Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Legend of Korra: “Remembrances” recap and review

by Kayla Kenney, Writing Intern

Nickelodeon Studios
The Legend of Korra shocked and potentially upset fans, on Friday, with a recap episode. Embedding this into the final season only slowed down the momentum.

Mako & Prince Wu: In the previous episode, Kuvira’s followers captured Prince Wu. At the end, they decided to place him with Mako and Bolin’s family, in Asami’s house. This week, the episode begins with Mako teaching Prince Wu some defense mechanisms. However, this soon turns into Mako rehashing his old, love quarrels with Korra and Asami.

Korra & Asami: Korra confides to Asami that she doesn't feel like she’s a good enough avatar to bring down Kuvira’s army, and reinstall peace in the Earth Kingdom. Asami reassures her with a recounting of her past villains. She reminds Korra what peace she’s already brought as the avatar.

Bolin & Varrick: Last episode, the two set sail to the north, with new alliances. This time, as they cruise the waters, Varrick thinks of a new story to promote Bolin. He begins a telling of Bolin’s tale throughout the seasons. The tale goes completely wacky and untruthful to what really happened. Bolin tries to butt in. Varrick won’t have it. He claims he’s thought of a story that'll sell. All the other passengers aboard the boat agree with applause.

“Remembrances” leaves the show at a standstill. Sure, it’s humorous at times. The recap episodes are not needed, though. Especially in the middle of the final season! The show’s moving at a slow pace as it is. It needs to pick up the action—not stop and retell all the seasons in one episode. If you're watching, you're likely to know everything that already happened.

This episode would be skip-worthy if it weren't for the comedy. It’s not your typical recap episode. It’s not just clip upon clip of old episodes to show the audience the progression of the storyline.

This episode includes recaps from three point of views: Mako, Korra, and Bolin. Mako tells his story to a new character. This seems like something that would actually happen. The same goes for Korra, confessing her self-doubts to Asami. Inserting the clips of previous episodes this way seems clever and thought out.

Also new here, pop up animations appear of whoever happens to be talking during the clip. They're nearly always hilarious. As Mako talks, Prince Wu constantly interrupts him. His little, animated face will pop into view as the clip pauses. The way it’s done in the show perfectly exemplifies a person who is telling a story and constantly getting interrupted by that one loud mouth. Prince Wu simply cannot keep his mouth shut. It’s also comical because all the points he brings up were things that everyone thought during the old episodes’ original airings. His grandma’s interjections of “Yep, just like your grandfather,” when he discussed his mess of a love life with Korra and Asami added even more humor. They were like the cherry on top of it all.  

Bolin and Varrik may represent the show making fun of itself. A scene with Varrick always leads to something obscene. Here, Varrik makes up the most ridiculous story of Bolin’s plot line. He links it back to Bolin’s days as a movie star. It’s funny when Bolin interjects as a pop-up animation to claim that things didn't happen that way. Varrik just talks over him. As Varrik’s story wraps up, the rest of the people on the boat are immensely interested. Bolin’s frustrated. It’s the kind of thing Varrik’s character would do. He stays true to himself. The part also adds a lightness to the episode. It’s not a strict recap episode. This part’s proof. The episode can play around. It provides a certain sense of relief to the viewer, who might watch it for the sake of watching it.

Humor aside, this episode gives the Korra audience nothing. It’s shoved, unnecessarily, into the final season. It’s a filler episode, where fillers aren't needed. The show has the potential to do so much more. Oddly, it meanders about with recap episodes, when the audience just wants some action. 
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