The final two episodes of The Legend of Korra Book 2 air on Nickelodeon this Friday, but for some reason they’ve decided to put them up online before they air (I’ll never understand their scheduling).
So I was pretty frustrated with this show mid-season, and made of a list of things that need to happen in order to improve the series. Well, the second half of the season, and particularly the finale, has satisfied almost everything I’ve wanted. OK, Asami still could have done more, and there could have been some way to address the Equalists, but there’s still a chance of that next season, right? Still, there’s plenty to love about the season’s conclusion.
The animation’s awesome again
Yep, Studio MIR does wonders in making this show a joy to watch. Characters actually blink! And have expressive body language! And there’s interesting camera movement! And the action scenes, wow, those action scenes!
The love triangle’s dead
For now, anyway. But still, what a relief that they admitted Makorra was not working at all as a relationship! And the creepy Boleska storyline actually had a satisfying conclusion! Speaking of which…
OK, Bolin doesn’t seem to be much smarter in these last few episodes, but he actually has a purpose beyond just comic relief. He got his great spotlight moment in last Friday’s “Night of a Thousand Stars” episode and up until the final episode he continues to be involved in the action in clever ways.
Most importantly, however…
Character growth and consequences
Book 1 rushed Korra’s story. Perhaps if one read between the lines and saw her moment on the cliff as rejecting suicidal thoughts and learning to value herself beyond her bending abilities, one could see the end of Book 1 as a moment of character growth, but it was too rushed to really look into in detail, and given how this season started off it would seem Korra hadn’t really learned anything, and if anything she was getting more immature. However, the finale of Book 2 corrects all those problems. Korra actually learns that she needs to be her own person and not just rest on the legacy of the Avatar position. Tenzin’s character arc, which had been the strongest earlier in the season yet seemingly disconnected from the rest of the various stories, ends up intersecting in just the right point, where he learns some important lessons himself so he can be the teacher Korra needs in her time of self-doubt. Korra suffers consequences, and makes world-changing decisions. It baffles me how some of the fandom is complaining about the show being “ruined forever” because Korra ends up disconnected from her past lives, especially considering how problematic it was last season when it seemed she was relying on her past lives for everything. No, this disconnect isn’t “ruining the mythos/continuity”, it’s pretty damn clear the past Avatars still EXISTED, the world’s just entering a new era where the new Avatar isn’t immediately connected with them and has to forge her own path. This is Korra. From now on, she takes responsibility. She might make good decisions, and she might make horrible decisions, but she will face consequences. She is the start of a new cycle. She’s the Avatar.
And you gotta deal with it.