| Admit mistakes when they occur and seek to restore honor.
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- This article is about the final episode of The Legend of Korra. For the Nick.com game, see The Last Stand.
|"This battle is over. I owe the Avatar my life. Her power is beyond anything I could ever hope to achieve. I'll accept whatever punishment the world sees fit."|
|— Kuvira admitting defeat.|
"The Last Stand" is the thirteenth and final episode of Book Four: Balance of The Legend of Korra and the 52nd and final episode of the overall series. It was released along with "Day of the Colossus" on Nick.com and through the Nick app on December 19, 2014, and aired on Nicktoons the same night.
Having infiltrated the giant mecha suit, Lin and Suyin move to disable the cannon, Mako and Bolin make their way to shut down the weapon's core, and Korra climbs to the cockpit to face Kuvira directly. With the cannon disabled, Kuvira tears the arm from the mecha with the Beifong sisters inside, tossing it into the Spirit Wilds moments before Korra blasts her way into the cockpit, sparking a ferocious duel. Meanwhile, Mako destroys the suit's core with lightning, causing it to explode and split the mecha in half at the waist. Korra helps a wounded Kuvira to exit the wreckage and demands her surrender, but Kuvira, catching Korra off-guard, escapes into the Spirit Wilds, where she finds the still-functional cannon hanging in the vines and turns it on the pursuing Korra. The shot misses, and the weapon begins absorbing power from the surrounding vines, causing it to spin out of Kuvira's control. Korra uses her energybending to counter the cannon's energy beam, and the massive amount of concentrated spirit energy tears open a new spirit portal. Korra and Kuvira are pulled into the Spirit World, where Korra manages to convince Kuvira to surrender, which she does the moment the two women return to Republic City. Sometime afterward, Varrick and Zhu Li are married at Air Temple Island with Bolin presiding. At the festivities, Wu reveals his plan to abolish the monarchy to Korra and Mako. Afterward, Korra and Asami decide to take a vacation to the Spirit World together, marking the start of their romantic relationship together.
Kuvira's mecha suit struggles to free itself from the ice Korra has bent around it to immobilize it. Freeing one of its arms, it leverages itself on buildings and smashes the remaining ice until it once again returns to a standing position. As it moves down the street, an alarm sounds in the cockpit, notifying Kuvira and one of the mecha pilots that the hull of the mecha has been breached; Kuvira gives the order for her soldiers to apprehend the Avatar and her group. Down in the breach, Korra gives out her own orders: Suyin and Lin are to go to the arm and disable the weapon, and Mako and Bolin are to try to shut down the engine, while Korra will go after Kuvira herself. When Suyin expresses worried skepticism, based on Korra's last fight with Kuvira, Korra states firmly that that fight's end result will not repeat itself. The five depart to attend to their objectives.
In the engine room, two operators tend to a massive ball of spirit vines as purple bolts of energy jump out of it onto receptors on the ceiling. From under a hatch, Bolin lavabends a thin piece of earth into a molten saw-like blade, cutting through the hatch and allowing them to enter. They take on one soldier each, and begin to do battle with the metalbenders. During Mako's fight, his arm, caught by a flying metal shackle, firebends directly into the surface of the ball of glowing vines, causing a small explosion which throws both Mako and his opponent off their feet.
Meanwhile, Suyin and Lin have made their way to the arm; they only have enough time to gaze at its inner workings for a moment before they are accosted by a metalbender. Lin tells Suyin to disable the weapon while she deals with the metalbender below. As Lin fights, Suyin destroys the reloading mechanism of the weapon, causing the spirit-vine canisters to tumble downwards into the bottom of the arm, where they explode violently upon impact; Suyin barely dives out of the way as the blast screams upward. Lin returns to Suyin, having dealt with her opponent, and congratulates her on destroying the ammunition belt. Suyin remarks that while the outside may be platinum, the inside is not, and the two sisters proceed to cause as much damage as possible.
In the cockpit, an operator reports the loss of functionality in the firing mechanism. When Kuvira, stating that it is not a malfunction but a deliberate incident, attempts to take control of the arm once again, she finds it utterly unresponsive. Knowing that the weapon has been rendered useless, she uses the good arm to tear the weapon arm from the mecha; as Suyin and Lin bend themselves to the inside of the arm, Kuvira flings it from her, and it crashes into a nearby building; the weapon barrel itself breaks off from the arm and spirals into the spirit wilds. Suyin and Lin, kept safe by their restraints, are rendered unconscious by the impact.
As Kuvira stares out the front window, a loud metallic thud sounds from behind her; she turns to see the cockpit hatch crumpling and distorting under repeated blows, and as it flies off its hinges into the cabin, Korra shoots through after it, firebending and airbending simultaneously and rendering the pilots unconscious by slamming them into the walls. Kuvira dodges out of the way of the blast and as Korra lands, they begin to duel; the cockpit becomes more and more damaged as the battle progresses.
In the engine room, Mako manages to defeat his opponent; yelling to Bolin that he is ready to pull his shutdown lever, Bolin yells back that he is not ready, still dueling his own soldier. Blinding the soldier by cutting a steam line and rushing him, Bolin finally defeats his soldier. The brothers pull their levers at the same time, but the ball of vines shows no sign of shutting down; Bolin, panicked, speculates that Kuvira installed an override device on the engine. When Bolin is unable to find a way to override the system and mentions that all he knows about the vines is that they are highly unstable, Mako, after a moment's hesitation, decides to manually destroy the ball of vines by shooting lightning at it. Bolin realizes that the odds of Mako surviving the attempt are not good, and he objects to Mako's idea; Mako, however, is set on his plan, and Bolin relents, making Mako promise to get himself out as quickly as possible. As Bolin carries the unconscious engineers out of the engine room, Mako blasts the vines with electricity, and the room begins to systematically detonate around him; even as his body is thrown against the wall of the room and his attacking arm is terribly burned by a surge from the vines which burns the sleeve off his arm, he continues his own assault on the vines, only giving up when the mass becomes critically unstable and strikes him directly in the chest with a purplish arc of energy. Mako falls unconscious on the floor, half-leaning over the hatch, as the mass nears its explosive demise.
In the cockpit, Korra and Kuvira continue dueling; neither of them seems to be able to gain the upper hand, as both of them are at their most powerful. Back in the failing engine room, Bolin goes back for Mako, taking his body down the hatch and to relative safety as the ball of vines begins to flare with raw, uncontrolled energy. The mecha shudders, throwing Korra and Kuvira off their feet in the cockpit; beams of energy begin to shoot outwards from the heart of the mecha as the core dies. There is a bright flash of light and a brief, dim pause before the mecha is torn in two by a massive explosion; the top half flies through the air and tumbles into a building as the lower half collapses to the ground. As Korra and Kuvira hold on desperately, the cockpit follows the lower half, free falling to the street. A massive cloud of dust rises before clearing out to reveal the wreck of the mecha. In the wreckage lie Mako and Bolin, unconscious. Korra blasts the window out of the cockpit and helps an injured Kuvira from the rubble; when she tells Kuvira, seemingly stunned, that the battle is over and that she must surrender, the metalbender catches her off-guard and strikes her in the face with a chunk of rock. Momentarily stunned, Korra turns over to see Kuvira fleeing into the spirit wilds. Korra gives chase.
Stumbling through the overgrown space, Kuvira responds to Korra's yelled demand to give up with a mumbled "never". She soon stumbles through a curtain of vines and looks up in wonder at something before her. Korra demands once again that Kuvira surrender, to which Kuvira yells back defiantly that Korra will have to take her herself if she wants a surrender. Following the sound of Kuvira's voice, Korra stumbles right into Kuvira, who, to Korra's horror, has found the spirit weapon entangled and ostensibly powered by the surrounding spirit vines; the barrel is aimed right at Korra. With a confident "Now it's over", Kuvira fires the only round left in the weapon. Korra tumbles out of the way of the beam as it fires; the blast lasts an unusually long time, and the vines from which the weapon hangs begin to glow purple as well. As they snap, the barrel swings upward, slashing through buildings and trees in its path as Kuvira holds tightly to its side. Korra, on her feet again, yells at Kuvira to shut the weapon down; when Kuvira tries to do so, the weapon does not respond. Suddenly losing her grip on the side of the weapon, she falls to the ground, tumbling for a considerable distance before coming to a stop. Raising her head, she watches in terror as the beam swings around toward her.
Just before the beam washes over her, Korra steps between Kuvira and the beam; entering the Avatar State, she extends her hands and bends, blocking the beam and causing it to balloon into a purple orb around them. After a few seconds, the orb begins to expand explosively, extending itself to a massive size that covers a small area at the heart of Republic City's central peninsula. Larger and larger it grows, a wave of blinding purple energy expanding through the streets as Tenzin and his kids take refuge in a nearby building. Asami as well narrowly avoids the expanding dome by ducking into a railway tunnel; by now, the massive orb has enveloped a large majority of the central peninsula. The blast of energy coursing through the streets suddenly arrests its motion; the cloud of dust hangs in the air for a brief moment before returning to its source, compacting itself into a tiny ball where Korra and Kuvira are, now surrounded by a vast expanse of spirit vines created by the expansion of the energy. Compacting beyond its threshold, the tiny ball of energy flares yellow and shoots a final, permanent beam of energy into the sky, its core occupied by two spiraling bands of green and yellow; at its base sits a rotating orb of focused greenish-yellow energy. The beam rises into the sky as mecha pilots nearby watch and Bolin, now awake, pulls Mako, semiconscious, out of the wreckage, which is nearly covered in spirit vines. Together, they gaze in amazement at the wondrous sight before them. Tenzin, Jinora, Ikki, and Meelo gaze on it as well as Tenzin acknowledges the creation of a new spirit portal.
Both sides arrive at the site of the portal and begins searching for Korra and Kuvira; however, they are nowhere to be found. Korra awakes to find herself as a spirit; her glowing blue form stares back at a reddish-purple copy of herself. As she looks at it, it morphs into an unconscious Kuvira. Their colors fade as they descend toward the ground in the Spirit World. Kuvira crumples as soon as her feet hit the ground, and Korra catches her before she falls. Coming to in Korra's arms, Kuvira panics and, pushing Korra over, stumbles through the field of purple-pink spirit flowers in which they are sitting. She asks if they are dead, and Korra tells her where they are and how they came to be there. Kuvira expresses bewilderment as to why Korra would save her life after the things she has done. Korra replies that she thinks she saw a bit of herself in Kuvira; Kuvira rejects the presumption angrily, and Korra explains the similarities in their personalities, their determination and occasional thoughtlessness. Kuvira, falling to her knees in the flowers, tells Korra that this is her fault, that if she had surrendered, this would not have happened. Korra retorts that Kuvira brought her downfall on herself, having had full knowledge of the wrongness of her actions while doing them.
An angry and distraught Kuvira accuses Korra of being absent, thereby forcing her to do something, as Suyin had chosen not to step in and take over the Earth Kingdom while it was in chaos. She expresses the opinion that she had no other choice, that since no one else would act to save the country, she had to act herself. Korra, after a short pause, tells Kuvira that she thinks she understands her; Kuvira had been an orphan, and the feeling of abandonment tormented her. As a result, when she saw the Earth Kingdom thrown into chaos, she refused to abandon it to the same fate as herself. Her goal was to create a country sufficiently strong to ensure that it would never be threatened by any opposing force in the future. Kuvira said that Korra could not possibly understand, as the Avatar is adored by millions, while she was rejected by her own parents. Korra sits down with Kuvira in the flowers, telling her that she can relate to Kuvira, as she would have given anything to regain some semblance of control after being poisoned by Zaheer.
On the city side of the portal, spirits pour out of it, filling the area. As Tenzin announces the return of the spirits, Asami notices two figures emerging through the portal. Korra and Kuvira walk out of the portal, the former supporting the latter, and as Bolin yells in happiness, mecha suits surround them and order that Korra release Kuvira. Walking free of Korra, Kuvira orders them to stand down, declaring the battle officially over and hailing the Avatar as the one who saved her life. Acknowledging that her power is too great to be contested with, she accepts any punishment that the city may inflict upon her and surrenders herself. As Lin and Suyin escort Kuvira away in handcuffs, the gang gives Korra a group hug.
Sometime in the very near future, Bolin presides over the marriage of Varrick and Zhu Li. Bolin gives a short discourse on the sometimes-fickle nature of love and the bond between the two before Pabu climbs onto his shoulder with the vows tied in a ribbon around his neck. When Bolin finds a section in the vows written by Varrick stating that Zhu Li will have to scrub the calluses off his feet twice a week, he refuses to read any further, but Zhu Li tells Varrick that she does not mind any of that, so long as she has him. Bolin concludes the ceremony with "You may now do the thing", and Zhu Li happily kisses her new husband as the crowd applauds; Varrick breaks down into tears, telling Zhu Li that the reason is "You just make me so dang happy!"
Later in the evening, the dinner party is in full swing; Tahno, the former pro-bender, plays trombone as the people, including the new couple, dance. Mako compliments Wu on his newly developed leadership abilities; stating that this does not mean that he will try to make him and Korra a couple, Wu responds that "sometimes a good evacuation is its own reward." Korra walks up to him, addressing him as King Wu and asking if he is ready to return to Ba Sing Se; Wu, somewhat nervously and to their astonishment, tells them that he is actually considering abdicating the throne and abolishing the monarchy in the Earth Kingdom. Mako asks if Wu is joking, and Wu responds that, for once, he is not, stating his vision for independent states with democratically elected leaders, as per the United Republic. Korra and Mako express their approval for the idea, and Wu leaves for the dance floor. After a short exchange about Mako's arm, which is in a cast and sling, Mako tells Korra that he is completely loyal to her, and that he would follow her into battle anywhere if she asked; he promises her that no matter what, "I will always have your back." Korra is touched by the gesture.
Shortly afterward, Korra stands at the gate to the island, staring out across the water at the brilliant beam of the new spirit portal rising into the sky. Tenzin walks up next to her and tells her about a plan by Raiko to expand the city rather than attempt to fix the very damaged downtown area. Korra remarks that Aang could never have imagined that one day, there would be a spirit portal in the middle of Republic City. Tenzin tells her that she has done more to change the world in a few years than most Avatars had in their lifetimes; Korra responds that she feels like her work has only just begun, and that there is much she wants to learn and do. She and Tenzin both agree that life is one big, bumpy ride. After a short, contemplative pause, Korra tells Tenzin that she understands why she was poisoned; she had to learn what true suffering was in order to become compassionate to people like Kuvira. Tenzin puts a hand on Korra's shoulder and she place hers atop his.
Asami soon walks up, telling Tenzin that Varrick wanted to borrow a glider suit to jump off the tower, and Tenzin races off in a panic to stop him. As they watch Tenzin run off, Korra asks Asami to sit with her for a few moments. After Asami sits, Korra apologizes for being gone for so long, but Asami tells her there is no need to apologize for anything; she is just glad to have her here now. She tears up and turns away as she tells Korra that she is not sure she could handle losing her father and Korra in the same day. Korra offers her condolences, and they hug as Asami muses that she is glad she had been able to at least forgive her father for his mistakes.
When Korra suggests that they make their way back to the dance floor, Asami tells her that she is "all danced out" and notes that she could really use a vacation. Korra, jumping at the chance, tells her that a vacation is a great idea and offers to take her anywhere she wants, just the two of them. After a pause for thought, Asami picks the Spirit World, which Korra deems to be perfect. Later, Korra and Asami walk alone across the vine waste toward the new portal. As they approach it, they glance contently at each other and smile. They hold hands and walk into the brilliant golden light of the portal, where they turn and lovingly look into each other's eyes, signifying the start of their romantic relationship. The golden glow envelops them and they cross over into the Spirit World.
- Janet Varney - Korra
- David Faustino - Mako
- P.J. Byrne - Bolin
- Seychelle Gabriel - Asami
- J.K. Simmons - Tenzin
- Zelda Williams - Kuvira
- Mindy Sterling - Beifong
- Jeff Bennett
- Radio broadcaster
- John Michael Higgins - Varrick
- Stephanie Sheh
- Anne Heche - Su
- Sunil Malhotra
- Dee Bradley Baker
- Main article: Transcript:The Last Stand
- At Varrick and Zhu Li's wedding, Tenzin wears the same formal attire he wore in "The Voice in the Night".
- Bolin's lava disc technique is similar to the lava shuriken move Ghazan used in "Rebirth".
- This is the second time the protagonists destroy a machine from the inside, the first time being the destruction of the Fire Nation drill in "The Drill".
- Korra's rationale of having to go through suffering in order to become compassionate is similar to the wisdom Avatar Yangchen imparts to Aang in Escape from the Spirit World.
- The dragon eel spirit flying around Republic City's spirit portal when Korra and Asami approach it is the same one that told Korra the spirits would not participate in a human conflict in "Operation Beifong".
- This episode ends in a similar fashion to the last episode of Avatar: The Last Airbender, with the current Avatar entering into a romantic relationship with a close female companion shortly after defeating an adversary.
- Additionally, the last word spoken in both episodes is "perfect" and the Chinese characters for "the end" are shown before going to the credits.
- Varrick's full name is Iknik Blackstone Varrick.
- Tahno knows how to play the trombone.
- The council page knows how to play the tuba.
- Hasook knows how to play the clarinet.
- Lu and Gang know how to play the erhu and banjo respectively.
- Wu wants to pursue a singing career.
- Korra and Asami are in love with each other and start a romantic relationship.
- Before entering the Spirit World, Kuvira covers an injury received on the left side of her waist with her right arm. In all the later shots, however, Kuvira is using her left hand to cover the right side of her waist.
- "The Last Stand" and "Day of the Colossus" make up the only two episodes to be released together in Book Four.
- The waiters at Varrick and Zhu Li's wedding are dressed like Nuktuk in The Adventures of Nuktuk: Hero of the South.
- The necklace Korra wears during Varrick and Zhu Li's wedding is similar to the one Aang wore at Zuko's coronation in "Sozin's Comet, Part 4: Avatar Aang", being circular in shape with three tassels hanging from it.
- Although it was not explicitly mentioned during the series, the final shot of Korra and Asami holding hands while entering the spirit portal was meant to depict the evolution of their friendship into a romantic relationship.
- The way in which Korra and Asami turned toward each other with their hands clasped together parallels Varrick and Zhu Li's nuptial pose from the wedding scene shown earlier in the episode.
- The score that played during the final scene with Korra and Asami contained similar elements to "The Avatar's Love", a song that was played several times in the first series during romantic scenes between Aang and Katara.