Korra Season Finale

Legend of Korra
1 x 11: Skeletons in the Closet
1 x 12: Endgame

Full episodes available at Nick.com

Episode Summaries (from the Avatar Wiki)

1 x 11: “General Iroh, grandson of the now retired Fire Lord Zuko, joins in the war against the Equalists. Mako and Korra go to take down Amon while the rest of the group heads to the airfield launching the strike force that will wipe out Bumi’s fleet. Korra finds out that Amon is Tarrlok’s older brother Noatak, an unusually skilled and experienced waterbender and bloodbender. “

1 x 12: “Korra decides to take on Amon. She discovers that Amon captured Tenzin and his family. Amon baits her and succeeds in taking Korra’s bending, except for airbending, since she had not yet unlocked the fourth element. Aang and the other past Avatars appear to Korra when she finally unlocks her spirituality. Korra regains her bending, and is given the ability to heal Amon’s victims and restore their bending abilities as well. “

My Thoughts, Part 1: Um … so Skeletons in the Closet was one part cool airplanes, five parts not-so-great exposition. While I appreciated getting answers as to who Amon really was, the whole thing felt anticlimactic. Oh look, here’s Tarrlok, who will conveniently answer all of our questions in preparation for the next episode. And I just wasn’t feeling it. Amon is Tarrlok’s brother. Okay. But there wasn’t any real emotion to that revelation. Maybe it was too rushed, maybe there wasn’t enough groundwork, or maybe it’s just me.

I think a lot of my problem comes from Tarrlok, who got seriously shortchanged in the character development department. We’ve seen him as a total bastard in this show, and he was great there. But in the flashback he’s the kind-hearted, innocent kid. There’s no explanation for how or why he changed. It’s an Anakin Skywalker turning. Tarrlok could have been a much more tragic and powerful figure if his story had been better developed instead of infodumped.

Part 2: The final episode was stronger, but that’s not a terribly high bar to pass. My son was thrilled that his prediction about Korra getting her airbending and knocking Amon down was correct. Most of my own predictions were off the mark.

No Lin Beifong except at the very end? Boo!

I loved General Iroh vs. the squad of Equalist planes. I feel even worse for Asami, now that Korra and Mako have paired off. Why do the writers hate her so? Her fight with her father was the most emotional battle in the whole finale. Also, love for Bolin’s dramatic entrance and his criticism of Mr. Sato’s parenting.

Mako and Korra vs. Amon: When you’ve been told someone’s a bloodbender, wouldn’t it be smart to plan how to counter or combat that? I know Korra’s headstrong and impulsive, and I know they didn’t have much choice when they saw Tenzin and the kids had been captured, but still. I did like Mako managing to get off a lightning bolt in Amon’s face, though.

I had mixed feelings at first about Tarrlok blowing up the boat, presumably killing himself and Amon. (Most of the technology we’ve seen has been steam- or bender-powered. Have see seen any gasoline-type engines that would blow up like that?) But I think I like it. It captures Tarrlok’s pain at what his brother took from him, and gives his story a kind of redemption.

Love triangle resolution. Meh. Asami deserves better.

I really liked that Korra didn‘t connect with her spiritual side during the battle. Aang’s comment that it’s when we’re at our lowest that we’re most open to change made that part more meaningful. A lot of us suspected Korra would restore people’s bending, but it was still good to see.

Thoughts from the Seven-Year-Old: “I loved it! I loved the fact that, well, when Korra lost her bending in the end, Aang and all the other avatars, all the way to the first avatar, healed Korra! And then she healed the metalbender. I thought it was kind of surprising and weird that Amon was Tarrlok’s brother. I was like, ‘Whoa! Why did he blow up him and Amon?'” (I asked him what he thought about Mako and Korra being in love.) “It was kind of funny.”

Confused Newbie Says Huh? Firebenders can fly? Huh. Not sure exactly how that works, but it looks cool, if a bit too much like Iron Man.

Overall Rating: It felt like they were trying too hard, and as a result some of the action was emotionally flat. The best parts were the quieter scenes: Tarrlok and Amon on the boat; Korra running off to be alone after Katara failed to restore her bending. Maybe the earlier episodes raised my expectations too much. The finale did tie up all of the loose ends and bring closure to the season, and there were good bits, but it often felt mechanical and by the numbers.

Predictions: Korra is the Avatar. The Big Bad is ash. I’ve got no idea where they’re going for season two. But I’m looking forward to finding out!