Hey there, Korra Nation! As many of you know, The Legend of Korra Book 4: Balance aired its newest episode, “The Coronation” on October 17. As promised, I’ve written a recap (which can be found on Black Girl Nerds) in case you haven’t checked it out yet, but now it’s time for this week’s post-cap!
I know some of you are probably wondering just what is a “post-cap.” First, it’s a make-believe term I created that by definition is mixed of thoughts, feelings, etc. that one may have after reading (in my case, writing) a recap. Hence, “post-cap”. I know I could as easily call my post-cap a “review,” but I like to do things my way. Got it? Good.
The Legend of Korra Book 4 Balance, Chapter 3, “The Coronation”:
Everyone’s a failure. Continuing the saga, “The Coronation” sees a few of our protagonists hit a giant wall called failure. Prince Wu gears up for his coronation, only for everything to not go according to his plan. Expecting a six-hour ceremony filled with platypus bears, dancers, and royal heirlooms, Prince Wu is kicked out his Presidential Suite by the more favorable Kuvira, and is handed one of his dearly departed Aunt’s earrings to serve as a royal brooch. Meanwhile, Korra implores Toph to help he step her game up and is essentially spanked at every turn by the old sprightly earth bender.
Kuvira means business. Moving along on the trend of failing, Prince Wu is pinned King Wu, just to have Kuvira upstage him at his coronation saying that Wu has no authority over the Earth Kingdom she’s turned into an Earth Empire under her use of innovation and technology. This comes as a shock to everyone but Mako, who rightly assumed that Kuvira wasn’t giving up her temporary position as “The Great Unifier.” Talk about your iron fist…
Family vs. Family. Thanks to Kuvira basically telling the rest of the world to stay out of her way or suffer the consequences, Mako and Bolin are at odds. Mako is the bodyguard for Prince Wu and Bolin is Kuvira’s aid. While Mako hoped that Bolin would ditch Kuvira since revealing her intentions of keeping the Earth Empire under her rule, Bolin rationalizes that Kuvira’s more helpful than harmful and is more like Korra in that respect. Mako, on the other hand, doesn’t see it that way.
The two brothers argue and go their separate ways with Mako being Team Wu and Bolin all about Team Kuvira. Suyin’s family division continues to grow now that Baatar Jr. reveals to his Kuvira is his bride-to-be. Oh yeah, Kuvira essentially threatens Suyin in a private conversation that she’s hell-bent on expanding her empire with Suyin’s territory of Zaofu. Talk about your monster-in-laws…
Mako puts the Prince in his place. Prince Wu tries to overcome his shortcomings by shopping at the mall, and runs into a bit of trouble when he chastises a bunch of Kurvira sympathizers. Mako saves him from trouble, but then tells Wu that he shouldn’t expect people to like him since he’s taken absolutely no interest in the welfare of his people since learning he was the heir to the throne. Moments later, Mako apologizes for being rude (and saying that Kuvira is a better ruler… sorta), but Wu tells Mako that he needed to hear it, and that Mako’s right.
Korra sucks as the Avatar. Back in The Swamp, Toph chastises Korra for being a poor excuse of an Avatar: Korra can’t go into the Avatar State, she can’t connect to her past lives, her bending is out of sync, and there’s still metallic poison in her system that Korra couldn’t even sense. Toph calls Korra blind and says Korra’s even more blind than she is.
Korra’s shocked to learn that there’s still poison in her body and begs Toph to take it out, but when Toph tries to work her metal-bending magic, Korra’s PTSD is blocking her from relaxing. Toph tells Korra that she gives up and if Korra really wants it out, Korra will have to do it herself, though she personally believes Korra wants to keep the poison in her body. Naturally, Korra disagrees, but Toph then drops some knowledge on Korra saying that Korra wants to keep to poison to give her an excuse to abdicate her role as Avatar and protect herself from being hurt again. Korra mulls it over, while Toph laughs and tells Korra that if she wanted isolation, she picked the perfect place to be alone.
The episode ends with Tenzin enlisting Jinora, Meelo, and a pretty tall Icki to seek out Korra, and Varick and Zhu Li experimenting on some spirit vine for Kuvira aboard her metal train.
Thoughts & Theories: *Cracks knuckles* This episode was loaded with parallels within itself as well as with Avatar: The Last Airbender. The most obvious of them all was Korra’s training session with Toph, who is the same tough-as-nails, indifferent kid we met in the past series. Now, she’s just older, and can give even less craps about what she says. And when it comes to being affectionate, she’s still not for it. Toph is back at it with the trash talk, and the creators seem to have taken some of our Season 2 feelings into consideration by having Toph call Korra “the worst Avatar ever” — a sentiment I definitely had by the end of Season 2.
Their session, though reminiscent of ATLA, is also pretty akin to Yoda’s training session with Luke Skywalker in Star Wars, what with her being all old, grey, and dropping knowledge while working out in a swamp. But I digress…
Another parallel in this episode was the failures of both Korra and Prince Wu. Both were intrusted with the job of taking care of their respective people and maintaining world order (Wu as the King of the Earth Kingdom and Korra as the Avatar), and similarly both are unable to do so — and ironically enough, it can just be argued that both choose not to do so. As Mako pointed out, Wu never really intended to do his job as King, banking on his advisers to do the work for him. And as for Korra, he inability to power through her mental block (or her fear of overcoming it rather) hinders her from tapping into that part of herself that is the Avatar.
The other analogous plot lines we have including the split between Suyin and her son, Baatar Jr., and Mako and Bolin. All the splits have Kuvira at the root of the problem, which leads to my theory that at some point there will be a showdown between Suyin and Kuvira and Baatar will have to make a decisive choice. I also think that Bolin will be put in a situation by Kuvira to prove if he’s truly for the cause, since he appeared to waver earlier in the episode and in this situation, he will choose family. I can’t say the same for Baatar Jr.
Overall, I foresee Mako and Toph being the driving force of growth for Prince Wu and Korra as they search for strength when their people need them most. I also see Kuvira’s “crushing” speech as foreshadow for a showdown between she and Korra as Korra is currently in “Earth Empire” territory. I would love to see a battle between Kuvira and Toph in the Season 4 finale, but that may be asking for a lot.
And last but not least, I think Kuvira’s using Varick to weaponize the spirit tree bark into a nuclear-like bomb. Considering Kuvira is on some socialist, militaristic agenda, I can only imagine that this will be the next step. Sozin has his comet. Kuvira would need something just as deadly to expand her reach.
Oh, by the way, I’m happy to see that I wasn’t the only person looking at Prince Wu’s dance moves. My boy was bussin’ down that serious Azonto moves. He can totally be Beyoncé’s backup dancer.
That’s all that I’ve got for my “post-cap” this week. Check in next Saturday when I dig into next Friday’s episode “The Coronation.”
What did you think of Legend of Korra Book 4, Episode 3: “The Coronation? Let’s talk about it in the comments or chat about it on Twitter.