The Legend of Korra: “Reunion” REVIEW
Sometimes after a bad lost, one needs to take time to reset. Take it easy and get back in the groove of things. This is what Korra does during her first return to Republic City for the first time in three years. She needs an easy win and who better to help her get one than friends Mako and Asumi?
“Reunion” feels like a nostalgic a throwback to earlier adventures like “When Extremes Meet” in the broad premise of Team Avatar in Republic City doing some good and getting a check in the win column, all while the great threat hangs in the background. The characters even recognize these too and this makes for some enjoyable moment of reflection from a show that will soon be ending.
For the most part, Korra’s return to Republic City is a pleasant one. Yes, Kuriva did beat her in a rather embarrassing way; however, it’s hard to feel too bad when Korra is being comforted by the warm embrace and wisdom of Tenzin. It has been three years for Korra and six episodes for us. It’s great to see her back to together with her extended family no matter what the circumstance is. Just as well it’s great to see Korra back together with Mako and Asumi. What makes this reunion interesting isn’t only the characters reconnecting with each other after all these years, but Mako’s third wheel/work assignment Prince Wu tagging along making this already tense meeting awkward.
Yes the reunion gets surprisingly tense quick. Turns out people change over time and expecting to pick up relationships right where you left off isn’t realistic. The friends have some issues to work out, like wondering what’s up with Korra and Asumi, given the latter was the only one korra contacted, while Asumi doesn’t feel Korra has the right to judge her, given her time away. This is all made worst by Wu’s hilariously bad flirting with Korra, who is having none of it. Wu would be the element that brings the team back together. The one time Mako doesn’t watch him go to the bathroom, Wu is kidnapped by Kuriva supporters and Team Avatar has to hunt him down.
It’s a good bonding experience, as the team bicker at one another, working out their differences, while at the same time showing off all they have learned and experienced in their time away. Wu, even drugged, is still funny, his royal conceitedness runs deep. Asumi’s architect knowledge of the city, along with Korra’s new spirit tracking ability leads them to the prince, allowing the Team to save him before he was smuggled out of the city. In the end, Mako’s quick thinking hides the prince in the one place he can truly feel like a king – with Mako’s Grandmother. An easy win for team Avatar and one they will need, as the battles ahead are sure to be much more difficult.
Way back in Book One, some fans jokingly nicknamed a character “Mof” for “Mako’s only fan,” A dig at Mako’s somewhat anti-social demeanor back them. This is in stark contrast to Bolin, who has always been generally liked by the public. Even while on the run with Varrick, Bolin proves why he is a man of the people. The two make an excellent pair As Pj Bryne and John Michael Higgin nail all there lines. Zhu Li must be not be compliment on the patience, for putting up with all of Varrick’s nonsense for all those years, but also her strength, apparently carrying the him 20 miles on her back the first time the two had to escape from Republic City. Once Varrick tries to do the same for Bolin, the two are captured in a trap set by other Earth Empire runways.
If there were any doubts about Kuriva’s treatment of people, the experiences told by these runaways will surely be enough to change minds. The charismatic leader not only has been locking up people who disagree with her, but she’s also been imprisoning anyone not of Earth Kingdom origin. The group of Water and Firebenders that captured Bolin and Varrick has been on the run for weeks, looking for a way to cross a border checkpoint so they can escape the Earth Empire. The two sides agree to help one another, with the hopes Bolin and Varrick’s officer’s uniforms with be enough to get them through. It doesn’t work, as Kuriva has already sent out wanted posters for the two ex-members of her inner circle.
The fight sequence with the mecha-suits, the other benders and Bolin is exciting. Bolin’s growth as a bender is unquestionable, constantly switching between earth and lavabeding effortlessly. What’s even cooler are the subtleties in the animation. Earthbending already is a very grounded style, with strong stances and big movements, but when Bolin switches to lavabending, his stances are even wider, arms lifting higher, ripping the earth below into molten rock. It is so beautiful to watch. Even Varrick gets in on the action, creating an EMP, giving the groups the perfect opportunity to make it past the checkpoint. Even though Bolin had nothing to do with the Kuriva’s prison camps, he apologizes for all that has happened to the runaways and promises to make things right. This is why Bolin has always been loved as a Pro-bender, Mover-star and now rebel on the run — he always fights for the people.
Happy times don’t last. The final shots of the episode show Kuriva and army starting the process of harvesting the roots of the Banyan-Grove tree for her spirt bomb project. Toph will not be happy about this. “Reunion” is another excellent episode of The Legend of Korra. Book Four may not have the minute to minute intensity of Book Three, with the Red Lotus constantly stealing scenes. This book has been a great character study and the testament to the series’ truly wonderful world building.