Welcome back to Republic city. Three years have passed since the defeat of Zaheer — and a plethora things have changed. Since there’s an immense gap between the last time we have seen seen our beloved characters and the time we see them in this episode, the episode spent the majority of its time catching up with their lives, and giving us hints what they have been up to since the narrative has fast forwarded. This episode also gives us our first taste of the series’ final antagonist, the power hungry metal/earth bender, Kuvira.
If you’re expecting to see the title character, Korra, look elsewhere, because this episode is about everyone else but her. The first thing that is noteworthy is the drastic change in all of the character’s design, due to all of them aging three years — some are hardly recognizable.
After all these years sets the tone for this season’s political power struggle overtone. Since the Earth Nation is still in disarray from Zaheer and the Red Lotus from murdering the Earth Queen, Hou-Ting the previous season, her seat of power is left vacant. Earth Queen Hou-Ting’s great nephew, Prince Wu, is next in line for the throne as her successor. Prince Wu is an egotistical play boy, that cares more about his well-being than that of his people that remain in the broken Earth Nation, that are currently being terrorized by bandits. Seeing as the whole Earth Nation is in turmoil and is plagued by bandits, a militia lead by Kuvira was formed to unite the people once again underneath one banner in time for Prince Wu’s crowning — but it seems that the militia has an ulterior motive. As soon as the militia’s leader, Kuvira, first appears on screen, it is made abundantly clear that her motive is not as pure as she makes it out to be; forcing small towns that are unprotected from bandits to sign her contract to be placed underneath her command, in order for her to provide the protection they need to survive. It’s clear that she is planning to make her own nation instead of restoring the Earth Nation to its former glory. Given that both Prince Wu and Kuvira are both unfit to rule, I’m hoping that a person that is better suited for the crown will appear later in the season.
Though a time skip in a narrative is exciting, it is rarely pulled off perfectly; unfortunately, Legend of Korra suffers from it. Since there’s a huge gap in-between the seasons, it’s the writer’s job to give us sufficient information so the viewer is not lost as to what is going on. While viewing this episode I found myself with more questions than answers. Furthermore, we find our characters such as Bolin and Mako in occupations that the audience would never expect them in, without any explanation given.
Amidst the episode, we find out team avatar has not seen each other in a long time. Since Korra has been away, recovering, the team of elite benders have naturally drifted apart since the avatar was the glue that kept them together. It isn’t made clear what was the catalyst for their separation, as a matter of fact, a plethora of things were not explained in this episode.
Sometime during the time gap, the Air Nation came into its own, and is now alive and thriving. Like they promised last season, the air nomads have spread all over the world, providing help to others whenever it is needed. Unfortunately, as made apparent through Kai and Oppal during their mission at the state of Yi, the air nation is spread too thin and aren’t able to provide the amount of help that is needed to help that is needed to protect the state of Yi from bandits. Kuvira uses this to her advantage, and bullies the head of the state to sign all of their independance over to her, so they can be aligned with her ‘united’ Earth Nation.
Ultimately, the episode was quite lackluster for an abundance of reasons, mainly due to the premiere was only thirty minutes than the usual hour, which also disrupted the pacing as well. All-in-all, the episode was just alright — with Kuvira’s impressive display of bending, and Meelo’s gut-busting hilarity from the few moments he had on screen, were the highlights of the episode. However,at the end of the episode we are introduced to Korra (now sporting a shorter hairstyle) this season the same way we first met Toph, in an underground earthbending fight club — which is exciting to see, and brings up a few nostalgic memories. We see our once proud avatar, beaten and broken from more than the loss she just suffered in the underground arena. Korra is obviously still devastated from her last encounter with Zaheer at the end of book 3. This season appears to beall about her coming into her own, and finding a reason for her to be the avatar she once was, to help truly unite the Earth Nation once again, and preventing Kuvira from taking over once again. I couldn’t be more excited to see how she does it.
- Meelo is comedy gold
- Brand new character designs
- Horrible pacing
- Leaves numerous unanswered questions