|"For years, people have been saying they can help me get better. Nothing's worked. I need to figure this out on my own."|
|— Korra declining the help of the spirits.|
"Korra Alone" is the second episode of Book Four: Balance of The Legend of Korra and the 41st of the overall series. It was released online on Nick.com and through the Nick app on October 10, 2014, and aired on Nicktoons on November 28, 2014.
As Korra is haunted by a shadow of herself in the Avatar State, she reminisces about the hardships she has endured the past three years. In 171 AG, after being poisoned by the Red Lotus, she retreated to the Southern Water Tribe in an attempt to heal her body and her mind. Although she was able to recover physically after two years with Katara's help, Korra continued to have visions about Zaheer and the attempt on her life. In 173 AG, she set out on a journey across the world in an unsuccessful attempt to reconnect with Raava. In the present, 174 AG, while wandering through a small Earth Kingdom town, she decides to confront the vision of herself in a duel and loses. When a small dog begs her to follow it, she finds herself in the Foggy Swamp. After another confrontation with her Avatar self, she passes out and wakes up in Toph's home.
A battered and bruised Avatar Korra, dressed in Earth Kingdom clothing, stands at a sink in a bathroom, staring at herself in a cracked mirror. Opening the faucet, she bends the water to her elbow in order to heal a wound she sustained. Her concentration is broken by insistent knocking and a shout for her to hurry out. She leaves the bathroom, allowing the man responsible for the disturbance to enter. Lost in thought with her eyes trained on the floor, Korra walks on the street and barely avoids being run over by a Satomobile, diving out of the way at the last second. She stumbles to a nearby alley and leans on the wall to steady herself. Breathing heavily while clutching her head, she notices someone standing at the end of the alleyway. Focusing on the individual, she discovers that it resembles herself as she appeared during her battle with Zaheer; the figure is in the Avatar State and dressed in her old Water Tribe clothes, with a length of broken chain wrapped around the right arm. When Korra calls out to the apparition, it attacks her with the chain. Although she retaliates with a firebending blast, she ends up knocked down with the chain ensnaring her left wrist. Korra yells for the apparition to leave her alone as it stalks closer before engulfing the alley in flame with a large blast of fire. As the fire dissipates, she realizes that she is alone. When several bystanders who witnessed her outburst offer her help, Korra turns them down.
Walking away, Korra's thoughts turn to the last time she saw her friends. After Jinora's anointment ceremony, Korra, having changed back into her normal attire, sits in her wheelchair at the dock on Air Temple Island. Bolin, imploring her not to take his statement the wrong way, announces that he cannot wait for her to leave. When Mako reprimands him, the earthbender clarifies that he looks forward to being pen pals with Korra and immediately gives her a letter. When Asami asks if she is sure she does not want any company at the Southern Water Tribe, emphasizing that she would be happy to accompany her, Korra declines the offer and assures her that several weeks by herself to recuperate will be beneficial. Tenzin assures her that she need not worry about anything but her recovery as he, Jinora, and the other airbenders can handle the rest. As her friends wave goodbye, Korra leaves on a steamship with her parents, Naga, and Kya.
Three weeks later, while sleeping in the Southern Water Tribe Royal Palace, Korra suffers a nightmare in which Zaheer asphyxiates her. She wakes up, severely distressed and breathing heavily. In a wheelchair, she makes her way to the balcony for some fresh air and gazes at the spirit lights. She is found by her mother, who asks her if she is having difficulty sleeping again. Senna notes that she and Tonraq have tried to give Korra all the space she needs, but fearing for her daughter's well-being, she urges her to seek help from Katara. Korra agrees to visit the elderly healer, prompting Senna to hug her daughter. Despite her mother's hopeful reassurances that she will get through her hardship, Korra sheds a tear.
At the healing hut, Korra lies in a healing pool. As Katara tries to heal her, she notes that the poison caused considerable internal damage. When Korra asks if the elder can fix it, Katara admits that she can help guide Korra's healing process, but that recovery itself is entirely dependent on Korra's efforts. Empathizing with Korra's traumatic experience, Katara promises her that, if she dedicates herself to the process, she will be able to recover stronger than she was before. When Korra earnestly expresses her desire to heal, Katara urges her to concentrate on her big toe and visualize it moving. After a moment, she manages to shift her right toe, much to her delight.
Over time, Korra moves to the parallel bars in order to try walking. Katara states that the mind can be a powerful ally or greatest enemy. Leaning heavily on the bars and exerting considerable effort, she manages to keep herself standing, but before she can take a step, she is overwhelmed by the memory of being poisoned by the Red Lotus and collapses. Katara comforts her, assuring Korra that she is safe even though her body still believes it is in danger. The elderly healer urges her to use her mind to overcome the pain, but Korra refuses to try again that day.
One night, Korra sits in bed and reads several letters written by her friends. In her letter, Asami expresses how much she misses Korra and notes how Republic City is not the same without her. She also reveals that Future Industries is thriving, having recently secured a contract to redesign the city. Mako prefaces his letter by noting that he is not skilled in writing, before jokingly describing the weather in Republic City and wishing Korra well. He subsequently reveals that he is back on duty with the force, staking out the Red Monsoon Triad's hideout. In contrast with the others, Bolin's letter is written in formal language but expresses the same sentiment of missing Korra. He also reveals that he has begun working with Varrick and Kuvira to help stabilize the Earth Kingdom.
Korra keeps up her intensive physiotherapy, but nearly six months later, she has failed to make any significant progress. During a session, Korra laments her inability to take more than a few steps without collapsing. When Katara tries to calm her down, she snaps at the elder in frustration over being dependent on others for everything while her friends are actively helping the world. Yelling that she is "stuck" with Katara whom she accuses of being incapable of healing her, Korra realizes that she should not have addressed the elder in such a manner and immediately apologizes. Katara simply empathizes with Korra's disillusioned state of mind, encouraging her to release her pent-up anger and frustration. Having calmed down, Korra laments her situation and the senselessness of it all, prompting Katara to comfort the Avatar by reminding her that she is not the first Avatar forced to overcome great suffering: Aang had to deal with the loss of his people but never let that destroy his spirit. He chose to find meaning in his pain and eventually found peace. While Katara admits that she does not know what Korra will find if she perseveres through her ordeal, she poses that it would be interesting to find out. Korra subsequently tries to walk again with the aid of the parallel bars and manages to bridge the short distance to Naga, falling happily against the polar bear dog's chest.
In the present, it nears twilight, and Korra walks down a street alone. As something passes behind her, she whirls around but finds the street deserted. Korra turns back to find, much to her surprise, a white puppy in the middle of the road and squats down to pet it. Wondering where it came from, she looks up and finds the Avatar apparition blocking the path ahead. However, Korra's glare at the figure shifts to a look of surprise when she notices the dog growling and barking at the apparition. She is put at ease by the fact that the dog can also see the apparition, concluding it means that she is not going crazy. As the creature continues to bark, Korra stands to face the apparition, which suddenly vanishes. She turns to the puppy in disbelief, asking how it dispelled the vision. The dog runs off and barks at her, prompting her to follow it.
In another flashback, Tenzin arrives on Oogi at the Southern Water Tribe compound. As the flying bison lands on the ground and Tenzin descends, Korra runs up and launches herself at the airbending master to embrace him warmly. Upon being complimented that she looks good, Korra drags Tenzin off toward the training grounds, eager to show him how much she has improved. She spars against three White Lotus firebenders, and although she starts strong, she is defeated after being overcome by another vision of Zaheer flying down toward her. Helped back to her feet by Tenzin, who declares the sparring match to be over, she angrily states that she believed she was ready. Tenzin tries to put her at ease by pointing out that there is no shame in taking time to fully recover, adding that her duties as the Avatar can wait. Unconvinced, Korra asks about the Earth Kingdom, knowing that the nation is still in chaos. She is disheartened to hear that Kuvira's efforts have largely stabilized the situation, feeling guilty over the metalbender doing the Avatar's duty. Tenzin tries to lift her spirit by emphasizing that everything is under control. Before he can tell her that she needs to be patient, Korra glares at him and threatens to "water-smack" him in the mouth if he voices the thought. Tenzin alters his advice, telling the Avatar instead to be grateful for the progress she has made rather than worry about the future. Without replying, Korra throws her helmet away in frustration and leaves the sparring ring.
For two years, Korra continues her training and recovery at the Southern Water Tribe, practicing her bending and meditation. At one point, she writes a letter back to Asami, in which she apologizes for not having written before, admitting that her previous attempts were unsuccessful due to her uncertainty about what to write. She reveals that the past couple of years have been the hardest of her life; even though she has recovered physically, she still cannot enter the Avatar State, and memories of Zaheer and the Red Lotus attack still haunt her. She also admits that she worries that she may never fully recover, despite her best efforts. Korra implores Asami not to tell Mako and Bolin that she wrote to her; while she does not want to hurt their feelings, she finds it easier to confide in Asami and fears that the brothers would not understand.
While having a meal with her parents, Korra absentmindedly plays with her food until Senna inquires about her well-being. She expresses her desire to return to Republic City, believing that, as it is a place of action and closer to her friends, being there will aid her recovery. Tonraq announces that he will have the White Lotus prepare a boat for her, but Korra declines the offer and insists on going alone, wanting a chance to clear her head. Shortly after, she leaves the South in a small, single-person catamaran, waving to her parents and Naga as she sails out of the harbor.
En route, Korra briefly stops at a coastal village to purchase supplies. Upon asking a local fishmonger for two lobster crabs, he immediately recognizes her as the Avatar and excitedly asks her to pose for a picture for his "Wall of Avatars", showcasing an image of an excited adult Aang spinning two sushi pieces between his hands. Despite noting that she is in a hurry, the man forges ahead and searches for his camera, rambling about Aang having been a fan of his seaweed wraps, which he has since renamed "Aang rolls". After taking her picture, the fishmonger admits that he would have loved to meet Avatar Kyoshi, as she is rumored to have taken down a shark squid with one hand. Another vendor suddenly shouts about a robbery in progress, prompting the fishmonger to urge Korra to intervene. She intercepts the thieves, but the two men easily defeat her with a single attack before escaping. As Korra lies on the beach clutching her head in pain, the vendors loom over her and question her identity as the Avatar.
Korra makes it to Republic City, but as she sails into Yue Bay, she sees a vision of herself in the Avatar State standing atop one of the rocks near Air Temple Island and glaring back menacingly. Realizing that she is not ready to return, she steers the boat out of the bay, instead docking somewhere in a deserted area where she obtains Earth Kingdom clothes, sheds all her Water Tribe identifiers, and cuts her hair.
Korra travels to the North Pole to enter the Spirit World via the northern spirit portal. She makes her way to the Tree of Time to meditate in its hollow. Her presence is discovered by spirits, who begin debating among themselves whether or not she is the Avatar, as they cannot sense Raava's energy around her. Her concentration broken, Korra verifies her identity as the Avatar, noting that she is merely wearing different clothes and has cut her hair. When a light spirit asks where she has been, she admits to having lost touch with her Avatar Spirit due to sustaining severe injuries in battle. She further explains that she had hoped to reconnect with Raava and access the Avatar State by meditating in the Tree of Time but that it is not working; while Korra saw a myriad of visions during her last meditation inside the hollow, she cannot see anything this time. The spirits offer their help, but Korra declines, adamant that she needs to solve the problem on her own, and departs.
During her travels, Korra writes to her parents in order to keep them from worrying about her. She falsely tells them how pleased she is to have returned to Air Temple Island and reunited with her friends. In reality, however, Korra is roaming the physical world by herself—crossing icy seas, hiking up volcanoes, and traversing the desert—all the while seeing the apparition of herself in the Avatar State. While wandering a desert, she sees Raava atop a nearby dune. Ecstatic to have found Raava again, she scrambles to the dune's peak, only to have her hopes dashed by the realization that it was a mirage.
Six months after having left the South Pole, Korra makes her way to a small Earth Kingdom town at night, where she once again sees the apparition of herself in the Avatar State. When the figure turns into an alley, Korra follows it, determined to end the encounters once and for all. The vision leads her into a crowded warehouse in which earthbending cage fights are being held. Seeing the apparition standing in the ring, Korra asks the organizer how to enter the ring and is subsequently permitted to fight. She is paired with a female earthbender, though during the battle, her opponent takes the form of Korra in the Avatar State. Korra is barraged with several rocks and pushed around with an earth pillar. Panting heavily, she taunts the apparition, which spurs on her actual opponent to intensify her attacks. Although Korra tries to retaliate, she is knocked down by a direct hit. Struggling to get back on her feet, she stares at the apparition, who morphs back into her earthbending opponent. As the announcer declares the match over, Korra slips into unconsciousness.
Memories of the following moments blur together, jumping from Korra standing in the public bathroom, to being nearly run over by a car, and to meeting the dog in the middle of the road. As the flashbacks end, Korra is following the dog down a sandy path out of the town. By the time the sun is well into the sky, they arrive at the Foggy Swamp. Once under the cover of the trees, the puppy transforms into a light spirit, one whom Korra recognizes as one of the spirits she met during her last visit to the Tree of Time. Although she expresses displeasure at having been deceived, she acknowledges the spirit's reasoning for its concealment, as she would likely not have followed it had she known. As Korra asks what she is supposed to find in the swamp, the spirit clarifies that they are there for a "who", not a "what", before flying off into the thicket. Korra gives chase, eventually bursting out of the vegetation and falling into a shallow pond where her Avatar apparition awaits her. She fearfully backs up, telling herself that the figure is merely a figment of her imagination, but the vision hurls Korra into a tree with a powerful firebending attack. Barraged with water, fire, and earth attacks, Korra is forced to run. As she tries to escape into a tree, the apparition hooks its chain around her leg. A pool of mercury appears around the apparition, and it starts to sink, pulling Korra down with it. Unable to free herself from the mercury sticking to her body, Korra desperately calls for help before sinking completely into the pool.
Sometime later, Korra awakens to find herself in a dark cave and is subsequently asked if she is feeling better. She sees an old woman stirring a pot nearby and asks the elder where she is and what happened to her. Without turning around, the woman deflects the question back to Korra, stating that she knows nothing beyond the fact that she found the Avatar lying unconscious in the mud. When Korra asks how the woman had known where to look, the latter states that she is aware of her surroundings and asks Korra what she was doing in the swamp in the first place. Korra tells the woman that a spirit urged her to find someone in the swamp, whom she now believes may be the elder. Not confirming nor denying that to be true, the old woman urges Korra to listen to her Avatar senses if they led her there, surprising the Avatar and prompting her to ask how she knew of her identity. Korra lights a flame in her hand and approaches the elder, who admits to having been good friends with her predecessor before turning around. Korra recognizes the old woman as Toph Beifong, who, in turn, addresses her as "Twinkle Toes".
- Janet Varney - Korra
- David Faustino - Mako
- Seychelle Gabriel - Asami
- P. J. Byrne - Bolin
- J. K. Simmons - Tenzin
- James Remar - Tonraq
- Jeff Bennett
- Eva Marie Saint - Katara
- Alex McKenna - Senna
- Philece Sampler
- Morgan Gingerich - Light spirit
- Max Charles - Skeptical spirit
- Main article: Transcript:Korra Alone
- Aang's pose in the fishmonger's picture is similar to the one he assumed for his air marbles trick in "The Warriors of Kyoshi".
- Toph refers to Korra as "Twinkle Toes", a nickname she gave to Aang when they first met.
- Korra has a sparring match against White Lotus firebenders, much like she did in "Welcome to Republic City".
- Toph has been living in the Foggy Swamp in her search for enlightenment.
- There are several inconsistencies between this episode and the end of "After All These Years".
- In "After All These Years", Korra was jumping up and down when she said "Is that all you got?", while in this episode, she is standing still.
- In this episode, the line "We have a winner!" is said before Korra collapses, whereas in "After All These Years", it was heard after she collapsed.
- The bag Korra carries around is a green backpack instead of the gray duffel bag she had in "After All These Years".
- At the end of "After All These Years", Korra removes her wristbands, but at the beginning of this episode, which is set directly after Korra made her way out of the arena and into a public bathroom, she is wearing them again.
- When Korra makes the little flame in her hand to see Toph, the wrapping reaches to the palm of her hand. In the next shot, it only reaches to her wrist.
- "Korra Alone" was named after the Avatar: The Last Airbender episode, "Zuko Alone".
- Korra's catamaran resembles the boat that the original Team Avatar used to sail from the Northern Water Tribe to General Fong's fortress.
- Korra cutting her hair recalls a similar scene from "The Avatar State", in which Zuko and Iroh cut their top-knots after they became fugitives of the Fire Nation.
- Dee Bradley Baker is not credited for this episode despite there being several animal noises, including the barking dog, Pabu, and Naga.
- A scene of Tonraq pushing Korra in her wheelchair into the Southern Water Tribe Royal Palace was cut from the final storyboard.
- This episode is Janet Varney's favorite episode, as well as one of Michael Dante DiMartino's favorites to write. It was also the People's Choice Winner for "Best Television Episode" in IGN's Best of 2014 for television.
- ↑ Moore, Ben (October 9, 2014). The Legend of Korra Season 4 NYCC Panel: The Creators & Cast Say Goodbye. Screenrant.com. Retrieved on October 10, 2014.
- ↑ Ehasz, Aaron, Ehasz, Elizabeth Welch, Hedrick, Tim, O'Bryan, John (writers) & Volpe, Giancarlo (director). (March 17, 2006). "The Avatar State". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 1. Nickelodeon.
- ↑ The Legend of Korra—The Art of the Animated Series, Book Four: Balance, page 29.
- ↑ A Few Highlights from the Janet Varney Panel at Daisho Con 2015. Thechosenavatar on Tumblr (November 22, 2015). Retrieved on December 17, 2015.
- ↑ DiMartino, Michael Dante (October 23, 2014). Legend of Korra Live Community Q&A: Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko. Avatar Wiki. Retrieved on October 23, 2014.
- ↑ The Legend of Korra: "Korra Alone" - Best of 2014: Television. IGN. Retrieved on January 17, 2015.