The Legend of Korra: Book 1 Finale Review

As some of you might have noticed last year, my final review for The Legend of Korra never came. With Book 2 coming in less then a week though, I felt it was time to finally revisit the Book 1 finale and give you guys my thought on it; especially now that I’ve seen the show (and finale) about 3-4 time now. Obviously, THIS POST WILL INCLUDE SPOILERS FOR BOOK 1. That being said, let’s get the elephant out of the room…

Korra Crying

Yes, the Ending Wasn’t Amazing

For some people, the last 5 or so minute of Book 1 are a deal breaker, and I can understand where they are coming from. A lot of things happen VERY suddenly and (conveniently) solve some VERY big issues. What a lot of people unfamiliar with the show forget however, was that the creators behind the show had no idea there was even going to BE a Book 2. They couldn’t afford to end the show on a cliffhanger (otherwise fans would flip their lids) but at the same time they only had so many episodes to tell the story they wanted to tell.

To put it into perspective, lets pretend of a second that the final episode ended with Amon and Tarrlok out on the boat. You know the scene… and that was the last we of Book 1. It would have been emotional, it would have brought closer to the story arc of defeating Amon and saving Republic City. But it would have left some HUGE questions about the fate of Korra and everyone else. Perhaps an additional episode to pad out the season could have done this; or the beginning couple of episodes of Book 2. I’d argue that this probably would have been the best way to play it all out.

But again, this just WASN’T POSSIBLE. The creators had no way of just “adding an episode” or ending on a cliffhanger like that. They had already been given their set number of episodes and they pretty much just had to tie their story up in a neat little bow. Which they did. I’m not saying the ending couldn’t have used more time to breathe, because it did. But I’m still of the opinion that the actual plot point of it make just as much sense as anything else. For example…

The Past Avatars

Aang is not a Deus Ex Machina. I don’t care what people tell you, but Aang showing up and healing the damage Amon did to Korra’s bending made complete sense within the realm of the story we were being told. What has Korra been trying to do all season? Master Airbending and get in touch with her spiritual side (AKA her past lives/Avatar state). What have we learned about Amon, Tarrlok, Yakone & Bloodbending? That it is NOT the most powerful form of bending, The Avatar is. So when Korra loses her bending to a Bloodbender, guess what the logical place for her to “go” to get it healed would be? Within her self: to her past life as Aang.

Aang heals Korra

What makes the ending feel so “cheap” isn’t the fact that is happened the way it did, but the time frame in which it happened. We hardly had enough time to mourn Korra losing her bending before Aang brought it back. The ending was rushed; not bad. And yes there is a difference. Besides…

Everything Else was Fantastic

So many people forget all the fantastic moments that happened PRIOR to the rushed ending. So let’s take a second to remember that moment when…

The Gaang gets back together...
The Gaang gets back together…
and stops some bad guys.
…and stopped some bad guys.

When Korra faced Tarrlok...
When Korra faced Tarrlok…
...and proved she could kick some butt.
…and proved she could kick some butt.
When we finally see that something isn't right...
When we finally see that something isn’t right…
...that Tarrlok is a Bloodbender...
…that Tarrlok is a Bloodbender…
...and that Korra is in trouble.
…and that Korra is in trouble.
When we see some old friends and learn some new things...
When we see some old friends and learn some new things…
...only for Korra to escape by the skin of her teeth.
…only for Korra to escape by the skin of her teeth.
When Asami drive angry...
When Asami drive angry…
...and proves she can hold her own.
…and proves she can hold her own.
When Meelo saved the day...
When Meelo saved the day…
...Lin knew what must be done...
…Lin knew what must be done…
...and suffered her fate with dignity.
…and suffered her fate with dignity.
When we all shed a tear.
When we all shed a tear.
When we first met General Iroh...
When we first met General Iroh…
...saw him shoot lightning while flying a plane...
…saw him shoot lightning while flying a plane…
...and then fly around without one.
…and then fly around without one.
When Bolin had a close call...
When Bolin had a close call…
...and helped Asami defeat her father.
…and helped Asami defeat her father.
When Korra lost her bending...
When Korra lost her bending…
...The Lieutenant lost his faith in Amon...
…The Lieutenant lost his faith in Amon…
...and Mako has a little surprise for Amon.
…and Mako has a little surprise for Amon.
When Korra, at her weakest point, finally Airbends to save Mako...
When Korra, at her weakest point, finally Airbends to save Mako…
...and shows Amon who's boss!
…and shows Amon who’s boss!
When Amon is defeated...
When Amon is defeated…
...by none other than his own flesh and blood.
…by none other than his own flesh and blood.

The ending of Book 1 was by no means perfect, I think we can all agree on that. But try to remember the awesome moments as well as the not-so-awesome ones. Despite being only 12 episodes, they managed to bring us back to a world we all love and introduce us to new characters that we can’t wait to see more of. The show has it’s strengths and weaknesses, as does every show. But I for one couldn’t be more excited about returning to the world of Avatar and continuing our adventures with Korra and the Gaang this coming Friday in Book 2.

What about the rest of you? What were some of your favorite moments from Book 1? Are you excited for Book 2? Sound off in the comments!

Book2Spirits