Home Blog The Legend of Korra – “Korra Alone” – Episode 41 Recap

The Legend of Korra – “Korra Alone” – Episode 41 Recap

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Korra struggles with her inner demon.

“Korra Alone.” I see what you did there.

A lot of cartoons (usually) rifled in continuity and ongoing narratives develop the heroes by setting up obstacles for them to bypass. Once they conquer their flaws and situations, they come off wiser and better for the experience. Any further roadblocks they encounter afterward are met with resolved strength and determination. Rarely are the paths obtrusive enough to completely block the hero’s journey, but The Legend of Korra managed it with Korra.

Korra’s character development has been a roller coaster ride. Book One and Two were mixed on how they went about it, but they largely kept the tried-and-true path by forcing her to leave her sheltered life behind to be the hero that everyone expected her to be, including Korra herself. She learned her Avatar status doesn’t necessarily mean everything will come naturally for her; there will be bumps along the way. Korra dealt with criticisms, political upheaval, and impossible scenarios a naïve girl like her wasn’t prepared for. Though she’s had moments of despair, she gained insight from them and matured considerably. Logically she can only go up from here, but Zaheer’s poison managed to break Korra in ways nobody predicted.

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The poison’s severe effect on Korra is lasting, and her recovery taxes her both physically and mentally. It’s a surprisingly realistic approach to take, one I didn’t expect even from this show. Korra trains under Katara to regain the use of her legs, but it isn’t easy solution and she struggles in frustration. Meanwhile, her friends are all living up to their fullest. They’re changing the world (specifically in aiding the Earth Kingdom) and essentially taking over the Avatar’s duties, which stings for Korra as she feels a powerful sense of helplessness. But Katara is Korra’s confidant in her time of need and through months of practice, Korra eventually walks.

This is the first time in ages that Korra has made any sort of progress and as far as she knows, it’ll be smooth sailing from here on. Physically she isn’t at her peak, but training seems to be helping her well along the way. Unfortunately she’s still stuck mentally, suffering from repeating visions of her experiences with Zaheer and her trauma from “Venom of the Red Lotus.” This affects her fighting, rendering her back to square one. Try as she might to rid of her demons, her Avatar self appears before Korra as if to taunt her when Korra ventures back to Republic City. Korra’s shame and doubts drive her to depart on a soul-searching mission instead, leading to her cutting her hair and discarding her Water Tribe clothes much like Zuko did in his own namesake episode “Zuko Alone”. To Korra, she isn’t worthy of acting as the Avatar until she fixes her issues first.

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I’ve been racking my brain trying to figure out just what the visions of Avatar State Korra represents to her. The best part about “Korra Alone” is that the episode never defines what she specifically is, but provides subtle hints to give an indicator regardless. I think Avatar State Korra is Korra’s fear manifested. Avatar State Korra relentlessly pursues Korra and fights her at every opportunity, blocking Korra from overcoming her shame. Her appearances represent Korra’s inability to activate the Avatar State or reach her spiritual scene. Even when she tries to meditate inside the Tree of Time, the observing spirits can’t sense Raava in her. What if the other Korra IS Raava sending her a message in her weakened state? This is further compounded by Toph’s suggestion that Korra’s Avatar senses might be telling her something, serving as a silent guide to get her to where she needs to be. Furthermore, one of the spirits can see the Avatar State Korra, indicating that Korra’s visions may not all be in her head.

Eventually, Korra is lured by one of the spirits to the swamps. There she meets a familiar figure from an old past: Toph Beifong. I’m super excited for Toph’s return. She was my favorite character in Avatar, so I can’t wait to see what she’ll do. Will Toph give Korra some tough love? I theorize Toph understands what Korra’s going through. Aiwei mentioned in “The Metal Clan” that Toph left the city on a journey to “achieve enlightenment.” Maybe Toph can relate to Korra’s current situation and give her the help she needs. I can’t wait to see how this will turn out. I really do hope to see some amazing Toph battle sequences, too.