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"Skeletons in the Closet" and "Endgame" review and thoughts

Cop-outbending? You're reading Rassilon of Old's review of "Skeletons in the Closet" and "Endgame"

Boy, have I been looking forward to this! The final battle between Korra and Amon! Heck, I've even put off studying for the exams I have this week to watch the finale, only to be incredibly disappointed, not to mention angry. Be warned, I'm about to rant extensively, so leave if it isn't your thing, or read, and comment below to tell me what you thought about the episode, and my opinions. Let's get started!

"Skeletons in the Closet"
General Iroh, grandson of the now-retired Fire Lord Zuko, joins in the war against the Equalists. Meanwhile, Team Avatar is lying low in an alley where benders and non-benders seem to coexist harmoniously, and Mako and Korra go undercover as the war intensifies.
Korra in the Avatar State
The long-awaited duel between Amon and Korra is here. Will Korra be able to stop Amon from fulfilling his wishes for a bending-free world, or will she lose her own bending abilities in the process?

The removal of Lin's bending was such an important point in the series, because it assured the audience that no one was safe from Amon's reach, and that anything could happen. For me, although it was horrible and saddening to watch, it worked, and was one of the highlights of the series.

Now Korra's bending is removed by Amon, and I was saying on IRC yesterday that that would serve for an excellent series arc: the Avatar without bending. And it worked really well, and I was hoping that the removal of her bending wasn't temporary or anything. Then when she discovered she could Airbend, I thought it was fantastic, and I still wasn't annoyed, in fact, I was excited.

Then we get to the Southern Water Tribe, and Katara announces she cannot restore her bending, and I'm satisfied. Sure, it's sad, but the loss of her bending serves as an excellent trigger for her paying more attention to her Spiritual Training in the next book. Then as she cries on the edge of that glacier, I quite literally thought, "what a beautiful and perfect end to the season". Then Aang appears.

For about a second, I was excited, and then I realised what was about to happen. I was literally swearing at my screen, ordering it to "stop, stop now". Then Aang puts his thumb on Korra's forehead, and a white light glows, and we know, we know her bending has been restored. Then she restores Lin's bending, and end with a kissing Makorra scene.

I am so annoyed that her bending was returned. Not because I wanted her to lose it, but because throughout the series, she hasn't learned anything! One of the first issues we had at the beginning of the series was that she has "excelled at the physical side of bending, but completely ignored the spiritual side." And now, it seems the spiritual side of bending has been handed to her on a silver platter with cutlery included!

The series end would have been perfect had it closed with the shot of her crying, or even with a shot of the Avatar's assembling behind Aang, with him saying something cliche like "it's time to take the next step in your training". Just as long as she wasn't regranted her bending.

I would have been more than happy if she learned how to restore bending next book, that would have been an excellent arc; exploring Energybending, which it seems is what they'll be doing. But it seems as if Korra's learned nothing, and has her friends do almost everything for her. I'm not saying she's not a capable bender or fighter, she is, but think about it. Mako saved her from Amon, Aang restored her bending, Yakone gave Korra the information to ruin Amon, and ultimately took care of Amon himself, Irohnman Iroh took out the aircraft, Asami and Bolin stopped Hiroshi, and Amon took out Lietenant. All Korra did was tell everyone that Amon was a Waterbender (which wasn't believed), and blasted him out of the arena. She's been on no character driving journey as far as I can see. She even rejected the concept of patience, every time being held back by Mako or another character.

I still enjoyed it thoroughly, Amon's story was absolutely heart breaking and tragic and it's close executed perfectly, so kudos to Bryke for that one. I only wish we'd seen more of Amon emotionally towards the end. He gave a few tears, which pulled a few from me, and I'm happy that Yakone was redeemed, since he seemed like a "set up to be bad" character right from the start.

I don't like that we saw Amon's face, I wish that Bryke had the "camera" turned away from him when he revealed his face. Although it was necessary to see it, I feel like it somewhat diminished the character.

Apart from those gripes, I did really enjoy it, and what I believe will be called "Book 2: Energy", will be just as good. I just which Bryke would give up the semi-Deus Ex Machinas. We've already had one, it's time for a character to resolve something entirely on their own now.

Final verdict: 8.7 out of 10

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