Hey there, Korra Nation! First of all, I apologize for the tardiness of this post — I never intended for this post to take this long to make it to your eyes, but it’s here! As many of you know, The Legend of Korra Book 4: Balance aired its newest episode, “The Calling” on October 25. 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! Some of you are probably wondering just what is a “post-cap,” but just know 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 have called it a “review,” but I like to do things my way. Got it? Good.
The Legend of Korra Book 4 Balance, Chapter 4, “The Calling”:
The children go on a mission. Tenzin sends his three kiddos, Jinora, Ikki, and Meelo on a secret mission to find Korra. Meelo is asserting his dominance, being the lone guy on the mission, but ’tis clear that he’s still very much a boy. Jinora tells her dad that she’ll do her best to find Korra by honing in on her spiritual energy. Pema is (of course) scared for the kids, asking Tenzin if he can’t go with them, but Tenzin can’t since he and President Raiko have to smooth out the whole Kuvira situation. Ikki reminds her mom that her father-in-law (aka Aang) was their age when he set off around the world with the original Team Avatar on their solo mission to take down the Fire Lord, setting up this episode to be a bit of a trip down memory lane for us Avatar: The Last Airbender fans. Pema isn’t appeased, but the kids leave home with their parents watching them fly off into the sky.
Korra is feeling vulnerable. Korra is in The Swamp with Toph, and seemingly bored out of her mind, even asking Toph to relive the glory days when Toph once a part of the original Team Avatar. Toph proves to have very limited storytelling skills, and sends Korra into The Swamp to fetch mushrooms for dinner. When Korra makes her way through the vines and such, she sees herself being taken down by Amon, followed by her fight with Unaloq (where he separated her from the Spirit Raava), and finally a vision of herself bound in chains by the Red Lotus. Korra is kind of taken aback by it all, but she finally realizes that she’s just in The Swamp.
Korra is basically a ghost. The airbending trio continue their search for Korra, but there are multiple things halting the progress with the primarily hiccup being Jinora’s inability to hone in on Korra’s spiritual energy. At the first stop the kids make (after two hours of flying), Jinora is unable to get a reading on Korra, and it doesn’t help that Ikki and Meelo are pestering her. Jinora shoos them away, and Meelo takes the opportunity to head into town to look for Korra by himself. Meelo heads into town with Ikki and asks for Korra, but no one seems to know where she is.
Meelo’s got game. After a couple more stops in the Earth Empire, the kids still can’t seem to get a lead on Korra. During one stop, Meelo tries to enlist help from a young Earth Nation girl and he even spits a little game her way. The girl seems to like Meelo’s company, and at some point Ikki teases her brother of having a girlfriend. When the girl walks away, however, Meelo blames Ikki for driving away the love of his life. It’s pretty clear that Meelo definitely inherited the charming gene from grandpa Aang and isn’t afraid to call girls “beautiful” or go after what he wants. Kudos to Meelo!
Ikki alone. The kids continue to search for Korra and run into the seaside restauranteur who took her photo about 6 months prior. With this, Meelo feels like he’s contributed to the group’s mission and fingers Ikki and Jinora as not pulling their weight. When Jinora brushes Ikki’s complaint about Meelo tossing their food away, Ikki goes off on her own, heading to the forest to blow off some steam. She accidentally startles a woodland creature and tries to make amends, which leads her on a little journey where she eventually gets captured by two Earth Empire troops. While at first menacing, the guards grow sympathetic to Ikki who is crying, hungry, and devalued by her siblings. The guards feed Ikki macaroons (which belong to the bundle of food Meelo threw away) and give her vital information including: (1) Kuvira’s troops are marching onto to Zaofu, (2) none of the guards have seen Korra otherwise it would’ve been reported and (3) The Swamp is basically the place to go if you want no one to find you. Ikki bonds with her captors (who she could’ve easily escaped from), but when they’re about to help her reunite with her siblings, Meelo and Jinora come to her aid, knocking out the guards cold. Ikki tells her siblings that she had the situation handled, and that she’s got some valuable information on where Korra can be.
Toph drops some wisdom. Toph finds Korra sitting alone by a tree and Korra confides in Toph about The Swamp causing her visions of her past defeats. Toph admits that she suspected The Swamp would do something of the sort, and Korra calls Toph a crazy old lady (because you know, she is), but Toph tells Korra that The Swamp is causing these visions for a reason. Each of Korra’s adversaries — Amon, Unaloq, Red Lotus — all wanted equality, but were extremists in their approach. Toph says they were all out of balance, and as the Avatar, Korra has to maintain the balance. Korra says that she’s not sure how to do that, and Toph tells her they’ll head over to the Banyan Grove Tree to reconnect.
The Swamp sucks the kids in. The children make their way to The Swamp and both Jinora and Meelo aren’t feeling Ikki’s suggestion to look in The Swamp, and when Jinora decides to turn their air bison, Pepper, around The Swamp pulls them in. Jinora is feeling tons of spiritual energy, but none of it is Korra’s. Meanwhile, at the Banyan Grove Tree, Toph talks Korra into reconnecting with the world — starting by tapping into Banyan Grove Tree’s roots. When Korra does so, Jinora instantly sees Korra and vice versa. Jinora tells her siblings she knows where Korra is and Korra bursts into tears when she sees the kids fly towards her. All four have a tearful reunion and the kids tell Korra that she’s needed back in the world.
Korra puts her big girl pants on. With the kids telling Korra that she’s needed, Korra tells Toph she’s ready to have the remaining bit of metallic poison bent out of her body. Toph, however, tells Korra that she’s not doing it, and Korra does her best to bend the metal out herself. At first, Korra’s stunted by visions of Zaheer almost killing her, but Korra summons all her strength and bends the rest of the poison out of her body. Toph seals the poison by bending it into a small boulder and praises Korra for her good work. The kids and Korra make their way back to Republic City (after Korra’s rewarded with a hug by Toph) and Toph goes back to her solitude.
Thoughts & Theories: This episode totally served as a bit of fun and nostalgia for ATLA fans who were accustomed to seeing a group of teens and preteens traveling the world, on a mission a la original Team Avatar. The trio’s mission also served to show how much Jinora, Ikki, and Meelo are much like their grandpa: Jinora takes her meditation serious, Ikki can escape just about anything and make friends with just about anybody, and Meelo good with taking charge and getting girls to notice him.
And while the kids weren’t able to work together as cohesively as their granddad’s team did, they still managed to get the job done.
We also learned that there’s definitely going to be a showdown between Kuvira and Suyin Bei Fong, as Kuvira’s troops are all marching in force to Zaofu — which will make for an interesting fight. Now that Korra’s “better,” we can also expect to see a fight between herself and Kuvira, however, I don’t see Korra being able to take down Kuvira just yet. Korra’s still fragile, and may not be ready to do whatever must be done in order to fight her biggest adversary. I do think, interestingly enough, that Korra’s ability to bend stuff out of her own body will make for a useful skill and as such, we’ll see it used again. Korra is now more aware of her body and her surroundings and this will definitely be a strength in the not-so-distant future.
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 4 “The Calling”? Let’s talk about it in the comments or chat about it on Twitter.