This review contains spoilers.
4.2 Korra Alone
In this week’s episode of Legend Of Korra, we learn how Korra found herself in that underground bending arena last week and make our way through an entire box of tissues.
First off, let’s call a spade a spade: Korra has PTSD. If she were in our world, that’s what it would be called. Although I don’t have it myself, two people I am very close to do, and from what I can tell, it’s depicted pretty accurately here. It’s times like this when I have to remind myself that Korra is, ostensibly, a show for kids. It’s not that I don’t think they can handle it, it’s just that this isn’t the kind of thing we’ve come to expect from typical children’s programming. I think it’s really amazing that the writers have made this choice to depict what came after Korra’s trauma in the season three finale in a realistic manner.
After two years of arduous recovery with the help of Katara, Korra decides to set off by herself and return to Republic City. But on her arrival, she sees a vision of what I’m going to call Nega Korra for the sake of clarity — essentially, herself in the Avatar State, chained and poisoned by Zaheer. It’s legitimately creepy, to the point that it reminds me of Japanese horror films; the way Nega Korra moves sometimes, slow and jerky almost like a zombie and then suddenly so quick that if you blink it appears she’s teleported. I don’t blame Korra for turning away one bit, and I’d start losing my mind if that thing was haunting me, too.
But after a long and terrifying trip, Korra finds herself being lead to the swamplands by a dog. (Yes, just a dog, not a polar bear dog, or a horse dog…just a dog. In an episode that includes Nega Korra looking like something out of The Ring, it’s saying a lot that the fact that the animal is literally just a plain dog is the strangest thing in the entire half hour.) And not just any part of the swamplands, either. After fighting her Nega double, Korra awakes to find herself in the company of none other than Toph Beifong.
It’s alright if you want to take a moment to have a little victory screech over seeing Toph again, because I absolutely did, too. Go on, I’ll wait. It’s perhaps my favorite thing that Philece Sampler, the actress who voices adult Toph sounds exactly like Jessie Flower, who voiced her on the Last Airbender, all grown up. The resemblance is uncanny and is probably my favorite bit of casting in Korra.
I think it says a lot about how the writers have matured Korra and improved the way they write her that I thoroughly enjoyed an episode focusing entirely on her; if you’ll remember, a lot of us had major problems with not particularly liking Korra as a character and finding other characters more interesting than her. The fact that now in the fourth season I can watch this entire episode and honestly say it’s one of my favourites says a lot about how the quality of her writing has improved.
I have no idea how Toph is going to help Korra on her journey back to health but I am so excited to see her again. I can’t wait for next week.
Read Kaci’s review of the previous episode, After All These Years, here.
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