[This is a review of The Legend of Korra season 4 premiere. There will be SPOILERS.]
It feels like only yesterday when we were all trying to recover from the mind-blowing events of The Legend of Korra season 3 (Book 3: Change) finale. Our lovely Avatar was broken by Zaheer's relentless attacks while Korra was forced to endure the Avatar-state. It was a harsh violation of Korra's spirit and body.
Nickelodeon's decision to release the final installment of this saga so soon after the previous season feels like both a blessing and a curse. On the upside, we're gifted with more adventures of Team Avatar sooner than expected, but the harsh realities of the network's poor marketing for this franchise does not bode well for the future of The Last Airbender legacy. Sure, there are comics publish by Dark Horse and a video game coming out later this month, but what does that mean for television? Is this the last time we'll see an Avatar on screen?
Alright, that's enough time spent on worrying about things outside of our control, so let's focus on the good stuff. This week's premiere, entitled 'After All These Years' takes place three year's after last season's thrilling finale. There appears to be a civil war brewing in the Earth Kingdom, as Suyin Beifong's former ally (Kuvira) is attempting to unite the earth kingdom by military force. She is a fearsome beauty, possessing a strength and determination that could rival Amon, or even Zaheer. While her motivations for this new world order are still unclear, she should be an interesting addition to this season. Do you think she will be a major villain, or just a misunderstood revolutionary?
Bolin's allegiance to Kuvira is causing a rift in his relationship with Opal. Surely show-runners Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko will provide greater insight on what's transpired over the last three years as the season progresses. While Bolin may be silly at times, he's no egotistical tyrant, so why would he join up with a leader as formidable and bullish as Kuvira? There's also the matter of the bad blood between Suyin and her children. Apparently Opal feels like her brother betrayed their mother, but for what reason we don't know. Perhaps we'll get a flashback or two to give context to our present situation?
Back in Republic City, Mako has the demeaning task of playing bodyguard to the future ruler of the Earth Kingdom. While the young prince acts like a spoiled brat, he seems harmless and could offer some nice comic relief throughout the season. It was great to see Tenzin's children, especially Meelo's fantastic declaration that he's a man now. Even though we didn't see Jinora, Kai did say that they (their relationship) was going well. Jinora's growth as an apprentice to become the new airbending master was definitely a highlight from last season. Seeing her continued maturation will be exciting to watch.
So... Where's the Avatar? Zaheer may have been subdued last season, yet it never quite felt like a victory. Something changed in Korra that day and we're still not sure how extensive the damage is. After three years, she's still punishing herself, only now Korra is involved in some kind of earthbending cage match fight for money. What did Zaheer take away from her that day? Will Korra ever find the strength to become the Avatar again? Here's to hoping that this season will be a kind of rebirth for her, but with a title like Balance, is there even a chance she'll survive the coming conflict? We'll just have to wait and see.
Share your favorite moments and predictions on what will happen as season four continues onward and stay tuned to see what's in store for Korra in the coming weeks.
The Legend of Korra continues next Friday on various streaming services.