Legend of Korra Book 4: "Remembrances" Review

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Things in the Avatar universe are about to get real. But we'll have to wait for that.

The writers of the show decided to give us a trip down memory lane before the big finale.

Similar to "Ember Island Players" in Avatar the Last Airbender, "Remembrances" takes the idea of a series recap episode and turns it into something entertaining and humorous.

It accomplishes this by retelling the series from each of the main characters' point of view; Mako tells his story first. And he tries to clarify the romantic chaos that he was involved in throughout the first two seasons of the series.

Wu is critical of Mako during his tale. Mako, however, insists that his feelings were difficult to understand, and that it's hard to make the right decision when romance is involved.

The funniest part of this is realizing how unfriendly Mako was at the beginning of the series; Wu tells Mako that he needs to "work on his introductions." Given that the Earth Kingdom Prince is the most socially inept character in the show, it gives the episode a sense of irony.

Moreover, Wu is as likeable as he's been in this episode--giving a character that has done little to contribute to the plot some significance.

Mako's story gives closure to his ill-fated romances with Asami and Korra. And it gives Wu his first time to shine.

The show shifts to Korra's point of view, and her thoughts on being the Avatar are similar to Aang's at the beginning of The Last Airbender; she doesn't think she has a purpose, and-- no matter what she does-- the world will always be out of balance.

At the beginning of The Last Airbender, Aang didn't want to be the Avatar. In contrast, Korra embraced her role as the bridge between the human and spirit worlds at the beginning of her story, but now she doubts her significance.

She blames herself for the bad things that happened in the series: Unulaq fusing with Vaatu, Zaheer getting airbending, and Kuvira rising to power.

Asami tries to comfort Korra by telling her that she's also done good things for the world. Tenzin supports Asami's notions--stating that Korra was "hot-headed and selfish" at the beginning of Season 1.

He assures her that there will always be conflicts, which is why the Avatar will always be necessary.

For most of the series, Korra wasn't portrayed as introspective. But the fact that she's looking back at everything that has happened makes her more likeable. And it shows her progression as a character--one that is less clear than Aang's.

The final recap is from Bolin's point of view... sort of. Varrick and Bolin are traveling on a dinghy with the escaped Earth Empire prisoners.

Bolin is trying to give his new friends an honest recap of his adventures with Korra, but Varrick is more concerned with cinematic appeal. And he quickly takes over as the chief narrator.

This leads to a phone call between past Korra villains; Vaatu, Zaheer, and Amon converse about how to take down the Avatar. Unulaq tries to join, but everyone hangs up on him--showing us the writers' self-deprecating sense of humor.

Of course, this never happened, and it felt like something that would be in Legend of Korra: The Abridged Series -- if such a thing exists. But the creators' sense of humor is one of their greatest assets.

"Remembrances" is a nostalgic recap of a series that was as likeable as its predecessor.

While it won't be remembered as one of the strongest installments in Korra's story, it's a creative twist on an idea that every television series uses when it's reaching the end of its run.

Now as Varrick said, "No time for thinking, kid. We're heading into the big finale!"

You can watch "Remembrances" here.