Book 2’s ‘A New Spiritual Age’ Exceeds Expectations due to Elements of Throwback

The stars had aligned for what could have been the best episode of the season thus far, and ‘A New Spiritual Age’ delivered without question. In some instances, the episode exceeded expectations mostly because it delivered in ways that no one could have seen coming. The inclusion of Wan Shi Tong, Professor Zei and Uncle Iroh were all throwbacks to the original series and they made ‘A New Spiritual Age’ one of the most memorable ‘Korra’ episodes to date.

The episode opens with the clip Nickelodeon released just a few days ago. Tenzin is worried sick about his daughter, as expected, and he decides to take the first watch to ensure that Korra and Jinora’s bodies are safe during their Spirit World journey. I initially expected ‘A New Spiritual Age’ to focus on the development of Tenzin and his sibling while also showing the Spirit World journey, but I’m glad the episode focused exclusively on Korra and Jinora.

Right from the get-go, Korra’s aggressive personality gets her into trouble with the Spirits. It results in Korra and Jinora being separated which allows the episode to cover a lot more ground than expected. Both Korra and Jinora’s side of the story were well done and they each included elements of throwback that were nice to see.

It’s all obviously opinion, but I thought the element of throwback included in Korra’s side of the story was a tad bit more exciting, and I think you know what I’m talking about.

While Jinora is lost in another part of the Spirit World, Korra finds herself in even more trouble with several more frightening Spirits. This was when the symbolism of the episode settled in: from there until the last few scenes of the episode, Korra is portrayed as a child to represent her inexperience and anxiety of being alone in the Spirit World.

IrohOut of fear, Korra accidentally injures a dragon Spirit and carries it with her as she attempts to find a way out of the forest. As Korra travels, she sees a man with a lantern walking towards her way. The infamous Tsungi Horn score is played; Uncle Iroh returns to give guidance one last time.

Aside from the fact that this was nostalgic beyond belief, the inclusion of Uncle Iroh was a brilliant way to develop the spiritual side of Korra. Iroh teaches Korra how her emotions become her reality in the Spirit World; remaining positive is key.

Korra learns that sometimes solving someone else’s problems will end up being a resolution of her own. Korra sets out to return the baby Dragon to its nest, and with that, Iroh’s role in the episode concludes.

So it turns out Avatar Roku was correct after all, “Some friendships are so strong, they can even transcend lifetimes.”

While Korra’s role in the episode allowed her character to develop, Jinora’s role in the episode allowed the plot to progress tremendously.

While Korra is having tea with Uncle Iroh, Jinora is convinced that Korra is waiting for her at the Spirit Portals. She eventually finds her bunny Spirit friend, Furry Foot, who flies her to the Spirit Library. Jinora’s interaction with Wan Shi Tong was probably the most humorous moment out of any ‘Korra’ episode thus far.

ZeiIt was a bit shocking to see Professor Zei’s corps lying to the side, but I’m glad the writers made it a point to show the aftermath of his character.

Wan Shi Tong eventually lets Jinora in and the foxes help her find a book depicting the whereabouts of the Spirit Portals. It isn’t long before Unalaq shows up besides Wan Shi Tong to reveal that Jinora had been a victim of trickery.

That’s what I call a plot twist: unexpected, shocking and absolutely well done. What’s almost sickening is the fact that poor Jinora can’t even defend herself because she didn’t enter the Spirit World through one of the Spirit Portals.

When Korra returns the baby dragon Spirit to its nest, it combines with three other baby dragon Spirits to form the golden dragon Spirit we saw in the Book 2 trailer. Korra hops on the back of the dragon, returns to her teenage form and flies out to the Spirit Portals.

VaatuAs she walks to close the Southern Portal, Vaatu tells Korra to reconsider if she ever wants to see Jinora again. After seeing the whole storyline between Vaatu, Raava and Wan play out, it was a bit ominous to see Vaatu having a conversation with Korra. It just had this eerie feel to it that made Vaatu seem genuinely scary.

Unalaq comes in and essentially threatens to take Jinora’s soul unless Korra opens the Northern Portal. Korra complies out of fear, but is quickly reminded how twisted Unalaq really is. Furry Feat, who now works for Unalaq, grabs Jinora and flies her away. Korra tries to save her but Unalaq attacks Korra and nearly takes her soul.

Fortunately for Korra, the golden dragon Spirit swoops in, knocks over Unalaq (which was hilarious) and saves Korra from losing her soul. Iroh truly is a wise man.

Korra awakens from the Spirit World and apologizes to Tenzin. When Tenzin sees that Jinora has not awoken from the Spirit World, he questions what happened to his daughter in a fearful manner and the episode ends.

This is what I’ve been waiting for from Book 2. This is what I expected from the start. I, personally, enjoyed ‘A New Spiritual Age’ more than ‘Beginnings – Part 1 & 2’ and I can’t wait to see how next week’s one hour special follows up.

The way this episode developed the plot so quickly was unexpected. The portrayal of Wan Shi Tong and his library was well done. And finally, the inclusion of Uncle Iroh and the development of Korra knocked it out of the park.

Bravo, Mike & Bryan. Bravo, indeed.

  • http://www.performerfx.de/ PerformerFX

    This episode deserves some standing ovations… I literally stood up this morning at the episode ending and just applauded…

    • http://avatarthelegendofkorraonline.com/ Keval

      Lol you have the “Mod, Bitch” tag too!

  • korrafan

    i was very happy with is weeks episode

  • crystalline

    Yes this episode was incredible and just genius. I almost think, what could top this? Mike and Bryan never cease to amaze. They have made such a brilliant story. I cant wait for next weeks 1 hour special. I hope to see Unalaq’s twisted plan, and what happens with the whole love triangle business. I don’t really care about Bolin and the whole Varrick thing. I am really looking forward to this epic battle! It would be awesome to see Vaatu and Unalaq become a super villain and nearly wipe them out. It would be cool to see sooo many people have to work together to destroy this super villain because it is just that beast. I am really excited for next week and I hope we see many more amazing things! Im super anxious to see what the “twist in Unalaq’s plan is.”

    • ezilopi

      It was actually written by Tm Hendrick and directed by Ian Graham, but I guess the creators gave them a general idea of what the plot of the episode(s) should be.

      I don’t exactly know the whole “wiiter” business, but I just feel uncomfortable giving the “creators” all the credit (even though they’re legendary writers themselves) when most of the episodes of both ATLA and LOK were written by other people.

      • ezilopi

        *Tim*

      • crystalline

        That’s true, but I’m sure the whole idea o ATLA and possible LOK originated from Mike and Bryan and then they just got a professional team to help their visions become a reality.

  • https://twitter.com/VishalMalla61 AvatarVishal

    This episode had a deeper connection to ATLA than any other show. Zei, Wan Shi Tong, Iroh, and Aang was mentioned 2 or 3 times. TYPO: 1st paragraph ” and they will made” when it should be “and they will make”

  • crystalline

    I have a feeling the great villain in this book is going to more epic than any villain we have ever seen. At least that is what I’m hoping for.

  • Luis.

    Watching Iroh again make me really nostalgic, literally cried a little when he stepped on screen.
    This episode was really goddamn fantastic, and theres no more coments about it to be made.
    I’m sure eventually Vaatu and Unalaq will bond into some sort of anti-Avatar, and that will be the final battle.

  • Jim

    This episode is right up there with the greats in ATLA

    • crystalline

      What episodes are considered the greats of ATLA?

      • Josh

        Episodes like The Blind Bandit, The Library, The Guru, Crossroads of destiny, The beach, Avatar and the Firelord, The Puppetmaster, Day of Black Sun, The Southern Raiders, and Sozins Comet. Those are just a few; I could literally go on all day, because in my opinion all episodes of ATLA are considered the greats.

        • Kailee

          What about Siege of the north? I also really liked Zuko Alone.

          • crystalline

            Yes, Zuko alone was fantastic!

          • Josh

            Aww man your right, I don’t even know how I forgot Zuko Alone. Thats probably my favorite episode of the series!

          • crystalline

            I also like Ember Island Players

          • Kailee

            That episode was hilarious! My favorite line was…
            Fan: Hey great zuko costume but the scars on the wrong side.
            Zuko: The scars not on the wrong side! hahaha
            don’t know how I remember that. lol

          • crystallines

            Lol yeaaaa :P

        • crystalline

          Agreed. I really loved ATLA! I also loved every single episode u just said!

  • crystalline

    Anyone have any new theories? And anyone know who played the voice of baby korra?

    • Kailee

      It could’ve been the same girl who voiced baby Korra in book 1 “Welcome to republic city.” Her name is Cora Baker. I think that’s also where they Korra’s name from.

      • crystalline

        Oh okay, thanks.

  • Kailee

    Did anyone else almost start crying when Iroh made his appearence?

    • Makorraaa<3

      Yeea! I was like balling haha. I have to admit tho I wasn’t really excited for this episode, but once I started watching it I was like…..DAMN this is so awesome! There were so many throwbacks and this whole episode kept throwing us curve balls!
      Still kinda mad that there was no Mako/Asami/Bolin subplot and no Mako, Asami, and Korra confrontation. But im glad that they focused on the spirit world and the spirit world only. I guess “A night of a thousand stars” is mainly focus on Mako, Asami, Bolin so im super stoked for next week! But im mostly looking forward to “Harmonic Convergence” and the epic battle between Korra and Unalaq!!

  • Petecaca

    It is’nt Mike and bryan only, it’s all avatar-team expecially the ***writer****** and STUDIO MIR

  • Erika Martinez

    I really want unalaq to get what he deserves……I think he’s going to use jinora as a host for vatuu.

    • TophLeeZula

      NOOO!!! omg if that happens im gonna cry my eyes out!

  • bessie

    This episode killed it! I started freaking out, YEAAH Iroh’s the man! Some friendships are so strong, they can even transcend cartoon series.

  • Ian Almeida

    I wasn’t sure how well this episode would turn out, but it was simply incredible. The beginning of the season had a bumpy start, but the episodes are getting better and better as the season goes on!

  • Iroh

    IROH IROH IROH IROH IROH IROH IROH IROH IROH IROH IROH IROH IROH IROH IROH IROH IROH IROH IROH IROH IROH IROH IROH IROH IROH IROH IROH IROH IROH IROH !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!IROHIROHIROHIROHIROH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! IROH has returned if he appears again im gonna need some help

  • Connor

    My theory for the finale is that Vaatu will merge with Unalaq or perhaps one of Korra’s cousins (probably not) to make a dark avatar because if the light spirit can do it then why couldn’t the dark opposite spirit do it as well. Korra and Unalaq (now two avatars) will fight in the end and maybe dark will win out, which would provide an awesome segway into the next season. Or even, (getting way too into this now) Unalaq will die and the dark avatar lineage will be passed on! And in the next season Korra and the gang will go on a search for the next dark avatar… What do you guys think?

    • crystalline

      Im liking it. It would create an awesome Segway for the next season. This is really what I would like to see. It would make for a great season. I mean two avatars! Things would just be that much more epic. That’s a lot of power.

    • Josh

      Unfortunately the whole book 2 story line will be wrapped up by the end of episode 14. Although I do not disagree with the dark avatar theory; if it does happen it probably won’t drag on into the next season; being that the creators said that they wan’t each book to tell their own story. Going off of the interviews I have seen with the creators, it seems book 3 will be more about the origins of earth bending and Lin’s family. But the creators did say that we will see how everything ties together in the 4th and final book; so that should be interesting. Here is a link to the book 3 information I mentioned:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mig7xxKGTgg skip to 19:00

      • crystalline

        Oh awwwwwe. Thanks though. But dang that really sucks. -_-

      • burning hearts forever

        I know right that’s what I’ve been trying to say! That’s why I’m excited about book 2!

  • Female Titan

    We saw Iroh… come on Zuko show up already! I really wanted to see the face stealer again he would of been so bad ass and scared the shits out of baby Korra. It would of been really cool if it was a Young avatar Aang who found Korra and then he led him to Mad hatter Iroh’s tea party. But this episode really hit the nostalgia level. I think having Ginora’s life endangered will unlock Tezin’s ability to Spirit world travel. Cant wait for the double episodes next week!

    • crystalline

      Oh ! Excellent theory!

  • Giovanne Calamba Revilla

    When I saw IROH with respectful manners, i simply just cry and when I saw Wan Shi Tong helped that Plastic Unalaq it made me so Sad and also when Furry Foot brought Jinora away, I wish that Because Furry Foot has Jinora, Jinora would think of something that could make Furry Foot back to being a normal spirit so that she could get back and return to her father.

  • http://www.ChoOhana.deviantart.com/ ChoOhana

    I was soo happy to see all the characters from The Last Airbender again especially Zuko’s Unlce Iroh he was one of my favorite character from that series!^.^

    I’m still confused how Korra turned to her “little girl” self that confuses me!0_0

    I was very shocked when Wan Shi Tong was on Unalaq’s side when he said in the previous series “humans use knowledge for evil” That’s just WOW!!!!0_0

    Then when I saw the scene where Unalaq was trying to literally “murder” Jinora my reactions were: “Unalaq you fucking bitch what the fucking hell is wrong with you? Are you trying to be some kind of villian from Bleach? Plus you tired to “murder” your niece and made her open the other partole to free Vaatu! You fucking bastard! I’ll never forgive you for this, EVER!!!!! You piss me off! //*growls*//

    Please excuse me for my bad language^.^; but I am very upset right now!>__<

    • Makorraaa<3

      Yea. Unalaq is a f*ckin bitch! He’s really creepy too. But I thought it was weird when Unalaq was waterbending at Korra….and every time he hit a part of her body it diminished for a short period of time.

      And can you die in the Spirit World?

      • Too soon?

        Ask Professor Zei…

        • Makorraaa<3

          Oh… Now I feel stupid. Haha how could I miss that? Lol

        • Kailee

          Well what happens if your body isn’t physically in the spirit world and you die?

          • Eliminator

            Then you would be like Uncle Iroh… he left his body before death to stay in the Spirit World for ever. Professor Zei died there because he brought his body into the spirit world. (actually he just stayed in the library when WST brought the library back into the Spirit World)

      • http://www.ChoOhana.deviantart.com/ ChoOhana

        Yeah that part was werid!0_0
        I don’t really know but I don’t think so!>_<

    • http://avatarthelegendofkorraonline.com/ Keval

      Explanation for Korra turning into a girl:

      Iroh said that emotions become reality in the Spirit World. Being in the Spirit World for the first time, Korra was inexperienced, lonely and scared. Korra felt like a child due to her excessive vulnerability. She couldn’t even bend to protect herself. Those feelings became reality and she was portrayed as she felt.

      They could have done a better job explaining it, but I think a straightforward explanation would have tarnished the symbolism.

      • http://www.ChoOhana.deviantart.com/ ChoOhana

        Oh yeah that would make sense since Iroh did say “In the spirit world your emotions become a reality”

        Thanks Keval!:)

      • daniel yefru

        korra was already a girl

  • unkown

    Hey so as I was browsing the web, I came across this photo. (which you probably may have already seen) but I think its from the up coming episode!! my speculation (for asami) is that as you can see she is dressed up in an outfit that she wore on her first date with mako and im assuming that she prabably tried to go out with mako again but he rejected her ( bc he still has feelings for korra) hence the reason of her sad face. another speculation ( for bolin and asami) is that mako finally proved that varrick is not on their side and they both feel guilty. This is just what first came across my mind but tell me your thoughts on the picture.

    • unkown

      sorry the pic didnt come up ill repost it later

      • unkown

        Here it is

        • http://avatarthelegendofkorraonline.com/ Keval

          Oh yay – Mako, Bolin and Asami next week. Can’t wait.

          • Sam

            You can just feel the sarcasm just oozing off that comment…xD

    • Name.

      hhmm, yeah maybe they find out about Varrick and feel awful.

  • laurielfleurs

    Of course this episode is perfect, but there are things that I don’t understand:
    1, Why didn’t Uncle Iroh rejoin his son? Had he reincarnated?
    2, If Prof. Zei died in the Spirit World, where did his spirit go?
    3, Why didn’t Raava speak to Vaatu (and Korra)?

    • Kyle Edgecomb

      1. Well we never truly knew his son, only that he died in the war which led iroh to rethink the whole war and why they are at it. 2. Good question. 3. They might be waiting for the finale where we will see Korra and Raava finally communicate with eachother

  • bessie

    I loved the episode but I have a few questions. Why was Uncle Iroh in an Earth Kingdom getup? Also, why did I keep expecting Iroh to be an evil spirit in disguise?

    • Alana

      If you recall correctly, in the original Avatar series uncle Iroh always dreamed of living out the rest of his days in his teashop in the Earth Kingdom in the city of Ba Sing Se where he almost conquered while he was general of the Fire Nation Army, and also where he tried to seek refuge with his nephew Zuko, until they were eventually figured out by the Fire King and forced to leave. He had always said how wanted to live out the rest of his life in peace in Ba Sing Se once the 100 year war would eventually be over, in his tea shop that him and his nephew built, eating cake, drinking tea, and playing Pai Sho for the rest of his days… Which is exactly what he did :) Rather beautifully symbolic I believe.

  • Tumas

    I absolutely loved the episode, and I just couldn’t help but feel this was the closest thing to the original ‘Avatar’ since ‘Korra’ started. Last season had some references to the old gang and some flashbacks too, but I always felt there was a certain distance between them and the current story (which I guess a ‘legacy’ story, rather than an actual sequel, would have).

    In this episode, on the other hand, the Spirit World has allowed us to visit a place of great importance in Avatar lore and to see the direct fallout of Aang’s adventures on characters in the present who experienced them then: Wan Shi Tong holding a grudge against and losing faith in the Avatar, whatever his incarnation; Professor Zei’s corpse in the Library; and, of course, Iroh himself! The best thing is, being set in the Spirit World, these elements fit in well and did not feel forced.

    The only thing missing now is the meeting with Zuko I hope will take place within Korra’ story soon, even if in Books 3 and 4. And I could have been just that little bit more nostalgic if Iroh would have told Korra to send his regards to his nephew. Not that I’m complaining that this didn’t happen, but I feel it is a minor missed opportunity not to refer to the fact that Zuko’s still alive out there and that Iroh still loves him, given the circumstances.

  • J-rod

    Great episode but where was Lu Ten?

  • Katherine M.

    This episode was great. The symbolism is effective and explained well. I especially love how Korra’s decision at the end of the episode is human but it doesn’t jeopardize the fate of the world. I’ve seen on forums that people were mistaking Korra’s decision to “save Jinora now and save the world later” for “save Jinora and let the rest of the world die.” That was definitely not the case. Korra chose to save Jinora but she still has a few chances to stop Vaatu. The first option would be to somehow get Jinora back and close the portals before Harmonic Convergence. The second option would be to fight Vaatu during Harmonic Convergence and win.

    Someone, if not everyone, is gonna hate me for this but did anyone notice the Makorra foreshadowing with the two frogs in the middle of the episode? One frog has amber eyes and the other frog has blue eyes. The one with amber eyes says “I know we’re opposites. I tried to fight it but she grew on me.”

  • Katherine M.

    This episode was great. The symbolism is effective and explained well. I especially love how Korra’s decision at the end of the episode is human but it doesn’t jeopardize the fate of the world. I’ve seen on forums that people were mistaking Korra’s decision to “save Jinora now and save the world later” for “save Jinora and let the rest of the world die.” That was definitely not the case. Korra chose to save Jinora but she still has a few chances to stop Vaatu. The first option would be to somehow get Jinora back and close the portals before Harmonic Convergence. The second option would be to fight Vaatu during Harmonic Convergence and win.

    Someone, if not everyone, is gonna hate me for this but did anyone notice the Makorra foreshadowing with the two frogs in the middle of the episode? One frog has amber eyes and the other frog has blue eyes. The frog with blue eyes says “complete opposites? I know!” (in response to toddler Korra asking “Aren’t you..?”) The frog with amber eyes says “I tried to fight it but she really grew on me.”