A title can give away a lot of information; Korra Alone was everything I expected it to be. This episode focuses entirely around Korra and explains through flashbacks how she ended up fighting in some random underground arena. The surprise reveal at the end of the episode reunites the Avatar with Toph and puts the cherry on top of a great episode. I thought with the Beifong family playing such a large role in the plot last season we would have seen her then, but reintroducing her now is much better. In Last Airbender Toph is introduced as an illusion in a swamp. I’m not sure if this is the same swamp, but there’s a connection here regardless. When the Avatar has been confused and unsure what they should do the spirits bring them to Toph Beifong in both lifetimes. Sokka is now the last of the original Team Avatar that Korra hasn’t reconnected with, but I don’t think we’re going to see him anytime soon. If he didn’t show up in the last couple seasons then I feel like Sokka is probably chilling with Aang in the afterlife. He wasn’t very spiritual either so I’d rule out meeting him via the spirit world. Meeting Toph at this point makes sense and I don’t think the writers will shoehorn Sokka in the last season, but how crazy would it be if Azula came back? That would blow my mind.
It was frustrating to see Korra so powerless as she’s always been such a strong character. Strong bender, personality, body, minded, in every action she does she’s been strong. The first shot of the episode slaps the audience in the face with some symbolism, Korra’s broken reflection reflects how Korra feels broken inside. Pretty simple stuff, but there’s more symbolism throughout the episode.
Korra – “No I don’t need any help.”
She responds to locals asking if she’s okay. She’s been hesitant to accept help for a while, it took 3 weeks and her mother’s urging to finally see Katara.
Tenzin – “Your recovery should be your #1 concern. The airbending nation can handle it.”
Tenzin knows how to say all the wrong things to reassure her. And that’s the problem. She’s not angry at the airbending nation for basically taking over her job, but I think she’s against the idea of more help now because she’s the one that helps others, not the other way around. Korra may be more upset about the Great Uniter taking over her role, “I should be fixing things, not her.” Kuvira is doing her “job” and all that power is corrupting her, maybe non Avatar people aren’t meant to wield that much responsibility. More help will just make Korra feel weaker than she already does.
Korra is alienating herself from her friends because she feels inferior to them. With all the amazing things she’s done in her life it’s ironic she feels miniscule now, but that’s why she’s not writing back to them. Well she did write one letter to Asami, but that’s it. It’s embarrassing to watch your friends go on to do great things while you remain crippled at home, you can still be happy for them, but you feel empty compared to them. By doing something alone, by trying to fix herself without anyone’s help, she can feel empowered again.
Now two of the previous Avatar’s best friends help heal the current one. The elderly Katara helps get the ball rolling by healing Korra physically and Toph will take care of Korra from here on out. Katara also heals Korra in what looked like the most soothing tub ever. The writers channel their inner Tarantino when Korra starts wiggling her big toe. I feel like this is in everything now. Thanks Kill Bill.
She wasn’t really fighting against that random fighter in the first episode, she was fighting against her fears. Why is she so afraid of her chained Avatar State self and not, let’s say, Zaheer?
She first sees her chained Avatar state self when she enters Republic City, this, among other reasons, causes her to turn back.
I think it’s important to note she first sees this haunting image when she enters Republic City and not when she’s recuperating at home. This form represents her past. She doesn’t see Zaheer because she isn’t afraid of Zaheer, she’s afraid of everything that happened to her during the Season 3 finale. That form represents the poison, the bending battle, and the physical damage she received. She still has flashbacks of Zaheer and the poison affecting her negatively, so maybe this is a manifestation of all the things that caused her pain.
I don’t think she’s afraid of herself or how the Avatar State bailed her out of a situation she couldn’t escape from. This form could also represent her not being able to return to the Avatar state. She can’t reconnect with her past lives and all she can see now is this terrifying “Avatar” form of herself that she has no control of.
I think it’s interesting that her chained self led her to an underground fighting arena. Maybe she subconsciously wants to prove that she’s stronger and “fixed” by beating an opponent. Her fighting this form in the swamp may symbolize she can’t fight this problem alone.
The chain pulls Korra back down into the imaginary poison with Korra finally voicing her need for help. Well help has come in the form of the Blind Bandit, she doesn’t need to be able to see to show Korra the light again. I don’t know how she’ll help, but I can’t wait to see it.
Things I Loved
I feel like everyone can speak dog, it’s always the same thing too, follow me.
Katara -“Let your anger and frustration flow through you like water.”
I bet all of her advice somehow incorporates water analogies.
Korra learning how to walk to into Naga’s arms was adorable.
Best moment in this episode, hands down, was Avatar Aang’s photo. It took me completely off guard and I was in stitches because Aang would totally take a photo like that. We’ve only really seen older Aang all serious during LoK Season 1 flashbacks, it’s good to see he held on to that childishness all those years later. Maybe that guy is from Kiyoshi Island seeing as that’s where Aang first demonstrated the “greatest” bending move in the world and the guy did say his favorite avatar was Kiyoshi.
Korra departs on maybe the coolest boat ever. It’s just so simple and appeasing to the eye. The tent at the mast is my favorite part. The dolphin flying fish were a pretty neat inclusion as well.
I’m glad Korra goes to the spirit world because I always wondered why she never went there earlier after losing her connection with Raava.
The letters portrayed everyone’s personalities on point. Mako’s letter was honest and a bit boring. “It’s 2:15 in the afternoon, the weather is fair…but enough joking around.” I didn’t know Mako could tell jokes. Bolin trying to be sophisticated was made even funnier by his drawings. “Though several fortnights have past…I’ve found gainful employment with Sir Varrick and the Lady Kuvira…” He also kept his word and wrote to her every day judging by the stack of letters by Korra’s bed. He drew those pictures, but my first time watching this I thought Meelo and Ikki drew those pictures. Korra doesn’t even smile, she truly is broken inside. Asami’s letter is uplifting and supportive. It makes sense that Korra is only able to write back to Asami. These two didn’t start off on the best terms because of the love triangle thing, but I’m glad that’s over and they’re best friends now. They all mention their jobs, I think Korra is happy for them, but at the same time it’s also making her really depressed because she isn’t doing anything.
The little dog was the spirit the whole time!
I loved the music in this episode. I mean I love the music in every episode, but this one seemed to be on point, especially when she’s in the swamp.
The old mirage in the desert scam works every time. How do people keep falling for this?
Toph gives off very strong Yoda vibes…
The callback to Korra cutting her hair like Zuko (and Iroh) when they went on the run by a body of water. I love her with shorter hair as well.
Things that Annoyed Me
Korra is frustrated she can’t do anything for herself, but I’m pretty sure she can go to the bathroom okay. Pee bending! Just imagine never having to get up and go to the bathroom when you can bend your pee! I’ve honestly thought about this an unhealthy amount of times and this heavily influenced my preference to water as the best element. Think about it, pee being would change your life…I’m not crazy. If blood bending is a thing, pee and fruit bending should also be a thing! Watermelon is 90% water, that’s bendable.
It’s never shown if she can bend despite her legs being paralyzed, something I always wondered about.
She doesn’t take Naga with her.
Maybe try 1 on 1 before going 3 on 1 next time she tries to show she’s ready to be the avatar again. Ease into it. Tenzin stops the sparing match, but was that really necessary? Were these White Lotus guys really going to attack the Avatar while she’s on the ground in pain?
Korra seemed to have traveled all over the world in 6 months, but her parents have no idea that she’s not really in Republic City. Did her friends stop sending Korra letters? I’m assuming they’re sending letters to her Southern Water Tribe address and not using Harry Potter owls to mail them directly to her. Seriously how are these letter getting sent? Because stamps from various places should have given away her location, unless they use magical messenger birds. Tonraq never sends a letter to Tenzin asking how Korra’s doing?
Korra follows a random dog miles away from the city to a swamp, just saying she puts a lot of faith in a random dog.
A car almost hits Korra early on in the episode, what’s the point of having headlights if they’re not going to use them? There were no other cars on the road buddy; all you have to do is watch for pedestrians!