The Legend of Korra Book 4: "The Calling" Review

The Legend of Korra Book 4, Episode 4: "The Calling" is about Ikki, Meelo, and Jinora's search for the Avatar.

The episode takes place in the Earth Empire--the largest nation in the Avatar universe. And it features three characters that had minor roles in previous seasons.

The episode does a good job capturing puerile bickering between 3 siblings, and it feels like it's trying to pay tribute to the original Team Avatar from The Last Airbender.

This homage, however, doesn't capture the chemistry that Aang, Katara, and Sokka had.

Instead, 2 previously minor characters become annoying in their expanded roles; the occasional fart joke from Meelo in previous seasons broke the otherwise serious tone of the show.

It felt like an immature tribute to Aang's ostensibly carefree nature in Book 1 of The Last Airbender.

But Meelo never gets serious when the situation calls for it.

He's on a mission to find the Avatar and he argues with his older siblings most of the time.

The writers of the show add a humorous twist to this squabbling by making it the reason why they find the Korra at the end of the episode, but "The Calling" feels like an immature break in the dramatic buildup that we saw in "The Coronation."

An example of this is when Ikki--annoyed at Meelo and Jinora--takes off in order to calm herself. She comes across a deforested area and is quickly alarmed. Two of Kuvira's soldiers capture her.

The actions of the Earth Empire are similar to those of the Fire Nation in The Last Airbender. But the two soldiers that capture Ikki are inept. Meelo and Jinora easily outwit and defeat the soldiers when they rescue her.

Kuvira is calculating and efficient. Because of this, it doesn't seem likely that she would let two buffoons into her ranks--even lower soldiers such as those that captured Ikki.

The secondary storyline is about Korra, who is trying to remove the remnants of Zaheer's poison from her veins. At the end of episode, she succeeds in doing so and is taken out of the swamp when the kids find her.

The means by which Jinora, Meelo, and Ikki find Korra is a deus ex machina; Korra sends a wave of spiritual energy that finally links with Jinora, who was struggling to connect with the Avatar during the episode.

"The Calling" is the least enjoyable episode of the season thus far; it hastily closes the early story arcs of Book 4: Balance while giving too much screen time to childish bickering. But Korra is now her old self.

And, with Kuvira bent on conquest, conflict is about to rise.

You can watch "The Calling" here.