The Essential Episodes of Avatar: The Legend of Korra

Korra, Bolin, Asami, and Mako form a new Team Avatar.
Korra, Bolin, Asami, and Mako form a new Team Avatar.
Image: Nickelodeon

Thanks to its recent release on Netflix, fans new and old alike have rejoined Aang on his journey to bring balance to the world in Avatar: The Last Airbender. Finished your watch through and are itching for where to go next? The answer is pretty easy, thankfully, and we’re here to help: because it’s time to watch The Legend of Korra!

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There are 52 episodes across the four seasons—or “Books,” as the Avatar series calls them—of Korra’s journey from uncertain Avatar to the heroic bridge between the worlds of humanity and spirits in Nick’s successor series to The Last Airbender. And while, if you’ve just watched all of TLA, you’re probably more than happy to jump on board with nearly another day’s worth of television, if you just want to get down to the basics and see the best of what Korra has to offer, here’s our guide to the must-watch episodes of each season.

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Korra makes her way to Republic City for the first time as the Avatar.
Korra makes her way to Republic City for the first time as the Avatar.
Image: Nickelodeon

Season 1

Welcome to Republic City (Episode 1)—Seventy years after Aang’s quest to restore peace to the world ended, the Order of the White Lotus has discovered the next bender in his lineage: Korra of the Southern Water Tribe. But when the young girl, ready to complete her training as an airbender under Aang’s son, Tenzin, ventures to the capital of the United Republic, Korra finds civil unrest and an emerging anti-bender movement.

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The Revelation (Episode 3)—Trying to find money for their pro-bending team, the Fire Ferrets, Korra’s new friend Bolin joins with one of Republic City’s triad groups, only to run afoul of the emerging anti-bender Equalists—uncovering that their leader, Amon, has the shocking power to seemingly permanently stop someone’s bending abilities.

The Voice in the Night (Episode 4)—As Republic City begins building a formal response to Amon’s Equalists, Korra finds herself reluctantly drawn into the fray—and faces a humiliating setback. Meanwhile, romantic sparks begin to fly between Bolin’s brother Mako and Asumi Sato, the industrialist daughter of a wealthy inventor who wants to sponsor their pro-bending team.

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When Extremes Meet (Episode 8)—Korra’s frustration at her setbacks in training and with Councilman Tarrlok lead to her setting up a vigilante “Team Avatar” to deal with the Equalists. Good news: Tarrlok is exposed as corrupt. Bad news: he’s a bloodbender who’s just captured the Avatar!

Out of the Past (Episode 9)—With Korra captured, Tarrlok’s plans are revealed publicly. But as Korra attempts to escape, her Avatar lineage lets her experience Aang’s past to uncover a secret about Tarrlok’s own familial legacy.

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Skeletons in the Closet (Episode 11)—As the Equalist’s war against benders engulfs Republic City, Amon’s own secret past comes to light.

Endgame (Episode 12)—Confronting Amon about his past, Korra plans to confront the Equalist leader and end the conflict once and for all, but pays a powerful price in the process.

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Korra faces a gruelling battle for the fate of the Spirit and Physical worlds.
Korra faces a gruelling battle for the fate of the Spirit and Physical worlds.
Image: Nickelodeon

Season 2

Rebel Spirit (Episode 1)—Six months on from Amon’s defeat, Korra’s new normal is disrupted when a mysterious, angry spirit attacks a Nothern Water Tribe winter solstice festival. But when the spirit is soothed by Korra’s uncle Unalaq, the chief of the distanced Northern Water Tribe, she finds herself at odds with her family.

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Civil Wars, Parts 1 and 2 (Episodes 3-4)—Surprise! Unalaq’s a bad egg, and has been manipulating Korra to attempt a violent occupation and re-integration of the Water Tribes. As conflict breaks out, Korra has to reconcile her frayed relationship with her father and venture back to Republic City to petition aid.

Beginnings, Parts 1 and 2 (Episodes 7-8)—Recovering from a spirit attack that robbed her of her memories, Korra makes a spiritual connection to discover the origins of Wan, the first Avatar—and a conflict between powerful dark and light spirits, Vaatu and Raava, that he helped quell 10,000 years ago.

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A New Spiritual Age (Episode 9)—Entering the Spirit world to find concordance with its residents, Korra attempts to seek peace, only to learn that the dark spirit Vaatu’s seal could be broken by her uncle.

Night of a Thousand Stars (Episode 11)—As Mako and Bolin attempt to reconcile their relationship since the latter teamed up with Water Tribe businessman Varrick to create a series of propaganda films, Korra learns too late that Republic City won’t support her attempts to stop Unalaq from bringing about Harmonic Convergence and Vaatu’s return.

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A Light in the Dark (Episode 14)—After Unalaq successfully releases Vaatu and merges with the being, a heavily wounded Korra, severed from her connections to the past Avatars, unlocks new spiritual powers to stop Unavaatu’s rampage and try and find new harmony between the spiritual and physical realms.

Zaheer’s gang brings chaos to the Earth Nation in chilling fashion.
Zaheer’s gang brings chaos to the Earth Nation in chilling fashion.
Image: Nickelodeon
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Season 3

In Harm’s Way (Episode 4)—Trying to handle a spontaneous uptick in people developing the power to airbend in the wake of Harmonic Convergence, Korra and team Avatar have headed to the Earth Nation to try and petition its queen to allow the recruitment of newly awoken airbenders. But when Korra learns of a criminal named Zaheer’s plan to assassinate her and the Earth Nation’s press-ganging of new airbenders, she’s got a whole lot of problems to deal with.

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The Metal Clan (Episode 5)—After liberating the detained Earth Nation airbenders, Korra travels to Zaofu, a metalbender city led by Chief Beifong’s estranged sister, Suyin. While there she’s tasked with training Suyin’s airbender daughter and patching up Lin’s relationship with her sister.

Old Wounds (Episode 6)—Zaheer escapes Republic City with his gang, discovering he can enter the Spirit realm to track Korra. Meanwhile, as Korra learns metalbending, Suyin and Lin have a violent approach to confronting their past.

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The Terror Within (Episode 8)—After Zaheer tracks Korra down to Zaofu, she puts her new metalbending skills to the test as the rest of Team Avatar help drive Zaheer off. But Korra learns that someone within Zaofu has been helping Zaheer, and that she’s no longer safe there.

Long Live the Queen (Episode 10)—With Zaheer’s link to the mysterious Order of the Red Lotus—an antithesis to the Order of the White Lotus that defends the Avatar lineage as a symbol of balance—exposed and Team Avatar captured by the Earth Queen, Zaheer heads to Ba Sing Se to forcefully attempt to negotiate a trade for Korra. It...goes poorly.

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The Ultimatum (Episode 11)—Hoping to draw Korra out, Zaheer and his gang assault the Northern Air Temple, threatening to kill the airbenders unless Korra complies.

Venom of the Red Lotus (Episode 13)—After dueling and subduing Korra and her father, Zaheer and the Red Lotus mortally wound Korra by poisoning her with mercury, hoping to trigger the Avatar State within her so they can end the Avatar cycle forever. Good job Team Avatar’s here to stop that!

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Korra and Asami take a moment of respite to contemplate their futures.
Korra and Asami take a moment of respite to contemplate their futures.
Image: Nickelodeon

Season 4

Korra Alone (Episode 2)—Traumatized by the recovery process from Zaheer’s mercury poisoning that has left her in need of physical therapy for three years, Korra wanders the world alone, broken psychologically by her torture. But a chance arrival at Banyan swamps crosses her path with an old friend of Aang’s: Toph Beifong.

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The Calling (Episode 4)—After Tenzin’s kids catch up with Korra to inform her of General Kuvira’s militaristic overtaking of the Earth Nation from the recently coronated Prince Wu, Korra has to heed Toph’s tutelage and confront her fears, re-entering the Avatar state for the first time since Zaheer and the Red Lotus tortured her.

The Battle of Zaofu (Episode 6)—As Kuvira moves to seize Zaofu for her successionist Earth Kingdom, Korra attempts to challenge her to a duel to save the city. But the lingering trauma of her healing process proves to be too much for Korra, leading to her failure, and Zaofu’s fall.

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Beyond the Wilds (Episode 9)—As Republic City struggles to decide how to confront Kuvira after learning of her development of a spirt vine superweapon, a despondent Korra finds herself turning to an unlikely ally: the imprisoned Zaheer.

Operation Beifong (Episode 10)—As Korra attempts to petition the spirits for aid against Kuvira, Bolin tries to liberate the captive Beifong family with the help of Toph, who has to deal with her frayed relationship with Lin in the process.

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Day of the Colossus (Episode 12)—Kuvira’s devastating superweapon—a spirit energy superlaser attached to a metalbent mecha—ravages Republic City, Korra and her friends attempt to find a way to break inside the machine and disable it, turning to Asami’s misguided father for help.

The Last Stand (Episode 13)—Infiltrating the Colossus, Korra and Kuvira stage a fateful battle as Team Avatar attempts to disable the mecha from within. As tensions between Kuvira and Korra escalate, the Avatar is pushed to her limits to secure a peaceful future for spirit and human alike...and for herself as the bridge between them.

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If you want to watch Avatar: The Legend of Korra, the first two seasons are currently streaming on CBS All Access. The full series is available through Amazon Prime Video’s Nick Hits channel, available as an extra charge to a standard Prime subscription.

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James is a News Editor at io9. He wants pictures. Pictures of Spider-Man!

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DISCUSSION

Hopefully in before people start dissing LOK.  It’s good.  I don’t care that the original is better.  It’s still good.