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|"We'll have to attack in a swarm to try to keep you guys safe in the hummingbird suits. It looks like they're our only hope."|
|— Korra to Team Avatar.|
"Day of the Colossus" is the twelfth and penultimate episode of Book Four: Balance of The Legend of Korra and the 51st of the overall series. It was released along with "The Last Stand" on Nick.com and through the Nick app on December 19, 2014, and aired on Nicktoons Network the same night.
Team Avatar narrowly escapes from the destroyed Future Industries factory and devises a plan to take down Kuvira's giant mecha suit. The benders try to slow the suit down, but they are unable to overcome its sheer power. Varrick tries to use an electromagnetic pulse to disable the giant mecha, but is unable to do so, only taking out one battalion of smaller mecha suits. Hiroshi Sato is temporarily released from prison to aid Asami, Varrick, and Zhu Li in engineering the hummingbird suits for use in combat. During this time, Hiroshi and Asami bury the hatchet, and Varrick successfully proposes to Zhu Li. Baatar Jr. reveals a way to disable the giant mecha and the team comes up with a plan to infiltrate the suit. Using a powerful saw rigged to the hummingbird suit, Hiroshi and Asami successfully cut a hole in Kuvira's mecha suit, allowing Korra, Mako, Bolin, Lin, and Suyin to enter; Hiroshi, however, is killed in the process.
Although Kuvira has destroyed the Future Industries warehouse sheltering Team Avatar, their allies, and Baatar Jr., Bolin saves everyone inside using earthbending to prevent a wall from crushing them and to lift it up long enough for them to escape. Tenzin flies to a rooftop and notices Kuvira's giant mecha suit along with a platoon of smaller ones heading across a bridge and flies back to inform the group. Bolin believes that they do not have the strength to match her army and suggests allowing Kuvira to conquer the city for now while the team orchestrates a new strategy for defeating her. Mako counters by saying that other citizens have yet to be evacuated and if Kuvira sees Wu among them, she might fire her spirit energy cannon again and take them all out. Korra, upset that she could not stop Kuvira from taking Zaofu, insists that the military leader is a threat to the entire world with her weapon, a statement supported by Lin, who arrives on the scene. They decide to confront Kuvira head-on; although Varrick grimly points out that all the hummingbird mecha suits have been destroyed, Asami notes that a few of the prototypes are in her office and can still offer air support. Korra tells Suyin to take the wounded to Asami's office while she, Team Avatar, the Air Nation, Lin, Wei, and Wing take out Kuvira.
Meanwhile, at Central City Station, Pema urges an unnerved crowd to remain calm, as new trains will be on their way. However, a conductor arrives and informs everyone that the tracks have been ravaged by the mecha tanks, while Tu tells everyone that Kuvira's army is inbound. The people start to panic, but Wu manages to ease the tension by informing them that he has a strategy in mind. He goes off with Tu to find help, leaving Pema to preside over the unruly crowd.
Back on the streets of Republic City, Team Avatar is racing toward the giant mecha when Meelo notices a paint store and invents a strategy for toppling the machine using paint and balloons. Acting upon the idea, the airbenders, each armed with several paint-filled balloons, fly toward the mecha suit as it marches through the city. Kuvira promptly targets and fires her spirit weapon at them; however, most of the airbenders avoid the blast and continue their attack, save for Kai and Ryu, the former helping the latter recover from the blast. The remaining airbenders begin to swirl around the giant's head as Kuvira attempts to strike them with the mecha suit's arms. Meelo and the others throw the paint balloons at the mecha suit's target crosshairs and the windows of the control room, obstructing Kuvira's view. While Kuvira activates the machine's water jets to clear the paint, Lin tries to metalbend one of the mecha suit's feet, but is unsuccessful, as the joints are made of platinum. Bolin lavabends the earth beneath the foot while Wei and Wing entangle the legs with metal cables. Korra and the airbenders subsequently attempt to topple the giant using a combined airbending attack, but Kuvira fires a blast at them, forcing Team Avatar to retreat and injuring several airbenders in the process.
At Asami's office, Varrick, Zhu Li, and Asami try to fix and test the hummingbird mecha suit with no success. Daw warns them about Kuvira's troops that coming and Varrick comes up with the idea how to take down Kuvira's mecha suit. He orders Asami to disconnect the electricity and Zhu Li to come with him.
At the factory's upper floor, Baatar Jr. wakes up and wonders where he is. Suyin, who was with him, suggests that he rest and Baatar Jr. apologizes for his betrayal of his family and asks her why Kuvira had fired the weapon at him. Suyin explains him she was just a complicated person and Baatar Jr. is worried that Wei, Wing, and Opal will never forgive him. Suyin tries to comfort him, saying they will work through it as a family.
At a metal tower on the factory's rooftop, Zhu Li asks Varrick if he is sure about his plan and Varrick, while he works on some wires, assures her by reasoning that since he could stop the mecha suits before with an electromagnetic pulse, he could use a "giant" one to stop a "giant" suit. When Zhu Li tells him that he is always thinking, Varrick continues by saying that he had been thinking about her and he should tell her some things he was feeling like. He starts telling her that he once had an ostrich horse named Mrs. Beaks, whom he had loved but taken for granted, when he was a boy and that he had grown up on a farm before being taken away to a circus. Before he can continue, Zhu Li interrupts him, saying that Kuvira's troops were in range and activates the pulse, causing the platoon of smaller mecha suits to be disabled, but Kuvira's giant continues to advance unscathed. Varrick tells her to do the thing again, but Zhu Li sadly expresses that "there are no more things to do".
In the cockpit of the mecha giant, Kuvira wants to know what just happened to her first two mecha platoons. A soldier informs her that they were shut down by an electromagnetic pulse. Deducing the source to be the place where Varrick is, she orders the soldier to locate it and orders the other mecha platoons to continue the sweep of the city.
Back in Future Industries Tower, Bolin inquires why the small mecha suits were shut down by Varrick's electromagnetic pulse, though not the big one. Baatar Jr. tells them that it is powered by spirit vine energy rather than regular electricity, concluding that it is unstoppable. Much to everyone's surprise, his statement is contradicted by Hiroshi. Seeing everyone's shock, Lin explains that she freed the genius engineer from prison to help find a way to stop Kuvira. Understanding the animosity Team Avatar feels toward him, Hiroshi explains that he loves Republic City and would do anything to save her. As Korra skeptically asks him if he knows how to defeat the enormous mecha suit, he states that they need to work like a virus: they need to breach the skin in order to shut it down from the inside. When Korra wonders how they would achieve that, he muses that they could use the plasma saws Future Industries uses for cutting platinum. As Asami notes that those are far too big and heavy to be carried by the relatively small hummingbird suits, he adapts his plan and opts to add an electrical element to the already existing welding torches on the suits to convert them into plasma saws. Varrick warns them that being the equivalent of a metal mosquito brings the risk of being swatted, prompting Korra to come up with the plan to attack Kuvira's suit as a group to draw her attention away from the hummingbird mecha suits, who would use her distraction to cut a hole in the platinum armor.
At the train station, Pema sings an old airbender song in order to amuse the evacuees, but she only manages to get them bored. Then, she suggests to play the button game and that time, Wu and Tu come riding two badgermoles and Pema asks them where they had found the badgermoles and Wu explains they had found them at the zoo and that they could use them to tunnel out of the city, as they are the best earthbenders and loved Wu's singing, unlike Mako. He starts singing and the badgermoles create a hold beneath the trains tracks.
Inside the giant mecha, Kuvira orders the mecha platoons to report for progress. The third platoon answers negatively and the fourth platoon answers it's leading to the train station. A soldier informs Kuvira they had found out the source of the electromagnetic pulse was the Future Industries Tower. Meanwhile, at Asami's office, Daw warns the Team about Kuvira and Korra asks Asami how long it would take to get the plasma saws ready. Baatar Jr. advices Korra to find the engine room, if they manage to get inside and switch off the two emergency levers that exist there at the same time to cut the power. Korra thanks him and tells the others to follow her, so that they could slow down the mecha suit.
Outside the office, on the streets of Republic City, Korra, Mako, Bolin, Lin and Suyin get ready to face the mecha suit and Kuvira throws a spirit beam against Korra, but she avoids the attack performing an air spout and then, she throws four giant rocks against the giant. The airbenders approach it and Korra throws more giant rocks. Kuvira targets Korra, but the airbenders cause it fire to the ground and lose its balance by performing a big tornado. The airbenders fly around the giant and Meelo slams against the window. Kuvira tries to squash him, but Meelo flies off and the mecha suit hits itself. Kuvira fires against Meelo but he avoids the attack and nearly hits Jinora. Tenzin manages to protect and save her daughter but they are both knocked unconscious by the blast. Ikki and Meelo approach their family and Ikki catches Jinora, while Meelo catches Tenzin and tries to reduce the speed of the fall and airbends the ground, softening the impact. Meanwhile, Bolin, Lin and Suyin slice a building and throw it against the giant, causing its fall. However, the giant was able to stand up, causing Team Avatar's fear.
Back at a tunnel, created by the badgermoles, Wu sings a song to thank Yin for her help. Then, three mecha suits ambush them and an Earth Empire sergeant orders them to surrender and Wu to stop singing. Wu tells him not to harm them, because they were just innocent civilians, but only take him, because he had business with Kuvira. Tu tries to change his mind, but Wu insists and sings a song to Kuvira's soldiers, telling them he has his badgermoles with him. The badgermoles leave and the Earth Empire sergeant starts to mock him, saying his badgermoles have deserted them due to his "terrible singing", but then, the badgermoles show up again and crush the mecha suits, much to Wu's happiness, which leads him to sing them a song in order to thank them.
At Asami's office, Hiroshi cuts with the plasma saws a piece of platinum and Asami tells him that if they stop the mecha suit, it will be because of him. Hiroshi tells her that she had designed those suits and that it was great to working with her daughter again and both of them express their love for each other. Meanwhile, Varrick tells Zhu Li he needed to attach something before they would take off. He shows a ring and asks her to "do the thing" for the rest of their lives, and Zhu Li answers yes. Varrick cheers up and kisses Zhu Li, suggesting to "attach those barely functional rust buckets to a giant killer smashing machine".
Back on the streets of Republic City, the Beifongs and the airbenders try to slow the giant down unsuccessfully. Then, the hummingbird suits approach it and Kuvira fires the canon against them. They avoid its attack and try to make an opening in the giant, with no success. Korra tries to help them by freezing the mecha suit's body and left hand and Kuvira throws a spirit beam against Varrick and Zhu Li's hummingbird suit. Korra freezes its right hand, helping Asami and Hiroshi to approach it. While Hiroshi starts to cut a hole, Kuvira increases the power of the mecha suit in an attempt to free it. Asami notices the hand slowly but surely breaking free of its icy prison and tries to convince her father to stop welding and fly to safety. The moment Kuvira manages to completely free the suit's hand, Hiroshi says goodbye to Asami and tells her for the last time that he loves her. Flipping the switch to her ejection seat, he saves her life while using the last seconds of his to finish welding. Asami looks on in horror how Kuvira crushes her father to death in the hummingbird suit.
Noticing that Hiroshi has managed to cut a hole in the platinum armor, Korra, Mako, Bolin, Lin, and Suyin approach it. When Kuvira tries to crush them as well, Korra buys them all some time by stalling the enormous hand's descent by raising some iceberg spikes. By the time Kuvira manages to push through the ice, the five benders have made it into the suit.
- Janet Varney - Korra
- David Faustino - Mako
- P.J. Byrne - Bolin
- Seychelle Gabriel - Asami
- J.K. Simmons - Tenzin
- Zelda Williams - Kuvira
- John Michael Higgins - Varrick
- Mindy Sterling - Beifong
- Logan Wells - Meelo
- Jeff Bennett - Radio broadcaster
- Stephanie Sheh - Zhu Li
- Anne Heche - Su
- Sunil Malhotra - Wu
- Todd Haberkorn - Baatar Jr
- Maria Bamford - Pema
- Greg Cipes - Tu
- Dee Bradley Baker
- Jim Meskimen
- Daniel Dae Kim - Hiroshi
- Main article: Transcript:Day of the Colossus
- Main article: Writing in the World of Avatar
- The Future Industries advertisement billboard was previously present as a magazine advertisement in "Reunion".
- Varrick recalls his use of an electromagnetic pulse to disable mecha suits in "Reunion".
- Badgermoles' love of music was last used to dig tunnels in "The Cave of Two Lovers".
- Hiroshi's suggestion of taking out Kuvira's enormous mecha suit from the inside is similar to Sokka's idea of taking out the Fire Nation drill from inside in "The Drill".
- Varrick was raised on a farm, where he had an ostrich horse named Mrs. Beaks.
- Varrick spent time with a circus.
- Zhu Li's last name is Moon.
- During the airbenders' assault on Kuvira's mecha suit, the view from inside the control room shows that all the front windows are completely covered in paint. In the next scene before the windows are cleared, they are covered in less paint, especially around the edges.
- After Kuvira forces the airbenders to stop their attack on her enormous mecha suit, Jinora is seen tending to her father, while Kai is checking up on Ikki in the background. When the shot changes from an overview to a back-view, it is suddenly Ikki who is standing next to Tenzin, and Kai and Jinora have disappeared. When the shot changes again to a side-view, Jinora is back tending to her father.
- The Air Acolyte woman is shown to be part of the group of evacuees at Central City Station, though she is not seen again when the group moves underground.
- When the badgermoles crush the three mecha suits, their tails are covered with brown fur like the rest of their bodies, whereas they are normally fur-less and a soft pink color.
- This episode, along with "The Last Stand", make up the only two episodes in Book Four to be released together as an hour long special.