Hey there, Korra Nation! As many of you know, The Legend of Korra Book 4: Balance aired its finale episodes, “Day of Colossus” and “The Last Stand” on December 19th. As promised, I’ve written a recap (which can be found on Black Girl Nerds) in case you haven’t checked it out yet, but now it’s time for a new post-cap!
If you don’t know what a “post-cap” is by now, then it’s a damn shame and quite frankly, you don’t need to be reading this. But, if you’re still clueless — at the very end, no less — a “post-cap” is part recap, part review, and all the feels that one may have after watching an episode (and writing a full-blown recap). Got it? Cool.
I apologize for not posting this final Korra post-cap sooner. I’d been so engrossed in other things and my own feelings, but I promised to have it up before the end of the year, and by goodness, I’m holding fast to that promise.
Now let’s dig into The Legend of Korra Book 4 Balance, Chapter 12, “Day of Colossus” and Chapter 13: “The Last Stand”:
Team Avatar’s valiant effort. For a good portion of “Day of Colossus,” Team Avatar, the new Air Nomads, and the Beifongs (aka the Krew) try their best to take down Kuvira, while Prince Wu shows some leadership in trying to get the citizens out of the city. Their first attempt included Meelo’s idea of making paint balloons and dropping them on the windows of Kuvira mecha giant’s control room to obscure her view, while Wing and Wei tied up the mecha giant’s legs with wire cord and Korra and the air nomads bent air on the mecha giant’s chest to knock it down. Unfortunately, Kuvira wasn’t having any of that and thwarted the plan and shot her cannon at everyone, causing them to retreat to Asami’s office. Back at the office, Asami and Varrick are working on the hummingbird suits, and when they get word that Kuvira and her army are advancing on the city. Varrick goes to the top of the building tower with Zhu Li in tow and starts creating a device to send a magnetic pulse through the city while telling Zhu Li about his ostrich horse, Mrs. Beaks, he took for granted. Zhu Li interrupts him to warn him of the soldiers moving in, and as such, Varrick flips the switch and the magnetic pulse knocks out the suits, but not the mecha giant.
Enter jailbird daddy. Everyone retreats back to Asami’s office, where there’s a bit of a panic on what to do. Baaatar
Jr. wakes up from his nap (you know, being knocked out after his fiancée tired to blow him up) and tells his mom that he’s sad for what he did and hopes to make amends with the family. She tells him that it’ll take time, and he’ll get over Kuvira’s betrayal because women like her are just “complicated”. When most of the Krew assembles, Baatar tells them all it’s virtually impossible to stop Kuvira, but Lin brings in Asami’s father, Hiroshi, to the party and says that it doesn’t hurt to have another genius in the mix to help stop Kuvira. Hiroshi tells the gang that they need to cut the brain from the heart, and find a way into the mecha suit. Hiroshi tells them that he’s created plasma saws that can cut through the platinum and he can do some electrical tinkering on the suit to create a platinum laser cutter. Korra tells Asami and Hiroshi that the benders will do their best to hold off Kuvira while they work on upgrading the hummingbird suits. Baatar Jr. offers some intel, saying that if they make their way into the mecha giant, they need to pull the two levers in the engine room simultaneously to shut down the machine. With that, everyone makes their way out to save the day.
Prince Wu to the rescue! All this time, Prince Wu is doing his best to keep the remaining citizens in the city calm. When it’s revealed that Kuvira’s army has destroyed the rails out of the city, Wu leaves the citizens and goes to the Republic City Zoo, to retrieve two badger moles. The moles tunnel their way out of the city with Wu’s singing as their guide (and possible inspiration) and everyone is almost home free. That is until a platoon of Kuvira’s mecha soldiers show up. They tell the citizens to give up, but Wu tells them to take him instead. The soldiers don’t budge, and then Wu tells them they should scram, unless they want the badger moles to attack them. They don’t listen and after the badger moles disappear for a moment, they return, attack the soldiers, and receive a warm hug from Wu… who is still singing their praises.
Varrick does the thing. As Asami and her dad prepare to hop into their hummingbird suit, she tells her dad how much she enjoys working with him again and then she says that if they actually win this battle, he’ll be considered a hero. Hiroshi is just happy to be near his kiddo again, and he compliments her genius in designing the hummingbird suits and tells her he loves her. They then hop into their hummingbird suit, while Varrick makes his move on Zhu Li. Varrick tells Zhu Li he has something to “attach” to her and it’s none other than a jade, vine-embossed engagement ring. He asks Zhu Li to “do the thing” with him for the rest of their lives and Zhu Li is like hell-to-the-FREAKING-yes. They smooch, hop into their hummingbird suits, and head out to their impending doom.
Someone’s got to go. The gang go back into action to take Kuvira down yet again. This time, the airbenders buzz about Kuvira to distract her, while Bolin, Suyin, and Lin earth bend half a building to collapse on Kuvira’s giant mecha suit. It collides with another building and takes her down, but she gets back up. Zhu Li and Varrick try to land on her suit, but after two attempts, Kuvira’s cannon takes out one of the wings of Zhu Li and Varrick’s suit, and Zhu ejects them just before it crashes. Korra finally does some water bending (she’s barely done that all season) with water from a canal and freezes the mecha giant’s legs and cannon arm in place. Asami and Hiroshi land their suit during their second attempt at cutting through the suit, and Hiroshi is making progress. Kuvira, realizing that Asami and Hiroshi are cutting through the suit, requests more power so that she may free the suit from the ice. As Kuvira starts to break free from the ice, Asami gets panicked and tells her dad that they need to go. Hiroshi, however, is determined to break through, and when Kuvira is able to get her cannon arm free, Asami’s father ejects her from the hummingbird suit, tells her he loves her and sacrifices himself to finish the job.
Kuvira crushes Hiroshi under her mecha suit’s hand and he dies —but not before cutting a hole. Korra, Bolin, Mako, Suyin, and Lin see the opening, make their way in, and prepare for the last battle.
The Last Stand. Korra devises a plan in which Su and Lin take out the cannon arm, Mako and Bolin shut down the suit, and Korra goes after Kuvira. Su and Lin are able to destroy the weapon loading mechanism which dispenses spirit energy capsules into the cannon since it’s all made of regular metal and not platinum. Kuvira realizes that they’ve rendered her cannon arm useless, and uses her functional mecha arm to rip off the other arm. She flings it (with Lin and Su still inside) into a building with the cannon breaking off and flying into the Spirit Wilds.
Mako’s awesome moment. Mako and Bolin head into the engine room and after some pro-bending fighting moves and an impressive body check (here, here, Bolin!), they get to the levers, pull simultaneously, but nothing happens. Mako asks Bolin if any of Varrick’s genius rubbed off on him, and he tells Mako that spirit vines blow up when tinkered with too much. Mako then decides that he’ll shoot the vines with lightning and Bolin becomes the worrying little brother. He doesn’t want Mako to have to blow himself up to prove he’s awesome, but Mako says it must be done. Bolin has Mako promise to get out when it’s safe, and the brothers hug and say “I love you” to each other. Mako then starts creating lightning and zaps the spirit vines. Nothing happens at first, but then the vines start to react. Mako continues to zap them and then the energy starts to go haywire, burning Mako’s arm and disintegrating his shirt in the process. As Mako makes his way out of the room, he’s shot in the chest before he can make it out. Luckily, Bolin is able to grab him just before the spirit vines go ka-boom.
Korra vs. Kuvira round two! Korra breaks into the control room, puts a hurting on the guards and then gets to work on Kuvira. For a good portion of their sparring session, Kuvira has a bit of the upper hand, metal bending Korra all around the room. Korra, gets on her feet and really makes Kuvira sweat it out, that is, until the spirit vines go kaboom, and it splits the mecha suit in half. With the suit in pieces on the ground, Korra crawls out the rubble with Kuvira in tow and tells Kuvira that it’s over. Kuvira responds by earth bending a cinder block into Korra’s stomach. Kuvira runs off vowing that she’ll “never” quit and finds herself in the Spirit Wilds. Turns out, Kuvira has found the spirit energy cannon and she lets a round go off. Korra dodges it, but the blast does more harm that good, igniting all the spirit vines in the Wilds. Kuvira is unable to shut down the cannon, and when she’s thrown from it, Kuvira winds up in the line of fire. Korra jumps down to block it (while in the Avatar State) and then there’s a huge mushroom cloud that vacuums itself and then bursts into a giant green beam of light. Tenzin sees the light and says that a Spirit Portal has been opened.
Kuvira needs Dr. Phil. Korra and Kuvira wake up in the Spirit World thanks to the new portal the cannon blasted open, and Kuvira is unable to understand why Korra would risk her neck to save her. Korra tells her that they’re more alike that she thinks, but Kuvira’s all “you don’t know me.” Korra starts talking about Kuvira’s upbringing with Su, and then Kuvira breaks down by saying that Korra wouldn’t know what it’s like to be an orphan since she’s the ever-beloved Avatar (yeah, right). Kuvira then cries about being abandoned as a kid and says that she couldn’t see the same thing happen to the Earth Kingdom when Su opted out of taking over and Korra went away to get better. Korra tells Kuvira she knows what it’s like to be desperate to prove a point and the ladies see eye-to-eye. Korra brings Kuvira out of the Spirit World, and there’s a platoon of mecha soldiers waiting for her, but Kuvira tells them to stand down. She turns herself into Su and Lin and then everyone gives Korra a big hug. YAY!
Zhu Li and Varrick do the thing. At Air Temple Island, Bolin officiates the Zhu Li/Varrick wedding (which is filled with vows to clean calluses and love each other forever). They do the “thing” — kiss — and then Varrick cries like a blubbering baby over how happy he is. At the reception, Mako tells Prince Wu how proud he is of him and then Korra joins the conversation and asks if Wu is ready to head to Ba Sing Se and be king. That’s when Wu says he’s getting rid of the monarchy and allowing the states to be independent with elected leaders… while sneaking in that he’s looking into a singing career. Korra and Mako think Wu is making a brilliant and wise decision, and Korra offers Wu help in making the Earth Kingdom a more evolved society. When Wu leaves the conversation to boogie on the dance floor, Korra tries to find the words to tell Mako how thankful she is, but Mako simply tells her that he’s a ride-or-die kind of guy and will always have her back no matter what.
All things come to an end. By the end of the night, Korra finds herself alone, looking out at the water when Tenzin comes over to tell her how he loves seeing her full of hope and well, surpassing her past Avatar lives with the incredible feat of taking down Kuvira, finding a new Spirit Portal, and feeling the need to do more. Tenzin also lets it slip that President Raiko wants to expand the city, instead of rebuilding all that destruction that happened downtown and Korra’s all for it. Asami comes over to give Tenzin a message, and Tenzin runs off leaving Korra and Asami alone. Korra apologizes to Asami for her 3-year hiatus, and Asami says she’s just happy that Korra’s back and alive, since she’s still reeling over the death of her dad. Korra and Asami hug, but Asami says she’s happy they at least made peace before he passed. Asami then tells Korra that she’d like a change of scenery after everything they just went to, and Korra proposes a vacation for just the two of them. Korra asks Asami where to, and Asami says she wants to go to the Spirit World. Korra says it sounds perfect.
The show ends with Korra and Asami walking to the portal together hand in hand and when both ladies step into the portal, they look into each other’s eyes as they fade away.
Thoughts & Closing Remarks: So you guys already KNOW that I have a ton of thoughts and feelings about this episode, the series, and the franchise, but I’ll try to condense them as best as I can without going completely off the wall. Let’s start with the moments that gave me the most feelings: (1) Varrick proposing to Zhu Li (2) Asami’s dad dying (3) Mako almost dying (4) Korra fighting Kuvira (5) Korra deflecting the Spirit weapon (6) Korrasami.
(1) Varrick proposing to Zhu Li. After a while, I knew it was coming (as per my previous reactions), but it was still amazing to see. Especially since you saw a physical difference in the way Varrick approached Zhu Li coming towards the end… all sweet like and what not. Not his typical abrupt “do the thing” way.
Their wedding was equally cute and showed that Zhu Li definitely has a little dominatrix in her, the way she dipped him for their big kiss. Too cute.
(2) Asami’s dad dying. Pour one out for the homie, yo. That scene actually cut me deep. A lot deeper than I expected. I cried. Literally teared up. I can’t say I didn’t see it coming though. From the moment Hiroshi entered the picture and got all sentimental while working with Asami at the office, I called it. Just sucked that I was right, but it made for a more emotional ending. Besides, if he did live, would they pardon his crimes, stick him back in jail, or credit him for time served even though it was only like 4-5 years? My dude took one for the team. Respect.
(3) Mako almost dying. Please tell me I wasn’t the only person who almost had a coronary when Mako was hit in the chest with that spirit vine energy?! Tears started welling up in my eyes when Mako went down. Thankfully, he survived it (which makes me now question how lethal the spirit energy was anyway if Mako could survive a shock to the chest like that), but I was beyond scared. I also love ( I know, morbid of me) that they got realistic with it and burned Mako’s arm. You have to think, if people are shooting lightning out of their bodies, there’s got a be a point where that ish backfires and causes burns. Though, I’m not sure if Uncle Iroh or Azula would’ve let that happen, but you can’t compete with those two lightning masters. Any way, Mako almost kicking the bucket nearly stopped my heart. But like Mako, I lived.
(4) Korra fighting Kuvira. Not the absolute best bending battle between hero and villain, but this battle had its moments. Korra had some really great metal-bending moves that were kinda reminiscent of Toph’s “Blind Bandit” battle, and then Korra also threw in some MMA fighter moves, which were pretty sick to watch. Kuvira was still whipping butt, though, you could tell she was frazzled by the sweat and the hair coming out that bun. The battle between the two was pretty short — what with Mako blowing up the mecha giant suit — but it was pretty entertaining.
What killed it, though, was Korra’s naive thought that Kuvira was just gonna give herself up. When Kuvi bent the cinder block at Korra, I slapped my own forehead. Really, Korra. Really?! Because it would be that easy…
(5) Korra deflecting the Spirit weapon. One of my predictions was that Korra was going to be able to redirect the spirit energy and use it against itself in the end and when the scene in the Spirit Wilds happened, I was sure that was going to be the moment. Alas, Korra just deflected it… which was OK, but begs to ask why she didn’t just do this earlier. Really, girl, you had to ability to do that this WHOLE time and just only tapped into it when you’re protecting Kuvira — the chick who brought this on EVERYONE. Hmmph…
(6) Korrasami. Um, the only thing I had to say about this was *tears*. Like, I could totally see it. I could see the ‘ship that was sailing for Korrasami, but I didn’t think it was going to happen because you know, it’s Nickelodeon, and I figured they’d shy away from that and give me an ending with Korra by herself. If they gave me Asami chatting it up with Iroh II at the wedding, I would’ve been extra happy, but hey they chose to make Korrasami canon. And yes, it’s real — the creators themselves said so.
I’m not at all bothered by it and quite frankly, I think it makes a ton of sense. Considering that Korra is the reincarnation of various people of both genders, why wouldn’t it be possible for a spiritual being to be open to the idea of loving someone regardless of their gender? 70 years ago, Korra was a man named Aang, who had three children with Katara. Before that, he was a Roku, who was the great-grandfather to Zuko, and then before that, she was the head-strong, Xena-esque, Kyoshi. So I mean, in my mind, being the Avatar kind of erases the ideas of “gender norms” and thus, I really couldn’t be surprised if Korra was attracted to both men and woman, as her past lives have been both. Bottom line: Korrasami is what’s up. If you don’t like it, bend yourself out of here.
After thoughts… The only thing I was slightly underwhelmed by had to have been the fact that my predictions of Bolin being involved in the politics of the Earth Kingdom being unfounded. I mean, he spent so much time working for Kuvira and growing this political science, social-reforming activist, that I wished that they showed something with Bolin possibly joining Prince Wu’s campaign to make the states in the Earth Kingdom independent again. Then again, this was a 44-minute show, and as such, they could show but so much. However, I’d like to think that Bolin did go into politics after this. After all, now that Kuvira’s locked away, who would be the next best candidate to help Prince Wu — especially since Bo doesn’t really have a job anymore.
I’m guessing Mako will return to the police force, since Wu will no longer be King, and Baatar will get a pardon of some kind for his part in Kuvira’s scheming… and you know, her wanting to blow him up and shiz. I can expect that the creator will be making comic books to explain some of the things that may have happened after this season — like if Korra gets back in touch with her past Avatar lives or not — but I probably won’t read them. I’m sorry. I enjoy watching them more.
My thoughts on the franchise as a whole will be in a follow-up post, entitled “Saying Goodbye to the Legend of Korra”, which I promise to post a lot faster than I posted this one. I am more than a week behind (instigated by me live-tweeting the television broadcast instead of writing this thing) and I apologize for that, but I’m making up for it. I was recently asked by The Nerd Element to give my thoughts about the show, its finale, and well, ALL THE FEELS in their latest podcast, and I gleefully did so.
Below is the podcast for you to enjoy my nasal voice talking about Korra in a slightly stupefied and fangirl manner:
Considering this is the last post-cap I will be doing for The Legend of Korra, I would love to personally thank each and every one of you for tuning into my rants, leaving comments, tweeting out my posts, and overall fangirling with me. I will be doing my best to continue the post-cap trend with other shows out there that I enjoy (and if you have any suggestions, please send them my way!). Until then, please check back for my regular posts and continue to show love and support. It’s been great post-capping The Legend of Korra with you, and I hope to do it again (with another show) soon!
The Legend of Korra, Season 4 aka Book 4: Balance has been re-airing on Nickelodeon and will remain online for viewing until January.
What did you think of Legend of Korra Series Finale, Book 4: Balance, Chapter 12, “Day of Colossus” and Chapter 13, “The Last Stand”? Let’s talk about it in the comments or chat about it on Twitter.