Aug 25 2014 1:00pm

The Legend of Korra Season Finale: “Enter the Void” and “Venom of the Red Lotus”

Avatar The Legend of Korra

So you want a big, two-part, smash ’em up finale? The Legend of Korra delivers and still leaves enough room for a bittersweet not-with-a-bang-but-with-a-whimper capstone. I’m left thoughtful in the wake of everything that happens; in a lot of ways, this feels like the spiritual sequel to the end of Book Two in Avatar: the Last Airbender, and the preponderance of crystal and gurus makes me think that’s quite intentional. As the same time, these episodes intensely channel the series finale of “Sozin’s Comet,” but with the clever conceit of a role reversal. Here the nimble, evasive airbender is the villain, and the one soaring around on jets of flame is the Avatar.

Book Three of The Legend of Korra has been great, not just in comparison to the first two seasons but on its own, and it concludes here. It’ll all end in tears, but what kind of tears?

All I pick up from the radio recap are the words “injured in battle” and that settles it for me. Tenzin is alive. My first guess is that he’ll be paralyzed, the airbending master having to learn his life in a wheelchair, which we’ve seen Teo already laying the ground work for. My guess is close, as you no doubt have seen by now— Korra’s in a wheelchair, at least— but no cigar. All of Aang and Katara’s kids are beat up pretty badly as it turns out, but they made it out alive. I was on the edge of my seat through both episodes, because it could be anyone next, and if it wasn’t Tenzin, who will it be? Surprisingly the answer to that one? Or at least, none of the “good guys.” Zaheer’s loved ones don’t fare so well.

Avatar The Legend of Korra

I feel like I did pretty well with predictions this season, having restrained myself from going too far overboard, and a large part of that is because of conversations in the comments section at the bottom of these post; thanks everyone! We’ve built a great community here, and we’ve gotten little things like Bolin lavabending and Zaheer flying right, as well as big picture observations, like the how Zaheer seems like another facet of the same gemstone Amon and Unalaq and Vaatu were all cut from. Poisoned, Korra sees just that, though see how that points to my tendency to over think things? I thought the “Venom of the Red Lotus” was going to be metaphorical. Nope. Evil mercury. Literal poison.

Avatar The Legend of Korra Jinora

I’m so glad we get to see Jinora shine. I’m not surprised— I’m very glad the show has devoted so much attention to her— but I am very happy with how it all came off. Astral projection, check. Telling everyone useful facts, like that the poison was metallic, check. I was expecting that. Derring-do and shenanigans, check. But again, I was expecting that, though I thought Kai would be involved; I think having him bring the other characters and call them out on ignoring him was a more elegant story. What I didn’t see coming was all of the airbenders working together while she conducts them, to create a massive tornado— shades of Echopraxia— or for the Air Nomads to decide to roam the Earth like Caine from Kung Fu. (Can I say “Earth”?)

Avatar The Legend of Korra

We don’t get Zaheer’s backstory. I’m okay with that, honestly, but I still have questions. I mean, I really like this school of storytelling, where you leave negative space and let the audience fill it in. Where you show that characters have unseen depths even if the story doesn’t get to explore them. Bolin’s comments about mutual unrequited love, seeing P’Li being rescued from a “warlord,” leave us to our headcanons, fine, be that way. Or maybe Kuvira, who came out of nowhere and suddenly got a name, will be a big feature of Book Four, and will continue the Red Lotus’ plot. Or I’m just being paranoid. Who can say at this point. I mean, I’m sure we’ll see her again, and I’d guess we might get another Red Lotus episode, but so far each season has been largely self contained, in terms of plot, if not consequences and worldbuilding.

Avatar The Legend of Korra

In a lot of ways, this story felt to me like it embodied a lot of the—ugh, I’ll say it—the changes in bending. Lightningbending, lavabending (“You’re a lavabender!” “I know, I just found out!” made me pause the episode to take a break for laughter), metalbending, platinum you can’t metal bend, the rediscovery of flight... we’ve been seeing a bending arms race. Is it more like how the Cold War drove space innovation, or is it more like how Batman’s presence is alleged to have upped the ante for crime in Gotham? Is that one of the things Korra is struggling with? And it’s more than just an escalation in bending “technology.” Look at the body count. Aang converted his first season villain, Zuko, and they even managed to subdue Azula and Ozai without killing them. The Legend of Korra, however, is a blood bath.

Does the world need the Avatar? I imagine that’s the question at the crux of Korra’s melancholy. Every villain in this series has been someone striking at the Avatar because of what she means as a symbol, as a singularly powerful bender, and as a spiritual being. Does she cause more problems than she fixes? For me, Tenzin answers that question, when he points to Korra’s actions during Harmonic Convergence. She was more than just reactive, did more than just “save” a city; she allowed spirits into the world and started a chain reaction that has led to the return of the Air Nomads. I think Korra, as usual, needs to learn the same thing, but the hard way.

Avatar The Legend of Korra

Then again, she could just be hurt; television tropes aside, if she’s injured enough to need a wheel chair, there are plausible physiological reasons she might feel sad or depressed. I learned recently just how much surgery, even minor surgery, can mess you up. Or she could be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, heck they could be genuine tears of joy for Jinora, any number of things—but I personally think an existential crisis is the most likely. I hope it isn’t a bummer for too long; I almost wanted Korra to joke about how her difficulties in entering the Avatar State in the first place helped keep her safe from the Red Lotus. Korra keeps having this revelation, that she’s important and unique because she’s Korra as much as because she’s the Avatar. I just feel like we’ve been down this road before.

Mordicai Knode knows we have one more Book to go. He says “Balance,” and he still predicts she’ll merge with Raava and Vaatu. He finds talking in the third person confusing; find him on Twitter or Tumblr.

Christopher Bennett
2. ChristopherLBennett
Yes, you can say "Earth."

And I think we need a new airbending term: the Jinora-nado.

It is really brave of the writers to have their hero suffering depression even after a major victory where everyone else around them is happy. Heroes go through hell, and not nearly enough of them experience a realistic degree of post-traumatic stress. On top of which, I wouldn't be surprised if Korra felt she'd failed; she would've let the Avatar Cycle be destroyed forever if Jinora and Suyin hadn't saved her. Overlooking, of course, that she's the one who brought them together in the first place. But it would be hard for her to see that, especially now. Korra defines herself so much by her physical power that being weak and powerless, even needing help to dress herself, has got to be devastating.

Good thing she's got Asami by her side. "If you ever want to talk... or anything," she said, and made a million Korrasami shippers cry out in glee. There's no way that subtext wasn't completely intentional.
3. DarthRachel
questions on the evolving presence of the avatar in the world and what her purpose is are def more interesting than status quo vs chaos. So I'm glad you pointed that out.

I find myself caring more when the kids are involved. #TeamJinora. Mostly because the older the characters get the more ridiculous they act. But I still think the Red Lotus society would have bene FAR more compelling if they wanted bending equality (ie Zaheer was a rebel before he had air bending abilities he masters REALLY CONVENIENTLY QUICKLY) rather than just.. joker style anarchy.
Paul Rando
4. SerDragonReborn
I hadn't caught mention of the Flying Zaheer theory here in the comments! So it came as quite a shock to me. That said I'm very happy the Lavabending Bolin theory turned out to be true. And so I hope something exciting comes of that next season (even if it's just Bolin using it once in a fight--I don't want it to be forgotten, is what I'm saying).

Jinora "graduated!" Our girl's all growed up.

These last four episode have hard remarkable animation, music, and action. I say remarkable because they have gone above and beyond the series' already top-notch standard. I especially loved the anarchy in Ba Sing Se, but the ruination of the Northern Temple was also stunning.

Prediction for Book Four title: Harmony. And I sincerely hope that the merging of the human and spirit worlds becomes more impactful on the storyline itself. Like the vines in Republic City from episode one. Didn't anybody else think those would turn out to be more significant? The spirits didn't do much this season other than pop up now and again.

All that said, Book Three was a vast improvement over Book Two, and it was at LEAST as good as Book One.
Mordicai Knode
5. mordicai
2. ChristopherLBennett

I thought I rememebered someone saying "Earth," & I'm totally fine with it when people call their fictional settings "Earth."

Yeah, if they officially ship Asami & Korra-- even just unrequited one way or another-- I'll be pleasantly surprised. I've sadly given up hope of ever seeing a canon "Bubbline" but I mean c'mon.

3. DarthRachel

Yeah; the alt-Korra where Amon is in earnest & the Equalist movement isn't forgotten when their plot lines are tied up...that's what I want. I am perfectly willing to settle for the show not dropping the theme of the Equalists, however; they are challenging the assumptions people have about authority, & I'm for that.

My friend's "big prediction" for the Harmonic Convergence was that everyone would get bending. I guessed Miyazaki spirits. I was right but like I keep saying: there is still one more Book to go...
Alejandro Melchor
6. Al-X
I was left in stunned silence at many points during the finale.

Jinora getting her title of Master, her tattoos, and her looking more than a little like Aang (being his granddaughter and all) was just incredible, and closed a cycle IMHO. For people who longed for a more Aang-like Avatar... well, that's not Korra, the same as Aang was very different from the previous Avatars; Aang's heir in wisdom is Jinora, and I think this is one of the little realizations that are torturing Korra.

Seeing Korra broken was painful. Her vulnerability was shown in Book 1 when she cried in Tenzin's arms after Amon first bested her... it was the first true challenge to her self-image, and it freaked her out then. Now, that self-image is completely shattered after the constant assault the villains have subjected her to... and it was very simply and succintly evidenced in her hallucinations. Amon, Unalaq and Vaatu all challenged her sense of self-anything... her self-image as a powerful and awesome person, her self-awareness as a member of the Avatar Cycle, her self-importance as the "world savior"... every villain took a shot at that and sapped at the foundations of her personality.

Believing her father to be dead, being threatened to be the last of the Avatars... compounded with all her little failures throughout the seasons to leave her in this broken state. It seems to me that she feels herself to be worthless, unfit to be the Avatar when someone like Jinora has just proven herself... and being the Avatar is THE most important thing for Korra; she defines herself as nothing else, and it has been practically taken away.

There's a very tough road ahead for Korra, but it's the path that will get her to grow strong not as the Avatar, but as a person in and of herself.
Scott Silver
7. hihosilver28
Phenomenal finale. One of the best episodes of the entire run of Avatar or Korra.

Can we just talk about how damn good Studio Mir is? Because, seriously. Damn.

The end of this season was more of what I was hoping for for the end of the first season. Consequences to the actions that transpired through the season. And geez, if that final shot wasn't heartbreaking. I was thinking that Korra's arc over these 3 seasons is somewhat similar to Frodo's over the course of The Lord of the Rings. Just that while both are successful, there are immense costs to their personal selves through the journey.
Chris Meadows
8. Robotech_Master
I find their decision to leave Korra in recovery as of the end of the season was really interesting. In some ways it's kind of the antithesis of the season 1 ending. One of the things that drove Rob and Doug Walker to complain most loudly in their vlog reviews of the show was the deus ex machina that restored all of Korra's bending powers in the last five minutes of the season finale.

Here we have them taking the opposite tack: showing an Avatar who has been effectively, at least for the moment, crippled. She doesn't do so well with that. (Remember that at the end of the first season, just before the deus ex machina, she looked very much like she was contemplating throwing herself off a cliff.)

I really hope nothing screws up us getting to see Season 4 at some point. I want to see how this gets resolved.
Jessica Trevino
9. Ciella
That was a great catch on the "arms race" thing! Looking back I'm surprised it hasn't been made apparent before. the sudden rise in technology is changing the world, and the avatar's place in it.

Imagine an avatar in today's modern world. The press would be there constantly, social media, her every move being monitored. Assuming, of course, that one government didn't catch and raise her from an early age in secrecy, as a weapon.

Korra was lucky that she had the previous avatar's family around her, as well as a father would was a Water Tribe leader. If she had been born in Ba Sing Se with the Earth Queen and the Dai Li around, would the world even know they had an Avatar until the Earth Queen unleashed her?

The question of wether the Avatar can or should exist in a modern world is completely ligitimate. She's an ultimate weapon, with no laws to bind her, no loyatly to any one nation, an now, no past lives to guide her or give her a sense of history. Maybe the avatar's time IS over. Mayeb Korra will be the Last Avatar.
10. Laotsekung
Great great viewing.
And the brave move of putting the hero at their physical and psychological nadir. Would love to see Korra's concept of the Avatar (and so herself and her role) become less about raw physical power, and more about her role as the spiritual bridge between peoples, nations, benders, and humanity & spirits.
Mordicai Knode
11. mordicai
4. SerDragonReborn

Oh, see, to me the guru's words on the amulet meant either "flying" or "you are over-thinking this, that's how he learned to astrally project."

Also, yeah, omg, the choreography...

6. Al-X

I agree, there was a whole "behold your new master!" moment when I thought Korra was sad because people aren't all magically rallying behind her. She's polarizing. Looking at this road as part of a longer path is the way to go, I think, but it still does feel like a thematic return, a retread; I hope it goes somewhere surprising.

7. hihosilver28

Yeah, Frodo is a good example of the same theme, & ties into the road/path metaphor I was just getting into. So Mako & Bolin are Merry & the Took; is Asami her Sam? SAY IT IS SO.

8. Robotech_Master

I figure we'll see Book Four. There might be delays or shenanigans in getting there, but it is done, right? Even Nick & that laughing Sponge can't screw the show over that badly that they'd just circular file it...
12. Edwin douthit
Absolutely awesome. No other words necessary! NYLA14
Chris Nelly
13. Aeryl
@2 I remember the ways in which Bryke taunted the Katara/Zuko shippers, this episode was full of that stuff. Asami was the first one Korra said goodbye to, as well.

@7, Yes, big ups to Studio Mir. That Korra/Zaheer fight was INCREDIBLE.

@8, Season four has already been paid for, by my understanding, so I don't see anything preventing Nick from airing it. Maybe online only though.

Wow, these episodes. I should've had P'Li marked when Zaheer started talking about loosing his earthly tethers, but I did not see that coming. And Ming Wua and Ghazan are dead too? Wow. I just didn't see that coming.

And that ending. They tease me with Korrasami, and POW, she's bound to a wheelchair. But YAY Jinora.
Chris Nelly
14. Aeryl
Also, Kuvira is voiced by Zelda Williams, so I imagine that yes, she'll be back next year.
Rajashekar Iyer
15. fionwe1987
One does wonder why Korra didn't simply enter the Avatar state the moment she found out from Mako that Zaheer betrayed his word. Or the moment she woke up and found herself bound in the Red Lotus Catacombs.

But brilliant episodes regardless. Korra seems to have become a truly worthy successor to ATLA.
Christopher Bennett
16. ChristopherLBennett
@15: For one thing, Korra isn't as used to accessing her spiritual side as Aang was, even after Book 2, so the Avatar State doesn't come as naturally. For another, she knows it leaves her vulnerable, which is exactly what Zaheer was counting on. I think that she'd save it for a last resort on general principles, even without knowing his full plan.
Rajashekar Iyer
17. fionwe1987
@16: I agree, but seeing Korra's motivation on this might have been interesting. Cut out Grandma Yin with Naga and Pabu and instead show us Korra resolving to not use it because of the risks.
Mordicai Knode
18. mordicai
9. Ciella

I wondered about Korra being the last Avatar...but I don't think so. I think she'll see that there are other paths, & that fear of the worst case scenarios is no better than faith in the best case scenarios. No one is born knowing if things will workout for them in their life, not even the Avatar.

Also, maybe Nick's treatment of The Legend of Korra is ultimately good news; maybe Nick will let someone else distribute the next Avatar cycle?

13. & 14. Aeryl

Ha ha oh yeah that is true. Never forget: the troll is strong with them.

OH, so that is who Zelda Williams is. I knew she was on the cast because their Tumblrs made mention of it when her father died.

15. & 17 fionwe1987

I think Korra still sucks at "going full Avatar." That's my guess.
Alejandro Melchor
19. Al-X
Korra has no problem going into the Avatar state. In the first episode of Book 2, she entered it briefly to win an airbending race against Tenzin's kids.

But then the rest of Book 2 happened, in which she learned to be more responsible with her powers, and it never truly was part of her usual arsenal, and given the sheer distress of her situation, she was falling back on what she knew she could do well, and prolly didn't give a thought into entering the Avatar state.

Her finale depression might also factor in realizing she had entered the Avatar State in a homicidal rage while she'd been preaching about balance and thought she had learned more about her spiritual side.
Rajashekar Iyer
20. fionwe1987
@19: Exactly. In fact, her perfect control of it so soon after doing it for the first time was kind of annoying, given Aang's difficulties (and Guru Pathik's claims that you could only fully control the Avatar State if you gave up earthly attachment, which Korra did the opposite of at the end of Book 1).
Mordicai Knode
21. mordicai
19. Al-X

Good point, re: the race.

I mostly was waiting for someone to chuck a knife at Korra so she could metalbend that & break the chain. Come on people! She's tied up & fighting the big bad, how about an assist? Guy who saved Tonraq, you're cool, you got your save, nice work. Beifongs, you head asploded that lady, that helped, thanks. Everybody else, come on! A little help!?
Rajashekar Iyer
22. fionwe1987
I was more surprised Tonraq himself didn't assist. We've seen waterbenders break chains before.
Gregg Anderson
23. digrifter
The Legend of Korra is pretty damn awesome.
Robert Dickinson
24. ChocolateRob
I loved the way they were all defeated by their own Bending/Elements.
Jeanette Donato
25. Djinn
Kuvira was also seen twice before: the dancing zaofu guard and on the front page of Lion's newspaper.
Jeanette Donato
26. Djinn
Urgh I meant Lin's newspaper sorry
Ben Johnston
27. AlcairNovall
This finale literally had me holding my breath at multiple points, with two spots getting me the most: Right when Bolin was getting swallowed by lava/lavabending for the first time, and when Su Yin was pulling the poison from Korra. I swear I was about to flip in both spots because they couldn't do their projected final seasons without either of them... Could they?
That said, I loved it and I really look forward to them dealing with Korra's depression and anxiety created by this season finale during teh first episode or two of the next season. I know it isn't likely, but I'm halfway hoping that she'll do some pro-bending therapy that we'll catch the last bit of. Either way should be quite the interesting last season.
28. scm of 2814
As someone pointed out somewhere else, Mercury poisoning is NASTY. And they put it everywhere. Plus Suyin made it come out her MOUTH. That's implications of major organ damage right there, since it likely came up her throat. Brain damage too, since any of it that got to the heart goes striaght for the brain. Perhaps Book 4 has Korra coming to terms with being a handicapped avatar?

Or, likely, the remnants of the bad guys from all previous seasons (remaining equalists and there electricity and chi-blockers, dark spirits and Varrick, More Red Lotus Anarchists) come together to THREATEN THE WORLD. It's not that far-fetched to think the Equalists and Red lotus could work together, since 'No benders over normal people' and 'no rulers and leaders over people' aren't that different.

And maybe 4 is the season we see Toph outside of a flashback. And Azula. As everyone knows, Lin's dad is Azula. The guys said so.
Alicia Dodson
29. LynMars
One of the reasons Nick's executive meddling has been so frustrating was the deus ex machina ending of season one, and the dropping of plots between Books; it's nice knowing there's some fallout and Book four coming to explore the ramifications of "Change." Also, the Red Lotus may still be a threat, rather than forgotten like the Equalists.
Scott Silver
30. hihosilver28
If you listen to Bryan and Mike on Nerdist's Writer's Room podcast (which was fantastic and I highly recommend that everyone go listen to it), it sounds like all of Nick's executive meddling has exclusively been on distribution. They haven't pushed back on any of the actual content. Which on one hand is fantastic, but that also means that any problems we have with the show content wise is solely on Bryan and Mike.

(here's the link to the podcast:

I don't really have anything else to add, besides reiterating that I loved this season and hope that the fourth lives up to it. To everyone worried about the existence of the fourth season, Bryan and Mike have said that it's pretty far along in production. Studio Mir has been working on it for a while, and all of the dialogue has already been recorded. So, while it sounds like it isn't 100% complete yet, it's well on it's way. The only question is how will Nick distribute it and how they will screw over the fans yet again.
Matthew B
31. MatthewB
Those episodes were AMAZING! Tenzin alive was a relief but almost felt like a cop-out. The betrayal and destruction of the Air Temple made me SO angry and thirsty for vengeance. Bolin and Mako being awesome with lava and lightning, the Beifong sisters kicking ass, and even Asami got to shock someone, though she's still being under-utilized. (And i'm not a Korrasami shipper but that "or anything" at the end was noticeable.) And yeah - Jinora is the MVP for sure. Definitely, as someone else said, Aang's spiritual (as well as literal) descendant.

That fight at the end was impressive but it felt like avatar-state Korra should have been able to take down Zaheer much more easily. It wasn't obvious enough that the poison was hindering her until it shut her down almost completely.

Mercury posioning is terrible and some of its effects are irreversible, I don't know if they're going to go all-out with that, but those were definitely NOT tears of joy. Seeing Korra dealing with her new physical limitations would require walking a fine line between making the season too myopic or dealing with the topic too casually. I would expect most shows to handwave it away with a recovery episod at the beginning of the next season but i wouldn't be surprised if DiMartino and Konietzko take on that challenge.

I think @9. Ciella had a great idea for another season of the show: "If she had been born in Ba Sing Se with the Earth Queen and the Dai Li around, would the world even know they had an Avatar until the Earth Queen unleashed her?"
An Avatar that starts out as a villain and then has to deal with all the horrible things s/he did while learning what it really means to be the Avatar? I would watch the hell out of that.
32. Atlas
The last episode was heartbreaking. Seeing Korra in a wheelchair, spiritually and phisically broken, shedding a single tear of pure despair... gosh, I so wanted to enter into the screen and hug her and tell her that everything was going to be okay.

On the other hand, am I the only one who thinks in Zaheer at the end of the season, even if he was a complete bastard? The love of his life is dead (in a particularly gruesome way, I must add: honestly, even with the Earth Queen's death, I think P'Li's death is the most hardcore shit I've seen in this series); all his closest friends are dead, he has failed in his mission, and now he'll have to remain in a prison (knowing how he escaped from a high security one at the start of the season, I imagine that the new one will have conditions that make a Supermax wing look like a country club) for the rest of his life, knowing all this. Am I alone thinking that his situation sucks as well, even if he's the villain? Yes? Anybody? OK, I'll shut up.
Paul Rando
33. SerDragonReborn
You're not alone. Zaheer's fate was tragic, but I hope we haven't seen the last of him. His anger at being alone and once again imprisoned must be quite extreme.
34. Atlas
I wouldn't count on that. I've read in an interview to Mike and Bryan that their idea was only one set of villains per season (with a "No, ain't gonna happen" tone). Either they are lying or, at best, we'll see just a cameo. Most probable thing is this is the last appearance of the Avatarverse's Bakunin.
Christopher Bennett
35. ChristopherLBennett
On the poison issue: They never actually said it was mercury, just that it was "metallic." There are a number of toxic metals and organometallic compounds, of varying levels of toxicity. True, presumably they chose one that was very toxic so that it would kill her quickly if she didn't enter the Avatar State. But as for the long-term effects of the poison, whether it was mercury or lead or something else, we can assume the Avatar State protected her from a lot of it, and that waterbender healing could help undo a lot of the damage as well. I'm sure her recuperation will include some healing sessions with Katara. So I don't think we have to worry too much about her being permanently incapacitated.

@34: In the IGN interview I saw, Bryan & Mike said that they would introduce a new central villain, but that Zaheer might still potentially be around in some capacity. After all, he's the first season-arc villain who's actually survived the season, so he's the first that could potentially recur.
36. Atlas
Well, since that's the same interview I'm referring to, I obviously misunderstood them.
Jonas Schmiddunser
37. Jineapple
Hands down the best LOK finale so far. I'd still rank ATLA Book 2 and 3 finales higher, but only slightly. I was at first a little bit disappointed that Zaheer's plan was so simple, but there's really no reason for it not to be. I just let my imagination run rampant ("Enter the void" sounded so ominous, I wouldn't have thought it's flying)

@30: But Korra was originally planned as only a miniseries with 1 book, which is very noticeable. One of the biggest flaws with Book 2 was how many of the characters regressed. Imho, it was quite noticeable that they had only sketched out one season, and when they suddenly were supposed to do more, they didn't always know what to do with the characters after the closed arc of Book 1.

@35, 36: I think we will see Zaheer at some point, but he won't really play a role. I doubt he'll be leading or advising out of prison cell, nor will he get free.
Paul Rando
38. SerDragonReborn

Thanks for reminding me! I had read somewhere that there would only be one villain per season, and it's pretty clear when you look at the first three seasons.

My hope is that Zaheer won't be forgotten, is what I meant. As in, maybe Book Four's main villain will recruit him as a henchman, like the Lieutenant, Eska & Desna, and the Red Lotus. Even an "honorable mention" would be great, like how in Xai-Bao's Grove Zaheer mentioned that Unalaaq was a Red Lotus member gone awry (I'd been hoping he'd say the same of Amon). What would be ideal is if the Book Four Villain has ties to all three of the previous main-villains.
Christopher Bennett
39. ChristopherLBennett
@36: Well, I was doing the dishes while listening to the interview, so it's possible I missed a nuance.
40. Atlas
@37: Yep. Totally agree with your views on Book 2. Specially, regarding characterization: all characters sound quite... off in the second season. As if everyone became a caricature of themselves. Got to say, it was the best thing of Book 3: suddenly everyone came back to their former selves, and I loved them all again. It speaks quite a lot that even at its lowest point this series was so good, though.

@38: I would like to see Zaheer back as well, even if it is as a mere cameo. I have to disagree with you re: the retcon made with Unalaq. I don't like retconning, even if it is something so minor and fitting as this. Rewriting something a posteriori with the intent of saying "See? It was our plan all along!" (when it is pretty obvious it wasn't) always reeked to me of bad writing. (It is something really minor and, as I said, it is actually fitting, so it doesn't particularly bothers me). I've got great hopes for Book 4, knowing that it's going to be Korra's last season, and very probably the last thing we see from the Avatarverse. Please, guys, go out with a bang. :'(

@39: English is not my mother tongue, so I may have missed some kind of nuance as well. However, judging by their tone, I think the unspoken message was "Ahahahahaha, no", but I may well be wrong.

By the way, am I the only one (again) who thinks that Bryan and Mike are extremely, extremely awkward in their public apparitions? I've seen some interviews and I've always got that strong "I don't want to be here" vibe from them. Am I imagining things?
Chris Nelly
41. Aeryl
Rewriting something a posteriori with the intent of saying "See? It was our plan all along!" (when it is pretty obvious it wasn't) always
reeked to me of bad writing.

That's not what it is though, IMO. It is instead a restructuring of older elements of a story into newer ones, which is still retconning, but done so differently. Buffy did this often, with amazing effect.
Mordicai Knode
42. mordicai
40. Atlas & 41. Aeryl

I'm with Aeryl. A well-done retcon I don't mind at all. That said, I agree with you too Atlas, in that I don't think it was that well done. It wasn't that clumsy either; I call it a wash. A wash, get it, because...waterbending?
43. Atlas
@41: :S Well... let´s agree to disagree. It sounds a little bit like "tomato, tomahto" to me.

44. Beamish
I was glad to see them show Jinora earning her tattoos.

Back during ATLA they explained that the tatoos of a Master are ultimately earned by performing/demonstrating some feat of extreme bending. Aang's actual feat was, of all things, inventing the Air Scooter (we saw a flashback where he cannot understand why the other young Nomads cannot use the scooter as well as he could).

Until this final episode Jinora's only claim to mastery was "I am as good as dad" - but we actually see her perform an extraordinary feat of air bending never really seen before. Her mastery is no longer in doubt.
Christopher Bennett
45. ChristopherLBennett
@44: I'm not sure the Jinora-nado counts as an extraordinary individual feat of airbending so much as an extraordinary feat of leadership. It was the combined power of all the airbenders that made it work, but she was the one who had the idea and led the others to combine their power.

According to Aang's Avatar Wiki page, he didn't earn the tattoos for the air scooter (in fact, "The Storm" shows that he already had the tattoos when he developed the scooter), but for surpassing his teachers at all sorts of airbending skills at an unprecedentedly early age. He was the youngest airbender ever to receive master tattoos until Jinora beat him by a year.
Mordicai Knode
46. mordicai
43. Atlas

Unf, that is SO my favorite episode.
Chris Nelly
47. Aeryl
Well, good news!

We've got less than one month for Season Four!
Christopher Bennett
48. ChristopherLBennett
Well, good news that we get to see it (online), but bad news that apparently Nickelodeon just wants to burn off the show and forget about it.

I figure the problem is that advertisers on kid-oriented networks are too adamant that shows must be targeted at young boys and nobody else. This is why Cartoon Network has killed so many good shows like Young Justice, Green Lantern: TAS, and Tower Prep -- a Paul Dini-created live action series that was cancelled because it was too popular with girls. That's right, they literally cancelled a show for being too popular. The insanely narrow demographic demands of the advertisers are smothering the market for older-skewing and female-inclusive animation.
Chris Nelly
49. Aeryl
@48, You're right Christopher, and I imagine Mordicai will have a post up soon where we can discuss this more.

At the end of the day though, this is good for us, because less wait, and eventually good for the show, because as soon as Nick finishes airing it and lets go of the distribution leash, this show will find it's audience.
Christopher Bennett
50. ChristopherLBennett
@49: No doubt this show will be remembered as a classic for a long time, but my concern is that Nick's lack of commitment to the show makes it questionable whether we'll ever see a third series in this universe.
51. Bluejay
@50: Is Nick uniquely positioned to underwrite this show, or could some other network/entity pick up the tab? After all, if Community and Arrested Development could be saved...
Maiane Bakroeva
52. Isilel
ChristopherLBennet @48:

I figure the problem is that advertisers on kid-oriented networks are
too adamant that shows must be targeted at young boys and nobody else.

Still?! Why are girls considered to be a worthless demographic? Do parents really spend much less on their daughters than on sons? I can't believe that. And don't products aimed at girls need advertising too? This seems bizarre in this day and age.
Christopher Bennett
53. ChristopherLBennett
@51: The show isn't just aired on the Nickelodeon network, but produced and owned by Nickelodeon Animation Studio. Yes, theoretically another network could air it, but if the studio itself isn't interested in making more, then we're out of luck.
54. Bluejay
@53: Isn't most of the actual animation work farmed out to Studio Mir anyway? If another network is interested in a third series, I assume they could pay Mir to do that work again. Of course the rights issues are probably the sticking point. But again, Community and Arrested Development could do it, so it doesn't seem impossible.

Ah well. I'm looking forward to Book 4.
Christopher Bennett
55. ChristopherLBennett
@54: It's not about who airs or animates it, it's about who owns it. The property belongs to Nickelodeon, not to Konietzko & DiMartino. Only the people who own the copyright in a show can make more of it (or license someone else to do so). Community and Arrested Development may be getting released in a different place than they originally were, but they're still produced by the same companies; for instance, 20th Century Fox Television still produces AD even though Netflix releases it. Who owns and produces a show is a different matter from who broadcasts it. (The problem is that so many networks and production companies these days are owned by the same corporate masters and given the same names that the distinction between creator and broadcaster gets blurred.)

Sure, maybe Nickelodeon could do the same and produce more of the show to be released elsewhere, but it's very unclear at this point whether they'd really want to do so.
56. Bluejay
@55: The problem is that so many networks and production companies these days are owned by the same corporate masters and given the same names that the distinction between creator and broadcaster gets blurred.

Yes, that's where I got confused. I stand corrected.
Mordicai Knode
57. mordicai
55. ChristopherLBennett

They could also sell it or license it or...yeah, develop it. I mean, if they were serious about a "digital transition" they would develop it, but I think everyone is pretty skeptical of that, as the evidence (them dumping it in multi-episode blocks, them dumping it to online only, them dumping the next season early) contradicts that. Maybe they would sell it? I don't know how Nick is with that; I know some companies, like Hasbro, notoriously never sell, they just put a property on the shelf until they decide it is time for a reboot ten years later.
Chris Nelly
59. Aeryl
I read that a few weeks ago, which is why I'm excited for the quick premiere.

The sooner Nick lets it off the leash, the sooner it will find the audience it deserved.
Chris Nelly
60. Aeryl
Aw man I wish you could get these up sooner, BECAUSE THAT WAS AWESOME!

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