Okay, so, I waited until the finale aired on actual television before watching it. But unfortunately I already saw a few details from new Deviations and Pinterest posts on boards that I follow. Actually, one pin that I saw was misleading … but in any case, it didn't ruin my experience of this season finale.
I didn't like how, particularly in "Darkness Falls," the scenes were really choppy, switching between the three fighting parties. And I didn't like how Asami and Tonraq were absent until the end. They built up a whole background for Tonraq, but then he didn't even participate in the finale. And Korra announcing her father's election seemed a little bit weird as far as its presentation. Is Tonraq even a good leader? We know he was a general long ago, and heir apparent to the Northern Tribe's chieftainship, but does he have what it takes to lead a whole nation? I hope to find out from future seasons. Also, I wish we'd seen more of Senna this season. Avatar Wiki reports that she's a waterbender, same as Tonraq, but she was never shown playing a role in the rebellion. Maybe she helped Katara heal people behind the scenes … (I think this is what's called a "plot bunny" for fan fiction.)
I didn't fully understand the battle until I looked up a summary on the Avatar Wiki. I think it's cool how Jinora played a role, but it was very brief for something so important. It seemed weird how Unalaq seemed to destroy Raava, but then Korra was still able to locate her; but maybe that's like Yin and Yang. If you look at the symbol, each side has part of its opposite inside of it. That's what Jinora helped Korra to find: the eponymous light in the dark.
Here's something I observed that kind of bothers me: both Amon and Unalaq had legitimate points and concerns about the state of the world, but went about achieving their goals the wrong way, so that Korra had to intervene. Then, when each of them was defeated, Korra and other people in charge realize the error of their previous ways and make the changes that the so-called villains wanted in the first place. Such is the nature of any story: it demands conflict in order to be interesting and dynamic. Korra learned from Amon, and even more so from Unalaq, whose philosophy and techniques she used in defeating him.
I like Unalaq for having a personal connection with Korra; but I like Noatak for having a complex past to explain how he became Amon.
Oh, by the way: I have a theory that Unalaq summoned the dark spirit that attacked the Southern Water Tribe in the season premier. That way Korra would see his skills and believe in the threat of spirits, and be convinced to take lessons with him.
And speaking of mentors, I liked Tenzin's character development through this season, culminating in his vision in the Spirit World. And it was great that he was able to help Korra, even after his initial inability to get her into the Spirit World. The fact that both of them had to separate who they are from what they are--what people expect them to be--was just beautiful.
I think I can see a possible storytelling purpose for Mako and Korra's initial breakup: not having a tangled relationship allowed Korra to focus on solving the massive spiritual problem at hand. And I knew that the memories in the Tree of Time would jog Korra's memory of the fight. When Tenzin said the word "attachment," I thought that he was going to tell Korra to let go of earthly attachments, namely Mako. And maybe she did do that. The later scene would support that.
I actually liked the way Korra and Mako reconciled/parted ways. They did it in the sweetest and gentlest way possible. And to be honest, I think their relationship was handled pretty realistically in this season. It wasn't all lovey-dovery or happily-ever-after like Aang and Katara. They have conflicting personalities, and they clashed the way real couples sometimes to. Even so, it's clear that they'll always care about each other, and that's the kind of bond I can respect. But Asami was absent, as I said, and to be honest it seems like the whole issue of her "getting back" with Mako could have been left out, at least for this season. So now everyone's romantic relationships are up for grabs.
And now … this book is over. There's sure to be another one, but it'll probably be another year or so. Until then, I'll be content with knowing this story and contributing to it through fan fiction. And I might make a few character collages, though there are a few I'm saving to make after the entire show is completed.