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Iruka's Top 30 Favorite Moments from LoK Book 2 Masterpost

After working on this for something like half a year–from shortly after the Book 2 finale until early yesterday–I feel like celebrating its completion with a masterpost. (Hey, at least I’ve finished this one before the beginning of Book 3! ^_^)

If you’d prefer something equally enthusiastic but less wordy (…a lot less wordy, now that I look at it again ^^;;), try my Top 20 Favorite Moments from LoK Book 1.

#30: Mako and the Triple Threats (K206, “The Sting”)

#29: Korra’s Recap (K209, “The Guide”)

#28: Saving Unalaq (K203, “Civil Wars, Part 1”)

#27: Wan Steals Fire (K207, “Beginnings, Part 1”)

#26: Breaking the Blockade (K204, “Civil Wars, Part 2”)

#25: Spirits vs. Humans (K208, “Beginnings, Part 2”)

#24: Speedboat Chase (K206, “The Sting”)

#23: “Nuktuk” Finale (K211, “Night of a Thousand Stars”)

#22: Battling the Dark Spirit (K201, “Rebel Spirit”)

#21: At the Library (K210, “A New Spiritual Age”)

#20: Bumi vs. the Northern Army (K212, “Harmonic Convergence”)

#19: “Idea Storm!” (K205, “Peacekeepers”)

#18: Opening the Southern Portal (K202, “The Southern Lights”)

#17: The Trial (K204, “Civil Wars, Part 2”)

#16: “We Tried” (K212, “Harmonic Convergence”)

#15: “Of Course I Still Need You!” (K203, “Civil Wars, Part 1”)

#14: Amnesiac Avatar (K206, “The Sting”/K207, “Beginnings, Part 1”/K208, “Beginnings, Part 2”)

#13: Iroh’s Tea Party (K210, “A New Spiritual Age”)

#12: Protecting Korra (K214, “Light in the Dark”)

#11: Asami Sato—Sky Warrior!  (K212, “Harmonic Convergence”)

#10: “We Will Never Give Up” (K208, “Beginnings, Part 2”)

#9: The Fog of Lost Souls (K213, “Darkness Falls”)

#8: Korra vs. Vaatu (K213, “Darkness Falls”)

#7: Opening the Northern Portal (K210, “A New Spiritual Age”)

#6: The Tree of Time (K214, “Light in the Dark”)

#5: Bonded Forever (K208, “Beginnings, Part 2”)

#4: The Last Avatar (K213, “Darkness Falls”)

#3: Duel of the Avatars (K213, “Darkness Falls”)

#2: Re-Bonding with Raava (K214, “Light in the Dark”)

#1: Cosmic Korra (K214, “Light in the Dark”)

Iruka's Top 30 Favorite Moments from LoK Book 2

#1: Cosmic Korra (K214, “Light in the Dark”)

[With all its breaks and its sheer length, I don’t think there’s anything else in my Top 30 that stretches the definition of a “moment” quite as much as this does. But, hey—my list, my rules. ;P]

Our writers have done it again–the entire central section of “Light in the Dark” seems made to remind me why Korra is, appropriately enough, my favorite character in LoK. In both this scene and the corresponding scene from the Book 1 finale, it’s Korra’s unselfish determination to protect the people she cares most about that gives her the strength to come back from what looks like irremediable defeat. (And again she manages to do it in public, with an even bigger audience than last time!) 

To begin at the beginning, though… maybe I should call this my favorite AtLA callback, because here, as in so many other places, Korra gets to pick up the story where Aang left off.

Aang once spent an entire episode opening his chakras with Guru Pathik, only to fall short of Cosmic status. Korra has been overcoming spiritual blocks with less fanfare since Book 1, and so she’s the one who finally gets to show us, onscreen, what happens when a chakra-opener actually reaches the giant glowing version of him/herself on the astral plane. 

What happens is this:

Cosmic Korra is no wimpy astral projection, either, as Unavaatu quickly finds out. 

The details are great, of course–Ikki and Meelo summing up the scene as only they can (“Korra’s back!” “And she’s a blue giant!”), Pema being a mom, Jinora being a eucatastrophe, and Korra using Unalaq’s signature technique against him, then sending him off with his own tag line, “Go in peace.”  Not to mention, once again, the lack of dialogue–especially on Korra’s part–until she gets her second wind from her determination to save Raava. 

But if I were going to pick out one actual moment  as a favorite from this all-around-amazing sequence, it would be the one shown in the picture below, for being a perfect encapsulation of the entire fight. 

This scene takes the top spot on my list because Avatar has always been about characters, especially its title characters, and this whole episode–from the Tree of Time to the Korra’s decision to leave the Spirit Portals open–is the epitome of character development. Unalaq schemes throughout the season to gain the power of an Avatar… only to be beaten by Korra, whose Avatar powers are mere appendages to her own incredible strength and conviction, and who’s more than a match for Unavaatu even after losing Raava and the Harmonic Convergence battle. This final fight isn’t just about Korra developing some new power; it’s about her becoming more fully the person she always was. 

And that’s why I love this show and this character so much, and why I maintain that every season of Avatar has been better than the one that preceded it. I can’t wait to see how this trend continues in Book 3. ^__^