Legend of Korra: Book Three Finale Review: Korra Rolls On

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CriticKitten:
How about the fact that they literally just got done fighting FIVE metal benders at the air temple?

They fought literally no metalbenders at the air temple. They fought the metal benders at that one random peak where Korra was captured.

And if you try to use that "they didn't expect to be followed" excuse again, then I'll be forced to conclude that the Red Lotus is composed entirely of morons, because their actions were constantly being followed by the main cast for most of the season. They were stalked to the secret oasis, they were followed to the air temple, and they didn't kill their pursuers there. So they had no reason not to be prepared short of abject stupidity.

...The Red Lotus were the one's following the main cast for most of the season. The only time they were followed (barring the finale) was when Aiwei was followed to the Oasis because he took a truck and sucks at hiding. They told Korra where to meet them in the mountains to give herself up, and they were never followed to the air temple. You're comparing a secret base hidden in the mountains that they wouldn't have been able to find had Kai not survived to following a guy to an Oasis and meeting them at a predetermined location.

So your examples of how it's so common and easy to do are....fully realized Avatars who have already mastered all four elements, all of whom were seen using the technique almost exclusively in the Avatar State?

Who said it was common or easy? I said it existed before Ghazan. That's it.

"Lavabending is a specialized sub-skill of earthbending that allows the user to manipulate molten earth. Talented earthbenders, such as Ghazan and Bolin, are capable of phase-changing earth into lava, lava into earth, and otherwise manipulating existing lava with great dexterity. Because of the complexity involved in performing lavabending, the technique is typically only performed by fully realized Avatars while in the Avatar State."

Bolin developing it by watching another guy do it is an asspull, whether you would admit to it or not.

I admitted it was a bit ridiculous that he could suddenly lavabend if you bothered to actually read what people actually wrote. I just have issues with someone pretending that the original series didn't pull asspull after asspull to the whinging of few people. I mean, if you took issue with Toph suddenly metalbending, and Katara being a master waterbender after such a short time, and Sokka's space sword, and energy bending, and every spiritual thing that comes in and fixes Aang's problems, then good on you for being consistent.

Even if you shoulder-shrug at Zuko not using it, the fact that Mako never once used it (especially since you seem obstinately certain that no hard counter to lightning exists for a water bender) means he's an idiot, then.

Or he doesn't want to kill someone. He didn't look to happy after electrocuting her in the end, after all, so I doubt he was looking forward to killing her even if it was self-defense. And no one's shoulder shrugging Zuko, because he has never been shown capable of lightningbending, and I'm certain there's no hard counter to lightning because I can't think of any and you can't either apparently.

Offhand? Blood bending, whose scope has been greatly expanded since Korra's first season (where we met people who could use it without the need of a full moon). Hard to use lightning or bending of any kind when you're in the thrall of that. And I'm sure they could get creative as far as creating other ways. Realistically speaking, lightning would only be effective on a water bender due to water's conductivity, so if they found a way to reduce that, they'd reduce the damage.

And if she's not a bloodbender? Or just not one who can bloodbend without the full moon? And lightning is effective against waterbenders because it's effective against everyone. It's just extra effective against people who happen to be in water. And Ming-Hua didn't actually know he could lightningbend so it's a moot point anyway.

They've had well over a hundred years to figure out a counter. It existed before the Hundred Years War, and it's been used in industry for Republic City after the war. I find it absolutely preposterous that not one water bender ever thought of a way to counter it in what, two hundred years of history. So, yes, I'm saying there has to be one, otherwise there's a very serious issue with the setting of the world.

...So a setting has very serious issues if there's some technique in it that can't be outright countered with water? What the hell kind of standards do you have that a setting just can't work unless someone's managed to figure out a way to defend against lightning with water? I mean, bloodbending's been around for a pretty long time and it's openly maligned and persecuted, so you'd think someone would work on a counter to that as well, yet no one's found one. The setting is doubly broken!

I never said he should "trounce" Ghazan. In fact, had you actually read the paragraph you quoted, I specifically stated that Mako and Bolin shouldn't win at all unless they were aided by the new airbenders.

You need to work through your thoughts and decide if Bolin should just be completely incapable of anything, or if him being able to lavabend means he should be able to win everything, because I'm not dealing with someone who just flip flops around and pretends they're being consistent. And, while I could see an argument for them not being able to win, it kind of falls by the wayside when you remember that Ming-Hua was crushed by a boulder before the fight and surprised by lightning, and that Ghazan is fighting something he's not only never fought before, but something that can actually resist him for once.

Also, given your inability to phrase an argument without getting overly angry and adding "fuck" for meaningless emphasis like a teenager, I'm beginning to remember why I had you on ignore. Think I'll correct that problem now.

Yes, fuck is used for emphasis. It's used to emphasize annoyance and irritation, like the kind you feel when you deal with an insufferable person who pretty much makes things up as he goes for the sake of winning an argument. You're right though, it'd be best if you put me on ignore, it'd ensure that you wouldn't have to acknowledge that your arguments are based on foundations of poor memory and misrepresenting everything.

Did Zaheer practice all of their movements and techniques? You keep saying that he did, but that's all based entirely on presumptions that are not backed up by so much as one solitary scene in the entire season. So you're literally just making things up, things that were never shown or confirmed by the writers, to excuse the sudden and dramatic power gain that Zaheer received. Don't whine about the needle hole you tried to poke through my argument while yours has the consistency of a sieve.

Considering he's studied airbenders enough to know about some ancient guru, and that someone would have to teach Korra airbending after they kidnapped her, assuming he just read a book about airbending doesn't seem particularly reasonable. I know the young children that are the intended audience of a Nick show might not be able to think beyond what is explicitly told to them, but, for some reason, I expected someone who gets high and mighty over someone else's use of 'fuck' to be able to put a little more thought into things.

See above. Practice was never established. He read up about the philosophy and lore of the Aid Nomads, that much was said by Zaheer himself. But technique? That was not. I'd think they'd have made even a glancing mention of him actively training in air bending technique by one of the guards. Even a single throwaway line would've made your assumption hold water. But right now, it doesn't.

So yes, you assume he sat around doing absolutely nothing in his cell even after discovering he had airbending and that the time the guards show up is the first time he's used it, simply because you weren't explicitly shown otherwise.

There's no reason he would practice in front of his guards and potentially tip them off as to what he was doing (remember when Iroh pretended to be a senile old man), and there doesn't seem to be much chance of them sneaking up on him when they have to extend a metal bridge to his cell every time they go over there.

Look it up, I gave you the link that I got it from. >_>

You linked a wiki page that doesn't have a citation for the broken arm part.

Other than the fact that it clearly cures disease?

I wasn't aware poison and disease were the same thing.

This sounds like you making up a reason to hate on the original series so that you can hastily defend the new series when it screws up its own lore. See how easy that turns right back on you?

Well, it's not really being made up if my reason is something completely explicit. In retrospect the way healing worked in the original series amounts to a fix-all deus ex machina and such things rarely make things better. Never really thought about it until you explicitly showed me how bad their system of healing was back then and how much I actually appreciate a retcon. It's still a retcon and a strike against them, but I personally prefer the new system so I forgive it. Other people can disagree on this point if they like.

Well I don't actually care if some random person on the internet doesn't think I'm cool, so that's fine. Mock away if it makes you feel like a bigger man/woman.

It doesn't make me feel too much bigger, but I imagine it's bigger than I'd feel if I just made a baseless prediction and pretended that I could base criticism off that prediction.

You're suggesting that they have deeper characters, but then can't actually elaborate on what those characters are. Yeah, rock solid argument rite thar.

I didn't say I was going to elaborate on them in that post, so I'm not sure why you're acting like I did. You seem to like using wikis so why don't you look them up, it might help you remember their names. Good job with avoiding the other part of the post though.

Ah, more irrational hate on the original series in a weak attempt to put the new series on a pedestal.

Ah, another attempt to evade the actual point. But, on topic, did you really consider Ozai some great villain with a deep and complex character? I mean Azula was a good villain. Long Feng was a good villain. Zhao was decent for his role. But Ozai was just a genocidal maniac who got angry and violent all the time. They never really explored him beyond child abuse and setting the Earth Kingdom on fire. Even Sozin, who wiped out the air nomads was more developed them him from what we see in flashbacks.

It's interesting that you claim I have the crappy memory when I seem to recall more about the lore of the show and how things work than you do. What a silly argument this has been. Back to the ignore list you go.

You mean how you remember the details about healing... that you got from a wiki page? Because, other than that you don't seem capable of remembering what happened in the last few episodes what with the air temple and not being able to remember people's names. But, whatever, to the ignore list I go!

Hectix777:
I'm utterly shameless in admitting that Bolin is my favorite character.

He is by far the best character this season. Not much screentime but still.

And for you Bolin Fans out there:

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CriticKitten:
I had some problems with this season, to say the least.

1)Why did the Red Lotus use a metallic poison to try to kill Korra, knowing that two metal benders were hot on their heels? If they had used any ordinary liquid poison without metallic components, they would have won. Instead, they were idiots, and lost.

2) Bolin's lava bending is effectively an asspull and amounts to almost nothing, as it only saves them the one time (which could've easily been rewritten to work without Bolin doing that) and still doesn't give him any sort of edge against Ghazan. It's basically pointless.

3) While I liked the use of all the new airbenders to defeat Zaheer, I *hated* that they defeated Ghazan and Ming-Hua with just Mako and Bolin, two teenagers who previously got mopped up by these two in a straight-up fight. It took two expert metal benders from the Bei Fong bloodline to beat one of their members before that. Ming-Hua's defeat was especially bitter as it's the only time that Mako had the brains to use his lightning bending, and Ming-Hua (a supposed expert of water bending) had no hard counter to this.

4) I've had a serious problem with Zaheer being so good at airbending all season that, by the season's end, he's effectively surpassed even Tenzin. They excuse it by saying that he studied the air nomads in the past, but I don't see how that could possibly translate to him having such flawless technique as to virtually go toe-to-toe with Tenzin, an expert airbender trained by Aang himself. Just because I read up on kung-fu technique doesn't make me a kung-fu master.

5) There seems to be a total lack of consistency regarding healing in this seeason. Tenzin, who was beaten up rather badly by all four of the villains, seems a-okay two weeks later during Jinora's ceremony. Bumi, similarly, seems to have bounced back fine. Kya, on the other hand, is still using a crutch to walk, despite her beating not being nearly as severe as Tenzin's, not to mention that she's a water bender who was no doubt trained by the best healer in the entire world who is also her mother. There's no reason for Kya to be worse for wear than Tenzin or Bumi. Similarly, the Avatar is still wheelchair-bound two weeks later? Why isn't she getting healed by Katara on a daily basis, or if she is, why isn't it helping? Why all of a sudden NOW does the series pretend that people need to heal "naturally" when we've had healing via water bending firmly established in-universe since Aang's storyline, and we know full well that said healing can damn near revive you from the verge of death? I'll grant that it has more emotional impact this way, but it also feels very hollow when you consider that there's really no reason she should be in this state, unless they're using a Padme-esque excuse that her heart and mind are so broken that she's "lost the will to live" or whatever.

6) They took the time to set up four villains that have AMAZING new ways to use bending....and then ruin all of them by giving the same or similar abilities to their existing cast members. Tonraq is shown using an ability similar to Ming-Hua's water arms against Zaheer, and Bolin spontaneously develops lava bending. I wouldn't be surprised if, by season 4's end, *someone* among the airbenders develops flight, as well. They did such a great job making their villains unique and threatening, and then took that uniqueness from them.

It was no "Jinora Jesus" ending, at least, but that isn't saying very much since that ending nearly made me stop watching the series altogether. Season 4 would have to be unbelievably good to convince me that this series was worth producing at this point, since all it seems willing to do is destroy a lot of the world and setting, which is a big part of what made Aang's story so good.

In the effort to keep raising the stakes higher, they keep destroying a lot of the lore that made the original world so vast and interesting. In the first season, they ruined the "spiritual" nature of air bending by having Korra suddenly and inexplicably trigger it after losing all her other bending (which makes no sense since Amon's ability should have blocked all bending period since it locks up chakras). In the second, they destroy the Avatar's very nature, "killing" her attachment to the other Avatars, which effectively makes her basically just a person who can use all four bending types. Now, they're effectively pretending that "healing" isn't a thing, and they're making it seem like people can just randomly trigger new bending abilities at will. And they keep falling back on characters from Aang's storyline to try and hold up the narrative because they're seemingly afraid that Korra's cast can't hold its own.

1. They used metallic poison because no one would have suspected it. Keep in mind that no one other than the Red Lotus (who isn't talking)knew what the poison was. Let's say that Jinora didn't know what the poison was and Korra could still talk. All Korra would be able to figure out was that a shiny liquid was entered via the skin. How would people suddenly go "That's metal! Lin, save her!"? Most would figure that this would be a liquid based poison and fail to retrieve the poison out. It was only because of Jinora explicitly told them that it was a metal poison that they were able to save her.

2. Lava Bending was slightly hinted at but ultimately not of real concern. It's pretty clear that Ghazan wasn't really trying with the fight against Bolin. And it was only when he was ganged up upon when he lost it.

3. Perhaps Mako didn't lighting bend because of how obvious it is to spot? Even during the killing scene he as making obvious movements with his hands. Lightning has always been this really easy thing to dodge on this show unless you have a boatload of circumstances to distract you.

4. When is Zaheer ever good? Maybe the last few minutes of the last episode was over the top, but when is he ever seen to be a better airbender? Did you not see the fight with Tenzin? What is Zaheer doing during that fight? Running and whenever he tries to hit Tenzin, he completely misses. Tenzin is repeatably landing blows during the fight. The one thing Zaheer is good at in airbending is dodging, which is already one of the most basic tenants of airbending.

5. Healing wounds and recovering from them are two different things. Muscles need rest and physical training in order to guarantee proper movement. Even then, some people might opt to use things like crutches and wheelchairs because they don't want to stress their muscles. Besides, I don't remember healing curing the aftereffects of repairing broken bones and muscles.

6. Why are you surprised that other benders have some knowledge of this stuff? Especially Ming-Hua's. Out of all the specialty benders, hers is the most normal. And probably someone will gain flight in season 4, now that people know the myth is true, people are going to try it.

You know, if you are having this many problems, maybe this show is no longer for you. It is true that Korra has moved in a different direction than Last Airbender, and maybe it isn't what you are looking for. That's fine, it happens. But none of these points really hold any water and seem more and more like you are just looking for something to hate in this show.

CriticKitten:
How about the fact that they literally just got done fighting FIVE metal benders at the air temple?

And if you try to use that "they didn't expect to be followed" excuse again, then I'll be forced to conclude that the Red Lotus is composed entirely of morons, because their actions were constantly being followed by the main cast for most of the season. They were stalked to the secret oasis, they were followed to the air temple, and they didn't kill their pursuers there. So they had no reason not to be prepared short of abject stupidity.

Perhaps you are looking at this wrong. Remember that the Red Lotus are surprised at how long it takes for the metallic poison to start activating the Avatar state. This means that they believed that the poison would be fast-acting. Now, consider the following, you are being chased by multiple people who are after the girl you just kidnapped. Do you A. make a new poison just in case the group breaks in to clear for any errors; or B. administer the poison right away and kill her before they come at you? B is faster and has a greater chance of succeeding as making a new poison would waste precious time, time the Red Lotus clearly does not have.

Good lord, you'd think I kicked Pabu or something, with the number of replies I'm getting. >_>

Gonna keep trying to reply to people as they come, but you're gonna have to cut me some slack if I gloss over bits because I've got at least four people talking at once now. :p

Alright, here goes:

Except you constantly forget that Mako worked at creating 'power' for the city with his lightning during season 1. (Oh, and Amon felt it too)

Uh, I didn't "forget" that. I was the one who pointed it out.

I was the one who noted that Mako's refusal to use it against a water bender who (according to everyone's insistence) has NO way to counter lightning bending....pretty much means that Mako's an idiot. The only other reasonable explanation is that there is some sort of counter to the technique, because it's clearly not as limited as it used to be in the time of Aang.

So, yeah, dunno who you were talking to, but it wasn't me.

I think it was understandable for the Red Lotus to know they would be followed, what they didn't expect was to be found so quickly. They were probably prepared for some kind of martyr move once Korra died or prepared to disappear if it all went right. I'm sure Zaheer knew he would be found, especially in such a standout location, but he didn't expect it to happen so soon.

Whether he expected it that soon or not, he had pretty much nothing ready in terms of defense. I think the only actual guards shown were those two guys watching the dozen-plus prisoners. And they had to know that help would be coming sooner or later. With the loss of P'li, you'd think he'd station every single available Red Lotus flunkie at the door to the chamber of the Avatar.

As for the poison, keep in mind that this era is roughly set in the 1920's, this never came up in history class, but I'm not sure the world had a great understanding of toxic materials other than "if it feels weird, don't touch it" or a highly comprehensive list of poisons and its effects. Mercury has been known to be poisonous, psychedelic, and pretty ravaging, an effective Avatar's bane. If they used that then Korra should have died no sweat.

They used metallic poison because no one would have suspected it. Keep in mind that no one other than the Red Lotus (who isn't talking)knew what the poison was. Let's say that Jinora didn't know what the poison was and Korra could still talk. All Korra would be able to figure out was that a shiny liquid was entered via the skin. How would people suddenly go "That's metal! Lin, save her!"? Most would figure that this would be a liquid based poison and fail to retrieve the poison out. It was only because of Jinora explicitly told them that it was a metal poison that they were able to save her.

Perhaps you are looking at this wrong. Remember that the Red Lotus are surprised at how long it takes for the metallic poison to start activating the Avatar state. This means that they believed that the poison would be fast-acting. Now, consider the following, you are being chased by multiple people who are after the girl you just kidnapped. Do you A. make a new poison just in case the group breaks in to clear for any errors; or B. administer the poison right away and kill her before they come at you? B is faster and has a greater chance of succeeding as making a new poison would waste precious time, time the Red Lotus clearly does not have.

Not really my point. My point is that there are dozens of similarly lethal poisons, some that are non-metallic. And there's no indication that the Avatar State could ONLY be forced through use of mercury poisoning, since the Avatar State triggers from all sorts of potentially lethal trauma. The use of a metallic poison was therefore a bad choice when their enemies had metal benders among them.

The notion that "they wouldn't suspect it" is honestly a pretty poor lampshade when you consider that there are non-metallic poisons just as lethal that would've not only done the job, but also would have been impossible to remove after they gave it to her. And the nearest water bending healer capable of stopping a deadly poison was much too far away for them to get Korra there in time. So basically, the Red Lotus doomed themselves for no real reason.

Plus, I'm not sure the Red Lotus had a proper grasp on how powerful Lin and Suyin were as metalbenders, while you can say they were trained by Toph, all that says is they're powerful, it doesn't provide a measure of their strength. They probably thought Suyin wasn't powerful to extract the poison, that and he didn't find out on them finding hat kind of poison was used on Korra. If they just knew Korra was poisoned, they would have used waterbending which would have done nothing.

The only water bender with them was Kya, who was unconscious and far too injured to help anyone. And Katara lives half a world away. Had they used any other non-metallic poison, Korra would have been dead. Instead, they used a metallic poison, which effectively doomed their plan to failure if the metal benders got to her in time and figured out that she was poisoned with metal.

Still don't know how Jinora knew, I missed that part.

Because she's Jesus. That's pretty much why she can do any of the things she does.

Here's my opinion on that moment: I don't think Bolin was even trying to lavabend, I think he was just trying to buy time. His brother, best friend, and sorta-father were all on the edge about to die, literally. Either Bolin was trying to mimic Ghazan and lavabend, or Bolin was just using a standard move in his own style that he thought would save his friends, even if it meant his life. It's been brought up at multiple points in the series that the element you bend is more linked to your persona than your nation. Bolin's style is pretty much the exact opposite of Toph's, it's fluid, it's about being fleet footed. Bolin developed this style for pro-bending, where standing still is signing up to lose. So Bolin adhered to a fluid earthbending style, who knows where he learned it, but he somehow accidentally made the moves that allow lavabending. Plus metalbending was a myth when Toph was alive, she discovered it by thrashing around in a panic to escape. It was probably easier for Bolin to try something that he saw could be done then Toph learning metalbending on a fluke.

This is ....actually a pretty decent explanation for why Bolin could potentially learn how to lava bend. My main problems with it are still outstanding, though.

    a) It was never really hinted at (and no, people, them showing that Bolin can't metal bend is not an actual hint that he can lava bend....that's like saying that my inability to dance shows that I have a hidden talent for singing).
    b) Lava bending is shown to be an extremely unique form of earth bending. Prior to Ghazan, who was effectively the first lava bender (and again, no, people, the previous Avatars who have mastery of both fire and earth using the Avatar State to bend lava is not at all the same as a regular human who only controls earth bending being able to lava bend), there were no other instances of its use. So Bolin's had no way of knowing how to do it or anything of the sort. It seems extremely convenient and unlikely that he of all earth benders would develop the ability, especially at random in an instant of peril.

I do like your explanation for why it fits with his fighting style, though. That's actually pretty well thought out. Kudos.

I'm utterly shameless in admitting that Bolin is my favorite character.

I like him too, most of the time at least. It does sort of feel like they're starting to over-exaggerate his goofiness at times, though.

Lava Bending was slightly hinted at but ultimately not of real concern. It's pretty clear that Ghazan wasn't really trying with the fight against Bolin. And it was only when he was ganged up upon when he lost it.

It really wasn't, though, and that's my problem with it. The only "hint" came in the form of Bolin being incapable of metal bending, and as Bolin himself said, that's not unusual since most earth benders simply can't metal bend by definition, it's an extremely rare ability. There were no direct hints that Bolin had lava bending talent at any point in the story. Even a small, well-hidden throw-away hint would have been enough for me, but they didn't even do that.

Perhaps Mako didn't lighting bend because of how obvious it is to spot? Even during the killing scene he as making obvious movements with his hands. Lightning has always been this really easy thing to dodge on this show unless you have a boatload of circumstances to distract you.

That's never really made sense either since lightning should be far faster than any human can move, but that's besides the point. The point is mainly that it seems like no one thought that lightning might be a good move against her (especially when her technique requires water to be attached to her body at all times) until that very last instant. Even if you use the notion that it's easy to dodge, that doesn't explain why no one ever tries it at all, especially when you know it'll be super-effective.

When is Zaheer ever good? Maybe the last few minutes of the last episode was over the top, but when is he ever seen to be a better airbender? Did you not see the fight with Tenzin? What is Zaheer doing during that fight? Running and whenever he tries to hit Tenzin, he completely misses. Tenzin is repeatably landing blows during the fight. The one thing Zaheer is good at in airbending is dodging, which is already one of the most basic tenants of airbending.

Watch it again. Zaheer is indeed clearly outmatched, but he lands hits on Tenzin multiple times and is clearly doing well enough to demonstrate a degree of skill that he shouldn't yet have. Again, yes, Tenzin is clearly winning their fight, but it is not as one-sided as you seem to remember it being. Probably because Tenzin recovers rather quickly from most of Zaheer's hits.

Healing wounds and recovering from them are two different things. Muscles need rest and physical training in order to guarantee proper movement. Even then, some people might opt to use things like crutches and wheelchairs because they don't want to stress their muscles. Besides, I don't remember healing curing the aftereffects of repairing broken bones and muscles.

As previously noted, healing can indeed cure broken bones, if indeed that's what Kya suffers from (it's never explicitly said, though, so that's still presumptuous). There is pretty much no reason for Kya to still need a crutch two weeks later. I'm more flexible with Korra's state since they're clearly going for a "mental scarring" dynamic, which would explain her general "out-of-it-ness", but her needing a wheelchair also seems pretty unusual since the physical damage should long have been fixed by now.

Why are you surprised that other benders have some knowledge of this stuff? Especially Ming-Hua's. Out of all the specialty benders, hers is the most normal. And probably someone will gain flight in season 4, now that people know the myth is true, people are going to try it.

As I noted, the uniqueness admittedly comes less from the actual physical use and more from the fact that she can essentially water bend with her mind. But as Tonlaq shows, she's not exactly unique in that trait any more, as he almost manages to use the technique with the same "lack of motion" as she does.

You know, if you are having this many problems, maybe this show is no longer for you. It is true that Korra has moved in a different direction than Last Airbender, and maybe it isn't what you are looking for. That's fine, it happens. But none of these points really hold any water and seem more and more like you are just looking for something to hate in this show.

It's not that they "don't hold water" (they clearly do, as do many of the complaints that spawned from seasons 1 and 2) and more that people are perhaps a bit excessively defensive of this series. Many of these complaints would probably not exist if not for one simple fact: this series doesn't exist in a vacuum. It's a series built on top of a pre-existing world with pre-existing lore. So whether the writers like it or not, they need to be consistent with that lore.

I don't *want* to dislike Korra. But the series has shown a casual and thorough disregard for its roots that is impossible for me to overlook. There are things the new series does well, but they keep getting overshadowed by things that the series does not do well. I think perhaps the greatest problem I have with this series is that we're now three seasons in, and I can't say that the title "The Legend of Korra" fits. I mean, let's look at her accomplishments:

    Season 1: She loses her bending to Amon, and scraps by with a win against him by suddenly developing air bending. His actual defeat comes not by her beating him, but through the (accidental) revelation of his own lies.
    Season 2: Through her own stubbornness, she actually aids the villain in activating Harmonic Convergence and is thus partially culpable for her loss of her connection to the previous Avatars. With the aid of Jinora Jesus, she gains the power to giant-monster-fight with Unalaq/Vaatu and win.
    Season 3: She struggles to fight against four skilled benders who are obsessed with bringing chaos to the world, and ends up needing her allies to defeat all of the bad guys for her.

She....really hasn't done anything significant herself. Her allies helped her do pretty much everything she's done so far, and she's been increasingly less relevant to the point where it almost seems like the writers intended to minimize her usefulness these last three seasons, just to plant that seed of an idea that perhaps the world no longer needs the Avatar. By comparison, Aang effectively went from the last of a dying race of benders to a relatively wise world leader who formed the backbone of a major rebellion that ended a century-long war. He changed the world in a huge way. And Korra's....really not done that, beyond the release of the spirits into the world (and we've yet to see or understand the full breadth of what consequences that may bring).

Is that a fair comparison? Maybe not, I freely admit. But here's my point: "The Legend of Korra" effectively feels like the writers are trying to start their world all over, but also wants to build on its pre-existing world at the same time. Though they keep harkening back to older characters, they play increasingly smaller roles to the point where their cameos feel less and less necessary. Though they hint at pre-existing lore, they often tread right over it whenever it's convenient. Though they make every effort to put Korra up there as an inexperienced Avatar lacking the training or resources to know what's "right", she's far better off than Aang was in terms of helpers, friends, leaders, and overall guidance. This series feels like it can't make up its own mind if it wants to follow in the footsteps of Aang's story and tell the new generation's tale, or if it just wants to go off and do its own thing away from all of what came before it.

Korra's fourth season really needs to lay out what exactly this journey has all been about. And it needs to be something really special, at least in my opinion, to help validate what we've had to wade through to get to this point. If you think it's the best thing ever, hey, you're welcome to your opinion. I just think it's not at all living up to what it could or should be.

CriticKitten:

Except you constantly forget that Mako worked at creating 'power' for the city with his lightning during season 1. (Oh, and Amon felt it too)

Uh, I didn't "forget" that. I was the one who pointed it out.

I was the one who noted that Mako's refusal to use it against a water bender who (according to everyone's insistence) has NO way to counter lightning bending....pretty much means that Mako's an idiot. The only other reasonable explanation is that there is some sort of counter to the technique, because it's clearly not as limited as it used to be in the time of Aang.

This is easy enough to explain. Mako is a good guy. He didn't use lightning bending before because that's a pretty fatal move and, because he considers himself a good person, would only ever use it as a weapon of last resort in the most dire of circumstances. From what I recall, this is only the second time he's ever used it on a person in the whole series, and both times were when he was pushed up against a wall and had no choice. First time he was being blood bent by Amon. Second time he was being overwhelmed by a crazy water bender with no backup and no other way to counter or fight back effectively. Less character stupidity and more character trait. If you're the kind of person that thinks lightning should be the first answer to all problems, the cops probably want to have a word with you.

And the only real counter a waterbender could have against a lightning attack was if they threw the water away from their bodies and formed it into a wall between themselves and the attack, which Ming Hua didn't have the time to do because Mako's attack came way too fast for her to react. She couldn't use the lightning redirect attack, either. Even though the style is based on observing the waterbending style, it's still very much a firebending technique. Something she'd be unable to do since she's not a firebender.

Kajin:
This is easy enough to explain. Mako is a good guy. He didn't use lightning bending before because that's a pretty fatal move and, because he considers himself a good person, would only ever use it as a weapon of last resort in the most dire of circumstances. From what I recall, this is only the second time he's ever used it on a person in the whole series, and both times were when he was pushed up against a wall and had no choice. First time he was being blood bent by Amon. Second time he was being overwhelmed by a crazy water bender with no backup and no other way to counter or fight back effectively. Less character stupidity and more character trait. If you're the kind of person that thinks lightning should be the first answer to all problems, the cops probably want to have a word with you.

And while that character trait is admirable, it becomes a significant hindrance and veers into abject stupidity when you refuse to even consider a potentially fatal technique against someone who absolutely has no qualms with killing you.

And the only real counter a waterbender could have against a lightning attack was if they threw the water away from their bodies and formed it into a wall between themselves and the attack, which Ming Hua didn't have the time to do because Mako's attack came way too fast for her to react. She couldn't use the lightning redirect attack, either. Even though the style is based on observing the waterbending style, it's still very much a firebending technique. Something she'd be unable to do since she's not a firebender.

Aye, but my point is less that she couldn't use that particular technique, and more a general disgust with the very notion that, in over a hundred years of fighting against fire benders, not one water bender came up with a way to counter lightning. That's extremely implausible, IMO, given how much bending has clearly developed since then.

CriticKitten:
Not really my point. My point is that there are dozens of similarly lethal poisons, some that are non-metallic. And there's no indication that the Avatar State could ONLY be forced through use of mercury poisoning, since the Avatar State triggers from all sorts of potentially lethal trauma. The use of a metallic poison was therefore a bad choice when their enemies had metal benders among them.

The notion that "they wouldn't suspect it" is honestly a pretty poor lampshade when you consider that there are non-metallic poisons just as lethal that would've not only done the job, but also would have been impossible to remove after they gave it to her. And the nearest water bending healer capable of stopping a deadly poison was much too far away for them to get Korra there in time. So basically, the Red Lotus doomed themselves for no real reason.

When do you think they made that poison? If the Red Lotus waited until AFTER they captured the Avatar to make the poison, then they have more stupidity problems than just making a metallic poison after encountering metal benders. It's far more likely they made that poison before they assaulted the Northern Air Temple. Hell, they probably started way before the assaulted the Earth Queen. And that many episodes back, metallic poison would make sense. The Red Lotus can't be too sure who will be joining Korra when they pull off the trade. They probably thought that waterbenders would be joining them over metalbenders and choose a Metallic poison. After all, Korra is Water Tribe.

Plus, I'm not sure the Red Lotus had a proper grasp on how powerful Lin and Suyin were as metalbenders, while you can say they were trained by Toph, all that says is they're powerful, it doesn't provide a measure of their strength. They probably thought Suyin wasn't powerful to extract the poison, that and he didn't find out on them finding hat kind of poison was used on Korra. If they just knew Korra was poisoned, they would have used waterbending which would have done nothing.

The only water bender with them was Kya, who was unconscious and far too injured to help anyone. And Katara lives half a world away. Had they used any other non-metallic poison, Korra would have been dead. Instead, they used a metallic poison, which effectively doomed their plan to failure if the metal benders got to her in time and figured out that she was poisoned with metal.

How was the Red Lotus supposed to know they would be bringing Metalbenders over Waterbenders? Remember, they would have had to make this poison way before they would have fought the Metalbenders.

When is Zaheer ever good? Maybe the last few minutes of the last episode was over the top, but when is he ever seen to be a better airbender? Did you not see the fight with Tenzin? What is Zaheer doing during that fight? Running and whenever he tries to hit Tenzin, he completely misses. Tenzin is repeatably landing blows during the fight. The one thing Zaheer is good at in airbending is dodging, which is already one of the most basic tenants of airbending.

Watch it again. Zaheer is indeed clearly outmatched, but he lands hits on Tenzin multiple times and is clearly doing well enough to demonstrate a degree of skill that he shouldn't yet have. Again, yes, Tenzin is clearly winning their fight, but it is not as one-sided as you seem to remember it being. Probably because Tenzin recovers rather quickly from most of Zaheer's hits.

No, I watched again...and he never got a single hit. When Zaheer trades three blows at him on those blue roofs, Tenzin was redirecting the movement and wasn't hit. Before he gets hit by the combustion blast, Zaheer tries three more times. Tenzin either blocks it with ease or dodges it. The only time I could see you say Zaheer hit Tenzin is when is flipped over him. So 1 hit on Tenzin vs the 5 times Tenzine hits Zaheer. Not really toe to toe.

Also, note how when Zaheer fights compared to Tenzin, he really isn't Airbending that well. Zaheer is using his Airbending to boost his own martial arts, enhancing his jumps as strides. Tenzin literally floats with ease while Zaheer must jump from roof to roof to reach the top. Zaheer really isn't a great Airbender physically, he's just using airbending to enhance is already formidable martial arts.

Healing wounds and recovering from them are two different things. Muscles need rest and physical training in order to guarantee proper movement. Even then, some people might opt to use things like crutches and wheelchairs because they don't want to stress their muscles. Besides, I don't remember healing curing the aftereffects of repairing broken bones and muscles.

As previously noted, healing can indeed cure broken bones, if indeed that's what Kya suffers from (it's never explicitly said, though, so that's still presumptuous). There is pretty much no reason for Kya to still need a crutch two weeks later. I'm more flexible with Korra's state since they're clearly going for a "mental scarring" dynamic, which would explain her general "out-of-it-ness", but her needing a wheelchair also seems pretty unusual since the physical damage should long have been fixed by now.

When Avatar Aang was struck by lightning, it is noted that multiple weeks has passed until he wakes up. Even then, Korra is required to give Aang multiple healing sessions and Aang can't move without having a lot of pain. Keep in mind, that Korra is using Sacred Water, which should be even more powerful than regular water. If it takes multiple weeks for Aang to recover enough that he can be conscious after being healed by sacred water, it should come to no surprise that Katara's in a wheelchair two weeks after being poisoned badly.

It's not that they "don't hold water" (they clearly do, as do many of the complaints that spawned from seasons 1 and 2) and more that people are perhaps a bit excessively defensive of this series. Many of these complaints would probably not exist if not for one simple fact: this series doesn't exist in a vacuum. It's a series built on top of a pre-existing world with pre-existing lore. So whether the writers like it or not, they need to be consistent with that lore.

I don't *want* to dislike Korra. But the series has shown a casual and thorough disregard for its roots that is impossible for me to overlook. There are things the new series does well, but they keep getting overshadowed by things that the series does not do well. I think perhaps the greatest problem I have with this series is that we're now three seasons in, and I can't say that the title "The Legend of Korra" fits. I mean, let's look at her accomplishments:

    Season 1: She loses her bending to Amon, and scraps by with a win against him by suddenly developing air bending. His actual defeat comes not by her beating him, but through the (accidental) revelation of his own lies.
    Season 2: Through her own stubbornness, she actually aids the villain in activating Harmonic Convergence and is thus partially culpable for her loss of her connection to the previous Avatars. With the aid of Jinora Jesus, she gains the power to giant-monster-fight with Unalaq/Vaatu and win.
    Season 3: She struggles to fight against four skilled benders who are obsessed with bringing chaos to the world, and ends up needing her allies to defeat all of the bad guys for her.

She....really hasn't done anything significant herself. Her allies helped her do pretty much everything she's done so far, and she's been increasingly less relevant to the point where it almost seems like the writers intended to minimize her usefulness these last three seasons, just to plant that seed of an idea that perhaps the world no longer needs the Avatar. By comparison, Aang effectively went from the last of a dying race of benders to a relatively wise world leader who formed the backbone of a major rebellion that ended a century-long war. He changed the world in a huge way. And Korra's....really not done that, beyond the release of the spirits into the world (and we've yet to see or understand the full breadth of what consequences that may bring).

Actually, it was said in an interview by IGN that that was kind of the point. All seasons are trying to push this idea that the Avatar is no longer needed. Apparently, the 4th season will fight this idea in full force.

CriticKitten:

Kajin:
This is easy enough to explain. Mako is a good guy. He didn't use lightning bending before because that's a pretty fatal move and, because he considers himself a good person, would only ever use it as a weapon of last resort in the most dire of circumstances. From what I recall, this is only the second time he's ever used it on a person in the whole series, and both times were when he was pushed up against a wall and had no choice. First time he was being blood bent by Amon. Second time he was being overwhelmed by a crazy water bender with no backup and no other way to counter or fight back effectively. Less character stupidity and more character trait. If you're the kind of person that thinks lightning should be the first answer to all problems, the cops probably want to have a word with you.

And while that character trait is admirable, it becomes a significant hindrance and veers into abject stupidity when you refuse to even consider a potentially fatal technique against someone who absolutely has no qualms with killing you.

Character trait or character flaw, it's still a part of his character. Mako just isn't the kind of person who possesses a genuine killer instinct. It's only stupid from a purely logical standpoint (kill all my enemies so they're not a problem later). From a moral standpoint, it makes perfect sense (I'm not a bad guy and I do not wish to become a bad guy. So I will fight this bad guy to the best of my ability, but hold back any potentially fatal punches unless my hand is forced on the matter).

And the only real counter a waterbender could have against a lightning attack was if they threw the water away from their bodies and formed it into a wall between themselves and the attack, which Ming Hua didn't have the time to do because Mako's attack came way too fast for her to react. She couldn't use the lightning redirect attack, either. Even though the style is based on observing the waterbending style, it's still very much a firebending technique. Something she'd be unable to do since she's not a firebender.

Aye, but my point is less that she couldn't use that particular technique, and more a general disgust with the very notion that, in over a hundred years of fighting against fire benders, not one water bender came up with a way to counter lightning. That's extremely implausible, IMO, given how much bending has clearly developed since then.

It's as plausible as the lore of the world allows. If no such counter exists, it's either because the counter is impossible to develop or no one has been placed in the right circumstances to develop it just yet. The only known counter to lightning bending was developed by a firebending master who was well versed in the use of the advanced forms, including lightning bending. It stands to reason that the waterbenders, having little to no ability to train against such a technique would be unable to perform an appropriate counter and die due to the general lethality of the attack. No real counter can be developed because the only practice is to fight a lightning bender in earnest combat and hope whatever you try works. Or, more likely, no real counter can be developed against lightning bending because no counter exists within the sphere of influence that is waterbending. We've certainly never seen any waterbenders countering lightning. What proof is there that such a technique exists, other than "because it's fiction and the writer can say so"?

When do you think they made that poison? If the Red Lotus waited until AFTER they captured the Avatar to make the poison, then they have more stupidity problems than just making a metallic poison after encountering metal benders. It's far more likely they made that poison before they assaulted the Northern Air Temple. Hell, they probably started way before the assaulted the Earth Queen. And that many episodes back, metallic poison would make sense. The Red Lotus can't be too sure who will be joining Korra when they pull off the trade. They probably thought that waterbenders would be joining them over metalbenders and choose a Metallic poison. After all, Korra is Water Tribe.

A fair point, but quickly countered: They've known at least since their visit to the metal clan's city that there would be metal benders pursuing them (and they know this because Suyin made it all too clear that she intended to support the Avatar and punish the traitor in her midst). So they've clearly had some time in which to get access to any other poison. Why didn't they? Did their villain budget run out?

How was the Red Lotus supposed to know they would be bringing Metalbenders over Waterbenders? Remember, they would have had to make this poison way before they would have fought the Metalbenders.

See above. Also, I already addressed this: even a skilled water bender would be unable to neutralize a liquid poison in an advanced state, because it would have long since integrated into the rest of her bodily fluids, making distinguishing the poison and only removing said poison a nearly impossible task. They would've had to rely on healing, and with no indication of what poison was used and no healer within a hundred miles, her doom would have been sealed. A metallic poison, by comparison, always retains its metallic nature, and thus is easily pulled out by the expert metal benders that the Red Lotus knew were helping her out.

No, I watched again...and he never got a single hit. When Zaheer trades three blows at him on those blue roofs, Tenzin was redirecting the movement and wasn't hit. Before he gets hit by the combustion blast, Zaheer tries three more times. Tenzin either blocks it with ease or dodges it. The only time I could see you say Zaheer hit Tenzin is when is flipped over him. So 1 hit on Tenzin vs the 5 times Tenzine hits Zaheer. Not really toe to toe.

Also, note how when Zaheer fights compared to Tenzin, he really isn't Airbending that well. Zaheer is using his Airbending to boost his own martial arts, enhancing his jumps as strides. Tenzin literally floats with ease while Zaheer must jump from roof to roof to reach the top. Zaheer really isn't a great Airbender physically, he's just using airbending to enhance is already formidable martial arts.

I think you and I view the fight rather differently. I'll have to go back and watch it again but I'm pretty certain it's not the Cena/Lesnar one-sided match that people keep insisting it was.

And even if it was, he has talent enough as an airbender to beat several other individuals in a head-to-head fight, including multiple expert metal benders, countless members of the White Lotus, Tonraq, and the Avatar herself (more than once), and also talent enough to be one of the first air benders in centuries to fly without a glider. He is not a poor air bender by any stretch of the term, and I don't know why people keep acting like he is. Hell, it took the combined might of every available air bender (including Jinora, whose skill level was unarguably akin to that of a master) just to pull him out of the sky at the end. He had way more skill and power as an air bender than people choose to credit him for, and none of it was well-explained or rationalized.

When Avatar Aang was struck by lightning, it is noted that multiple weeks has passed until he wakes up. Even then, Korra is required to give Aang multiple healing sessions and Aang can't move without having a lot of pain. Keep in mind, that Korra is using Sacred Water, which should be even more powerful than regular water. If it takes multiple weeks for Aang to recover enough that he can be conscious after being healed by sacred water, it should come to no surprise that Katara's in a wheelchair two weeks after being poisoned badly.

You mixed up Korra and Katara, but that's hardly a major thing as I know what you meant.

Yes, it takes Aang multiple weeks to recover (from being shot with a lightning bolt through his chest). Korra was poisoned, and the poison was removed from her body wholesale. There were no visible signs of physical damage beyond the blows that Zaheer dealt to her, and those are clearly heal-able. The physical damage should have healed by now, if they made any effort to treat it at least. The mental trauma, I'll grant, probably not. But there's not much explanation for why she's basically unable to move at all.

Actually, it was said in an interview by IGN that that was kind of the point. All seasons are trying to push this idea that the Avatar is no longer needed. Apparently, the 4th season will fight this idea in full force.

That makes the events of these seasons make a little more sense. On the other hand, it also turns the entire series into a dangerous gambit of sorts. If the first three seasons essentially lay groundwork that shows the Avatar is not needed any more, then the fourth season will have to be absolutely flawless in its efforts to revert the narrative it's laid out over three seasons. If they fail, it essentially ruins the entire length of the story. This is effectively putting all of your faith in the "third act" of your play as being the one to redeem everything you've seen to date and make it all fit together, and while it works for some stories (Lego Movie), it doesn't work for all of them (Saw).

It's as plausible as the lore of the world allows. If no such counter exists, it's either because the counter is impossible to develop or no one has been placed in the right circumstances to develop it just yet. The only known counter to lightning bending was developed by a firebending master who was well versed in the use of the advanced forms, including lightning bending. It stands to reason that the waterbenders, having little to no ability to train against such a technique would be unable to perform an appropriate counter and die due to the general lethality of the attack. No real counter can be developed because the only practice is to fight a lightning bender in earnest combat and hope whatever you try works. Or, more likely, no real counter can be developed against lightning bending because no counter exists within the sphere of influence that is waterbending. We've certainly never seen any waterbenders countering lightning. What proof is there that such a technique exists, other than "because it's fiction and the writer can say so"?

It's less a question of proof and more a question of "how, in over a hundred years in which water benders have undoubtedly experienced lightning, has not a single one of them come up with a way to negate or at least reduce the damage it deals, especially when such a technique would clearly be fatal to them, and the use of lightning has clearly grown in the years after the Hundred Years War to the point where it's being used to help power the industrial complex of Republic City?". It is flatly illogical to presume that while other forms of bending developed like crazy (with lightning bending and metal bending becoming far more commonplace for use in industrial production, not to mention all of the development of new techniques showcased by various heroes and villains in the series), that water bending remained almost entirely the same and never once evolved beyond what it was. Worse, that it somehow backtracked to the point where healing is now even less effective than it used to be at healing physical injuries, and beyond a single family's spontaneous blood bending powers, no one else created anything new or experimented in any way.

Certainly, if you look firmly through the lens of proof, there is none at hand I can offer you. Yet I'd note that most of the arguments against what I've said rely on far more bloated conjecture than this, and all of that conjecture has been tossed at me as if it came straight from the lips of Jinora Jesus herself. So I find it hard to take this particular stance seriously, to be honest. You don't really get to talk almost entirely in loaded conjecture and presumptions to defend the series's flaws, but then demand proof of development when I point out that water bending is somehow the only bending in the entire world which has apparently devolved as a bending art.

EDIT: A friend pointed out something rather obvious to me that I totally neglected to note, water benders actually DO have a counter to lightning: ice.

Water itself is not a great conductor unless unfiltered/impure, in which case it is mostly the impurities that produce the water's conductivity. Ice is significantly less conductive than water is, especially if the water used is relatively well-filtered of those metallic impurities. This is primarily because ice sheds many of the ions that water contains while making the transition to a solid state. And since the show has often utilized rather scientific explanations to rationalize its various forms of bending and counters (such as metal bending using earthen impurities), there's no reason to believe that the show wouldn't utilize this same scientific logic to explain the use of ice techniques by water benders. And I don't believe we've seen ice used in a fight against lightning bending, so there shouldn't be any precedent to prove that it's not possible.

So, there you have it. Now you have a possible counter-technique, backed by science. Now, why couldn't she use ice to help shield herself from the lightning or at least reduce the damage? Do you have an explanation based in that proof you're so fond of that shows ice wouldn't be effective enough to block lightning?

CriticKitten:

No, I watched again...and he never got a single hit. When Zaheer trades three blows at him on those blue roofs, Tenzin was redirecting the movement and wasn't hit. Before he gets hit by the combustion blast, Zaheer tries three more times. Tenzin either blocks it with ease or dodges it. The only time I could see you say Zaheer hit Tenzin is when is flipped over him. So 1 hit on Tenzin vs the 5 times Tenzine hits Zaheer. Not really toe to toe.

Also, note how when Zaheer fights compared to Tenzin, he really isn't Airbending that well. Zaheer is using his Airbending to boost his own martial arts, enhancing his jumps as strides. Tenzin literally floats with ease while Zaheer must jump from roof to roof to reach the top. Zaheer really isn't a great Airbender physically, he's just using airbending to enhance is already formidable martial arts.

I think you and I view the fight rather differently. I'll have to go back and watch it again but I'm pretty certain it's not the Cena/Lesnar one-sided match that people keep insisting it was.

And even if it was, he has talent enough as an airbender to beat several other individuals in a head-to-head fight, including multiple expert metal benders, countless members of the White Lotus, Tonraq, and the Avatar herself (more than once), and also talent enough to be one of the first air benders in centuries to fly without a glider. He is not a poor air bender by any stretch of the term, and I don't know why people keep acting like he is. Hell, it took the combined might of every available air bender (including Jinora, whose skill level was unarguably akin to that of a master) just to pull him out of the sky at the end. He had way more skill and power as an air bender than people choose to credit him for, and none of it was well-explained or rationalized.

But how much of that badassery can be contributed to his airbending and not to his fighting skills? Keep in mind that Zaheer was locked in a high security prison long before he had airbending powers. Clearly, the White Lotus feared this guy before he could bend. Also, when I say he is a bad airbender, keep in mind that I'm not talking about his skills in fighting or his spiritual power, I'm talking about how is fighting style really isn't an airbending style at all.

Airbending is all about redirection. This is why it takes Tenzin so long to land blows and why he dances around Zaheer. The martial art is all about dodging attacks and striking when your opponents make a mistake. Zaheer is a brute when airbending, much like Korra. He uses air to slam people into things. He attacks aggressively. He has a very violent fighting style, which contrasts against the philosophies of air culture. Airbending isn't just about the ability to manipulate air, after all.

On the other hand, you could say he gains that much skill due to his belief in Guru Laghima. :P

image

When Avatar Aang was struck by lightning, it is noted that multiple weeks has passed until he wakes up. Even then, Korra is required to give Aang multiple healing sessions and Aang can't move without having a lot of pain. Keep in mind, that Korra is using Sacred Water, which should be even more powerful than regular water. If it takes multiple weeks for Aang to recover enough that he can be conscious after being healed by sacred water, it should come to no surprise that Katara's in a wheelchair two weeks after being poisoned badly.

You mixed up Korra and Katara, but that's hardly a major thing as I know what you meant.

Yes, it takes Aang multiple weeks to recover (from being shot with a lightning bolt through his chest). Korra was poisoned, and the poison was removed from her body wholesale. There were no visible signs of physical damage beyond the blows that Zaheer dealt to her, and those are clearly heal-able. The physical damage should have healed by now, if they made any effort to treat it at least. The mental trauma, I'll grant, probably not. But there's not much explanation for why she's basically unable to move at all.

There is no sign of external physical damage. Bottom line, any poison that stays within your system that long will start to screw you up physically. Remember that the poison is forcibly absorbed through the skin on the arms and legs. That right there is damaging your nerves, muscles, and blood system simply by force of entry. The physical damage is there, it's just internal. Damages to muscle, nerves, organs. Those types of things can heal naturally, but even when completely healed, the new muscle is still raw. It will incredibly painful to move and walk. So the wheelchair thing still makes sense from a physical standpoint.

Spaggiari:

Wolyo:

Mike Hoffman:
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Abomination:

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I think you all need to watch this again:

Chakras are something inside all people of the Avatar universe and unlocking them all isn't just for the purpose of the Avatar as humanity itself predates the Avatar. It is stated unlocking all chakras gives one connection to the universe itself and eventually, possibly spiritual enlightenment.

To my detriment, I'm going to quote a wiki I am soon going to criticize

The main objective of opening the chakras is to detach one's soul from the world, so that, in the case of an Avatar, he or she would have free access to the cosmic powers at his or her disposal. However, Avatar Yangchen explained to Aang that the reason why the Avatar is a mortal being each time is that the Avatar must experience human life and emotions in order to understand how precious it is, so he or she will do anything to protect it, meaning that it would be never possible for an Avatar to truly detach him or herself from the world and thus open all the chakras.[8]
Guru Pathik stated that in order for the Avatar to control the Avatar Spirit, he/she must let go of every earthly attachment like loving someone. However, it is still possible to love someone while opening the Thought Chakra, as evidenced by the fact that both Avatar Kuruk and Avatar Roku demonstrated mastery over the Avatar State while being in love; Kuruk loved Ummi and Roku loved Ta Min.

There's also consideration given to whether the method to unlocking the 7th chakra is so literal since Avatars who clearly have earthly attachments mastered the Avatar State. I can't find where that possibility is discussed on the wiki, but basically there are a few possibilities.
1) One must be able to separate what is important in the moment. It is a temporary thing.
2) There is more than one way to unlock the 7th chakra.
3) It is completely literal. No Avatar can open all 7 chakras. That is why you never see an Avatar in the continuous Avatar State for extended periods of time beyond a few hours at best with the exception of Aang who was frozen, allowing it to hold.

CriticKitten:
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I'm going to try and be as nice as possible when saying this, but you come off to me as one of those hypocritical, the world is against me types. You tell people how rude they are being and then say rude things yourself hidden among the insults directed at the characters of the show and the writers. You respond that you answered the core of the best questions directed at you when you didn't. Meanwhile, while I admit, you have answered many people's questions satisfactorily the best questions directed at you, by far, are the ones you have not answered to their cores, only superficially at best. I know this not only because I have encountered people like this, both in forums and in real social interaction, but because I used to have moments like this when I was a different person. I don't know you, so I won't say you have cognitive dissonance and/or confirmation bias and/or selection bias or anything like that because people who act like this retreat further into their hole when being confronted by such accusations. All, I'll say is that I went to your profile and checked out your forum health meter and it is nearly at ban level. With all the different types of people from different backgrounds and opinions ganging up on you plus the forum health meter, I'd say you're not being attacked by mob mentality, you're in denial. I don't think it's right the way people responded to you, but at the same time you responded just as rudely a few times.

You know what, that came out bad anyway. I just couldn't think of a nicer way to say that. I'm sorry. Nonetheless, you bring up some good points. I'll give you that. I'll take a crack at addressing some that people haven't gotten to as satisfactorily as you're looking for. It's too annoying to re-look for certain quotes, so some may be addressed in the form of normal text.

First, your complaints about Jinora: It was already established she was well read. Taking that into account with the fact she actually saw the poison being readied, I'd think she could guess at it's metallic nature. Considering someone's life is on the line, Avatar or not, taking a gamble on it being metallic is better than nothing. I would certainly say, "It was shiny and gray. Maybe it's metal. It's all we got to go on to keep Korra alive." Just so you know I hated Jinora ex Machina Jesus in Book 2, but I thought how they used her here was just fine.

You know, if you are having this many problems, maybe this show is no longer for you. It is true that Korra has moved in a different direction than Last Airbender, and maybe it isn't what you are looking for. That's fine, it happens. But none of these points really hold any water and seem more and more like you are just looking for something to hate in this show.

[snip]

I don't *want* to dislike Korra. But the series has shown a casual and thorough disregard for its roots that is impossible for me to overlook. There are things the new series does well, but they keep getting overshadowed by things that the series does not do well. I think perhaps the greatest problem I have with this series is that we're now three seasons in, and I can't say that the title "The Legend of Korra" fits. I mean, let's look at her accomplishments:

    [snip]
    Season 3: She struggles to fight against four skilled benders who are obsessed with bringing chaos to the world, and ends up needing her allies to defeat all of the bad guys for her.

She....really hasn't done anything significant herself. Her allies helped her do pretty much everything she's done so far, and she's been increasingly less relevant to the point where it almost seems like the writers intended to minimize her usefulness these last three seasons, just to plant that seed of an idea that perhaps the world no longer needs the Avatar.

Jumping off my Jinora point, the fact that Korra saved the Air Nation from the brink of extinction and now they're going to help her seems like a nice full circle thing that plenty of stories do and fits very well into stories trying to establish the legend of a larger than life character. It is because of the circle that the legend is established, the character is so big people who wouldn't ordinarily go out of their way, go out of their way to help said character. Whether stories do it or not successfully is a whole other issue.

When was Sokka's broken arm--his completely broken arm--healed in this way?

Look it up, I gave you the link that I got it from. >_>

[Much later post]

Healing wounds and recovering from them are two different things. Muscles need rest and physical training in order to guarantee proper movement. Even then, some people might opt to use things like crutches and wheelchairs because they don't want to stress their muscles. Besides, I don't remember healing curing the aftereffects of repairing broken bones and muscles.

As previously noted, healing can indeed cure broken bones, if indeed that's what Kya suffers from (it's never explicitly said, though, so that's still presumptuous). There is pretty much no reason for Kya to still need a crutch two weeks later. I'm more flexible with Korra's state since they're clearly going for a "mental scarring" dynamic, which would explain her general "out-of-it-ness", but her needing a wheelchair also seems pretty unusual since the physical damage should long have been fixed by now.

Hate to break this to you, but that wiki is borderline reliable. It is good for generalities, but between the wishy-washy grammar and the occasional lack of clarification it's not good for confirming details. I happen to remember the episode you're referencing SOMEWHAT well and if I recall right, Sokka got his arm treated, not fully healed. Keep in mind, he was using a crutch at the ATLA finale due to his fall on one of the Fire Nation airships. If waterbending healing was so fantastic why was he using a crutch?

Katara also told Toph upon seeing her feet, burned courtesy of a reformed Zuko attempting (badly) reconciliation with Team Avatar, that she wishes she could have gotten to them sooner, so they could heal better, cleaner, and faster. Katara fully admitted there that she could not make the burns magically disappear. So, yes everyone is right in saying that waterbending healing is not a magical cure-all, it is a magical treat-all. The one example you continually use is when Aang was brought back from the verge of death, yet Katara tells him she did this through spirit water and creator commentary and Nick text commentary shown during marathons indicates this came at the cost of the North Water Tribe's spirt pond completely drying up (symbolizing its spiritual aura was gone, all going towards healing Aang's special circumstances wound). Aang's wound didn't go away and he spent a good couple weeks minimum healing as evidenced by the Book 3 opener very clearly.

People might remember Ozai more than Ghazan because Ozai was the complete and utter Big Bad of the entire Last Airbender series. Sorry if one side member of the evil team from one season of the Legend of Korra doesn't measure up to that standard. It's also incredibly easy to describe Ozai because he's a one dimension cartoon villain.

Ah, more irrational hate on the original series in a weak attempt to put the new series on a pedestal.

You do realize even the most diehard fans agree Ozai is the most generic big villain in the entire show. He got one scene of depth and that's it. I would have said the creators have termed him this as well, they talk far more, and giddily so, about Azula, but you don't seem to have much respect for them. It actually shocks me that you don't have that much respect: I thought I was the Avatar fan with unusual disrespect for them. I think they're great world builders and visionaries, they're very knowledgeable on a lot of stuff and one of them did study martial arts extensively, but they're not the best overall writers. I think we would have gotten better character development if Book 1 Korra was more like how Book 3 Korra started (not quite at that level though) and then turned into end of Book 3 Korra. Anyway, they wrote 2 fan favorite episodes of the old series. Every other single fan favorite episode was written by other people; they made ATLA great, not the creators. It's kind of like Star Wars in that respect.

On that note,

here's that IGN review some people have been mentioning. You look like you need context.

snip

This is ....actually a pretty decent explanation for why Bolin could potentially learn how to lava bend. My main problems with it are still outstanding, though.

    a) It was never really hinted at (and no, people, them showing that Bolin can't metal bend is not an actual hint that he can lava bend....that's like saying that my inability to dance shows that I have a hidden talent for singing).
    b) Lava bending is shown to be an extremely unique form of earth bending. Prior to Ghazan, who was effectively the first lava bender (and again, no, people, the previous Avatars who have mastery of both fire and earth using the Avatar State to bend lava is not at all the same as a regular human who only controls earth bending being able to lava bend), there were no other instances of its use. So Bolin's had no way of knowing how to do it or anything of the sort. It seems extremely convenient and unlikely that he of all earth benders would develop the ability, especially at random in an instant of peril.

I do like your explanation for why it fits with his fighting style, though. That's actually pretty well thought out. Kudos.

You can argue all day and all night about whether Bolin not being able to metalbend is a hint at lavabending, but you know what it is a hint at? Him amounting to something. What would be the point of introducing that side arc for Bolin if they weren't going to do anything with it? Lavabending was a bit of an asspull I agree, but to say him doing something crazy out of nowhere wasn't bound to happen would be a bit ingenuous, don't you think? He had to do something. It being lavabending isn't as bad as you're making it out to be. I would also like to point out that terrible fan theroists, the kind who would write terrible fan fiction if anyone ever gave them the idea, predicted Bolin would lavabend the minute he fought Ghazan at the oasis. Even with all the things I've said about you, you're clearly "smarter" than them.

Lava Bending was slightly hinted at but ultimately not of real concern. It's pretty clear that Ghazan wasn't really trying with the fight against Bolin. And it was only when he was ganged up upon when he lost it.

It really wasn't, though, and that's my problem with it. The only "hint" came in the form of Bolin being incapable of metal bending, and as Bolin himself said, that's not unusual since most earth benders simply can't metal bend by definition, it's an extremely rare ability. There were no direct hints that Bolin had lava bending talent at any point in the story. Even a small, well-hidden throw-away hint would have been enough for me, but they didn't even do that.

You seem to be forgetting what Suyin said. She told Bolin the only thing preventing Bolin from metalbending was his attitude about it and himself. If a daughter of Toph believes anyone with the right attitude can learn metalbending then I believe it. Considering that Republic City has a police force full of mooks who can metalbend and there's an entire city of metalbenders, I'd say it's not this rare ability special people have. I think that point is moot.

jamail77:

Spaggiari:

Wolyo:

snip

snip

Abomination:

snip

I think you all need to watch this again:

Chakras are something inside all people of the Avatar universe and unlocking them all isn't just for the purpose of the Avatar as humanity itself predates the Avatar. It is stated unlocking all chakras gives one connection to the universe itself and eventually, possibly spiritual enlightenment.

I would argue that it's a different path to a similar destination. Zaheer doesn't become one with "the universe" he becomes one with "the void".

The Universe is -everything- whereas the Void is -nothing-. Complete opposites. While the paths are similar I think we might be observing almost a Jedi/Sith separation here. Zaheer didn't "let go" of his love, it was taken from him. He doesn't wish for harmony, he wishes for anarchy.

Then again, he is accessing something that hasn't been touched in thousands of years. He might as well be rediscovering fire. He understands how he has it, but doesn't understand the entire complexities of it. Perhaps it is chakras, or maybe it's another system that obtained a similar result.

It's true that the when the full extent of Zaheer's plan is revealed, it's pretty underwelming. And even though I hate to admit it, it sort of ties together with the villain himself. Out of four, Zaheer was the only one who was given any character. The other three are just henchmen. They have cool designs and abilities, but no real character to speak of. Unlike Amon, who was a great villain, Zaheer never seemed very threatning to me. Amon was a schemer and you just knew he had the whole thing planned out, A to Z, every contingency planned and accounted for. Zaheer is making this up as he goes. And while that fits an anarchist, something that's important to know is that we love scheming villains. Why? Because we are schemers. For references, watch the scene in The Dark Knight when the Joker visits Harvey Dent in the hospital.

Even though the Joker and Zaheer are both anarchists, we know Zaheer can be beaten. He has been beaten before by regular benders, they didn't even need the Avatar's help for that. The surprise reveal that he is an anarchist is not very surprising since the tone for the character had already been set; the intelligent, calm villain with a distinct lack of authority.

That's what I think doesn't work. What does about these characters? Well, like I said, the henchmen do have very cool abilities, I liked seeing the combustion bending again, lavabending is just awesome, the waterarms make her almost unstoppable, and seeing two airbenders fight eachother was simply inspired.

The rest of the season, if I had to summarize, I'd say there is quite a lot of middle. It serves to make the characters more interesting, not further the story per se. I liked Suyin, I liked the new airbenders, I liked seeing more of Tonraq and I liked seeing Zuko again, even though I hoped he would be a little more active. Episode 4 proved he still has the skills to do serious combat, in spite of his age (he's supposed to be 89 by now) and the same thing goes for the Wonder Twins. This season is constantly good, but it takes until episode 10 that I started saying ''It was absolutely great''. It's a better route than season two, which was dwaddeling around for ever, then had two fantastic episodes, and the episodes after ranged between so-so and ''it was pretty good I guess''. It's telling a smaller story than season two, but that's for the better. It allows more time to be focussed on the characters, which makes a world of difference.

It definitely leaves on an interesting note, as was remarked by the article: is the Avatar an outdated pinciple? Korra seems to think so, as she couldn't beat Zaheer on her own, and she is confined to a wheelchair for the forseeable future, but the world keeps on spinning. Part of me wants to see the new Air Nomads fail, just so Korra will regain her ideals again and faith that the Avatar is still needed.

On the whole, this season was a massive improvement over the second, it had a fantastic ending, even though the big reveal was underwhelming, it did feel big and that something was actually at stake. I absolutely loved it and I'm very excited about Book 4.

Wolyo:

Hectix777:
I'm utterly shameless in admitting that Bolin is my favorite character.

He is by far the best character this season. Not much screentime but still.

And for you Bolin Fans out there:

image

This is one of my all time favorite Avatar scenes in which Bolin meets Lord Zuko.

Seriously, if the team had put even half of the effort in designing Korra as they did the rest of the cast then they'd have had a meaningful protagonist. It seems like the writing staff has figured this out and have gone a long way to elevate the rest of the cast and give her a back seat.

Or, they've just doubled down and given her even more reason to whine and be broody all the time without actually learning from life lessons along the way.

jamail77:

I think you all need to watch this again:

Chakras are something inside all people of the Avatar universe and unlocking them all isn't just for the purpose of the Avatar as humanity itself predates the Avatar. It is stated unlocking all chakras gives one connection to the universe itself and eventually, possibly spiritual enlightenment.

-snip-

There's also consideration given to whether the method to unlocking the 7th chakra is so literal since Avatars who clearly have earthly attachments mastered the Avatar State. I can't find where that possibility is discussed on the wiki, but basically there are a few possibilities.
1) One must be able to separate what is important in the moment. It is a temporary thing.
2) There is more than one way to unlock the 7th chakra.
3) It is completely literal. No Avatar can open all 7 chakras. That is why you never see an Avatar in the continuous Avatar State for extended periods of time beyond a few hours at best with the exception of Aang who was frozen, allowing it to hold.

Well everything to this point is just speculation, until the creators explain it but openning the 7th chakra was for Aang to let go of his personnal needs to become one with the world, putting the world before himself. Which is the duty of the avatar.

Avatar Yangchen in the episode "the old masters" state clearly that the avatar can never attain spiritual enlightement and detache himself from the world because his sole duty his to the world.

So yes maybe Zaheer unlocked the 7th chakra, but I don't think that's what unlocked last power of the airbender. When P'Li died so as his last anchor to the world. He had no earthly tether anymore, he entered the void, empty and became wind, litteraly.

They clearly showed us the importance of P'Li for him, and that last moment together was for that too.

Even in avatar state, the Avatar can not fly like Zaheer, Korra could not, Aang could not. They could fly but not in the same way. Zaheer can become weightless, the Avatar, in the avatar state, has to actively use airbending or firebending for that.

So that's why I think that Zaheer did not openned at that moment the 7th chakra but achieved spiritual enlightement at the death of P'Li. Maybe openning the 7th chakra is needed for that, I don't know but that's not what made him able to fly.

Lightknight:
This is one of my all time favorite Avatar scenes in which Bolin meets Lord Zuko.

I want to see him meet Toph! Because, I want to see old Toph and Bolin reaction to the one who created metalbending will be epic!

Wolyo:

jamail77:
snip

Well everything to this point is just speculation, until the creators explain it but openning the 7th chakra was for Aang to let go of his personnal needs to become one with the world, putting the world before himself. Which is the duty of the avatar.

Avatar Yangchen in the episode "the old masters" state clearly that the avatar can never attain spiritual enlightement and detache himself from the world because his sole duty his to the world.

So yes maybe Zaheer unlocked the 7th chakra, but I don't think that's what unlocked last power of the airbender. When P'Li died so as his last anchor to the world. He had no earthly tether anymore, he entered the void, empty and became wind, litteraly.

They clearly showed us the importance of P'Li for him, and that last moment together was for that too.

I am well aware of this; I mean they made the P'Li connection pretty damn obvious. I was referring to the larger discussion between the four of you, three now no longer quoted; there seemed to be some lack of recall on that concept and I wanted to clear it up. I never said that Zaheer unlocked chakras, but the philosophy discussed was indeed very similar to the chakra discussion that was going on in ATLA. It was getting mentioned in the discussion between the four of you, so I just wanted to make the facts clear, not the opinions.

I am also well aware this is all speculation hence why I said it was a consideration discussed on a wishy washy wiki. If you go back to my post and read on after my response to the four of you you'll see my long response to, apparently now banned, CriticKitten in which I criticized the wiki on its generally right, but otherwise wishy washy nature. Either way that is the question though: Did Aang need to let go of personal needs and connect with the whole world, including humanity, which would fall under the temporary, not literal theory of the 7th chakra, or did Aang need to detach himself from the world altogether and sync with the larger universe like Guru Pathik seemed to be suggesting? The latter case leaves a bad taste in many fans' mouths because it almost makes it sound like Aang would no longer empathize with people because he's not actively living on their level anymore. We see Korra connect with the cosmic energy of the universe at the end of Book 2, yet for some that raises more questions than it answers especially since she was disconnected from the one thing that made her the physical embodiment of the Avatar, if not the moral embodiment. That's not to say you need to be the Avatar to connect to the universe, clearly not. Still, it leaves some holes that need to be filled by definitive statements or clear demonstration. Otherwise, the world just feels incomplete to me.

Sorry, if any of that sounded rude. That discussion with CriticKitten was exhausting and may have left some residual but unintentional rudeness.

Wolyo:

Hectix777:
I'm utterly shameless in admitting that Bolin is my favorite character.

He is by far the best character this season. Not much screentime but still.

And for you Bolin Fans out there:

image

I'll be in my bunk...

The Feast:
Kind of funny considering that the only dying characters in Legend Of Korra, from the first season is the bad guys, and none of the good guys (Of course, there are implied character's death, like Mako and Bolin's parent, but whatever). No matter, still an entertaining show in my book.

Eh, actually I believe the story Mako gave was that his dad and mom were both killed by a fire bending criminal.....In front of him and Bolin.

Not so much implied death, as "described death". I believe Asami's mom had a similar fate.

OT:
Anyway, a lot of people keep saying that the Avatar is "no longer needed". Besides people in the show saying "Dang. We really need an Avatar right now. :/", I think people may be getting the wrong idea on Korra's depressed demeanor.

I don't think it's so much that she's sad because she thinks she isn't needed, but rather that she feels like she isn't able to help anyone anymore.

The avatar is "the bridge between worlds", so seeing as the spirit world and her world are now open to each other, and the Earth Kingdom sounds like it's headed for some tough times, I'd say she pretty needed right about now.

Plus, in her relatively short time as avatar she's had to deal with someone trying to remove all bending (including hers), a very powerful spirit trying to return and destroy the world, and a cult of anarchists trying to kill her for good, then go on to kill all people in authority.

How people watch all that then say, "Well, guess we're done with the avatar now", is a bit confusing to me.

Korra rolls on? I don't know if that was intentional or not but either way I lost my shit. Bravo.

Good ending, very sudden and very somber. They might not have the best writers but they really did well with this ending imo.

Hectix777:

I'll be in my bunk...

Now something about that is just downright unsettlin'.

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