It may be too early to say this, but I’m going to go ahead and toss out the idea that currently Bolin is Season Four’s MVP. While he isn’t on screen as much as the other members of Team Avatar in this episode, it’s his plot that provides the most exciting action sequences and character moments.
“Reunion” is split into two plots. There’s the reunion between Mako, Asami and Korra as she returns to Republic City, and there’s Bolin and Varrick meeting up with re-education camp members who’ve escaped. There are some very strong moments in the Korra A plot, most of which concern the three characters testing the waters of where they stand. Korra has been gone for three years and, to Mako’s chagrin, has only really kept up with Asami. They meet up for lunch, with Prince Wu in tow, and it’s awkward. When Asami tells Korra she’s been visiting her father, Korra questions his motives and Asami lashes out saying she can’t have an opinion on it after being back for all of five minutes.
The Legend of Korra has already shown this season that it can handle plots dealing with post-traumatic stress with tactful ease, and it’s nice to see that it’s given the same care to the smaller character moments as well. One of my greatest problems with season one of the show was the creators’ insistence on throwing these four characters together, simply to form their team and without pausing to try and create friendships that audiences would understand. Watching it then I didn’t get why Bolin or Mako would fight for Korra other than for plot convenience. Season three did a beautiful job at remedying it and making us all believe they’d do anything for one another and now, they’re continuing the groundwork they laid out for these characters by not making their reconciliation effortless.
The episode acts as their trial period. They come together when Prince Wu is kidnapped by one of Kuvira’s affiliates and the three must work as a team to rescue him. This allows for some great moments for the team, and it’s nice to see Korra back in her groove after she was beaten so terribly in last week’s fight with Kuvira. It also allows us to finally see the moment Asami takes down the guard while they fight on top of a moving train.
The three manage to get Prince Wu to safety and they bond over it, admitting that things are going to be weird after three years apart. It was nice as a viewer to see most of group in the same scene again as well, but until Bolin is back in the group it’s not going to seem as cohesive.
There’s a part of me that wants him to get back to the group quickly, while another part of me is enjoying the scenes between he and Varrick so much that I don’t mind if they take another episode to do so. However, considering next week is episode eight of the final season, and considering it still feels like we’re meandering a bit in a pool of plot developments, we should probably see the entire team working together soon.
In the meantime, though, I’ll enjoy the comedy duo as they join forces with the prison escapees as they try to get back to Republic City to warn them of Kuvira’s plans. It’s while they’re trekking through the forest that they run into the prisoners, who, to their surprise, aren’t earth benders but are water and fire benders, meaning that Kuvira is starting the process of purging the community of those who don’t fall under her domain.
You gotta love these political allegories on a show that’s supposed to be marketed for kids.
They want to use Bolin and Varrick to get through a checkpoint guarded by Kuvira’s men but, considering the two are now outlaws, it goes about as well as one would expect and they must fight the guards to escape. This is where Bolin solidifies his MVP status, as he dances between earth bending and lava bending, using different styles for both, and then as an ending cap, creates a wall of lava, bending it to block off any further attack from the opposition. It’s interesting to see one of the comic relief characters be handed one of the most destructive bending skills.
It ends with the group on a boat headed to Republic City, and then a shift to Kuvira as her party is planning on tearing down the swamps where all of the spirit vines lie as well as, unbeknownst to them, Toph.
Next week should be good.