#15: “Of Course I Still Need You!” (K203, “Civil Wars, Part 1”)
For those of us who wished all through Book 1 that we could see more of Korra’s parents than just her farewell to them, the early part of Book 2 was a dream come true. In the first three episodes we get family secrets revealed, Korra calling her parents out on her isolated childhood, and a political conflict that escalates to the point where she’s sure her father is one of the group of rebels she takes down at Unalaq’s palace.
If you think about it, Korra’s been in a terrible position since siding with Unalaq. Her Water Tribe heritage teaches her that nothing is more important than tribe and family, but Tonraq and Unalaq’s actions have ensured that her tribe and her family are both split between the two sides in an oncoming civil war. And it doesn’t help that her failure to prevent that war feeds right into her old fear of being “the worst Avatar ever.”
It takes all this to give intensity to this last semi-peaceful moment these three get before the Harmonic Convergence plot comes to light. After Tonraq’s sincere (if not terribly specific) apology, Senna adds another reason why they thought letting the White Lotus raise Korra away from them was “best for you”—surely parents can only be a hindrance for the Avatar.
Of course, Korra quickly puts an end to that line of thought.
But the writers aren’t done playing on our emotions yet. Because this is still the Avatarverse, and if a main character’s parents are not either evil or dead, then other issues must be introduced to keep them from remaining a boring happy family. :P
In this case, Unalaq shows up to threaten both Korra’s parents with what turns out to be a life-or-death treason trial. (It’s interesting to think that Unalaq’s first impulse—to throw the rebels in prison—turns out to be mild compared with their prospects after Korra sticks up for them. In fact, it’s likely Unalaq has already planned out the show trial and given Judge Hotah his marching orders by the time he comes to arrest Tonraq and Senna.)
Now, if I may step out of LoK continuity and into fandom-world for a moment… The ending of “The Southern Lights” was ambiguous enough to leave us with some doubts about Unalaq’s villain status, and the writers waited until “Civil Wars, Part 2” to lay out proof that he was an evil manipulator. But I think this scene was when Unalaq went (at least in the fandom’s mind) from misguided to actively evil–because whatever other goals he might’ve had, he was messing with Korra’s family.
…Which, when you think about it, is the only truly unforgivable thing he does before “A New Spiritual Age.” (Stick around for that, by the way. ^_^;)
Goal: Write 1 thought every day re: why I love The Legend of Korra until I finish rewatching the series.
#78: Korra hugs it out with her parents in “Civil Wars Part 1.”
After spending a few episodes mad at Tonraq for having locked her away in the south pole for her whole life, Korra finally apologizes and hugs it out with her parents at the end of “Civil Wars Part 1.”
My favorite part of the scene is this line:
Korra: Is it okay if I come in?
Korra, she who busts/kicks down doors, humbly asks her parents for permission to enter her own childhood home, even when the door is open. It’s just a really touching sign of contrition for having given her father the cold shoulder.
Korra then apologizes to her parents. I don’t think she necessarily needed to apologize for being angry about being locked away. But she does it anyway.
Korra: I’m so glad you weren’t there. I don’t know what I would have done. Tonraq: I had no idea how far Varrick was willing to go. My brother and I have our differences but I would never attack him. Korra: I’m sorry for thinking you had anything to do with the rebels, and for all the pain I’ve caused you and Mom. Tonraq: I’m the one who should apologize. After I saw The Southern Lights return, I was so proud of you. I never should have held you back.
Senna: When your father and I found each other, all we wanted was to live a simple life and raise a family. But then we discovered you were the Avatar, and simple was over. We knew one day the world would need you, and you wouldn’t need us anymore.
Korra: Mom, Dad, of course I still need you.
It’s a touching scene as Korra hugs it out with her parents:
I especially liked Senna’s sentiment that she and Tonraq just wanted a simple life. And then Korra had other plans. It’s interesting to think about how the parent of an avatar must feel, knowing that their child must carry the balance of the world on his/her shoulders.
WHEN MAKO SAYS BREAKING UP IS LIKE A BLOODSUCKING LEECH HE DOESNT MEAN THE RELATIONSHIP IS THE LEECH ITS THE PROCESS OF GETTING OVER A DIFFICULT SITUATION WITH ANOTHER PERSON THAT IS. IN MY OPINION ITS A BIGGER DEAL HOW THEY DIDNT TAKE THE OPPORTUNITY TO SAY ELBOW LEECH AS A REFERENCE!