[font=tahoma,geneva,sans-serif][quote name='The Spectacular Professor' timestamp='1341116284' post='712117']
[font=comic sans ms,cursive]Really the entire thing felt like it was a bunch of good ideas marred by terrible execution. I love the idea behind Amon's identity, but the way they pulled it off just drained him of his dignity as the Equalist figurehead.
[spoiler]A self-loathing bender who understands the lengths to which bending can be abused to oppress the common folk makes perfect sense as the leader of the Equalist movement, but Noatak's motivation went right out the window the second he decided to rely on bloodbending so heavily in that final fight. That was when he became an outright, unsympathetic hypocrite. This is a shame because the Equalists have a damn good point and [i]that was never once acknowledged[/i].[/font][/spoiler][/quote]
I agree to an extent, the idea of [spoiler]a self-hating bender who sees the danger benders can represent to society when they don't look at themselves in the cold, hard light would've been a nice contrast to Korra's major sense of bending privilege and allow her to understand that being the Avatar is more than just being a bender. This could've been especially poignant if Korra hadn't just magically been able to airbend once Amon took her other bending forms and Aang hadn't magically asspulled her recovery with nothing learned. One of the things I really don't like about LoK is how 95% of the major bender characters in the series look upon losing their bending as a fate worse than death, as opposed to you know, just being like a normal nonbender who manage to live their lives. It's rather a gratingly superior attitude.
However, making Amon Yakone's second bloodbending son and using their sob-story upbringing to try to pull a Hail Mary justification of Tarrlok's actions (which apparently worked for a lot of people) stripped away huge amounts of believability and likeability from the character. It brings Avatar back to the "sins of the father/family disputes affect the whole world" tropes that I really, really despise as plot devices. When Amon's identity is revealed, rather that redouble his efforts to maintain the ideology which he's been pushing for, he decides "Screw it, I'll just rely on my bending and completely destroy my organisation's credibility and the hope its members had for changing a flawed society". The shot of all the poverty striken benders and nonbenders living together in perfect harmony is a very clear indication Bryke are just going to ignore the actual credible points the Equalists had with regard to society.
Personally I would've much preferred it if Amon had turned out to be the anonymous, burned, nonbender he claimed to be and that his abilities were just chi-blocking taken to its highest levels. Korra would've been forced to actually look at the Equalist ideology and how Republic City works (entirely bender composed governing body, all bender police which had no trouble violating civil rights, most popular sport restricted to benders, military seems bender exclusive or very heavily bender dominated) and come to terms with the fact she is the nonbenders Avatar as well rather than just "Amon is actually a Yakone's super bloodbending son, so all your grievances are somehow illegitimate".[/spoiler]
[quote name='The Spectacular Professor' timestamp='1341116284' post='712117']T[font=comic sans ms,cursive]he entirety of the finale just managed to leave a sour taste in my mouth because it left me completely and utterly aware of how much better it could have been. It's like every cool concept they dished out had to be immediately crippled by some intense need to play it safe.
Hell, I've spent the last month and a half hating the crap out of Mako, and I can actually envision a perfect way to pick up his character from as late as right before Aang hits the reset button and make him likeable and sympathetic right there.
[spoiler]Speaking of Aang and his magical fix everything asspull, that's probably the single most infuriating thing this finale did. It's right up with that one Naruto arc where Nagato killed himself and magically brought back everyone he killed because Naruto had a name that resembled his. Before they did that, there were at least consequences for the events of the story. People suffered, we could relate to the loss the characters were experiencing, and it left open infinite possibilities for continuation. There was so much room to grow for Korra and everyone else with the concept of the Avatar herself losing her bending. It could have been amazing.
But no, all we get is Aang popping in and being all CONGRATULATIONS ON CONTEMPLATING SUICIDE KID HERE YOU WIN THE PRIIIIIZE. She just gets everything handed to her because she got sad for a few minutes. Aang had to willingly give up everything important to him to truly unlock the Avatar State. How was this even written by the same people?[/font][/spoiler]
Yeah, head-canon is a terrible thing. The United Forces seem to have been introduced purely so IIroh could be added to the roster and shown to be a skilled Firebender, and to give the Equalists another military victory brought about by Hiroshi Da Vinci-Stark before they were all inexplicably defeated by Team Avatar, a group of untrained civilians. It would've been far better if the United Forces had been led by General Bumi with Commander Iroh serving under him, and Bumi actually verbally acknowledging how it feels to be a nonbender in a bender dominated world. Heck Bumi would've been the perfect mouthpiece for a moderated nonbender viewpoint seeing as he's the son of the damn Avatar. Also Dante Basco using Zuko's voice for IIroh felt really, really out of place to me.
I quite liked Mako at the start of the series but I'd have to agree, he's just a douche. I could sympathise with him up to a point, but when he didn't even bother to try to work things out with Asami and left her utterly in lurch, it was just a **** thing to do. It's a shame because if Amon [spoiler]really was a self-hating bender, then Mako, having lost his parents to another bender, being forced to look after his brother and compete in a bending sport just to make ends meet would've been the perfect character to attempt to sway to his viewpoint to the Equalist cause and give Korra an actual personal stake in looking at its ideology.[/spoiler]
I won't even speak of Korra's asspull ending with Aang, suffice to say I found it hilarious her Avatar state wouldn't trigger when [spoiler]she was about to lose her bending, seeing as you know, it's specifically described as a self-defence mechanism.[/spoiler][/font]