K112 Endgame

K112 Screen

So we reach the end of Book 1 Air, with Episode 12 Endgame. I will start this off with some general talk about my thoughts on season finales as a whole. I feel there is always much more pressure on a final episode than any other episode, for 2 reasons, Expectations and Resolution. Some shows make the mistake of not leaving enough time at the end to resolve things nicely, almost as if the creators just realised with 1 episode to go that “We have to end this”. So the natural question is how did Korra’s first finale do ?

I very much enjoyed this as an episode and I thought it was a solid Book 1 finale. Was it perfect ? No, though nothing is. My main issue would be that, although it did not fall into the trap of a rushed ending, I feel some details that were crucial to the plot did not have enough time to be fully explored. It left a lot up to us as fans to explain it ourselves based on knowledge of the Avatar universe, the problem is that some of it is quite complex and so it id difficult to know for sure if that is the answer. I will explain in more detail later after I cover this episode as I usually do. What the final episode did well is that I thought the resolution to the main plot of book 1 was done very well and Korra had some excellent character development, what this show has done so well is that while the 12 episode season leaves not a lot of time for explanations it means we have a fast paced and dramatic story that is a rollercoaster ride throughout. This may be all over the place, but  I have a lot to say.

I will start with the end of the main conflict, that being Korra Vs Amon. As I said in my last review it was very well done that we got the backstory on him in the previous episode so we can see the change in Noatak in the 26 years since he left the NWT. We get straight into Korra and Mako’s plan to out Amon as a bender in front of his followers, a well thought out plan, but something Amon had always prepared for. He takes off his mask and we see he is scarred, my mind was blown when this happened, so many thoughts went through my mind: Was Tarrlok lying?, did Noatak have plastic surgery too to have a scar on his face, was he scarred after he left which further made him hate other benders. So much stuff, I was very interested in The Lieutenant while Korra was calling him out, you could sense that he was beginning to belive Korra, for him he must wonder why he has not thought anyone else how to take peoples bending or how he resisted bloodbending. The shocks continued, I was still reeling after the scar reveal, but then Tenzin and his family are shown on stage captured, now while it really upped the drama with all airbending at risk, it was not explained AT ALL how they were captured. The recap at the start of K111 even said they got away and in K110 we clearly saw one airship falling out of the sky and the other turn back. This is my main negative in the finale, they did not even attempt to explain it or even hint at what happened, you can put it down to a lack of time with 12 episodes, but they needed to say something.

The fight scene here was great too, we see Mako and Korra working so well in tandem, them being Pro Bending team mates really showing as they do the exact same firebending moves. Then we see Amon’s veil of invincibility fall as he is hit with a bending attack for the first time in the series by Tenzin and knocked off the stage. Now that we know his backstory and that he is just a waterbender and not a robot or any other crazy theories myself and the fandom had, it was nice to see this happen. Then Korra and Mako ditract Amon so the Airbenders can get away, we have a very dramatic moment which takes place in Toza’s gym as Amon walks into the dark room where they are hiding and reveals his bloodbending by lifting Korra into the air and controlling her with ease, Mako defends her but he bloodbends him too. Then within the first few minutes of the episode Korra’s bending is taken/blocked/severed, that shocked me I thought it would be near the end, what is more is that this scene shows the sheer power of Amon in that while he takes Korra, The Avatar’s bending he is not focusing on Mako but still bloodbending him into submission.

I absolutely loved when The Lieutenant confronted Amon having now seen him bend, and just seeing how much he believed in the Equalist movement and how much he devoted himself to Amon, the emotion on his face was incredible. He is smashed into a wall, but I loved this character moment.

The Mako moment here was amazing, he is the first one to break through Amon’s bloodbending and lightning bend Amon, this shows just how powerful of a bender Mako is and even Amon notes this later.The comes the big development moment for Korra, as Mako is about to have his bending taken, a weakened Korra gets to her feet and attempts to bend to protect him, in doing so I believe and assume unlocks her Air Chakra and thus her ability to Airbend and sends Amon flying. This shocked me as it showed that Amon’s bending taking away technique is different to energybending in that she could bend 1 element, which further suggests Amon uses bloodbending to block the connections to the Water, Earth and Fire Chakras, but he did not do this to her Air Chakra as it was probably already blocked until that moment. They never mentioned Chakras in Korra, so it is still up in the Air, but it makes sense to me. She proceeds to epic-ly smash Amon in slow motion out of the probending arena as his mask falls off and he falls into the water, we see the equalist followers vilify Korra for trying to kill their leader, but then we cut to Noatak in the water and his scar turns out to be just face paint and it comes off in the water, he then to save himself from drowning and because he is no longer composed does not think and waterbends himself into the air, thus crushing the Equalist movement.

Onto the final parts of this episode, seeing characters like Korra’s parents: Tonraq and Senna, Lin, Pema, the kids and Tenzin all waiting for the results of Korra’s healing session with Katara. Katara, who can bloodbend herself cannot figure out exactly what  Noatak did. This was the perfect time for Katara to explain what Amon does, but that she cannot reverse it, see that it is blocked, but unable to heal it. A quick and easy way to resolve it better. Then seeing how emotional Korra is about not being able to bend the other 3 elements, she has been all about doubting herself as a good Avatar and now with only 1 element she really does not feel like an Avatar, she has lost her home element of Water which is a connection she has with her waterbender parents, her connection with Mako and Bolin by being a Fire and Earthbender, not stated, but stuff like that is probably what she is feeling. She runs off and is followed by Mako who admits that he loves her, but without her bending she is not in the right state of mind to deal with this despite Mako not caring if she is the Avatar or not.

In my favourite part of the episode she on Naga go to a snowy cliff looking out over the ocean, she bursts into tears thinking she has failed as the Avatar and sits down, then an Airbender appears behind her, she wants Tenzin to go away, but it is not Tenzin, but Aang. I said “YESS” and clapped when he appeared. This appearance puts a smile on her face and he explains to her that she has unlocked her spiritual self and when she asks how, Aang gives some epic advice, at 12 in ATLA he had some great advice, but here he give a stunning line

“When we hit our lowest point, we are open to the greatest change”

Her lowest point was losing her bending, and was then open to spirituality which is a big change for her. This line explains her unlocking Airbending and Spirituality, perhaps it could have used a bit more direct of an explanation, but I think it works well in a great nostalgia moment. Aang then Energybends Korra, giving Korra her attachment to the other elements back. She then goes into the Avatar State, in an epic moment and bends all 4 elements in a row for the first time and comes out of the Avatar State to notice Mako watching her, she runs to him and admits she loves him too and they kiss. The more I think about it the more I am happy with how MAKORRA was done here, all the little moments of them together and growing closer, combined make me really like them as a couple. I feel a bit for Asami in that they did not show her either accepting them as a couple and happy for them or the 3 of them having a moment where they say they are still all friends. I hope she has more development in Book 2.

The scene of Korra giving Lin her bending back was so perfect, she had to be the first one to get her bending back after her selfless sacrifice in K110. Just seeing that Korra can now Energybend seemingly at will, they never make it that clear whether or not Korra is in complete control of the Avatar state here or if it is more of the Avatar Spirit activating it. Then ending the show with Tenzin calling Korra, Avatar Korra, that was perfect, the highest compliment to pay Korra after she has struggled with Airbending and Spirituality.

The other part of the episode of Bolin, Asami and Iroh attacking the Airbase was excellent also. Naga gets some great moments where she can show her strength. Bolin also has some funny moments and also some moments of bravery when he goes to town on the runways with Earthbending and then when he defends Asami from her father. Iroh or should I now call him Iroh Man, was amazing, what an action hero he is in this scene, he does the Azula and Ozai Fire flying move then jumps from plane to plane as they keep getting damaged, he kind of reminded me a bit of Jack Sparrow from Pirate Of The Carribean in that he is skilled, but he has this amazing luck with how he manages to stay safe. The the emotional battle between Hiroshi and Asami, we see Hiroshi is pretty much lost to his quest for revenge so much so that he ties to kill the only remaining member of his family, it is so tragic for that family and especially Asami, but she gets some amazing moments here like when she has Hiroshi at her mercy and is so angry at her father and doe not want to kill him, they are both mad at each other, but Asami is strong enough to let him live. So emotional.

The last big thing is of course, THAT SCENE WITH NOATAK AND TARRLOK ON THE BOAT. We see how happy Noatak is to be starting over, Tarrlok is in the back just agreeing with him and his gaze drifts to an equalist shock glove nearby, he puts it on and realises what he needs to do, Noatok cannot be allowed to do anything like he did in Republic City again, he screws off the fuel tank and shocks the fuel blowing himself and Noatak up, in a MURDER-SUICIDE ON A NICK SHOW EARLY IN THE MORNING. I could not believe they were allowed to keep this in, but I am glad it is as it is such a powerful scene from both brothers. Noatak really believes that they can get past everything that happened and start anew, Tarrlok completely redeems himself and realises almost that they both need to pay for what they have done in the city, but it makes both of them so tragic in the end as it was their father that made them like this.

Some final parts, namely, COMMANDER BUMI, he arrives and is on screen for about 4 seconds and just screams, but I think he is glorious already. I cannot wait to see more of him.

Overall as a final episode of the season this episode works well, again some things could have been explained more, but only how Tenzin and his family was captured is a glaring missing explanation. I was satisfied with the conclusion to the season and Book 2 can only expand on things to make Korra even better. I look forward to seeing how Amon revealed to be a fraud affects the city, will Gommu’s people have an influence on the city as a whole. The bending Triads what is up with them. I want Bolin and Asami to have more screentime and have full arcs. More United forces. And definitely some spirit stuff.

Thank you to everyone who has read my Book 1 Air reviews, I really appreciate the comments on these, it is nice to know people appreciate them.

I will be reviewing Book 2 episodes and of course The Promise Part 3. Remember to check out the Korra Rountable podcasts for even more insight into the episodes.