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REVIEW: Legend of Korra 4×04 “The Calling”

Written by Scott Swartz

I’ll be honest I really just want Toph to summarize everything that happened today: Korra was sick, now she’s not, I met a kid. That is a fairly straight forward summary of what happened in “The Calling” as the airbender kids were sent off on a mission to find our heroine only to be sidetracked by zany antics and old school Avatar shenanigans. In the mean time Toph did what Toph does best, be blunt as all hell about what is going on and make Korra realize she has to let go of the past. It wasn’t a bad plot line or even one that was frustrating after we got into it, but rather the episode when we look back on it will feel rather superfluous to the entire plot of the season. I mean Korra’s issue has been dragged out to it’s longest possible conclusion and that is saying something. So let’s dive in.

It’s taken me four books to realize it but all of Aang’s grandkids represent some element of Aang’s personality from the original series. This makes the prospect of them going on an adventure both exciting and depressing at the same time. I love getting to see Ikki bond with the random Earth Empire guys or Meelo try to be both smooth and goofy at the same time. However, in the end I really just wanted them to find Korra much earlier in the episode rather than spending so much time on antics that did not really amount to anything. Yes, we found out the Earth Empire is planning to take Zaofu, but we knew that on some level so that information quickly became irrelevant. What was the most frustrating out of this entire story was the fact that Jinora, the so called leader and master was entirely useless until Korra signaled her. I realize that the swamp has mystical properties, but if Jinora is as overpowered as she has been portrayed than she should have know where Korra was once they entered the swamp.

As for the strong part of the episode, Toph continues to kill it in her sagely advice and ability to just be as cool as humanly possible. It feels like by injecting Toph into the show we have gained something that has been sorely missing from the story so far. Yes, Korra has been bullheaded and brash, but no character in the series has behaved in the way Toph has. Toph in two episodes has done more to call Korra on her faults and failures than any character in the entirety of Korra. Toph’s ability to notice that all of Korra’s opponents started out with good intention but went to far in their desires was great. Tenzin as the voice of reason has always been on Korra’s side of the argument but no one has ever played the devils advocate in the way Toph did. Korra’s opponents have not been genocidal warlords like Ozai, but rather choose to focus on smaller issues to change the world.

As for our heroine, she has finally learned to let go of her past and that the only thing she can effect any change in is the future. It should be fun to see if Korra is truly back to fighting form now that the mercury is out of her body or if she still has some sort of mental hurdle to overcome. All I can really hope for is that the team will be back together soon enough and that we will only see escalation in this conflict moving forward. We are all waiting to see exactly where all of the side characters are and what they are up to.

Overall it was an okay episode

Final Grade C

+Korra confronting her enemies

+Toph summarizing her old adventured

+Plot can finally move forward

-Avatar kids adventure was really useless

-No need for the Earth Empire side characters

-Jinora did absolutely nothing

Extra Thoughts

-“I threw some rocks at the Avatar, he got all whiny and Sokka fell in a hole.” She forgot fufu cuddly poops.

-Toph is just gonna continue to hide in her cave, alright then.

-So somewhere on the Avatar subreddit there is an idea that the old gang might make like the Old Masters in the finale and actually fight all out. Please let this happen, Zuko needs to regain some honor after his fight with Zaheer.

About the author

Scott Swartz