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Spirits Season Finale: What???
Ok, so this finale started off strong. We had Unalaq ready to absorb Vaatu while everyone had their own seperate roles to play. Tenzin and family go off to find Jinora while Mako, Bolin and Korra try to stop Unalaq. Tenzin gets some good character development realizing he is supposed to be his own person. Mako and Bolin get some awesome moments, especially Bolin with Eska, and Korra lays the smackdown on Vaatu in epic fashion, almost sealing him away singlehandedly. Then for the punchline Raava is destroyed and we're treated to a nice scene of all the Avatars fading away, including fan favorites Aang and Wan. I really have no complaints with part one. It's an excellent set up.

So what's the problem? Part Two. So we finally have Korra not being the Avatar. The girl who believes everyone should do whatever she says because "I'M THE AVATAR!" is stripped of her status. So obviously she would have to rely on her abilities as just Korra to save the day, therefore completing her series long character arc, right? WRONG. Instead Tenzin gives her a pep talk which sums up to "YOU'RE THE AVATAR!" *facepalm*. And then Korra summons a giant blue astral projection to fight the giant purple monster to save the day! How does this fit in Avatar? Beats me. This hasn't even been IMPLIED before. I felt like I had flipped to Power Rangers by mistake. I know the Avatar has much spiritual energy, but:

1. She's NOT the Avatar at this point in time.

2. Since when are spirits Megazords???

But wait, there's more! After STILL getting her ass handed to her (Go Korra? 0_o), Jinora pops up and does....something (never explained) and brings Ravaa back. What?! What was the point of taking her away if she was going to come back in a couple of minutes? Korra does the spirit calming technique and somehow wins, even though that move has never been established to destroy spirits so it wouldn't really help here.

So there we have it, a finale full of unexplained ass pulls that don't fit in the story itself. I know people liked this, and I'm not calling you stupid if you do, but personally I've lost faith. This made NO sense and it felt rushed and last minute for no reason. I'm officially done with Korra. Going back to the original series, which I already know is awesome
Um, I'm pretty sure that Megazords are Combining Humengous Mecha.
comment #22199 MorningStar1337 23rd Nov 13
Exactly. And Korra's spirit is treated as a huge mech she can control and fight with
comment #22201 nicksmi56 23rd Nov 13
I expressed similar sentiments in my review. I'm not fond of how the show and many of the characters in it treat Korra as a MacGuffin Girl, including Korra herself.

I understand that while the ending was appropriately climactic and what I really wanted would be a tall order given the setup, it's difficult to swallow how Korra being Brought Down to Normal still allows her access to phenomenal cosmic powers that she uses to save the day, except it's not enough and Jinora has to use her phenomenal cosmic powers she only briefly realized she always had a few episodes ago like a booster rocket to help Korra mop up.

It warps the message from "You don't have to be the Chosen One to be a hero or even a worthwhile person" (like Bolin was in Night Of A Thousand Stars, or how Wan was pre-fusion), to "You're nothing without your Phenomenal Cosmic Powers, and even when you don't have them, guess what, you do". Bolin didn't need an Avatar state to defeat Varrick's goons; he was a bad enough dude to save the president on his own. And Wan spent most of his life accompanied by Raava but still very much a human who did charitable acts, with or without bending.

Korra still has a lot of proving to do. She's impulsive and occasionally selfish, very dependent on her identity as the Avatar, and is easily manipulated because she's the Avatar. I'd like to see more of her on a day when she doesn't have to be the Avatar, like when she used to ride alone in the tundra on Naga or when she did pro-bending. Being the Avatar is surely important, but it seems to permeate and change every aspect of her life from her personal views to the way her family treats her. She has to prove that she's more than just the Avatar so she can stop using it as an identity crutch.
comment #22205 DennisDunjinman 23rd Nov 13
Dennis I think I may love you XD lol well said
comment #22218 nicksmi56 23rd Nov 13
That's kinda the entire point Dennis; for Korra, it is and has been an identity crutch for her. From the age of 4.

And as I said in your review, that's not the kinda thing that's gonna go away so easily. She's getting there bit by bit, clearly, but it's gonna take more than a few seasons to do that. And because she's the Avatar, with a lot of access to cosmic powers (normal and the rare), it's even more difficult to overcome than normal.

But imo, that's the point, again, for her character. What you're looking for may not happen for a long time, if at all (sorry)
comment #22225 omegafire17 24th Nov 13
Being the Avatar was never an identity crutch for Aang. While he always had to follow his destiny, he chose to do it his own way and make his own choices. Heck, the show was founded because Aang ran away from being the Avatar because he knew his destiny would alienate his friends, and he'd rather have friends than destiny.

I felt that this season, Korra only became MORE dependent on her Avatar crutch because her destiny had so much more at stake. She used to only be about bending elements because the Avatar is Master Of All Four Elements. Getting in touch with her spiritual side made her believe that she's the only one capable of causing any change to the world as the Chosen One, Vessel Of The Spirit Of Light; she doesn't act on her own volition, she acts because it's her destiny to do so and these actions are the only way she can fulfill her destiny and prove she's the Avatar. She's a tool of fate, and fate is generally the sole reason she succeeds because the show can't really get away with the bad guys winning in the end.

It's similar to someone's parents forcing their children into career paths they don't want because they're suitably important, like Doctor or Lawyer. Korra's chosen, but doesn't show how she chooses, and when she does choose she doesn't always make the best choices because she doesn't weigh the consequences before she does.
comment #22229 DennisDunjinman 24th Nov 13
"Being the Avatar was never an identiy crutch for Aang"... in case you haven't noticed, Korra was meant to the 'anti-Aang', all the way from the first season. The only thing they really share is energy levels, so I'm not surprised that Korra uses the Avatar as an identity crutch.

But yeah, it sounds like the entire idea offends you, so you'll probably never agree with this point; that the Avatar is an identity crutch for Korra :/
comment #22232 omegafire17 24th Nov 13
I must say I'm not enjoying your reviewaboo style of reviewing.

Anyways, Korra did learn to rely on herself; that's the entire point of that exercise. She could only summon that humongous astral projection because she let go of her worth as the incarnation of Raava, and embraced her worth as Korra. She is not the Avatar because of she was born as the Avatar, but because she chose to remain the Avatar and save everyone's asses.

To say this lesson is ruined just because she earned totally aweosme new powers is completly and utterly preposterous beyond reason.
comment #22233 peryton 24th Nov 13
But the lesson is ruined. I could accept what you said happened if it actually did, but it didn't. At no point does she rely on herself, meaning Korra the person. No, she relies on the sudden new abilities of this tree to rely on yet another outside source. To truly learn that lesson, she would have used her skills and wits as Korra to prove to herself and the audience that she has worth beyond Ravaa. Instead the writers just give her another crutch and a pretty nonsensical one at that. Sorry but swapping one crutch for another doesn't show any growth.

What really irks me is that it seems like even Tenzin loses focus of her character arc. "You don't need Ravaa as a crutch, so here, sit inside this tree so you can gain another crutch." ENOUGH WITH THE CRUTCHES. Let Korra stand on her own, like the season was leading towards.

Also, sorry for the TGWTG parallels. It's a new discovery of mine, so I've been watching alot of it, and I guess it leaked into my writing.
comment #22303 nicksmi56 28th Nov 13
I think you're forgetting she was facing a God of Evil, who faced several dozen fire blasts from BATTLESHIPS, and was unfazed. Working by herself without cosmic powers would have been suicide, and would have required even worse levels of Deus and Suspicion Of Disbelief to win.

And either way, she DID rely on herself. That entire giant version of herself was all her doing. The cosmic energy existed, but Korra gave it shape and direction - or in other words, she did everything there, not the cosmic energy.

Also, as I've tried to tell another reviewer, Korra having crutches (and slowly working them off over multiple seasons) is kinda the point of her character. Not just as the anti-Aang, but as an Avatar who was raised to be one from the age of 4 (impressionable as a child, AND impressionable as a teenager; a double whammy). It's a realistic development, both for existing and (realistically) slowly going away.
comment #22306 omegafire17 29th Nov 13
comment #22307 omegafire17 29th Nov 13
Why is everyone convinced that just because something is giant, it's unbeatable? There are plenty of amazing stories out there of a hero facing down titanic odds with little more than their brains and strength of character. Sorry, but "It wouldn't make sense because he's big and can take a lot" doesn't fly with me. Honeslty, if your writers can't think of a believable and awesome way for Korra to take down Vaatu, get better writers. It's been done before and done with style. Plus, the thing that defeated Vaatu was the Spirit Calming Technique, which Korra can do ON HER OWN. Honestly, the pieces are all there for an amazing final confrontation, it's just that the writers took the lazy way out.

The giant version of herself is not her. It's like saying you killed someone by dropping a nuke on them, but you fired the nuke so it was all you. Yeah, no. It doesn't help that Korra was STILL on the verge of losing. If not for Jinora, she would've died. How on earth does that show even marginally how she progressed? All she did was punch Vaatu a few more times. That's not character progression, that's just more pretty fight scenes.

Also, the whole "Korra's character relies on crutches" thing doesn't make much sense. She's designed to be the anti-Aang, which I'm fine with. She can be brash and not think her way through things. However, that still doesn't excuse NEVER learning from her mistakes and having everyone and everything in the universe bailing her out of trouble EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. Her character is stagnant. She's not going anywhere and it's frustrating to watch as a viewer. Please, let Korra be useful and a good character in her own right. Her being "the opposite of Aang" doesn't have to be taken so literally as to mean the opposite of a good character.
comment #22352 nicksmi56 2nd Dec 13
I think a huge part of Korra's problems relating to not having development are due to her supporting cast. Pretty much all the development she has comes when she is interacting with unquestionably good characters, og Iroh and Tenzin. But when she interacts with the nuTeam Avatar it feels like she is regressing because she's not interacting with characters she has any chemistry with.
comment #22356 uncannybeetle 2nd Dec 13
"Get better writers"? Have you even seen the obvious 'looked over the criticisms of the previous season?' aspect? Most writers don't have that kind of humility. Also, Vaatu took on several dozen fire blasts from battleships, and was unaffected - so really, distracting him would have been problematic. And yes, Korra could have done that technique on her own, but by herself vs. giant Vaatu? That'd take time at the very least, which she doesn't have... plus, if Vaatu saw this before she got a good grip, one hit from him would KO her, if not kill. And the end of the world is not a time to take chances like that really.

Plus, I really think you're generalizing her 'not learning' aspect. She's a fight-first kind of character, we know that... and yet, in this season, the lengths she went to TRY diplomacy show she has been learning. Reverting to fighting when it's absolutely needed does not null-and-void that.

Also, you seem to be underestimating how deeply buried something she's been dealing with from the age of 4 (crutches) can be difficult to revert, and how easy it is to do it (crutches) again with the slightest temptation.

It just seems to me you have issues with the entire idea, which is not a Lo K story or character flaw imo; it's an issue with you, but only because you seem intransigent to differing opinions about it. Put another way, you think stagnant characters are a bad thing, and it HAS to be the opposite for them to be good, period. The first part is fine as your opinion, but imo, the second part is not.
comment #22371 omegafire17 3rd Dec 13
Planes? Blimps? All those lightning benders in the power plants, all of the metalbending police force, plus normal benders on their own? I don't think you grasp how stocked Republic City is. Sure, they'd take some hard losses, but this is the END OF THE WORLD. That's when you throw everything on the table, instead of cowering in fear because he took out one blimp and a couple of battleships. Pretty sure if all of Republic City mobilized, Vaatu would be distracted, and if that's not enough, call in help from the parts of the nations that are still seperated! That would be WAY more than enough time for Korra.

I'm also confused as to where you find diplomacy in Korra. I think the closest she got was going to the President for help, and that's only because she was told to by her father. The rest of the time, her answer to everything is a temper tantrum. Judge didn't rule in your favor? Rather than using the court system, let's go postal and threaten to feed him to a polar bear dog! :D President is worried about the safety of his people and a political meltdown? Rather than compiling a good case for war and getting the people on our side, let's go behind his back and pull a military coup! And when your boyfriend stops you cause that is a truly awful idea, let's bend his desk through a wall! Violence solves everything! Spirits uncooperative in the Spirit World? Rather than explaining why you're there and trying to get them to help, or just trying another spirit if these guys are total jerks, let's try to KILL THEM ALL WITH BENDING! >:D That fixes things!

I realize Korra is tempted to use crutches, but I want the story to do the logical thing and force her into a situation where it's just her, no crutches around. Sink or swim, if you will. That's what the finale was moving towards and idk why they just dropped it like that.

I don't have a problem with fight first characters if they're done well. Ben 10 from the original? Fight first anyday. Still learns from his mistakes and turns out better for it. Naruto from the original series? Don't get me started! Still learns from his mistakes, develops better strategies, and becomes a more kind and caring character than previously. Heck, even VEGETA has more character growth and that is truly sad. So no, it's not a problem with the idea of a headstrong fight first Avatar. Go for it! It's an interesting concept. It's the execution that has made me give up.

Season 2 could be Season 1. You'd think that after the character growth she went through in Season 1 *cough* Brute force only got her bending taken away *cough*, she would at the VERY LEAST realize "Crap, don't wanna end up like that again. Let me stop for a second." Remember the stuff Aang said about "the greatest change"? Apparently he was talking to the wrong person cause there's no change going on here. I'm not expecting her to start Season 2 as Aang 2.0, because that would be silly and wrong. But I'm expecting the writers to acknowledge that Season 1 happened, and that what happened to Korra has affected her in some way, even marginally. And I could take a character going through absolutely no development from a one-off series or some small thing like that that runs on characters staying stuck where they are. But this is the sequel to AVATAR, one of the best, and some would say THE best, cartoons ever created. This is NOT a series where I'm gonna settle for watching mediocrity and laziness over and over.

My problem with this series can be summed up in one scene: the very first one. Yes, the one where 4-year old Korra is jumping around, yelling and smashing things with bending. It was a good scene and a creative way to introduce us to the new Avatar. The problem is that for all intents and purposes, Korra hasn't grown up from being four. She still runs around yelling at people, and crying and smashing things when she doesn't get her way. Not what I signed on for, and definitely not what we were promised. And what age does Korra regress to when she's trapped in the Spirit World? Four. Boom goes the dynamite.
comment #22382 nicksmi56 4th Dec 13
First off, you obviously put a lot of effort/work into your answer; I respect that.

...but honestly, you just seemed to have dug yourself deeper into my point, imo :/ It pretty much boils down to "gotta be this way because you want it to be/think it's gotta be, or it's bad" for you. And it seems pretty concrete with "not what I signed on for" (as if any of us are entitled to anything; this is all their work...) and "definitely not what we were promised" (which is both subjective, and not the final say in the quality of a show even if things rub us the wrong way).
comment #22389 omegafire17 4th Dec 13
Also, Korra did try diplomacy; remember when the Northen soldiers were about to attack the children, and the Southern men were about to thrown down on them? Korra did not enter the fight, she instead talked to them, which earned her a (fairly justified) What the Hell, Hero? from her tribe because she wasn't on their side. This is hardly the only instance, and the pressure on her is clear.

When Unalaq's treachery was exposed, she did NOT enter the Avatar State in her three blasts aimed at him, and instead only used it to aid their escape. For a woman who used that state to get the edge in an airscooter race, and who's pretty hot-blooded and fight-oriented, that's significant.

Just seems like you're downplaying and/or misunderstanding what IS present.
comment #22390 omegafire17 4th Dec 13
If you mean to say my expectations are what's causing me to dislike it, then I fully agree and I don't see a problem with that. Without expectations, we would just watch whatever asinine crap came out simply because it's there. I mean is expecting development, strong characters (which I admit most of the side characters are. Korra's really the only one that gets under my skin, but sadly the show is focused on her.), and plots that move forward supposed to be bad?

I missed the whole soldier bit and I apologize for that, but can you blame me? XD It's one good example in a sea of (imo much more prominent) bad examples. However, that is diplomacy so I'll give it a point for that.

But now I'm confused. Why WOULD she go into the Avatar State against Unalaq? What would kicking the crap out of him at that point even accomplish? Even if she took him out, it's not like his armies will suddenly vanish into thin air. I mean I suppose it's a point for using her head, but the alternative is so incredibly pointless that if she HAD done it, I would've given up right there. Plus, still one needle in a very large haystack. Her being able to think rationally .002% of the time doesn't really make me wanna hug her.

It's not that I'm downplaying what is there so much as what is there is drowned in a torturous sea of what isn't. I mean I'm pretty sure anyone can cherry pick good examples out of anything (except maybe Twilight), but when all is said and done, you're still watching the entire show rather than just those good moments so you have to take the whole thing into account.

The sad part is I was a rabid fan of Season 1. I liked Korra, I liked the side characters except Mako, I loved Amon as a villain, I enjoyed the callbacks to the previous series, etc. Pretty much everything was great besides the final few minutes. Sure, the plight of nonbenders could've been explored more, but I didn't mind because of what WAS there. Here it's the opposite. The CONCEPT is good and the sides are as good as ever, but most of what was ACTUALLY there in terms of the main character and the overall plot made me facepalm (Besides Beginnings and The Sting). And then the finale happened XD

But anyway, I'm done. I've got way too much work to do to keep coming back here, so let's agree to disagree :)
comment #22391 nicksmi56 4th Dec 13
Considering Korra's character, the girl who was about ready to kill Tarrlok for imprisoning her friends, no matter the consequences - I say it's significant :)

She had the Avatar State at her command. Unalaq had exposed his treachery, and as we've seen, she generally takes such treachery against her friends/family as motive for attempted pulverizing, if not possible murder. She could have easily gone into a rage and used the Avatar state to kill Unalaq, again without thinking of the consequences... but she didn't; she just used a regular fire, water, and air blast at him before actually escaping.

That seems like actual restraint to me. True, maybe she doesn't have it as often as her teachers would like, but it's a step up from Season 1

But yeah, I was also gonna say agree to disagree too XD
comment #22394 omegafire17 5th Dec 13
Wait, so in TLA Book 1, Aang uses the essence of one of the moon spirits to create a giant fish/spirit mecha like Korra did in this, but it's somehow a problem now that Korra does it on her own?
comment #25918 Xaldien 24th Aug 14
Personally I don't get the point of this review about Korra having to defeat Unalaq/Vaatu as herself. Of course it doesn't help that I hate Brought Down to Normal premises (Who would want to watch a story about a super-powered protagonist to see him/her spend an entire episode de-powered? Might as well watch a story about a Badass Normal instead!), but even then, here is a thing: Vaatu had pretty much become an Eldritch Abomination at this point. There was just NO FRIGGIN REALISTIC WAY Korra could win against him as a regular human being. So yeah, this finale was full of deus ex machina and not very good, but this literally was the only way to go after de-powering Korra. Which is why I think having her lose her powers was stupid to begin with.
comment #25920 Theokal3 25th Aug 14
Completely agree with the Season 2 finale being an asspull and losing the entire point of Korra beating Unalaq by herself (without giant spirit thingies). That should have AT LEAST had some foreshadowing.

Theokal3:

Yeah, I completely agree with your point. There really was no realistic way they could have possibly beaten Avatar's equivalent of Satan.

Brought Down to Normal episodes can be done right (which it very well could have been in this case) but I just feel that it has to have a character arc of some kind....to make it more interesting. But I dunno. Maybe that's just me

Xaldien:

If Korra lost all of her avatar state powers in that season (apparently, I know that she didn't but at the time I thought she did. You know, before book 3 came out.) then how the heck is she able to connect to any spirits in the first place? At least you can create some remotely decent explanation with Aang.

Thank goodness that Season 3 didn't resolve itself like this.
comment #25929 RyochiMayeabara 25th Aug 14
Just because she lost her avatar spirit doesn't mean her own spirit (which is technically considered separate) can't have a connection either.

Even when Aang lost his connection to the Avatar spirits after Book 2, he showed that he had spiritual access and abilities.

Being the avatar is not what connects her to the spirits, otherwise there should be no reason why Jinora is as powerful as she is.
comment #25942 Xaldien 26th Aug 14
Also, all seasons of Avatar, even TLA, ended with Deus Ex Machinas. I don't get why people criticize Korra for this, but give TLA a free pass.
comment #25943 Xaldien 26th Aug 14
Xaldien:

1. I do not give TLA a free pass when it comes to Deus Ex Machinas (some of them technically weren't even Deus Ex Machinas...either way, this isn't what bothers me though. For example, in the last episode of TLA, Aaag gets the power to energybend to stop Fire Lord Ozai. The reason I have a problem with it is because he should have tried to figure it out on his own not having the answer handed to him! That would have been a much better conclusion.)

2. TLA has a lot of good things about it which is why some people don't mind as much. The solid characterization, the brilliant storytelling, the clear research put into this series, the animation (for its time....hell i think it could hold its own in this day and age...not against TLOK though), the soundtrack (some tracks are pretty generic but some are pretty good....TLOK has a much better soundtrack though), and the setting is creative (TLOK has an interesting setting too)

3. Fine, I drop my sword when it comes to the spirit thing. But Jinora clearly came out of nowhere when Korra was about to get destroyed by Unalaq.

Let me make something clear, I don't hate this series. I just think that there are a lot of flaws to point out which drops it from being a perfect series to an alright series. Which makes me all the more happy when they make a massive freaking improvement in Book 3 (which still has flaws anyways....)

comment #25951 RyochiMayeabara 26th Aug 14
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