The Legend of Korra: “The Coronation” REVIEW
This week’s episode of The Legend of Korra was all about politics. While it may have been short on action, sometimes one has to slow down to lay the ground work for the larger elements later on. With all the major players in place, “The Coronation” steps back so the conflict can grow.
Do not get me wrong, it is ok to slow down and take things in. Unlike The Last Airbender, Korra’s shorter seasons mean each episode has to almost always be advancing the main plots of the book. “The Coronation” still fits that mold, doing plenty to advance the story, only with slower pacing. There are still a few action bits, mostly Korra getting her butt whipped by Toph during their training sessions. The old earthbennding master is in complete bliss being able to torment the Avatar again. Toph may be old, but her moves show restraint, accuracy and power, only using the minimum efforts needed to defend and attack. We don’t get to seem much of Toph in action, but it’s such a visual contrast to the raw power of the earthbendding normally seen on the show.
Toph has been living in the swamp, but she’s far from disconnected. She’s expanded her earthbennding abilities, using the deep roots of the trees, she can see all around the world. Toph’s not only whipping the Avatar into fighting shape, but giving Korra some tough advice. She basically says “Yea doesn’t really matter that’s you are the Avatar, there is always going to be evil in the world.” Using her own experience as a Chief of Police, Toph can relate to Korra’s fears, but at the same time tells her she’s should not place her entire self-worth into her job. Korra still feeling physically weak discovers there are still small amounts of Zaheer’s metal poison in her body. Basically this is the physical manifestation of Korra’s depression and she will have to remove it herself, as one of her final steps in recovery.
While Korra still has some hard work to do, Republic City is getting ready for the coronation of Prince Wu, who is still not winning over anyone in the competent leader department. Not that President Riko and Tenzin do not see this, they would like to stabilize the Earth Kingdom as quickly as possible and with the disturbing reports coming in about Kuvira’s tactics, Wu “appears” their best option. Wu, by the way is less concerned about the state of the Earth Kingdom but how the spectacle of his coronation will turn out.
With the Coronation only hours away, all the world leaders are getting settled in Republic city. Bolin and Mako have a fun, yet tense reunion. Bolin also has a hilarious encounter with Eska, who thinks Bolin has replaced her with Kuvira. Suyin’s reunion with Bataar Jr isn’t as welcoming, as the tension between mother and son still there stemming from his exit from Zaofu. At the actual coronation, Kuriva waste no time getting down to business: basically making Wu’s coronation her own, dropping a bomb shell on all the leaders announcing the formation of The Earth Empire led by herself. Making matters worst, Kuvira’s first political statement is an isolation policy, threatening all the other nations to stay out of Earth Empire territories.
Kuvira makes some hard points to argue with. She’s worked three long years to get the Earth Kingdom back in order and she didn’t do it only to hand it over to an idiot king. But just as Zaheer, it’s hard to agree with all her methods. Bolin is clearly concerned but still wants to believe in Kuvira, if not her but the work he has done with her to help clean up the Earth Kingdom and make things safer for his family. Still his loyalty to her brings him into conflict with his brother.
These events result in a break down for Wu. It’s clear he doesn’t understand what at stake here and what it means to actually run a county. When he sees Kuvira supporters in Little Ba Sing Se, he tries to re-subjugate them by attacking them with a fruit smoothie. Wu has a lot of learning to do, lucky Mako is there to tell it to him straight.
With Korra still “missing” and Kuvira’s power move, Tenzin sets his eldest three children to go find the Avatar. “The Coronation” may be light on action, but it lays the foundation for the remainder of the Book. Korra may not be at the forefront, but episodes like this give the show’s wonderful extended cast a chance to shine as well.