K214 Light In The Dark Episode Review

7 Comments

K214 Light In The Dark

K214-2

Korra discovers the power of her own spirit.

Written By – Mike DiMartino
Directed By – Ian Graham
Animated By – Studio Mir

Last review of the Book and what an episode this was. A fitting conclusion to a superb Book 2 Spirits. For me personally I am often disappointed with the end of shows or seasons of shows, many shows I have watched have left me disappointed with the way they end. Avatar so far has managed to be very solid with its finales, K112 Endgame was the episode of Book 1 that I had the most issue with, I felt that more time was needed to do what they needed to do and it left some things confusing with the ending. With “Light In The Dark” I again have minor issues with regards to some things not being explained enough, but the highs of this episode were so high that they are really very minor in the grand scheme of the episode. K214 managed to be epic, emotional, full of character and action and also a good end to Book 2 as well as set up for Book 3 Change. That is an impressive list of things for an episode to do and this did them all reasonably well. This finale did what people had huge issue with Book 1 Air for not doing, things changed in a big way, she got her bending back in Book 1, but as far as we know her connection to the past Avatars are gone forever.

Korra was great in this episode, she gets some great advice from Tenzin and really develops leaps and bounds as a person and an Avatar. As I mentioned in the last review I loved the idea of Tenzin learning from his father that he is not a reflection of him and is his own person and Tenzin then giving Korra this advice, she is not a reflection of Wan, she is powerful even without Raava. This was powerful, Korra has often kept these life lesson type things in the background while ATLA had them out in the open, so for this deep issue to be brought up and made clear was fantastic. Korra had developed so much this book already, but now looking back you really do see that after “Beginnings” she was trying to repeat exactly what Wan did and had no plan herself and so when that plan failed and Raava was destroyed she has no plan and thinks she has failed completely. What Tenzin says to her is huge for her as a character, in Book 1 she defined herself by her bending and got past that, here she was defining herself with Raava and trying to be like Wan. Tenzin at last is the perfect mentor to Korra here, making up for not being able to guide her into the spirit world, he simple tells her that she is powerful and strong herself, her own spirit (not the Avatar spirit) is who she is not Raava.

Then we at last get an explanation on the Tree of Time. It’s roots link the two worlds together and the ancients used to meditate inside it and connect to the cosmic energy of the universe, it also records the memories of every person. We then get a great reference to 219 The Guru and the 7th chakra, Korra meditates and then in a near identical moment to Aang walks towards the cosmic version of herself, but while Aang left before connecting, Korra connects here. I did not expect what happened next, Korra’s spirit connected to cosmic energy materialises as a giant blue version of Korra. It is perfectly fitting for Korra as a character, she is powerful and strong and her cosmic representation being a giant is perfect. It is also an epic moment on the level of many Avatar State moments, but you have to remember that this is Korra without Raava here, just Korra’s own spirit, her own power. Just one human alone taking on UnaVaatu. It is such a symbolic moment to differentiate Korra from Wan or every other Avatar, she is facing her biggest moment without her Avatar Spirit. Everyone looking on in absolute awe at this, even more than when she uses the Avatar State is equally fitting.

I enjoyed that with this battle of giants that they completely changed the style of the fight, in the last episode the action was fast and acrobatic with a ton of bending. Here it is super physical and full of these amazing pure energy blasts. At one point we get a bit of a WWE match, Korra performs a nice running high knee strike which she transitions into a fireman’s carry takeover through a mountain. The sense of scale is excellent, I would have felt a bit odd of these giants were tricking all over the place. I enjoy how Korra’s goal in the fight is to use what she learned from “Beginnings”, Raava can never be fully destroyed, she will reform within Vaatu. Not enough time has passed and she is not in Vaatu yet, until Jinora appears. This is an issue with the finale, it is just not explained in any way what Jinora did before she arrived and what she did when she did. Analysing it I assume she gathered up some light energy from the spirit world, she had some light spirits with her, and planted a seed of light within Vaatu resulting in Raava being reformed within him. They could have been so much more clear by having a short scene showing Jinora between leaving Tenzin and appearing in the big battle. How Korra defeats UnaVaatu is equally perfect, using that “lightbending” technique in a huge moment, the technique that Unalaq introduced her to ultimately led to his and Vaatu’s downfall. I feel the nature of the technique needs to be explained in more detail. Was Unalaq killed? Does the Dark Avatar have a reincarnation cycle? Is Vaatu now a light Spirit until next Harmonic Convergence? What happened? We know the ability calms down Dark Spirits by basically turning them into light. I am going with Unalaq is dead and Vaatu will reform closer to Harmonic Convergence in 10,000 years. Overall I was happy with the demise of the big villain, I just wanted a little more explanation.

Small point, but I love how helpless Raiko was and how he really owes Korra a huge apology. If he had supported her and helped to save the world UnaVaatu may not have got to Republic City. I am excited to see him again, as he really did not have his priorities correct at all. I want him to make a good decision.

I was laughing out loud with the Varrick moments, because I did not expect it, but it was so well done. The second he appeared on screen with havoc all over the place I knew he was escaping somehow. As he and Zhu Li leaped out of the window I knew that line was coming, I literally fist pumped when he said “Do the Thing!” I am so excited that he will more than likely come back in Book 3 or 4. What is next for Varrick?

The rebonding of Korra and Raava was so wonderfully animated, it was different than any other bonding we have seen before, very artistic. I was delighted to see that Korra went straight over to Eska and Desna sorry that she was unable to save Unalaq, their reaction to him completely changed, they were against what he had done.

Now I think I need to address the shipping. My biggest issue with the finale. Bolin and Eska as a couple returned and I was pleasantly surprised with how into them I was, so when Eska and Desna decided to return home and Eska and Bolin leave each other saying they will always have feelings for each other I was annoyed. It really felt like a scene to write them out of Book 3. The shipping was all over the place this Book that I just really wanted a solid couple staying together. So when this was basically followed by a near identical scene between Mako and Korra I was figuratively banging my head of the wall. I would not say I ship Makorra, but I think they make a nice enough couple. When they have this mutual break up saying that they just don’t work together as people in a relationship I literally out loud said “What?”, because they broke up in a head of the moment situation in an argument over whether to send an army to help in a war, that is not a normal situation to base a relationship on, this break up scene was baffling to me, so I don’t think it is the last of Makorra we will see. Why can this show not just keep two characters together in a┬árelationship, I like a bit of romance in the show, but this Book did take it a bit far.

Finally Korra makes the huge decision to leave the spirit portals open. While I would disagree with her when she said that Wan made a mistake closing them when he did, because I feel humans and spirits did need a break from each other for a while, perhaps he should have attempted to reintegrate the two back together, but he was dealing with a war. The key here is not Wan, but Korra making the decision to open them, something no avatar previously has done. Now is the right time to attempt to try and have spirits and humans live together in peace, Harmonic Convergence is as far away as possible and the highest chance of success. Korra could be the first Avatar to bring complete balance to both worlds, humans not fighting each other, spirits not fighting each other and humans and spirits not fighting each other in both worlds. It will take time I am sure, there will be a lot of issues which I am sure Book 3 will address, but I am excited to see this change. Tenzin not even giving his opinion to Korra was perfect too, he at last is not trying to run her life and can accept her making decisions herself. The big bookmark this Book.

I think change is the key to this episode and what makes Book 2 better than Book 1 overall. Book 1 ended without really setting up anything or changing anything huge outside of character development. Book 2 has set up a lot of stuff: Varrick is free, the portals are open, when will Vaatu return (he will be restored in Raava, when will this happen), will Korra try and restore the connection to her past lives and just in general so much has changed in the world. I am so excited to see Book 3 just to see how the world is and that has to be a success for this episode. Quite possibly my favourite Avatar final episode, what more can I say than that!

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My name is Morgan Bannon, I am a 22 Year old Male from Ireland and I am the Site Super Moderator. I have watched and been a fan of Avatar since it premiered. I am also a news post writer for the site and host the site's podcast, The Avatar Online Podcast. My strength as an Avatar fan would be just a good knowledge of Avatar Canon and characters.

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Comments - 7 Posts

  1. johnny Said: Comment by johnny on November 22, 2013 at 12:56 pm | Permalink
     

    i can imagine Korra gets her connection to the past avatars back. the way i understand it Aang also lost the connection but regained it. and wouldn┬┤t it mean there┬┤s no avatar state anymore when there are no past avatars to focus their energies onto Korra?
    the breakup of Makorra was unbelievably stupid in my eyes. they broke up in a most difficult situation and acted on impulse and they didn┬┤t make any effort whatsoever to resolve their issues and get back together. one big fight and they go their separate ways. Avatar always had good lessons but this was just not a good writing choice. now i really hope there won┬┤t be any more Makorra shipping again, because it┬┤d just get stupid from this point on, like those kids can┬┤t make up their freaking mind.

    Reply

    Dylan Reply:

    As far as I understand it the avatar state comes from the union between the human carrier and Raava, not directly from the past avatars. And as far as the shipping goes I think it makes sense. Yes they broke up under some pretty unusual circumstances, but Mako was almost immediately back in relationship with Asami, which was his original relationship choice.. I think that relationship makes more sense. I mean of course he went for Korra eventually though, who wouldn’t want to be with the avatar?

    Reply

    Airspeed Prime Reply:

    The main issue I have is that the Mako Asami relationship was basically done off screen for the most part, the focus was always on Makorra. We see a second break up scene between Mako and Korra, but none showing Mako and Asami together in the finale. Plus I would argue that Korra and Mako were on a path to start dating before Asami literally bumped into Mako, K103 really shows this I feel.

    As far as Aang goes. What happened to him was that he was killed just prior to being in the Avatar State, in such a way where his connection to Raava was damaged and to regain that connection to the Avatar Spirit he had to reconnect with his past lives by finding the last 4 in the spirit world.

    Korra’s situation is different in that as far as we can see Raava’s own connection to the other avatars has been destroyed, while in Aang’s case Raava always had the past Avatars. I assume that the past Avatars are still in the spirit world somewhere and if Korra and Raava go in search of them she could reconnect with them somehow.

    Reply

  2. Avatar Steven Said: Comment by Avatar Steven on November 23, 2013 at 1:51 am | Permalink
     

    There is ONE MAJOR issue I am very surprised you didn’t mention:
    UnaVaatu Earthbending?! What the heck was that??
    When Korra gets trapped inside that hole in the ground, before Raava starts communicating with her, we very clearly see UnaVaatu Earthbending the hole shut. I have huge issues with this.
    As we saw from The Beginnings, it was the Lion Turtles who gave humans the power to bend the elements. It was also the Lion Turtles who gave Raava the power the bend the elements to “hold onto them” while Wan mastered each element one by one. So that made clear that spirits (at least Raava and Vaatu) couldn’t bend.
    So HOW was UnaVaatu able to earthbend?

    Reply

    johnny Reply:

    it wasn┬┤t earth, it was a big layer of ice they were on.

    Reply

    Avatar Steven Reply:

    It looked and sounded like earth…plus, it didn’t melt when she went all Avatar State exploding in fire and what not. I don’t know…

    Reply

    Airspeed Prime Reply:

    It was definitely Ice.

 

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