I came. I saw. I cried.
Two words to describe the two-part Book 3 Finale of The Legend of Korra: yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaassssssssssss and noooooooooooooooooooooooooooo.
Let's shake this shit down, eh? Unless you're the kind of person I love who lets me blab about stuff with SPOILERSand watch it anyway, I suggest you turn around and bend your way on out of here. I'm about to spoil-bend the fuck out of y'all.
The 12th and penultimate episode of Book 3 starts with the Krew + Adults Who Actually Do Something (Lin, Suyin, Tonraq) and Suyin's small squad of metal-bending officers. They're on the airship heading towards the Northern Air Temple where the airbenders are being held captive by the dangerously savvy and remarkably likable Red Lotus (Fearsome Foursome). They're putting their think caps on and ultimately came to the conclusion that if they tried anything funny aside from handing over Korra, Zaheer would '86' the airbenders.
Photo by: moukies "You don't suppose the Red Lotus would be down for an orgy, would ya?"
But then Suyin basically says, "Fuck that, and fuck Zaheer, that punk-ass thot. I gots dis", and proceeds to outline a plan hinging on the fact that the Red Lotus are unaware of their numbers. So they figure that Mako, Bolin and Asami can pilot the airship while the Adults Who Actually Do Something and the metal-bender cops would scale up the mountain to take them by surprise while Korra pretends to give herself up.
To cut the tension before destroying our souls, Bryke decided to include a cute little scene of Bolin worrying about Pabu and Naga all the way in Zaofu by themselves, cutting to the scene where the OG (Original Grandma -- seriously, how old is she? Probably older than Aang) Yin disciplines them and expresses her disappointment for their playing tug-of-war with her son San's (and later, Mako's) scarf that Mako bequeathed to her.
Photo by: moukies "I will fuck your shit up, I swear to Hou-Ting."
Granny Yin: Part-Time Match Maker, Part-Time Beast Master, Full-Time Sassbender. Plus, she's inherently awesome because she likes the Earth Queen (May She Rest In Peace).
Cut to Zaheer being Za-creepy and chanting "Let go your earthly tether. Enter the void. Empty and become wind. Empty and become wind." Cue P'Li, this behemoth of a woman who has to basically snap her spine in half perpendicular to the door if she wants to enter the room, and she reports on the status of the airbenders. Zaheer thanks her, and then some Zaheer x P'Li feels (Za'Li? P'heer? I like Za'Li better) occur with them exchanging how much they thought of each other in prison.
Photo by: moukies "I'm on top tonight, Zaheer."
P'Li replies that her time apart from him only made her love grow stronger, and she knew he would get her out, "Just like you saved me from becoming that warlord's killing machine when I was a girl."
Aaaaaaaaaand there it is. That single line of cryptic, humanizing dialogue that is meant to make you feel for P'Li, to make her seem like someone you can sympathize with instead of just some monstrous, emotionless assassin like she's been presented to us thus far (aside from any interaction with Zaheer). And it's good. We know at least a little bit of P'Li's backstory. The implication here is that she was a little girl who was terrorized by this mysterious warlord who sought to utilize her abilities as Sparky Sparky Boom Woman, and then she joined up with the Red Lotus after falling for her rescuer (classic textbook Rescue Romance case) and then was soon after caught and imprisoned for 13 years before being freed. Sparky Sparky Boom Woman doesn't seem that old, perhaps mid-to-late 20's, maybe early 30's. Zaheer's gray beard/hair earlier give him away as much older initially. How young was P'Li when she was imprisoned? 12? 13 and three-quarters if I'm being generous? Damn. That's one hardcore little tyke.
The Krew touch down, part ways, and then enact their plan. Asami, Bolin and Mako land their ship and are greeted by the friendly Ghazan, who escorts them to the airbenders.
Photo by: moukies "And if you'll follow me this way to your doom..."
Korra is on her glider and flies over to a cliff where she meets Zaheer.
Zaheer starts talking mad shit, telling her to drop her staff and come quietly, and when she just stands here, he says, "Don't make me come get you." Boy, bye. You spent all season trying to get her, you failed. She had to come to you. Your threat holds no weight.
Bolin, Mako and Asami follow Ghazan into a room where Tenzin is gagged and unconscious, chained to the floor. First appropriate action to have? Tenzin's not dead! Huzzah! Behind him is what appears to be all the airbenders, bound and gagged while sitting with their legs crossed and hands behind their back. Korra asks for an update with a radio/walky-talky thing, and Mako confirms that the airbenders are before his eyes, but "so is the Lavabender." Korra tries to strong-arm him into getting Ghazan to leave, but Zaheer refuses until she turns herself over to him. When she hesitates again, he radios for Ghazan to "wipe them out!" before Korra protests and agrees to his demands. P'Li looks smug as fuck when she goes to meet Korra and Zaheer tells Ghazan to stand down. Sparky Sparky Boom Woman places hand and ankle cuffs on Korra, telling her not to bother trying to metal-bend them as they're made of platinum.
Photo by: moukies "I was saving this for Zaheer, but I suppose I can lend them to you."
Zaheer confirms they have the Avatar, so Ghazan steps aside to let them free the airbender captives. Tenzin shakes his head weakly, still gagged, but the typical "no worries bae, we saved you or at least we think so but are woefully ignorant of the shit that's about to fly" conversation happens, with Asami assuring him they're going to get him out of there and that "it's okay". But then Mako approaches the airbenders... only for them to melt away into water and reveal Ming-Hua sitting behind them as the wonderful puppeteer mistress she is.
Photo by: areysl.tumblr.com
Photo by: areysl.tumblr.com "Surprise, bitch. I bet you thought you'd seen the last of me."
Mako radios Korra, telling her it was a trick just as she, P'Li and Zaheer are about to board the airship. The thing is: the radio is on the ground, pretty far away, and yet Korra still manages to hear it. Either Korra has god-tier hearing (a perk of being the Avatar?), the radio was super loud, or plot. Korra confronts Zaheer, and then she begins to fight Sparky Sparky Boom Woman and Baldy McBalderson, While tied up. Korra's pretty awesome like that.
Mako radios Lin to get Korra out of there, and then the assault begins. The metal-benders converge on the site and Korra fends off Sparky Sparky Boom Woman and Baldy McBalderson. She's bending while her hands and feet are chained together, fire-and-earth bending and putting up a pretty good fight. So either A) Korra got better, B) Zaheer got weaker, or C) plot.
Suyin and Lin fight, and instead of this time against each other, it's in tandem and against Sparky Sparky Boom Woman! The fight was beautifully choreographed. Due to being on a mountaintop, they stuck to traditional earthbending as it'd give them a lot of fuel. While P'Li and the Beifong sisters are rumbling, Zaheer tries to escape with Korra in his airship, only to have Papa Wolf Tonraq simply say, "LolNo" and send him away, catching Korra as she fell off the cliff, and tossing her right into Zaheer's face who nearly caught a face-full of foot-bent-flame melting his head off were it not for his airbending. Tonraq cuts the ropes tethering the airship to the cliff, and it floats off, leaving Zaheer with no way off the mountaintop, and nowhere to run.
Ming-Hua toys with the boys, and Ghazan sends lava flying towards them. Mako and Bolin hold off the Fearsome Twosome (Mingzan? I stand by that as their ship name), while Asami questions Tenzin to the airbenders' location. Ming-Hua has become impatient, however -- it seems she's finally tired of toying with them now that their goal is so near to completion. She berates Ghazan, questioning, "Will you just bury them already?!" in a very irritated voice. And that's when I knew that Ming-Hua wore the pants in the relationship, and I think Ghazan likes it like that, chill, laid-back dude that he is. It struck me as very much the lover's quarrel, as though a girlfriend is very upset that her boyfriend hasn't killed their mutual enemies yet.
Photo by: moukies "God damn it, Ghazan, we've been through with this! We're opening a pastry shop and we will live in domestic bliss in the fanart and fanfics forever! I draw the line at water-lava babies though."
Thus, Ghazan hurries to do his woman's bidding, cornering the Krew in a sea of lava and melting the door shut. As he leaves, he melts everything behind them in lava, causing the entire temple to overflow with the molten rock. Things look dire for the Krew. Asami jimmies the locks on Tenzin's wrists free, picking them open and lending him support. They determine that they need to get back to the airship, and Bolin bends the wall behind them open. The lava follows them, and Bolin is consistently having to bend earth to block the passage ways, but it only stalls -- the lava eventually melts its way through.
They run through the underground catacombs but the lava is like a stalker who really doesn't wanna give up. Zaheer is fighting with a still-chained Korra and her father Tonraq, who is actually a fierce waterbender. I had personally forgotten he had the skill and was momentarily confused when he scaled the wall with ice-pick arms. He was doing well...until he was airbent over the side of a cliff. Also, Zaheer, that piece of scum, had the audacity to make a joke at the expense of Her Majesty, the Earth Queen Hou-Ting (May She Rest in Peace). Negative zero points to you, sir.
P'Li continues to take on Lin and Suyin, who were dancing circles around here but were now pinned down.
Photo by: moukies *weaves blowing dramatically in the wind*
Lin, ever the self-sacrificial hero, offers to draw P'Li's fire so Suyin can finish her off. Suyin protests, not willing to have her older sister die for her sake, but Lin is adamant that it needs to be done. Sparky Sparky Boom Woman, who can curve her combustion shots unlike her distaff counterpart Sparky Sparky Boom Man in the predecessor series, doesn't look to be giving too much of a shit when it comes to the Beifong sisters.
Photo by: moukies "I can see clearly now your head is gone."
As a further testament to how much of a feels-bender this season finale was going turning out to be, Lin did something that she's presumably never done before in her life...at least as far as we've seen: she told her sister Suyin that she loved her.
Photo by: moukies "Aren't you glad we didn't try to metal-bend the fuck out of each other?"
Lin runs out, calls P'Li a "third-eyed freak" and draws her fire.
Photo by: moukies *duckface selfie*
They fight for a bit, but ultimately P'Li knocks Lin Mother-Fucking Beifong to the ground is about to finish her off when Suyin Mother-Fucking Beifong pulls off the cruellest, coolest death in the entire series. Just like Zaheer used the Earth Queen's (May She Rest in Peace) own breath against her to form a vacuum that ultimately asphyxiated her, Suyin uses Sparky Sparky Boom Woman's own ability against her. Bending her metal vest off her, Suyin throws it at P'Li's head and encloses it just as Sparky Sparky Boom Woman is about to let loose a shot at Lin.
Check this shit out:
In case you don't understand why that shit is amazing: she bent her metal vest off her, sent it flying at P'Li, and watched as P'Li's explosion blew her own fucking head off.
If you don't think that's the sickest kill in the series, you're wrong. Suyin proves yet again that A) she's Toph's daughter, B) she's a cold-blooded bender, which is why she's the perfect metal-bender.
Photo by: moukies "D'oh!"
Remember when that single line of dialogue that shed a tiny bit of light on P'Li's past? The one about Zaheer saving her from being the killing machine of a war lord as a child? That's where it becomes relevant. It was only there to make you feel bad for her when she died. And, as those sick monsters who prey on your emotions (i.e. Bryke) knew it would, it worked.
Zaheer is heartbroken, which is a first:
Photo by: moukies "And I was so looking forward to tonight..."
Korra attacks him, but Zaheer shakes her off, knocks her out as Suyin and Lin face him down. He repeats his chants as the Beifong sisters corner him, but then he just jumps the fuck off a cliff and flies away like it ain't shit.
Photo by: moukies "Me on my way to fuck your girl..."
Turns out that P'Li's death was the last tether to this world, and with her dead, he was now "free", and thus unlocked the actual subset of airbending -- flight. Also turns out that killing the Earth Queen Hou-Ting (May She Rest in Peace) was just regular old weaponized air-bending, not a subset. Guru Laghima is the first, whereas Zaheer is the second.
As he flies away, Lin and Suyin just stare in disbelief (much like the audience) and Lin even asks what everyone's thinking:.
Photo by: moukies "I'm too old for this shit."
And as Zaheer flies by the airship that Ming-Hua and Ghazan are waiting for him on...
Photo by: moukies "Guess he doesn't need a ride."
You make me laugh, Ghazan. I like you. And Ming-Hua, your expression is priceless. You can essentially read her face saying, "What the actual fuck? I mean, I've seen some shit, even back in the prison cell, but I did not sign up for this."
Cut back to part of the Krew with Tenzin, and they're still being pursued by the lava to the point I now ship "Bolin x Lava" (Bolava? Lavlin?). They've deduced that they can no longer out run it, so instead of running before it, Bolin bends the earth to the side of the flow, and they manage to escape...until the lava goes, "BOLIN! I LOVE YOU! WHY DON'T YOU LOVE ME?!"
Photo by: moukies Lava: ♫ "When all you wanted was to be wanted~" ♫
So, you know how Bolin failed to metalbend each and every time he tried, each a miserable failure that made you cringe in second-hand embarrassment? Turns out there's a reason for that.
Photo by: lungbender
Photo by: lungbender
Photo by: lungbender "Incredible! You're a lavabender!" "I know. I just found out."
Bolin's a fucking lava-bender. Lava. It was totally unexpected on my end, a pleasant surprise. Some called it, but whatever. They probably wear uggs and crocs.
Kai comes back for them, and takes them to the rest. Meanwhile, Tonraq is getting patched up by a metalbender woman named Captain Guvira. And the way she's making doe-y eyes at Tonraq, it may seem she's after a married man. Everyone tries to figure out where Korra went, and ignore Kai cause he's a kid until he snaps and tells them he knows exactly where they are, only for Mako (insert side-eye here) to quip, "Well, why didn't you say something?"
Photo by: moukies Kai is 200% done with your shit, Mako.
They all get ready to go, but Guvira approaches her matriarch Suyin, saying she wants to fight, but Suyin turns her down, saying she is to tend to the injured. Guvira accepts. Mako apologizes to Kai for his actions earlier. Ming-Hua and Ghazan approach Zaheer who is just floating in his cave, and Ming-Hua (who sounds very much like Azula in this scene; not surprising, given they're voiced by the same voice actress, the amazing Grey DeLisle) asks him why he never told them he could fly. He replies he wasn't sure he could and now he's untethered to this world, which is why he is capable of it now.
Being the cutesy couple they are, and the clever characters at that, Ming-Hua and Ghazan exchange knowing looks, presumably wondering what that means for P'Li. Ming-Hua asks, "Where's P'Li?"
Photo by: moukies "Can you believe this shit?"
Zaheer says she sacrificed her life for their cause, and it's up to them to make sure it isn't in vain. They confront Korra, who is suspended and all four limbs are chained. She believes that Tonraq is dead thanks to Zaheer, and tries to firebend with her mouth but it doesn't reach the now Fearsome Threesome.
Photo by: moukies The Fearsome Threesome..... They're recruiting..... (Too soon?)
He then reveals that he understands how she feels, as he lost someone he loved too that day, but her suffering would soon end because he plans to kill her. He then calls in for the poison. Very comforting.
And then the penultimate episode ends there.
The next and final episode of Book 3, Venom of the Red Lotus, picks up where it left off. Zaheer reveals he wants to kill Korra in the Avatar state so that the Avatar cycle is broken, chaos reigns, and freedom can be born of it. No divisions between nations, no world leaders, no loyalties to anyone but yourself and those you care for.
Jinora, who was using her spiritual astral projection technique to spy on them knows their plan, and zooms back to her body, where it's revealed she and the other airbenders, along with an unconscious Kya and Bumi, are chained up to the ground. The Red Lotus member who has the shiny silver poison in the bowl bends it onto Korra's skin, and then clenching his fists, absorbs it into her. Zaheer is savvy enough to realize that putting Korra in terrible pain and a deadly situation will activate her Avatar State, which they need her to be in before they can kill her so she can never again be reborn.
As Ming-Hua turns her arms into ice-sickles (see what I did thar?) and Ghazan turns the pit below Korra into a boiling den of fiery destruction (the phrase "KILL IT WITH FIRE!!!!" fits aptly here). Her eyes flicker with the glowing light that signal her transformation, but she denies herself the process of going through with it. Through will-power, she is able to try and keep it off as long as she can.
Kai leads the others on bisonback to the caves, and they find the place. An injured Tenzin beseeches Suyin to save the airbenders and his family. In a heartwarmingly maternal action, as befitting a matriarch of an entire city, Suyin assures Tenzin she won't come out without their children and the rest of his people. It just struck me as particularly poignant how she said that, your people. This is a woman from the Earth Kingdom who is helping save a man from the Air Nomad's children and recently restored people. The care she held for him, the care all of them hold for each other, transcends boundaries and nations and proves love is a universal force.
Photo by: moukies "I fucked P'Li's shit up. They fucked with the wrong matriarch today."
Inside the cave, Korra begins hallucinating because of the poison and Zaheer's face becomes Amon's mask, Ghazan's face becomes Unalaq's, and Ming-Hua's entire body becomes Vaatu. They're all telling her to "give up."
Elsewhere in the cave, the airbenders begin to enact a plan that ultimately results in Jinora, Meelo and Opal working together using airbending to steal the keys from the Red Lotus guard. Then the Krew show up just as they're freeing themselves, and Asami takes down a Red Lotus guard with her shock-glove. Suyin rushes over to Opal's side, hugging her, only for Bolin (who has no sense of appropriateness) to throw her off and hug Opal himself. I found it amusing and was shocked he did such a thing. But then again, I suppose it was meant to be comedic.
Photo by: moukies "For real? You're going to test me? I just killed a combustion-bender with my metal-fucking-vest. Don't think I won't kill your punk ass too, boy."
Jinora reunites with Kai, which is a really cute crush for them both. They plan to get Kya and Bumi out, due to their injuries, and Jinora reveals she knows exactly where they're keeping Korra. Finally, Korra can't hold back any longer and enters the Avatar state, with Ming-Hua trying to kill her...only for Korra to easily blow the technique away and breaking free of her bonds, sending Ming-Hua flying against the wall so hard that her water arms exploded, and leading an enraged Ghazan to try to melt her with lava.
With the poison in her veins, and Korra's rage driving her mad, she's unstoppable in the Avatar state as she attacks Zaheer, who flies away like the weakling he is. She ignores or doesn't acknowledge her father Tonraq's appearance -- he was saved by a metalbender as he fell down the cliff. As Korra goes off to mercilessly destroy Zaheer, Ghazan attacks the trio, leaving Mako to proclaim he and Bolin will handle Ghazan-chan (or as I call him, Lava Lover) and "Spider Water Bitch" as my friend called her (arrogant human; Ming-Hua is the best). So Korra is out fighting Zaheer in a manner that makes her seem like The Hulk while Zaheer is more like Superman, just flying around and shit.
Tenzin is reunited with his family and friends, who want to do more than just watch Korra fight Zaheer on his own. Bolin and Mako are holding their own against Ghazan and Ming-Hua respectively, and Ghazan is laughing at Bolin, who questions why. The Red Lotus member reveals that he was just thinking of the last time he and Bolin fought, before breaking out the lava-bending. Bolin, a newfound lava-bender himself, dispatches Ghazan's attacks, returning them to him as he cockily exclaims, "Well, a lot has changed since then!" before providing what is literally the most blatant example of fanservice in the series.
Photo by: moukies And on that day, all the fanboys and fangirls swooned with lust for a fictional character.
Ghazan seems impressed, and is considering Bolin as a rival worthy of his love. He comes at Bolin with a lot more. Switch to Korra and Zaheer, and just imagine a whole bunch of grunting from Korra and a lot of flying from Zaheer.
That's it. That's the whole show....
I lied (I tend to do that). Kai is adamant they help her out, and Bumi wonders how Zaheer can fly. Tenzin expositions the fact that he's unlocked an ancient airbender skill that hasn't existed for thousands of years. Jinora points out that a lot of airbenders hadn't been gathered together like that for a long time, and that there was strength in numbers. She took charge and urged the other airbenders to join her as she made a tornado.
Photo by: moukies "We're too old for this shit."
Ming-Hua is facing Mako, and this time he's standing a semblance of a chance. When she was stomping him miserably in all their previous encounters. That's what we call "plot", friends. Mako manages to evaporate her arms with two well-timed strikes, and Ming-Hua is forced into a corner. Mako thinks she's done, claiming it to be over, but she insists, "Not yet."
Down into a crevice she jumps, and Mako follows her...into a underground cavern complete with a lake. At this point, we're collectively thinking, "Welp. Nice knowing you, Mako. R.I.P. See ya on the fanfiction pages."
And then Ming-Hua shows up behind him.
Photo by: moukies And here we have a rare Ming-Hua about to pray on the equally-rare Mako.
As Ming-Hua begins her assault, with about 9 (billion) water tentacles attacking Mako, there's not much the young firebender can do but go on the defensive or try to evade. He manages to run up to two large boulders, hop up between them, and then proceeds to electrocute the hell out of Ming-Hua. :'( She was my favourite. But it's really ambiguous as to whether she's dead! Maybe she was just unconscious! Maybe she still survi--
Well, fuck. :'(
As seen in the above clip, Ghazan fought Bolin and after Mako defeated Ming-Hua (ugh), he helps Bolin gang up on Ghazan. Realizing he's cornered, Ghazan instead chooses to kill himself rather than go back to prison, and can you blame him? 13 years on a boat in the middle of nowhere with no one to talk to and boring guards who ignore you for two weeks at a time until they rotate shifts is enough to make anyone hate prison. Especially when it's thirteen years of it. He chooses to die by his own hand, in his own time, and if he can take out the bending bros, all the better. Thusly, he brings the entire cavern down around him in a hail of lava and rock.
And this is where reality segues into fantasy, because I'm a firm believer of the idea that Ghazan only made it seem like the cavern fell down around them, and Mako and Bolin fled before they could confirm, lest they be killed. Thus, Ghazan stopped the cavern from falling, earth-bent his way into the lower-level to rescue an unconscious Ming-Hua, and then whisked her away towards a lifetime of domestic bliss, a pastry shop, and eventual molten-water babies. And you can't take that away from me.
But I suppose the rest of you, I suppose you saw what essentially amounts to their obviously premeditated faked deaths. And if Ming-Hua wasn't dead before due to Mako's electrocution of her, she surely would be since Ghazan brought the cavern down upon them in a lava-y hellstorm of..... hellish lava.
Y'know...if they didn't fake their deaths, that is.
Anyways, that loser Zaheer decides to try and pull the same trick he did on the Earth Queen (May She Rest in Peace) to Korra. Korra is helpless against it, but the tornado thing that Jinora created with the help of the other airbenders pulls in Zaheer, who ultimately fails and is thrown to the ground by Korra, who rapped her metal shackle chain around his leg. Some question if this was metal bending, which should've been impossible since it was platinum, but I think she just tossed it around his leg.
Suyin and Lin earthbend a prison about him, and Tonraq runs to Korra, who lays dying. Zacreepy starts laughing creepily and doing that cliche villain thing where they exposition their exact weakness that ultimately leads to their defeat, i.e. the poison's been in her system too long. Jinora reveals that Suyin can save her, since the metal is poison-based. Suyin metal-bends the poison out of Korra as everyone watches on, and Korra comes to, realizing that Tonraq is alive as he cradles her, assuring her that he will never let her go.
Zacreepy starts complaining about how they don't understand the revolution's already started and blah blah blah, and thankfully, mercifully, Bolin shuts him up by literally putting a sock in it, much to Opal's amusement.
Photo by: moukies Bolin proves P'Li wasn't the only kinky one.
The scene cuts to two weeks later, where Asami is prepping Korra for a ceremony held on behalf of Jinora. Korra is wheelchair-ridden, and has been for two weeks. Her disposition is noticeably gloomier and more depressed. It's incredibly unlike Korra, and rather heart-breaking. Y'know...for those of you with hearts, unlike Bryke, who clearly do not have one since they killed P'Li, Ming-Hua, Ghazan, and Earth Queen Hou-Ting (May She Rest in Peace) and everyone important to me.
Photo by: moukies Did I mention Korrasami became canon for a few minutes?
Some exposition is had, with the adults wondering what to do about the Earth Kingdom now that it's fallen into ruin with the death of the Earth Queen (May She Rest in Peace), and with them not knowing just how many Red Lotus members are out there, the world needs the Avatar more than ever... but who will protect them when she's in a wheelchair?
The ceremony begins, and Tenzin honors Jinora for her bravery, and commends Korra, swearing that the Air Nomads are going to reclaim their nomadic roots, but instead of keeping to themselves, they're going to help everyone they come across, for they belong to all nations. Jinora is dubbed an airbending master, and the ceremony is there to acknowledge that achievement. She has been pestering her father for airbender tattoos for the longest time, and while he was strictly against it at first, now he believes his daughter is ready.
Photo by: moukies She got it from her granddaddy.
And though everyone claps and cheers for her success...
Photo by: moukies
Korra can't help but cry at her own predicament... And wouldn't you, if you were presumably crippled?
Book 3 of The Legend of Korra ends off that way, and it leaves me with a ton of questions:
Did P'Li feel it? :(
After she died, Zaheer said he had no more earthly tethers. Does that mean he doesn't consider his friends Ming-Hua and Ghazan reasons to stick to this world? Then again, when Aang was learning to let go of his earthly tethers, the only one that came up was Katara, and not Sokka or Toph. Does this mean that earthly tethers are strictly romantic in nature, in terms of desire?
Does this mean Zaheer doesn't truly care about Ming-Hua and Ghazan?
Who was the war lord who sought to make P'Li a killing machine?
Why happened to Ming-Hua's arms? Was she born like that (unlikely) or were they cut off (more likely)? I'm leaning more towards the latter, which would make room for her to feasibly have learnt to waterbend and then adapt to water-tentacles when her arms were removed? Were they removed when she went to prison, in an attempt to prevent her from bending water from the atmosphere?
Was Ming-Hua killed by Mako? Or merely knocked unconscious? Does this mean she was killed accidentally by Ghazan when he brought down the cavern about himself?
Did Ghazan realize that Ming-Hua was probably dead, which made him suicidal/finding life not worth living?
Why did we not get any semblance of a back story, even a throw-away like like P'Li got, for Ming-Hua and Ghazan?
What will happen to Ba Sing Se? The Earth Kingdom?
Will we ever see Zuko's daughter, the Fire Lord?
What happened to Tahno? To Iroh II?
Why was Guvira introduced and given some semblance of importance in the last episodes of this book? Could she be part of the Red Lotus?
Who else is part of the Red Lotus?
Things I Liked (aka the YAAAAASSSSSSS):
Everyone planning together on how to handle the Fearsome Foursome
P'Li having a split second of characterization
Ming-Hua pulling that trick with the airbenders actually just being her water arms filling up the clothes. I swear, is there anything she can't do?
Korra being a bad-ass who can bend and fight incredibly well even in hand/foot-cuffs.
Ming-Hua snapping at Ghazan in a tone that sounded like they were lovers.
Lin willing to sacrifice herself for her sister Suyin and telling her "I love you" for presumably the first time
Suyin saving Lin by performing the rawest straight-up murder in the series.
Suyin and Lin fighting in tandem, first against P'Li and then against Zaheer.
Zaheer flying with Korra past Ming-Hua and Ghazan while the latter two watch from the airship
Bolin being a lavabender instead of a metalbender
The amount of looks Ming-Hua and Ghazan exchanged, sometimes of understanding, sometimes of reassurance. I'm telling you, Mingzan is a thing.
The air-bender kids working together to steal the keys
Asami having a moment to shine by taking out that Red Lotus guard
Jinora and Kai mutually crushing on each other
The look of concern-turned-rage on Ghazan's face when Korra knocked Ming-Hua against a wall with a boulder.
Ghazan dying on his own terms
Zaheer being defeated by the novice airbenders + Jinora + Korra
Zaheer being all about being 'untethered' and free of 'earthly attachments', only for two earthbenders, Suyin and Lin, to literally tether him to the earth with their bending.
Asami being the dutiful girlfriend to Korra, being the support while Korra's clearly depressed.
The potential for the Red Lotus storyline to continue into the final Book 4
Jinora getting her airbending tattoos and being recognized as a master by her father at long last
Things I Disliked (aka the NOOOOOOOOO):
P'Li being given a single sentence of cryptic back story before being blown sky-high by her own abilities in what may have been the most gruesome death on this show so far.
Zaheer making that joke about Tonraq saying hi to the Earth Queen (May She Rest in Peace) for him. Asshole.
Ming-Hua's water arms being evaporated when it's convenient, instead of that being consistent. She's fought Mako before, and in the penultimate episode, she was slapping away/dispersing his fire bursts at her without water being lost, but then suddenly when fighting in the caverns, his fire evaporated her arms? Nah son. Ain't about that inconsistency when it comes to my bae Ming-Hua.
P'Li's graphic death. I like it, but I also don't like it. It's just horrifying to think about after the fact, how she had probably less than a second to realize what her fate was, and how she couldn't avoid it. It's actually incredibly disturbing. Definite Fridge Horror.
Mako's fire evaporating Ming-Hua's arms when they were fine up against his fire before.
Mako electrocuting Ming-Hua/Ming-Hua's death. Ok, I have a serious problem with this one. The entire season, Ming-Hua has been consistently decimating Mako in their encounters, and for some reason, he keeps going up against her each and every time. Time and time again, she beats him with ease. And though he's had the ability to bend lightning the entire time, he's never once tried it against her...but suddenly he does it? Ming-Hua couldn't have turned the water to ice just as fast? Why was it okay for Katara to turn the sewer water way below her and Azula to ice and encapsulate them before Azula's lightning could kill her when her fingertips were an inch away from her face? I have always been incredibly peeved off at that scene, but now Bryke does what they were supposed to do back then...now? When it incapacitates my favourite again? I mean, I understand Mako had this ability before, so the ability in and of itself is not an asspull/deus ex machina. But the way he implemented it came off as super sketchy and plot-induced, as opposed to proper planning. Now, I love what Bryke do, they're really good at it, incredibly good, but that just means I have to be extremely critical when they do mess up because it's all I've got to work with. Mako had every opportunity in each and every one of their previous encounters to use lightning, and unless she dodged (which, granted, she could do as she's incredibly fast and mobile), she would have had to block with her arms on instinct or do nothing. There was every opportunity, every chance to build it up so that if he did pull it off in the finale, it wouldn't feel like such a cop-out, but they didn't, and that's very disappointing. Ming-Hua bested Mako each and every other time, I saw no reason why that point should have been different, even if it was clever on Mako's part and logical in the end. I didn't like the execution at all. Why didn't Mako do it way before, then? Drama-preserving handicap? Plot? Or was plot what enabled him to do it at last, a quick way to off a veritable threat who had proven herself Mako's superior countless times before, as well as Bolin and Kya's superior?
Ghazan having to choose death over imprisonment. It means no Mingzan bakery and babies. :(
Korra being depressed. I mean, obviously, I can't blame her, but I don't like that she's hurting and it's actually such a stark difference from her usual, chipper, fiery jokester self that it's incredibly saddening. I hope she pulls through.
Can we keep in mind that this season was, in my opinion, by far the best? Also the most gruesome. Overall, from Tarrlok's murder-suicide of his brother Noatok (Amon), the Earth Queen's (May She Rest in Peace) death by asphyxiation courtesy of Zaheer, the literal head explosion of P'Li thanks to Suyin, the electrocution of Ming-Hua due to Mako, and Ghazan's death by suicide make for a really grim series. Is this still rated for kids? They're getting awesome programming. Welcome to the real world, kiddos. Well...at least as real as it would be without all the bending.
That was my thorough read of this season's finale. I cannot believe I just wrote out an essay again. I just have a lot of feels okay? Don't touch me. Someone, please take my internet away from me...
This is Sharmake Bouraleh, signing out!
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