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The Legend of Korra – Finale Review

"An Entertainly Ambiguous Ending to an Ambiguous Legend"

Here it is folks. The end. The Legend of Korra wrapped up this week with “Day of the Colossus” and “The Last Stand”. Honestly, it was a pretty solid ending. Most of fears for the ending didn’t appear, it was thoroughly enjoying, and — ignoring the ending everyone’s talking about — was pretty satisfying. Were there problems? A few. However, considering the expectations I went in with, this turned out to be better than expected.

Let’s take a look.

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Plot

In the action-packed “Day of the Colossus”, Korra and friends try desperately to bring down Kuvira’s giant mech. Finally, in a last ditch effort, they’re able to find their way inside of the mech itself and attempt a take it down from the inside.

In “The Last Stand”, a brutal final battle begins inside the giant mech for the fate of Republic City. Kuvira and Korra square off as the others do battle throughout the machine in a bid to bring it down. Meanwhile, Prince Wu leads the remaining citizens of Republic City through the chaos to safety

Blockbuster Bending

Man. This episode. So, here’s the thing. A part of me was worried about the series finale, because the set-up didn’t seem big.  I know that we were talking about a giant mech and international war, but these kind of world-threatening events happens every season. It’s a decent setup to a season finale, but a not the ending to a series. I wanted a huge finale to send this show out on. Something we haven’t seen before, something not easy to forget!

And we got it.

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The set pieces in these two episodes, especially in “Day of the Colossus” are amazing. They’re thrilling to watch, fantastically animated, and just plain cool. We have earth benders bringing tops of skyscrapers down on giant mechs, we have awesome close-quarters combat inside a giant robot, and the Kuvira vs. Korra fight is a lightening fast parade of imaginative earth bending. The action seemed to build on itself, each attempt to bring down the mech was a little bigger, a little more dangerous, a little crazier. Bending versus bending fights are cool, but we’ve seen a bunch of them. A bunch of benders versus a giant robot? That’s something new.

Just as an aside, is this the first time they’ve said the mechs are made of platinum? That’s their reason for being unable to bend the giant mech, I assume that’s why they can’t bend the others either. Maybe it was mentioned way back in season one and I just can’t recall.

This is definitely the high point of the season and a high note to go out on, action wise. Season three of Korra is still probably my favorite, but a lot of action pieces in these episodes blew most of season three’s away. I think I was the most entertained in these last 44 minutes than I was the rest of the season.

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Wrapping it Up in a Tight Little Bow

This is kind of my biggest issue with the finale, and it’s an issue similar to season one’s. The main plot is wrapped up in a way that more-or-less makes sense. It’s not a stretch. I’ll buy it. The b-plots, however, are quickly solved in ways that seem a lot like cop outs. Yes, they had a sizable time crunch, but c’mon. Think about it:

Prince Wu. I figured he’d step up and complete his arc into becoming a leader. Pushed by the chaos, he’d have to sink or swim. Baptism by fire, I’m into it. At first, that seems to be the way it goes! People are arguing and panicking. Wu steps in, takes charge, and commands their respect. Alright, I’m still digging it.

Then he brings in badger moles. That he can command with his singing. WAS– look, did I miss a bunch of episodes? Please, tell me, am I forgetting this setup? How did Wu know this? I think its kind of inferred that he saw them at the Zoo with Mako and that’s where he learned they responded to his singing. As far as I know, we didn’t see it so that makes it deus ex machina. Not only that, but add the fact that he somehow got all the way to the zoo in an abandoned city crawling with Kuvira’s troops, broke out the badger moles, and rode them back. Sure, maybe the rode them back underground, but that doesn’t explain how they made it in the first place.

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Possibly even worse, we have Varrick and Zhu Li. Last week’s episode made it seem like Varrick would need to realize his dickish ways in order to win back Zhu Li and save the day. Again, at first that’s what it seemed like. Every time Varrick needed to explain something to her, they were interrupted. Sure, cool. However he then proposes to her before they attack the giant mech themselves and it’s all fixed.

It seems like we skipped a few steps. Zhu Li was mad at Varrick, right? He didn’t realize how much he had taken her for granted? I mean, I think that’s what the Mrs. Beaks story was about, he was starting to realize how bad he was to her and was trying to let her know. But he never got to! She should still be mad! Yet she still says yes and it’s a big celebration. I mean, if you think getting married is a pretty good way to solve relationship issues, then maybe you should stay away from the altar. It seems like we were just pushing things into a neat little end without getting there logically. It’s frustrating.

What About That Ending

THE ENDING! It’s making headlines across the Internet. Discussions are raging all over threads as you read this. Was the hand holding between Korra and Asami simply a friendly gesture or was it something more? Something romantic.

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First, off, it was kind of genius. Its constructed in such a way that it could mean whatever the view wants it to. I mean, maybe they’re just friends and non-benders need to hold a bender’s hand to cross into the Spirit World? Then again, Korra did write letters to just Asami while she was gone and Korra did blush when she saw her again.

Lets assume that it is meant to be romantic for argument’s sake. It feels a little weak to me. Asami was barely in this show! She was in this season even less! She never had anything to do! Out of all the people in Korra’s group, those two seemingly had the least screen time. It only served to make their coupling seem placative and forced. Objectively, if they took the time to flesh out their romantic subplot, Nickelodeon probably would have stopped them. Probably, there’s no way to tell. Would I say that it was added just as a way to get easy headlines? Not really, I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt. It’s too non-committal for me to say that.

But what do I think? I don’t know… I think it’s up to everyone to decide what it means. I would like to point out that the holding-two-hands action usually isn’t used for friends. That’s usually something used in animation when smooching is afoot. Just sayin’.

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What Was The Legend of Korra?

So now that The Legend of Korra is over, I have to ask. What is the Legend? She did a lot, I guess. She reunited the Spirit and Material World, broke the Avatar cycle, and stopped Kuvira from possibly taking over the world. I suppose that’s legendary. Maybe it’s nitpicky, but I figured the title would refer one specific, gigantic feat. Turns out it’s a bunch of smaller feats. I don’t know, I’m not one for nitpicking, right guys?

But what did you guys think of The Legend of Korra? Let me know how the series hit you in the comments below!

Rating
8.0
Pros
  • Amazing Fights
  • Intriguing Ending
  • Mostly Satisfying Character Wrap-ups
Cons
  • Rushed Conclusions
  • A Little Case of Deus Ex Machina

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