The Coronation and The Calling Review

little ba sing sa

So I’m combing episode 3 and 4 into one post. The first episode is called the Coronation, which if you say out loud sounds like Korra Nation and makes me giggle. I think we can figure out what the plot will revolve around in that episode. The second episode is called the Calling.

Prince Wu talks about how magnificent his coronation will be while Tenzin confides to President Raiko about his uneasy feelings regarding Kuvira’s growing authority and rumors of dissenters being thrown into military camps. The foreshadowing doesn’t end there, President Raiko assures Tenzin that she’ll be stepping down from power tomorrow and Mako counts down the hours until he’s free from his body guarding days. What could possible go wrong?

President Raiko – “Getting excited for your big day?”
Prince Wu – “Does a platypus bear shit in the woods?”
I love this line so much, but this is a kids show so they don’t say it.

Toph sad

Korra says aloud that the world needs the avatar to get back in fighting form. All that pressure is getting to her, she’s trying to convince herself and Toph that’s what she really wants, but Toph sees right through her. Through Toph’s special brand of toph(tough) love Korra is eventually able to recover by the end of the 4th episode.
Toph – “Get over yourself! The names change, but the streets stay the same!”
There will always be crime, Toph can see this, but can Korra? Keep a look out for more shitty blind puns throughout the review!

Toph has no trouble finding a teapot on the table and pouring tea for herself…I cant find a straw in my cup when I’m not looking at it.

During their sparring matches Korra gets her butt kicked by Toph. The leeches in the swamp are ginormous, this is why I don’t like swamps. Korra can’t even water bend a sneak attack.

korra sneky
Korra – “I don’t know why I’m not strong like my old self.”
She’s afraid to revert back to her former self because she felt so helpless back then. She doesn’t think she’s strong now either, but she feels that everyone wants her to return to her former healthy self. Toph calls out Korra on not actually wanting to “be as strong as her old self.” If she’s not the Avatar she doesn’t have to worry about getting hurt again.

There’s also poison still in her body that’s compounded by her mental instability. Toph tells Korra this after she kicks her ass all day, I see what she did there. Not even Toph Beifong can beat an avatar state Korra. Well maybe… Toph can’t bend the poison metal out of Korra because she’s resisting her help, now both physically and mentally. Korra doesn’t listen to Toph and this episode ends with Korra still struggling to recover, but at least I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, and that’s the next episode.

eeevvee kuviraThere only seems to be one hotel in all of Republic City. The ice twins don’t share a bed, which I thought for sure would be the case, but apparently Eska’s brother sleeps in the tub…they may be ice vampires. Varrick notes how the guy he intended to kidnap to start a war pardoned him earlier in the year, which just makes me like him more. Suyin and her eventual prodigal son reunite in the hotel.
Baatar Jr. – “It’s just Baatar now.”
Uh no, there’s still a Baatar Sr., that’s not how names work. It’s either Baatar Jr. or BJ, and nobody wants to be called BJ.

In case we didn’t get enough foreshadowing, Kuvira kicks Wu out of the presidential suite. I half expected Kuvira to just take over the Earth Kingdom and take out Wu then and there.
Kuvira – “I don’t need your help.”
“I always get what I want.”
I don’t even think the characters are surprised when she usurps him during his coronation.

Maybe Wu is such a positive guy because he hears all the boos and thinks the masses are cheering his name. People named Cruz also have this positive problem. Kuvira declares that she’s making a new Earth Empire, good thing she already has the stormtroopers, and crushes the Kyoshi Medal of Honor because she’s officially coming out of the closet as evil.

varrick cool guy

Look how much of a player my boy Varrick looks like right now, I had to use this picture somehow. He leaves with a spirit vine that I will go too much into later on. Kuvira is able to sway Bolin to her side with a few words.
Kuvira – “Oh me threatening the rest of the world with violence and crushing the nice gift Prince Wu gave me? That was just tough rhetoric that let’s people know people we mean business.”
Bolin actually falls for this. He’ll now be working for the bad guy twice this series, and Varrick again! Fool me once, shame on me, fool me twice, well you better be a pretty metal bender.

What drove Kuvira and Suyin apart is starting to become clearer. Kuvira wanted to “help” the Earth Kingdom, but Suyin saw this helping as grasping for power. Both were technically right, someone needed to help the Earth Kingdom, but whoever did could use that opportunity to take control, which is what happening right now. If Suyin volunteered for this before Kuvira stepped up for the role maybe she could have prevented this. Suyin accuses Kuvira of being a dictator and she’s right, Kuvira just doesn’t care.

mako weird faceBolin and Mako have a little falling out, but I’m sure they’ll reconcile when Bolin sees the error of his ways. Prince Wu goes to little Ba Sing Se (beautifully animated), acts immature, and with a little nudge from Mako grows up a little. I don’t think Wu ends up on the Iron Throne when all things are said and done, but this is a nice start.

Kuvira tells Varrick that developing this technology (the spirit vine thing) is his #1 priority and he claims it’s going to change everything. Are they inventing vine(i) phones for everyone? So far in the series no one has tried combining technology with spirit vines, so I have no idea what it’d be, but I’ll go over the possibilities. Varrick needs those glasses to see the map on the back of the Declaration of Independence vine.
vine bomn
1. A Bomb
My first thought was bomb, a spirit bomb if you will. Military advancement usually drives society and Kuvira did say “technology and innovation is what drives a nation forward.” Maybe she’s asking Varrick to create more weapons for her and this would be the next step in this universe. In the Season 1 Amon and Mr. Sato demonstrate the strength of technology over bending; mecha suits and airplanes fight evenly with benders, so I think this technology vs bending aspect has already been showcased. Maybe the writers want to reiterate the points they made in Season 1 and have everything come full circle, but I don’t think this is the case. Kuvira has tons of power already – she’s an expert bender, leader of probably the most powerful army in the world, and many earth citizens love her. I don’t think it’s a weapon to take out the avatar either seeing as she’s been a nonissue for 3 years now. The spirit vines haven’t done anything violent and don’t seem to have any negative effects on the people living near them, it’s not radioactive.
2. Spirit Connection
Maybe this thing is designed to somehow harm spirits. Spirits have never really been a problem for Kuvira or Varrick in the past though, so I have trouble finding motivation here. Maybe the spirit vine could somehow summon one of the evil spirits that was in Season 2 to hurt people who oppose her, but they had spirits as villains already. Kuvira and Varrick don’t really seem like spiritually inclined people so introducing a spirit theme seems out of character for them. I think maybe they could harness “spirit energy” for some kind of new technical advancement that helps their goals, but that’s all I’m expecting from the spirit connection. I mean she doesn’t even have troops in the swamp; she doesn’t care about spirits at all.

vines on franksentine
3. Kuvira’s goals + Varrick’s goals
Her known goals are to unite the Earth Kingdom as the new Earth Empire and to prevent others from stopping her. I honestly don’t think her end goal is to conquer the world. The creators made Kuvira with the thought of making her unlike any villain we’ve seen before; I don’t think they’ll have her become Ozai with boobs. She also fought against the Red Lotus, so I don’t she’ll inherit their mantra and hunt down world leaders. This could be a way to finally show the Fire Nation though. I think her end goal is to become emperor of this Earth Empire and create a utopia similar to Zaofu, as boring as it might sound, I’m not sure where this season will take us after that. There are probably around 13 episodes this season, we’ve seen 4. Taking over Zaofu seems inevitable and Republic City would come next. Varrick’s goals only seem to be profit related, that’s what they were back in Season 2, but he doesn’t feel like the same character he was in Season 2, he seems a lot more likable. I’m not sure if he has an ulterior motive, but the writers have said that Kuvira is the main villain this season so I’m not expecting too much evilness from him.
more vines4. Spirit Energy Source
This screenshot from the trailer shows that there are multiple vine things in the background meaning it could be used as some sort of energy source…to power a super gigantic magnetic mecha suit? That powers a new weapon! Varrick says that “this will change everything” and spirit vines broke him out of prison, so he knows they have potential. Vines grow very fast when they first appeared and hooking it up to that machine could extrapolate that growth. I think Kuvira wants to make this vine container grow a, wait for it, great wall of spirit vines! This is a defensive item that allows it to grow and make a super wall so that other countries can’t invade. Korra couldn’t bend these vines away in Republic city and it would make an awesome defense.

Conclusion
Seriously though I can’t think of a realistic answer. The sneak peek for episode 5 already showed us that Bolin is essential to get Zaofu and not the spirit vine container. The answer is going to smack me in the face when they do reveal it and I’m not going to believe I couldn’t make the connection now. Comment on what you think this thing can be!
kids tensxinf
Tenzin sends his kids to find Korra because he needs to help Raiko settle the Kuvira problem. I’m glad they’re the ones to do it and not his siblings, they’re perfectly capable of doing the job and they always needed a little more screen time while Tenzin’s siblings got plenty of that last Season. I wonder if Tenzin’s latest son is an airbender. I mean mom could go with them right? Why didn’t she go? Tenzin can watch last son in the city and mom can watch her kids.

It’s crazy to think that Aang and Co. were around the same age as this bunch. Katara, Zuko, and Toph were all masters of their own element by Jinora’s age. This is a kid show so the age reflects the people watching it and now that the viewers that first started watching the show have grown up, the rest of the cast reflects this as well. Lemurs in the background do a variation of Newton’s cradle while little siblings annoy Jinora.
newtons lemur

I love how they can just fly to places; they can just jump off cliffs and fly to town. I would love to be an air bender, but I wouldn’t want to be a vegetarian. The Earth Kingdom town has many flags with Kuvira’s face all over them.

face flags

The children get some screen time and we learn that Meelo is a better drawer than Bolin. Meelo is also better with girls than Bolin. Don’t forget how much better Meelo is at air bending than Bolin. Heck Meelo is better than me at most things, so I can’t poke fun at Bolin too much. Meelo also throws all their food in a river and eats poison berries, not so smart now!

pretty good drawers

The kids find the picture Korra and Aang, but still don’t really know where to go. Jinora can’t find a spiritual connection with Korra and Meelo continues to be comedy gold. Ikki hasn’t really gotten any screen time the entire series, so it was good to hear her voice after multiple seasons of nothing. It’s tough being the middle child, but at least she’s got air bending.
Ikki – “My name’s Meelo, I like to throw away food and fart at inappropriate moments.”
Vent it out Ikki. She tries feeding a flying squirrel and stumbles into some Kuvira soldiers. She runs away instead of flying away…sigh.
toph tldr
Meanwhile back to the person this group is currently looking for, Toph continues to “teach” Korra. Not only the master of earth bending, she’s also the master of tl;dr (too long; didn’t read)
The time she taught Aang earth bending – “I threw some rocks at the avatar, he got all whiny, and Sokka fell in a hole.”
The time she took down the fire lord – “It was hot, I was on a blimp, and I think a giant turtle showed up.”
She isn’t much of a story-teller apparently. I bet she could talk about picking her feet all day though.
bill frogHehe, bullfrog.
Toph – “Why do you think you saw your past villains? Learn something from them.”
tl;dr Amon wanted equality for all.
tl;dr Unalaq brought back the spirits.
tl;dr Zaheer believed in freedom.
Shortening these stories makes them sound like good guys, but they were totally crazy and totally out of balance. Good thing this book is called balance.
Toph – “Face your fears, you can’t expect to deal with future enemies if you cant let go of your past ones.”
I don’t even have to explain why Korra is still struggling when Toph explains it all for me!

eveelThe lemur throws up and starts eating his puke, my dog does the same thing. It creeps me out. Meelo was going to poison his sister! He’s evil! I’d probably do the same thing.

The guards always seem to come in pairs in this show, and they all seem really funny. Ikki masterfully disarms the guards with her adorableness.
Guard 1 – “This is Tenzin’s kid; do you know what that means?”
Guard 2 – “No, but try this macaroons, it’s delicious.” Guard 2 is just so funny, he marvels at the special messages written by the mom. “You’re my handsome little man. It’s like this bun was made for me!”

Well I can forgive the mom for not coming if she’s writing messages like that. The guards inform us that Kuvira is taking all the troops to Zaofu, but they have to stay here. The sneak peek confirms that the next episode will focus on Zaofu. The guards want to be promoted so they can attend the party after they unite Zaofu. Ikki bonds with the guards over feeling left out. She would make a good mom. She seems the most like Aang actually, carefree and friendly. Together with the guards, who totally deserve credit for finding the avatar too, Ikki thinks Korra is in the swamp. Hey no one has seen the avatar for 6 months, maybe let’s check out the one place uninhabited by people.

mapGuard 2 – “You’re a valuable member of the team and you have a big heart. I know you’ll find her.”
This is like the nicest guard ever. Guard of the year award goes to this guy.
Meelo and Jinora come “save” Ikki and knock the two guards out. Ikki leaves these 2 guards some food and apologizes for her siblings knocking them out. This kid has a heart of gold.

Ikki explains her reasons logically on the why Korra is in the swamp, but her two siblings don’t believe her because they’re big meanie heads. That’s the second time a swamp has pulled down a flying bison, I think that’s the only reason the writers had the other two siblings disagree with her.
vine pulldown
Fart bending is a thing. This is the most important reveal. The epitome of air bending isn’t flying, it’s fart bending.

Toph brings Korra to the Banyan-Grove tree which make Redwood trees look like tooth picks. There Korra is able to reconnect with the world by following the roots of this tree that’s connected to everything. She’s been disconnected from the people who love her and she’s been disconnected from herself. The kids are able to find Korra after this and their reunion brought tears to my eyes. The first thing out of Ikki’s mouth, “I love your hair.” This kid’s as sweep as honey.

korra happy sad

Korra bends the feels out of herself, then bends the poison out of herself. She’s ready to take on her old duties as the avatar. This is a huge step for her and Toph was able to meet and help 2 avatars now, which is awesome. I think Korra was able to release the fear she’s had of her past fights, but I’m not sure if she’s 100% recovered. We’ll see in future episodes though, but recovering in episode 4 seems unlikely. I’m also not sure if it’s best for her to rush into a fight with Kuvira, but I’m excited to see what’s coming next.

Toph can’t save the world because she has better things to do.

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