I have just finished the fourth episode of the fourth series of The Legend of Korra.
In The Calling, Korra finally confronts her fears. This enables her to metal bend the poison administered by the Red Lotus out of her body.
Korra gains the strength to remove the poison by reconnecting with the world through a great tree deep in the swamp. This tree has roots that spread far and wide. They see what is happening around them. Korra taps into this to achieve her reconnection.
The tree stands as a metaphor for the healing power of community; and both in the context of LoK and as a general statement, that’s good. What is a shame – for me, anyway – is that Korra arrived at the tree so suddenly. One minute she was suffering, the next Toph said let’s go to this tree. What was stopping her from suggesting this two episodes ago?
I might have missed something; but either way, the speed with which Korra’s remaining physical and psychological pain was overcome is not what will abide in my memory.
What will is how lightly The Calling dealt with some very serious issues. Lightly, and effectively, too.
For example, it occurred to me while watching the episode that Korra’s flashbacks could be interpreted as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Then there is the case of child kidnap when Ikki is taken by Kuvira’s soldiers. Meelo is self-confident to the point of being fundamentally selfish. You could write very disturbing dramas about all of these issues.
This preparedness to take on serious issues has been a feature of The Legend of Korra from its start. This, and its ability to weave the more serious storyline with the lighter or comedy plot lines, is what makes it a superior animation.
Back to the matter at hand. In the next episode, I assume that Korra will return to Republic City – and Asami. I am sure they will greet each other with smiles, but then what? And how will the restored Korra fare against the ever more powerful Kuvira?