Avatar: The Legend of Korra, Book 4: Balance may be the last animated entry into one of the best television shows of the past decade. In honor of this milestone, Channel Surfer is providing a retrospective on each Avatar season, from the original series to the latest. This is meant to be an overview for Avatar veterans, and hopefully an introduction for anyone interested in the show. This week we continue with The Legend of Korra, Book 3: Change.
Original Run: 2014
No. of Episodes: 13
Premise: Avatar takes place in a world where humans can bend the fire, water, earth, and air. Set 70 years after the events of The Last Air Bender, and 17 years after the death of Avatar Aang, the new series follows his successor, Korra. With the world changing rapidly in terms of technology and outlook, it’s up to the new Avatar to maintain balance and oppose parties that question the very need for an Avatar.
Book 3: Change
After the events of Harmonic Convergence, the world has been changed forever. For the first time since the 100 Year War, new airbenders are emerging. Korra and her friends set out to find these new benders and help rebuild the Air Nation. However, they are unknowingly chased by four dangerous criminals led by a new airbender named Zaheer. These new adversaries are members of the Red Lotus, an organization set on establishing a new balance to the world, one that has no room for the Avatar.
Watching the Show
Book 3: Change attempts to rectify the mistakes of Book 2: Spirits by having a clear and concise story arc. Korra is looking for new airbenders while a group of bad guys are looking for her. This mostly takes place in the Earth Kingdom, and has a few parallels to The Last Airbender’s Book 2: Earth. The antagonist of this season are a lot for dangerous than the Equalist of season 1, and more competent than Unalaq in season 2. In a lot of ways, this is more their story, and it feels that Korra takes a bit of a backseat to Zaheer and the new Air Nation. It’s also the darkest season of Avatar, and I’m very surprised that a network with a talking sponge for a mascot allowed it to run, even digitally.
Old Wound’s [S.3, Ep.6]
I am a sucker for flashbacks. In this episode, we get to see how Lin Beifong looked and acted in her earlier days as a beat cop. We also find out how she got her scars. While some may or may not agree with how Lin’s history and issues were dealt with, the overall episode is still one of the best in the season.
The Ultimatum [S.3, Ep.11]
Tired on hunting the Avatar, Zaheer and his group decide to take the fledgling Air Nation hostage and bring her to them. What follows in an intense fight between the Aang’s children and Team Zaheer, with Tenzin in particular looking like a badass.
Venom of the Red Lotus [S.3. Ep.13]
So far, Korra is three for three on Finales. Having been captured by Zaheer, Korra is poisoned, but Zaheer underestimated her powers. Korra basically goes “hulk smash!” on Zaheer while the new Air Nation helps her take down the Red Lotus. Action packed, dramatic, and bittersweet, this is the episode that keeps you on the edge of your seat for the following season.