Following the walk down memory lane from last week’s episode of Legend of Korra, Beyond the Wilds continued the story in a progressive and therapeutic way. Due to budget cuts and keeping all the writers on the team, last week’s filler halted the story a bit and gave more back story for new viewers. This week’s episode seemed to get caught-up viewers right back on track and focused on the spirit world and Korra’s continued recovery from self-pity. Beyond the Wilds showed the repercussions that Kuvira’s interference has on the spirit world and brought back a familiar villain for some much-needed closure for Korra.
Opening with a tour of the spirit forest in the middle of Republic City, Legend of Korra: Beyond the Wilds showed that not all the air nomad rangers were off maintaining balance in the world-some were giving historical tours. Although the comedic element of the opener was there, the mood quickly shifted as the vines began abducting innocent people on the tour. Unknown as to why the spirits were attacking and reacting this way, Jinora sought out the help of Korra to make things right. Korra used her new-found power to connect with the spirit vines to discover that Kuvira’s pillage of the swamp is causing an unrest amongst the trees. Instead of taking charge and going right after the antagonist, Korra opted to consult Tenzin for advice on her next move.
It seems that Tenzin was not in the most trusting of moods when it came to relying on Korra. It seems throughout the seasons of Legend of Korra and the young heroine continually doubting herself, her mentor and the people around her were beginning to doubt her skill as well. This news of doubt became apparent when Korra interrupted a secret meeting involving the president of Republic City, Tenzin, and Fire Lord Izumi. The leaders of the nations were gathered to figure out how to handle Kuvira’s recent seize of the Earth nation. Considering the history behind the fire nation, it was only logical that Fire Lord Izumi wanted to remain neutral in this recent turn of events. The other leaders were not as willing to back down though. Surprising enough, Tenzin seemed to have given hope on Korra making right of the situation and decided to side with the president of Republic City in finding a way tactful way in stopping Kuvira’s army.
Even the characters of Legend of Korra were starting to share the same mentality of Legend of Korra viewers-whatever was plaguing Korra’s psyche, she needed to get over it. It was definitely a sign that the avatar needed to figure out what was really blocking her spirit. After Jinora ended up getting kidnapped by the spirit vines, Korra needed to snap out of her trauma immediately. In an attempt to connect to the spirit world, she was brought back to the fight with Zaheer from season three of Legend of Korra. She could not get back into the spirit world until she confronted the captured Zaheer and found much-needed closure.
Joined by Mako, Korra visited the reinforced prison holding the floating chaos guru Zaheer and confronted him once again. It was clear that she was not over her battle with him but she was not leaving until she was completely healed from her season four terror’s. In a brief exchange of words and updating the chaos-loving Zaheer on the current situation, he opted to help lead Korra into the spirit world to rescue her friends and the captives. Considering that the show only has a 30-minute run time, the solution to Korra’s problem was almost anticlimactic. All the teenage avatar had to do was let the visions of last season’s battle run its course and accept the truth that she came close to death-yes, that is all she really had to do. Once she came to grips that “whatever does not kill you, makes you stronger”, Korra was reunited with Raava and connected to the spirit world. In a quick series of events, Korra was as good as new and freed her friends.
With Beyond the Wilds, Legend of Korra viewers finally got to see a mature and stronger heroine. Confronting her demons head-on and accepting her multiple defeats, Korra was finally able to find the therapeutic healing that blocked her spirit from growing. Although it has been confusing on whether it was Zaheer or the ghost of Raava that Korra that was haunting her throughout this season of Legend of Korra, it became clearer that it was just Korra herself that was standing in her way of becoming a great avatar. Though the episode was not as action-packed as others, it was a slight relief that Korra was finally over her ailment.
Opinion By Tyler Cole