A The Legend of Korra Community
Nickelodeon (ended 2014)

The Legend of Korra S02E13 & S02E14: "Darkness Falls" & "Light In The Dark"

UPDATE (9/22): We've "resurfaced" this review to make it easier to find for Korra fans who waited to watch the Book 2 finale until it aired on TV. If this is the first time you're seeing this post, welcome! If you watched the finale last week after it was posted online in response to a fan challenge on Tumblr and you've already read the review, feel free to return to the comments for another round of discussion. 


That was... underwhelming. 

I'm not totally surprised, since "underwhelming" could describe much of Book 2 (along with a few other, less ambivalent adjectives). It also makes sense that I would feel this way, since it's how I tend to respond to any cosmic clash between good and evil. In this case, it just happened to be Spirit Kaijan Battle Extreme: Rumble in Republic City, which led to a personal event feeling impersonal at times.

However, I don't mean to suggest that the finale was entirely void of depth and emotion; it wasn't. The best moments focused on Korra and Tenzin coming to grips with their respective personal baggage—namely, the expectations they have for themselves and that they feel others have for them. Certainly this has been a struggle for Korra since Book 1, as she's never been entirely sure what her role as the Avatar means, beyond kicking ass and taking names. And with Tenzin, his insecurities came forward in in Book 2, spurred on by Korra's attitude toward him as a mentor, as well as by the arrival of Kya and Bumi back into his life. 


So if Book 1 was about whether or not the Avatar is relevant in this secular age of the Avatar universe, then Book 2 was about fulfilling that spiritual gap, and how Korra wanted to do that. Unalaq offered the spiritual aspect that had been lacking in her training with apparently everyone, from those in the White Lotus compound to Tenzin in Republic City. It was the one aspect of her role as Avatar that was missing, one that Aang had become known for, and the aspect of being the Avatar that she struggled with the most.

Korra being Korra, she wanted to take the quickest path, hence the early manipulations by Unalaq. As Unalaq's malevolent machinations became clearer, though, Korra fell back into her normal approach to being the Avatar and peacekeeper: Punch-punch-kick. She was a saber-toothed moose-lion in a china shop, pushing her way around the structures of power because it was her duty to maintain the peace of the world, even to the point of isolating herself from her friends and potential allies. 

Her experiences in learning about Wan and the events of the finale helped her realize the error of her ways, even if it ultimately reaffirmed that much of the fate of the world does rest on her shoulders. Her friends can only do much to help her, like when they distracted Unalaq and his children—I finally liked Desna and Eska in these episodes!—while she re-imprisoned Vaatu in the Tree of Time.


Once disconnected from Raava, however, Korra had to rely on herself—a startling development for her, even if it did feel like something of a rehash of her situation at the end of Book 1, when she only had airbending at her disposal in the aftermath of Amon energybending the rest of her skills away. In a similar fashion to the spirit of Aang showing up to restore her abilities, Korra managed to, in Tenzin's words, "Let go of your attachment to who you think you are and connect with your inner spirit.” Both times, Korra found herself at rock bottom, and in both cases, the spirits and the cosmos provided a way for Korra to solve the problem, which in this case involved a projection of her inner spirit as a blue giant.


For me, this was where the story started to feel impersonal, and also sort of dragged. Inner Spirit Korra's battle with Unalatuu, while cool in that we got to see two giant beings fight one another—and who doesn't enjoy seeing two giant beings fight one another?!?—caused me to realize that the show favored this sort of big resolution to a more intimate one. Unalaq was Korra's uncle. He betrayed Korra's father, manipulated Korra, set up a sham trial to make an example of her father, and took control of her home city. This family matter fell to the background of Book 2—another victim of the Varrick subplot, I guess—even though it might've elevated the intensity of Unalaq's plot beyond the whole "destroy the world" aspect.*

*Yes, I know that the idea of something more intense than "destroying the world" seems weird, but I like personal connections in my near-apocalyptic narratives. Destroying the world is such an abstract concept sometimes.


With the family angle removed, it also didn't help matters that the climactic battle was lacking in personality. Neither Giant Blue Korra or Unlaatu said or did much of anything to indicate a personal stake in events; they just fought as two demigod-like representations of the light and the dark would fight, while everyone else scrambled about like very tiny ants. Outside of its "giant beings fighting" level of "AWESOME!" it was surprisingly dull. Factor in Jinora's totally unexplained activation of what I can only assume was some sort of Raava homing beacon—seriously, what the heck was going on there?—and it just meant so very little while it was happening. The only upside is that, like in this past summer's Pacific Rim, the combatants avoided inflicting ridiculous levels of property damage by fighting in the bay.

So while the battle itself may have been a loss, the entire plot over the back half of Book 2 resulted in two interesting changes to the status quo of the Avatar universe. First was Korra's decision to leave the spirit gates open, allowing both spirits and humans to move back and forth between the two realms, eliminating herself as a bridge. In one way, it's easy to see this as Korra rejecting a choice and rejecting the part of her role as the Avatar that she's struggled with, by removing it as a factor. I don't feel that that's entirely accurate, though. Korra is making a choice to actually change the world by allowing humans and spirits to intermingle again, and that's a choice that—I hope—affects her in Books 3 and 4.

The other change, of course, was the breaking of the link between the past lives and the current Avatar. Watching those past Avatars disappear with each strike against Raava's physical form was a touch scary, and I'm glad that the show didn't just hand-wave a fix, as it did with the Raava-inside-of-Unalatuu thing with Jinora. I'm not sure what it means going forward, but it was a very solid representation of Tenzin's advice about Korra being true to her inner spirit instead of clinging to her past selves.


In fact, despite all its failings, Book 2's greatest success may have been Tenzin's development. I loved how his story this season was bookended by searches for one of his children while his siblings tagged along—I love narrative symmetry—and I liked how it developed the idea of Tenzin as a obsessive perfectionist, who demanded too much of himself and then pushed this onto others. We saw it in his training with Korra, in his interactions with Kya and Bumi as they searched for Ikki, and even in his attempt to help Meelo train the flying lemur.

It helped to explain why his teaching style with Korra may not have been as effective; he, too, was too focused on transforming Korra into Aang, in the same way that Korra was too focused on the weight of being the Avatar instead of being Avatar Korra. It shed light on his relationship with his siblings, both of whom he has generally dismissed as braggarts or aimless wanderers, while failing to see how both of them struggled with the same weight of Aang's legacy.


The Fog of Lost Souls sequence demonstrated more succinctly the weight of expectations, and with more clarity, than much of the rest of Book 2 was able to do. I might've liked more shading on Kya and Bumi's reactions, but I reveled in Tenzin's natural coping response to losing track of himself in the Fog—it's what you do in that situation, as so many narratives have shown us—and the sequence flipped that around by being the thing that triggered his collapse into so much self-doubt. 

The spirit of Aang appearing before Tenzin in the Fog was a delight, and exactly the kick in the pants that Tenzin needed. His "I am Tenzin. I am Tenzin!" mantra finally meant that he was his own self, not a "reflection" of Aang. Even better was how this helped him to help Korra, to be the mentor that he always wanted to be, and that Korra needed him to be.


This theme about the weight of expectations, which became much clearer in the final few episodes, didn't really come into play until it was too late, though it has helped to clarify the portions of Book 2 that weren't directly connected to the Water Tribe civil war and the Spirit World. I'm not saying that it made everything work retroactively—plenty of it remains poorly executed—but now, I at least understand what the show's aims were. In the cases of Mako, Bolin, and Asami, they too had different expectations that they just weren't meeting. Mako was struggling to be taken seriously as a cop and as a partner with Korra; Bolin was struggling in pro-bending without Mako, to say nothing of being happy in his persona life, and Asami was trying to keep Future Industries afloat, but none of them were receiving any breaks in their respective endeavors.

So they jumped at chances they might not have otherwise. Asami and Bolin found ways to cover up problems by getting involved with Varrick, and with romance options that may not have been great choices, while Mako ended up throwing himself into a job no one respected him in after realizing that Korra wasn't taking him seriously, either. (To be fair, Mako was also a disrespectful partner, refusing to engage her out of fear.) They were all at their best as they worked together as Team Avatar, as Bolin gestured at in "Night of a Thousand Stars," and without that, they were lost.


The results varied. Bolin found great confidence and success, even if it was as a cog in Varrick's propaganda machine; I have no idea how Asami is faring, since the show elected to downplay her entirely following Mako's arrest; and Mako, well, Mako managed to stand up for himself when he realized what Varrick was plotting, and in admitting that he and Korra had broken up prior to her bout of amnesia. I'm certainly glad that Korra and Mako have reached a point where they realize that they're not good for one another as partners—putting aside the fact that I'm not sure anyone on this show is developed enough to be good for anyone else.

I'm less clear on how I feel about Bolin and Eska, and how things went with them. We were led to believe that Bolin was not acting as he confessed his love to Eska, but later she brushed all of it off as "Eternal darkness was upon us. I became caught up in the moment." As break-up lines go, it was very funny, but it also left me unsure of how that whole thing wrapped up. Does she see Bolin as incompatible? Is Bolin past the worst of his immaturity with his newfound confidence, or is he just still lonely? I have no idea.


The end of Book 2 has left us with a new world to grapple with, which is more than Book 1 did when its conclusion just restored things to the way they were. Book 1 had that resolution due to a collective expectation that it would be a single, isolated season of television. Book 2, armed with the knowledge that Books 3 and 4 are going to happen, ended with enough paths for The Legend of Korra to move forward on—and hopefully, they'll deal with the changes the characters experienced, instead of gently resetting things.

With any animated series, and especially with one that's as serialized like Korra, different seasons often overlap in their production schedules, so as to meet deadlines and give animators time to do their work. If you look at the credits for Book 2, you'll notice the absence of franchise creators Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko. DiMartino wrote four of the episodes, but for the most part, it seems likely that he and Konietzko opted not to devote their attention to making this season, in order to channel their creative energies into the future installments. Perhaps this explains the rough going of the first half, where the creators may have had an idea and then handed it off to another set of creative types to flesh out? The distinct forward propulsion of Book 1 was missing, and this could be the reason.

As much as Book 2 eventually managed to right itself, there was still a considerable amount of haphazardness to it, and that ultimately resulted in a frustrating, lackluster viewing experience that the finale, not to mention the two episodes that preceded it, just couldn't escape. Perhaps, much like what the characters experienced in Book 2, our expectations based on Book 1 affected our reception of its successor? It's something to consider while we wait for Book 3.



LEAVES ON THE WIND

– I assume that Vaatu will fully reform himself in 10,000 years when this cycle has to be repeated? Neither Vaatu or Raava can be completely destroyed, so as there must be light in the dark, there must be dark in the light. 

– "I've seen that same spirit mushroom five times!" "That's not that same mushroom!" "Yes, I am."

– "Hello, my feeble turtleduck."

– So how brilliant was Admiral Zhao's cameo in the Fog of Lost Souls? Both funny and just the right note to illustrate the horrifying nature of the Fog.

– "I'm too young to live through 10,000 years of darkness!"

– "But I will not miss him at all. In the end, he became a deplorable man." So what happens to the Northern Water Tribe now that Unalaq's dead? Does Eska and Desna's mother take over?

– Best episodes of the season: "Beginnings" Parts 1 and 2 were hands-down the highlights of the season for me. If you pressed me to pick more, I'd go with "Rebel Spirits," "The Southern Lights," and "A New Spiritual Age."


What did you think of the finale? What about Book 2 as a whole?


Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 12/19/2014

Season 3 : Episode 13

508 Comments
Comments (508)
Submit
Sort: Latest | Popular
I was very disappointed with the representation of the spirit world in general. They made the spirit world something more like an Alice in wonderland fantasy; I feel like it should have been something more sacred, not a place filled with talking animals.
Reply
Flag
very disappointing when Korra lost sight of the past avatars. Season 2 was suppose to help Korra learn about the spirit worlds and understand it more but she lost he connection to the past avatars and it sucks.
I was feeling season 1 and towrds season 2 i was feeling less drawn to it. Ill give season 3 a chance but I hope the writiers do some thing to capture our attention again.
Reply
Flag
they should have sticked to the legend of aang kind of story. i didnt like how aang turned out to be. i wished they should have showed more of what happened to aang. overall i didnt like it and im sure im not alone :)
Reply
Flag
It felt like the entire first half of the second season can be ignored and that the true story only started when Avatar Wan was introduced. The show dragged too long to paint the inner problems of the main characters (Korra, Tenzin, Bolin, Mako) while introducing characters (Varrick) that no one cared about and were discarded when it seemed convenient. This season would have been just as effective if it only showed the eight episodes of light vs. darkness.
Reply
Flag
There is something that everyone seems to be missing, regarding the "Korra losing her connection to the past Avatars! Korra has only lost the ability to meet them and talk to them anywhere in the world! But, if you have seen and read all the ATLA episodes, comics and extras, you will realise that aang does meet his past 4 lives within the spirit world! Agreed, he is able to do it whilst flying on aapa, unconscious; but doesn't that mean that all the past avatar spirits still exist in the spirit world, which, by keeping the spirit portal open, korra can enter and talk to them! Agreed, she will not have their experience and skill whilst in the avatar state! But she will be able to seek their advice by actually travelling to either spirit portals, entering the spirit world and finding them! I think korra's decision to keep the spirit portals open was a ploy by the directors to keep an option avaliable for korra to consult her past (doesn't aangs spirit manifest itself in the fog of lost souls! ) and, considering my Theory to be true, I can predict that korra will discover this fact when she tries to discover more about how aang reestablished his connection with his past lives ! (She might gleen this knowledge from Katara and Tenzin) maybe!
Pls pls pls pls pls do do do post your views on my theory and also share it with other avatarians and korrans xP ATLA and ALOK fans! I would love to know what y'all think!
More+
3
Reply
Flag
I would really be pumped up about the upcoming season if the spirits were sort of more intimidating. If we had more human-like dark spirits roaming in the mortal world with amazing combat feats as opposed to the traditional puffy rabbit and plant-like spirits
2
Reply
Flag
i dont think Vaatu and Unalaq will appear again in 10000 years.
1
Reply
Flag
Avatar Wan blocked off the spirit world for a reason, avatar Korra sure NOT i undone what he done. Is there going to be a dark avatar in the Book of Change? Unalaq could only bend water when he fused with Vaatu, so will the dark Avatar only be able to bend water or all four elements I also didn't like the fact that you made Avatar Aang out to be a bad father. That Avatar Aang only love his son Tenzin and not Bumi and Kya. Also why is Bumi a non-bender? Another thing Why didn't Sokka have kids? What i did like is the fact that we found out how the avatar came about.

(You all should be a season about Avatar Aang after the war. Building Republic City, getting old, getting married, having kids, and raising them!)
2
Reply
Flag
Aang being like that makes him more human. That makes him more relatable. IRL there really are some dads who favor some of their kids. In his case, since Tenzin was more like him, it makes sense that he'd favor him more. This is because he has more in common with his airbender child than his waterbender or muggle children. I think that the dark avatar line ends with Unalaq. His soul was dispersed b Korra which means he cannot reincarnate. Also, since Vaatu cannot be destroyed, he'd just reappear inside Raava and would likely cause problems for the Avatar 8000-10000 years later. :)
2
Reply
Flag
I really like "Korra", both as a character and as a show.

Watching Vaatu smash away all of her connections to the past Avatars was shocking, in a way it felt like the murder of many potential storylines and flashbacks.

The Zhao cameo was brilliant.

Korra-zord v. Vaatulaq? Less so, alas. As others have already commented, it feels like the show has exhausted the ultimate possible villain possibility with the "Dark Avatar" in one quick showdown, it so easily could have been a final season arc.

Still, very much looking forward to Book 3! Bend on, Korra. Bend on.
6
Reply
Flag

MAJOR disappointment in my eyes -- just awful. This season ruined the whole Korra series for me. Poor story development. PATHETIC character and relationship development. Just … sad. It's almost as bad as The Last Airbender movie was to ATLA series. Almost. Maybe it's a peg or two higher than that - but not much.
It had a great deal of potential, but they went down all the wrong roads with it -- with the exception of FEW redeeming moments (aka Iroh…Bumi…). It lost all its heart. I cannot stand most of the main characters anymore. And all the great characters are left to shuffle around in the background or run around in weird, pointless circles. DISAPPOINTING! (to say the least)
16
Reply
Flag
i absolutely agree. the writer went off to a different story. i was like it will all end up like this? why didnt they show anything of this matter with the last air bender series?! unpredictable. they totally lost it
Reply
Flag
I kinda wish we didn't know that much about the spirit world as we did. Part of the fun of a world's mythos is not revealing every last detail and allowing the audience to ask questions and form their own conclusions. Why do you think Sherlock has been such an endearing series on social media sites like Tumblr? It's because the fans are passionate enough about the series to not give up on it when it goes on hiatus or when it ends.
8
Reply
Flag
Honestly, i believe that the whole storyline for the second book would have worked a lot better as a book closer to the end of the series, with a little bit of editing and more information on events. The whole fight with the biggest possible enemy of all, it just seems like they threw down their largest card first, leaving only little endings to wrap up next season
9
Reply
Flag
Hi this is less of a review but more of a prediction of what we might see in book 3. After finishing season 2 of korra I decided I wanted to rewatch the last airbender series. In book 1, episode 14, labeled "the Fortuneteller" Katarra becomes obsessed with aunt wu's predictions and in a scene that dawns on aunt wu responding to Katarra's question (guessing she asked when will she pass away) she replies "you will pass away in your sleep shortly after your fourth great grandchild has been born." Now katarra is just a grandma, and not a great grandma, but seeing as everyone else from the last airbender series has died off it would make perfect (yet sad) sense for her to die off. In this episode none of aunt wu's predictions were wrong and it's sad to see that this one just might become true as well.
11
Reply
Flag
Zuko's still alive..
3
Reply
Flag
I'm more curious as to how the romance plans to pan out the rest of the 2 seasons. I mean, mako managed to ruin it with both girls, and bolin kinda lost his chance. In the last series, many people loved to romance between the protaganist aang and katara. The simple fact is, they cant just ignore korra's love life, unless they introduce a new character or somehow make it work with either bolin or mako, the romance is gonna be dead and disappointing. How do you guys see this unfolding?
11
Reply
Flag
if they brought in a new male character for Korra and make Mako mad that might work, but it seems that the writers are losing thier touch. Aang and Katara took 3 season, Korra and Mako took one and end in the second.
1
Reply
Flag
femslash? in all honesty in terms of shipping apparently Korrasami has the most support amongst fans.
sadly I'm willing to bet that given how hard Bryke had to fight w/Nickelodeon just to have Korra be a girl, there is no chance in hell of the network being that forward thinking, even if that was what the show creators wanted to do.

I just hope neither of them goes back to Mako, and I assume at least one of them is gonna end up w/Iroh II.
They could always have Korra simply not romance anyone else and leave ambiguous the prospect of her ever marrying anyone. Might be a good way to show that the female hero doesn't need a guy, but I similarly doubt that'll happen
4
Reply
Flag
LOL
RANT TIME...

Season Two Episode 14. What happened? (Seriously, She did what?)
Are we stealing Ideas From DBZ? (Bryan, Michael)

Since the 'motion picture' 'The Avatar' franchise has lost ground with fans.

(I hope you are 'really' reading)

Nothing beats Book 2 Earth. (Witness the full stop)
The layers were there. (Observation)

The ending to THIS season IS Garbage. (.)

The best idea from the bubbling pot that IS but some how LOST the plot in the Korra season 2 finale is the presence of the spirit world in the physical world and its good and bad effect and pressure put on the population, not the views and stand points of main characters.

Any good fight scenes? (We all witnessed the LOL)

TO PICK UP PACE....

RE DO The motion picture. Not the parallel smurf action flick.
( I hope you were reading )
Compress trilogy, to comprise of two books per picture.

Boy trapped in iceberg freed by star crossed love, grows and frees the world. ( Or just ba-sing se.)

If you can't get that film approved your a ducebag.
The Avatar production teams needs a Varrick to spur things on.

A Blind girl protected from the outside world by her parents in the upper society of ba-sing se, learns to use her earth-bending abilities in her few hours she is outside a day, to sense vibrations of the earth beneath her to see her surroundings.

Writing like that is what we expect.nothing less.

What in the last two seasons compares to the scene where Toph was kidnapped and locked in a metal box on the back of a wagon with no sight and no connection to the ground, became the first metal bender.

The story of the first blood bender imprisoned by the dictators of the fire nation, with nothing but the rats she was imprisoned with learnt to bend the water in blood to secure her freedom.

The best thing about the transition to the future (Korra Saga) is the politics of the new age, the fact that Aang lived a full life and the presence of his legacy in this new age. The advancements of technology and the adaptations of the world population due to his legacy and the characters of the time.

I personally really like the pro-bendng championship but the fire ferrets is not a cool name. Chi blockers. Cool.

The introduction states Earth. Fire. Air. Water.

My conclusion is Book Air was a lose avatar remake to please fans and push for more motions pictures when a simple motion picture redo is needed.

Spirits tries to please fans more. Ario. But falls short of the layers of intricacy needed to form a leading character. Even now I doubt the new Team Avatar can, in an opening scene, ride into a fortified ba sing sa military compound, outnumbered and out gunned, fend off the occupying army untill face to face with the president himself.

RANT..
OVER...


Or is it....
More+
Reply
Flag
LOL
RANT TIME...

Season Two Episode 14. What happened? (Seriously, She did what?)
Are we stealing Ideas From DBZ? (Bryan, Michael)

Since the 'motion picture' 'The Avatar' franchise has lost ground with fans.

(I hope you are 'really' reading)

Nothing beats Book 2 Earth. (Witness the full stop)
The layers were there. (Observation)

The ending to THIS season IS Garbage. (.)

The best idea from the bubbling pot that IS but some how LOST the plot in the Korra season 2 finale is the presence of the spirit world in the physical world and its good and bad effect and pressure put on the population, not the views and stand points of main characters.

Any good fight scenes? (We all witnessed the LOL)

TO PICK UP PACE....

RE DO The motion picture. Not the parallel smurf action flick.
( I hope you were reading )
Compress trilogy, to comprise of two books per picture.

Boy trapped in iceberg freed by star crossed love, grows and frees the world. ( Or just ba-sing se.)

If you can't get that film approved your a ducebag.
The Avatar production teams needs a Varrick to spur things on.

A Blind girl protected from the outside world by her parents in the upper society of ba-sing se, learns to use her earth-bending abilities in her few hours she is outside a day, to sense vibrations of the earth beneath her to see her surroundings.

Writing like that is what we expect.nothing less.

What in the last two seasons compares to the scene where Toph was kidnapped and locked in a metal box on the back of a wagon with no sight and no connection to the ground, became the first metal bender.

The story of the first blood bender imprisoned by the dictators of the fire nation, with nothing but the rats she was imprisoned with learnt to bend the water in blood to secure her freedom.

The best thing about the transition to the future (Korra Saga) is the politics of the new age, the fact that Aang lived a full life and the presence of his legacy in this new age. The advancements of technology and the adaptations of the world population due to his legacy and the characters of the time.

I personally really like the pro-bendng championship but the fire ferrets is not a cool name. Chi blockers. Cool.

The introduction states Earth. Fire. Air. Water.

My conclusion is Book Air was a lose avatar remake to please fans and push for more motions pictures when a simple motion picture redo is needed.

Spirits tries to please fans more. Ario. But falls short of the layers of intricacy needed to form a leading character. Even now I doubt the new Team Avatar can, in an opening scene, ride into a fortified ba sing sa military compound, outnumbered and out gunned, fend off the occupying army untill face to face with the president himself.

RANT..
OVER...


Or is it....
More+
Reply
Flag
Do I remember this wrong?
Wasn't established in original series that the avatar is actually the reincarnation of the earth spirit, who became human to bring balance to the world? And do this spirit of light and that spirit of darkness have nothing to do with Yin&Yang/the two Koi fish from the final of the first season of ATLA? Seems to me that they have rewritten a lot of the avatar-background in this season.
4
Reply
Flag
Well since the knowledge from Wan's time was most likely lost throughout the millennia its more likely they regular folk started thinking that the avatar really was just the incarnation of the earth spirit. Everything still fits with the established lore.
1
Reply
Flag
Where was the lightning of the fire benders in this season?.. wasn't that the most powerful technique of a fire bender?.. why they don't use it at all on the final battle.. specially against water bending?... i guess that in the heat of the battle they forgot about it right?... princess azula must be turning in her grave.. :P
3
Reply
Flag
actually in the last few eps we saw Mako lightning bend a few times...
6
Reply
Flag
I feel Korra was much lacking in the final fight. The way this season was shaping up, it was quite evident that Korra didn't have the wisdom or insight of an Avatar. While Aang had to commune with his spiritual past lives several times, Korra rarely does so. That, for me at least, is a miss on the writer's part as this was the main aspect which defined the wisdom of past lives in the Season 1 finale.

I felt that this season defined the immaturity of Korra. Considering that this was a final fight between the spirits of Good and Evil, I felt that Korra would call upon the spirits of her past lives to help her even the odds. Or failing that, at least call upon the wisdom of her past lives. But, Vaatu manages to remove Raava from her, which didn't make any sense since Raava had become one with the Avatar for the past 10000 years.

Not to mention that the past lives were not shown to be individual spirits themselves. This was quite contrary to the story highlighted in Aang's case, as Aang freely interacted with individual Avatar spirits in the Spirit World. But Vaatu (in Unalaq) manages to destroy their spirits simply by attacking Raava. So what happened to these individual Avatar spirits?

A writer's creativity is appreciated, but this is very conflicting and in truth, quite annoying since we, as viewers, had come to bond so well with Aang (if not the other Avatars). A big miss, it seems to me and I now feel that the show is more devoid of the charm, grace and casual humor which we had come to associate with 'The last Airbender'.

The show will certainly go on, and the writers will improvise on the story to make it more streamlined. But the Season 2 has failed to live up to expectations.

Korra, no matter how impulsive she may be, is an Avatar and as such, the immaturity associated with her is hard to swallow. The last Airbender symbolized that even when an Avatar makes mistakes, there is always the lingering wisdom associated with them. The Season 1 finale had shown Korra the results of her impulsive actions, and she finally connected with her spiritual self with help from Aang. Considering that she is an Avatar and a waterbender, showing her even more immature after the episodes of Season 1 makes no sense whatsoever.
More+
5
Reply
Flag
Aang was raised as an airbender. He most likely meditated or did other monk like things ever since he was younger. Korra didnt have that upbringing , only people who took care of her since she was the avatar. Its not fair to compare avatars since everyone is met with differing circumstances. Remember that avatar kuruk was like korra. His actions were rash and he was arrogant and was punished by koh. Even in death he still tries to undo his mistake. Thats the good thing about the Avatars . Each one is different in their own way. I'm pretty sure if korra was more like aang people would still complain and say that korra's just a copy of Aang. :(
2
Reply
Flag
Ultimately, the finale was insipid and bogged-down by shallow writing. There were only two positive takeaways from the finale, in my view: Tenzin's character development, and Korra's decision to leave open the Spirit Portals. Everything else felt immensely blasé given that "two giant beings fighting one another for control of the world" has been executed tirelessly over the years, throughout animation and live-action films.

I think the biggest mistake the writers made in season two was spending too much time building up to the Harmonic Convergence. It wasn't particularly interesting by the time it came around, and apparently, the sole purpose of its existence was to remind the audience that the world was at stake (as if they weren't already aware by that point).

Ironically, despite being less of a threat during season one (on a grand scale of things), Amon provided the story with a more invigorating feel because there was a great deal of depth to his intentions, he possessed elements of humanistic qualities with regard to his personalities (both Amon and Noatak), and everything that had transpired occurred within the realm of the show's logic.

In season two, the Varrick subplot turned out to be mostly nonsensical and irrelevant, the familial ties to the war between the Water Tribes was quickly pushed to the back-burner, and with so many characters vying for apt screen-time, the ending felt rushed, not to mention filled with inexplicable or hard-to-explain plot devices (or contrivances, whichever term fits).

The first two seasons of A:TLA serve as a nice contrast for what worked in "Books: Water and Earth," and what didn't turn out so well for Korra's "Book: Spirits." The finale to "Book: Water" featured Aang and company fighting a conflict alongside the Northern Water Tribe against the invading Fire Nation; the consequences were certainly momentous and self-evident, and the battle even required Aang to use the Avatar State, whereupon he and the Water Tribe emerged triumphant over the Fire Nation army.

However, "Book: Earth" offered a stark divergence from the grandiose waging of war to a more compact, concentrated antagonistic impact: Azula, and eventually the Dai Li. What the writers encapsulated so remarkably in A:TLA, was that even something small in force like a military coup could be played out tremendously in terms of repercussions for the main cast, but without the showy giants of energy battling it out Godzilla-style.

I'll be back for season three, but my expectations won't be that high considering the writers boxed themselves in with this finale.
More+
12
Reply
Flag
Honestly, I think the avatar korra is nothing compared to the last airbender... She can't compete with aang's humor and awesomeness. The brilliant rating of the latter as well as perhaps the humorous moments of the former is probably the only reason why I'm always eager to watch the show. For me, despite what you mentioned about characterisation (which by the way was brilliant!) the ending to this book is a disaster! Soo many factors are not well explained or are too forced. I mean, shouldn't rava be trapped in vatu 's body? How did korra got her out soo fast and how did she become gigantic and all powerful despite the fact that she no longer have rava and the past avatars in her body. Then, shouldn't vaatu only be able to water bend? And what was jinora doing??? And when korra finally broke up with mako, why did they kiss?? I can only wonder what will happen in book two... Will there be some new bending thing going on? Light bending perhaps?? Notre the sarcasm
7
Reply
Flag
I thought this two episodes were very exciting. I was sitting at the edge of my seat. For a moment i thought she had Vaatu, when she used all her elements together to capture him...then got attacked...but loved loved the fight scenes.
Even Korra dissapointed us earlier in the season, i still thought she did her outmost best to fight of Unulaq and save the world.
The giant thing i didn't expect and when it happened, i expected a huge fight, but that was not the case...unfortunately...but still i liked it.
Bolin and Eska, would be a great couple...
I agree with others below, that it is time that Korra traveled again. Saved different parts of the world, instead of only replublic city.
Great ending for a season!!
6
Reply
Flag
Idk how I feel. I think I am still very much ticked off that each season has to be restricted to one storyline. The scope of this with the fate of the avatar legacy and the world on the line was huge, it feels like a waste to have to restrict it to one season. I would have loved to see this story told over two/three season and then have this kind of finale. That would have been more fitting and definitely less confusing. I don't think anything from here on out will be as big in grandeur as this.
8
Reply
Flag
Great review. It was exatcly what I was searching for. I usually have a hard time finding a good review for an animated tv series, since no one takes them seriously, but you did a great job on this one. The reader can tell that the writer of this review took time to form this review, and that they paid attention during the show. You gave me a lot of insight about the themes from Book 2. I had a distainful taste in my mouth at the end of the finale, but you helped me remembered the improtantce of the characterization in the finale. I will still be traumatized by the fact that all of the past avatars are gone forever, R.I.P Aang, or maybe they'll somehow get restored through book 3, which I am hoping for. Overall Book 2 was a great season. Thank you for aiding me in seeing that.
3
Reply
Flag
Honestly, I just want Korra to travel around. To Omashy, Ba Sing Se, to all the other places. I want to see what they look like in her time, I'm so done with Republic City. I'm ready to explore!!! When Korra revisits old places it feels soooo good. I want to also see old man Zuko. THERE'S SO MANY THINGS THAT THEY COULD'VE INCLUDED. Even references would have been alright
17
Reply
Flag
I want to see the rest of the world too. The southern city used to be just igloos and huts. Now its huge and has ports and stuff. I wonder what the Fire nation and earth kingdom will look like in Korra's time. :)
Reply
Flag
Im still dying to find out what happened to Prince Zuko's mother! DYING! Will they include that in the storyline for Book 3 or 4?
1
Reply
Flag
Staff
No, because it's the plot of the graphic novel series called The Search.
9
Reply
Flag
Really? Where do I find the Search? Google Search? lol
Reply
Flag
Staff
It'll be for sale at book stores, online retailers, and probably comic shops.
Reply
Flag
Honestly, that felt like a series finale. Keeping the spirit portal open, and letting spirit roam the human world doesn't seem so practical. I mean if there is another book, we'll we see spirits just wondering around? I think by doing this, it kinda ruins the world of Avatar to me.

Two episodes were filled with cliches. Korra almost defeats Unalaq but Unalaq manages to become stronger. Korra, inner spirt, defeats the big baddie. Everyone is all happy. It has been done so many times. I really wanted to like the fight scene but it turned into Pacific Rim with giants vs. giants, which to me isn't as much fun as seeing benders fight.

And what exactly did Janora do to help Korra in the end? Shine a giant flashlight? I can't believe I'm saying this but I actually prefer the first season, and that wasn't great (it was just good) either.
20
Reply
Flag
"Beginnings" Parts 1 and 2 were brilliant.....!
10
Reply
Flag
The Great Mess
5
Reply
Flag
Frankly I thought these last two episodes were nail-biting and amazing. There's no denying the first half of this season was a stinker, but the second half was good enough to validify the whole thing in my eyes.

I don't care that Giant Mecha Korra was a deux ex machina. IT WAS A GIANT MECHA KORRA DAMMIT.
10
Reply
Flag
Korra is one of the worst Avatar by what happens to her in the series like they make her weak & how they used the Avatar state is so different from Last Airbender She is still weak when she is in the Avatar state she just not a good Avatar the series is kinda a disappointment I Just hope the writers fix it and make it better & bring back the Old Avatar Cycle.
8
Reply
Flag
She isnt weak. Did you see her messing up Vaatu before Unalaq backstabbed her. Aang looked more powerful in the Avatar state since he was only up against Ozai who was still just a human. Korra went up against the Vaatu and was winning.
The way they used avatar state wasnt different. Even Aang and the previous Avatars used it for short bursts. The way Aang used it in the finale was the defense mechanism style wherein the Avatar spirit takes control.
1
Reply
Flag
Also I don't like this new "Avatar Cycle" I Just cant and pretty sure Avatar Fans don't either. Plus cant just get rid of Aang after he gave Korra her bending back?! lol He saved her basically this how you repay him lol Just kidding but just Hope to see Korra & The Old Avatar Past lives reconnect.
11
Reply
Flag
This finale was alright like it got me asking so much question I just hope we get to see the old avatars i really didn't like how they ended it... When they destroyed all the past avatars including Aang that killed my childhood and just really made me kinda dislike how season 2 ended because all these Avatar fans expect to see Aang & Roku and other past avatars guide Korra to be a good Avatar I really hope Korra reconnects with her past Avatars again. But Korra is a good series just hope it gets fixed and becomes excellent like Avatar: The Last Airbender.
7
Reply
Flag
I had the exact same reaction after the finale. I was so distraught when she said the connection is completly broken. I am really hoping she will somehow regain them as well.
5
Reply
Flag
Generally ive like both books but I lean more towards book one because it had more information on what happened since avatar aang until korra's time but then again book two had the origin of THE avatar so yea.. but I hope book 3 really gives more detail on that I mean its the biggest reason why I watch korra ( as I suppose most people do) anyway this final was pretty good to me I don't like getting all technical and stuff.. although it was a lil confusing at times I enjoyed it and it dis leave some doors open as for expectations dor book 3 which I cant wait for (:
1
Reply
Flag
Since light can't exist without dark, won't Vatu just come back again just like Rava just did? Am I missing something here, or did the show just completely forget about that?
6
Reply
Flag
The show didn't forget. It's just that it'll take time before Vaatu reforms. And that will be the problem of the Avatar some millennia from Korra's time. :)
1
Reply
Flag
I think that he's gonna fully reform in 10,000 years. But if he wants to reappear anytime soon he's gonna need a deux ex Jinora for himself.
6
Reply
Flag
I like korra and all but seeing Aang and all the past Avatars be destroyed I felt like my childhood being destroyed. Aang was by far a better Avatar! I hope she gets her connection back. I also want to find out more about what happened in the last 50 years! Korra disappointed me greatly! I wanted more background information on the past. I still am in disbelief on the fact Korra is no longer connected to past Avatars. Overall a good series but I want more background info and Korra to regain her old connection! This "new" avatar is not that good I miss Aang
16
Reply
Flag
IS AVATAR ENDING FOREVER OR WILL THERE BE ANOTHER SEASON??????!
3
Reply
Flag
Staff
Two more Books are forthcoming.
2
Reply
Flag
I think the season got better with Beginnings. I've genuinely liked every episode since then, and I'm content with the finale. Much more than I was with Book 1.
7
Reply
Flag
Nickelodeon did it again. Korra just discovers (or re-discovers) an avatar ability to overcome the main antagonist and his efforts, which is quite dull compared to Aang's tale.
It is unfamiliar that we watched 4 seasons for Aang to defeat the main antagonist Ozai. But on Korra, Amon and Unalaq are defeated at both corresponding books. This causes nothing but extreme elevations and quick browsing of deus-ex machina. Korra somehow fixes Amon's bending trick in one epsiode, learns that she can become a blue giant of light (with clothes on) after 2 min dialogue with Tenzin. Yet it is funny that neither Aang gave another try (i remember he fails to connect with it his big fotrune teller form) for this blue giant of nonsense or Korra used against her bane Amon. And last, plot compromises way too much to make good side preveil. Amon exposed as a political imposter and Vaatu simply loses when Jinora (when one deus-ex machina may not enough) ressurects Raava, and Korra defeats Unalaq with some spirit bending stuff (which Unalaq is better than her). I guess we all can predict what we will see at book 3; an antagonist reaches his-her goal then gets defeated at the last episode of the book by Korra's new ability (perhaps she will turn into a megazord at that point). Overall seasons are fine, its good to learn the origin of the Avatar, even though he is a Che Gueverasque cliche, Wang. However the guy who is responsible from such endings should be schooled hard. Either Amon or Unalaq's triumph for additional episodes would skyrocket ratings.
More+
14
Reply
Flag
To be fair book one was going to be a one off and then nick decided they wanted more episodes. Perhaps they could have allowed amon to survive the explosion and return. As for this book, i do agree that i didn't see any motivation behind unalaq and was disappointed he just joined vaatu so readily. They could've easily added in a few lines like vaatu was going to promise him power, but then completely take over his body and making him his slave to show a betrayal, but didn't. So unalaq became even more one dimensional than ozai, which at least he planned to invade the whole world when the comet arrived. The big fight was ok, but since it was in the bay, there didn't seem to be any sense of threat if it took place in the city. Hopefully book 3 and 4 are more focused and better paced since they have been given advanced notice to create those episodes and we don't have these quick and tidy resolutions.
7
Reply
Flag
Fantastic idea. I agree, it was all solved too quickly. The storytelling was so uneven this season, it had great moments but the plot pacing was awful. So many great moments weren't earned.
3
Reply
Flag
Yup, this book2 did flesh out tenzin perfectly and maybe bolin to some degree. If not for that beginnings episode to redeem this season, then this was a pretty underwhelming season. At least book 1 with the fast pace and lack of character backstory, was more focused and the villain was much more interesting and a threat.
3
Reply
Flag
The finale was "just ok" in my opinion. Book 2 could have been a lot better, my favorite part of this season is still beginnings 1 and 2. Part of me likes the show, but a huge part of me is just hanging on to find out more about what has happened since Avatar: TLA. If Korra doesn't travel to the fire nation and see zuko, I will be highly disappointed. Book 3 has to be better in order to redeem itself. Now as for what I think is going to happen in book 3, at this time I believe part of it will be Korra trying to regain her connection to the past Avatars, how idk, but I'm sure these writers can find a way.
6
Reply
Flag
I didnt know Zuko was still alive? I thought the new Firelord was his son?
Reply
Flag
I really haven't followed the comics that followed TLA, but I'm pretty sure I read that zuko stepped down as firelord and his daughter became firelord. I'm also positive that zuko's grandson confirmed he was still around.
Reply
Flag
Here's my thoughts about the Jinora situation:
I believe that Jinora collected the remnants of Rava from the tea pot that Wan carried her in from Iroh. He did mention that you could still "taste a little light in every cup."
Granted, we never saw Iroh and Jinora meet, but a lot of Jinora's time spent in the spirit world wasn't talked about so maybe they did.
So when Jinora appeared randomly, she held in her hands a small part of Rava that then connected with the remaining in Vaatu. Of course, that's just my interpretation of it since it was incredibly vague.
23
Reply
Flag
I really liked it, but to me it was really sad seeing all the past lifes being destroyed.
And I also hope Korra grows in the next books and Tenzins' daughter gets more importances, after all she brought Rava back..
4
Reply
Flag
And I'm still fascinated with Asami, what a great character
8
Reply
Flag
If only the people making the show shared your sentiment. Geez. They shoved her out of the story so fast.
3
Reply
Flag
Ugh, felt like mecha-Korra. So not a fan of mecha. That was thoroughly disappointing, except for Tenzin. He gets points.
2
Reply
Flag
Yeah vaatu-unalaq looked somewhat similar to the black megaduce on big o.
2
Reply
Flag
Nah! It's boring. Korra is a predictable, insecure and stupid character. I hope she does grow up and get a life. The only reason I'm watching her is because I love Aang...
18
Reply
Flag
too short.. men... it is the best... but is there any book 3 anyway?
1
Reply
Flag
There will be 56 episodes in total with Book 3 and 4.
I think.
3
Reply
Flag
I love this series!!!! It is amazing!!!! Can't wait for Energy to come out!!!!!
8
Reply
Flag
I used to like this show...then everything changed when the fire nation attacked
(sorry just had to do it)

29
Reply
Flag
Well done. Though I find it kinda humorous that for the past two seasons of Korra everything changed when the water tribe attacked.
16
Reply
Flag
For me, this new series is amazing! Following such an impressive and successful series like The Last Airbender is tough, but i think they've done a great job. My only quarrel, like most of you, is that they move through plot points far too quickly. Korra has already defeated two 'baddies' if you will in two books only, the only reason i can suggest for them doing is is that they must have lots more to come. I don't see how they can top a light v dark and the whole war on how the avatar even came about, but i hope and have high expectations that they will find a way. She mentioned something about the planet changing so maybe there's some sort of global crisis to do with the earth perhaps.
The 2nd book wasn't as well written as the first, the whole focus switching didn't bode well with me as team avatar was split up. Not that i don't like the other characters its just when the focus was switched to asami, bolin and mako my attention wasn't really fully there as it is with Tenzin and Korra.
I hope the series has a long career and doesn't burn out because i do enjoy watching it and love the level of emotion involved. Its on my tv shows of my life at the moment with the walking dead, game of thrones, homeland etc.
More+
17
Reply
Flag
Can't wait with book 3 or 4, and I hope i don't wait too long. For me, the ending of book 2 it's good even it's little bit hasty, with giant big blue korra and big black red Vaa-laq with Jinora as beacon of light. I maybe korra have reason why it's just water bender?? What if korra's fire bender damage will burn republic city, earth bender will make more like earthquake and destroy building with flaying rock, and air bender will make like taifun. So in the end the the only used water and spirit bender....

When Raava destroy and Jinora said the world in danger and korra need her help. I thought Jinora spirit will replace Raava as the light spirit and she will died. It's relive that not the story plot, she just beacon of light to call Raava inside Vaatu..., i wonder if Vaatu can alive inside Korra since korra become one with Raava. If that happen.. maybe there will be another dark avatar reborn.

I hope in the book 3, there will be story too reconnect with past avatar. 10.000 years life of cycle avatar it's very long and valuable to be trow away.

I wonder who is the enemy in book 3? maybe from spirit world or human with spirit bender... can wait to see it
More+
7
Reply
Flag
I just hope Korra gets her hair cut short, either shaved completely or just short.

Her hair is fine long, but I think I'd get more of a rush/ tingly-badass feeling when she fights or goes into the avatar state if it were short and kempt. Think Princess Mononoke or Ghost in the Shell.

I think the pony tail+pigtail combo is way too childish. She keeps talking about her Avatar status and wanting to be treated with more respect, but struttin around with her hair all cutsie wootsie doesn't help.

Also, there needs to be more bending; more traveling/discovery or rediscovery; more sage-like wisdom or paranormal expositions; less convoluted plots/sub-plots; a smaller "team avatar"; and less focus on love triangles between the main characters.

I know the overall formula can't mimic that of ATLA, as far as having episodic escapades with an overall story arc, but maybe Korra's final two books could somehow have one shared story arc to finish strong.
7
Reply
Flag
Avatar or no she was still from the water tribe and thus maintain some cultural stuff. Katara kept her loopies even in old age. Water tribe folk like to keep their hair like that. Also, she's still a teenager so you can't expect her to look more mature. :) Though i agree with you. The show needs less love triangles and need to have an overarching plot like the previous series. The first series worked so well because they had one main goal which was to defeat the fire lord. Korra's story feels rushed in comparison.
2
Reply
Flag
I don't really like the short hair look. I think the freeflowing style like in the final fight before raava was taken out of her looked pretty good. I don't mind the ponytail, but perhaps she could drop that. Yeah i do agree the 4 of them need to travel together because it wasn't the same with all of them separated. Asami deserves better than to be castoff as a 3rd tier character.
6
Reply
Flag
word is that Bryke fully intend to cement/strengthen Asami&Korra BFF-ness in Book 3.
So, yay! =)
6
Reply
Flag
agreed, and as far as the hair goes I thought her hair down and somewhat weathered, as we saw in the finale, looked best (and looks more mature than the ponytails did).
14
Reply
Flag
Load More Comments
Follow this Show
Members
2,666