Legend of Korra: Series Finale Review

lokka end 4The Legend of Korra was legen– wait for it– dary! I’ve been holding that pun back all season. This series always had strong finales and this being the last one was no different. While writing this review every other sentence included “I like,” it’s tough writing a review when I only have positive things to say, it gets a tad redundant.

I never thought Legend of Korra would come close to eliciting the emotions I felt during The Last Airbender, but I was wrong. Dead wrong. It took longer for me to fall in love with the characters, but the strong final 2 seasons got me there. I’m less upset about the show ending than I thought I would be because every character had an ending that I was satisfied with. The only thing that bugged me was that Team Avatar didn’t really have a true reunion or send off in the end. As much as I love the Korrasami ending I feel like they emphasized that relationship over the rest of Korra’s friendships. The cast is adorable, did you see this video? The whole gang deserved to finish the series together. Otherwise I loved everything about this episode. 


I thought this A.V. Club had a wonderfully written review. I’m putting this here in case any of you wanted to read a quality review. Let’s get started.

korasami!!!!

They actually ended the season with Korrasami. I wouldn’t have believed it either until the closing scene of the series. Asami and Korra decide to go on a romantic getaway vacation to the spirit world and hold hands before looking at each other passionately. That’s a pretty clear “we’re in love” message to me, but maybe I’m just a pervert. Shortly after the release one of the creators, Michael Dante Dimartino, confirmed it. Now we’ll get a steady supply of tumblr and devianart content on Korrasami forever. 20 years from now people won’t even know that LoK was a kid’s show or that the plot revolved around bending the elements, Korrasmi will be the only thing remembered. LoK ended up being so gosh darn progressive, let me repeat, this was an animated kid’s show that featured a strong female bisexual lead. I can’t name another show like this on television. M. Night Shayamalan dreams of putting a twist this juicy in his movies, I still haven’t forgiven him for the atrocious live action movie. It’s ironic that they met fighting over Mako, he can join Ross Gellar and George Costanza in their support group.

boln saved the day!

Kuvria should have kept firing her super cannon if she really wanted to kill the avatar. Just saying. No one even comes close to death, good thing I made that list in my last review, and Bolin, who I thought for a second metal bended, saves everyone.

Meelo was more helpful than his big sister Jinora, a rarity, but Ikki remains in obscurity. At least she had that one episode with speaking lines and I don’t think they even cast anyone for Rohan. Blinding the mecha giant with paint was a clever and plausible idea for Meelo. I’m more surprised the mecha giant came equipped with windshield wipers, this machine sure doesn’t have any design flaws for being made in under a week. They never attack the head again, the only part of the mecha giant made of glass… That should have been their focal point!

airballons

The mecha giant couldn’t be metal bended because it was made of platinum, where did Kuvira get all that platinum from? I thought the domes of Zaofu were made of metal? I don’t care too much because the group battle against the mecha giant was awesome, but it’s a little ridiculous.

Bolin lava bends the mecha giant’s foot, but I failed to predict which foot in my last review, I was so close! The metal benders take a note out of the Star Wars book for defeating AT-ATs mecha giants by going for the legs with wires, it doesn’t work because that would be too easy.

Opal was almost nonexistent in the finale, but then again, most of the air benders didn’t do too much in this finale. Season 3 was their chance to shine, this is Korra’s season.

off to do the thing

Just because I knew Varrick and Zhu Li were going to get married didn’t make me any less excited when it actually happened. I knew Varrick would utilize an EMP again, but I didn’t think it would take out every Earth Empire mecha suit. I know there were other mecha suits around the city, but I find this conclusion funnier. Thinking about the pilots stuck in suits unable to move makes me giggle as well.
Varrick – “I grew up on a farm, did I ever tell you that Zhu Li? That was before the circus people took me away.”
What?! He grew up on a farm in the Southern Water Tribe? What could those farms possibly have? Seals? Snow?
varrick zhu li kiss 1I wonder what he did at the circus? He has the commanding presence of a ringmaster and acts like a clown, but I find it unlikely he was either of those as a kid, but it explains where he got his showmanship. And they say attending clown college wouldn’t pay off, now he’s one of the smartest and greatest inventors in the world. I’d watch a spinoff revolving around Varrick, there wouldn’t even need to be bending.

I haven’t seen badgermoles in a long time, why don’t people use these more often. I’m also not sure we heard Wu sing before this episode, ridiculous!

Pema suggests that everyone stranded in the train station should play the button game. It took 2 searches! I had to search “button game played with an actual button” to find it, although in hindsight I’m sure I could have searched for children’s button game…

tank vs korra 1

Korra and crew vs the mecha giant had some great bending animation. Korra gets to show off her bending prowess- air bending a mini tornado for mobility, using fire bending propulsion to jump on the top of a building, hurling thick pieces of concrete at the mecha giant, freezing the mecha giant in place. She’s pretty comfortable using all elements, a stark contrast with Aang, who always fell back to air when he got in trouble. He learned the other elements in less than a year while Korra started bending all the elements, minus air, since adolescence. I like the difference in their bending styles. Dropping a building on the mecha giant was pretty awesome use of earth bending by the Beifong sisters and Bolin. They should have kept dropping buildings on the mecha giant if they really wanted to defeat her though. Just saying.

here's meelo

Meelo landing on the face of the mecha giant, hilarious. Kuvira uses her platinum arm to squash him. First off brutal. He’s just a little kid making a silly face and she wanted to murder him. Second off, I thought for sure the mecha giant would damage itself with this attack, similar to how the robot in The Incredibles was the only thing strong enough to harm itself. This didn’t happen though. Kuvira rips her own arm off later, but I feel like it should of damaged itself here.

asami and father happy 4 the last time

Asami’s dad ended helping Varrick and Asami with creating an effective way to defeat the mecha giant, I’m pretty confident I was the only one to predict this would happen! The mosquito foreshadowing wasn’t subtle, but I still hoped that someone wouldn’t die. The father daughter moment was touching, they sure know how to make me care for a character right before killing that character off. I didn’t care too much about the father, but cared about what he meant for Asami. I mean he just came back into her life! That’s so unfair… He practically wrote his death warrant in the scene telling his daughter he loved her, *sigh. They always kill off the characters that say they love someone. Korra should have kept refreezing the mecha giant, was that not an option? His death could have been avoided.
Kuvira – “I need more power!”
Scotty Grunt – “I’m giving her all she’s got Great Uniter!”
She gets more power somehow…and uses her mecha giant to swat Mr. Sato like a mosquito.
Mr Sato – “Goodbye Asami. I love you.”
Imagine if he messed up and flipped the wrong switch, shooting himself out instead of Asami… This made me laugh in an overall depressing scene.

asami...by dad

The sound track for the finale may have been better than the stellar action sequences. The Lord of the Rings had one of the most epic soundtracks- it helped me through a few study sessions, it gives me goosebumps every time I listen to it, it’s one of my personal favorites- and the music in this show did just a good a job. I could watch the finale with my eyes closed, the audio was that well done.

lava bladeThe main energy supply looks like a giant purple alien brain. I guess Kuvira puts her strongest metal benders in the engineer room instead of, I don’t know, her best engineers! I counted 5 grunts in the mecha giant, it takes only 5 people and Kuvira to run this 25 story mecha giant…

Bolin uses a lava disc to open the door, which was awesome, and he should have won his fight in about 2 seconds if he didn’t care about murdering his opponent. Instead Bolin takes out his guard without bending, sometimes tackling a guy is the best solution. Mako takes out his guard with some fire boxing and then we finally get some decent lightning bending from him and maybe even the entire series.

lightining powwwur
Bolin – “This isn’t the time to prove how awesome you are. I already know how awesome you are. You’re awesome.”
You’re awesome too Bolin!
I briefly believed Mako’s life was in danger during this epic scene. He lightning bent for a long time, I’m not complaining, but he probably put his life in unnecessary risk. He uses the metal wall opposite of the purple brain as a conductor maybe? He damages his arm while bringing down the power source and Bolin has to come back and save him.

youre gonna lightning bend?!

The Beifong sisters bend the metal of the equipment within the mecha giant because the inner equipment isn’t made of platinum, but they couldn’t bend the metal from the outside because they had to see it to bend it? Suyin almost blows her face off destroying the spirit vine bullets. Kuvira beats the Beifong sisters without even seeing them, who is she Toph? get out da way suAt first I thought Kuvira metal locked them in the arm before ripping it off and throwing them away, but after watching it again, Lin does this as a sort of metal seat belt. I mean what idiot would strap themselves in when they have grappling hooks and can escape easily through the hole, but that’s exactly what they do…

korra entrance in head

Yeah I love Korra’s entrance into the control room, but how did she know exactly where to attack the room operators? Pretty badass though. The unique metal that Kuvira toys with after the capture of Zaofu was used as the controls for the mecha giant and I thought it was a cool call back. The liquid metal bending reminded me of Terminator and I liked it. Their fight is epic, but not as long as I would have wanted it to be. Kuvira drags Korra across the roof of the mecha giant before throwing her into metal desk…and she walks away just fine.

she misses...from there!

Somehow Kuvira is able to miss at point blank range with a super cannon…she’s good at a lot of things, aiming isn’t one of them. I thought for sure the spirit vines would start attacking Kuvira in revenge, but that doesn’t happen. Korra’s avatar state was able to overcome the super weapon, how cool was that? The avatar is stronger than anything that man could create and Kuvira realizes that when Korra saves her.

spirit bloth

Of course no spirits helped Korra, she didn’t need their help! The finale focused all around Korra’s growth and demonstrated her role as a leader, so getting saved by the spirits wouldn’t make sense. She already had spirits help her during in Season 2, the writers wouldn’t have repeated that here. The spirits came back after the fight was over, not exactly helpful. Adding a third spirit portal brought balance to the world because I guess 3 is more balanced than 2? Sure.

spirits are back

I think every time Korra has been to the spirit world she’s been on the purple left side of the spectrum, while the blue right side has been other avatars. It’s cool symbolism for how Korra is the teacher now and she needs to guide Kuvira. The Korra and Kuvira allusions were brilliantly done. Earlier in the season Bolin told his brother that Kuvira reminded him of Korra, so I like how this was brought up again.

Korra – “We’re both fierce and determined to succeed, sometimes without thinking things through.”

blue and purple korra
Plus they’re both pretty and their names both start with K and end in A!
They try to humanize Kuvira in the end by reminding us she was an orphan and she defends her actions by saying she tried to protect the abandoned Earth Empire like she was as a kid. I need to see just how bad those re-education camps are before I can forgive her. I mean she also killed the radio tower workers on her way up to Republic City, tried to kill everyone in the city that opposed her, and did kill Mr. Sato. I don’t feel too bad when she gets captured. I think Kuvira is the first villain to surrender and be reasoned with in LoK. 

kuvira in cuffs

Kuvira – “Her power is beyond anything I could hope to achieve.”
Both Zaheer and Kuvira acknowledge Korra’s strength in their defeat. Maybe that’s why I liked them the best.
“I’ll accept whatever punishment the world deems fit.”
I bet it’s a cool prison. I can’t wait to see what kind of prison they put her in, but maybe they just put her in a wooden boat that held Ghazan…it’s not like it’s currently holding anyone.
“And Suyin, I’m sorry for all the anguish I caused you and your family.”
That’s her last line. She’s turned over a new leaf.
Suyin – “You’re going to answer for everything you’ve done.”
So does Baatar Jr. go to prison with her too? He’s pretty guilty.

married varrickli

The wedding epitomized everything about Varrick. Here are some things I liked.
1. This is probably the first filmed wedding.
2. People throw fake snow the entire ceremony.
3. President Raiko showing up when he clearly hates Varrick.
4. Lin wearing something other than her police uniform.
5. Meelo asleep during the ceremony.
6. The cheerful Ikki dancing with the emo Huan.
7. All the waiters dressed in Nuktuk uniforms.
Varrick’s wedding got Korra and Asami together and reunited the Wolfbats… and other characters, I think those are the 2 lousy detectives.
wolfbat band

Bolin – “True love is a fickle creature, difficult to find and nearly impossible to tame.”
As Bolin says this it camera cuts to Korra and Asami! There were a lot of people in the crowd, but I feel like this was intentional. I didn’t realize Varrick’s last name was Varrick…weird. I wouldn’t be too surprised if Varrick also invented fire works.

Wu stepping down as king and getting rid of the monarchy all together was genius, how didn’t I see this coming?! In my last review I liked Wu’s character development, but remained skeptical if he should just be given the throne, so I loved his character conclusion. I’m not sure if democracy is the best government, but it’s better than all the rest…Prince Wu should become the lead singer to the band of miscasts. If he were to run for office I’d vote for him, he’s proved his worth evacuating the city. Utilizing the badgermoles was a great idea and he valiantly gave himself up to protect everyone else when Kuvira’s soldiers found them. He went from an annoying to character to one I really enjoyed in the finale.

Ending Quotes

Bolin – “You may now do the thing.”
He started off as comic relief and the lovable little brother, but he developed into so much more. I think we got to see his serious side when he teamed up with Varrick and he really shined trying to win back Opal and in the episode Operation Beifong.  Korra broke his heart in the first season but he took it like a champ. It’s sweet how Korra was the one to help Bolin with Opal in Season 3. He still looks up to his big brother Mako, but I feel like they’re on even footing now. They’re both masters of their elements and Bolin can handle his own problems independent of his older brother. Bolin was always the life of Team Avatar the way Sokka was in the previous generation. Bolin was one of my favorite characters because he was funny, plus he could lava bend. I always loved his positive outlook in situations and I can see him living happily ever after with Opal. I wish his closing scene had one more moment with Korra, but ordaining the wedding was a nice send off for him.

married couple's first kiss

I don’t think Opal said anything the entire finale…

varrick so happyZhu Li – “Are you alright?” Not bad, but I prefer her second to last line, “I do take Varrick, calluses and all.”
She started off as Varrick’s assistant and ended up as his wife, so she’ll continue to assist him, but with more love. She was the platypus bear butt when Varrick was in hiding, that’s true love.  She bends Varrick over and kisses him, breaking gender norms. I think her and Varrick will have a healthier and more normal relationship in the future.

Varrick – “You just make me so damn happy.”
He started off as a arrogant but lovable sub villain. He developed a conscience at the end of Season 2 and was able to marry the love of his life. He made lifelong friendships with team avatar, mostly Bolin, and had some great catchphrases. I loved Varrick’s character because he was pretty much Tony Stark, but minus the Iron Man suit. The old Varrick would never have proposed to Zhu Li and I think his friendship with Bolin helped humanize him . He became less arrogant and more lovable and funny in the final season. He was absent almost all of Season 3, but was a main character Season 4. Him and Bolin were my two favorite male characters because they made me laugh the most.

Prince Wu – “Looking forward to working with you, but for now the dance floor calls.”
He started off as an idiot and ended off as an idiot, but a much smarter idiot. Maybe I’m the idiot for writing that sentence. He became a more caring person by hanging out with Mako and the others and realized his responsibilities as human being took precedence over his birthright. I thought he was really annoying in the beginning of the season, but his growth throughout the season made me appreciate his character. I think he should run for office and forget his singing career. I also have a friend named Wu who doesn’t watch the show, so I’m going to try and sneak in as many “Wu Down” comments until he watches the show.

wu standing his ground

Mako – “I’ll follow you into battle no matter how crazy things get. I got your back and I always will.”
He started off as the main love interest, a male Katara, and a leader of the group, at least on the pro bending team. He chose his job over his relationship in Season 2 and ended up in more of a support role in later seasons. I wasn’t in love with his character because he was so bland, he really is a male Katara, but I always enjoyed his straight man to his brother’s wackiness. His finale lines are great because he was a big part of Korra’s life and her maturity. He’s Korra’s strongest and most supportive friend, even if he may have been the hardest to talk to at times. And his eyebrows, damn, those were some swanky eyebrows.

Asami – “Really? Okay, I’ve always wanted to see what the spirit world was like.”
Asami started off as a rival love interest and occupied the non bender smart person role. At one point I thought she was Amon…I was way off. I feel like she got the least screen time of Team Avatar, so she was probably my least favorite of the 4 just because I felt like she was the least developed.How crazy would it have been if she became an air bender after season 3? I would have loved to see that, but then again, it wouldn’t have fit with her character at all. Her character arc ended with her forgiving her father, then losing her father, then taking the next step with her strongest friendship. She’s never been to the spirit world before and she’s never kissed a girl before, but I’m sure she’ll enjoy both.

tenzin korra

Tenzin – “That doesn’t seem like a good idea.”
Tenzin started off as the strict teacher, but became more easy going throughout the series. I still think Season 2 was the worst season, but at least it gave a lot of insight between his siblings and how Aang was as a father. I loved when his character was first introduced because he was the stark opposite of his father Aang. I think the pressure of being the last airbender hardened him, unlike what it did with his dad. His new responsibility with the new Air Nation revival  will give him plenty of work to do in the future. I think his dominant skirmish with Zaheer was his highpoint for me, even though he ended losing to the Red Lotus. He fully trusts Korra at the series end and sees his pseudo daughter Korra as an adult.

Korra – “Sounds perfect.”
korra badassThe word “perfect” was also the last word said in The Last Airbender, how neat is that?! She grew the most of all the characters and grew the most on me. She wasn’t one of my favorite characters when the series first started, but she was my favorite character at series end, and she wasn’t even that funny! She went from a selfish and stubborn character to a thoughtful and compassionate one. I was able to empathize with her actions and the mistakes because she tried so hard to do what she thought was right, not the right thing. She constantly tried to prove herself as the avatar and it’s not until the final season she starts to feel comfortable with who she is. Every villain attacked her identity as avatar on top of causing her physical harm, but she overcame that through perseverance. Her struggles were what made me liked her.
Korra – “But I feel like I’ve only just begun. There’s so much more I want to learn and do.”
This show has only just begun! There’s still so much I want to see happen…
“I know I was in a pretty dark place after I was poisoned, but I finally understand why I had to go through all that. I needed to understand what true suffering was so I could become more compassionate to others, even to people like Kuvira.”
Korra blossomed into a wonderful young adult and became one of the coolest and relatable bad asses I’ve ever watched. Did I mention this was a kid’s animated television show?! Because it’s crazy how good a job these guys did with their title character. Bravo Bryan Konietzko, Michael Dante DiMartino, and everyone working with them. This show tackled a bunch of mature issues and created some very memorable characters.

korra and mako are cool

After watching the finale I had too much adrenaline to fall asleep. Even though LoK was 4 seasons, the Last Airbender finale seemed larger in comparison because the Ozai and Azula were hyped the entire series while Kuvira was only really hyped for 1, plus it was also 4 episodes long compared to 2 here. I think the animation, fights, character arcs, and soundtrack were all on the same level or better than the Last Airbender finale, but the Last Airbender finale had better bending battles and a full strength avatar mode. I can’t decide if the Azula vs Zuko or Ozai vs Aang fight was better, but they both exceeded my high expectations. I think the White Lotus retaking of Ba Sing Se is still one of my favorite scenes on television ever.

Katara Intro Narration – “But I believe Aang can save the world.”
Tenzin Intro Narration – “And bring balance to the world.”
They’ve been telling us how the series would end through the intro the entire time! Of course the final season would be called balance. Just like Aang saving the world from Ozai, Korra brought balance to the world.
korra angry early

The series premiered nearly 10 years ago, I was on vacation in Disney World when it aired and instead of going to the amusement park I watched this show. I went on the rides later, I mean I wasn’t not going to, but this series was all I could think about. This show has been more magical than Disney World, I knew then I was witnessing something legendary… I was ecstatic when they announced Legend of Korra, I didn’t know I could be this excited again and the same feelings I had as a kid resurfaced watching this. 10 years is a long time and I’ve changed since then, notably I’m a bit taller, but this coming of age story will stay with me for a lifetime. I don’t think I’ll ever stop dreaming about bending either. Until we meet again Korra…

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