Catching Up With Korra

I can't believe it's over already.

I can’t believe it’s over already.

I don’t know what happened, but apparently a whole mess of episodes aired and I missed them.  So I hit up Nick.com to binge the last four episodes.

Night of a Thousand Stars

I kinda forgot that Korra went to Republic City in the first place to try to get the President to side with the Southern Water Tribe.  Seems like the show forgot, too, so this episode is dedicated to closing up that thread and the whole Varrick thing and much of what I felt dragged this season to a halt in the beginning.

It’s kind of cute that Bolin is the one who saves the President, but it really makes Lin Beifong seem like an incompetent police chief.  Still, it’s pretty cool seeing Bolin use his pro bending for awesome.

Team Avatar reunites and Mako’s back in action.  And now we have a stupid love triangle thing with Korra, Mako, and Asami.  Apparently, when Korra lost her memory briefly, she also forgot that Mako broke up with her. Guuuuuuuh.  Kinda want Bolin and Asami to happen.

Tonraq’s fight to retake the Southern Water tribe goes about as well as could be expected. With no reinforcements fro Republic City and Team Avatar headed to the portals, Korra’s father is left on his own to take on Unalaq and the dark spirits.  Tonraq’s uprising is put down swiftly.

Harmonic Convergence

For the love the spirits, please END THE KORRA/MAKO thing!  Why must we be reminded of the worst parts of this season.  And last season.  Bleh.  Not that I like Asami/Mako any better.

Thankfully, we have a Harmonic Convergence to stop.  Man, I have to hand it to the animators, the battle scenes in this show are absolutely fantastic.

Sadly, Team Korra gets captured.  Unalaq’s forces plus the Dark Spirits are too much for them.  Unalaq reveals his plan.  He wants to fuze with Vaatu to become a Dark Avatar.  I think it would be kind of cool to see a Dark Avatar Unalaq vs Avatar Korra.

Bumi saves the day in one of the most unlikely rescues ever animated!  It’s great and I kind of think this season could have done with some more of him.

Team Avatar makes it to the portal, but are too late to stop Harmonic Convergence.  Vaatu escapes.

Darkness Falls

Man, Vaatu’s design is kind of awesome.  I wouldn’t be surprised to see him show up as a tattoo on a few arms and backs.

Tenzin, Kya, and Bumi search for Jinora while Korra fights Vaatu.  Again, the fight scenes are amazing.  Korra vs. Vaatu is exceptional. Especially when Korra goes all Avatar state on him.  Though Korra kicks quite a lot of ass, Unalaq stops Korra from imprisoning Vaatu once again.  Vaatu fuzes with Unalaq and the Dark Avatar is born.

Meanwhile, Uncle Iroh returns to give Tenzin, Kya, and Bumi some guidance. It’s heart breaking to see him again.  They let themselves get taken to the Fog of Lost Souls to find Jinora.  The Fog is actually a spirit that slowly infects your mind, eventually driving you insane.  Zhao the Conqueror from Avatar: The Last Airbender makes a cameo in the Fog.  He mistakes Tenzin for Aang.  It’s kind of a disturbing cameo.  Kya and Bumi succumb to the madness leaving Tenzin to search for Jinora on his own.

Tenzin is able to overcome the Fog when he realizes that he needs to stop trying to be like Aang and just be Tenzin.  We’ve gotten some really good character development from Tenzin this season.  It’s been fun to watch him grow through his interactions with his siblings.

Unalaq and Korra continue to battle.  They are evenly matched for a while, but the Dark Avatar proves too much.  Vaatu draws Raava out of Korra and destroys the Spirit of Light.  Unalaq goes all Super Sayan 5000 and turns into a giant of Darkness.

Light in the Darkness

The Dark Giant descends upon Republic City, and though General Iroh voiced by RUFIOOOOOO is there with his armada, the city falls.  The giant is really impressive.  I love the sound design when he unleashes his chest laser.

Tenzin gives Korra some truly excellent spiritual advice.  It a great emotional moment and looking back on this season, it feels like this is what the show has been building up to, Korra’s true spiritual awakening.  In some ways, since she’s been such an annoying brat for a good portion of it, the scene is probably a lot more impactful than I expected.

Korra becomes a giant of Light and returns to Republic City as a spirit to fight the Dark Giant.  More epic fight animation!  Seriously, this is impressive stuff.  The Dark Giant proves too much.  And then, JINORA!!!!!!!!

JINORA FTW!!!

Seriously, I got all choked up when she descended.  I love that she was the one to truly save the day.

“Don’t worry, they’re alright. Korra saved the world.”

Um… no. You did, Jinora.

Korra and Raava reunite, but her link with her past lives is gone.  I actually think that’s a good thing.  A break with the past forces Korra to be her own person rather than live up to the expectations of her previous lives.  She also decides to keep the portals open so that humans and spirits can co-exist.

Last Impressions

While I feel this ending is far superior to season 1, overall I felt season 2 of Legend of Korra was terribly uneven.  Though we got a lot of good development with Tenzin, the show literally reset its title character halfway through.  After Korra’s brief amnesia and a look back at Wan, she was a completely different character.  Granted, she became way more tolerable in the second half of the season, but will it stick?  Will she revert back to her asshole ways in season 3 only to turn it around halfway through?

The biggest surprise was how essential Jinora was to the ending.  Tenzin’s children have been comic relief for the most part.  It was great to see Jinora take a more important role.

Bolin kind of got lost in the mix until the end.  The Republic City/Varrick/Nuktuk storyline was a bit too obvious for my tastes and didn’t really add much.  I guess we needed something for Mako, Bolin, and Asami to do, but it somehow didn’t feel essential to the overall plot.  Yeah, Varrick was trying to cash in on the war. And?

Unalaq was my least favorite type of villain, the sort of obvious mustache twirling evil mastermind that you can recognize the second they step foot onto camera.  No nuance.  No subtlety.  Just a big red sign over his head that read, HEY LOOK EVERYONE, I’M A BAAAAAAAD GUY.

Still, they have done some pretty great things with Korra.  I’m a huge fan of the world that they’ve built.  And the animation continues to be some of the best I’ve seen.  And I really do love the concept of the show.  In the end, I’ll still probably keep up with it.  I’m not super excited for season 3, but I’m not ready to ditch it just yet.  This season finished strong and I hope it carries over to the next.