Korra Episode Review – K403 The Coronation


K403 The Coronation


Written By – Tim Hedrick
Directed By – Melchoir Zwyer
Animated By – Studio Mir

Book 4’s amazing start continues, after a great opening episode and a very emotional Korra focused second episode, this 3rd episode marks the first “normal” episode of Book 4 where we cut between all plots in progress. There is a lot going on in this episode and Book 4 overall and this episode does a good job at giving focus to nearly everything. I really do enjoy this episode as it is very character focused, there is plot also, but nearly every character has something fascinating going on. Mako and Wu have an interesting relationship and Wu definitely has some form of character arc coming up, Korra and Toph’s dynamic is so fun to watch and more layers are added to Korra’s situation, Bolin is on the opposite side of the issues to his friends and family and Kuvira makes her big move. Again we are only 3 episodes in and already some pretty big things are happening and being put in place.

I will start with the Korra and Toph stuff since it is very much to itself right now. Their interactions are so enjoyable to watch as Toph is not the type of character to have any sort of sympathy for anyone dealing with issues, in a way that makes her the perfect mentor for Korra right now, everyone else has been very kind to her, while Toph cuts through all of that and focuses on the work/training that needs to be done. It was interesting to see that this is both a very similar and uch changed Toph, in general her attitude is very similar to ATLA, but at points you can see that her life experiences have really changed her view on the world. She almost has the opinion that trying to save the world is pointless as it will always need to be saved from something, only the name changes. This potentially hints that Toph may have to learn from Korra or someone else to care about saving the world and that trying to save it does matter and is not pointless. Thought it was very fun to see how much Toph was enjoying throwing Korra around the place, she has no time for any complaints from Korra.

The big reveal on this side of the story is that Toph mentions that some of the metal poison is still inside Korra.  This surprised me as it potentiall made Korra’s recovery a bit too easy as it was more of a physical thing than Korra dealing with something, but thankfully that was addressed well later on when Korra subconsciously seems to not want to fully recover. This creates a fascinating dynamic for her as she has tried so hard to recover, she is remaining undercover until she can return and is pushing herself to the limit to get back in fighting shape.  Toph then mentions that the reason she cannot just relax and let her take it out is because Korra wants to keep it in her and explains that if she doesn’t get it out she won’t recover and thus cannot go back to being the Avatar and potentially get hurt again. This means that subconsciously Korra does not want to recover, but consciously she is doing nothing but trying to recover. Now Toph has given up trying to help and is leaving it up to Korra to get the metal out. Which for me will make for a much more powerful moment  that Toph just doing it for her, when it happens Korra will 100% want to recover and become the Avatar again. Now we are just waiting to see what will get Korra through the problems in her head about her recovery, I assume some swamp spiritual stuff will come into play.

The big plot points presented in this episode are that apparently Kuvira is coming for Zaofu, which is one of the only places in the Earth Kingdom left to hand over control to her and also that Varrick is developing some technology using spirit vines. One seems to be the next big event to happen in the book, while the other is an interesting and fascinating mystery. If Kuvira really goes to Zaofu next, it presents so many interesting opportunities for interactions between characters. It would be Bolin helping to take over his girlfriends home, it is Kuvira against the person who in many ways inadvertently inspired her empire, Suyin, not to mention the potential to explore the moment 3 years ago when Kuvira and Baatar Jr left Zaofu. Especially Suyin and Kuvira, their dynamic is very interesting as Suyin was asked to basically do what Kuvira has done, but refused because she did not want to come across like Kuvira is now.

For me the biggest moment of this episode is that Kuvira makes her speech at Wu’s ceremony informing the world that the Earth Kingdom is no more and instead she will rule the new Earth Empire. I had huge “Revenge of The Sith” vibes when she made this announcement, the fact that most of the people cheered was huge, it shows how much power she has in terms of her relationship with masses and her military force. No one spoke out against her or tried to stop her, that is how much power she possesses at this moment. Padme’s line from “Revenge of The Sith” is very fitting “”So this is how liberty dies… with thunderous applause”.

This is where Bolin becomes a big focus in this episode, he is very uneasy after Kuvira’s speech, clearly this is the first time he has seen his leader speak like this and is not up for an empire and crushing their enemies. It shows that Bolin mainly follows her due to the aid work that they do, so it will be interesting to see how he reacts when the battles start and he finds himself on the opposite side of the battle to his brother and friends. Kuvira talks to him and convinces him to stick with her, which was a very nice scene between to two, but it shows that Kuvira is very careful about how she acts around people. She focuses on the positives solely when talking to Bolin, but cuts straight to the core when talking to Suyin. Also just the fact that she is so eager to keep Bolin on her side is interesting as right now we don’t fully know why he is so important to her. She is the leader, Baatar seems to be an expert strategist/planner and Varrick is the inventor/ tech chief. The only thing I can think of is that she knows he is a Lavabender and badly wants him on her side, that or she knows how popular he is being a former pro bender and movers star and having him on her side appeals to the masses.

Bolin’s scene with Mako is definitely one of the best of the episode as it showcases that Bolin really doesn’t know the real Kuvira all that well and cannot see the full picture when it comes to the Earth Empire. Even the fact that each brother works for a different leader is interesting, Mako works for the king to be and Bolin for the new empress. I really think they are setting up that Wu will develop and become somewhat of a king that will work for his people, because hearing his own bodyguard say that he doesn’t want him in charge had to have hit home. Last thing to mention about this scene is Bolin’s weird Kuvira-Korra comparison, Mako was having none of that and I think most people watching had a similar reaction, apart from being strong women benders they are not very alike, but perhaps it sets up the dynamic between Korra and Kuvira.

Wu himself was very interesting in this episode. He has been very funny so far this book and that continued in this episode, but you also saw a more pathetic and a more serious side in this episode also. He only cares about the perks that comes from being king and not the responsibility for ruling over so many people, he focuses more on his party than what he will say to give his people hope. This is highlighted when he goes to the replica palace restaurant and sits on the throne with the crown and cries about how his party and big day were ruined. It was a very childish and pathetic moment for him, but when Mako gets real with him and calls him out on not thinking of his people he accepts it and thanks Mako for being so honest and blunt with him. The episode leaves these two off in an odd place on the run from Kuvira supporters, these are the pie throwing guys so I can’t see it being too dangerous, but I see a lot of potential in Wu and Mako’s story. Will Wu learn from Mako to care more for his people or something different?

The episode ends with 2 short, but interesting scenes. First of all Tenzin sends kids kids out on a mission to search for and bring back Korra, this is a nice scene and great for all 3 of them as characters as they have been given an important mission of their own and a chance to develop. Of the 3 Ikki is in the most need of development, but all 3 could use some big moments. I hope they get some good time and are not just a super small sideplot.

The second scene is with the spirit vines and Kuvira telling Varrick to focus completely on this technology. For one I want to know what this technology is, secondly I want to know what Kuvira is going to use it for, it adds so much more to her as a villain that she has a lot of power already, but is still developing new tech to become even more powerful. I assume they are trying to use it as a spiritual power source, but at the same time I could also see it being research into why the vines are seemingly indestructible and a way to use that for her army. Unexpected event, but so interesting.

The final point I will make is that we do get to see Zuko’s daughter for a few seconds, she does not speak and we don’t get her name. I really hope this is not the only appearance she makes as her appearance has been hyped up since before Book 1 aired, I assume she will have some focus as the world leaders are still in republic city and she is the only current world leader who has her title by birthright which is relevant in that Kuvira hates that as a concept.

Overall a very good 3rd episode. Every show has to have these type of episodes, where nothing utterly amazing happens, but it is super interesting throughout. As I said at the start Book 4 Balance has started amazingly well and I hope the quality continues.


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My name is Morgan Bannon, I am a 22 Year old Male from Ireland and I am the Site Super Moderator. I have watched and been a fan of Avatar since it premiered. I am also a news post writer for the site and host the site's podcast, The Avatar Online Podcast. My strength as an Avatar fan would be just a good knowledge of Avatar Canon and characters.

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Comments - 14 Posts

  1. ThePreciseClimber Said: Comment by ThePreciseClimber on October 20, 2014 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    In retrospect, the way they introduced Kuvira into the story was a little weird. She was merely a background character up untill Book 3 finale and even then the only ‘evil’ thing about her was the ominous BGM. And then ‘suddenly’ in Book 4 she’s this amazing military mastermind. Yes, 3 years have passed but we didn’t get to see that change and I hope we will see it, to a certain extent, in a future episode.
    Granted, that ‘introduction’ was very similar to Azula’s in The Storm and Siege of the North Pt2 but you could tell Azula would have a bigger role later on by just looking at her in The Storm. Not so much with Kuvira.

    Another thing – Varrick. In Book 2 he didn’t really feel like a ‘master inventor’ sort of guy. I guess the jetpack in 214 was supposed to be a part of that but I was too dumb to realize that maybe jetpacks didn’t even exist up untill that point in the world of Avatar.

    IMO the way they ‘revealed’ Zuko’s daughter for the 1st time was pretty disappointing. Especially when you realize all the other world leaders already got their time to shine in LOK. It’s like they only put her there to have the full set. She will most likely do more stuff in this season of course, but still.
    “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.”


    F.L.Z Reply:

    I agree with you on Kouvira and especially Zuko’s daughter issues.I mean seriously she looks like everything except a world leader!


    F.L.Z Reply:

    I mean seriously! I still can’t see her as Firelady.I hope she will get an awesome bending moment on Azula level!


  2. Andrzej Said: Comment by Andrzej on October 20, 2014 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    Great review!


  3. Nikita Said: Comment by Nikita on October 20, 2014 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    I am wondering if we will have a Magneto-Wolverine moment when Korra fights Kuvira (assuming she hasnt took out the metal from her body before the battle).


  4. Zuko Said: Comment by Zuko on October 20, 2014 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

    Great review! I have a weird thought nagging me on how the spirit vine will enable her to move faster in the train, sort of like a power up. Maybe harnessing the spirit power can help her travel in the spirit world, which would basically make any bandit attacks on her trains useless. Also, it would make manuevering armies against her really difficult. I thought Kuvira is mainly going overboard because she has no real threat yet, so I’m just waiting for Korra to come back in action. As for Prince Wu, I hope he learns with Mako on how to become a great world leader. For Bolin, I hope he learns that Kuvira isn’t that great of a leader lol. And Tenzin’s three children are gonna be like the best search time ever! But anyways, great show for LOK 403 as expected, and hyped up to see LOK 404.


  5. BOLIN(combustion specialist). Said: Comment by BOLIN(combustion specialist). on October 22, 2014 at 4:41 am | Permalink

    watched the episode, it was great. Toph just love passing the avatar around with her bending


  6. F.L.Z Said: Comment by F.L.Z on October 22, 2014 at 6:22 am | Permalink

    Nice episode overall and I couldn’t stop laughing whenever Toph and Korra were on the screen.This new tech thing is also interesting and I like the way this book is going so far.It’s way more better than previous books.The only issue I have is with Bolin because I think Myke and Bryan should give him more credits.I mean seriously he had this issue with Varric too in book two and now he has it again only this time with Kouvira?Why they want to show him gullible?I know it’s hard to accept some truths like this but after being through the same thing before shouldn’t he be more careful and less stupid?And his arguement with Mako is exactly the same with him in book two where he gets angry and shouts at Mako and then later realizes his mistake and apologizes to Mako.Please this book is so far brilliant,do not ruin it with lack of creativity.It would be awesome if this time Bolin were the one who was right and Mako the deceived one.By the way I would love to see some development in Iky.I think Jinora’s is over and Meelo is still a kid.Nice review.


    Airspeed Prime Reply:

    The difference this time is that it is not just Mako on the other side and it is a much bigger deal.
    With this Bolin has found something he loves to do, helping people as a humanitarian aid worker of sorts, he has a job where he is completely respected. Sure when Varrick made him a movers star that was a big moment, but at the same time Bolin has not stuck to it. He has now been with Kuvira for nearly 3 years.
    Yes Bolin has yet to see the true bad side of what they are doing, but at the same time it is a fact that they are helping people at the same time as they are taking them over.
    This is a much more complex situation than their issues in Book 2. Especially because Mako may be right about Kuvira and why Bolin should have not gone with her, but he has no other solution as Wu is not fit to be King.
    I would say this is a very creative way to use Bolin this book, sure there are similarities to Book 2, but there is so much more emotion and things at stake here. He is on the opposite side of a big political issue to his brother his girlfriend and every other world leader and even Korra.


    F.L.Z Reply:

    Well I gotta admit that there is more emotion here and you’re right.This would be more interesting but just saying,even though I’m not a fan of Bolin,I would like to see him trust his family and friends a little more Than others.By the way thanks for answering me.


  7. White Koi Said: Comment by White Koi on October 22, 2014 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

    Favorite part of the episode was Mako’s expression when Bolin makes that (terrible) Kuvira vs Korra comparison. Perfect.

    That said I wasn’t entirely impressed with this episode. Granted you’ve got to have episodes like this build story line and keep people from being over stimulated with action… This just didn’t do it as well for me as I had hoped.

    The Korra + Toph stuff was probably the biggest disappointment to me. Maybe because we’ve waited for so long to see Toph and I expected her to be different. Yea you want Toph to have her trade mark sense of humor, and her bending was mind-blowing of course, but she didn’t seem changed enough. She’s gotta be in her 80’s by now and living in that swamp for how ever long; I expected her to be more weathered… more stern… The interaction just seemed a bit too childish and shallow (not really the right word but that’s what I’ve got for now).

    The Mako + Bolin fight was pretty frustrating… I think it was supposed to be frustrating because as the viewer we’re given every reason to distrust Kuvira, but this scene just killed me. Bolin wants so badly to believe in Kuvira because she’s lead him down this path of satisfaction though service, and now his blind spot for her is driving a wedge between himself and the people he loves and respects.

    All in all I loved this episode. I love pretty much every episode. Just, coming from the end of book 3 and that emotional roller coaster into the first 2 episodes of book 4 that were just so perfect, it’s a bit difficult to settle back into a regular pace.


    F.L.Z Reply:

    Why?Toph and Korra moments were great and as for development Toph From ATLA Wouldn’t accept her offer for helping her and would be selfish because she hardly even know Korra but now she was just joking with Korra and accepted her offer that showed that even a little she cared about avatar.Not to mention she was less argumentative than ATLA. And after two episode of action,set up and emotion we should have a episode for explaining.And about Mako and Bolin moment you can go to my earlier comment on this post which Airspeed and I had pretty much the same Conversation. I think it will answer you. 😉


    White Koi Reply:

    They totally were great! And that’s a good point about her being less argumentative. I don’t know if she would have turned away Korra though, she did start the Beifong Metal Bending Academy in the comic series just to share her talents with other benders, I think she might have helped Korra regardless of her being the new Avatar (but I’m sure that didn’t hurt 😉 ).

    I guess I just wanted her character to have evolved a bit more. Take Katara and Zuko for instance; they both still have a lot of the same character traits as they did in ATLA but they’ve clearly been changed by their experiences over the years. I wanted more of that from Toph.

    Your convo with Airspeed actually kinda made me make that comment about the Mako and Bolin argument. Don’t get me wrong, I think what they’re doing with Bolin is great for the show and his character, it just breaks my heart to see him pulling away from the people he loves! Even if he’s doing it because he believes so strongly in the service he’s providing. I love Bolin and think he’s a wonderful character, and even if it makes me a little sad and frustrated I think they’re using his character very well in this story line.


    F.L.Z Reply:

    I agree with you on Bolin.After Airspeed’s comment I realized that Bolin had it rough and it isn’t his fault and I also like Bolin and that’s why I feel for him and hope that he become a bit wiser. 😀


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