Book 4, Episode 8 of The Legend of Korra, titled Rememberances, marks the series’ first re-cap episode, brief flashbacks from Toph aside.

Mako, Prince Wu and Mako’s family go over Mako’s past relationship troubles, while Korra and Asami discuss her stuggles with past foes, and how solving one problem often opened up another. Finally, Varrick regales the escaped Earth Kingdom prisoners with his plans for a new film starring Bolin combating a team of Korra’s previous villains.

There’s not much to say about this episode beyond that. It’s a somewhat unneeded recap of the show up to this point, and I can’t help comparing it to the wonderful Ember Island Players episode from Avatar: The Last Airbender. While that recap episode gave us a humorous and unique way to relive the characters’ adventures, Rememberances is little more than a clip show voiced over by the characters.

What little new animation we’re given is good enough, and both Mako and Varrick’s parts were amusing, but there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of reason to have this episode in the first place. In the show’s current digital format, it’s not as if someone will be tuning in after missing last week’s episode, nor are they likely to find themselves starting the show from this point with the backlog easily available to them. The most this episode offers me as a viewer is flags to future plot developments; Mako’s past relationships with Korra and Asami are likely to become relevant again, and Korra’s issues with the dangers she’s faced in the past are obviously tied to her recent breakdowns. We don’t really learn anything new about the characters, nor does the plot move anywhere outside of Bolin and Varrick getting on a boat headed for Republic City.

While the recap episode is a common staple of long-running TV shows, it’s rarely well received, and after Ember Island Players, I expected more from the Avatar franchise. The episode wasn’t without its amusing parts, but on the whole I would have preferred to move on with the story. It possible that this episode was created as an attempt to buy time for the animators rather than as a necktie-given mandate to help viewership along, and if that’s the case, I’ll happily put up with it and enjoy the extra effort in later episodes.

SCORE: 6.5/10

-Edward (Left Knee of A7)

Andrewhabara Avatar

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