Legend of Korra Season 4, Episode 9: “Beyond the Wilds” Post-Cap — Nerd Girl Corner

Hey there, Korra Nation! As many of you know, The Legend of Korra Book 4: Balance aired its newest episode, “Beyond the Wilds” on November 28th. As promised, I’ve written a recap (which can be found on Black Girl Nerds) in case you haven’t checked it out yet, but now it’s time for this week’s post-cap!

By now, you guys know what a “post-cap” is. But in case you still don’t get it, it’s my make-believe term that by definition is part summation, part review, and tons of thoughts and feelings that one may have after watching an episode (and writing a full-blown recap). Got it? Good.

Now let’s dig into The Legend of Korra Book 4 Balance, Chapter 9“Beyond the Wilds”:

The Swamp is an angry, vengeful swamp. The episode starts out with former “failure to launch” air bender Riyu giving his parents and other tourist a guide through Republic City’s Spirit Wilds. The vines are disturbed thanks to Kuvira’s harvesting session back in The Swamp, and as such, they attack the tourist group. Jinora tells Korra she’s feeling like something’s off with the spiritual energy in the Spirit Wilds. Korra heads to the Wilds with Opal and Jinora and learns that the Kuvira’s cutting down the Banyan Grove Tree (like this is Fern Gully or something). Korra and Opal head to President Raiko to drop the bomb on him only to learn that the President has summoned all the world leaders to discuss the “Kuvira Problem” sans Korra. Korra takes this as a total slap in the face since she’s supposed to be the ultimate world leader.


Tenzin tries to tell Korra that they didn’t want to bother her with the meeting since she’s been through so much so soon, but Korra questions how incompetent Prince Wu could sit in, but not her. Yeah, pretty low blow.

Bolin returns! Team Avatar is officially restored as Bolin bursts through the meeting with Varrick. After Raiko sics his guards on Bo and Varr, they let everyone know that they’re no longer traitors and got big news about Kuvira’s spirit nuclear bomb. Raiko says that everyone should wage war on her, but Tenzin says he’s not going to bring the air nomads into it and Firelord Izumi (in her second or third appearance) says she’s not going to send the Fire Nation into a senseless war unless they’re in eminent danger (meanwhile her great-granddad was all for genocide and her grandfather was a ruthless dictator). Raiko backs off saying that he’ll just fortify defenses and everyone agrees.

A little later, Bolin has a bit of a reunion with Opal and tries to beg for her forgiveness, but she’s not having it. Lin pulls Opal to the side and says she’s going on a secret mission to break out the family in Zaofu and Opal — who has already broken her air nomad vows to be a peacekeeper — is all for it. At the same time, Mako and Korra (who is extra smiley to see Bolin) have a moment of passing around apologies before finally hugging it out. #TeamAvatarBackInAction

No one trusts Korra. Jinora does her little astral projection trick to let Korra know she’s been captured by the angry vines. Korra and Mako run off the help, but Lin creates a road block. When Korra gets there, Lin tells Korra to back up, but Korra asks for a chance to try. With angry vines lashing out, Lin lets the two go ahead. Inside the Wilds, Korra and Mako are attacked by the angry vines, but manage to escape capture. In an abandoned building, Korra sees the bodies of Jinora, Riyu, and the tour group and deduces that they’re trapped in the spirit world. She tries to do some spirit bending but it doesn’t work. Korra then tries to meditate into the spirit world, but she has flashbacks of her near-death experience and is unable to do so. Korra tells Tenzin she needs to see Zaheer to get over her block, but he tells her no. Korra then complains that no one trusts her to do anything, but Tenzin says he’s just concerned. Either way, he gives in and gets Korra access to see Zaheer.

Levitating Red Lotus vs. Whiney Avatar. Korra has her face-to-face with Zaheer and realized (1) she’s still scared of him no matter what and (2) he is probably more wise than she’ll ever be. Zaheer tells Korra that he knows she can’t get into the Spirit World and also tells her that she’s using her encounter with him as a crutch for not being able to tap into her limitless power. Korra tells Zaheer that everything is his fault since he killed the Earth Queen, which gave way for Kuvira the Conqueror. Realizing that his plan for total chaos horribly backfired, Zaheer tells Korra that he’ll help her to get past her block. Again, Korra scoffs at someone more spiritually in touch (though he did almost kill her, so I understand), but realizing that she’s got no other choice, she lets him help her.

Zaheer helps Korra get past their battle and boom! — she breaks into the spirit world. In addition, Korra reunites with Raava, who tells her that she’s always been with her (yeah, OK). They find Jinora and the other and free their spirits with a one-touch spirit bending. Jinora & Co. hop out their little pods and when Tenzin asks how Jinora made it out, she tells her dad that Korra did it.

Time to fight back! While Korra is finally getting over her block, President Raiko summons Varrick and Asami together to work on a counter to Kuvira’s spirit nuclear bomb. Asami warns Varrick of any funny business and Varrick agrees. At Air Temple Island, Lin and Opal get ready to head to Zaofu when Bolin rushes Opal with a slew of apologies after luring her to a picnic for the two went horribly wrong. Bolin tells Opal that he loves her and will do anything to make it up to her, and Opal tells him that he can make his grand gesture of love by joining she and Lin on their mission to take back Zaofu.

Thoughts & Theories: It’s episodes like “Beyond the Wilds” that take me on my emotional roller coaster with Korra as an Avatar. But before I dig into that, can I talk about the copious amounts of SHADE Firelord Izumi was throwing at the World Leader’s meeting? Izumi straight up did not want to help at all, and I get her being all Switzerland in this World War II going on, but I mean, considering the crap that her grandfather and great-grandfather did to push the world into a state of imbalance, she could’ve at least warmed up to the idea of taking down Kuvira. I totally get that she may not want to seem like she’s following in her lineage’s footsteps and all, but sheesh. I bet you if Zuko was still Firelord, he’d be down with the cause. But I digress…

As an Avatar, Korra really tries my patience, but I like her. This season, I expected her to go through her emotional ups and downs, and with the whole PTSD thing, I totally get it, but girl… get it together! This is the second time Korra turned down help from the more spiritually inclined (the first time was during Korra Alone). And while I totally got why she’d turn down help from Zaheer (being that he did try to kill her and all), it was yet another moment where I felt like Korra’s “I-Can-Do-Bad-All-By-Myself” attitude was getting in the way of her getting things accomplished — especially since she hadn’t been trying to make much progress on her own. Ultimately, she came around to Zaheer’s help and it actually brought her back in touch with Raava, who said she’d been there the entire time. That, of course, begs the question of how sucky can Korra be to not know that Raava was with her the ENTIRE FRIGGIN TIME. Korra can’t feel spiritual disturbances, she can’t feel Raava… it just makes you question: “why is she the Avatar?” I root for her, but sometimes she makes me even question my choices.

Moving on, Bolin had it ROUGH this episode. My boy comes back in tattered, muddied clothes hoping his lady would see the error in his ways and take him back and it was total “Access Denied.” I felt Opal was being a little #TeamTooMuch with her hesitance towards Bolin since (1) he didn’t imprison Opal’s family (2) he fought against it (3) he tried to warn her but got imprisoned (4) he made his way back to her (5) he told her he loved her. I mean, I hope there’s a point in time where Bo puts his foot down on these girlfriends who have way too much attitude towards him and his sweet-tempered nature. How could you be mad at him when his presence alone was indication that Kuvira lied about him being for her cause? Opal needs to smell the roses before she loses a good man. And speaking of… Bolin’s grand gesture of helping her breakout her family is proof positive of the power of the lady flower (you know what I mean).

Predictions? Well, from the looks of the clip from next week’s episode, my previous predictions were correct and Toph will be a part of the Beifong extraction unit. Bolin fanboying is a bonus.

As I said numerous times, this family breakout will test Baatar Jr.‘s true loyalties, and I’m sure Kuvira will show her true colors by threatening to kill him in the process, prompting him to ditch her and make some kind of sacrifice for the family. I also predict with Korra’s newfound reconnection with Raava will hopefully  allow her to get in contact with her past lives and they’ll guide her into a major decision when it comes to taking down Kuvira. Maybe she’ll take away Kuvira’s bending like Aang did with Firelord Ozai? Hmmm…

Also with Firelord Izumi’s involvement in helping Republic City’s defense, that may mean a bit of screen time for General Iroh, who I have ALWAYS shipped with Asami. She’s rich, he’s rich, she’s an inventor, he’s a general — perfect match. PLUS,  I totally don’t mind Dante Basco making a vocal return this season.

Oh, and with Asami and Varrick working together, I foresee a lot of “Asami, do the thing!”s happening. Though, Asami ain’t that chick to mess with, so she’ll probably knock him upside the head a bit. I’m really hoping that Zhu Li is #TeamAvatar in disguise, but we’ll just have to see. If she isn’t, I can see Varrick vouching for her after all is said and done, realizing that he drove her to betray them because he denied her love.

What did you think of Legend of Korra Book 4 Balance, Chapter 9“Beyond the Wilds”? Let’s talk about it in the comments or chat about it on Twitter

4 comments on “Legend of Korra Season 4, Episode 9: “Beyond the Wilds” Post-Cap — Nerd Girl Corner

  1. Ah yes! Finally. OK, um, well President Raiko is a politician. If that isn’t an insult then maybe it should be cuz he never liked Korra’s natural position as the Ultimate Elemental Bender in the world. Since he is only in power due to her taking out Ammon the equalist and setting up those pesky free elections…wonder how they did the government before? Did only Benders get to be in power? Anyway it seems he has a lot of jellyC toward Korra and anyone who threatens his power base…

    As for Tenzin he must of been playing the over protective surrogate father with Korra since he felt her family put her in his care. I mean look at all that has happened to her during “his watch” so to speak. The fact that she came through to save his daughter once again I’m sure will go a long way in building his trust in her. As for his part in the meeting He wanted to keep the Air Nomads out of ANY war if it meant being on the Aggressor’s side. And yes, Kuvira is bad, she’s bad, you know it… But she hasn’t done anything outside of the borders of the Earth Kingdom at all. Not one thing. So where again can they justify invading her sovereign territory? They were the ones who originally put her in power too. And she made a very valid point about Wu during the coronation not being ready for prime time. She is a patriot of the Earth Empire (formerly Kingdom) and I can see where such a person would not want hand picked administrators running things when the hands that pick them are foreigners. So, Tenzin and Firelord hottie, er, Izumi, really had no choice but to take their positions. FL Izumi knows her nation is not seen as the good guys on the world stage. She is following Zuko’s lead in trying to change that image and an aggressive action, even in good cause, would hinder those efforts. Any politician could twist it to look like “there go those violent Fire nation hotheads again.” I’m sure she would like Kuvira dealt with but her hands are tied. Note she is very critical of Wu in this meeting if you read her expressions.

    One thing to note about the meeting: No water tribe representatives? Not the Southern Tribe that Pres. Raiko refused to help in the civil war, nor the Northern Tribe that Korra’s cousins, Eska and Desna reign over… things that make you go, hmmm.

    Bopal is on the ropes and Bolin goes for the knock out, home-run, hail Mary, with the “L” word! If you catch all of Opal’s reactions to Bolin you get the sense she is only using him because she is desperate for more fire power in her efforts to save her family. Even in the ep. 10 clip she only cracks a smile for Grandma Toph.

    Asami let Varrick know right off she is not going to trust him unconditionally. If he don’t straighten up and fly right she will put the hammer down on his scheming butt. Now that’s how you set up the pecking order.

    Korra was definitely all smiles around Bolin. When he first entered and when they met him outside for proper reunion she was happy. But she was still with the mental block until Zaheer meeting and so you can’t be on her case about not being able to sense Raava or anything else spiritual because sometimes mental blocks are worse than actual physical impairments. With physical impairments you might be able to compensate or even replace the loss, but with mental ones even if you can, you can’t, without a “breakthrough”. Korra’s efforts were all misplaced because, well, she just isn’t a naturally spiritual person. She is hands on, practical, pragmatic. All these feelings and spirit stuff were just like a foreign language to her. But she is learning. She’s a quick study that girl.

    New ship! Varrick and Asami! Varsami! or is that Asamrick? Let’s put a focus group on it! Asami, do the thing! >slap< ok, maybe not…

    • (1) Your comments are everything! LOL. OK, now on to commenting:

      I wholeheartedly agree with almost everything you’re saying when it comes to Izumi’s shady-isms towards fighting Kuvira and Raiko not liking Korra. And now that you mentioned it, it was extra shady of him to not have Korra present as the Avatar, or even as a representative of the Water Tribe. With that being said — as the world leaders placed Kuvira in a position of authority, they should also have the right to remove her from said position and put someone else who they deem fit in its place. Granted, they wanted that to be Suyin Beifong. If not, remove Kuvira and allow the Earth Kingdom people to hold elections as Republic City was able to do… just a thought.

      NOW, when it comes to Korra, I give her leeway on her lack of spiritual balance THIS season because of the PTSD, but if we all thought Raava “died” back in Season 2, and she didn’t, that means that Raava was there in Season 3. The entire time. So, when Korra was all, “I can’t see my past lives for help, let me run to Zuko,” Raava was there. Or do they mean that Raava was there to help her glow her eyes, control the elements, and tap into the spirit world? That part, I’m a little confused with… Either way, you’re right that Korra isn’t naturally a spiritual person, but as the Avatar, that’s something she should have been working on the most.

      Also, NO Vasami ships. Those will not set sail on my watch! LOL. The only ship I sail for Asami (since Korrasami isn’t likely) is Asamiroh. To me, those two are good for each other.

      Opal is definitely dangling her womanly ways to get Bolin to do stuff for her and I’m not feeling it at all.

      And uh, where’s Jinora’s boyfriend, Kai, in all of this? Why isn’t he around now?

      • I am humbled by your gracious response…
        And now a word from our sponsor: Raiko is also slim for a politician… hmmm slim and shady…
        As for foreign powers placing a hand picked leader in control of another nation and then watching that puppet become a dictator…wow, central and south American history class all over again. To say they have a “right” to remove her is saying those foreign powers have a right to rule, themselves, over the Earth King-uh EMPIRE.
        You can guide, you can lead by example, but you can’t force people to except your choice for their leader. Just look at Iraq and Afganistan…
        Oh, and Raava did die back in season 2 but when “she” was reborn inside Vattu, well it’s kinda different than when “she” normally is reborn because Korra ripped “her” out of Vattu and then placed Raava back inside of her… The thing that get’s me wondering is Vattu was destroyed too and normally that would mean it would be reborn inside Raava who is now inside Korra and…ow my head hurts. Anyway Raava was probably in a regrowing stage that didn’t allow her to do more than the basics you mentioned. Think of the past lives as a reformatting of a HDD, that’s what happened with Raava dying and getting reborn. Also why Unnaloc (sp) was lost forever and Korra tried to apologize to Eska and Desna for killing their father.
        As for Gen. Iroh and Kai they are trapped in the Northern Water tribe secret dungeon as Eksa’s love slaves. This is why Eska didn’t show up to the meeting. She didn’t want the firelord to find out and get all jelly because she didn’t think of it first.
        Opal has a right to be shaded towards Bolin, of course, but Dag nab it, Doesn’t she know the boy? I mean he ain’t no rocket scientist, he wears his heart out on his sleeve, and he’ll trust you on your word until you take advantage of him, even if he should see it coming a mile away. She knew all this and the boy is back in front of her with a story to tell. She knows he ain’t no liar (except the broken legs thing). I just wish he hadn’t used the L word cuz, dang, with him it won’t be said lightly. Maybe is different forms but never lightly. He’s getting his heart broken too often and that only makes a person colder.
        And come on give Varasami a little luv here! She’s smart, he’s smart, she’s rich, he’s rich, she’s beautiful, Varrick is… gorgeous! OK now, Asami do the thing! >Slap-zap!< OK, we'll work on that…(faint)

  2. Okay, first off Asami is NOT the one. She is not having it. I love her character because not only is she a genius, but she’s fierce on the battle field. Watching her take down benders and non benders with her agility and electric glove thingey from season one gives me goosebumps. I NEED her to get with General Iroh. The writers need to get on this. They just fit in all the right ways.

    Now as far as Korrah’s Avatar abilities I am dangerously ambivalent. I love that she’s is kinda stubborn and set in her ways. Her father is chief of a tribe, she and the Avatar. Yet, she grew up relatively sheltered though she has all this power.

    But sometimes, her lack of vision, or her lack of ability to understand certain aspects of her role kinda upsets me. And thats why I agreed with Toph when she was reading her for filth. I understand her not being a spiritual person. It was easy for Aang because of his culture as an Air Nomad. And I also understand her suffering from a severe case of PTSD. However I found myself musing to myself frequently: “But she battled Vatu during Harmonic Convergence, Raava supposedly “died” cutting off her link to her past lives after she’s already experienced the profound power of the Avatar state with a connection to her past lives. Yet she overcame.” I guess what I’m trying to say, I understand Zaheer nearly assassinated her but a three year absence from your role is unexeceptable by any standards. The President of the United Staes or members of a monarch don’t get to take three years off from being a world leader after a failed assassination attempt and then be upset when people don’t take them seriously.

    Korrah didn’t listen to reason, insisted on fighting Kuriva an got her taint handed to her by Kuvira (in a lovely display of Metal bending that gave me goosebumps) in front of EVERYONE and then feel a way when they thought she STILL wasn’t strong enough to .

    But JUST as I’m beginning to lose faith in her she makes me root for her. That inner strength comes to the fore at the right moment and she becomes who she is meant to be. Or at least is on the path to being the “unstoppable Avatar” again. I often times have to remind myself she is still young. It took Roku 12 years to become a fully realized Avatar.

    I can’t really be too pissed at Opal. I live for Bolin. He is such a beautiful character. I mean, how can you be mad at him? (Plus he is a lava bender.) But as someone who comes from a large family, if they were taken captive by a dictator and my man was even remotely connected to the perp who holds them, I’d throw shade too. I wouldn’t be as harsh as she is with it, but there would be copious amounts of shade. I think her thoughts are squarely on her family and getting them back safely. I hope she doesn’t break his heart. Bolin does verge closely to being a masochist.

    And lastly where the (expletive) is Kai?

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