The Legend of Korra: Reunion
November 14, 2014 6:46 AM - Season 4, Episode 7 - Subscribe

In the wake of her defeat at the hands of the Great Uniter, Korra returns at last to the place where her journey as Avatar began, Republic City. After a brief reunion with Asami and Mako, the trio quickly find themselves in a rescue mission to save Prince Wu from the designs of Kuvira. Far and away, Verrick and Bolin continue their trek to Republic City to warn everyone of Kuvira's plans and run into escapees from one of Kuvira's concentration camps. Together the group plots a plan to make their way out of Earth Empire controlled territory. Also, Pabu and Naga, and Meelo does not earn his tats.

The Reunion can be watched on and purchased at online retailers such as iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, and Google Play.
posted by Atreides (28 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
About to be trapped in meetings all day, but all I can say is this was SO GOOD and Toph is going to be SO MAD about that last scene you guys. Please tell me that there will be an epic Toph showdown with Kuvira's vine-stealers because otherwise my head will explode.

I am totally unclear on Korra's status now because she appears to be fighting just fine, which is awesome! Also she has new sensing powers even without the vines? I approve of new superpowers, but still don't know what the hell is going on. Oh well. More coherency when I get a chance to view again. Look forward to Atreides' detailed dissection as always.
posted by emjaybee at 6:56 AM on November 14, 2014 [3 favorites]

Look forward to Atreides' detailed dissection as always.

posted by Fizz at 7:51 AM on November 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

Haven't watched it yet, but oh my God, I ship it so hard, so very hard.
posted by Katemonkey at 8:04 AM on November 14, 2014 [3 favorites]

I love that she has sensing powers. It's a way of showing us that she's becoming a more rooted, connected Korra (literally in some cases). In fact, in general, this episode might be understood as the bookend for "Korra Alone."

I also love that she didn't just pull her sensing powers out of the hat (e.g., cosmic Korra) -- she'd been trained a bit to do it in the swamp. Nice gradual introduction.

In fact, I think the fights in this episode showed a general nice and gradual ramp up of Korra's readiness for action. She followed a good hunch about the missing Wu. That first earthbender still got the drop on her and she doesn't feel quite as powerful as her old self yet, but it seemed to me she got better tactically as they went on, ending in figuring out when it was a good time to bail and get them all out of there safely.

The Bolin and Varrick team up is great. They have complimentary skills, and perhaps more important, Varrick's special brand of crazy actually lets Bolin take the role of the straight man for once and show some of that grown-up-ness he's developing. Plus, we got to watch him do his friend-bending again, reinforcing the "nobody does it alone" theme of the show introduced by Tenzin and threaded through both the A and B plots.

In fact, in general, the writing this episode was great -- I enjoyed watching the interactions in this one as much as any episode in ATLA or TLOK.

Kuvira's swamp-mining/banyan-threatening: am I watching Bryke's Avatar, or Cameron's? ;)

(Also: kindof called it!)
posted by weston at 9:18 AM on November 14, 2014 [3 favorites]

Great episode. It feels odd to be excited that Kuvira's clear cutting the swamp spirit vines, but it means that some fun Toph things will be going down, so excitement it is!
posted by Arbac at 11:00 AM on November 14, 2014

You can't see it, but I'm writing "KORRA + ASAMI 4-EVER" in my little glittery notebook over and over again.

I think I was supposed to get more out of this episode, and I did, but holy smokes, my shipper heart is downright singing.

So let me clear away the haze and high-pitched squealing, and focus.


I love that Bolin is taking charge. I love that he doesn't like to leave people behind. That's what he does - he helps people. It's why he joined up with Kuvira in the first place - to help people. And I adore that Varrick was able to build an EMF pulse out of random bits in the crossing. I hope we get to see some more amazing work from him.

But, really, it's all about how awesome Asami and Korra and Mako were. Well, less Mako, because you're still boring, but definitely more Asami and Korra, with the amazing fighting and spirit vines and fighting over dinner. And Korra's worried about Asami talking to her dad! And Asami is worried about Korra being in the Avatar state! And they're adorable and the restaurant was playing "Left My Heart in Republic City" because that's what Korra did - left her heart in Republic City with Asami!

And, oh, back into shipper mode. My apologies.

It was lovely to see Pabu, Bumi, and BumJu again. Prince Wu is delightfully ridiculous and he is going to get spoiled rotten by Grandma.

And speaking of angry Grandmas, I cannot wait for Toph to appear. Oh fuck yeah, all those mechas made of all that metal and this little upstart girl and here comes the BOOOOOOOOOOOOM.
posted by Katemonkey at 12:26 PM on November 14, 2014 [4 favorites]

And, oh, back into shipper mode. My apologies.

It sure looks like Asami cops a feel when she says she's loving the hair, and Korra blushes.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 3:47 PM on November 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

Why did those boys have to interrupt Korra and Asami's date? I mean, Mako doesn't count because he's clearly (and probably happily, judging from the hug at the end) the beard in this scenario. I am not usually like this but this show is making me do it so hard (also, Bolin and Varrick forever. Those two!).

I do love Asami. I love the show didn't make her into some evil femme fatale but "hey, this is also a cool way to be a woman if this is what you want." Korra and Asami's relationships (even just in friendly terms!) has become one of my favorite parts of the show. It's so rare to see two women relate to each other in honest terms and without competition (especially for men). They're great!

Part of me thinks the creators are toeing this line pretty obviously while still making sure it fits within the whole "kids' show!" parameters. I actually love it -- I do like how accepting The Legend of Korra is about all forms of femininity. I can't really think of any show (or movie!) that has as high of concentration of complex women characters who just get to be themselves.

I think the next spin off needs to be the adventures of Naga and Pabu, though.
posted by darksong at 5:05 PM on November 14, 2014 [5 favorites]

Wait, was Asami always taller than Korra?

Waterbender escapee has HAIR LOOPIES.

Firebender escapee looks a lot like Jet.

Definitely did not seem to be a romantic thing between Mako and Korra anymore, though it seems odd (no "datin' the laadies Mako-style") that he's not dated anyone since, so I worry they're just holding him in reserve. He really doesn't seem tortured though.

It would be fine if it were all left unresolved. But the blush...they are definitely fucking with Korrasami types.

At first I thought, once the border guards call in, Kuvira will know Bolin and Varrick are alive. BUT: Why are there wanted posters? They were gone a few hours at most before recapture last time. And the assumption was she thought they were dead this time. But wanted posters would obviously say she does not.
posted by emjaybee at 7:37 PM on November 14, 2014 [2 favorites]

They're certainly teasing Korrasami pretty heavily.
Not that I mind.

Also, on the "Legend of Korra provides fantastic examples for Fate Core/Accelerated" front again, Varrick did a great job of demonstrating what you can accomplish in a conflict when you spend a few rounds stacking up Create Advantages with your top-tier Crafts skill/Clever approach.
(Succeed with Style three turns in a row to get six free invocations, spend a couple of them to invoke for effect on your "Jury-Rigged EMP Generator" aspect to attack with Crafts and attack everyone in a zone, and pour the rest into a massive +8 attack bonus.)
posted by NMcCoy at 10:50 AM on November 15, 2014 [2 favorites]

Why are there wanted posters?

Probably for the same reason Bolin didn't just secret-tunnel them a way under the wall.

I can kindof rationalize it by saying maybe they weren't wanted posters, just memos sent out from before about a change of status from high to traitor for Bolin and Varrick. I can see Kuvira covering her bases that way.

But it's probably plotbending.

As, I think, is Kuvira's "harvest ALL the vines" approach to the banyan/swamp. The smart play would seem to be to harvest enough to make a few dozen nukes or vaatu-blast guns, and leave the swamp to grow you a bounteous harvest. But, on the other hand, that approach isn't going to give us more Toph, so...
posted by weston at 12:27 PM on November 15, 2014 [2 favorites]

Another week like the last, so running terribly behind on all things discussion for Korra (I HATE YOU JOB. I HATES YOU HARD!).

I went ahead and tossed up another recap to the side. A fair bit of it has been already touched upon, so apologies for the redundancies (I went into a Korra discussion black out after putting up the post), and my brain is kind of mushy mash, so, there's that adding to it.

I do love Asami. I love the show didn't make her into some evil femme fatale but "hey, this is also a cool way to be a woman if this is what you want." Korra and Asami's relationships (even just in friendly terms!) has become one of my favorite parts of the show. It's so rare to see two women relate to each other in honest terms and without competition (especially for men). They're great!

Originally, Asami was intended to be a villain, but thankfully this was changed as Bryke developed the character. Her and Korra's frienship has also become one of my favorite things about the show in the last two seasons.

The wanted posters...I didn't even clue into it, but that's definitely intriguing. Left over from the immediate denunciation as traitors or is Kuvira not taking Bataar, Jr.'s word on their recent deaths?

Thank you, all, for having great posts for me to come back to and read. It's my second favorite thing after watching the episode. Gracias!
posted by Atreides at 3:36 PM on November 15, 2014 [1 favorite]

Steve Blum is back! Switched from water to fire bending, though.
posted by Peccable at 5:20 PM on November 15, 2014 [1 favorite]

I suspect Kuvira is covering her bases, and doesn't leap to conclusions the way so many other people do. If there's a chance Bolin and Varrick are alive, she'll send a notice to the closest fortresses and guard stations so they know to keep an eye out for them.
posted by suelac at 5:36 PM on November 15, 2014

Kuvira's ethnically-cleansing the Earth Kingdom! Like the AV Club pointed out, she's looking increasingly Hitlery, including the forcible annexation of her childhood home, Zaofu. As an extreme Earth nationalist, obviously her next stop is Republic City, which is made up of Earth Kingdom lands colonized by the Fire Nation.

Also I bet Korra's new spirit-vine tracking powers are going to be impaired once Kuvira starts really intensively harvesting them.
posted by Small Dollar at 8:36 PM on November 15, 2014

The smart play would seem to be to harvest enough to make a few dozen nukes or vaatu-blast guns, and leave the swamp to grow you a bounteous harvest.

But that might leave some for other people to use. Wouldn't want that kind of power falling into the wrong hands, after all.
posted by NMcCoy at 6:29 AM on November 16, 2014

But that might leave some for other people to use. Wouldn't want that kind of power falling into the wrong hands, after all.

Except the swamp is deep in the Earth Kingdom. Anyone else who wanted some spirit vine would have to sneak in or invade.

Also, if exclusive possession of the spirit vines is what she wants, then she'll have to invade Republic City.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 7:53 PM on November 16, 2014

Also, if exclusive possession of the spirit vines is what she wants, then she'll have to invade Republic City.

Which she might have planned anyway, since Republic City, as the Earth Queen said, used to be Earth Kingdom land.

And if Kuvira wants there to be a proper Earth Empire, then she needs all the Earth land back.

Just because it happens to have a lot of spirit vines...well...that's just gravy.
posted by Katemonkey at 4:44 AM on November 17, 2014

See, I think it's bigger than that. If she has a superweapon, then even Republic City won't be enough; what's to stop her from pulling a Sozin and taking over other nations too? If I were a Fire or Water nation leader, that would certainly be on my mind.

From what we've seen, Kuvira has both fanatical followers and a pretty large group of opponents just waiting to be sprung from their prisons. We haven't seen any evidence of a successor, which is a key weakness; take her out, is there anyone else who could keep her empire going?

So you could end things just by taking her out and helping the Earth Empire to become the Earth Nation and hold democratic elections and so on. How she gets taken out is probably some combination of Korra plus her team as in previous seasons.

BUT will there also be some big spirity to-do with the vines, and the sensing powers, and the constant "don't need the Avatar" messages, and so on? Like, we end up with no Avatar, or Everyone Has Powers, or even No One Has Powers, or other really big change? That's what I'm wondering. I don't know if the writers are going to blow things up that much.
posted by emjaybee at 8:02 AM on November 17, 2014

we end up with no Avatar, or Everyone Has Powers, or even No One Has Powers

My money's on no one has powers. Her connection to past avatars is already cut so the line will end with her and she'll take away everyone's powers and there will be an explosion that destroys all technologies and reshapes the geology of the planet, making it finally resemble Earth and she'll settle in what will come to be known as Sicily and then I can claim that I descended from her. (Geneaology-shipping)

But seriously, I'm kind of disappointed in the Hometree/AVATAR plot lift. But I think if Small Dollar's characterization as a surveillance hub is accurate, it makes a lot of sense.

More far-seeing with the banyan tree. I think Kuvira has designs on the swamp, maybe as a surveillance hub. Perhaps the clear-cutting is a result of mech training for an invasion.
posted by Small Dollar at 3:51 PM on October 24 [+] [!]

Cameron's Avatar talked about how the whole world was connected and the information passing between the roots of the planet was better than any cable/fiber-optic connection on Earth, but his movie never really delved into that any deeper.

I can't wait for Kuvira to stumble upon the first metalbender and get her ass handed to her.
posted by GrapeApiary at 9:55 AM on November 17, 2014

My expectation is that the end result of the show will not be a reset concerning powers, as the world has been the way it is since Wan revealed that humans could live beyond the protection of the lion turtles over 10,000 years ago. The series will end with the world in a place it was in prior to Korra's arrival in Republic City, bending wise, but I do think there's a possibility of the expansion of democracy in the Earth Kingdom lands. Since we haven't had one over arching villain like the first show, no Ozai and invading Fire Nation, this show has been much more focused on Korra and her own personal development as the Avatar. Any major change will focus on her and her role as the Avatar, be it depowered or confident in herself and her role in the present day society of the Avatar world. My bet is on the former.

The attack on the Swamp remains to me a domino on the path to Republic City. Toph will not allow Kuvira's forces to be successful in their harvesting of the vines and will send them packing (Kuvira will not be present), and this will leave Republic City as the sole source of such vines in the material non-spirit world. Alternatively, the spirit vines in the Swamp will simply empower Kuvira's military ability to strike at Republic City. Either way, I don't see the swamp being the main battleground for the conclusion of the show, unless the conclusion covers different geographic areas (which ATLA did to be honest).

I wave my Republic City as the focal point of the conclusion flag steadfastly, though, and just have to believe that the writers are setting the show up to end right where it began.
posted by Atreides at 12:54 PM on November 17, 2014 [1 favorite]

I liked the Reunion scene at the restaurant and I'm glad the weirdness w/S2 and Mako has not appeared again. It's not like I dislike Mako but I dislike how parts of LoK ended up being stuck w/him as a focus point vs more interesting factors.

Not sure why Kuvira wants to kick out all the other Benders from the Earth Kingdom? Wouldn't that just decrease the overall population? Does she intend to go into isolationism as a political policy? Then, later conquer all the other nations after building up their army/mechas?
posted by chrono_rabbit at 2:52 PM on November 17, 2014

Kuvira's whole "Unity, Strength, Progress! *cough* Fascism!" thing is a group identity appeal. Outgroupers are likely to be more resistant to group identity appeals, and stigmatizing the outgroup might actually strengthen the appeal for the in-group.
posted by weston at 4:29 PM on November 17, 2014

This isn't exactly a recap, but an excellent analysis, at Comics Alliance. Good stuff:

...those like Suyin, whose neutrality damns them in the eyes of the common man. Zaofu, a city built around a skill only “one in one hundred Earthbenders have,” is an art deco paradise of technology and culture where a family like the Beifongs can explore dance, art, and architecture. That’s great. No shame in progress. But when Kuvira declares that Zaofu “has been hoarding their riches and technology for too long,” and promises to “distribute those resources fairly throughout the nation”—and then, for the right to do so, fights the obstinate Avatar one-on-one as she “would never ask you to do something that I wouldn’t do myself,” how can the common man not cheer? How can he be unperturbed by the chasm between his life and the Beifongss?
posted by emjaybee at 8:51 AM on November 18, 2014 [1 favorite]

Thanks for the link to CA. Yes, Kuvira's message is compelling but there is just a slight sharp edge that I find unsettling because it's just too perfect, you know?

True, it's a lot easier to convince everyone to believe in one thing if most of the people in the Earth Kingdom are Earthbenders too but what about all the non benders? I don't think Kuvira will exactly be happy to let them do whatever they want under her future rule. I suppose they can be farmers or laborers for benders.

Although aren't there more non benders than benders in the towns? Since bending is hereditary and I don't really see how it's much better than living under the Earth Queen's control before and now.
posted by chrono_rabbit at 4:02 PM on November 18, 2014

On the TLOK Facebook page they just posted a still from The Blind Bandit and said "We're throwing this thursday back to Toph's origins."

I've been waffling on whether or not they're going to make us wait until tomorrow or another episode to see Toph again, but maybe that's a hint.
posted by weston at 6:56 PM on November 20, 2014 [1 favorite]

We now have the answer, but when I saw the still on the facebook page, I immediately assumed that today's episode was going to be heavy, or at least feature, Toph, especially given how the last episode ended.

posted by Atreides at 12:25 PM on November 21, 2014

Yep. I definitely feel a bit trolled.

"The universe just loves proving me wrong!"
"You make it too easy!"

I guess the plus side is it gives me a little more time to speculate about specifics related to Toph's future appearance.

I don't know if Kuvira will be specifically aware of Toph's interference by name, but if she does, I suspect Toph would prove almost irresistible for her to seek out. We can see she's got a reflexive distaste for anything that offers resistance: she seems near compulsive about manipulating or forcing things into place in her vision. But more, I think her solo matches against first the bandits and then the Avatar show that she is accustomed to enjoying going into a fight -- even where odds may appear challenging in one way or another -- testing her skills, and coming out the winner. Toph would offer a new challenge and a potential victory trophy that might match beating the Avatar one-on-one.

So unless Kuvira is either pressed with other matters or taken down some other way first, I think there's a case for an encounter between the two.
posted by weston at 9:39 PM on November 21, 2014 [1 favorite]

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