As the title may indicate, I was not a fan of the Korra season finale. I believe I had also made it clear earlier that I wasn’t a fan of the premiere either. Korra season 2 as a whole has been one big meandering waste of time going through pointless filler subplots one after another and just as quickly dropping them be they Korra’s daddy issues, the civil war, Bolin’s rise to stardom etc. etc. The show did admittedly pick up during and after the special 2 parter with Wan as the avatar and for a while, I was actually sorta getting into the show. But the last four episodes were a compilation of awful reminiscent of the terribleness of the beginning of this season. We had to cap the show with bullshit on both ends I guess.
From the first episode, I had problems. Interesting story threads were wrapped up in anti-climactic fashions. Bolin suddenly became a hero when he was nothing but a sexually assaulting douche who mocked his brother while he was in jail. Varrick, by far the most interesting character in this season, concocts a plan to kidnap the president…for some reason and it’s so easily and quickly thwarted and he’s just as quickly carted off to jail that you can’t help but wonder what was the whole point of all this? Lin Beifong finally dumps Starsky and Hutch and makes Mako a detective and regains a fraction of dignity after how terribly her character had been botched up by the writers (they clearly had NO idea what to do with her character this season). So far it’s been pretty bad and boring and anticlimactic but nothing straight out awful or cringe-inducing.
Then Korra shows up and things started to fall apart. Korra who had been the worst character by far this season had just had a total character reset with her amnesia as even the writers realized how awful she had become so at that point she was not only bearable but actually sorta likable. Then she kisses Mako full in the mouth and we got our love triangle bullshit back. They excuse Korra’s behaviour off as amnesia, fine it’s bullshit convenience but fine. What’s Mako’s excuse for not ending it there and then? None, he’s just a douche and in one fell swoop, the one level headed character in this show hit my shit list. And then there’s this awful moment with Mako and Bolin where he makes cracks at Mako’s situation which are really not funny or appropriate. What pisses me off about this is how glib the whole thing is treated. The writers went on the record saying the reason they keep recycling this love triangle shit is because they love to play with romances and are surprised at the negative reaction they generate. Fuck that, they do it because it’s a cheap and lazy way to inject drama and we hate it because they do it terribly.
So our heroes attack Tarlock 2.0 aka Varrick, easily the worst villain in both this and the previous series. Bland doesn’t even begin to describe what a nothing character he is. The writers basically buttfuck the concept of Yin and Yang which should be about spiritual balance by making Yang evil because its black and dark and writing stories with good and evil clearly defined is much easier and convenient. Which is why when Tarloc-I mean Varrick gets possessed by Vatu, he turns into an evil monster ripped off from a giant mecha anime. Gotta simplify it because writing a complex character with conflicting emotions is too hard. He’s just a bad guy twirling his handlebar mustache. Korra fights Vatu while Bolin and Mako try to keep Varrick and his two unfunny bland children out of the spirit world until Korra seals him. Why Bolin, the earth bender, didn’t form a giant wall to cover the entrance of the spirit realm I don’t know. It’s also worth mentioning they sent Asami away at this point because the writers hate Asami and love nothing more than shafting her character. They fail and get imprisoned by the twins. Who then let them go in some of the most absurd character development I’ve ever seen. Even the tone of it is all over the place switching from serious to comical to serious again.
So Korra loses against the Dark avatar and gets her light spirit ripped out…which should kill her seeing as they were the only things that kept the elements inside the avatars in balance. Also it shouldn’t have been possible in the first place seeing as they should have been irreversibly bound. Also gotta like how the writers just killed off Aang’s spirit with barely any emotional resonance. In the meantime Tenzin had a daughter rescue mission which wraps up anticlimactically but I like Tenzin so I don’t mind that as much.
So now evil Varricktu turns into a giant monster out of Mazinger and flies off to Republic City to attack it. At this point, any sort of interesting character motivations they brought up with the villain are straight out the window, it’s just a giant evil monster destroying the city now. Varrick himself has essentially been eliminated as an antagonist, it’s all about Vaatu now, he was basically killed off as a character and no one cared. Even his children said as much that they didn’t give a shit. Now we’re about to get into the flat out awful.
So Korra is basically beaten and out of options. And Tenzin shows up. Now this COULD have be the moment where Korra finally shows some character growth, humbles herself and asks Tenzin for some guidance. But NOPE, it’s the same old fucking bullshit where Korra acts like an angsty mopey bitch and Tenzin has to force advice on her which happens every goddamn time she fucks up. Tenzin spouts some cosmic mumbo jumbo that probably even the writers have no idea what it means. Then Korra meditates in front on a world tree conveniently placed in front of her and summons a blue giant. And that;s where the show officially jumps the shark. This makes absolutely no sense at all other than the writers really wanted a big epic monster mash finale. There’s no proper context to it. The only explanation we get is its her inner spirit. But the implications of it are so damaging to the mythos of the world the writers worked so hard to establish. Basically what they’re saying is Korra is a perfect flawless being of ultimate purity. She doesn’t need the avatar spirit, just her own spirit is enough to summon the ultimate spirit being. that’s the only way you can interpret this, Korra is a flawless person that can do no wrong (which this season had shown to be far from the case). Otherwise you know, ANYONE could have plonked their ass in front of the World Tree and summoned a jolly blue giant. Really, what do we even need the avatar spirit for? Your own spirit is enough to summon a Kaiju.
So the Blue Giant goes to Republic City to fight Varricktu, bit characters do trivial stuff in Republic City, Korra pulls a bunch of wrestling moves, Jinora pops out of nowhere, does something deus ex machinish if I could tell what the hell she did (hey if we’re going to rip off Japanese monster battles, we need our token magical kid right?, Ravi pops out of Vaatu even though that’s something that should have taken ten thousand years to happen and Korra saves the day by killing a guy, something that was a huge emotional conflict for Aang but not so much for Korra because he was big and ugly and scary-looking so that makes it okay. And then Korra gets back her avatar spirit because we got to return the status quo even though the show just spent a good time beating it into our heads that she doesn’t need it anymore. Korra and Mako break up AGAIN in an actually well done scene undermined by the fact that it shouldn’t have been needed in the first place and is just a complete retread.
And then to put the cherry on top of the shit sandwich, Korra decides to give the finger to all her previous generations up to the first avatar by deciding to not close the spirit gates and let spirits and humans traverse freely through both worlds. This is a major, world changing development and Korra decides to take it into her own hands to make this decision without even consulting anyone else. Even the way she came up with it seemed spontaneous and on the fly. If you’re going to write such a development into the story, it’s something that requires an entire season’s worth of build up, something they could have used if they hadn’t been wasting it on complete filler. But nope, she just makes this decision by herself like a complete afterthought, never mind the huge political and social ramifications, we gotta change stuff somehow and squeeze in a friendship is magic theme somewhere. And it’s so insulting to Wan, the first avatar, who had TRIED this and failed, that’s why he split up the worlds in the first place. And Korra’s like nah fuck him, he’s wrong, I’m right because I’m Korra and I’m perfect.
Fuck this show. This entire season has been a disaster, the nadir of this franchise. There’s a third season in the works however given how Nick dumped the last four episodes like this, there’s a chance it could be canceled which honestly is the best thing at this point. Better to put it out of its misery than to continue to drag the name of this once great show further through the mud.