I don’t quite understand why four episodes were released all at once last week. My sister said it was because of some online competition quota thingy: the quota was fulfilled, and therefore all of the episodes leading up to the finale were shown.
This is one of the best finales I have ever seen for a Nickelodeon show: impactful, crazy, and just simply unexpected.
My biggest problem with S1, was that there was absolutely nothing “Legendary” about Korra. Sure, she was a female Avatar with a lot of spunk and hot-headedness — the complete opposite of Aang. But did she do anything noteworthy in S1? Amon was defeated, but it was with a very lame, sudden outburst of airbending from Korra. It was supposed to be an element that she had the hardest problems mastering, because according to Tenzin, airbending requires patience and discipline, something that Korra fundamentally lacks.
“OMG, my boyfriend is about to have his bending taken away! I need to airbend, NOW!”
I really, desperately wanted to see Korra develop as a character. I wanted her to finally be able to use airbending the proper way — by learning how to control her temper and impulsiveness. Not because she needed to rescue her boyfriend. Instead of finding a way to overcome her obstacles by herself, the writers had to get Mako to do it for her. How cheap and condescending is that? I would hardly call her a “Legend”.
The ending of S2 fixes this problem and for the first time in the entire series, we see Korra grow up as a character. She finds a way to continue fighting even after Raava was separated from her (with a tiny little bit of guidance from Tenzin).
Tenzin: “He [Wan] became a Legend because of who he was, not what he was.”
I am willing to forgive the Deus Ex Machina moment of Korra “bending her energy” (Tenzin’s words) in order to become a Titan to face the Dark Avatar (seriously Unalaq/Vaatu, that’s the best form you can come up with to take over the world?). Because unlike Aang vs. Ozai, this wasn’t something randomly tossed out of the window all of a sudden: there was ample build-up to it, and it forced the main character to learn something about herself.
I am also willing to forgive Jinora’s interference in the battle (sorry, but martial arts duels are supposed to be one-on-one fights with no third party), because of this one ridiculous moment:
Both of them were firing uni-beams out of their chests moments before, and now Titan-Korra decides to go John Cena with a fire(wo)man’s carry throw. After Korra delivered the throw, I was seriously half-expecting her to followup with a Randy Savage flying elbow… which she almost did, but it was a diving fist to the chest instead:
I suspect that somewhere, somehow, the production team in charge of season two are crazy wrestling fans. As I have stated before in my Saints Row IV post, pro-wrestling references have the amazing effect of making anything better.
In all seriousness, after all the fighting was done, it was the after-effects of the battle that resonated with me the most. First, Korra decides to leave the spirit portals open, allowing humans and spirits to freely interact with each other. This is huge, because it will fundamentally change how the world works in the series. Second, the connection to the past lives of previous Avatars has been severed forever: Korra is the only person left with memories of their knowledge.
Also, Korra finally breaks up with Mako for good — a relationship that shouldn’t have started to begin with (because Mako is a scumbag two-timer).
A very impactful ending with plot advancement, character development, and world-changing consequences? These are the absolute last things you would expect from a Nickelodeon series. It’s not the best thing in the world, but again, it’s the best I’ve seen by Nick standards.
For season three, I would like to see more development of Lin Bei Fong’s character — she’s basically a pedestrian in S2. Perhaps give us more backstory into her history and relationship with her parents, the same way we got to see more of Tenzin and his family. I would also like Korra to learn metalbending from Bei Fong.
Great job, Nickelodeon. Please keep this up for the next two seasons. And if you can finally show an on-screen death/murder, not something that happens off-screen like the double suicide in S1, then you will eventually hear me declare that “Nickelodeon has finally grown up”.