Korra Alone, was expectedly a Korra centric episode — and that’s what makes this episode the closest to being perfect. After giving us a whole episode without the title character, this episode has no one but her. This episode picked right off where the last one left off, with a physically and spiritually broken Korra — chasing what appears to be a ghost of herself in the Avatar state when she battled Zaheer. Whilst Korra is chasing the ghost of herself, the viewer is given flashbacks of what Korra has been up to the past three years, that lead her up to this point of despair.
The narrative sends the viewer as Korra begins her path towards recovery from her injuries in result from her final battle with Zaheer. Korra decides that it would be best for her to go back home to the Southern Water Tribe, where she would get the best care to help her recover. Soon after her return to her home, Korra seeks aid from the legendary waterbender and healer, and Katara. It’s been quite some time since we’ve seen the Avatar: The Last Airbender alumni. Katara reveals that she has done all she could do for the Avatar, and it was no up to Korra whether or not she will fully recover. Afterwards, Korra begins her physical therapy to help her regain her ability to simply walk again — which is extremely reminiscent of the sacrifice that soldiers make when doing their duty, and not being able to do simple things such as walking in result from their sacrifice –this parallel alone helps make this episode if not one of the best, the best episode in The Legend of Korra series.
Even though this episode spends most of its time catching us up to Korra, the writers cleverly inserted a scene of Korra reading letters from her friends to let the viewer know what the others have been up to as well. Relieving us from a part of the confusion the previous episode left us.
Soon after we witness Korra receiving results from her physical therapy, the narrative fasts forwards to a point where Korra is completely healed, physically. In order for her to prove that she is now stable, and is the girl that she once was to Tenzin and others, she commences a firebending sparring session with three benders from the White Lotus. Unfortunately, she is not the girl she once was — during the duel when the White Lotus benders went on the offensive, she cowers away from the fire. At this point, it is made blatantly clear that Korra is suffering from some sort of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, in result from her battle with Zaheer. What made the scene even more powerful, is that it draws a direct parallel to the series’ first episode, when she easily defeated the White Lotus in the firebending sparring session — she was so triumphant in her victory, that they fled from her after the scrimmage was done. Now,it’s her that’s fleeing from their scrimmage, proving that she isn’t the proud, strong, and fearless Avtar that she once was, but that she is now a broken hollow shell of her former self.
The writers also included more parallels to the first episode titled, Welcome to Republic City — furthering demonstrating how much has changed since the series’ beginning to now — such as: she no longer has to sneak onto a ship to go back to Republic City, she now has her own vessel to ride back on.
Eventually this episode’s narrative leads us back to Korra in the present, participating in the underground earthbending match. Since the viewer followed Korra’s path up until now, they are given a whole new perspective to the ending scene of last week’s season premiere. Korra ended up there in result to chasing the ghost of the Avatar state into there — in the last episode, it appeared that she was freely participating in the match with her opponent, when in reality she was doing battle against the ghost that she has been plagued by. Subsequently after losing the match she happens upon a dog that can see the ghost as well, proving that she isn’t going crazy. Korra decides to follow the dog outside of the city, where it revealed that it’s actually a spirit that Korra met earlier on in the episode. Korra then proceeds to follow the spirit deep within the forest lying on the outskirts of the city, until she is ambushed by the ghost. Right when it appears like the ghost is about to finish Korra off, she awakens to find herself in a cave, being tended to by a familiar character. As soon as the character turns around to reveal their face, both the viewer and Korra realize that she was saved by Toph. It’s a wonderful surprise to see the metalbender inventor — especially seeing the product of her work for three seasons, and coming off of the previous season, rhar focused heavily on her family.
Korra Alone proves to be the strongest episode of the series –demonstrating the horrors that an individual faces after going through a traumatic event, respectfully. The episode was cleverly written — taking the viewer onto Korra’s journey to recovery. We witness how far Korra has fallen by the parallels that have been placed from the series’ first episode, Welcome to Republic City. Even though this was a Korra centric episode, we learned a bit more what the other characters have been up to during the three year time skip.
The episode ended on a high note, by revealing that it was Toph who saved the Avatar from certain death. It’s exciting to see another Avatar: The Last Airbender alumni, especially since the viewer has been immersed by her presence and the product of her metalbending for three seasons now.
This season is headed in the right direction if the writers continue to write this cleverly.
- Clever writing
- "Welcome to Republic City" parallels
- Toph is back!