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.