WHAT IT IS AND WHAT ZUKO USES IT FOR

4

“Danny?”

“That’s my name, don’t wear it out”

“What’s the matter with you?”

“What’s the matter with me, baby? What’s the matter with you!”

“What happened to the Danny Zuko I met at the beach?”

“I do not know. Maybe there’s two of us, right? Why don’t you take out a missing-person ad or try the yellow pages? I don’t know”

“You lied to me?! You’re a fake! I wish I’d never laid eyes on you!” 

 “WHOA!”

Things I Love About LoK

Goal: Write 1 thought every day re: why I love The Legend of Korra until I finish rewatching the series.  

#158: “Korra Alone.”

There are many, many things that I love about “Korra Alone,” which is probably my favorite episode of LoK. (So … sorry not sorrry for this megapost, which has more gasbagging than usual.)  The narrative structure of the episode, for one, which makes heavy use of flashbacks (much like its namesake, “Zuko Alone”).  The exclusive focus on Korra, for another.  The pacing.  But what I love about it most is how it ties into, highlights, and explores the central question of the show: what is the role of Korra as the avatar in the modern world, if any?

“I am the avatar. You gotta deal with it!”  That was the first line Korra ever uttered in LoK. She was so sure of herself then, and so sure of herself in “Welcome to Republic City.”  Now, after the traumatic events of “Venom of the Red Lotus,” we see Korra struggling to deal with the physical and emotional ramifications from nearly dying and ending the avatar cycle (again), struggling to reclaim her identity as the avatar, and struggling to find her purpose.  The show is very literal about Korra’s fractured sense of self – it opens the episode with this shot of Korra in a broken mirror: 

The episode builds on Korra’s hallucinations of Amon, Unalaq, and Vaatu in “Venom of the Red Lotus,” which reminded the viewer that each of Korra’s enemies has argued (though for different reasons) that the avatar no longer has a place in the world.  In “Korra Alone,” Korra has to fight herself – not just her fear of nearly having died and ended the avatar cycle but also her own doubts about whether she has any role left to play in the world.  

And so we see Korra’s mental struggles manifest physically in the form of, well, herself.  Nega-Korra is Korra in the avatar state, but bound still by Zaheer’s chains; she appears throughout the episode and haunts Korra as she struggles to recapture her physical, mental, and spiritual well-being: 

Korra first battles despair. When she leaves her friends in Republic City, she says she’ll “only be gone a couple weeks.”  Tenzin assures her she need not worry because he, Jinora, and the airbenders have everything under control.  But that just plants seeds of doubt in her mind as to whether the world needs her anymore.  For weeks after her injuries, she’s unable to eat much or sleep, and she refuses to seek help. With the love and support of her mother, Korra finally agrees to take a step toward healing and go see Katara. 

Korra then battles to heal herself physically after having her body broken by Zaheer. With Katara’s encouragement, she’s eventually able to wiggle her big toe (a la Kill Bill).  And, after many initial frustrating months, she’s finally able to walk to Naga.  But every step is difficult – particularly for Korra, who so prided herself on her physical strength and prowess. 

In the meantime, Korra is, well, alone.  She has her family and Katara, but her friends are off in Republic City, redesigning the city’s infrastructure, or staking out Red Monsoon hideouts, or stabilizing the Earth Kingdom.  Her friends’ letters, though well-meaning, only feed into Korra’s self-doubt.  As she’s stuck on the sidelines, the rest of the Krew is out making the world the better place: they’re out there doing her job.

We see this in her conversation with Katara, where Korra struggles to understand why this has happened to her – and hits on Korra’s main storyline for the season:

Korra: Of course I’m frustrated! A crazy man poisoned me, and now I can’t dress myself or cook for myself or do anything for myself, and this whole time my friends have been off helping the World while I’m stuck with you, and you can’t even heal me!
Korra: That came out wrong.
Katara: It’s all right. Let your anger and frustration flow like water.
Korra: I am trying to understand why this happened to me. But nothing makes any sense.  I’m tired, Katara. I’m so tired.
Katara: Korra, I know you feel alone right now, but you’re not the first Avatar who’s had to overcome great suffering. Can you imagine how much pain Aang felt when he learned that his entire culture was taken from him?
Korra: That must have been so awful.
Katara: But he never let it destroy his spirit. He chose to find meaning in his suffering, and eventually found peace.
Korra: And what am I gonna find if I get through this?
Katara: I don’t know, but won’t it be interesting to find out?

From a story and character perspective, I love that Korra’s physical recovery is just the beginning.  When Tenzin visits, we see Korra incredibly excited to show him her progress.  But she rushes into it (as Korra often does), not realizing that her recovery has not been balanced: 

I love the callback to and contrast with Korra’s firebending test in “Welcome to Republic City” here.  The music, the setting, and the outfit all explicitly reference that first time we ever met teenage Korra.  But this Korra is different.  Although she seems physically recovered, she’s got emotional baggage.  When faced with a huge fire blast – the same kind that she easily blew through before in “Welcome to Republic City” – Korra’s mind flashes back to Zaheer, she panics, and she’s beaten down.

Korra sees that Tenzin knows she is not ready to return, and it crushes her. Ever well-meaning, Tenzin tries to assure Korra by telling her to take her time, that Kuvira is stabilizing the Earth Kingdom and “everyone has this under control.”  But again, this is exactly what feeds into Korra’s self-doubt: that she’s not needed, that she has no purpose, and thus no identity.

We then see Korra practicing firebending on a snowy cliff, and the scene is just freakin’ beautiful.  It also reinforces how alone she is: a tiny shadow in the foreground, with a whole nighttime sky of stars in the universe.  Such a gorgeous frame.  (It’s my desktop background at work.)   

Korra’s next battle is with isolation.  She takes a baby step by finally returning a letter.  She writes to the one person she felt she emotionally connected with in Book 3: Asami.  It’s a small step forward, even as she admits that she’s still unable to go into the avatar state – another blow to her identity as the avatar.

She then tells her parents she wants to go back to Republic City. But her inability to defeat a common thief in a small fishing village means that her self-doubt follows her to Republic City.  There, Nega-Korra is waiting for her:

Spooked, Korra tries to re-fine herself, perhaps thinking a fresh start will help her recovery.  She adopts an Earth Kingdom outfit and cuts off her hair in a scene reminiscent of Zuko/Iroh cutting off their topknots in ATLA:  

Korra then goes on a literal journey around the world, searching for Raava – searching for her identity, in other words.  But everywhere, Nega-Korra follows her, and she cannot find Raava – not even in the Tree of Time. Finally, Korra declares that she is “ending this,” and we are treated to the ending scene from “After All These Years” from Korra’s perspective.  She’s not fighting an earthbender in some earth kingdom fighting pit.  Korra’s trying to conquer her inner demon the way Korra knows best: by fighting.  And she loses: 

Korra fights Nega-Korra again in the swamp, and Nega-Korra wins again, dragging her into the ground into a pool of metal poison.  

This episode is amazing and masterful.  It explores all the different facets of PTSD and recovery and, in doing so, hits on the key theme of the season (and the series) and lays bare the vulnerability beneath Korra’s blustery exterior.  It tells the story of a 3-year journey toward recovery (and conveys very realistically the passage of time for one character), but makes clear that Korra’s nowhere near done with her journey yet.  

And when Korra wakes up from her battle with herself in the swamp, we’re treated to the return of Old Woman Toph and a callback to ATLA: “Nice to see you again, Twinkle Toes.”  Which leaves the audience salivating for the episodes to come.  So well done.

Rules: Using only the song names from one band, cleverly answer these questions. Tag 10 people at the end.

Tagged by @intolerantbonita, thank you so much sweetie! This was fun.

 

Songs by: Kakkmaddafakka

What is your gender: Female Dyslexic.

Describe yourself: Young, Restless.

How do you feel: Someone new.

If you could go anywhere, where would it be: Heidelberg.

Favourite mode of transportation: Self-Esteem.

Your best friend: Is She.

Favourite time of the day: Make the first move.

If your life was a tv show, what would it be called: Drø So. 

What is life to you: Lie (no haha but ok).

Relationship status: Forever alone (I had to hahah).

Your fear: No song.

I tag: @veritokun, @theyellowtracksuit@zuko-the-fartbender@ketchupkete@nowhereboyg@turtle3679@mounfuckingtains@selenebelen@suraja-the-wizard@sparklecheese.

I’m sorry if someone else already tagged you :) Have fun!

I was tagged by @hannaratheweirdo


Name: Julia

Nickname(s): My most common ones are Ju, Juli, Jubs, and Julica 


Gender: Female

Zodiac: Pisces


Height: Around 173cm I think

Favourite color: Blues and Beiges 


Current time: 11:45 am

Avg. hours of sleep: No idea, maybe 8?


Lucky number: 3 

Last thing I googled: The lyrics of a song that is stuck in my head


Favorite fictional character: Zuko I think

Favortie band: Imagine Dragons or Owl City


Fav book: *runs away*


Dream job: Author or Geneticist… maybe both

When did I create my blog: Oh… let’s see.. I have this blog since Agust 9th of 2012 

What’s my blog about:Anything that interests me + things that I find useful and helpful

Do I have other blogs: Yes, three or four other blogs I think

What made me decide to get tumblr: It was kinda trendy in 2012 so… 

What made me choose my URL: According to me: I liked a friend’s URL and tried to go for something similar but my therapist has a very different point of view over this matter

Thanks! I’m not going to tag anyone but if you wanna do it, go ahead ^^

kettledroid asked:

For the get to know the blogger meme! Do you have any pets? What is a color that you feel really good when you wear? Is there a book you keep coming back to, even after years? If you like pizza, what toppings do you like to eat on it? (for the pineapple pizza discourse, of course)

skdfgdghaldfhga yay questions!!!

1) I have five pets total (two who live with me, and I count my mom’s three cats because I used to live with her ahahaha) My cat Presea, my sister’s dog Zuko, and my mom’s three cats, Puppy, Kikyo, and Frodo. They’re all so cute and lovable and I adore them.

2) I feel great when I wear purple because I feel like I pull it off well, and it’s also my favorite. This is also why I was really excited to cosplay Amethyst and have purple hair. uwu

3) I have a few books that I always come back to, and that’s The Hobbit, the entire Harry Potter series, and Le Petit Prince. I love them all to death and have read them all several times. I even did a paper/project on Le Petit Prince for my Translation Studies class during my last semester of college. :D

4) I actually don’t like pineapple, in general or on pizza. I really like black olives and pepperoni. But also, Cici’s Pizza has amazing mac n’ cheese pizza!!! Love that stuff.