Published on December 23rd, 2014 | by Lauren McPhee0
The Legend of Korra – Day of the Colossus/The Last Stand Part 2
In The Last Stand, having broken through the platinum shielding of the mecha-suit, brothers Bolin and Mako and sisters Lin and Su, along with Korra, set out to take down the machine from the inside. The scenes that follow play out simultaneously, never losing momentum as the brothers go after the power source, Lin and Su take out the weapon on the arm and Korra goes after Kuvira. What is truly impressive here is the cooperation between siblings, and the sacrifices they make for each other. Throughout the season, Bolin has been given a lot of opportunities to be the hero, but this is Mako’s turn to shine as he uses lightning to overload the spirit vines. Of course, Bolin would never abandon him. Similarly, as Kuvira rips the now defunct arm from its socket, Lin uses metal bending to strap Lin and herself in safely. Sibling relationships have always been important in Avatar and here we see why.
Korra’s fight with Kuvira, however, is no less important. In fact, it’s hugely significant. In the finales previously, Korra fought Amon, Unalaq and Zaheer: three older men representing different kinds of power and authority. Kuvira combines their qualities: dissatisfaction with the status quo, personal ambition, and political motivation. These are three themes which permeate the series. Only Kuvira is a young woman, near Korra’s age; she represents Korra in many ways, and fighting Kuvira is like fighting her spirit self. Except, Korra, like Aang, is no longer relying on violence to defeat her opponent, but is able to energy bend the energy from the spirit weapon, saving both their lives.
The result is an explosion of spirit energy that forms a new spirit portal right in the heart of what used to be downtown Republic City. This portal is different from the others; it glows yellow and green in spiralling helixes, surrounded by a spiral of spirit vines. Inside, Korra and Kuvira are shown mirroring each other. Although Kuvira tries to run away at first, Korra sits with her, shares in her feelings of vulnerability and failure, feelings that Korra has felt all season. And in the end, Korra is able to talk Kuvira into surrendering rather than trying to beat her into submission. Korra achieves what she has sought all season: to have more patience and understanding and not to use violence to solve all of her problems.
Of course, the series doesn’t end there. We are treated to Varrick and Zhi Li’s wedding, to a beautiful speech of love from Bolin, and a happy formal event where everyone can relax and enjoy themselves after everything that has happened. When we last saw Korra in formal wear, she was broken and weak; here, she’s in a new dress, a much more mature and sensuous design than before, showing her growth and new confidence. And at the end, she shares three moments with three of her closest friends.
First, Mako, who admits that he will follow Korra into battle no matter what; this is both a declaration of love and honouring Korra as a true hero. Korra and Mako’s relationship has turned out to be an inversion of what we expected; early on their relationship was fraught with teenage insecurities, jealousy and selfishness, caught in a love triangle with Asami. But later on, they were not only able to become friends again, but to show that there was still great love between them. They are heroes to each other, champions, honouring each other in more than friendship.
Then Tenzin, Korra’s mentor, demonstrates how proud he is that she is outgrowing him, learning from her own experiences and gaining wisdom. Korra admits that she feels like its only the beginning and she has so much more ahead of her, and this is perhaps one of the hardest moments of the series. If she is just beginning, we may not be able to continue her journey with her. And perhaps neither will Tenzin, as it is time for Korra to branch out on her own.
Which brings us to Asami. Korra and Asami’s relationship really developed in season three, but still it was never given as much attention or as much gravity as other romantic or sibling relationships in the series. My biggest regret is that their interaction was so limited this series. I feel like the missing episode should have been theirs, because it’s clear looking back how much they mean to each other. I watched the entire season as Korra’s story because it has been a story of identity, but it has also been about relationships. That has been more obvious between other pairings, and it’s not fair. Korra and Asami deserved more as they share the final moments of the series.
Watching them decide to go on vacation together was beautiful and agonising because I know this is the end, but I was still overjoyed as Korra and Asami walked hand and hand into the spirit portal. Now all I want in the world is Korra and Asami’s spirit world vacation as girlfriends, and then all of their other adventures together with Korra as the Avatar. Which brings us back to Book 5: Energy. It would be Korra and Asami’s season and everything they never got to show in the series and it would be amazing.