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Saturday, 24 of August of 2019

The Legend of Korra – “Skeletons in the Closet” & “Endgame”

“Fate caused us to collide.”

KorraTitleCardThat was a big roller coaster now wasn’t it?

I’m going to keep my thoughts pretty focused on just these two episodes since I have a wrap-up post over at (and if you’ve been following along here, you generally know what I’ve been concerned about and also enjoying). Which is good since there’s a lot of stuff to talk about just within these two episodes that this post might’ve gotten a little unwieldy if I tried to incorporate season ending thoughts as well.

So let’s start with the ending that, as you may have guessed, made me more than a little grumpy. I really liked the story prospects for the second season made available by the notion that the Avatar doesn’t have access to the other elements, and how Korra grappled with it. But to have her past selves just give it back to her? Eugh. Just. Eugh. What does she learn from this? Nothing. What does Tenzin have to be proud of her for? Nothing. It’s a frustrating and lazy way out of a major emotional moment.

It does, of course, allow for an all new set of adventures next season, with a bender in full command of the elements, too.  But even now that I’ve had some hours-long distance from it, I still find myself just annoyed by the entire thing.  (It did give the show’s badass in residence, Lin, her bending back, so it’s not all horrible).

I think this duo of episodes also solidifies the notion that the romantic aspects of the show were pretty horribly executed. Asami’s jealousy became simple resignation (which I’ll be okay with because I’ve decided that she and Bolin are PERFECT for each other) and Mako is confessing his love for Korra. It’s all too much too quickly, with no significant motivation behind it other than to have these character moments in the show.

But there was plenty of things to like, beyond these issues. I enjoyed the Amon and Tarrlok origin story, and that bloodbending remains fantastically creepy (doing it to animals certainly helps ratchet up the uncomfortable factor). It complicates the notion that Amon wanted equality due to some political angle but that it was more about, what?, a desire to not be bent by his father’s influence ever again? To punish the Avatar by removing all bending? Would he had turned his ability on himself once all bending was eradicated?

And then to have Tarrlok blow them both up (how great was that POV shot?!) was something of the final nail in that coffin of fucked up family tragedy. In a season of less than great character work, between “Out of the Past” and these two episodes, I feel like Tarrlok (and Amon for that matter), had a clear and stronger-ish arc compared to the short circuiting that everyone else was given.

I’ve written a lot, all told, about the finale and the show, and since this series as prompted great commenting here, I’ll stop here and I’d rather engage in some discussion about the finale here. I’ve also been invited to a roundtable by some Twitter folks, so there’s more to come about this, which I think is the sure sign that while the season may not have been perfect, it will generate lots of discussion that I’ll be sure to share with everyone.

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