The Legend of Korra has ended, but the series didn't conclude without giving fans an explosive finale. The majority of "Day of the Colossus/ The Last Stand" features Team Avatar trying to implement an effective way to take down Kuvira's mecha suit.
The fighting is intense, but there are some questionable plot decisions. This, however, did not prevent me from enjoying the finale.
Let's start with the good parts of the finale: The action is great and taken to a new extreme as Team Avatar battles a gargantuan mecha suit. There is one scene where Korra ducks beneath a blast from Kuvira's cannon; the shot slices through buildings in the background, and a horizontal slash of an explosion topples man made structures like dominoes. Great shots like this are common in "Day of the Colossus/The Last Stand."
When Team Avatar finally manages to break into Kuvira's robot, it feels like Luke Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi infiltrating the Death Star. I was worried when Mako caused the spirit explosion that severed the mecha suit in half. He is one of my favorite characters in the series, and it would have been a bitter victory had he died in the process.
Not much is revealed about Korra in the finale. In contrast, we discovered a lot about Aang during "Sozin's Comet"; he couldn't kill Fire Lord Ozai-- putting his beliefs as an Air Nomad before his duty as the Avatar. This internal conflict was mentioned throughout the The Last Airbender, but it was brought to a climax during the series' finale.
Korra, while she kicks her fair share of tail in the finale, doesn't have any big revelations. The conclusion to her fight with Kuvira, however, is an explosion so massive that it opens a new portal between the human and spirit worlds-- bringing the action to an Akira-like end. When she deflects the blast, Korra is as Zaheer described her: unstoppable.
The last we see of Korra in the series is her going on vacation with Asami; there is a strong hint of a blossoming romance between the two characters. There were enough subtle nods during the season to merit this ending, and the writers didn't make it too sudden. Their relationship was growing more affectionate in Balance. Korra doesn't confess her love to Asami like she did to Mako at the end of Air. But that's because the romance between Korra and Mako was central to the plot in Book One. The writers acknowledge that they didn't develop the romance enough and end the series at its early stage.
In addition, Varrick and Zhu Li get married after Kuvira is defeated. Zhu Li established herself as a useful character in Balance. In previous seasons, she was a taciturn assistant that barely had a presence in the series. She broke Varrick's nonsensical demeanor this season and impacted his character in a positive manner-- transforming him from a chaotic neutral character into one of the good guys.
Asami also plays a large role in stopping Kuvira. She and her father drill a hole in the dictator's mecha suit. But Kuvira crushes Hiroshi in the process. This sacrifice seems counter-intuitive; if the writers of the show were trying to get people to care about a character forfeiting his or her life, they should have chosen someone who was prominent throughout the series. Hiroshi was a key antagonist in Air, and you could make the argument that it was his final atonement for his misdeeds. But I didn't care enough about his character to feel anything when he sacrificed himself. I like the idea, but the way the writers implemented it feels like a wasted opportunity.
One of the stronger plot decisions the writers make is Prince Wu escorting the Republic City refugees to safety. He does it in his own goofy manner, and it's difficult to accept him as a serious character. Still, I couldn't avoid laughing in approval as he sang to his badger moles while his Earth Kingdom subjects applauded. It was true to his comedic persona.
Wu is the most dynamic character of the season. He decides to pull a George Washington and step down as Ruler of the Earth Kingdom-- opting to have all the states operate independently with elected officials. Wu's progression in the series felt rushed at times, but his arc ends at a satisfying point.
There are still some points I wished the finale covered: They never discussed what happened to Kuvira after her arrest. At the end of The Last Airbender, we got to see Ozai in a prison cell--defeated and stripped of his glory. It would have given Kuvira's arc a sense of closure had this been done with her. In addition, I would like to have known what happened to the Earth Empire soldiers who were forced to surrender after the battle.
I remember when I finished watching "Sozin's Comet." I was speechless. Words couldn't do it justice when I tried to explain it to my friends. "Day of the Colossus/ The Last Stand" is not at this level. But despite its flaws, it's still an emotional finale to a great series.
For fans of the franchise, we can only hope that this won't be our last chance to dive into the Avatar universe.
You can watch "Day of the Colossus/ The Last Stand" here.