Recap / The Legend Of Korra S 2 E 10 A New Spiritual Age

If you look for the light, you can often find it. But if you look for the dark, it is all you will ever see.

Korra and Jinora are entranced by the beauty of the Spirit World, but Jinora wanders off on her own. The two are then forcibly separated by a run through a gauntlet of spiritual perils, and Korra becomes lost in a dark forest. The terrified girl reverts down to her roly-poly younger self and begins to cry. However, she encounters a phoenix-like spirit, who she inadvertently wounds. The two are then approached by none other than Iroh, the late Dragon of the West, who Korra recognizes from her previous life as Aang.

Iroh brings the two to his new tea shop, where he is hosting a wedding tea party between two of his spirit friends. Iroh explains over a game of pai sho that at the end of his life, his spirit left his body to reside in the Spirit World, where he has been for at least forty years.

Jinora meets her spirit friend, Furryfoot, who takes her to Wan Shi Tong's library to search for information on Harmonic Convergence. The old spirit initially turns her away, even after she sets the record straight about the radio (it's electromagnetic energy, not a tiny many singing and playing music in a box), but he relents when she says she's the daughter of Avatar Aang and assisting the current Avatar. Jinora learns that if the spirit portals remain closed during Harmonic Convergence, Vaatu will remain imprisoned. Unalaq appears, and is revealed to be an ally of Wan Shi Tong, who deems him a true friend of the spirits. Unalaq then captures Jinora with the help of a darkened Furryfoot.

Korra becomes upset over having lost track of Jinora, and simultaneously, the spirits at Iroh's tea shop become dark and violent, and the weather also takes a turn for the worse. Iroh is able to calm down Korra, and explains that since Korra is a human from the material world, her emotions can influence the Spirit World around her; the effect is especially powerful coming from an Avatar. Iroh suggests that Korra take the small phoenix spirit back to its' nest on a nearby mountain to help set her on the right path to find Jinora. Iroh does not accompany her, deeming it a task for the Avatar to accomplish alone, and bids farewell to Korra, asking her to visit him again, in her present life, or her next.

Korra ventures up the mountain with the spirit, and is confronted by a pack of dog spirits. However, Korra tells herself that she has light inside, and the dogs turn light and help her make the final ascent to the dragon-bird's nest. The bird merges with its' siblings into a much larger spirit, and Korra is returned to her teenage form. The spirit takes Korra to the spirit portals.

Before Korra can close the southern portal, Vaatu and Unalaq reveal Jinora as their hostage. Unalaq forces Korra to open the northern portal in exchange for Jinora's life, but he attacks her as soon as she's done so. The phoenix spirit saves Korra from Unalaq, but Jinora is carried off into the Spirit World.

Korra awakens in the material world, and Tenzin is horrified when Jinora does not wake up as well.


  • Adult Fear:
    • Jinora is trapped in the spirit world, apparently still held hostage by Unalaq or some corrupted spirit.
    • Earlier, we have Korra, reduced to about the age she was when the White Lotus came to her home, lost in a part of the spirit world that looks like it came out of a horror film.
  • Androcles' Lion: The dragon-bird that Korra helps get back to its nest, helps her get to the portals and rescues her from Unalaq.
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Iroh now lives in the Spirit World. The nature of his "death" is unclear, but he did state that when his work was done in the material world he chose to let his soul depart and live in the Spirit World. In any case, his body is certainly long dead by now.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Wan Shi Tong shows the professor's remains to Jinora when she says she could spend "forever" in the library.
  • Big Damn Heroes: The dragon-bird saves Korra moments before Unalaq can kill her.
  • Black Magic: Unalaq reveals a dark version of his spirit bending which can kill a spirit or a human soul in the spirit world.
  • The Bus Came Back: Iroh the first and Wan Shi Tong, the latter of whom came back from an especially Long Bus Trip.
  • Bus Crash: Remember Professor Zei, the guy that stayed in the spirit library? Yeah, 70 years is a long time and now he's dead.
  • Continuity Nod: Korra recognizes Iroh's teapot as the one Wan put Raava in before the battle with Vaatu.
  • Downer Ending: Both spirit portals are now open and Jinora is trapped in the spirit world.
  • Drama-Preserving Handicap: Korra is beaten soundly by Unalaq, since he went through the spirit portal and can bend but she used Astral Projection and can't. The only reason she survives is because the dragon-bird saves her.
  • Eldritch Location: The spirit world changes according to the emotions of those present and has areas which do not obey normal physical laws.
  • Fisher King: The spirit world reacts to the emotions of those inside it, particularly Korra, since she's the Avatar. Korra gets aged down to a child when she feels lost and hopeless, and her negative emotions cause the spirits and the landscape to darken. Conversely, when she gets over her fear, the light comes back, and she returns to her original age once she's regained her confidence. This also works against Jinora, as Unalaq's mere presence is enough to turn the bunny-dragonfly spirit against her.
  • Fountain of Youth: Korra is briefly aged down into a child while in the Spirit World.
  • Fusion Dance: When Korra delivers the baby dragon-bird to its nest, it fuses with the other three already there to become an adult.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Granted, Wan Shi Tong doesn't have the best experience with the Avatar, but trusting Unalaq instead when he's trying to free Vaatu? "A true friend of the spirits"?
  • Humans Are Cthulhu: Humans come from a different universe with different laws of physics, and can alter both reality and the minds of spirits quite literally on a whim.
  • Hypocrite:
    • Korra calls Unalaq out on how he claims to want to bring balance to humans and spirits, but is planning to release Vaatu.
    • Unalaq calls Tenzin a bad father for Jinora acting as Korra's guide instead of him. Given how he treated the twins last episode, he's even worse.
  • Irony: Iroh says that spirits are supposed to have created Pai Sho, yet the spirit he was trying to play with had a poor grasp of it.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Korra helped a little dragon-bird chick get back to its nest, and it not only took her to the portals, it helped her escape from Unalaq, giving the creep a very well-deserved smack-down (that is, it uses its tail to smack him away).
  • Multiple Head Case: The heads of the two-headed frog spirit have distinct genders and minds.
  • Nice to the Waiter: Jinora thanks one of Wan Shi Tong's fox spirit servants after it fetches a book she was looking for, even giving it a brief rub on the head.
  • Reality Ensues: Professor Zei did indeed spend the rest of his life in Wa Shi Tong's library. That was seventy years ago. Now he's a skeleton.
  • Screw Yourself: Korra briefly comments on the oddity of a two-headed frog spirit marrying itself. Based on their dialogue, they may have been originally two distinct frog spirits who literally grew "on each other".
  • Tail Slap: How the dragon bird spirit deals with Unalaq while saving Korra.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Unalaq threatens and outright attempts to snuff out Jinora's soul.