Prince Wu’s coronations goes awry and Korra begins her “training” with Toph in the latest installment of The Legend of Korra. Book 4′s third episode titled ‘The Coronation,’ (a more appropriate title than I had initially envisioned, considering the majority of the conflict this week revolves around the coronation) does a lot right, yet could have done more right. But first, a surprise? Yes, it’s Prince Wu who really exhibits the most improvement in this week’s episode, and now that his relationship with Mako has developed a bit more, I can proclaim my support for the unlikely duo. If you read my review of the season premiere, then you may recall I found Wu’s introduction underwhelming to say the least.
Perhaps it was because his overly-eccentric and extravagant personality composed his entire character, which was more or less an empty shell at the time. He came off as obnoxious more than anything else. However, seeing his coronation fall to embarrassing pieces and watching him struggle to cope with problems that, as a prince, he’s never had to experience… It really makes me empathize, and maybe even sympathize with him a little. He also seems noticeably funnier this time around, such as with his pathetic attempts to uphold his authority (“Respect the broach!”), and when he dethrones a child celebrating his birthday. I’d also like to emphasize that Mako agrees to accompany Wu to the mall after he too is emotionally strained (by Bolin), and that’s sort of how the two begin to bond. They can relate to one another.
Beyond familiar interaction, the episode does an excellent job of bringing together characters who were either separated from one another in the premiere (i.e. Mako and Bolin), or who were never even featured (i.e. Suyin). Once again, the politics are heavily present, which I appreciate in recollection of how enthralling a plot direction it proved to be in the season’s first episode, and it’s used efficiently to create conflict between characters who are normally on good terms. A heated argument ensues when Mako and Bolin find themselves on two different sides of a potential war, and in Kuvira’s presidential suit (Wu’s former suit) Su speaks on behalf of the world leaders who attended the coronation in an attempt to convince Kuvira to step down from power. Both scenes are intense, and while Kuvira’s agenda is a little predictable as far as the story goes, the writers continue to impress me with their ability to evoke legitimate tension with political scenarios.
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Korra departs the Southern Water Tribe for a journey of spiritual healing in the second installment of The Legend of Korra’s fourth and final season, which aims to fill in the three-year gap between Korra’s fight with Zaheer and the Book 4 premiere (unintentional rhyme). I should mention that this week’s episode is an episode I’ve been asking for since the beginning of Book 2, and ‘Zuko Alone,’ the Avatar: The Last Airbender episode from which ‘Korra Alone’ derives its name, is one of my favorite episodes in the entire Avatar franchise. Unconsciously, I had already set my expectations quite high for ‘Korra Alone.’ I wanted it to be just as emotional and character driven, and pack an equally engaging story into the allotted 23 minutes, which is a lot to expect from any television series. The problem with expecting so much is that, as often is the case, we wind up disappointing ourselves. ‘Korra Alone’ is not one of these cases.
Talk about “feels…” This episode’s got them front to back. More formally speaking, the episode carries a great deal of emotional weight, with Korra driving the episode nearly exclusively (some side characters make fun appearances, but I’ll get into that later on in the review). Putting Korra at the core of the episode’s entire plot means there are absolutely no distractions from her journey, which creates a far more intimate experience than the show typically caters. And when it comes to episodes starring a specific character, intimacy is exactly the feeling I want to have.
I want to be in the same room as Korra rooting for her when she’s learning to walk. I want to witness her struggle alongside her. I want to experience the terrifying visions of herself in the Avatar State. Actually, I take that last one back… Korra’s visions are pretty freaky, but that’s beside the point, which is this: When you (the viewer) are given a perspective in the story that is near equivalent to a character (everything you see and know is the same as Korra), it’s easier to become immersed in what’s happening on screen. In my opinion, emotions are more real and the character of subject is more believable, which in turn encourages a more believable plot since the plot revolves around the character in this instance.
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The plan for today was that I was going to send you LIVE updates from the Legend of Korra Book 4 NYCC panel. As it turns out, the panel is being LIVE streaming, and I’m sure most of you would rather watch the panel as opposed to read the panel. The panel starts at 5:15 pm EST and concludes at 6:15 pm EST. Expectations for the panel are a lot concept arts/animatics from Book 4 and we should be getting an early screening of tomorrow’s episode. However, I’m fairly sure the stream will cut out when the episode is being played.
Enjoy the LIVE Stream:
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