Vanguard wrote:What I keep finding odd is; I don't really see any proof that the Benders are 'oppressing' anyone.
I got the impression that the council members are all benders. When pitching his plan in Ep 4, Tarlok warns of the threat to "all us benders. Our friends. Our familes." The words could mean just him, Tenzin and benders outside the room, but the delivery seems meant to make the council members feel personally threatened. If the council is all benders, that could make non-benders feel like second-class citizens.
On top of that, organized crime is run by benders. The SWAT team-type group meant to fight organized crime is run by benders. And, the dominant form of entertainment appears to be pro-bending. I doubt that non-benders are actively oppressed, but I could see them feeling like they don't have much say in how the city is run.
I can't be certain about that, though, since we haven't seen enough of the city to know what's going on. Every scene since the second half of the pilot has taken place in Republic City, but we've spent remarkably little time there. Since Ep 2, it's been mostly Air Temple Island, the arena, factories, and government buildings. There's been a few other locations, like the statue and the noodle bar, but those have just been backdrops for conversations.
I haven't even seen enough of Republic City to know if it would be good or bad for Amon to succeed in eliminating bending. It sounds like they'd lose water-bending healers and lightning-bending for the power grid. But, it might also hurt organized crime and open up the city leadership positions to a wider talent pool. Deciding who's right could be an interesting question, but the show is begging that question rather than investigating it.
That's not to say I don't like the show; I do. I just don't get sucked in to the fictional world the way I did when watching AtLA. I watch LoK like I watch Burn Notice. There's some humor, some over the top action (that somehow doesn't seem to actually kill anyone), and an overarching plot that I follow, but don't actually care about that much. It's still a good show, just not the epic tale I expected from the previous series.