The Legend Of Korra season 2 episode 12 review: Harmonic Convergence

Review Kaci Ferrell 25 Nov 2013 - 06:32

The Legend Of Korra reaches its Book Two conclusion this week, with yet more stunning artwork...

This review contains spoilers.

2.12 Harmonic Convergence

In the season finale of The Legend of Korra, Unalaq fuses with Vatuu and tries to destroy the world, Raava's connection to the previous Avatars is destroyed, and everyone breaks up.

Though I don't often comment on the animation of this show, I feel like I should begin this review by noting how absolutely stunning this episode was from a visual standpoint. The fight scenes were well-executed and the colours were unbelievably vivid. Although this show sets itself a high bar every week with consistently excellent visuals, the finale somehow managed to exceed that.

I'm not entirely sure I can give quite that level of praise to the actual plot of the finale, which is fairly full of plotholes and deus ex machinas. (Oh, so the tree Vatuu was imprisoned in just happens to be a tree that can restore memories and help you meditate even though this has never been mentioned before until now? How very convenient!) But to be perfectly honest with you, I don't want to focus on the negatives. I'd much rather talk about the things that did work because when they did, they were great.

A great example is Tenzin, who has floundered this year without a sense of purpose. Who he's become doesn't match the image he carries in his head of who he is: Aang's heir. In some ways, that's true: it does rest on him to revive an entire culture, after all, but in other ways, it absolutely doesn't. For all that Aang and Korra have shown us that the Avatar is a regular person with regular concerns, in many ways, their peers will never be able to relate to the weight that rests on their shoulders. Sure, other shows have explored this theme really well (I recommend Buffy the Vampire Slayer if you're interested in the dynamic), but Legend of Korra really hit it on the head well here. Tenzin may be the hope for the Air Nomads, just as Aang was, but he's not the Avatar. He cannot, nor should he expect himself to, live up to that standard. This is brilliantly executed when, in the fog of lost souls, he is confronted by an image of his father, who tells him that he must accept himself for who he is: Tenzin, not Aang.

Another great moment is when Jinora gets to come to the rescue. What on earth she actually does is one of those aforementioned plot holes, because heck if I know how or what exactly she accomplishes, but there's no denying that it's what turns the tides in Korra's favour against Vaatu. After episode after episode of Jinora being the damsel in distress that everyone needed to save, it was so great to see her become the hero. I really hope that, now that the spirit world is no longer divided from the human world, we'll get to have Jinora involved more next season; surely her spiritual gifts will be needed. (I do wonder, just as I wondered about Iroh in AtLA, why Jinora is gifted in this way that other people don't seem to be, but I don't really need an explanation, I suppose.)

There are a lot of great little moments, too, like Varrick escaping from prison and Mako and Korra finally being honest with each other about their break up (and Bolin and Eska being similarly honest), or the absolutely awesome scene where Lin metalbends herself and the president out of a sinking airship full-on Spider-man style. I think I grinned for about five minutes about the role reversal there.

All in all, this episode, like this season, was hit-or-miss, but I choose to think of the good rather than the bad. I really do love this universe and these characters and I genuinely believe that the writing will improve in season three. I honestly look forward to it and I can't wait for it to arrive.

Read Kaci's review of the previous episode, Night Of A Thousand Stars, here.

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There is an episode 13 and 14 after this...

Sorry, this review is actually for the two part finale (13 & 14). I'll let my editor know that it's mislabeled and see if it can be fixed.

great review! Its crazy how they had show many episodes on at once

So I read other reviews, and I must say that, disagreeing with a lot of people, I enjoyed everything about this season with a few exceptions.
1. Once AGAIN, everything felt super rushed.
2. I defended Korra to my last breath, but she really was intolerable during the first half. The time she spent with Iroh in the Spirit World was a VERY critical redemption point. The contrast with Jinora's experience there was important to highlight each's attributes. The resetting of Korra's character to its self-entitled brutishness following the season 1 finale was not an altogether sound decision.
3. I HATED the ENTIRE Jinora subplot. bullsh!t all of it, especially that confounding thing she did in the finale that made NO sense whatsoever. BLEH.
4. Not enough Iroh. Also, I still hate hearing Zuko's voice actor for Iroh. Ew. It just doesn't fit his face.
5. The return of Asami x Mako and no sign of Irosami. I so ship Iroh and Asami together.
6. Everything Varrick did being swept under the rug so quickly. I mean, I like that he was a good guy in the end. But all his manipulative prowess just kind of evaporated when he was comically arrested.
7. Bolin saying he loved Eska and that his blubbering wasn't acting. BLEH. Their courtship or whatever was hilarious, but the implying that he actually liked her was truly ridiculous. What is the basis for that? He spent most of his time trying to get away/break up with her. It makes no sense.
8. Mako and Korra breaking up. I hated when they got together, but after they became a thing, it was cute. The break up was backstabbing the story. I'm not sure if the writers did that b/c most of the audience hated Makorra or if was truly part of the plot. I mean, it takes time to find the "right one" in real life. Perhaps they wanted to bring that realism to the show. Perhaps as a contrast to ATLA where everyone found their true love from the getgo and it was destiny that they would end up together. Looking at you Kataang, though I'm a diehard Kataang-er btw.

******************You know, I really really like LoK finales. Both times now they have brought the plot full circle and tied up the loose ends. I really like that. People thought the appearance of Avatar Aang in last season's finale was a deus ex machina, but in my eyes, it was a perfect beautiful profound heart wrenching extraordinary moment. I literally might have died from happiness and making out with the TV. This season's finale was also totally boss in the way that it recalled the "cosmic energy" stuff from ATLA. I was like 'point for continuity'. I loved the stuff about the first avatar and Rava and Vatu and Korra's inner spirit manifesting in blue plasma form. So epic. But Jinora's descent like an angel pissed me off. I was like who and what do you think you are? Suddenly Jinora is this omniscient super sensor pulling Rava dueses out of her hat and can evaporate like wizards in H.P.? WTF. In terms of tying up loose ends, we finally learned what happened to Zhao (AWESOME callback to ATLA), Bumi was redeemed, the twins were redeemed, Lin saved the Pres who was kind of redeemed in that he was right that if darkness was upon them that he would need his army (although all this could have been avoided if he had just interfered from the beginning), Unalaq was redeemed-ish in that Korra actually agreed with him (just not his methods), we got a cute one liner from Meelo, Varrick escaped from prison, Korra's dad became chief of the South, Makorra officially broke up, the avatar's purpose was clarified (not a position to be glorified; they are just regular people), and the biggest loose end that was tied up was Avatar Aang (Tenzin is Tenzin, not Aang) and the avatar cycle. WAAAAAHHHH. My heart cracked with each past avatar that was destroyed. I felt the sadness of Aang's death all over again. TT^TT . The avatar cycle has been reset. DO YOU KNOW WHAT THIS MEANS??? No more wisdom or cameos from past Avatars. I HATE that. My heart aches so bad. Story-wise it makes sense, but my heart, oh my heart, it's in so much pain. I <3 Aang, no doubt one of the best avatars ever. I feel like the writers did that cut the connection to past lives thing to officially cut the umbilical cord between LoK and ATLA. They were making a statement that LoK is its own show and no more flashbacks or treats for ATLA fans. Aang to Tenzin: "You are not me, nor should you be me. You are Tenzin." Writers to audience: "LoK is not ATLA. Get over it and go read the comic. And no, we AIN'T gonna animate it. LoK is LoK. It's forging its own path, like Korra in the story. See the parallels?"

i like the way you think!! so from here on out LoK is its own beast. i'm so excited for this new direction they're taking the story. anyways i dig your comment

I finally got around to watching the last four episodes and overall I enjoyed the season. This book definitely felt rushed compared to the first with the first part of this one starting and finishing a civil war while the latter focused on the spiritual one. I do look forward to the new book and hope the writers take on board the criticisms of this one by bringing back some more consistent story telling especially in the personalities and actions of the characters.

Looks l like the titles for the last 2 reviews are still not correct!

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