If you had not heard Nick decided to release the season finale of Korra a week early online. Both episodes are now available to watch at Nick.com so go check them out.
So with that book two draws to a close, and an epic close it was with Korra going full kaiju on us in the Avatar vs. Dark Avatar sage. Yes, “Light in the Dark” was a fitting conclusion to a stellar season of Korra as it opened up many new paths for the story to venture down at it’s climax. Korra’s decision will hopefully resonate throughout the rest of the series and more importantly it managed to change a ton of what we know about the Avatar universe. We as an audience have been preached to constantly about what it means to be the Avatar, but now it’s a whole new ballgame, and the rules have changed for the better. What really surprised me was the emotional heft that these twenty two minutes managed to give us, it really excelled at breaking hearts and building them back up again. There was a lot of really fun material so lets dive in.
Let’s start with the biggest change in the status quo, Korra is now The Avatar. There are no past Avatars for her to rely on or borrow the skills of, this is her show and she is the all or nothing now. I have to say when Raava was “killed” I kind of did not think the writers had the stones to actually sever Korra’s connection to her past lives, but they did and this opens up a whole new world of possibilities. Are they really gone, have they been reborn as other people now, what does this mean for Korra’s abilities? There are hundreds of possible routes this journey can take us and I can’t wait to see where they lead us. What is even more interesting was Korra’s choice to leave the spirit portals open as to allow spirits and humans to co-exist. While it is an interesting idea I fear that the world may regress to the state it was before Wan and Raava merged, but I guess I need to have a little more faith in humanity. I am really looking forward to seeing her decisions as the series moves forward and how the spirit world intermingles with the human one.
Speaking of spirits there were finally a lot of them on display, specifically The Dark Avatar in all of his malevolent glory. We have had some really powerful enemies in the past but the Dark Avatar definitely lived up to his name by laying waste to Republic City and the United Forces. Even Iroh’s entire fleet engulfing the Dark Avatar in fire did nothing to slow down his rampage which was awesome for about ten minutes. Unfortunately, he went the way of Amon and seemingly got nerfed during the kaiju fight, which don’t get me wrong was all kinds of awesome. I still wish that we had maybe one or two more episodes of the Dark Avatar waging war on the world before he got defeated, it just seemed a little too easy for my taste in how he got taken down. That still did not stop us from having one of the best Avatar moments ever recorded, a giant kaiju spirit fight between Korra and the Dark Avatar.
Yes, in possibly the most badass outcome that could possibly come from two all powerful celestial bodies duking it out there was indeed a giant kaiju fight. Make no mistake, this was meant to be the smackdown to end all smackdowns. Each blow was clearly powerful enough to level Republic City, and those laser blasts were still amazingly cool if not a bit cliched. What really managed to seal the scene was when Jinora brought Raava back to fuse with Korra. It was awesome to watch Korra literally rip Raava out of the beating chest of the Dark Avatar, but I could have done without Deus Ex Jinora coming in and mucking up the entire storyline. I mean Raava told Wan that there was no way for her or Vaatu to be killed permanently so it would have made all the sense in the world for Korra to literally find the light in the dark without Jinora’s help. Yes, the sheer level of destruction was awesome but if everything in this series is going to be solved by deus ex then all of the victories will feel rather hollow. I will admit it was a fantastic capper for the Dark Avatar to be taken down by Unalaq’s own sprit bending technique. The irony was fantastic.
Of course Korra was not the only one having a major brawl as Team Tenzin and the brothers had to protect Korra while she astral projected from the Tree of Time. The sheer scope of the battle on both fronts was awe inspiring and was really capped when Eska and Desna decided to show up and finally back the winning side. It was a good old fashioned moment where all the differing styles of bending were shown off and each character managed to get a fun move or attack during the entire affair. I have to say the action was definitely ramped up to the max during these last few episodes and the animation studios rose to the challenge as each fight has been absolutely stunning. Major props to the animation studios all around, the season has been awe inspiring at times.
On the relationship front both major couples, Eska and Bolin as well as Korra and Mako agreed to have amicable splits. Apparently Eska and Desna have a mother they were worried about which was kind of odd considering there was no mention of her at all during the course of the season, even from Unalaq. You would think the man would at least keep his wife informed of the fact he was attempting to become a nigh omnipotent being, but whatever I am sure this will be addressed in the future some how. I did understand how Korra and Mako decided they were not meant to be at this moment in time but I am hopeful that somehow they will work it out. One of these relationships needs to reach a satisfying conclusion if only so Asami can stop getting the shaft for once in her life. You really can’t complain where things managed to end up though.
So that’s our season. A lot of ups and few downs but overall just as strong as book one in my opinion. This finale has indeed changed things and wait patiently for the return of the Avatar. Hopefully though it is not a year long wait this time.
A fantastic capper to a fantastic season.
Final Grade A-
+MUTHER F**KIN KAIJU BATTLE
+Interesting new path that the story can venture down.
+Relationships ended where they needed to.
-Needed less Deus Ex Jinora
-Pema gets my vote for most supportive television mom, she was full on backing Jinora when she was in glow mode.
-Bumju, cute as a button and here to stay.
-Varrick is out and about again after a daring prison escape. Smart money is on him being in season three.
-Props to Bolin for progressing as far as he did these last few episodes. Hopefully it continues in book three.