‘Legend of Korra’ (Season 4, Episode 1: “After All These Years”) – Thoughts

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Okay, if you haven’t watched it yet, then you can do so here on the Nickelodeon site for free.

It almost feels like yesterday when I was blown away by the Legend of Korra Book 3 Finale. Actually, that’s probably because it was only like, a little over a month ago (Aug. 22nd according to IMDB). However, because the new season takes place three years after the events of the Book 3 Finale, it did still feel like I was being reunited with old friends.

Setting the Scene

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The usual, “old-fashioned film reel” recap at the start of the episode felt more like a tourism video about Republic City this time, which is pretty cool because it catches us up on life after the Red Lotus attack. It seems like Republic City is doing very well.  Spirits are now living in harmony with humans, with even the spirit vines now a part of the city landscape itself. Korra is deemed a hero, with her own statue in the park now renamed after her. Asami is the first character we’re reunited with (looking even more smoking than she did 3 years earlier). Then we see Mako, who looks more or less the same, except now he’s the bodyguard for the new Prince of the Earth Kingdom. I’m glad that there doesn’t seem to be anymore awkwardness between those two (that was always sort of annoying to me).

Though the Republic City President insists that the world is experiencing “a new age of peace,” the whole plot with Kuvira’s expedition makes it pretty clear that outside of the capital city, all is not well.


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So will this newcomer be the villain for this season? She definitely seems powerful enough, quickly 1v16-ing the bandits that stop her train without breaking a sweat (and seeming to enjoy it). Her bullying of the local head of state into submission was pretty shitty of her, and definitely didn’t feel very “peaceful.” Then again, the complexities of animated TV geopolitics are often lost on me.  

Oh, and not to mention her nickname, The Conqueror?  If there’s one thing my history degree has taught me, it’s that any conquistador should be approached with caution.

Air Nomads = Jedi ?

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Not going to lie, it was pretty great seeing that the air nomads have been playing Jedi over the past three years. Kai and Opal have clearly become adept airbenders since we last saw them. Their new squirrel suits looked very streamlined, and fucking badass.

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I’m also looking forward to seeing how Bolin and Opal’s relationship is impacted by Bolin’s new job with Kuvira. Opal strikes me as being (written as) the reasonable character, which makes her suspicion of Kuvira that much more convincing.

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Well, cagefighting for small cash. Yea, weird right?

The big reveal moment of the episode took place at the end, when Team Avatar + Tenzin & co + El Presidente find out from Tonroq that Korra isn’t with him, and that he thought she was in Republic City this whole time. Not quite the big, touching reunion I was expecting, but interested to see where this goes. I’m just hoping that this darker Korra doesn’t mean she’ll be as annoying as she was in Season 1, when she was arrogant.

Also, Korra got her ass kicked really easily. It seems like she hasn’t recovered well since her battle with Zaheer. My question is, is this a physical or emotional ailment?  I guess only time will tell.

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Closing Thoughts
While I was freaking excited that Korra was coming back so soon, I was a little sad too. I enjoyed the first two seasons of the show, and though they had many weaknesses (main being that it wasn’t Avatar: The Last Airbender), the show did have its moments. Season 3, however, completely changed how I felt about the show.  Season 3 felt on par with the original Avatar series for the first time. The journey around the world element really brought back memories of following the Gaang from the original series. The new “Team Avatar” was finally realized, and felt so much more like a group now that Mako wasn’t boning all the female members of the group. Tenzin, Jinora, and the rest of the family were fleshed out better, and more developed than they were in previous seasons. Season 3 also gave us a whole lot of airbending that we weren’t used to from the original series, as we only had Aang as the lone airbender.

The expanded applications of bending abilities were also a nice gift to fans, between lava bending and well, flying.

I have very high hopes for the final Book of Korra’s story, and will follow the show closely over the next several weeks.

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