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S04.E01: After All These Years

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It's been three years since Zaheer poisoned Korra and the members of Team Avatar have moved on with their lives; Kai and Opal help a struggling Earth Kingdom town.

 

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Wow, Kuvira doesn't fool around!

 

Mako(voiced by David Faustino) being irritated by the cartoon equivalent of Bud Bundy in Prince Wu.

 

Okay the haircut makes sense now as way of Korra not wanting to be recognized. This is starting to be very Buffy the Vampire Slayer at the beginning of Season 3. I predict a "Dead Man's Party" situation coming up after everybody finding out she's been in Republic City for 6 months and not telling anybody and their like "How could you do this to us?!"

Edited by VCRTracking

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Yeah, getting some major PTSD-vibes from the last bit there...

 

So I guess Kuvira (or perhaps Varrick, without her knowledge) is using some strangely skilled bandits to counter the Air Nomad Rangers?

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The voice of the Earth governor was familiar to me and it was driving me crazy trying to figure out where I heard it before. The episode froze after the first closing credit and finally looking in a review and it was Robert Morse, Bert Cooper from Mad Men!

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I don't think Korra is in Republic City, more likely somewhere random in the earth kingdom where none of her friends are. This next part references the season 4 trailer so I'll spoiler tag it just in case:

I was interested to note that Korra's injuries from the fight seem identical to the ones she has when she sees Toph. I have to say I'm a little surprised that it looks like she'll show up so early in the season, even if the next few episodes are flashbacks of the past three years. I can totally see Toph being Korra's Yoda and helping her get her groove back, bending-wise. The whole cage-fighting thing is pretty similar to The Blind Bandit's old escapades, so maybe Toph is revisiting some of her old haunts.

 

Somehow I find myself really liking the idea of Korra out there on her own. It seems like her whole life has been dictated by other people, whether they want to help her or her to help them. Girl deserves some time to herself, I think.

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I liked Kuvira a lot. I hope they don't make her too much of a megalomaniac. I think she can work well as an antagonist who just want a strong centralized militaristic government instead of an outright fascist.

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I can see how poison might make someone weak, or crippled, or stuff like that.  But I'm confused about what the long-term effects of THIS poison are actually supposed to have been.

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I really hope that at some point Suyin gets called out on her hypocrisy in kicking her son to the curb, when she spent all last season acting entitled to forgiveness from her whole family.

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This was a smart episode that effectively accomplished what it needed to, but it also felt a bit perfunctory and enervated. (To match Korra’s mindset, I suppose.) I actually missed Korra since no other characters stepped up to provide her former verve.
 

So I guess Kuvira (or perhaps Varrick, without her knowledge) is using some strangely skilled bandits to counter the Air Nomad Rangers?

My thought as well. I got a you-work-for-me-now vibe from the train tracks scene. I too am hoping Kuvira is motivated by a goal like quickly uniting the Earth Kingdom rather than personal vanity or megalomania. Every Korra Book seems to play out the corruption of a good idea, and unification by force would fit under that theme.

 

Oh, and I’m compelled to gripe about Nick.com’s buggy video player. They’re a TV channel in the video business, so watching TV on any of their platforms should be effortless!! Instead, the video locks up, goes black after an ad or even jumps over scenes, PLUS there’s some script on the video page that sporadically causes an error message in Firefox. (No, it’s not my Internet connection or my browser settings. I tested an HD video on another site—it worked perfectly.) If it’s like this for every episode, I’m gonna watch Korra by other means just to spite them.

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This was by far the most ambitious out of all the premiere episodes. We have a couple of storylines right out of the gate. I guess since it's the final season, they're not going to waste any time. I'm glad.

 

About the cage-fighting stuff,

I was expecting Toph to show up any moment. And that was before I even saw the trailer and found out Toph would indeed make an appearance. There's no way that's not where Korra will meet her.

 

Anyway, I really, really enjoyed it. I was afraid the show would get stale since it feels like last season just ended, but this felt like a breath of fresh air.

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What's weird (and unexpected) about the Kuvira thing is that it's Su Yin who is against it and feels betrayed while Lin (judging from her comments) seems okay with Kuvira's "order."  Maybe because Lin has been distanced from it somewhat due to being in Republic City, or maybe just because she prefers order to chaos in general.  Still, it puts Lin and Su Yin on opposite sides again.

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I really hope that at some point Suyin gets called out on her hypocrisy in kicking her son to the curb, when she spent all last season acting entitled to forgiveness from her whole family.

 

Right? I will rethink my utter contempt of that storyline if the show deals with the hypocrisy and wrongs done to Lin to prop Suyin and her family. I hope Opal gets called out too. I guess Polly Anna finally quit that sweetness and light bullshit.

 

Kuvira is a beast! And that choreography when she took down those bandits was amazing!

 

I love the Earth prince he's a hoot! I also like how he annoys Mako. That's always a plus.

 

I like the idea of Bolin being team Kuvira; it might finally give him a decent storyline. Most of all I hope Opal takes her whiny ass on and breaks up with Bolin so Bolin can hook up with somebody with a personality who is less annoying.

 

And then there's Korra. I still intensely dislike her, and I doubt there's much the show can do to change that, but I am a bit curious about what her motives are. It was fun and a relief to watch Korra lose her cage match. It would have pissed me off if she were back to Avatar snuff so soon after a debilitating illness.

 

Very good start to the final season of Korra, and I look forward to seeing where they take it.

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It might be the character design or the silly over enthusiasm but this prince reminds me a lot of Sokka. It's the classic straight man/funny man combo but pairing him with Mako works and I'm all for NuSokka if it means Bolin (and Bumi) are allowed to be more than comedic relief. 

 

I'm trying to place Opal's brother, I'm guessing he's one of the twins? I can't see the artist joining Kuvira's Might Makes Right organisation. 

 

I love the new Air Nomad outfits, designed by Asami in my headcanon, but I'm a little surprised none of the others have earned their tattoos. Okay maybe not the new guys but Ikki is around the same age Jinora was in season 3. 

 

Overall the episode felt too short and I can't wait to get some Korra focus but it set things up nicely for the rest of s4. 

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I think Jinora's a special case (i.e. tattoos), and that for most airbenders, it can take decades, if they ever get them at all. 

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Right? I will rethink my utter contempt of that storyline if the show deals with the hypocrisy and wrongs done to Lin to prop Suyin and her family. I hope Opal gets called out too. I guess Polly Anna finally quit that sweetness and light bullshit.

 

Kuvira is a beast! And that choreography when she took down those bandits was amazing!

 

I love the Earth prince he's a hoot! I also like how he annoys Mako. That's always a plus.

 

I like the idea of Bolin being team Kuvira; it might finally give him a decent storyline. Most of all I hope Opal takes her whiny ass on and breaks up with Bolin so Bolin can hook up with somebody with a personality who is less annoying.

 

And then there's Korra. I still intensely dislike her, and I doubt there's much the show can do to change that, but I am a bit curious about what her motives are. It was fun and a relief to watch Korra lose her cage match. It would have pissed me off if she were back to Avatar snuff so soon after a debilitating illness.

3 years is soon?

 

The time gap rather than serving this story has actually turned out to be more of a problem for me. In some ways things are too similar for that long.  In other ways they seem too different.  Korra having PTSD is a great story idea. But it seems bizarre and bordering on pathetic 3 years later.  Not that PTSD doesn't go on for decades in real life, but the Avatar is someone high profile who's every move is watched and if she's been wallowing for three years then it's not her that's pathetic, but her minders. Her striking out on her own could be spun as a proactive move on her part, which might be great, but it just seems kind of wonky that once she HAS gone proactive, that it's taking the form of a single mediocre bender seeming to be able to totally humiliate her.  

 

In terms of the other relationships, the relative places and movement seem more like a year later than three, except where they don't make sense at all and seem like it might take a decade for things to be that different. 

 

I dunno.  It was good overall, but the details need fleshing out to justify a lot of these choices.

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3 years is soon?

 

The time gap rather than serving this story has actually turned out to be more of a problem for me. In some ways things are too similar for that long.  In other ways they seem too different.  Korra having PTSD is a great story idea. But it seems bizarre and bordering on pathetic 3 years later.  Not that PTSD doesn't go on for decades in real life, but the Avatar is someone high profile who's every move is watched and if she's been wallowing for three years then it's not her that's pathetic, but her minders. Her striking out on her own could be spun as a proactive move on her part, which might be great, but it just seems kind of wonky that once she HAS gone proactive, that it's taking the form of a single mediocre bender seeming to be able to totally humiliate her.  

 

In terms of the other relationships, the relative places and movement seem more like a year later than three, except where they don't make sense at all and seem like it might take a decade for things to be that different. 

 

I dunno.  It was good overall, but the details need fleshing out to justify a lot of these choices.

 

Considering the long term effects of mercury poisoning, which can be irreversible and horrifyingly extensive, and the assumption Korra finished her rehabilitation just before she returned to Republic City, I'd say three years is a relatively brief period of time.

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Considering the long term effects of mercury poisoning, which can be irreversible and horrifyingly extensive, and the assumption Korra finished her rehabilitation just before she returned to Republic City, I'd say three years is a relatively brief period of time.

I know it was "metal".  Do we know that it was actually mercury?  I do recall what they showed LOOKED like Quicksilver, but did they ever actually say it was? Cartoon harmful metal liquid probably all WOULD look like Quicksilver even if it wasn't.

 

I suspect it's something fictional (unless they've said otherwise), because if it WAS mercury then a story about her recovering at ALL seems a bit outrageous.  I don't think there IS a cure (although some of the symptoms are mental, so I guess those can be alleviated in other ways).

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I really hope that at some point Suyin gets called out on her hypocrisy in kicking her son to the curb, when she spent all last season acting entitled to forgiveness from her whole family.

 

I cut Su Yin a bit of slack here.  The Metal City was her baby, her dream of a better community  and culture.  Her eldest child and one of her trusted guards likely conquered it and made it the beginning of their Earth Kingdom alliance.  To her it's definitely a betrayal on many fronts.  Plus, she despised royalty (she had no love for the Earth Queen or most royalty in general) and was all about finding one's own path.  By having the old Earth Kingdom united in what appears to be a military junta/dictatorship in the making is definitely against her ideals.  Much of Kuvira's actions remind me of both Fire Lord Sozin's plans to conquer the world, and Chin the Conqueror's earlier attempts to dominate the Earth Kingdom.  She's trying to force a bunch of diverse, formerly independent [city states] into one cohesive nation and expects them to submit to her.

 

As for Korra, not only does she suffer from PTSD, but she's also feeling like she doesn't have a purpose in this world anymore.  She took away her former duty of balancing the physical and spiritual worlds, she was poisoned and nearly killed in her battle with Zaheer and is likely full of doubt about herself and her future. 

Edited by magicdog
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I liked this premiere a lot! I think the time jump really served the story well, and gives us a good place to build from that is not unconnected to where it left off. I'll admit that when I watched Book 1, I was not entirely sold on LoK as a worthy successor to A:TLA, but the show has been growing deeper and more rich with every season, and while it hasn't always been spectacular TV, it has always been solid and intriguing. Kuvira is such a kickass conqueror, it's a given that she will be really enjoyable to watch, whether she turns out to be more of a good guy or a bad guy. I'm in! Bolin is perfectly placed, having delved into something again without necessarily a grounded understanding of its consequences, and Mako and The Prince who gets strawberries confused with bee stings... gold! I'm really intrigued to see where this season brings Korra. That ending broke my heart a little bit. I'm wondering if she's brawling in order to build her strength back up (if she's still suffering from the effects of the poison), or if it's more of a psychological struggle for her. Regardless, she's in a really tough and interesting place right now, and I wanna see more!

 

Airing this season online, though, that's just crazy. I know Book 4 is the end of LoK, but the way it's going out makes me worry about the future of the whole franchise. All the worldbuilding that has gone into this universe, and the wealth of characters and story (and, like, REALLY GOOD ones), there are just so many places to go from here. Even A:TLA came pre-loaded with enough history to delve into some really interesting prequel territory. But if this is how Nick is treating LoK's final season (a season with a powerhouse opener that is better than most any animated series on TV)... well, it makes me feel really disheartened. This series is so excellent, and if they can't get people to watch it, then Nick is doing something catastrophically wrong.

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I know it was "metal".  Do we know that it was actually mercury?  I do recall what they showed LOOKED like Quicksilver, but did they ever actually say it was? Cartoon harmful metal liquid probably all WOULD look like Quicksilver even if it wasn't.

 

I suspect it's something fictional (unless they've said otherwise), because if it WAS mercury then a story about her recovering at ALL seems a bit outrageous.  I don't think there IS a cure (although some of the symptoms are mental, so I guess those can be alleviated in other ways).

 

The substance being mercury is beside the point, imo, because whatever it was it put Korra out of action for a long time, possibly years, after almost killing her. I appreciate that the show is alluding to there being real, lasting consequences to Korra's confrontation with Zaheer and the Red Lotus instead of hand waving it away like they've done too often in the past. I won't expect it to make her likable, but I do hope this struggle finally gives Korra some much needed character depth and shows her earning her way back to being a stronger Avatar.

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I liked Kuvira a lot. I hope they don't make her too much of a megalomaniac. I think she can work well as an antagonist who just want a strong centralized militaristic government instead of an outright fascist.

Helps that we're getting a good performance from Zelda Williams so far, which we did not from Henry Rollins.

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I guess that odd musical cue when Kuvira was introduced in last season's finale really did hint that she'd play a big part this season.

 

It was indeed a good premiere.  I enjoyed the time jump, and seeing how everyone's changed.  And little Rohan is walking now!  Cute!

 

Was I the only one who found Kai and Opal getting ambushed and robbed so soon after that guy refused Kuvira's offer way too convenient?  Wouldn't be surprised if it was done by the bandits Kuvira spared earlier in the episode in exchange for their freedom and lives.

 

I do hope Korra can put herself back together.  Unlike most her, I quite like here and want to see her battle back to what she used to be.

Edited by Donny Ketchum
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I enjoyed it, though the time jump was a bit jarring. Korra really hasn't seen Tenzin, the kids, the brothers and Asami in three years? I would have thought that Asami and Tenzin at least would have been more constant figures in that period. And naturally, Korra's mother is nowhere to be seen.

 

It was an intriguing choice to get things running by focusing more on the political situation than the characters, though there's an interesting scenario going on, what with Kuvira withholding supplies until the cities bow to her takeover. There's no way that bandit who nabbed Opal/Kai's food wasn't working on her orders.

 

The voice acting is so hit and miss on this show. Zelda Williams was fantastic, but Tonraq's delivery of the line in which he realizes his daughter has been missing for six months made me anticipate the "whomp, whomp, WHOOOMP" sound directly afterwards.

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Korra's only been missing for six months, maybe her friends came and visited her before then? The South Pole is a bit of a trek, and Korra probably had to stay there to be close to Katara for healing. It makes sense that she wouldn't be able to see her friends more than a few times in the past few years, especially since everyone has been so busy. I do wonder about phone calls and letters, though.

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Kuvira is a total bad ass!  It makes sense that most would refer to her as "The Great Uniter" while the clown Prince is hiding in Republic City.  Do they really think that Kuvira won't bump Prince Wu off the second he lands in Ba Sing Se?   I wonder if there was any significance to the Kuvira supporters throwing strawberry pies at the Prince?

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