Book Four of The Legend of Korra ends the show well, despite Nickelodeon’s interference.

4 stars
After the fantastic Book Three, which followed two great but flawed seasons, I was interested to see where The Legend of Korra would go with its final season, Book Four: Balance.
The story picks up three years after the last season with Korra on a journey of self discovering, while suffering from severe PTSD from the events of Venom of The Red Lotus.
Meanwhile, a dictator named Kuvira rises in The Earth Kingdom, giving those in Republic City grave concerns about what she wants.
Book Four is a great season in my eyes but overall it does not live up to Book Three.
However, although I think this, the season still has numerous fantastic things to talk about.
I really loved the character arcs this season, especially those of Korra, Varrick and Bolin.
This surprised me, considering how annoying I found Bolin to be in the previous two seasons but, in this one, they brought back the likability he had in Book One.
Another thing I really enjoyed about the characters was how they put the spotlight on some who had not had their time to shine before, most notably Zhu Li.
Zhu Li was a very minor character in previous seasons but she really shined here and her storyline with Varrick was just perfect.

Zhu Li and Varrick
Varrick and Zhu Li during the final episodes of the series.

Kuvira also continued the tradition of great villains in this series, by bringing a realistic portrayal of a dictator.
The only problem I had with Kuvira was the resolution to her story seemed very rushed.
Sadly though, the problems with characters do not end with her.
Many of the characters who were important in previous series are conformed to side characters here and, since this is the last season, that is pretty sad.
Tenzin and Mako are the main offenders, with Mako only really being important in the finale and Tenzin being given basically nothing to do, despite his importance to the story.
There was also a similar problem to Book One with this season.
In Book One there was an episode entirely dedicated to a love triangle, which dragged the season down.
Here, the episode that did this was the eighth, a clip show episode called Remembrances.
This was a pretty poor episode in my opinion, especially since we have seen how creative the series can be with recap episodes, like with The Ember Island Players in Avatar: The Last Airbender, while this clip show just did not feel that creative.
But I cannot exactly fault the writers for doing it because they were forced to either do a clip show episode or fire half of their animation staff by Nickelodeon so it was not their fault.

Remembrances reminded me of a lot of things about the show, including some things I wanted to forget like the love triangle in the first two seasons.

However, aside from these problems Book Four was great.
The animation and music were once again great, although you could tell that their budget for animation had been cut at times.
Aside from episode eight, the story flowed very naturally and was exciting to see play out.
The final three episodes were thrilling and had me engaged from beginning to end.
Then there is the show’s ending.
This ending was very progressive but those I have talked some who seem split on the idea.
Some love it because they feel it was well hinted at and some do not because they feel it came out of nowhere.
Personally, I agree with both.
This ending was hinted at very well in previous episodes but there was never really a scene of them establishing this thing or talking about it so when it happens it does not feel particularly well developed.
Again though, I do not think this is the creators’ fault.
Brian Konietzko, one of the show’s creators, has said that while Nickelodeon was supportive of the ending, “there was a limit to how far we could go with it.”
So the creators were not allowed to go all the way with this ending, like they ended it with Avatar: The Last Airbender.
Because they were not allowed by the network to have scenes that built this ending up they had to hint at it.
And, even though they could only hint at it, I thought they did a great job of bringing it across to the audience.
It is just a shame that Nickelodeon limited the show runners’ creative freedom, instead of letting their ideas run wild, and I am not just talking about the ending.
Most of the problems I had with The Legend of Korra appear to be due to Nickelodeon’s interference, like the shaky start to Book Two.
It really is sad how they treated the show but the fact that The Legend of Korra still managed to be a great show with this interference speaks volumes about how good it is.
Overall, Book Four was a great season to end The Legend of Korra.
It is just as good as Book One, although not as good as Book Three.
I highly recommend the series.
I am just sad now that I have finished both Avatar and Korra now.
What am I supposed to watch now?
I hope there are more follow ups to this series in the future and, if there are, I will be tuning in immediately.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s