Legend of Korra Finale, and How Far the Avatar Has Come

Borrowed from mtvnimages.com

Genre: Fantasy/Steampunk

Synopsis: Korra is the Avatar, tasked with bringing balance to the world. She’s a little battered and bruised from her past adventures, still recovering both physically and emotionally. But the world needs her as a new dictator is rising in the Earth Kingdom–one who is a former ally.

Series: Season 4

I’ve Watched: Everything.

Verdict: Fantastic

Borrowed from edgecastcdn.net

It’s heartbreaking that Legend of Korra is over. It’s taken us for quite a ride, to the least expected places. On so many counts. In terms of diversity, Korra’s always been good–what with a non-white female lead, and several other counts–but the season finale is generating buzz for ending with two women in a relationship–two bisexual women in a relationship. It’s a shame they weren’t allowed to make it more explicit, but as it stands, the subtext is pretty unambiguous. It’s wonderful that they got in as much as they did.

As for the story and the characters, the show is as amazing as ever.

Korra has learned so much. She’s always had an independent do-it-yourself streak, so it’s fitting that her character arch concludes with teamwork saving the day. She’s an integral, indispensable part of it–but ultimately, she’s learned to work with and rely on other people instead of charging in on her own.

Borrowed from tumblr.com

Likewise, she started out as aggressive and impulsive, and while these qualities remain core parts of her being, she’s learned to temper them enough so that violence is not her first resort. She’s certainly not uncomfortable when things resort to violence, and sometimes her aggressive nature comes out, but she’s learned to try diplomacy first. And she’s learned to accept help, instead of toughing everything out on her own.

The teamwork that comes out of this, once Korra’s finally reached the stage where she’s well enough to fight alongside people, is so heartwarming.

And she’s learned how to forgive. Wow, is that an achievement for her. (It’s an achievement for anyone, but her especially.) Her enemies over the course of the series have become progressively more human to her–not because they’ve changed, but because she has–and this season makes sure to emphasize that all the villains she’s faced were driven by ideals that Korra didn’t disagree with. Driven too far by them, sure, but she could understand their underlying motivations. This season is a culmination of that.

Borrowed from tumblr.com

I think I’m going to miss every character. I’m going to miss the complexity. If we’re lucky, the team will do another story in the Avatar world. No doubt it’ll be amazing in its own right, and no doubt it will build on the history of the previous two series, like Korra built on Aang’s story.

And I love how the history of the Avatar series comes into play. When our protagonists are trying to rouse the other nations to oppose the main villain, they fail. The Fire Nation leader states that her people have gotten involved in too many pointless wars in their history. This might sound too passive if I hadn’t seen Avatar: The Last Airbender, in which the Fire Nation is the villain. So I know what history she’s talking about and I get where she’s coming from with her decision. It may not be the right time and place for that particular decision, but I get that she’s reacting to a history of her people being too rash and too ready for conflict. So it’s nice that the history of the universe comes together to the point where we see the context in which these decisions are made.

Even when Korra first confronts Kuvira, there’s a moment when Kuvira says that she’s doing what needs to be done and people are going to be pissed off with her for it. And Korra responds by saying she knows what’s it’s like to have people get angry at her decisions, thereby winning over Korra for the moment. Even knowing how power hungry and ruthless Kuvira is, I couldn’t exactly blame Korra for that reaction. That was, admittedly, a very good argument to use on Korra. Having watched the show, I know exactly what in Korra’s past Kuvira is appealing too. These are nice touches, adding some complexity to the plot. Even the bad decisions are sometimes understandable.

Borrowed from fempop.com

I’m going to miss this show. I’m going to miss Korra, and I’m going to miss all her friends and allies.

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