[This is a review of The Legend of Korra season 4, episode 4. There will be SPOILERS.]
For the final season, The Legend of Korra has taken its time developing the plot of Book 4: Balance. The Avatar has been in a state of post traumatic stress since the horrific events that took place during her battle with Zaheer. There's an underlying feeling of dread slowly approaching the surface; though 'The Calling' could be considered a victory for Korra, one has to ask if our lovely heroine will live survive the fight to come. It's almost as if Korra is preparing herself for the ultimate sacrifice. Will Balance be her final mission?
Korra's journey to the swamp was no accident and for fans of Avatar: The Last Airbender, you'll remember that Aang was also "called" to this same swamp. These ancient woods have a Dagobah-like feel to them, with Toph replacing Yoda as the wise old sage. It's interesting that Toph chose the swamp for her new home, since it was at that very same location where Aang had his first visions of the mighty earthbender. Katara too, had her own set of visions about her mother. Like the planet Dagobah from the Star Wars universe, the swamp also reveals your inner-most fears.
It was nothing short of amazing seeing Avatar Korra finally finding the strength to rid herself of the metal inside her body. Toph's instructions to "release the fear" feel like her final test. After this ordeal, is there anything Korra can't overcome? Looking to the future, one has to wonder what the coming struggle for her might be. Toph's recollections of Korra's past adversaries pointed to some interesting truths. Each of the so-called villains thought they were doing the right thing.
Amon wanted equality, Unalaq brought the spirits back, and Zaheer desired freedom for all people. These ideals in and of themselves are harmless, but when taken too far, death and destruction are not far off. Is this where Kuvira is headed? The fearsome beauty is stubborn and headstrong, but will she really be Korra's ultimate challenge this season? It appears that DiMartino and Konietzko are showing us one thing, while something else - perhaps an adversary we haven't seen yet - is pulling all the strings. What do you think?
Alright, so enough of the dreary talk, how about Tenzin's children? Ikki, Jinora and Meelo almost stole the show this week with their hilarious escapades. The three siblings don't get as much screen time, but they shine brightly every time we see them. Watching the kids learn to work together amid all of the drama was a joy to behold. It's sad that we won't get to see them grow older into adulthood (well, not on television anyway). Hopefully Dark Horse comics will keep this story going for a few more years. We'll just have to wait and see.
Now that Korra is finally herself again, what's the next step in her journey? Surely she's not just going to run up to Kuvira and tell her to stop. Maybe she'll see things from her point of view? Stay tuned to see what happens next.
The Legend of Korra continues with 'A New Threat' next Friday on various streaming services.