Legend of Korra Review: Battle at Zaofu

surprise fail
Suyin’s surprise attack doesn’t work at all, surprising no one but Suyin herself. She believes most of the army is only in service to Kuvira out of fear, but I’m not so sure. Every soldier so far seems to love her, but all of her opponents seem to hate her. Say what you want about Kuvria, but she’s kind to the people who do what she wants. Also Suyin doesn’t seem like the best judge of character.

I would have loved to see a fair fight between Suyin and Kuvira, instead they’re disposed of off-screen. I guess we already had a fight between 2 metal benders last season, but I’m always a fan of more bending fights.

It’s revealed that airbenders had to sign an oath of nonaggression. I love airbending, but if they also had to sign a vegetarian pact I’m not sure if I could join. I’m not really a fan of tattoos either…

Varrick – “Cookie jar empty…no hot towels…waxy buildup, Zhu Li!”
Those are the nightmares of someone who lived a lavish life. They are also the nightmares of someone with a broken heart.

bolin confused...againI guess Bolin is officially not a metal bender if he can’t get out of this prison. I mean he probably could have creatively bended the earth alongside the moving train to get them out of there, but I’m okay with Varrick’s eventual method. Varrick expertly gets Bolin to be his assistant, but Bolin never picks up on the signal for them to escape.

Varrick – “Zhu Li always greeted me in the morning with a hot cup of tea.”
Hot cup of tea could be an innuendo for the thing.
“I’m only productive for about 15 minutes a day, usually in the afternoon around 3:45.”
I’m surprised he gets a whole 15 minutes! I rarely get a few seconds of productivity myself. Imagine all the work I could do with 15 minutes.

Kuvira not telling Korra and crew that she’s sending Bolin to the re-education camps was a smart move. That’s some mental warfare right there. Kuvira claims that she wants to distribute the wealth and resources of Zaofu throughout the empire and that she’s all about equality.
Opal – “You don’t care about equality, this is about control.”
I tend to agree with Opal. Kuvira is all about control and power.

Kuvira talks to her entire army, but I’m not sure they can all hear her voice…it’s not like there’s thousands of them. She doesn’t want them to risk their lives, but this isn’t a fight to the death, right?
Kuvira – “I’m the one who brought peace to the Earth Kingdom, not you. You’re not relevant anymore.”
Where’s the nice Kuvira that was talking to Korra yesterday? Why does every villain make it a point to tell Korra she’s not needed anymore? I feel like this line helped trigger Korra’s mental block later in the episode.

it's a beautiful day for avatar mode

Korra says she won’t use the avatar state unless it’s as a last resort, but I think she’s still afraid of going into the avatar state because it reminds her of the pain she felt when she fought Zaheer. It’s crazy how terrible Korra is at fighting, all of her attacks were straight forward bending blasts and at one point she thought throwing earth at a master earthbender was a good idea. Kuvira’s footwork rivals Aang’s in this duel and I love how we get such a fluid earthbender as a villain.

Seeing Kuvira spinning the ground to attack Korra’s footing was always a technique I felt earthbenders should have done more. The earth bending style involves a ton of rock throwing, but it should focus more on footwork and ground attacks. Fire and air have to “throw” their element, but earth benders can just bend the ground! That’s an instant win against non earth benders if they can enclose them in rocks! It’s like earth benders got jealous of the other bender styles and decided to throw rocks.

maybe this was a death fight
For a second there I thought that Kuvira had entered the avatar state and I was just as scared as Korra. Maybe this was a fight to the death. Jinora and Opal’s tornado bending made me wonder why Korra didn’t try something like this in her duel. Where are the other airbenders again? This “war” could probably end with some well placed airbenders.

I wish we got one long uninterrupted fight, but it was pretty one-sided throughout. I’m sure the rematch will be much better. Kuvira > Korra, but Kuvira < avatar state Korra. I like how Korra hasn’t recovered instantly from her 3 years of inactivity and that she still has hurdles to overcome. I’m sure the power of friendship and finding oneself will come into play later.

side by side paintings

Huan – “I already know what you look on the outside, I want to see the inner Meelo.”
I mean Ikki’s drawing was a self-portrait as well, but I guess his doesn’t have rainbows and spirits in his. I blame teacher Huan for not making the assignment clear. Jinora pulls her best Princess Lea impression and then Meelo saves the day and all the less important characters are left behind.

the 3 musketeersss
These guys were on the same team just a few episodes ago celebrating the return to Republic City and now they’re enemies. This makes me sad, but I’ll always be on team Varrick + Bolin >>>>> team Baatar Jr. and Kuvira
Varrick – “Trust me kid, I know what I’m doing.”
It’s painfully obvious to the viewers that Varrick wants Bolin to break them out of this mess and “do the thing” is the code word. Varrick even winks at him, has Bolin never been winked at before? Bolin’s one of the best earthbenders in the world, but he doesn’t think he can beat 3 guards?

Varrick – “Pass me the screw turn thingy.”
I’m not entirely sure if it’s called a screwdriver in this universe, maybe it’s actually called that. I like screw thingy better than screwdriver.
Varrick somehow connects all of the spirit vines in this room, even the ones on the shelves in the back, so they can all detonate at the same time and help the two escape. Clever Varrick is back!
gadget thing and timer
Varrick explaining why he had a timer and a remote may have been my favorite moment in the season so far. Me and Varrick think similarly. I don’t think Baatar Jr. can bend at all. It’s not listed on the wiki, but he never goes into the bending position after Varrick threatens to blow up the train, but his guards do. He only fought in a mech in the last episode as well and he has the guards handle all the threats throughout the episode. His dad doesn’t seem like a bender either and both those characters are pretty similarly designed. I can’t tell you how many times I don’t remember where the ‘a’s go in his stupid name! Baaaaatar.

The Varrick and Bolin duo reminds me of when Sokka and Toph used to team up. It’s even the same set again, earth bender and smart/funny non-bender. Also they were the funniest two characters in ATLA and now these two are the funniest in LoK. This is not debatable!
Bolin may hate Varrick, but these 2 are probably my favorite characters. Bolin did the thing! It was to save them. The size of the explosion makes me feel like the spirit vines will most likely be used as a bomb instead of a cannon in the future. That destructive power is devastating in bomb form.

bataar big eyed

Only the other Beifong family members refuse to submit to Kuvira.
Baatar – “I’m so disappointed in you Jr.”
That hurts the most, that damn parent guilt trip.
Was there any reason Meelo and Ikki couldn’t save these 2?

Baatar Jr. claims that there’s no way Bolin and Varrick could have survived the explosion. He’s obviously wrong and I think the Great Uniter needs to place her trust in better men. Kuvira wants to tear down the city domes of Zaofu because…
1. She’ll use the metal for a big weapon.
2. She wants to erect a giant statue of herself and needs more metal to do so.
3. She’s kind of a jerk and tearing down the domes hurts Suyin and gives her insurmountable pleasure.
It can only be option 1, I over thought the spirit vines before, but clearly weapons are the only thing on this girl’s mind. As long as she doesn’t touch Huan’s pieces of priceless art I’ll be okay.

Zhu Li is given a prime opportunity to double cross them, and making it more likely that her sabotage will lead to some sort of explosion scenario in the future. Zhu Li, do the secret thing!

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