This morning was the season finale of The Legend of Korra, one of the most newly beloved animated show, and in my opinion, Nickelodeon’s saving grace. But was this ending to the highly popular cartoon a worthy end to what promises to be another full new Avatar series or was it an unfit conclusion to an otherwise satisfying season?
Let’s take a look at the end of Book One: Air of The Legend of Korra.
So, up to this point, the enemy we have faced is Amon, the leader of the non-bender equalist movement, bent on removing the powers of bender everywhere, especially the Avatar. But finally, in this one hour special we learn that Amon has not only lied about how his family was murdered by fire benders, but that he is actually a water and blood bender, but also Yakone’s son and Tarrlok’s brother. WOAH. WOAH! When…how? WHY? How does blood bender make you take away other powers? Why mobilize the non-benders in a violent fashion if he wanted everyone to be so equal? And isn’t hypocritical that he wants to make everyone in the world equal and yet he has, and abuses frequently, the most God-moding power in all of bender-dom?
But you know what? Who cares cause it’s an awesome backstory so I can live with it. We also meet General Iroh II, Zuko’s grandson, and Commander Bumi, Aang’s other son. Naga saves the day, Asami ends up capturing her batshit father, and Amon takes away Korra’s bending and she somehow unlocks her airbending skills. How? Don’t ask me, I’m just a critic, I don’t make sense of anything, I just criticize.
But all of that is fun and awesome – no complaints, well executed. No, my beef comes from the ending, as does most peoples. Korra has lost the ability to bend her three other elements and Katara can’t fix it. Rather than leaving it as it was, and having season 2 with Korra working through the block or relearning the elements, we see that she…somehow opens herself up to the spirit world and Aang’s spirit heals her, she goes Avatar mode for 12 seconds, and then makes out with Mako. Please believe when I say that I don’t know which part of that sentence makes me more peeved (and no, I don’t hate the MaKorra…they are just very underdeveloped). Afterwards, she heals Lin and it’s clear all those who lost their bending will regain it, leaving only the question of what will happen next season.
…oh yeah, Amon gets revealed as a fraud, and Tarrlok kills both himself and Amon while on a boat so they can never hurt anyone again….that was also pretty awesome.
Here’s the thing – the ending makes sense in two very different ways. One, the season was supposed to be a mini-series and got a second season after the popularity of the first few episodes proved to Nick that Avatar fans still live and will loyally watch episodes on a Saturday morning. So, they didn’t have time to change the ending and make it more open ended finale, or to stretch it out any further. And two, happy endings sell, simple as that. Everyone is saved, everyone is happy. I think the majority of us are willing to accept this ending (as it was, for the most part, a success), even if they didn’t love the last few minutes, and wait excitedly for season 2 to come out!!