Has taken a few weeks for me to digest the controversial series finale of The Legend Of Korra. I think I am ready. Then again, maybe not. I am no stranger to head scratcher finales. Seinfeld. Sporanos. The list goes on. Usually, I am pretty opened minded and am able to walk away with a glass is half full perspective. Usually.
Full disclosure, I am a Airbender guy. Hell, I even walked out the theatre of the live action adaptation film with a “eh, wasn’t TOO bad” glass is half full outlook. I devoured the original 2005 Avatar: The Last Airbender series. I would still rank that series in my all time favorite animated cartoon list. The series finale ended with epic action and more importantly, quality writing with the closure of its characters. The finale lived up to the hype.
Needless to say, when word came out that fans were getting a new series in the Airbender universe, I was beyond excited. Again, the new series, The Legend Of Korra, exceeded my expectations and hopes. It was awesome. It was different. It was original. It was fresh. It had humor. It was in a word, brilliant. However, as series continued, I often thought to myself how the series would end. Would series creators , Bryan Konietzko and Michael Dante DiMartino , truly allow Korra to earn the word “legend” that was in the series title? If you asked me after the season 3 finale villain battle with Zaheer, I would have confidently smiled. After all, if season 3 was that epic, surely Nickelodeon would have wanted to go out with even a stronger finale for the series final season…right? Perhaps I am getting ahead of myself here. Let’s rewind a bit to the unexpected collapse of the series on network television.
The Legend Of Korra started as a critical and TV ratings success. Korra was spotted across the country as Nickelodeon’s favorite golden child.Lunch boxes, coffee mugs, costumed fans at every comic con across the nation, collectables, and even a video game was in development when season 3 premiered. Then the beginning of the end happened. The show was pulled off the air to the disbelief of fans everywhere. Many scratched their heads about why Nick would pull the plug on one of if not the best show on the network.
Turned out that the third season was no longer pulling in the ratings and the sponsors were not too happy. So Nickelodeon decided to move the series off the air and finish out the series via multiple digital outlets to finish the series. For that, I am grateful. Too many great series have been canceled in the past without any ending at all. Still, I have to finger point at Nick a bit. Just my opinion on how and why the series wasn’t pulling in the ratings. When season 3 premiered, they aired the seasons first three episodes on the first night. The following week, Nick aired two more back to back. Within a span of 7 days, the season was already 5 episodes deep. I felt that many fans got too far behind too fast and simply decided to wait for DVD. By the seventh episode, the damage was already done. The series was pulled off the network. Quite odd I thought, surely they could have continued to air the series later in the night after the prime time slots were finished or even on a Saturday morning. Then again, I am not a TV executive, so perhaps I am simply clueless here.
During the fourth and final season, I kept feeling as if there was something “off” about the show. It wasn’t bad. In fact, in many ways it was just as solid as the previous seasons. That said, the final season just didn’t wow me. Maybe season three was simply just too hard an act to follow? Then we got a clip show. Yes, The Legend of Korra in its final season with just a few precious episodes left, gave fans a CLIP SHOW. Not too sound snobby here, but I felt the series was above a “zzzz zzzzz” stereotypical clip episode. Then I told myself that they wanted to recap the entire series to remind and prepare fans for an amazing finale. Maybe it did. Maybe it didn’t, but one thing was certain. The end was fast approaching of one of my all time favorite animated series.
Fast forward to that dark and stormy Friday night when the last episode was digitally released. Picture me with my tub of pop corn , a frosty root beer in hand with a “I Love The Legend Of Korra” T-shirt on eagerly awaiting that moment for the series finale to start. Then picture me staring with a blank look on my face as I watched Korra and Asami get their “Thelma and Louise” on as the credits rolled for the last time. In denial, I immediately told my wife that they were simply good friends and Korra and Asami were choosing to not choose over the love triangle with Mako. Then I read this right out of the mouths of the creators themselves…
From DiMartino’s post:
Our intention with the last scene was to make it as clear as possible that yes, Korra and Asami have romantic feelings for each other. The moment where they enter the spirit portal symbolizes their evolution from being friends to being a couple.
Well that settles it. No need for interpretation here. Korra is a lesbian. Now for the record, I have no problem at all with Korra switching teams. I only have disappointments that this is what fans were given in the series final minutes. Disappointed that every time I watch this series again, I will no longer look at Mako as this cool action hero, instead he will alway’s be the guy who turned two hot chicks into lesbians. Disappointed that the writers decision on how to end the finale wasn’t very relevant to the core story arc. Disappointed that instead of cashing in those precious final moments of the series to give closure to the rest of the characters that I had just as much interest in as Korra. Tenzin, Mako, and Bolin just to name a few. How and where did their story end? I guess life will just go on in Republic City. Bolin will be there for his confused and heart-broken brother Mako and enjoy the single life. Tenzin will continue to rebuild the Air Nation. Korra and Asami will find a nice stuido apartment overlooking the Republic City Bay. I love happy endings , don’t you?