wanting to focus on career. Tenzin choosing Pema because she could give him that family doesn't mean he's some sexist douche who thinks women should stay home popping out babies.
Plus I very much doubt that he married Pema just because she could give him babies as opposed to because he genuinely fell in love with her.
ia, ia

juel1979

5 years ago







No but seriously how do you think Lin got those scars on her face

Pema's an undercover killer, y'all don't even know
Headcanon accepted

Deleted comment

idk that's also kind of realistic? We don't fall in love nice and cleanly. Sometimes we have crushes on people who are in relationships. Sometimes we have feelings for people who aren't our significant others. Sometimes relationships fall apart and we fall in love with someone else. It's not pretty, but it's life? But yeah, for 6 episodes, it's a little uh, much.

juel1979

5 years ago

Deleted comment

crystalzelda

5 years ago

Deleted comment

crystalzelda

5 years ago

silly_izzy_me

5 years ago

Warning: brain vomit. This will be long.

1. Yes, I think she is, but probably not to the extent Tenzin seems to believe. We're talking about two people here who were friends since childhood and were probably together for more than a decade. That's a lot of emotional investment on a person that went kaboom when Tenzin ultimately married Pema. I don't think Lin trusted Tenzin again after that.

Which brings us to the Korra hating thing. Although I love her, I have to say that she can be a spoiled, entitled brat with a puffed-up perception of Avatar-ship. She comes to Republic City and causes chaos downtown, then pulls the Avatar card. That's a bad impression to make to someone whose job is to maintain peace and order. Korra's subsequent activities doesn't make that impression better. In Lin's POV, Korra has done nothing but play pro-bending (and complete her bending training), so she really had a point when she told Korra that she didn't deserve the party in her honor. Korra says Lin hates her, but I think Korra exaggerates. Lin is hypercritical, but so was Toph in the original series.

Tenzin attributes Lin's antagonism to issues with him. I think he is partially correct. Lin doesn't trust him, and I think she believes he is tolerating (and worse, encouraging) Korra's arrogant and irresponsible behavior.

2. *shrugs* I think Tenzin really is in love with Pema and I love their blissfully domestic marriage. Just because Lin is a bamf doesn't make Pema any less awesome. How do mothering three (four) precocious airbenders and repopulating the Air Nomads make Pema the less rootable woman? We know that she's proactive, and that she's sensible and maternal (like my own mother, which makes me love her more). We know that she's the boss of Tenzin (see her disapproving face and Tenzin's helpless shrug in episode 4), and that she gives him solid, sensible advice. She approached Tenzin at a time when he and Lin were having differences, and probably shared his vision regarding the future of his people. The situation is ideal to Tenzin, but he does have his responsibilities . He's lucky someone who's willing to share those responsibilities came along.

3. IA.

4. Like I said, I ship Pemzin. In AU, I might ship Linzin, but I love my functional OTPs.
Mte

lovely_masoka

5 years ago

I think it's important to note, and what we often forget when we watch something, is NARRATIVE BIAS.

- Pema saying that Tenzin that was her soul mate are her words many years later. There is no certainty that she thought that way when she told him her feelings. This could simply be the way she thinks of it now, years later. And based upon the way the show worked out, she has many reasons to think so! i.e Happy marriage, three children + one on the way.

- Also, just because Pema decided to tell him her feelings does not make her a bad person. I've had guys tell me plenty of times that they liked me while I was with another guy, and I didn't act on it. It's a way of putting all the cards on the table. If Tenzin had been truly happy with Lin, he wouldn't have chosen Pema. Plus, Tenzin's own words that Pema didn't steal Lin makes that solid for me. I think the pairing is adorable and lovely, and simply because we don't have enough backstory or development doesn't make it bad. We've only had Tenzin and Pema being loving and happy with one another, and KATARA seeming to love Pema proves to me again that there pairing is just as sympathetic as before. We have to take what we have.

- Second, Tenzin saying that Lin's issues with Korra stem from him is probably Tenzin being egocentric. We all like to think the world revolves around us, and just because he made that judgement about Lin's feelings doesn't mean they are true. His words about Pema not stealing him can be taken at face value because they reflect HIS feelings, and so he can speak about them. He can't speak for Lin.

- I don't think the show implies that Lin is embittered for years later after a break up. The show likes to build up misunderstandings and then resolve them later. I'm sure we'll see the real reasons for Lin's anger later. Furthermore, Lin was angry BEFORE Tenzin showed up. She was pissed at Korra before Tenzin even came into the picture. That shows me without narrative bias, that Lin has issues with only Korra.

- I think it's completely normal for people to split up because of the children issue. It's a HUGE factor in any relationship. Just because Lin perhaps didn't want kids, and Tenzin did doesn't make him bad for leaving her. It's not fair to say that Tenzin likes his women docile just because he may have wanted children. Besides, it's also a woman's choice to stay home or to have a career. I, for one, don't want children. However, I don't judge my friends who do. It doesn't make one "strong" and the other "not strong" simply because one has "more traditional" goals. If it stems from their heart, then it's fine. And so far, that's what I see for Pema. I'm also certain that if she wanted a career, than Tenzin would have only been supportive.

I think I restated some things that were said here already, but I just wanted to get out what was on my mind. I don't think the show did anything wrong by going there. I simply think it was pointing out that there is complexity to relationships, and you don't always get your first love (which wasn't addressed in AtLA at all, because everyone ended up with their first person, as far as we know). I think it leads into a nice arc where Tenzin and Lin work out their awkwardness and become good friends again, which to me is a lovely idea and arc. And I don't think, if handled properly, it reflects poorly on any of the characters. Pema and Tenzin have a happy marriage, and given how supportive Tenzin is of Korra, there's no indication that he likes docile women. Also, even if Lin is a little bitter towards Tenzin, I think that's also normal. I mean, most people never fix their relationships with their exes, why should Lin have to be perfect?

Ok, I've really rambled now, but those are my thoughts.
IA with... basically everything you just said.

crystalzelda

5 years ago

I...I guess I'm still not sure what to think of this Pema/Tenzin/Lin triangle thing.

Though without any proof, I feel fairly certain that Lin and Tenzin's difference didn't stem from Lin not wanting children, or even her being unable to bear children. It doesn't seem to fit with the characters we've been introduced to.

Characters who we still don't know much about, we must remember. Lin is the chief of police, and how much do we know about gender roles in this unified world? And despite that, she runs the police-she has to be tough, and we only ever meet her under strained circumstances.

And why should she be fond of Korra anyway? If she was such good friends with Aang, why would she be pleased that he now has a replacement? Korra means that Aang had to leave her, and how much does that suck? Aside from that, from the get go Korra has been a nuisance and messing up Lin's neatly policed city.

I haven't been going onto the Republic City interactive website thingy, but I hope they give us the backstory there, or at a con, or in an interview, rather than in the show.

I find the story interesting, and I'd love to see or read a version of this where Pema and Tenzin aren't bad guys or Lin isn't forever bitter, because relationships can be messy and are very often hurtful, but I feel like they won't go back to the hows and whys.
A theory I'd bounced around my head when we were first suspecting Lin was the woman Pema was referring to was that Tenzin and Lin were a power couple, and maybe HE didn't want kids, either, until Pema comes along and is like "Don't you kinda have to have kids, and I'll do that, Lin has her job and she won't go along with that, but I will!" or something nuts like that. I didn't word it quite as cleanly as I had it worked out in my mind. If Lin and Tenzin were growing apart and it kinda clicked in his head that "oh shit, kids, I really should be thinking that!" yeah, I can see Lin getting pissed over it.

I can see her disliking Korra due to her being a reminder than Aang is gone. This may seem silly, but when my cat died, a cat I had from age 10 or so until I was 23, I got pissed that my brother's cat, whom my parents basically ended up adopting cause they took care of him, took over my cat's spot, I was pissed. I don't kick him whenever I go over there, but I'm not exactly running out of my car to pet him when I visit, cause he usurped my cat's spot the very evening he died and it bugged me. Hard to explain. It's not the most mature mindset, but we're not all supposed to be expected to be mature about everything all the time. =P

I hope they comic whatever all these flashbacks are about. That'd rock.

wicked_g

5 years ago

juel1979

5 years ago

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