Korra Episode Review – K407 Reunion
Written By – Mike Dimartino
Directed By – Colin Heck
Animated By – Studio Mir
This is a fascinating episode that is very strong in many ways, though much of that has been overshadowed in the discussion because of a few shipping hints. I will talk about the shipping stuff, but for me the strongest aspects of this episode are in how this episode really surprised me throughout, I didn’t expect much if any action in an episode that was called “Reunion” but the action worked so well to get the characters past some of the issues that have arisen because of being apart for so long. Same story for Varrick and Bolin, I was not sure what they would get up to together, but them meeting some prisoners and really making up for their involvement in the Earth Empire was enjoyable. Finally the cliffhanger ending really took me by surprise and creates so many options for the series as it goes into its final 6 episodes.
So lets start the discussion with what the fandom overall is discussing the most, the shipping stuff. So yeah Korrasami is basically canon now. Some may argue that the blush can be interpreted in other ways, but realistically a blush in the Avatar universe up to now has always represented some level of romantic attraction between characters and this is really no different. The difference that is present really should not be a problem, that being that the two characters in this relationship are both girls, but unfortunately as much as huge parts of the fandom are extremely accepting and supportive of having other types of romantic relationships in Avatar it is likely that Nick would not want the potential outcry from people who are not accepting and supportive of this type of thing, the “Parental groups” that usually give out about anything that could “taint the minds of our children” as horrible as that is to apply to something like same sex relationships. If Korrasami becomes a full on thing in the show I would be fine with it, I have no problem with them going down this route once they at least set up the attraction between the two a bit. I have a feeling unfortunately that Korra won’t have an endgame ship at the end of the show Korrasami or Makorra. I seems likely now that they will leave hints at both potentially being her endgame relationship and it will be up to your own preference to decide which ship you put your support behind.
This I am sure will annoy many shippers in the fandom. While I would never class myself as a hardcore shipper, I do have my favourites of course! THE DOPH would probably be my favourite ship that has not been confirmed or denied, KATAANG would be my favourite canon ATLA ship and MAKORRA would be my top Korra ship. The problem I would have with an ambiguous ending to the shipping in the show would be how unbalanced the shipping over the course of the series will be, while shipping in the grand scheme of the series is a small part it was very prevalent in Book 1 and 2, while for most of the main characters there has basically been nothing in Book 3 and 4. So it really comes across as if the backlash against the shipping in Book 1 and 2 has forced Mike and Bryan to take it out of the show and change original plans, so instead of just going ahead with what they had from the start it seems like they are just not focusing on it at all and leaving it completely up to the fans because they don’t want to anger anyone whose ship didn’t happen. I am sure that is probably not the case, but the lack of shipping with the main characters in recent episodes is clear to see and I would much prefer they just embrace the shipping from Book 1 and 2 and use some time in Book 4 to improve upon it, leaving it open for the sake of shippers seems like a cop out to me.
Now with the shipping out of the way lets talk about the remaining 21 minutes and 56 seconds of the episode. First up Varrick and Bolin. I thought this episode did a great job at showcasing the skills of both Varrick and Bolin while also introducing a new element to the show in the Re-Education camp escapees. Varrick got a chance to really show how intelligent he is with his DIY EMP made from stuff lying around in a random room, expertly done saving everyone from the mech suits. Then Bolin really showed how much he has grown from Book 1, he is much more of a leader and has developed into an extremely powerful bender as shown when he holds off 3 mech suits on his own and is able to convince the escapees to trust him and Varrick. He is so eager in this episode to make amends for being on the wrong side for so wrong, the moment when he could have left with Varrick, but decides to go back and help the escapees is very strong, then him apologising to them for what Kuvira has done was a nice touch. I think it is potentially set up for when he eventually reunites with Opal, he will really have to beg her for forgiveness.
The escapees themselves allowed the show to explore the true nature of the Re-Education camps, explaining that they are simply prisons and no re-educating actually happens and also that there is another dark side to Kuvira’s ideals, she is purging her empire of anyone not of Earth Kingdom origin. The hitler comparisons are now flying and they are not exactly wrong. We now see that Varrick and Bolin have 2 big pieces of evidence of Kuvira’s villainous intentions: the spirit vine weapons and now that she is imprisoning innocent people purely because they are not from the Earth Kingdom. Gradually little things are slipping through Kuvira’s fingers and soon a lot of people will be aware of her true nature.
As for the escapees as characters we are introduced to Baraz and Ahnah, whose designs are based on early concepts for Mako and Korra respectively. We don’t get much on their personalities, just that they hate the Earth Empire for what they did to them and want nothing more than to be free and also as normal people they do begin to trust Bolin and Varrick when they show themselves to be on the same side. I hope these characters stick around for a bit and don’t just leave forever next episode, it would be cool to see them fight alongside our main characters in some big final battle. What we get at the end of the episode is that they are all heading north together to Republic City, so we may see them arrive in Yue Bay next episode or another episode of travelling.
Next thing to discuss is the Team Avatar reunion. I should have expected it, but it surprised me that the reunion was not all happy and hugs, we got a bit of that, but also some tension between the 3. It makes sense that it is not just back to normal after 3 years away, they have all changed and Asami and Mako must have felt so bad that Korra didn’t keep in touch over the 3 years and she just came back like nothing ever happened, not to mention how Mako feels after hearing Korra only contacted Asami when she did contact them. In the end the kidnapping of Wu brought the Team together and made them appreciate the key fact, that they are back together again and Korra is back, they will get past the small issues as they catch up with each other.
For me is was just great to see these 3 back together again, to see Korra back with her friends, she was honestly delighted to see them again, something that was not the case back in Korra Alone.
As for Wu’s kidnapping attempt, it really came out of nowhere as we never saw Kuvira send out anyone to get him or even know that Kuvira was in anyway concerned about Wu. Given that it failed it is yet another thing to show that Kuvira is a villain. I just hope that we do get a scene where Kuvira explains why she wanted Wu kidnapped and what exactly the next step in her plan was. What was great about it was that it allowed Korra to really show all the people who thought she was weak last episode that she is still as awesome as she has ever been, just not quite ready yet for someone at Kuvira’s level. She did some pretty amazing things this episode, effortlessly using her spirit vine sensing technique to locate Wu and going into full on action mode during the pursuit, she jumped off a car from an overpass onto the top of a truck and then jumped off a moving train with all of her friends saving everyone, not to mention some nice metalbending. Asami got in some nice moves also, unfortunately Mako got the short end of the stick minus some pretty cool police work Â sending the kidnapper to jail, I hope he gets a big moment before the end of the series.
As for Wu himself, I really hope that they have some form of story planned for him outside of being a comedy character. Him now going to stay with Mako’s family could be very interesting, a prince who is fairly selfish and has not thought about the people he woudl have to rule over now living with those very people, it could work well to teach him what being a leader means. Yin’s obsession with royalty was an hilarious moment when Wu arrived at the door.
Final thing to mention is the cliffhanger ending. Kuvira is now extracting spirit vines from the Banyan Tree in the Swamp. The first reaction I had was “OHHH, TOPH IS NOT GOING TO BE HAPPY” followed closely by “Not the Banyan Tree” and finally “OHH, THE SPIRITS ARE NOT GOING TO BE HAPPY”. It presents so many potential possibilities going forward: Toph is going to have something to say about Kuvira destroying her new home and such a spiritual place and she probably knows what has happened to most of her family at this stage, she will have some choice words for her grandson Baatar Jr I am sure. The spirits also could come into play here, they will surely want to protect the vines and may end up fighting Kuvira just like many of the characters we know. Not to mention that Kuvira has vines that are even more powerful for her weapons, what exactly is her plan once she has her weapon ready to use. A lot of questions are raised by this once scene.
Overall I think this was a very good episode, it surprised me in Â many ways and has set up some interesting things going forward. It is looking like the next episode will be more of the quiet and less action packed episode, perhaps we will get Varrick’s backstory on the boat trip to Republic City and I am sure Team Avatar will bond some more. The main big thing we are still looking for is what Kuvira’s endgame is, but we still have 6 episodes left.
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