Flawed gem: Legend of Korra finale review

A test photo released after the announcement o...
A test photo released after the announcement of the series showing Korra overlooking United Republic. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WARNING: LOTS AND LOTS OF SPOILERS

I trawled the Internet for reviews of The Legend of Korra season finale.

Make no mistake; I loved it to bits. I was just curious about what other people thought.

Then I stumbled across a review (didn’t bother saving the link, sorry) calling the finale a major disappointment, saying the episode and the whole show was riddled with bad writing and Korra got “handed everything” including the Avatar status.

I was a little befuddled. Honestly, if you compare all the schlock you get on TV, LoK has some of the better writing around. And Korra being “handed everything”? Maybe in the beginning but she had her own struggles too.

Korra’s journey differed a lot from Aang’s. Part of the reason she is who she is was due to Aang’s intervention. He tasked the Fellowship of the White Lotus to find Korra, keep her safe and guide her through mastering the elements.

I think Aang’s previous hardships motivated him to make sure that the next Avatar would have an easier time than he did. Korra was able to spend years honing her water, fire and earth bending to prodigious levels. Aang on the other hand was forced to “get it over with” while training the other elements so he could achieve the Avatar state and defeat Lord Ozai. I think he wanted to spare Korra that.

Korra had her own challenges; not the same as Aang’s but they were still things she needed to work on. The combination of growing up in a safe cocoon and her tempestuous nature made “adjusting” fairly challenging from her first day in Republic City.

What annoys me is the criticism about how Korra discovers she can airbend. “Why didn’t she discover her ability all the other times when people were in danger, huh? Why does it have to be for Mako?”

All those other times, Korra had the other elements at her disposal. It makes sense that Korra reaches past the barrier that separates herself from the Air element once her connection to the others were separated. If you notice, even the way she uses Air isn’t the way Aang uses it – she punches and blasts the air the way she uses fire, a lot different from the fluid grace Aang employed.

Korra started out brash and headstrong, but Amon forces her to learn fear and caution. She puts aside her own feelings about Mako in consideration of Asami. Do you think it would be easy to have to see the man you love with someone else every single day? At least Aang never had to wake up to seeing Katara doing smoochy faces with someone else everyday.

Sure, it would have been nice to see secondary characters fleshed out a bit more. But given the season had only 12 episodes that would have been a tall order. Still, Lin Bei Fong’s character was given enough love. The writers could have easily let her become a caricature, a slapstick cranky nemesis of sorts but Lin got to show courage and compassion along with her kickass metal bending. Her character arc was one of my favourite in the series and I confess I shed tears when Amon took her bending away.

On another note: When I saw Tenzin and his brood trussed up like lambs to the slaughter, I think I nearly bawled. NOOO NOT THE AIRBABIES NOOOO.

The final 5 minutes seemed a bit rushed to be honest: OK LET’S MAKE AANG AND ALL THE OTHER AVATARS APPEAR YEAH AND GIVE LIN HER BENDING BACK AND HEY MAKE KORRA FINALLY ACHIEVE AVATAR STATE!!!!

Still, only the hardest of hearts wouldn’t be somewhat pleased to see Korra and Mako finally just suck face already. All in all, I give the episode a firm 8 out of 10.

 

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3 thoughts on “Flawed gem: Legend of Korra finale review

  1. Jude

    They could make next book 2, 3 ,4 about Korra’s adventure in remastering the fire,water,earth elements. I think that was the original intention of the writers – where Tenzin/Amon do not perish/Aang guides but does not “grant” Korra her avatar abilities yet.
    I was disappointed because the finale’s last two minutes so quickly wrapped up the issues of Korra’s adventures and the future of the Republic City/United Nations.
    Note that this season’s book was Air. The next 3 books could be Fire, Water, Earth, where Korra goes on her adventure learning and remastering the rest of the elements. Maybe a new antagonist is needed, maybe not.

    I just do not want to see Avatar becoming another Hey Arnold from Nickelodeon. Fans were thoroughly disappointed by how Hey Arnold never really sought an ending to the series, it ended so abruptly and without a real compensation for its characters and story (eg. Helga’s confession to Arnold, Arnold’s reaction)

    Please. Avatar: Legend of Korra must continue!

  2. coolman229

    I do agree with the above poster. We were given a great finale, with (in my eyes) two major problems: Mako and Aang. I understand that the writers planned for one season of 12 episodes, but you could tell that they wanted to tell a bigger story, but compressed it to fit it in 12 episodes. Mako’s so called romance with Korra was disturbing on many levels, since a good deal of the time he’s chasing Korra he’s still dating Asami, and when she confronts him about Korra, he gets made and storms off. He never owned up to his actions. He never got flak from anyone except Asami. Asami and Bolin both suffered from Mokorra’s so called happy ending. It felt unnatural, and pissed me off that Mako became a karma Houdini.

    And Aang….can anyone say Lion Turtle? I must say that I was excited when Aang popped up. I thought this was going to be an uplifting part where Aang comforts her and tells her that she’s still the Avatar despite the fact that she only has Air now. Maybe hint that she could get them back, but she’d have to meditate more and get more in tune with her spiritual side, since SHE JUST opened up to it. But no, he immediately restores her bending and teaches her energybending. So everyone can be restored to the status quo. Then Mako pops up and everything’s better. The guy who cheated on his girlfriend so he could hit on Korra. Yeah. There was no dealing with Korra and everyone else’s loss. We got a deus ex machina that turned a potentially hopeful bittersweet ending to a cheap happy ending that didn’t want to show the cost of war. It was very disappointing.

  3. Shobhit

    Disappointed……..completely disappointed..I was so excited about the character AMON….He surpassed OZAI and every other antagonist of TLA in almost every field for the first 11 episodes…..and in 12th episode he is no better than THE COMBUSTION MAN……man big disappointment….if only they could have carried on with the AMON being a anti hero,being a true revolutionary……it would have been the best anime ever made……..i thought TLK will go on the path of V FOR VENDETTA….where there will be a conflict of philosophies..a grey character……and in the end nothing………he just another guy…he is just another YAKONE…..Now after watching finale what is the point of complete season…AMON is just a bloodbender…….and by the way why did he take is brother’s bending away??? He could have just told him the truth…he could have easily joined him…as he was running away from the city himself……….PURE BULLS**T….completely disappointed……..what do you guys think?????

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