Home Blog The Legend of Korra – “The Calling” – Episode 43 Recap

The Legend of Korra – “The Calling” – Episode 43 Recap

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Tenzin tasks his children to find Korra to save the Earth Kingdom.

Being the middle child blows: they often lack the responsibility and maturity that typically comes with being the firstborn, and they don’t get the cuddling and attention the youngest gets. As the eldest of Tenzin’s children, Jinora snagged a portion of the spotlight and proved her Airbending worth, more than enough to earn her tattoos. Meelo dazzled on screen with his attention-grabbing farting shenanigans and by Book Two, an unrelentingly hilarious military diction (Rohan is the technically the youngest but, as an infant for most of Korra’s run, he hardly counts). As a walking sugar pixie Ikki is by no means personality-free, but she’s consistently overlooked in favor of her other siblings. The creators seem to understand the middle child dynamic; Ikki had a brief moment in “Civil Wars, Part 2” and “The Calling” continues where thatleft off, with a resentful Ikki living under the shadows of her brother and sister.

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Regrettably, the entire episode dithers around and while Ikki received a reasonable side plot, it doesn’t say anything interesting about her. She tires of Jinora’s seriousness and Meelo’s crazy conundrums and wanders off. She’s kidnapped by two members of Kuvira’s armies after, but they’re about as threatening as newborn kittens. Ikki barely breaks a sweat tricking the two and figuring out a potential location for Korra’s whereabouts. The kids successfully find her in the swamps and then prattle on about teamwork, even though the message is backed up by little in the first place. Furthermore, the episode demonstrates why Meelo is best used in small doses, as his tomfoolery got old quickly and he grew more annoying the longer he was onscreen.

“The Calling” got me to realize The Legend of Korra’s unique story structure means it’s often forced to rotate amongst its extensive cast of characters in an attempt to give each member of its cast a chance. Sometimes this works, and every main and secondary character gets some degree of character development. Other times it feels crowded and muddled because they inconsistently shift characters back and forth while the rest twiddle their fingers in the background, waiting for their turn. This chaotic juggling is disorganized, but I think it largely works out in the end.

Korra’s subplot follows up from the last episode and it largely retreads the same steps: Korra denies her fears before she reluctantly accepts them while Toph pummels her with rocks. Toph keeps “The Calling” from drowning in its own tedium and through her efforts, Korra eventually pulls herself together after reuniting with Tenzin’s children. Realizing the Earth Kingdom needs the Avatar, Korra bends the poison out herself. It’s fascinating the metal that gave her so much trouble for three years is miniscule in size. It’s the little things we need to watch out for because we tend to overlook them.

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My only concern is how easy it all was. We knew Korra had to go back to civilization at some point and we know she has to live up to her Avatar mantle, but does this mean she’s suddenly free from her burden? Trauma doesn’t disappear just like that; it can linger in an individual’s mind for the rest of their lives and should not be a mere plot device. Korra needs to move on, but her recovery was resolved a little too neatly. However, I’m not counting my eggs before they hatch; Book 4 can still explore this angle and find a balance between her exploring vulnerabilities and depicting her comeback.