Hello all! I have moved to liveblogging about Book 4 after my choice to not fill up The Legend of Korra page with my episode reviews.
So if you don't know me..I am Ryochi Mayeabara. The guy who seems to constantly find himself holding the unpopular opinion. But you know what. I don't give a shit. So there.
Anyways, onto the episode!
I personally thought it was very, very interesting to see the psychological effects that Season 3 had on Korra and seeing her very slow path to recovery.
Making Korra look like she recovered, then show that its her mind that's keeping her from being the way she is not the body, is a brilliant idea and is well-executed in this episode.
(Personal Pro (something I personally find to be an accomplishment)) Not resolving all of this through a Deus Ex Machina. That's a first (I'm including the first series but they weren't as bad)
The apparition that follows Korra (whether it is an apparition or not) is a great way to show how this is affecting her psychologically and how she seeks to grow back into the person she was.
It's a no brainer I know but this episode deserves special mention for some great looking animation. The scenes where the apparition show up come to mind.
(Personal Pro) Hearing Katara describe Aang's whole journey and development in one sentence is really satisfying to me.
Sigh. Look, if you're going to add Toph, please let her have some actual impact. Please guys. I'm tired of this trend of adding in the previous characters and having half of them have no meaningful impact on the plot or the characters(except Katara)
(Very minor Personal Con) Seeing the spirit animals devolve from threatening spirits of nature to cutsey critters is quite unsatisfying. Especially since they promised to explore this in Book 3 (which they only did in the first two episodes. But I still liked that season don't get me wrong.)
(a flaw that I kinda agree with) Why is Korra still so impatient? After everything she has learned? Maybe it's a part of her personality not the way she actually acts?
I tried to find more flaws in this episode...but you know what? I personally thought it was a great episode. It clearly explores Korra's psychological state after the events of Book 3 (Williamson K said this should have been done in Season 1. He's not wrong you know. Oh well, more wasted potential for a great idea. Too bad the Deus ex Machina stopped that. Oh well, better late than never.) to a really great degree. I may even say it is by far one of the best episodes in the series (My favorite is "Original Airbenders". Cause its a no-brainer that I find him to be the most well-developed character in this series.). I find it to be focused more on the characterization of Korra, which this series really needed and delivered brilliantly.
Watching her deal with this apparition as she tries her very best to get better and losing so many fights in this season, is very heartbreaking (not for me since I've seen worse but I imagine it must be sad for some people. But that doesn't mean I didn't care. I did care for a character besides Tenzin and Zaheer...and probably Lin....) since it shows just how she is still an emotional wreck for three years even after she has healed. Her uselessness really affected her for all of these years, and now she can't even fight in a sparring match without being reminded of Zaheer. I believe that this could be a very realistic way of showing just how long the process of recovery is and how it may affect some people. I believe that her character arc is probably to take her suffering and grow from it. To do it without using her status as the Avatar as a way to gain authority and strength. To find strength within herself.
That probably sounded like complete gibberish but whatever....
The animation deserves some special mention since there is one scene that is really well animated. (The scene where Korra sees the apparition in the swamp) I just wanted to point that out.
The only three cons that slightly brought it down is Toph. Like my god, what a way to make the fanboys and girls go wild. I swear, she better not get slapped away like piece of trash like Zuko when he faced the Red Lotus. And make her have meaningful impact. Zuko barely had any impact in the plot on Season 3 and since she was introduced so early, she better have some kind of impact on Korra's development or the plot. Or maybe both. Choose.
Seeing the spirit animals again. It just reminded me of a plot thread that was dropped like it was hot in Season 3. Yeah sure, they explored the impact....for two episodes. What? That's it? Why didn't we see exactly how the world is reacting to this? Why do people catch them and keep them as pets as if they are Pokemon? Why would you drop this?
The last one, is seeing Korra continue to act like the same temperamental brat she was in Seasons 1 and 2. Ugh. I thought she became more patient and understanding? Maybe it's in her more serious moments not during calmer moments like these. But still, I believe that throughout Seasons 1, 2, and 3 and though the course of three years...she should have become a little more patient. But it is very minor since I understand that it is a long process and it is ok to be frustrated. It really is. And anyone who goes through what she goes through would be pretty frustrated.
Overall I give this episode from a scale of Godawful, Shameful Display, Painfully Average, Mediocre, Decent, Good, and Great...........
A solid Great despite the flaws. This is something that was completely missing from most of the series and something that I am glad they addressed. Its these types of character exploration episodes that made me like the characters of The Last Airbender so much and I am glad that they are following in its footsteps while still giving itself its original touch. So hats off to you Korra Team.
Now to wait for episode 3...................