The Legend of Korra, Episode 1: After All These Years
The first and foremost application of a season opener is to set the stage for possible and imminent conflicts. In short, season four’s opener gladly did all of that. Without revealing the entirety of episode one, we can look towards the season trailer. Within the trailer we are given a character (Kuvira) that is seemingly framed as an aggressor and antagonist. Given the minor role she had in season three, her output and imminent prominence is a huge contrast that is highlighted in the first episode of season four. Kuvira’s stance as an (possible) antagonist is interesting — like so many antagonists before her, her thought perception and stance is morally ambiguous.
At the same time, episode one explores how each character came to terms from the events of season 3. Bolin, Mako, Asami — basically everyone major and minor make an appearance. A new addition to the long list of characters is Prince Wu, who is an interesting figure that is commonly repeated in stories revolving around the idea of “a soon to be king that is young, who happens to be an a-hole and is absolutely clueless.” Korra also makes an appearance — a brief one — that foreshadows a large list of personal struggles; she also has a pretty cool new hairdo.
Essentially, episode one was successful in laying out and building up tension. After All These Years also seems to promise a lot of side conflicts and further character development. As a minor note however, this episode felt a bit slow, possibly because of all the introduction and re-introduction of settings and characters. It’s like going to huge family dinner: all of those family introductions—especially the new ones—can wear you down (not to mention those extremely hyper kids). Yet again, I feel like that is a bit unfair to say because this series has matured and exponentially moved away from its Avatar: The Last Airbender roots. I don’t mind that because the themes that The Legend of Korra deals with is thought provoking, but the playful side of the show is slowly getting lost. However, the maturity aspect of the show is moving along side Korra’s growth as a young adult, and that is symbolically significant. Basically what I’m trying to do is pulling at straws but these damn writers… they’re too good for their own good. ALSO, WHERE’S PABU?!