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The Legend of Korra Newbie Recap: “Remembrances”

Korra screenshot

“Huh, that’s weird. Why is the ‘last time on’ guy talking about stuff that happened in previous seasons? ‘Sit back, relax, and take a trip down memory lane’? Oh, no … it’s not … it is … IT’S A CLIP SHOW.”

screaming horror gif

Now, when Avatar did a clip show, it was pretty sweet, because they did something a li’l fun with it. Korra … did not, particularly. I mean, they tried? Maybe? An effort was made.

And why’s this happening mid-way through the final season, anyway?

Did the showrunners plan to do an episode that was all Korra and Asami braiding each other’s hair and making out, but Nickelodeon told them no, so they had to figure something else out at the last minute?

I am thoroughly unimpressed by everything this episode chooses to be.

eyeroll gif

We start out with Mako training Wu, who realizes that he knows nothing about his bodyguard/best friend for hire. So Mako tells him about how he came to be the pile of brooding faux-cool dorkassness whom we know and kind of love today. Except, oh wait, Mako’s telling Wu about season one, aka LOVE TRIANGLE BULLSHIT.

Shoot me in the face. I thought I’d never have to think about that stuff again. Korra liked Mako, and Mako liked Korra too but he was dating Asami, then Korra kissed him and he and Asami broke up because of his feelings for Korra, then he and Korra broke up and he got back together with Asami but Korra had amnesia so she thought they were still together and

leave me alone to die gif from lilo and stitch

It’s consolation that Wu, Mako’s grandmother Yin and his cousin Tu point out that Mako’s romantic exploits kindasorta paint him as a raging dickweasel, but only a small one. I could have done without the reminder of that time Korra got on my every damn nerve at all.

Next up for a trip down memory lane are Korra and Asami. You’d think Asami would already be up to date on Korra’s self-worth angst issues, because she talks about them literally all the time, but I guess they spend most of their time together on less speech-oriented pursuits, like tonsil hockey.

winking gif

ANYWAY. Korra’s all “everything sucks all the time and life is pointless” like a teenage emo queen. Asami points out that just because bad guys keep popping up (LIKE DAISIES!) doesn’t mean Korra’s accomplished nothing at all. Republic City got free elections after she exposed Aman, and she brought the human and spirit worlds together. And she turned into the jolly blue giant that one time. That was cool. Korra’s having none of it. It’s very

melancholy guitar music gif

Tenzin pops up for two seconds to give Korra a pep talk about how much she’s matured and how she’s an inspiration to the world now and blah bllllllahhhhhhh. There is only one person who can rescue the episode at this point, and it is

varrick screenshot


Varrick and Bolin are on a ship with their new buddies, who—you will remember from last episode—are escapees from one of Kuvira’s “reeducation camps.” Varrick proceeds to tell his shipmates Bolin’s story, but presented as one of his fancy-schmancy “movers,” which means everything is wrong. In Varrick’s version of Korra‘s last few seasons, Bolin is the one who defeated all the bad guys, saved Korra’s life, inadvertently invented stars, and, oh yeah, TURNED INTO A DRAGON.

Uhhhhhhh a dragon?

The only part of this episode that was legitimately entertaining for more than a second and a half is the way Varrick described the past season’s big bads—Aman, Unalaq, Varrick and “evil kite” Vaatu—as a “terror square” who coordinate their evil schemes by hopping on a conference call. Unalaq, “the diabolical but incredibly boring and unpopular sorcerer from the North” (yup) is the one everyone keeps trying to avoid. I chuckled half-heartedly.

don't go making phonycalls

And… that’s it for “Remembrances.” It’s my least favorite episode by far. I feel like Korra let me down. Which means, by extension, I let you down, because how are you supposed to recap a bullshit episode like this? “The Ember Island Players” had areas of interest, at least. There was a vague plot outside the flashback stuff, which was itself handled in an original, compelling manner. And it ended on an emotional beat (“Holy shit, it’s going to be completely impossible for them to beat Ozai, isn’t it?”) different than the one it started on. “Remembrances,” though…

malarkey gif joe biden

I have to give you something that’s not Korra angsting (more) and Mako being hopeless at romance and Varrick being a fabulist. Have you sen this death metal cover of “Over the Rainbow”? It has nothing to do with Korra at all, but it’s pretty rad:

MVP Screencap:

Rebecca makes a displeased face.

My face watching this episode.

Rebecca has newbie recapped Avatar and Battlestar Galactica for The Mary Sue before. She photoshopped The Rock’s head on a dolphin once. You can find her at Film Journal International, Pajiba, or on Twitter.

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