Video Vednesday: Legend of Korra S4E1 "After All These Years"

The next pony article is done, but since I had this ready to launch, I’ve decided to hold it until Thursday.

Welcome to a new weekly feature, Video Vednesdays, when I post one of the videos I’m making for my Patreon! For the first dozen-and-a-bit of these videos, that’ll be vlog reviews of the final Korra Season!

So, here’s my vlog review of The Legend of Korra, Season 4, Episode 1, “After All These Years.” I talk about my hopes and concerns for the season, my intense dislike of Mako, and approval of the decision to withhold a certain character until the end of the episode.

Patreon backers get access to these videos as I make them as opposed to as I post them publicly, plus immediate access to The Near Apocalypse of ’09!

One thought on “Video Vednesday: Legend of Korra S4E1 "After All These Years"

  1. So I'm planning to watch these videos immediately after watching the episode they respond to for the first time.

    I buy into Toph becoming a cop because she didn't just become just any cop, she became chief of police in Aang's city. Toph is inclined to chaos and personally values her own freedom, but that is not the same as being ideologically committed to chaos and liberty at all costs for everyone the way the Red Lotus is (even postulating a non-violent period before the villains of S3). So I think it's easily credible to say that Toph took a job she wouldn't otherwise have considered because she believed in Aang, Zuko, and their big life-defining project.

    It's notable that Toph's police force is modeled (by the authors) on the modern liberal democratic civilian police force and clearly organizationally distinct from Republic City's army. I can't think of any evidence in any Avatar season of a police force separate from the local army/militia/guard other than the RCPD and Dai Li, so we may reasonably infer that diegetically, this form of law enforcement was novel, and that Toph may have invented it. If not her, the most likely inventor is Sokka. Collaboration is also possible, e.g. Sokka bringing forward a proposal and then modifying it in response to Toph's objections.

    So I'm not convinced that Toph must have been aware of or involved with the Red Lotus, but I do agree that she could act as Kuvira's foil. The ostensible purpose of a civilian police force is to ensure that law enforcement is not enacted by an occupying military force, but the lived experience is that police forces drift towards becoming an internal military parallel to, rather than fundamentally different from, the external military. Toph's experience may have been similar and while Kuvira's army isn't part of the RCPD, she takes down the bandits like an exceptionally talented metal bending cop, bending bands into handcuffs. So symbolically, she represents the prospect of Toph's dream for a civil liberties respecting civilian police force decaying into an internal occupying army.

    The political relationship between Kuvira and Wu is not clear. Early on, the Republic City bigwigs speak of Kuvira's suppression of bandits as being an undivided good for Wu, but later on Mako suspects that the pie assailants are expressing support for Kuvira. As for Wu, his first two priorities appear to be his personal safety and personal comfort, probably in that order. He seems like the type to sign one of Kuvira's contracts without hesitation. The scenario you describe is plausible, but it's equally likely that Wu will join Kuvira without complaint and the conflict will focus instead on Toph.

    Like

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