Korra s2 ep 13-14

Book Two : Spirits, Chapter Thirteen : Darkness Falls and Chapter Fourteen : Light in the Dark

Welll, it’s over now, and the blog will now probably get back to what it was supposed to be about (animated movies).

In the season finale we have an epic battle between Korra and her uncle, powered by the good and bad spirits respectively. Meanwhile, Tenzin and family deal with their inner demons and resque Jinora, and Korra’s cousins turn on their dad. In the epic battle the uncle manages to remove the Avatar spirit from Korra, and he also cuts her connection from the past Avatars. But with a pep talk from Tenzin Korra turns her spirit into a blue giant, and with the help from Jinora’s ligth powarz (???) she manages to regain the Avatar spirit and defeat her uncle. In the end Korra decides to leave the spirit portals open.

korraOver

Let’s start with the complaints so we can end on a more positive note.

What the heck was it with Asami!? When she left to take Korra’s father into safety in the previous episodes I thought she’d do something on the human world side, but apparently she just sat in Katara’s house. In the previous episode the show flaunted this “Team Avatar” to our faces, but apparently she’s not welcome in the most epic battle in 10 000 years.

Some of the new developments were a bit clunky. Have we ever heard of human spirits ending up in a spirit fog where they go crazy? Or meditating in some spirit tree causes you to go to some weird cosmic level? You don’t have to reveal everything, just some foreshadowing would be fine. These were pretty important plot elements so it was a bit jarring to have them thrown at us and explained with “Tenzin the mr Exposition read it in a book”.

The Bolin/Eska stuff seriously weirded me out. Eska actually believes Bolin’s declaration of love? And it turns out that after all the torture Eska has subjected Bolin, he still wasn’t completely lying about his feelings and was seriously ready for them to get back together at the end? Whaat? But on the other hand they’ve both been pretty one-note characters so I wasn’t too interested in their relationship, and when they end up not getting together anyway I wasn’t too bothered by it. But seriously confused instead, was I really supposed to feel sad or fluffy or something about them showing affection to each other or Eska turning Bolin down?

boleska

Jinora at the end was pretty weird too. I don’t have a problem with her contributing to the finale by bringing light or something, but could we have some kind of an explanation? Because now we have

  • a ten-year old kid
  • who is visiting the spirit world for the first time and can
  • teleport like halfway across the world with no problems
  • even when other characters have expressed that the distance is a problem and
  • apparently knowing perfectly well that
  • she can emit some random holy light which
  • is strong enough to brighten an entire city and
  • outshine a god of destruction that is potentially millions of years old.

Lolwat? When did she learn that? Why can she do that? Why can she be so confident about what she’s doing? Would any spiritual nice little girl do, or is she special? I don’t care how much of a prodigy she is or how natural her spiritual connection is, this is just dumb. I could still somehow stomach the result, but at least give us some kind of an explanation, geez.

jinoraLight

Also, as much as I like Jinora I would’ve liked her to die of that, now she got to out-spirit the god of destruction with no drawbacks. Like, the evil spirit eats her –> she is such a nice girl that she carries a light inside her –> so now there is a light inside the evil spirit –> and the good spirit can be reborn. Or something.

I didn’t even remember it during the series and only realised it at the end, but: weren’t they supposed to get new outfits? I’ve seen Korra wear a darker shirt and longer arm warmers, but if I remember right, she had her old clothes for most of the series. Mako, Bolin and Asami had special clothes for different situations and environments, but then they changed back to their usual outfit. Whaaat!? It’s been six years, can’t at least Asami get more than one skirt?

Since the blog entry sat in the drafts in its half-written form quite a while I got to read other people’s thoughts about the series while writing it. One common complaint was that the villain was pretty bad/boring/generic. And I agree; the fact that I wouldn’t have remembered to write about him if I hadn’t read other people’s whining probably tells quite a lot about how little impact he made on me (because surely the main villain should earn some inspection by default right?).

korraUncle

Then to the good stuff. Tenzin’s character arc might be my favourite thing in this season (but I don’t know how much of that is because I think Tenzin is awesome). It makes a lot of sense that he’d have a huge burden being responsible for an entire culture, so it didn’t even come out of nowhere. I really wish that it got more screentime though, now him meeting Aang in the spirit fog took only a few seconds.

Pairings went surprisingly well. Holy cow, Mako and Korra really did break up?! Should I rather say that this was my favourite thing this season? No And they managed to be far more mature about it than I thought too. And the main reason they broke up was something along the lines of “This just isn’t going to work out”. Which is so correct! I’ve never really seen any chemistry between the two anyway.

One thing I noticed was how the finale had three females (Korra, Jinora, the good spirit) facing the bad guy, and none of the male characters took part in the absolute final fight. That’s pretty cool and unexpected for a show aimed at both boys and girls.

The black cosmic spirit Korra looked awesome. Especially with her hair down she looked somehow more mature and incredibly dangerous. The blue giant Korra on the other hand sometimes swayed to the goofy side, but luckily not too much. It’s probably the fact that despite being a spirit she still walked on the ground and caused loud thumps, it felt weird to me.

cosmicKorra

They had managed to squeeze pretty funny jokes in too despite the seriousness of the finale. The talking mushroom for one was hilarious. And even Varrick got a farewell scene (for this season only I hope, he’s so great that he has to come back!)

The Avatar cycle and contacting the past lives has been one of my favourite aspects of the show, so I’m a bit sad to see it go. But, for once Korra had to lose something valuable and didn’t randomly get it back for a perfectly happy ending! I can sacrifice the past lives for that, now it feels like a real loss for me too. Besides, she still has two seasons to regain the connection.

….but it was still sad and scary to see all the avatars disappear one by one T_T

aangNooooo

Then lastly the heroine. I’m still bitter at having to go through all her whining and temper tantrums, but let’s be fair here, she improved a lot towards the end. How high she managed to rise considering how low she started remains to be seen, but at least I don’t start season 3 hating her immensely. But anyway, she knew what she was doing and wasn’t (completely) just a pawn other characters pushed around, she had to learn and change, and she experienced a loss that wasn’t reversed with someone else randomly presenting her a solution for a perfectly happy ending. Umm great? What was so hard about it (referring to season one ending)?

Korra’s decision to keep the spirit portals open seemingly has divided the fan opinions. I’m on the side that thinks it was a good choice to end the season with Korra making a conscious choice which she has given at least some thought and that has lasting consequences.

But that’s about it for the review of the finale, I think I’ll write a season-wide wrap-up on the individual characters too.

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