Korra Episode Review – K311 The Ultimatum


Just the finale to go!

K311 The Ultimatum


Written By – Joshua Hamilton
Directed By – Colin Heck
Animated By – Studio Mir

This is the last episode before the finale, often these episodes can get forgotten because they are mainly set-up, but this time round an incredibly emotional and intense second half of the episode really made up for a good, but slow opening half. They really did crank the intensity meter up to eleven with the final few scenes, with 3 scenes in a row heavily teasing the death of 4 main characters and you really thought they were going to pull the trigger and go through with it after the last episode and what happened to the Earth Queen. Most of all everything is in place as we head into the finale and really that is all this episode needed to do, everyone, including me is hyped for the Book 3 Change finale and that makes this a great episode.

I have to start at the end and what this episode did with the idea of character deaths in this show, even more so than last episode where a character was actually killed off, this episode made us believe that multiple characters would die on screen and even though they all survived I am so worried about everyone as we head into this Friday’s finale. Tenzin especially is on “death watch”. Despite us knowing that Kai, Tenzin, Bumi and Kya are all alive, the key thing is that many of the other characters don’t. As far as Jinora is concerned Kai is dead, P’Li must believe Bumi and Kya are dead and Tenzin we are not even fully sure if he is alive, if he is he may be so badly hurt that he is dying.

I said on the podcast that this episode is the Book 3 version of K110 Turning The Tides, an episode that brings you on an emotional roller coaster ride. In that episode we were teased that Tenzin’s family were in danger and then Lin makes her emotional sacrifice and loses her bending before we end with a beacon of hope in General Iroh arriving. In this episode we also get Tenzin’s family in danger, but also every new airbender present, instead of Lin’s sacrifice we get Kai’s sacrifice and the Kataang kids desperately trying to hold off the red lotus with Kai’s survival thanks to the baby bison the hope spot. It is such an amazing sequence of scenes that I feel I cannot really add anything more to what I said on the podcast, I was physically shaking a bit when the episode ended, that is what this episode did to me, it affected me and that is a huge credit to the writing, directing and animation. If there is any doubt about how good Korra as a show is moments like this prove its quality tenfold.

While I cannot say more about the emotion of the scenes I do need to mention some of the specifics here. I loved that Tenzin was beating Zaheer in their 1 on 1 fight, the master bender is better ┬áthan the guy who thinks he is a master airbender. This was very important to show, that as amazing as Zaheer is he is not as good as Tenzin who has properly trained in airbending. I enjoyed that Bumi was not completely helpless against Ghazan, he was not up to much, but got a great moment with his clever slide between Ghazan’s legs, sleeper hold and bite, his airbending style will be fun to follow if we see him fight more. Kya vs Ming-Hua was a really cool waterbending battle, very unique, especially Ming-Hua’s “final boss” moment to defeat Kya. Overall it was just a cool moment to see all 3 of Katara and Aang’s kids stand and fight together.

The one disappointment I had with this episode was that I really wished we had a scene at the air temple earlier on in the episode where we got reintroduced to this group of characters, it has been episode 7 since we last saw them. Especially Opal, who left to go to the air temple, I wished we had got a moment to see her interact with her fellow airbenders. Instead her first involvement in the series at the air temple is being used as a hostage. I am not overly annoyed, but I hope we get more moments with her in the remaining episodes. Just like I wished P’Li, Ghazan and Ming-Hua had got character moments in this episode, after a great scene with Ming-Hua, Ghazan and Bolin from the last episode they are back to being presented as great benders without much character. At this stage I am getting a bit worried about the 3 of them, they need more time and focus, because cool bending can only bring them so far.

The last 10 minutes out of the way, did you remember there were like 12 minutes before that? While they will never get the same attention as the sheer drama of the end of the episode there were some very nice moments. Chief among them Korra’s talk with Iroh and then with Zuko. These 2 scenes were laced with so much ATLA feels, Korra speaking to Iroh again and him talking about Zuko and Aang’s friendship leading to Korra asking Zuko for advice since he knew Aang so well. What I like here is that through this conversation we get to see how much both characters have developed, how wise Zuko is now that is much older and how Korra so easily takes in advice even if it is not a perfect answer. Zuko gives her conflicting answers, but she is happy with the advice she is given, that even Aang would struggle in the situation she is in. Also Zuko mentioning his daughter was a nice moment, they are really teasing her and I do hope we see her and get her name in Book 4.

Other than that the opening of this episode focuses on Mako and Bolin saving their family and finding Korra. It is nice to get a good few minutes focusing on the brothers and their family, Yin especially is very funny at points, but the main thing that interested me about the opening segments of this episode was simply the situation in Ba Sing Se. The city is in chaos after the fall of Hou-Ting, to the point where people are so out of control that they are setting their own city and homes on fire, this shows that as much as Zaheer and co have a point about some things, their solution is not the correct one. Yes the class divides are no more, but innocent people just trying to stay under the radar getting their house set on fire is not good at all, Mako and Bolin’s family showcase this will in this episode. They are not the kind of people to run around looting and starting fires and they suffer for everone’s madness.

Shorter review this week, but this was a really good episode. A little overrated by many fans as I do think the first half of the episode does not do enough to make it one of the best episodes ever, but at the very least the last few moments are some of the most intense we have ever seen in Avatar. Now all aboard the hype train, we are heading to the finale CHOO CHOO!!!


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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 - 4 Posts

  1. F.L.Z Said: Comment by F.L.Z on August 20, 2014 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    Through the whole episode I was chewing my nails!It was so exciting.I can’t believe that TLOK has came so far in fights that you would actually think that despite of this character being one of main ones(like Tenzin) there is actually a chance of them dying!You gonna give it to Mike and Bryan.They’ve done well with this season.


  2. Andrzej Said: Comment by Andrzej on August 20, 2014 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    A great review for an amazing episode!


  3. Jon Said: Comment by Jon on August 21, 2014 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

    If they kill Tenzin off, it won’t be off screen, especially when we SAW the Queen’s death happen. He’s too important of a character to have an off screen death. I feel he’ll get the Ned Stark treatment (OK, maybe not that harsh, but you know what I mean). Actually I believe that Fire Lord Zuko will die while protecting his daughter. Then right after he dies, he’ll be reunited with Uncle Iroh in the Spirit World, and all of Fandom will tear bend.


    F.L.Z Reply:

    If that happens,I will definitely tear bend! But that’s a nice idea.I think it will happen too.



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