After last weeks epic confrontation, it wasn’t a surprise that “Reunion” went off the main story a little. And while it was great to finally see Korra return and reunite with her friends, it came at a price. And by price I mean more Wu.
It seem hard to believe at the pace we’ve been going, but it really had been three years since Korra last saw Tenzin, Mako, and Asami (she still has yet to reunite with Bolin). So as I said it was great seeing them all try and bridge the gap that was now inbetween them. And it was great that what happened in those three years was brought to light quickly. Mainly that Korra wrote only to Asami and not to Mako or Bolin. However, while the awkwardness and tension was nice, it occasionally got out of hand. By that I mean each of them jumping down each others throats at the drop of the hat, all for to reconcile seconds later. “Like old times” indeed.
The test for the return of Team Avatar (or at least 3/4 of it) was to rescue a kidnapped Prince Wu (who I’ll get to in a second). Finding him proved difficult, but it allowed Korra to use her technique for sensing energy that she learned from Toph. It was really cool to see that technique come back into play, both with the vines in Republic City, and with just the ground below Korra! The rescue of Wu also led to a quick but fun battle on a train, that allowed each of them to show off their skills, and prove they aren’t rusty.
The better part of the episode was easily the Bolin/Varrick storyline. The two have apparently had it rough since fleeing the exploding train, and Varrick was not one to carry his own weight…literally! Varrick and Bolin have always had a fun dynamic, and it was brought out fully here. From Varrick still mourning the loss of Zhu Li, to Bolin again doing a rallying speech, and beyond, these two work so well together.
What made their story great though was the chance encounter with refugees from one of Kuvira’s “re-education camps”. While some may see this as a throwaway story with one-and-done characters, this actually helps show the effect Kuvira is having on the world. Her camps are real, and as one of the refugees said, they’re prisons, pure and simple. I doubt we’ll ever see one of the prisons, so having the refugees come from one and show their desperation to try and make they never go back was a big plus.
After forging some bonds of trust, Bolin and Varrick did their best to bypass a checkpoint (of Kuvira construction) and get the refugees to freedom. This led to even more comedy, as Varrick showed why you shouldn’t make him angry. But in truth the best part was the battle between the soldiers and the mini-mechs. The latter of which we’ve only seen in battle sparingly, but here we got a full showcase of their capabilities. From lightning attacks, to legs that can both jump and pin itself to the ground, the adaptability was amazing, showing why they’re a true threat to any bender.
Bolin also got some spotlight attention, especially in reference to his Lavabending, which he now uses like a boss. But it was Varrick who stole the show and the battle and made a makeshift EMP to short out the mechs. Yep, he’s still got that Varrick touch.
There are two complaints I have with “Reunion”, one large and one small. The large one is obviously Wu. MAN HE’S ANNOYING!!! Seriously, almost every scene he’s in is intolerable, and instantly brings the quality of the episode down. Thankfully, and mercifully, we seem to finally be rid of him. Thank you Avatar writers!
The small complaint is that though Korra returned to Republic City, we honestly didn’t get much development with how the other leaders were going to try and stop Kuvira. We had one conversation about Zao fu and then we’re at lunch with Asami and Korra. I would’ve like a little more movement. However, Kuvira did appear at the end, and showed just how much her superweapon means to her. I think certain swamp lady is destined to make another appearance.
In the end, “Reunion” was a fair episode that honestly relied a little to much on said reunions rather than developing the seasons story. There aren’t many episodes left, so let’s hope we get back on track in a big way next week.