[This is a review for The Legend of Korra Season 2 finale. It contains SPOILERS.]
Building upon an already densely layered mythology, The Legend of Korra ventures deeper into the realm of imagination during its exciting two-part finale, titled 'Darkness Falls' and 'Light in the Dark.' With 10,000 years of darkness at stake, Korra must face her toughest opponent yet.
Even though the show's title might suggest otherwise, Tenzin's story was just as vital. The wise airbender may not have had the fate of the world on his shoulders, but the search for his family in "The Fog of Lost Souls" was no less important than Korra's quest. 'Book 2: Spirits' has given viewers some wonderful moments with Tenzin and his family. Confronting his father (Aang) was a fitting conclusion, by allowing Tenzin to let go of all the guilt he was carrying. J.K. Simmons (Spider-Man) gives another superb performance, as Tenzin tells his father that he failed him. Aang's words of wisdom to his son were touching, and proved once again why The Last Airbender franchise is one of the best shows of any genre. With Tenzin's family safe, the fate of the world now rests with Team Avatar.
Well, that's Team Avatar minus Asami, who basically plays nurse with Katara for the entire episode. Even though her absence was keenly felt, the final battle was no less thrilling. Next to the four-part finale from the original series, The Legend of Korra season 2 finale offers quite possibly the most beautifully choreographed animated fight scene this reviewer has seen. Korra had to dig deep (literally) to discover the light inside herself to combat Vaatu/Unalaq. Tenzin's advice to Korra to "bend the energy within herself" was an interesting turn of events. Even without Raava inside her, we learn that being the Avatar starts with the individual, and not the spirit within them. Korra has already proved herself strong the very first time we met her as a young girl; however, in 'Light in the Dark,' she demonstrates not only her strength, but her wisdom as well.
The subject of Jinora's "powers" must be addressed. What is she exactly, and is she now the newest member of "Team Avatar." First of all, Kiernan Shipka (Mad Men) deserves applause for her portrayal of Tenzin's oldest daughter. The young airbender can seemingly exist in both realms simultaneously. Shipka is the perfect voice-actor for Jinora, who sounds wise beyond her years. Hopefully Jinora's new abilities will be explained further in 'Book 3.'
Now that season 2 is complete, we can theorize on what the next season will have in store. One of the most significant consequences from Korra's fight with Vaatu is her lost connection to past lives. Without the ability to connect with past Avatars, like Aang and Wan, who will she look to for guidance? Perhaps with Jinora's new spiritual gifts she can somehow find a way to restore Korra's connection? With the spirit portal open, there are other possibilities for new stories to emerge as the show moves forward. As Korra puts it, we've entered into "a new age."
'Darkness Falls' and 'Light in the Dark' in many ways, hit the reset button on the series. With Mako and Korra's relationship officially over, Team Avatar is back to where they began. Even Bolin's romance with Eska was put on hold. Unlike Aang's adventures, which built over the course of three seasons to a climatic end, Korra's story seems to implement a 'villain of the season' motif. If Vaatu is the true visage of darkness and evil, then what is left for Korra to bring balance to in the next book? Perhaps Korra will delve into a more intimate story, focusing on relationships and local conflicts, as opposed to global-ending catastrophic events? Either way, creators/executive producers Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, like Korra, have proven they are a force to be reckoned with. Patience in this case, is definitely a virtue.
The Legend of Korra will continue... (hopefully).