In the third episode of the fourth season of The Legend of Korra, Prince Wu’s coronation is about as disastrous as I imagined. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch The Legend of Korra.
God, this show has gotten so good.
I don’t think the writers expected us to be entirely shocked by Kuvira’s actions here, since it had been made incredibly clear in the premiere episode that she was amassing power for a reason. But the coronation of Prince Wu was still a spectacle to witness because it went so badly so quickly. Now, that’s not entirely surprising either, considering that Wu had built up his expectations so high that the only thing left to happen was for it all to crumble terribly before his eyes. Wu is both privileged and naïve, and the possibility of failure hadn’t even crossed his mind. Even as a number of preparations for his ceremony fell apart, he still honestly believed that he’d still be king and that life in Ba Sing Se would be nothing more than an exercise in luxury.
I don’t exactly feel sorry for him, and that’s part of the dilemma that the writers create in pitting Prince Wu against Kuvira. I don’t think a single one of the world leaders believes that Wu is a good leader; they’re just desperate to have someone leading the Earth Kingdom. And after three years without anyone on the throne? Well, at least Wu is harmless, right? That’s… that’s something? Compared to Kuvira, of course, Wu seems like a saint. Everyone is also able to recognize that Kuvira’s whole aesthetic leaves a bad taste in their mouths. From her tyrannical overtones to all the rumors of what she’s done to states that wouldn’t join her, she’s got a hell of a reputation in the past couple years as the interim leader of the Earth Kingdom. Yet she’s done some good things, hasn’t she? Hasn’t she fed people who needed it? Protected others from bandits? I say that, and my brain immediately told me, “YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT ELSE SHE’S DONE, BE CAREFUL.”
Thus, the characters split. Some join Kuvira – like Baatar and Bolin – while others choose Wu since he’s the lesser of two evils. (Seriously, I don’t think any of these people actually like him.) It’s eerily like what happened between Tonraq and Unalaq, except on a grander scale. I feel like Kuvira’s decision to declare herself the default ruler of the Earth Kingdom will have massive ramifications in a very short amount of time. How are the other leaders going to react? Will they accept her or fight back? I imagine that they’re going to do the latter since Tenzin wants to find Korra as soon as possible. But THIS MAKES ME SO NERVOUS. What else is she capable of? What’s she developing with Varrick? What can the spirit vine do???
Toph and Korra
I am so thrilled that I get to type that because TOPH BEIFONG IS BACK. Holy shit, I missed her cruelty and her wittiness and her constant good advice, and I missed her picking on the Avatar at every possible opportunity. I admit that I actually started feeling bad for Korra once Toph started gleefully kicking the shit out of her. Korra had lost practically every sparring match she’d been in for the last three years, so I started getting tired watching her get her ass kicked. But that’s Toph’s style, and in hindsight, I can see how it leads Korra to a better place by the end of “The Coronation.” Toph’s relentless style leaves no room for sympathy, but I don’t know that sympathy is what Korra needs at this point. She certainly got a lot of it at the Southern Water tribe, and it did her some good at the time.
But what about now? We are given a hint of a breakthrough – Korra still has the metallic remains of Zaheer’s poison in her body – but it’s just an unfulfilled promise. Korra has other issues to deal with before she can remove the last of the poison, and she learns this the hard way from Toph. It’s frustrating to watch, as most of Korra’s rehabilitation scenes have been so far, but this one seems to hurt more than usual, especially since it felt like the solution to most of Korra’s problems. Of course, there’s no easy answer for Korra, and there hasn’t been one for her before.
And shit, I don’t know what Korra needs next. I really don’t. How does she get over PTSD? I mean, that’s not how it works! But it’s also clear that her visions of her confrontation with Zaheer are still haunting her deeply, you know? They’re a block to her progress, but one that’s entirely understandable.
This is a tough one, both to figure out and to watch.
The video for “The Coronation” can be downloaded here for $0.99.
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