So I think we can all agree that, generally speaking, Legend of Korra is an all-around great show. And since it’s from the same people who did Avatar: The Last Airbender, I kind of expected a lot from the season finale. I mean, Avatar always gave us real gut-wrenchers, so Korra was probably going to do the same thing, right? I was so convinced of this, in fact, that I purposefully didn’t watch it until Monday because I was home alone for the weekend and didn’t trust myself to be able to handle my emotions properly.
It turns out that was kind of unnecessary. You see, as great as this season of Korra has been episode-to-episode, season finales tend to put in perspective overall season arcs, and the fact of the matter is, Korra suffered hugely from being only 12 episodes instead of the usual 22-24. If Korra wants to tell the same sorts of epic stories that Avatar did, they need more than twelve episodes to do it, because the pacing on this series was all off. It didn’t strike me until the season finale, but Korra has been stuffed almost too full of plot and left no time for character development. Like, where has Bolin been for the second half of this season? Do we know anything about General Iroh Jr.? I mean besides that he can use his firebending like a jet pack and looks like a Disney Prince? I felt like there were a lot of things I got in this finale that I didn’t earn, either. Like, how is Amon already dead? Why are Mako and Korra already a thing? Because I still have no idea what Korra sees in him and none of his problems had time to be fixed. Character-wise, Asami probably suffered the most from this shortchanging, and she really deserves some emotional wallow time next season, because her life kind of sucks. But plot-wise, Korra reaching the Avatar state when she’s not supposed to be in touch with her spiritual side at all felt especially egregious.