Before we get to the review itself, I need to note something. This episode was never meant to exist. Seriously, it wasn’t. Creators Mike and Bryan took to Tumblr to explain why a clip episode was sandwiched in the last season.
“We got the news from the higher-ups that our Book Four budget was getting slashed, almost to the tune of an entire episode’s budget,” he wrote. “We had two options: 1) let go a significant number of crew members several weeks early, or 2) make a clips episode. We never considered the first option.”
He goes on, “What started out as a reluctant chore ended up being a really fun episode to make, and in the end I truly love it.”
So, that’s why we have a clip episode, one that they literally point out in the first few seconds by the narrator himself. I find myself torn heavily by this. On one hand I HATE that there’s a clip episode in the last six episodes. But on the other hand, I can’t fault Bryan and Mike for making it because it literally wasn’t their decision. So what’s a reviewer to do? Easy, stick to my guns and call it like it is. And what this is, is a clip show, thus, it’s not getting a good show.
I’ll give Bryan and Mike credit where it’s due, they played this whole episode with a fun angle. More or less giving good reasons why they were taking a trip down memory lane. For Mako and his story it was because Wu (who I still hate!) wanted to know more about him. It was funny to see Wu, and Mako’s family interact with each other with “color commentary” during the flashbacks, and they pointed out a lot of stuff fans have noted. Specifically about how the relationships of Mako/Korra/Asami were not the best. At the end though, though funny, it was still filler.
Then there’s Asami and Korra. Who literally had a back or forth of what had happened in the last three seasons. Unlike with Mako and Wu, this seemed more forced. Mainly because they both already knew the events of their lives, whereas Wu knew nothing (literally) about Mako. In comics, the words “too much exposition” can cripple a story, here was the same effect. Again, clip show!
Varrick and Bolin always have had a fun relationship, so why not show that in a clip show!? Again, I’ll give credit, this one was funny, as Varrick went full on movie promoter for this. As he “showcased” Bolin’s life (along with his own) to the refugees they met last week in “Reunion.” Varrick is truly the one character that can make a clip show worth it. And he did try his hardest.
So, in the end, where does that leave us? Well, it’s a clip show! What can we do? There was no advancement of story technically, which again is not Bryan and Mike’s fault. But I can’t give it a good score when we’ve seen it all before, right?
I have no doubt some people will enjoy this episode. If for no other reason than to rewatch three seasons of Legend of Korra in roughly 22 minutes. However, for those who are desperate for every new to air (as there are only five episodes left now…), you will be disappointed. Go into this knowing what’s going to happen, and what happened to cause this, and judge the episode accordingly. That’s what I did, and so should you.