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Recap / The Legend of Korra S1E12 "Endgame"

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The second episode of the one-hour season finale of The Legend of Korra. The episode, along with "Skeletons in the Closet", aired June 23, 2012.

The episode opens with two major military actions happening simultaneously: General Iroh, Bolin and Asami try to disable the Equalists' airbase, while Avatar Korra and Mako position themselves to expose Amon for the bloodbender he is. At the airbase, Naga breaks the three humans out of prison and protects Bolin from three mechs. Asami and Bolin fight Hiroshi and win. In the sky, Iroh hijacks an airplane, eventually losing the plane but manages to quite awesomely lightningbend to shoot the rest of the fleet down.

Korra and Mako, crashing an Equalist rally at the stadium, don't quite have things going their way. When they tell the truth about Amon's past, he proves his cover story right by removing his mask and revealing the (pretty horrible) facial scars he got from a firebender. Then he pulls out Tenzin, Jinora, Ikki and Meelo, who have been captured and are ready to be publicly depowered. Korra and Mako manage to free them after a short fight. To let Tenzin's family escape, Korra uses herself as a decoy to draw Amon away, and this ends pretty badly: he bloodbends her out of her hiding place and then depowers her. Avatar Korra can no longer bend fire, earth or water.

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Mako snatches her up and begins to run, but as usual Amon catches up with them. Seeing Mako about to be depowered, though, Korra throws a punch, and realizes she can airbend. She knocks Amon out the window into the harbor, where a crowd of equalists has gathered. Amon loses his mask as he plunges into the water and instinctively waterbends to save himself from drowning, showing the crowd his true colors as a waterbender (the scars are revealed to be paint). He swims away and later begs Tarrlok to come with him and make a new start somewhere else, much as their father did. The two race away on a speedboat. Tarrlok's gaze falls upon a stack of electroshock gauntlets. But he doesn't leave it to chance. He unscrews the cap on the boat's fuel tank and applies the spark directly. The ensuing explosion kills them both.

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At the South Pole, Katara has tried everything she can, but is unable to return Korra's ability to bend the other three elements. Despite Mako telling her he loves her, she races off to be alone. A man in Air Nomad robes approaches her, and she tells Tenzin to leave her alone... only for Aang to retort that she called him there. He reminds her that only by hitting rock bottom could she unlock her fullest potential, and with the same energybending technique he used to depower Yakone, he restores Korra's full breadth of power and brings her into the Avatar State, where she manipulates all four elements. As she fades out of the Avatar State, she notices that Mako had witnessed the event. Her confidence restored, she leaps into his embracing arms, reciprocates his earlier profession of love and then they kiss. Korra hurries to try out her new powers on Lin Beifong, restoring her ability to earthbend. The season ends on the optimistic note that though much has gone wrong, at least some of it can be fixed.


Tropes:

  • Adult Fear: At some point Tenzin and his family were captured and he is chained up with his three oldest children while a crowd of bloodthirsty Equalists cheer Amon's attempted debending of them. And to add to that his wife and newborn son are also held captive somewhere else.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: It really says something about the power of the scene that Amon/Noatak and Tarrlok's death via the latter's Murder-Suicide is easily one of the biggest Tear Jerkers of the season in spite of the atrocities both have committed.
  • Ax-Crazy: Hiroshi's attempt on his own daughter's life.
  • Back for the Finale: The Protester and Katara.
  • Baddie Flattery: Amon compliments Mako striking him down briefly with lightning bending stating that it's the first time anyone has ever gotten the better of him. He says it's almost a shame to remove the bending of someone so talented. Almost.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Asami may have snapped a bit in this episode.
  • Big Damn Kiss: Korra and Mako share one after she regains her bending and responds to his Love Confession.
  • Big "NO!": As Amon grabs Korra by the neck in preparation to de-bend her. And again when she's watching as Mako's about to be de-bended... though that time she wasn't as powerless to stop it as she was for herself.
  • Book-Ends: The season begins and ends at the South Pole.
  • Broken Pedestal: Amon becomes this to The Lieutenant and the Equalists once it is revealed he is a bender.
  • Call-Back: Put simply, Mako's been acting different since Korra was kidnapped. The reason? Mako has had a Love Epiphany about Korra since her abduction.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: Asami to Hiroshi.
  • Came Back Strong: Korra loses her bending to Amon, but as a result gains airbending and the spiritual connection she had been lacking. The latter allows Aang to restore her bending and gives her access to the Avatar state, ultimately making her a far stronger Avatar than she had ever been before.
  • The Cameo: Commander Bumi enthusiastically arrives towards the end of the episode. Aang and the other Avatars, as well, though only Aang has a speaking part.
  • The Cavalry Arrives Late: Commander Bumi and the second division of the United Forces arrive after Amon has been revealed to be a waterbender and Hiroshi Sato and his biplanes have been taken down. Admittedly there are still probably Equalists in the city that need to be captured but still.
  • Cover-Blowing Superpower: Amon ultimately proves Korra's accusations of him true when he instinctively Waterbends after being blown into the ocean by Korra... in front of all of his followers.
  • Crazy-Prepared: When Korra accuses Amon of being a waterbender posing as an anti-bending revolutionary, he removes his mask and reveals a face full of scars to dismiss her claims, blaming it on the firebender who supposedly murdered his family. Too bad for him he didn't make those scars waterproof as they are revealed to be painted on when Korra sends him flying into the ocean.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: Amon instinctively waterbends himself out of the bay when he begins to drown, right in front of his followers.
  • De-Power: Attempted on Korra by Amon. It backfires when it results in a Discard and Draw, instead; her main elements are gone, but her airbending is unlocked. Further subverted when it also unlocks her spiritual side, through which Aang restores her other bending powers and she gains access to the Avatar State. Finally, she learns Energybending, allowing her to reverse other cases of de-bending.
  • Death Glare: Amon gives Korra one after she reveals his true name to him in front of all his followers.
  • Destination Defenestration: Amon is thrown out of a window and takes a plunge in the harbor outside.
  • Diabolus ex Machina: Tenzin and the kids being captured by Amon at some point off-screen.
  • Didn't See That Coming: Twice in a row for Amon in the end which ultimately leads to his defeat. Firstly is when Mako is able to push through his bloodbending hold in order to fire a point-blank lightning shot at Amon, a fact that Amon compliments him for. The second is when Korra is able to access her airbending after he had depowered her, which Amon even comments should be impossible.
  • Discard and Draw: Just in the nick of time. After losing her other bending abilities, Korra's airbending finally comes out.
  • Driven to Suicide: Tarrlok uses one of the Equalist shock gloves aboard Amon's escape boat to blow up the fuel tank killing himself and his brother.
  • Easily Forgiven: Mr. Sato has a villainous example with Asami. Despite her betraying him, stun-shocking him and helping the Avatar escape, he still apologizes for having to hurt her by keeping her confined, and wishes for her to rejoin him as soon as she comes to her senses (as he puts it). He eventually acknowledges that she won't be coming back, but only after she has escaped again and spent considerable further time insulting him, attacking him and wrecking his operation.
  • 11th-Hour Superpower: Airbending, Energybending, and the Avatar State for Korra, and a mech for Asami.
  • Glowing Eyes: As the episode picture shows, Korra finally accesses the Avatar State.
  • Held Gaze: Korra and Amon share a final glance at each other after the former ruins his plans forcing the latter to flee.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: A subtle example. When Korra runs away to be alone at the end of the episode, there's a shot of her looking down an enormous ice cliff to the ground below. Given that she's just been told that she'll never regain her fire-, earth- or water-bending — and that Aang tells her that she's reached her "lowest point" — it's generally assumed that Korra was contemplating suicide in order to restart the Avatar cycle and bring about a new Avatar with access to all of their bending abilities.
  • Heroic Willpower:
    • Mako is able to push through Amon's bloodbending hold in order to fire off a shot of lightning right into Amon's face.
    • Korra at the end is able to push through the full power of Amon's bloodbending hold on her to deliver one final airbendeing kick to send the villain flying.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard:
    • Amon is killed when Tarrlok uses one of the Equalist gloves to ignite the fuel in their escape boat.
    • Hiroshi gets this as well, when he's electrocuted by his own gadget by Asami.
  • I Have No Daughter!: Hiroshi doesn't say it directly, but considering in his warped mind, that Asami won't join in his insane crusade to destroy the benders, he figures she doesn't have the right to be his daughter.
  • Implacable Man: Amon... until he comes across airbending.
  • Incoming Ham: Commander Bumi's entrance where he shouts "woohoooo" and gives a huge clap.
  • Instant Expert:
    • Asami has no problems piloting a mecha. Justified by Asami's remark that the controls are similar to that of a Future Industries' forklift, which she implicitly knows how to operate.
    • Averted at first when Iroh hijacks one of the Equalist biplanes and struggles to get it under control. Played straighter when he has no problem flying it afterwards, though he doesn't use any of its weapons.
    • Downplayed with Korra's airbending. She has been practicing with Tenzin and it's implied that as far as airbending goes he's taught her everything he can without her being able to actually airbend. When she finally does, her attacks are rudimentary.
  • Jaw Drop: Bolin after Lin's bending is restored.
  • Karmic Death: For Amon at the end of the episode, who dies after his debend brother blows up their getaway boat with one of the Equalist shock gloves.
  • Kick the Morality Pet: Despite everything that he has done up to this point, Hiroshi genuinely seemed to care for Asami and wanted her to join his side and become a family again. After she tells him that he doesn't feel love for his wife any more, only hatred towards benders, Hiroshi decides that Asami is beyond saving and tries to murder her.
  • Laser-Guided Karma:
    • Hiroshi Sato is beaten and captured by the very same Equalist technology he has been using to ensnare innocent people with all season and by the daughter he tried to murder no less.
    • Amon summoned all of his followers to the Colosseum to witness him debend the last of the Airbenders. Because of this they are all there to witness him waterbend himself to safety, thus proving that everything he said was a lie.
  • Love Confession: While they are at the South Pole, Mako finally confesses his feelings to Korra and tells her that he loves her. Korra isn't really in the right state of mind to respond to that but, after regaining her bending, she admits that she loves him too and the two kiss.
  • Menacing Stroll: Amon. It's like he came out of a slasher movie.
  • Morality Chain Beyond the Grave: Asami calls Hiroshi out on his actions, declaring that her mother would hate what he's become. Hiroshi is outraged.
  • Murder-Suicide: Tarrlok kills himself and Amon/Noatak by igniting the gas in their boat with an Equalist glove. One has to wonder how the creators got away with this.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The preview for the finale actually edited one of Amon's lines to make it appear he had some way of ridding the world of all bending in one evening. He was actually just talking about airbending.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: Amon's de-bending of Korra is what helps her unlock airbending.
  • Not Quite Flight: General Iroh takes on an entire fleet of airplanes and he uses his firebending to get from airplane to airplane. Although his firebending has a lot of lift, it doesn't seem like he he can sustain it for very long, and he uses it mostly to slow down his descent.
  • Offing the Offspring: Hiroshi pretty much lost it by this point. He's so bent on killing benders that even his daughter not worth saving in his eyes.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Amon gets one of these with just his eyes after he realizes the Lieutenant has seen him bloodbending. He gets another after Korra begins airbending and yet another, full-face one after he realizes his supporters have seen him waterbending.
    • Asami gets one herself when Hiroshi charges for her as her attack misses during their fight.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Tarrlok. He's also the first known character to commit suicide.
  • Reset Button: Two. Korra has her bending restored by the past Avatars. She then restores Lin's bending as well.
  • Series Fauxnale: The season ends on what seems to be a fairly definitive note; Korra has defeated Amon and saved Republic City from the Equalists. Korra can now airbend and has overcome her spiritual block allowing her to connect with Aang who restores the rest of her bending, giving her the power to enter the Avatar State, and making her a fully realized Avatar. Korra and Mako finally confess their feelings for each other and become a couple. And finally with her new powers Korra restores Lin's bending and she can now undo the damage Amon has inflicted. Given how Book 1 was initially suppose to be a Mini Series it's entirely possible that this was the original intended ending of Korra. Fortunately Nickelodeon renewed the show during production and thus this became the first of a four Book series.
  • She's Back: Korra twice, first when she discovers she is able to Airbend after being Depowered. And later after Aang returns her other bending skills.
  • Shmuck Bait: "Why would there be fence posts but no fence?" Justified: Electric fences are pretty obviously new technology at this point.
  • Single Tear: Amon/Noatak sheds one tear while smiling just before Tarrlok's Murder-Suicide.
  • So Proud of You:
    • While she doesn't say it verbally, Katara has a proud smile on her face when she witnesses Korra energybend Lin and return her bending.
    • Tenzin says this to Korra, when she connects with Aang, enters the Avatar State, and restores Lin's bending.
  • They Do: Mako and Korra. While it's really unclear, shippers may assume that the Masami goodbye kiss in "Skeletons in the Closet" was also their breakup kiss.
  • This Cannot Be!: Amon, for the only time in the entire season, is completely without a plan when he sees Korra airbending.
    Amon: Impossible!
  • This Is Gonna Suck: Tenzin does not look forward to the prospect of hosting his brother.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: Korra is captured by Amon through bloodbending.
  • Triumphant Reprise: Aang's leitmotif comes back as Korra lights up the Avatar State for the first time.
  • Villain: Exit, Stage Left: Amon runs away after being blown away by Korra and being exposed as a waterbender to his followers.
  • Villainous Breakdown: After Korra manages to airbend after Amon had already debend her he is left completely shocked, for the first time in the series without a plan. This only gets worse after Korra sends him flying into the ocean and he inadvertently reveals himself to be a waterbender to his Equalists completely undoing all off his work in a single stroke.
  • Wham Line:
    • For Amon:
      Amon: I told you I would destroy you.
    • For Korra:
      Korra: I can airbend!
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • General Iroh doesn't appear at all in the third act. Last we saw him, he was fine, but it still wasn't wrapped up any.
    • Of the main villains in the series the Lieutenant's fate is the only ambiguous one, as he wasn't killed or captured. He was bloodbent and discarded, no confirmation if it was fatal.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Amon has zero qualms about chaining up and attempting to debend Tenzin's children.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Once the Lieutenant finds out about Amon's bloodbending capabilities, he tries to attack Amon, but Amon bloodbends him, says, "You served me well, Lieutenant," and hurls him into the corner of the room.

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