The Legend of Korra: Endgame
March 6, 2016 2:57 PM - Season 1, Episode 12 - Subscribe

In the season finale, Korra faces the mysterious leader of the Equalists as the war in Republic City comes to a head.

This episode brings in the following:
  • Hiroshi can make electric fences that don't require wires - just posts spaced out
  • Amon's taken over the Probending Arena
  • The people of Republic City will believe anything, including Korra trying to tell the truth and bad makeup jobs
  • Amon plans to remove the bending of Tenzin, Jinora, Ikki, and Meelo. Does this mean that Rohan isn't an airbender, or is he just too little to show as an airbender?
  • Bolin does not know how to metalbend
  • Naga is excellent at knocking down prison bars
  • The mechabots are based on Future Industries forklifts
  • Asami has learned how to drive forklifts
  • General Iroh has not learned how to fly a biplane
  • Korra and Mako can use their firebending as a means of propulsion to literally run on walls
  • Amon can take the Avatar's bending away
  • General Iroh can use his firebending to fly, Iron Man-style. But, not, apparently, to put out fires that are happening on the plane he is flying
  • Amon stuck a giant mask on the statue of Aang. But not very well, because a single biplane crashing into it will take it down
  • Mecha fights are totally the best way to resolve your family issues
  • By blocking the Avatar's chi when she can't currently airbend, Amon unlocked her airbending skills
  • Tenzin does not like entertaining Bumi
  • Noatak is taking Tarrlok away on a speedboat. But one Equalist glove and a full tank of gas, and Tarrlok ends that dream
  • Katara cannot bring back Korra's bending
  • Mako only realised he loved Korra when she was weak. I am not unpacking the problems in that.
  • Korra finally connects with her previous lives, and in her Avatar state, can restore bending, not just to herself, but to others as well
posted by Katemonkey (10 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Well, that went dark pretty quickly, didn't it? Man, I wonder if Nickelodeon really realised what they were getting when they said "A sequel to Avatar? Have some money!"

I mean, it's all shiny fights and firebending along walls and biplanes and then it's murder-suicide on a boat? Excellent!

Actually, considering how dark some of the stuff I used to watch as a kid was, it feels appropriate. I mean, okay, it's a bit darker than "Shipwreck discovers that his dream family is made of COBRA-created melting mud", but I guarantee that it was more terrifying.

Also, yes, Sato family. Resolve your family issues by MECHA FIGHTS. That's totally the best way to deal with things.

But, okay, seriously, my personal trope, the thing that always gets me in fiction, the thing that I love to see and love to read and totally adore - it's found families. It's that family isn't genetics or blood, it's the people who support you, the people who love you.

And Asami's story...oh man, that's exactly what I need. Just her defeated and tired "You are a terrible father"...heartbreaking.

Mako is such a wet blanket in terms of personality that sometimes I completely forget how powerful he really is. I mean, the sheer amount of lightning bending he does in this episode, the firebending...he's freaking powerful. Can you imagine what he'd be like if he was properly trained in, like, royal firebending? Learning from Firelord Zuko? You think Iroh is pretty freaking awesome with his Iron Man skills and his fire missle punching, but, dang. Mako would be a legend.

Here's a random question - does it make sense to try and hide from a bloodbender? Couldn't they pretty much just know where you are based on sensing your blood?

Even more randomly, there are a bunch of giant rocks around Katara's water healing temple. Did Lin just put those there for comedic value when she was a teenager? Was that Toph trolling? Who would realise that it'd produce a brilliant moment when Lin got her powers back?

And...that's it. We've finished Book 1. And it's such a great season - filled with so much pretty stuff and it wraps itself up so well. I'm glad they made more (because Book 3. Oh damn, I love Book 3), but if it had just been this single beautiful thing, I think I would've been happy. All teenage drama and beautifully choreographed fights and the gorgeous world of Republic City...

I'm going to take a bit of a break before I jump into Book 2, so see you in April.
posted by Katemonkey at 2:59 PM on March 6, 2016 [3 favorites]

Mecha fights are totally the best way to resolve your family issues

Well, duh.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 4:15 PM on March 6, 2016

The brothers on the speedboat... ah, such a moment. Regret and hope, and then the end. Beautiful.
posted by Paragon at 5:24 PM on March 6, 2016 [1 favorite]

Mako only realised he loved Korra when she was weak. I am not unpacking the problems in that.

Plus, she was physically gone (and in danger). Yeah, let's leave that one alone for now.

I'm glad the past Avatars came back to Korra / Korra was open to past Avatars at the end. Of all the differences from the The Last Airbender, the lack of conferring with past Avatars felt odd to me. But I guess that comes with Aang being raised as a monk versus Korra being a brash young lady who could bend three elements from a young age.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:21 AM on March 7, 2016 [1 favorite]

Yeah, I really liked that Aang and Korra had different problems with avatar stuff. Aang's big problem was with the Avatar state, but Korra never had an issue with that. It shows us that the particular way Aang learned to be the Avatar, the particular order he got certain skills in, isn't universal. It was his personality, and each Avatar is different.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 7:37 AM on March 7, 2016 [2 favorites]

I mean, it's all shiny fights and firebending along walls and biplanes and then it's murder-suicide on a boat?

With a fairly subtle implication they there was going to be another suicide, if Aang hadn't finally shown up.

Korra really is the show to put it's heroine through the emotional wringer, far moreso then Avatar.
posted by happyroach at 11:03 AM on March 7, 2016 [1 favorite]

The fact that this was initially envisioned as a single mini-series or one season, so to speak, always felt like it neutered the ending from being much more emotional and powerful. The ending I would have loved to have seen would have been Korra stripped of all but her air bending and having to move on from that point, struggle to reconnect to her other elements. Instead, they had to resolve everything with Force Ghost Aang at the end. Was I still satisfied? Of course! But I wished it had had that opportunity to plan ahead.

The boat scene pretty much makes up for it, though. I love the moment when it becomes very clear to Tarrlok that his brother is still obsessed with his dream, which just ended terribly for everyone. It's a mercy killing, plain and simple.
posted by Atreides at 2:14 PM on March 7, 2016 [4 favorites]

That would basically have been Season 4, in the second season I tend to think the fellowships in the show would not have been ready for that.

Besides, it would have played hell with the overall theme of the series:


Korra gradually loses everything, and has to make something new out of the Avatar.
posted by happyroach at 10:23 PM on March 7, 2016

The fact that this was initially envisioned as a single mini-series or one season, so to speak, always felt like it neutered the ending from being much more emotional and powerful

Oh yeeess. Yesssss. The final episode of this pissed me off so much - felt like such a hopeless deus ex machina happy ending bullshit. It's not enough that Korra could get her powers back, but now, everyone gets their powers back! It's a power party!

Bullshit. Bullshit. Completely erases the entire subtext and thrust of the first season, ie learning to recognise and then work within your limits, with a side serving of self acceptance. Ending could have and should have been happy with Korra deprived of her abilities, along with the others, learning to live, and accept their lives - still extraordinary - as ordinary people.

The equalists, after all, actually had/have a pretty valid point - the whole thing is a gussied up caste system. Of course we see more of that later, but I was really furstrated and confused as to why they did it. The ending essentially wipes he slate completely clean and resets all progress from the first season. Undoes a lot of the character development that had occurred.

Also, they tried to put in way, way too much. More generally I felt the pacing in season 1 was a bit squiff, rushed when it should have been slow, dwelling on things that could have been rushed past. Certainly lacked the masterful pacing of Aang's arc, but then they didn't have the time for that.

I still liked it, of course.
posted by smoke at 2:38 AM on March 8, 2016 [3 favorites]

Yeah, the whole "I love you" thing was problematic. The episode where Pema has to leave the kitchen when Mako and Asami need to talk? That was Pema and Asami clearing the table and no one else offering to help. I mean, come on.

I was hoping for Korra to just have Airbending for a while and discover how to unlock the others later (or not). I did not catch the subtle hint that she was thinking of killing herself, but now that it was mentioned, that makes me super angry. Don't you fucking dare, Korra!

I am still left with the question of, if she is able to return bending powers to people, can she also give bending powers to non benders? Now THAT would be an Equalist agenda.

I did not feel resolution with Amon and Tarrlok dying on the boat. That was ghoulish and too easy of a TV exit.

Lots of emotions after watching this episode. So many emotions.
posted by jillithd at 1:40 PM on April 2, 2016 [2 favorites]

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