[This is a review of The Legend of Korra season 3, episode 10. There will be SPOILERS.]
With each passing week, The Legend of Korra journeys closer to the point of no return. Sure, season 4 is already in production, but who will live to see it?
The Last Airbender franchise is not unaccustomed to death; however, never has it been so viscerally captured right before our eyes. As the Earth Queen's last breath was violently ripped from her lungs, it became instantly clear that this will not be the only significant death from season 3. So, who's next?
Zaheer and his fellow Red Lotus members have succeeded in freeing Ba Sing Se from the powerful elite. Like Ra's al Ghul in Christopher Nolan's Batman Begins, Zaheer is enacting a kind of social cleansing to "create order from disorder," as he so eloquently phrased it to Korra during their meeting in spirit world. According to the criminal, the world is about to change, but it still remains unclear how this will all take place. Zaheer appears to be acting on his own, but is he capable of bringing down all the kingdoms?
Compared to Mako and Bolin, Korra and Asami had a much easier adventure this week, even if that meant escaping from a giant sand monster after their cheaply made (Cabbage Corporation) airship crash landed in middle of the desert. Their escapades were a much needed distraction from the shadowy dealings in Ba Sing Se. With the Avatar back at the Misty Palms Oasis with Lord Zuko, Lin and Korra's father Tonraq, the final battle must be close at hand.
Before we get too ahead of ourselves, let's go back to Zaheer. This charismatic zealot is willing to do anything to achieve his goals, and what's even scarier is that he BELIEVES in what he's doing. For him, there is no gray area. From his perspective, he's the hero. This is why Zaheer is the ultimate villain for Korra. Zaheer is not simply some spiritual manifestation of all that is evil in the world, like Vatuu was last season. Their final confrontation should be no less than extraordinary. Do you think we'll see it by the end of Book 3?
Creators Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko have given Korra a single primary villain each season. Is there a chance Zaheer could stick around for another run? Either way, the writers have proven themselves more than worthy to steer this ship in whatever direction they so desire.
Zaheer claims that "there is only darkness," but with Korra and the rest of Team Avatar fighting the battle, we can all rest assured that the light will eventually shine through. 'Long Live the Queen' demonstrated how dark this series is willing to go and what's exactly at stake as the final three episodes approach.
Share your predictions on how you think this season will end and stay tuned to find out what happens next.
The Legend of Korra will continue with 'Ultimatum' next Friday on various streaming services.