Three years, and some change, and The Legend of Korra series ends in a bold and unexpected way. It has been a long journey with some ups-and-downs for both viewers and the characters of the series. Some seasons are arguably better than others, but the series as a whole has been a great watch. Considering that The Legend of Korra was originally just supposed to serve as an epilogue to the Avatar:The Last Airbender series, it makes sense that it seemed rushed and disjointed at times. The seasons were like a emotional roller coaster of good and bad watches and the budget cuts and Nickelodeon indecisiveness surely did not help the situation either. With all that being said, original creators Bryan Konietzko and Michael De DiMartino were still able to deliver a unique viewing experience.
Last week’s episode of The Legend of Korra was filled with plenty of set-up for the final battle between Team Avatar and the colossus-sutied Kuvira. Her march and seize of the empty Republic City was in full force and her spirit weapon was in tow. After leaving off on a cliffhanger, viewers got a chance to see that the attack on Team Avatar’s interrogation room left all parties still in good condition. Thanks to some Earth bending from Bolin, the majority of the group was able to evade the direct assault from the spirit gun and find shelter.
With Baatar knocked unconscious from the blast, the team had no lead on how to take down the colossus. Thanks to Milo’s quick thinking, the team attempted a plan to try and blind the mechanical giant and topple it over. What seemed like it would work eventually led to a fail. Kuvira had already installed water pipes and wipers to clean the glass (of course) and the air benders attempt to knock her down just ended up in some getting injured by her spirit gun. With their first attempt at taking the colossus down futile, the team had to tend to the injured and re-group to come up with a new one.
At this point, it was just the core members of Team Avatar to take on Kurvira’s mech giant. Considering that Baatar Jr. was out of commission, the chief suggested bringing in another expert of mechanics-Asami’s criminal father. This was a nice moment for The Legend of Korra viewers as Asami got some more closure with her father and he was able to redeem himself. Devising a plan to use the remaining hummingbird machines to cut into a piece of the mech giant and disable it from the inside, Asami’s father, Varrick, Jhu Li, and Asami successfully broke through Kuvira’s platinum beast. Though the mission proved useful, it ended in a casualty.
Now that Korra, Bolin, Su, the chief, and Mako were in, it was time to split up and take apart the colossus from the inside out. Korra headed straight for Kuvira, while the others went off to disable the spirit gun and heart. Debatably one of the highlight moments of the entire The Legend of Korra series, even the animation for the battles within the mechanical giant were nothing less than spectacular and well choreographed.
The showdown between Kuvira and Korra varied a lot from their first encounter. Drastically different from the avatar from the beginning of The Legend of Korra season, no was she so afraid to take down the self-appointed dictator. Coming in full force, this battle was exactly what viewers were waiting for. Interesting enough, Korra did not go into the avatar state at all during this fight but was still able to hold her own. The fight carried out into the middle of the spirit vine jungle where the cannon also ended up. In a last ditch effort, Kuvira tried to initialize the weapon but ended up overloading it with all the spirit energy around. Korra blocked the attack and the two were both transported to the spirit world.
Instead of Korra taking the usual “attack first, ask questions later” approach, she actually showed some compassion towards the antagonist. This is the first time in the entire Legend of Korra season that viewers got to hear the real story behind Kuvira and her thirst for dominance over the nation. Showing more dimensions than just a crazy conqueror, this moment was also a growing point for Korra. Her choice to let Kuvira live and actually listen to her story showed that truly Legend of Korra’s protagonist has fully grown as a character and become more of an avatar.
Almost anticlimatically, Kuvira eventually ended surrendering and was arrested for her crimes against the nation. A celebration was at hand for the victory and newly formed spirit portal in the middle of Republic City. All was back to relatively normalcy in The Legend of Korra world. Instead of returning to the mantle of prince-turned-king, Wu decided to step down and form a democracy for the Earth nation. Mako vowed to always follow Korra into battle and Korra, in a way found a new love in, wait for it, Asami.
In a way this ending did not seem as illogical or drastic for the character, it seems that the avatar might be a little gay. Her asking Asami to only come with her to the spirit realm and holding hands as they traveled away together may have been a bit ambiguous but a bold way to end the series. It showed the maturity that The Legend of Korra series had evolved to and may just be the first time that homosexuality has been introduced in the avatar series. This pairing does not seem completely illogical but, nonetheless, random. It was never really hinted that Asami swung that way, but her character was just so bland that it just did not add much shock value.
Though it is a sad day to say “good bye” to the avatar series, Legend of Korra Book 4:Balance may just have been one of the strongest seasons in the series history. Though met with some filler episodes, due to budget constraints, the series as a whole was cohesive to tell a action-packed, well animated story that brought the series to a efficient end.
Opinion By Tyler Cole