Synopsis of 4×12 and 4×13: Korra and the team come together in as Kuvira attacks Republic City in a final effort to take her and her colossal mech down once and for all.
Buckle in, kids, this is going to be a wild and bumpy ride.
So a lot has happened this season of The Legend of Korra but it’s all really been building up to this finale. From solitary Korra, to her avatar apparition, to Zao Fu’s takeover, to Kuvira’s rise in power, it’s all been a slow build up to the climactic finish of an all-over great series.
With Kuvira’s colossal mech at the steps of Republic City, it’s up to the team to take down the colossus. With the hummingbird suits built by Asami and Varrick destroyed, this was an episode that not only highlighted Korra’s ability as a leader to delegate, it showed some of the best bending of the season, and it managed to bring in a great contribution from the non-benders as well.
It becomes quickly apparent that simply bending at the colossus will not work. Varrick implements a massive EMP but it barely has an effect on the colossus, which is powered by spirit vine energy. While the team battles the colossus, Asami and her father are reunited. They must not only make the last two hummingbird prototype suit but also add plasma saws into both of them that will allow them to cut into the platinum shell of the colossus.
It’s really great to see Asami and her father reunited, especially after we got a little bit of him in the middle of the season, healing his relationship with his daughter. Speaking of healing realtionships, Baatar Jr. comes to his senses and tells the team how to shut down the colossus from the inside. The attempt to drill into the colossus becomes a success with the hummingbirds and their plasma saws, but it comes at the great price of Hiroshi.
It was heartbreaking to see Asami lose that relationship that she had just started to get back with her father, but he went out like a hero and definitely redeemed himself in the eyes of the viewers.
When they finally get inside of the colossus, it’s a race to the finish. Su and Lin go for the arm and its high powered gun, Mako and Bolin go to turn off the power from the spirit vines, and Korra makes her way to Kuvira to finish her off. For the most part, this is a successful plan. Su and Lin make quick work of taking out the guards at the arm and completely wreak havoc on the arm’s inner mechanics that are made out of metal. Unable to use the arm, Kuvira rips it off of the colossus, sending Su and Lin one way and the cannon on the arm into the spirit vines.
Mako and Bolin find their way into the heart of the colossus and each take on a guard with not too much difficulty. It was a good time for them to exhibit their powers; Bolin with his lava frisbee/boomerang/saw thing and Mako with his fire and (later) lightning. They quickly realize that flipping a switch is not enough, and Mako tells Bolin to take the guards out while he stays behind and overrides the vines with electricity. I wasn’t really sure if they were going to go for a true heartbreaker and kill Mako, but he pulls it off without too much of a hitch and it not only shuts the colossus down, but it breaks it completely in half.
Korra’s showdown with Kuvira within the colossus is everything we could have wanted from the original duel during Battle of Zao Fu. It’s also a good gauge of Korra’s own abilities as we see her in full force. Cut short by Mako and Bolin’s machinations, they are sent tumbling to the ground and Kuvira makes a break for the spirit vines in the center of the city to escape from Korra on foot. Seconds behind, Korra comes upon Kuvira manning the gun from the colossus single handedly, it’s attachment to the vines making it functional.
Because of how tangled it is within an area with a lot of spiritual energy, the cannon quickly loses control and Kuvira is not only unable to turn it off but is nearly killed in the line of its fire. Good thing Korra is able to bend the spirit energy around them. I pretty much guessed this would happen since the spirit energy is essentially just another bendable property, especially for Korra in her avatar state. This causes a massive rift and an explosion that opens up a new spirit portal.
Team Korra and the remaining mechs on Kuvira’s side search for evidence of the two but we find them both within the spirit world. Korra’s final conversation with Kuvira was one of the best scenes of this series. Her ability to empathize and her compassion, as she references later, is increased through her own understanding of true suffering. Through her suffering that we’ve seen her go through, she’s able to find a peaceful end to Kuvira, and find some balance of her own.
This is where we get into the topic of balance. Kuvira’s desire to help people is essentially a good intention, but thrown out of balance. Korra’s compassion not only allow her to see Kuvira’s actions as an imbalance but also allows her to forgive Kuvira for her crimes. In the end Kuvira gives herself up to custody and ends the war. The spirits are able to return to the world, and the portals have been reopened.
And alls well that ends well. Varrick proposes to Zhu Li before getting into a hummingbird with her along side Asami and Hironi, after the battle they get married with their wedding officiated by Bolin. I am a little disappointed by the seemingly permanent redemption arc that they put Varrick on, but I guess the loss of Zhu Li was enough to light a fire under his butt.
Prince Wu saves the civilians stuck at the train station during the battle by riding in on badger moles, who seem to be tone deaf to Wu’s singing and actually enjoy it. The badger moles earth bend a way out of the city and manage to defend the citizens from Kuvira’s mech soldiers. In the end, it seems Wu has matured as well; he is ready to dissolve the monarchy in favor of a republic.
As for Korra (you didn’t think I’d end this recap without mentioning that final scene, did you?), she has regained her hope; Tenzin approaches her with new plans for Republic City and she seems like she is eager to continue her work as the avatar. Mako and Korra seemed to have solidified their friendship and Mako’s own loyalty to her.
It seems that out of her friends the one she has grown the closest to is Asami, and the finale ended it in a way that probably made some Korrasami shippers very very happy. Korra and Asami decide to go on a vacation, and Korra offers to take her to the spirit world. The two are last scene walking into the portal hand in hand, looking into each other’s arms.
I won’t say that I didn’t like this scene, because out of all of the characters Korra could have had relationships with (and this is going with the assumption that they are heavily hinting at a romance between the two) Asami is the one who makes the most sense. It wasn’t going to be Bolin and we tried it with Mako. She remained in contact with Asami during her absence, so their relationship has grown in ways that her others didn’t. They have developed enough for me to reason that it wasn’t a rushed decision or really even fan service.
However, I think the ending felt rushed and even a little stilted. As a fan of the show, I wanted something that rounded out Korra’s story as an avatar more. Though, I’ll be honest, the only thing that could have given me absolute satisfaction is Korra realigning with her other avatar selves again, and I acknowledge that that is in the past, and it would undo a lot of Korra’s growth in the past books.
This conclusion was the best thing I could have hoped for for the show. It was a peaceful end to a story that went through a lot more bumps and got a lot more bruises than the original series. Korra’s final fight was indicative of her own maturity as the avatar, she matured from someone who went in guns blazing and with bravado and naivety to someone we can truly call a defender of the world.