The season starts by reintroducing Republic City and Asami and Mako as well as the soon to be Earth King Wu, whom Mako is formally tethered to. We learn and see that the city and world in general have advanced significantly, all the while the Earth Kingdom struggles to rebuild.
The Air Nation representatives in Opal and Kai arrive at the Earth state of Yi. Remember, the Earth Kingdom was previously a Monarchy under imagined feudal principles, so this state appears to operate independently, even if only because of the events in the Third Season.
The “Great Uniter” Kuvira makes her debut with Bolin and Varrick. They run into some trouble on the road from “Bandits,” which Kuvira methodically dispatches and forces to enlist in her army of conquest proportions. We are left feeling a sort of manipulation that is laid on a bit too thick.
Back at Republic City, we see Mako and Wu’s strange relationship in action, which culminates in a failed “assassination attempt” involving Strawberry Pies and some shady dudes. Mako thwarts what appear to be “Kuvira Supporters,” but I’m skeptical.
Meanwhile, the Kuvira mobsquad arrives in Yi and Bolin reunites with Opal and Kai. Their relationship is strained when Kuvira reveals to be marrying Opal’s oldest brother Baatar, mentioned in the Third season, and discussed as having betrayed the family within the gap in the action. We see Kuvira strong-arming the state in a Mafioso way, and things come to a head when the Air Nation’s attempts at retrieving supplies is foiled by more “bandits.” It seems Kuvira gets what she wants… We also see the suits Varrick discussed in the third season!
We get a heartwarming scene with Tenzin’s children and inch closer to seeing Korra as a Water Nation ship arrives. Unfortunately, Tonraq reveals that Korra has been lying about her whereabouts, which leaves everyone guessing!
Then it finally happens. Boom.
We see Korra and her sexy new hair cut checking out the brawling underworld of the Earth Kingdom. She seems to have significantly lost a step, and appears beaten in more ways then one. When the fight promoter confronts her about her resemblance to the Avatar and asks “What ever happened to her anyway…”
Well, she replies exactly as we expect.
“I wouldn’t know.”
The episode ends sharply there, reminding the audience about Korra’s feeling of abandonment by the world, especially now that the Air Nation Superteam is up and running!
What I liked
– The start of this season felt more like a continuation of the last. The third season ended with such impact that its likely the only option, but even three years later, you feel like the entire world is still recovering.
– Varrick, Long story short. This is without question my favorite side character in any show next to Oberyn Martell, and the fact that he gets introduced immediately, on what appears to be the “evil” side really does wonders to help me feel like its just a continuation from where we left off, especially with the metal bending suits. Some times you gotta just “Lie big and leave fast.”
– Main Characters in their native environment. I always like the reunion feel. It works here, and surely sets up for the coming rifts between what was formerly satisfied parties.
– Korra’s Impact. Its easy to say that her absence was dropping the ball, but I feel the complete opposite. The last second of the third season made me yearn for her so hard that it is only right we wait for her. Her bad ass quotes may seem cliche, but I feel like its already starting to solidify her feelings about the world abandoning her. I mean how can that dude NOT know who she is? That’s proof enough to me that she feels forgotten.
What I did not like
– Super hero Air Benders? Seriously, what is that? I know its a cartoon and all, but the bit at the end of season three about rebuilding the air nation was such a deep, spiritual setting. It seems like they have revoked all things spiritual and gone into the commercial racket.
– I hate forced time elapse. With a passion. I understand that this is the last season and I know they will likely go back and explain what happened with Korra, but its just so silly to believe that everyone just went about their business with no contact from her. They were there when an anti-bending threat nearly wiped the city off the map, when a Dark Avatar nearly wiped the planet off the map, and when a evil mastermind nearly wiped the map off the map. JK guys three years passed, wonder what’s up with that Korra chick? Who’s that? Who cares rofl.
– Massive Technical advances. It takes longer then three years to build a bridge in my home town. How the hell did they build a train half way across the world… A minor gripe, but the whole time elapse thing is NO imo.
– Misdirection of the “evil.” I like Zelda’s character, but they went through such effort to show her strong-arming her way to the top and to make it seem like those bandits are part of her machine that it just HAS to be misdirection. I prefer the subtle approach we saw with Unalaq, where you get the feeling he is up to something, but it takes some time to get moving. With Kuvira, its obvious she is meant to be hated, but they just tried too hard to misdirect from what’s likely a deep rooted plot.
Either way, can not WAIT for next week!