‘The Legend of Korra’: Journeys to the Spirit World

Published 11 months ago by , Updated November 3rd, 2013 at 7:30 am,

the legend of korra season 2 episode 9 korra The Legend of Korra: Journeys to the Spirit World

[This is a review for The Legend of Korra season 2 episode 9. It contains SPOILERS.]

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Two weeks ago, The Legend of Korra proved once again why it’s one of the best animated programs of all time. Creators/executive producers Bryan Konietzko and Michael Dante DiMartino took us back to the time of the first avatar (Wan), with a brilliant display of animation (provided by Studio Mir) and voice acting (provided by Steven Yeun of The Walking Dead fame).

This week’s episode, entitled ‘The Guide,’ is not on the same level as last week’s masterpiece (‘Beginnings Part 1 and 2′), but it demonstrated how The Legend of Korra is back on track. The imaginative storytelling that this series is known for continues to shine as Korra joins Tenzin and rest of the family at the Eastern Air Temple.

‘Book 2: Spirits’ has not been a horrible season by any means, yet it has lacked that central villain or conflict that the Avatar is supposed to resolve. For Wan, his battle against evil never ended, and even at the time of his death, he was engulfed in war. Aang’s mission was always clear, but Korra – since Amon’s defeat – has been trying to figure out who she’s supposed to be. If the Avatar is supposed to bring balance to the world, what does that mean for a young woman surrounded by political scandals and bad business dealings?

the legend of korra season 2 episode 9 jinora The Legend of Korra: Journeys to the Spirit World

DiMartino and Konietzko have every right to explore themes like World War II film propaganda with Bolin and war profiteering with Asami and Varrick – but by gazing into those topics, the show lost its sense of adventure. With ‘The Guide,’ that sense of fantastical-wonder is back, as Jinora teaches Tenzin a lesson in humility.

Tenzin’s family road-trip has contained some of the more memorable moments from this season, as the proud airbender must learn to work with his brother and sister (Bumi and Kya). These small family encounters have been excellent character building stories, as Tenzin realizes that his oldest daughter (Jinora) may be more powerful than him – or at least more connected to the spiritual realm. When thinking of great father/daughter moments in television (e.g., Veronica Mars or Homeland season 1), the scene where Tenzin comes to grips with his pride by telling Jinora how proud he is of her rivals any of the best mainstream dramas.

the legend of korra season 2 episode 9 varrick The Legend of Korra: Journeys to the Spirit World

With Korra and Jinora in the spirit world, what does that mean for Asami, Mako and Bolin? It appears that Varrick or some other villain wants Mako out of the way. Bolin’s “mover” career looks to be in question, so perhaps he will join the fight in Republic City while Korra handles the more spiritual matters? It would be nice if the team were together; however, this war is going to be fought on two fronts. Hopefully, we’ll be able to check in with the Southern Water tribe at some point and see how they’re doing. It’s been a while since Korra’s father and mother have made an appearance.

Finally, it was nice to see Unalaq speaking with the dark spirit Vaatu, who is now aware of Korra’s presence in the spirit world. Unalaq is clearly the villain we all thought he was, as he thinks only of power and not his son (Densa), who is gravely injured. As this season nears its end, what do you think will be the final outcome? Is Korra going to have to face both Vaatu and Unalaq, or will Vaatu be the antagonist for season 3? Stay tuned to find out.

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The Legend of Korra continues with ‘A New Spiritual Age’ next Friday @8pm on Nickelodeon.

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TAGS: the last airbender, the legend of korra

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  1. Good Episode… looking forward to this. Would be pretty cool to have a dark avatar…

  2. cant wait to see what happens…Im not actually up for a dark avatar though.IF they go that way the show would end and that would be it for the series. But, if that’s the idea(from the writers/nickolodeon) to end this universe/series with a battle between “avatars” and have korra as the last avatar i guess that be fine…rather it be Ang though at the end or even Wan to complete what he personally started…but that’s trivial, cuz technically it’s Wan who’s being reincarnated..nevermind…bottom line, i love this world from the very first episode “the boy in the iceberg”

    • Why would that have to be the end of the series?

      • Ya…it really wouldn’t be the end….it could be great…a dark avatar…but like our avatar…reincarnated every time… cud be a way of prolonging the series. Though, more likely they’d wrap this up and go for some other villain.

      • the series would end because korra would defeat the dark avatar,saving both the world and spirit world. it would be a battle between light and dark, ultimate good vs ultimate evil right?…. who would be her next opponent that could top that?

        “Beginnings” showed why the avatar was created. Wan mistakenly separated the Raava and Vaatu and his lives thereafter was to bring balance to the world and be the bridge between the worlds. Beginnings also showed us that eventually there would be a rematch and that rematch will in my opinion end the Avatar cycle.

        basically in the final conflict the spirits Raava and Vaatu will again be the way they were before Wan separated them. Raava was too weak the first time around and Wan helped her. This time around the avatar will relinquish or release Raava (korra will either die or decide to sacrifice herself)and doing so Raava will retain her original strength to fight Vaatu.

        to the advocates for a dark avatar, merge Vaatu with unalaq for the final battle, but with the same outcome…as for unalaq, Vaatu in the end would probably destroy him. I also think Vaatu wouldnt merge with a human because of his arrogance and pride. an omnipotent being merging with a human wouldn’t happen unless that gave Vaatu the upper hand.

        • As someone pointed out, couldn’t a Dark Avatar perpetually be reincarnated, just like the Avatar?

          Besides, the show has existed for five seasons without a Dark Avatar – I see no reason they couldn’t find an equally compelling story to tell AFTER the Dark Avatar, considering they’ve been doing a pretty good job so far.

          • I think it would ruin the show’s spirit (pun intended) if you introduced another avatar to the mix.

            Ang’s story was a journey and we enjoyed being part of that journey. We saw all our favorite characters evolve and at the end of TLA we see Ang fulfilling his role as the avatar.

            For Korra her journey is really an internal one and by the end of her show we will (hopefully) see Korra evolve to a fully realized avatar(and I mean a matured, capable and a master of herself including her abilities). that’s what I think the appeal of this show really is. The individual avatar’s personal journey.

            adding a dark avatar (and having the dark avatar to continue on and on and on) would cause both characters actions to be flat, unnecessary and trivial. one character has to stop the other character…why?..because he/she can. the only evolution between each of these characters would be “how destructive my power will become” vs “how will I be able stop this destructive force.”…it would turn into a “aha!…I got you now avatar!!” one layered, spy vs spy show.

            If you wish to have a dark vs light never ending saga, watch/read starwars.- cant go wrong. Insane power and unending super battles? you got dragonballz – cant go wrong with that either.

            If you want I can also argue that we’ve already had our dark avatar…Zuko was our dark avatar. Both Zuko and Ang’s journey mirrored each others. Do you want to see that redone? a cheap sequel?

            better to end the show (short & sweet) on top and with its character in tact then to have it spread to wide(hollywoodize it) and to thin and not be remembered as something great.

        • theyve already announced 2 more books after this so i think your theory is a little to overthought

          • overthought:

            Im sure you are right Kenshin.

            Im also sure im correct with my theory too ;)

            hopefully the show’s story and quality will continue.

    • Idk I kind of enjoy there only being one avatar. I see how two (one dark, one light) could be interesting. But it makes the avatar less special and unique to me IMO. There is no one like the avatar and they are the most powerful. Then there’s another. Idk

  3. What if Unalaq finds a way to release Vaatu and they join forces similar to Wan and Raava did. One major antagonist and one crazy final battle

  4. I was hoping that Eska would be so pissed that she’d attack her father and somehow Vaatu would break out and merge with her instead of Unalaq and become a tragic figure. Either way, the final battle will be flipping awesome.

  5. The synopsis for the semi-final episode, “Darkness Falls”, : Korra discovers a new twist in Unalaq’s evil plan; Tenzin realizes that he must face his own demons.

  6. You have no tolerance for setup do you?
    Everything cant be climatic all the time.

  7. An awesome follow up episode to the spectacular origins of the Avatar! Btw am I the only one who noticed the pattern of messed up, neglectful, power hungry fathers in the Avatar universe: Firelord Ozai (Zuko’s Dad), Hiroshi Sato (Asami’s Dad),Yakone (Amon and Tarrlok’s Dad) and now Unalaq.

    • Same goes for siblings – both “loving” & “estranged”.

  8. I don’t like the idea of a Dark Avatar. You can kill the Avatar forever if you kill him/her while they are in the avatar state. So the Dark Avatar would try to kill the Avatar every time. The only way that the Avatar can actually defeat the dark spirit is to kill the Dark Avatar (a human being) or the at very least, have a fight to the death every time. Kind of ruins the show.

    I would like to see someone else master more than one element other than the Avatar. Maybe with some kind of technological enhancements? or a trapped spirit in a bottle? Maybe a set of twins with two different elemental powers?

    I wish this series started fresh.

    • The first trailer featured Korra being swept away by a huge wave, in a setting that looks just like the Spirit World. Perhaps, one of the goals for creating a ‘Dark Avatar’ includes STEALING Korra’s bending.

      • @ AJ Korra is seen being swept away by water cause there is NO bending in the spirit world. Just stop with your stupid theories.

        • You REALLY didn’t watch the episode, did you?

    • But bad guys are always trying to kill the Avatar all the time, so how is that any different?

      Also, I’m not sure why you think those are the only options for the show if a Dark Avatar is introduced.

      • I agree. To truly become a Dark Avatar, Unalaq would have to master the three other elements, wouldn’t he? Meaning he’d have to find people who’d train him which, if you ask me, gives Korra and her friends enough time to go on other adventures until the very end of the series where she’ll face a full-fledged Dark Avatar. This is one way to go if DiMartino and Co.are planning to introduce a “Dark Avatar” early in the series.

  9. i love how all my fellow avatar watchers is really thinking about something i brought up about a dark avatar. keep at it somebody might hear about our discussion about a dark avatar. maybe they will turn it in2 a series finale movie.