I said last review that if the following episode was not all about Korra and Toph then the episode would officially be a fail.
WARNING: Spoilers below.
Ok, getting back to serious mode for a second, “The Coronation” was an episode focused on advancing storylines on many fronts. Some were great, others…not so much.
Let’s start with the epic shall we? Toph is EPIC!!!! No, SUPER EPIC!!! She might be old in age, but she acts like the Blind Bandit we all know and love. This is the Toph this show needed and deserved. Watching her totally own Korra was great. Yet it was her moments of wisdom and clarity that showed how truly epic Toph was. Reciting how her time on the beat showed her the truth about the world. That the names and faces change, but evil will always remain. Chilling words indeed.
More than that though, her reveal that her connection with the world is now stronger than ever before. Allowing her not only to everything, but see EVERYTHING!!!! To the extent that we found out the truth about Korra’s condition. In that some of the metal poison was still within her.
I’ll save my feelings on that for later, but I want to comment now on how Toph called out Korra for being in a twisted state of emotions. On one hand, it’s clear she wants to be the Avatar again, yet her flashing back to the battle with Zaheer proved that she’s still shaken to her core, and as Toph stated, doesn’t want to be hurt again.
The second powerful storyline in the episode was the one featuring Kuvira. Who finally made the play many were expecting, and usurped power for herself. But not to be the next Earth Queen, oh no, she is now the ruler of the first Galactic Empire!!!
…what’s that? Oh it’s the Earth Empire? My bad.
But truly this did have a Palpatine/Star Wars feel, as when she finished her speech the crowd cheered her decision. I honestly wouldn’t have been surprised if one of the good characters said, “So this is how liberty dies, with thunderous applause”.
What really sold this though was not only her speech to the people, but her conversation with Su afterward. We still don’t know everything that happened between these two, but it’s clear that more is to come. And it will not pretty. I liked especially when Su called out Kuvira and stated “how are you any better?” Every tyrant believes they’re better than the alternative right? And they’ll do what they believe is right by the people, so how is Kuvira not a tyrant?
And then there’s Bolin. I noted in my review of “After All These Years…” that I was worried about Bolin. That sentiment has not gone away. I loved how they showed his hesitancy to join Kuvira’s new empire, but his 180 afterwards and the conversation with Mako really made me uneasy. Cause now he’s part of the bad guys whether he believes it or not.
A twist in the tale came at the end with Varrick trying to harness the power of the spirit vines. What will come of it? We don’t know…yet. But if Varrick’s involved, you know it’s going to be big and flashy.
Sadly, this leads to the worst part of the episode…Wu. Seriously, get rid of this kid! When I heard a synopsis of this episode I knew he wouldn’t die or anything…but I was hoping! I know that sounds harsh, but every scene this guy is in brings down the episode. Mako’s tough love speech to him was great, but why didn’t that happen sooner!
My other problem with “The Coronation” was the little details. First off was Raiko, who believed that Kuvira would return power because “she gave her word”, really? That’s your belief in this?
Second was the weird scene featuring Tenzin and his kids. True, it’s not surprising that he turned to his children to go find Korra, but it just felt out of place.
Finally, the reveal of Korra’s condition persisting because of the poison still in her system. On one hand, this gives a logical and believable reason for why she’s still down and out. However, this kind of raises questions as to how much it’s affecting her, and why it’s still affecting her. If she was still paralyzed, or couldn’t use her bending, it’d be all fair. But this rings of something funky. And about the “dark version” of Korra that haunted her last episode? What’s its role in all this? I’m not going to judge too harshly as I’m sure it’ll work out, but if this turns out to be a case of Su not realizing the poison was still in Korra, I’m going to be let down.
In the end, “The Coronation” moved the storylines of the season forward in new and interesting ways. War is coming to the Earth Kingdom, Korra is still not healed, and friendships are about to be tested to their limits. I can’t wait to see how it plays out.
Oh yeah, and best line of the episode?
“I’m the original Beifong!”