Once sentence review: After a good set of a world without the Avatar, “Korra Alone” Shows us where our titular hero has been, and ends off with a high note of the return of an old friend.
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(Warning spoilers to follow)
Overall I liked this episode, even though it wasn’t earthshaking or epic. Like its predecessor it showed a fair amount of set up for the rest of the season. When the previous episode showed Korra at the end I left me feeling a little let down by our hero. How could she be fighting in a sleazy cage match when there was a world that so desperately needed its hero? How could she abandon her friends and family, lying about her whereabouts?
“Korra Alone” did a nice job of bringing humanity to Korra’s solitary journey. She’s not the kind of person who deals well with excessive sympathy. That’s all anybody is showing her, and none of it is helping her. She has to be alone if she is to reclaim her strength. How can an Avatar save the world if she can’t even stand up to a petty criminal. This episode reminded me of two films, Superman 2, and Return of the Jedi. In Superman 2 After giving up his powers, Clark Kent has to hike back to the fortress of Solitude to reclaim them. The scene where Korra hikes to the spirit portal to try and meditate in the tree of time evokes the same visual. In the end when she journeys into the swamp resembles Luke journeying to Dagobah to find Yoda. The visuals are almost definitely intentional. Both movies feature a weakened hero in search of their mentor for guidance. Who does Korra find? Not Jor-El, not Yoda, but Toph. I can’t help but feel that she is the perfect mentor for Korra. Everyone has tried to be nice to the injured Avatar, but Toph doesn’t specialize in nice. She specializes in tough love. This is exactly what Korra needs.
Toph was such a great character in the original series, I can’t wait to see how the rest of her appearance will play out. Will she be serene and enlightened? Will the years have mellowed her? Will she be the stubborn spitfire she was in her youth?