I’m an Avatar fan (by which I mean Avatar: The Last Airbender; not the James Cameron movie).

Loved the 3 original seasons.

Loved the 1st season of Legend of Korra.

Really like the 2nd season of Legend of Korra.

I enjoyed the 3rd season of Legend of Korra, but only with persistent and willful suspension of disbelief. (Yes, all fiction requires some suspension of disbelief, but really fine fiction makes it easy.)

The problems:

  • The Avatar can remove a person’s bending. Why did the imprisoned Red Lotus members still have their bending? (Really, there’s no reason they would’ve been imprisoned in the first place—they would have been executed. But this is a family show, so, fine. But why didn’t Korra remove the threat and take their power away?)
  • Through the spiritual seismic event that kicked-off the series, imprisoned Red Lotus ringleader Zaheer gets airbending. So far so good. But we saw Korra struggle to learn airbending in the first season, even having mastered 3 other elements, and with the benefit of experienced teachers. And yet Zaheer, having no history with bending at all, having been imprisoned for 13 years in shackles (remember that bending is a demanding martial art requiring peak physical condition), with no mentoring or intruction, is instantly not only a master, but superior to even Korra and Tenzin. In fact, with no effort at all, he unlocks the secret of “entering the void”, something unknown since the days of Guru Laghima. And to top it all off: he defeats Korra when she’s in the “Avatar State”—you know, the white-eyed demigod state that defeats whole armies and changes the face of the earth. Uh-huh.
  • Lava bending. Really? Is lava an element now? Metal bending I buy as a subset of earth bending (which is how it’s presented). But lava bending should just be earth bending—it’s earth. But that’s only part of the problem. With every other element, bending manipulates the element. It does not create it. If you’re a water bender and there’s no water handy, you’re outta luck. But lava bending creates lava out of earth. Wouldn’t that just make it fire bending? Heating earth until it melts? But even then, potting soil or sandstone aren’t going to yield a high-quality lava. And yet, they do. And what’s more, this is magic lava, that consumes all the stone around it, propagating. Hrm.
  • In the last two episodes, Korra is constrained by handcuffs. No problem—she can just metal bend outta them, right? No, says Zaheer. They are platinum. So . . . platinum isn’t a metal?

Well, there it is. Some sloppy writing this season. It may not have been worth watching. But I’ll still be catching Season 4.