We begin this episode with Korra and Jinora travelling into the spirit world. The art is super-beautiful, as are the spirit creatures. The transition between dark and light is smooth and well-done. I love how some of the same elements are preserved in the transformation; it’s a nice representation of how every creature has dark and light within them.
Back to the plot: Korra gets upset and they get separated. Jinora finds her butterfly-bunny, who helps her get to the great spirit library (which, if you’ve seen Avatar the Last Airbender, you’ll totally recognize this place). Within the spirit library, she meets the owl spirit and convinces him to let her look around the books so that she can find a map to the spirit portals. In a twist that I didn’t see coming, Unalaq is actually working with the guardian of the library, and he comes and captures Jinora.
Meanwhile, back with Korra, she gets dropped into a scary forest. She gets so scared that she regresses to child Korra. This is a really interesting choice for the creators. I’m not quite sure why they made this choice, but perhaps it shows how much Korra still needs to grow into being the Avatar? She hasn’t really finished her training, and she still doesn’t seem to have that peace and balance that Avatars represent.
While a child, Korra is petulant and terrified. When she thinks a bird attacks her, she hits it and injures the bird, which lies there pitifully. Korra sees how cute and harmless the bird actually is, and apologizes. She picks it up to try to help it in some way, but before she can go anywhere, the spirit of Iroh appears. (Yes! Love Iroh!) He brings her back to his home, where he is entertaining spirits for a wedding party.
On a side note, the bird’s injury was really cool looking. It looked like pieces of the bird’s spirit were missing. The holes glittered and glimmered, and it was a really cool effect. Anyway, back to the main plot…
Korra is there and enjoys herself, but then she gets super petulant and screams out that she wants Jinora now (stamps foot) and that she hates it here. This brings darkness over the land, and the spirits change into their darker natures. Iroh makes Korra see what her negativity and anger is doing to the spirits, and he manages to calm her down. He sends her on a mission to return the injured bird to its home, which is covered by darkness.
Though she doesn’t want to, Korra goes alone. She taps into her heart, love, and light and manages to convert the dark spirits who block her way to light spirits. When she puts the bird back in its nest, it combines with its brethren to become a giant light spirit. They fly to the spirit portals, where Korra begins to close the first one.
Unalaq is there, and he has Jinora. Because Korra and Jinora entered the spirit world as spirits, this means Unalaq can bend them, and they can’t bend back. He threatens to kill Jinora’s soul if Korra doesn’t open the second portal. Even though Jinora tells her not to, Korra opens the second portal, placing the whole world at risk.
Unalaq goes back on his word (duh) and doesn’t release Jinora. Instead, he captures Korra and beings to bend her out of existence. She’s saved by the bird spirit and is transported back to her body, but Jinora is still trapped in the spirit world. Tenzin understandably freaks out, and Korra is devastated.
At the end of the episode, I had a realization. Why did Korra even need to close the first portal? I know that Unalaq was causing havoc with the open portal, but if Vaatu can’t escape unless BOTH portals are open, why would you need to close the first one? Couldn’t Korra have just waited until the day after the harmonic convergence to close the first portal? If she hadn’t gone (pretty much defenseless) to the spirit world to try to close the first one (which didn’t really need to be closed), then the second one wouldn’t have been opened. Right?
Anyway, the episode was interesting and the art was beautiful. Let me know what you think about the story so far. Also, what do you think the writers were trying to say by turning Korra into a child during this episode?
New episodes air Fridays at 8 pm, EST.