The Legend of Korra: Coronation (4×03)
Synopsis: The day of Wu’s coronation has arrived, with more than a few bumps along the road, while Korra gets a butt-kicking from Toph in the swamps.
The day has finally come for Wu’s coronation. The episode as a whole felt a little disjointed, from Wu’s whining to Kuvira’s new Earth Empire to Korra and Toph in the swamps. Instead of being a strong stand alone episode, it put many things into place that are obviously going to be heavy hitting plots in the coming season.
As much as I wanted to watch six hours of Wu’s coronation, with Mako bored out of his mind at the side, it was a fitting move to have his opulent ceremony parsed down to nothing more than a medal awarding ceremony with as little pomp and circumstance as possible. It’s a heavy handed move from Kuvira and her supporters to remind Wu that he is no longer in power, and never really has been.
Of course, for Wu, this doesn’t seem to register with him until he’s handed an earring instead of a crown and his citizens are sporting Kuvira t-shirts on his coronation day. He’s never going to be much of a ruler, and it’s hard not to agree with some of Kuvira’s rally cries about royalty who have lost touch with their people. This tension between two sides hits close to home when we have Mako and Bolin on opposite sides.
As unfit for ruling as Wu is, Mako can see Kuvira strong arming the citizens as much as the royalty were neglecting them. Bolin, who has been at Kuvira’s side during her conquests, sees the benefits to Kuvira’s presence as steward, witnessing first hand as dilapidated neighborhoods and villages are replenished with food and supplies. He’s as good of a representative for the benefits of Kuvira’s rule as anyone. However, let’s not forget, Kuvira’s empire requires an emperor, and while she’s touting the failings of the royals, the people are trading in a king for an emperor.
With the avatar still gone, this imbalance is left unchecked and we are starting to see the balance tip once more between the human world and the spirit world as we get brief glimpses of Varrick attempting to harness the Spirit Vine energy for Kuvira’s machinations. Varrick, whose character normally gets a good laugh from the audience, is still an ambitious snake in my eyes, and pretty much is setting up the issues we’re going to have to face in the future.
In the swamps, we find Toph and Korra training, or rather Toph kicking Korra’s butt. It’s great to get some of Toph’s tough love back on the screen. From coddling to kidgloving, it’s time for the avatar to get some real talk from someone who has first hand experience dealing with the avatar’s problems. We find out from Toph that Korra still has poison within her that wasn’t completely removed.
Few people are more in touch with their element than Toph and it’s funny to hear her scold Korra for not being able to sense metal in her own body since Toph seems to be able to be in touch with the whole world through just the vibrations in roots. As Korra must come to grips with her past before the poison can be expelled, Meelo, Ikki, and Jinora set off on a mission given by Tenzin to find her so that she can help with the Kuvira problem.