We’re encroaching quite closely on the one year anniversary of the series finale of The Legend of Korra.
Indeed, it was a bittersweet day. As I remember it, the air was crisp with winter wind, those who observed the holiday were merry and bright with the glow of Christmas, and people everywhere were plopping down to watch the final episode of Nickelodeon’s The Legend of Korra.
Okay, that’s enough frivolities. Let’s be real. It just isn’t the same without at least the expectation of a new season or, at the very least, a new episode. I miss Korra, Bolin, Asamni, Tenzin, Jinora, and yes, sometimes even Mako. I miss watching Korra take to the streets of Republic City to fight the good fight and do her Avatar-ly duties in an ever-changing world. I miss the complex and subtle juxtapositions to real world issues like inequality, fascism, and corruption. It’s not easy to find a high quality animated series that speaks to a myriad of people, from different walks of life, for different reasons.
In the spirit of the season (and by season I mean the anniversary of the LOK finale because to hell with Christmas), and to kick off the week-long celebration that is “The Legend of Korra Finale Anniversary Week,” I’ve decided to share with you my single favourite episode from each Book. I hope that by doing this, it might encourage you to revisit the series, either through the TV show or the upcoming comic books. Maybe you’ll take another look at Avatar: The Last Airbender, the series that started it all. Whatever you do, let me know, in the comments at the bottom, which episodes are your favourite and why.
Book 1: Air – Episode 10 “Turning the Tides”
Why It’s Amazing: It’s in this episode that the struggle against Amon and his Equalists completely changes. Unfortunately, for Korra and the rest of Team Avatar, it isn’t for the better. After a calculated strike against Republic City, Amon sets his sights on Air Temple Island, forcing Tenzin and his family to flee or risk having their bending taken forever.
However, it’s also in this episode that some of the more sidelined characters really get a chance to shine. Lin risks her bending – not to mention her life – to protect Tenzin’s wife and children. She’s later captured by Amon, but her sacrifice for the man who broke her heart years ago stands as a true testament to the rainbow of personality each character possesses.
And, let’s not forget Jinora, Ikki, and Meelo, the three young airbenders who, in the moment, successfully defended their home from the invading Equalists with some impressive airbending adroitness.
Other notable moments include Tenzin taking on a squad of mecha tanks solo and Asami kicking some serious Equalist ass with her shock glove thing.
Book 2: Spirits – Episode 12 “Harmonic Convergence”
There’s something about this episode that always gives me chills. Back and ready to face her uncle head on, Korra and Team Avatar wage a full-frontal assault on the Northern invaders, hoping to break past their defences and reach the Southern Spirit Portal.
To do so, it requires the unique skills of everyone involved. Of course, there are the benders who do what only they can do, but there’s also Asami, whose knowledge and experience with new technology helps get the group closer than they could have ever gotten. A gold star for A+ team work.
Plus, that scene in the snow with Bumi and the spirit. I still laugh out loud thinking about it.
It’s also at this point that Desna and Eska really start to redeem themselves in my eyes. While they’re still manipulated by their father’s plans for domination, you start to see that perhaps they don’t fully agree with his maniacal plans.
Once inside the spirit world, Korra attempts to close the spirit portals before Harmonic Convergence can begin. Of course, she almost completes her mission, but is unable to seal the portal before Vaatu is released.
Book 3: Change – Episode 11 “The Ultimatum”
You guys, this episode always overwhelms with the feels. I get tingles all over whenever Tenzin confronts Zaheer. “I will never let you get to Korra,” He says. That’s when things get a little sticky for everyone, but also awesome for all of us.
I’m convinced that this episode has one of the best fight scenes in the entire show’s four seasons. Of course, the one that comes up in the next episode between Lin, Suyin, and P’Li and Tonraq, Korra, and Zaheer deserves recognition of its own.
During the fight at the air temple, Kya and Bumi seem to be no match for Ming Hua and Ghazan, but Tenzin more than holds his own against the neophyte airbender, Zaheer. Unfortunately, his luck quickly shifts when he’s overwhelmed by Zaheer’s friends. The episode ends with Tenzin’s fate still undetermined. Fans are left asking themselves, “Is Tenzin still alive?”
Book 4: Balance – Episode 10 “Operation Beifong”
It’s in this episode that Toph, originally from Avatar: The Last Airbender, reunites with her two daughters, Lin and Suyin, and the entire family joins forces against Kuvira and her Earth Empire forces. While technically they’re unsuccessful at stopping her, Tophs line at the end, “You give metalbenders a bad name!” is so perfect I get chills just thinking about it.
Also worth mentioning is the fight between Kuvira and Suyin on top of the train. As a child, Kuvira was taken in by Suyin and her family, and the bond that must have developed between them after those years is akin to a true mother-daughter relationship. So, to see them fighting, ready to finish the other off, once and for all, is sad, to say the least. But, it does show you the intensity with which Suyin is ready to defend her family, her home, and innocent people.
Which episode of The Legend of Korra is your favourite? Share your thoughts in the comments below!