Legend of Korra: Dueling Benders

Legend of Korra: Dueling Benders

Korra faces off with Kuvira while Varrick builds a super-weapon. What could possibly go wrong?

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Part of me wishes that Korra struck at least a glancing blow on Kovira before going full-on Avatar on her, the entire fight had me going "oh for crying out loud, I was expecting Korra to lose but not a complete curb stomp.

I wonder if they're going to do a 2 hour finale a la a:tla, as it really feels like the finale is going to be rushed otherwise.

Edit: just read my own comment and it was quite negative, just for the record I enjoyed the episode, these are just my thoughts looking back on it.

Zhu Li must be a mindbender.... how else does she know what the "thing" is?

Was totally expecting Korra to get stomped. Seriously, three years in rehab for game ending injuries? Even with all the poison gone I still find it amazing that she's up and moving around at all.

Varrick and Bolin carried this episode in terms of entertainment value for me, hopefully the return of dark korra heralds further interesting emotional development for the main character.

I was half hoping Korra to take a beating, go into avatar mode, dominate, then take general Zelda's bending. Before still having to retreat from her army. What we got was exactly what I knew was going to happen.

I just loved the Verrick Bolin exchange at the end, "Yes! You did it Bolin, you did the thing"

Dominic Crossman:
Part of me wishes that Korra struck at least a glancing blow on Kovira before going full-on Avatar on her, the entire fight had me going "oh for crying out loud, I was expecting Korra to lose but not a complete curb stomp.

I agree. It was a good episode, and I'm glad that Korra has more to do to get back to the top of her game than just 'lolpoison'. However, one of the things that I think Korra has always been missing compared to TLA is some really good battles. It has some excellent fights sure, but it seems like whenever the writers pit Korra against someone, she has to get her ass whooped X number of times before she's allowed to succeed. Outside of grand, season-ending finales, Aang was still allowed to have a few wins, such as the Northern Air Temple battle in Book 1, or The Drill in Book 2.

So, when you title an episode 'The Battle of Zaofu', and have Korra face off against an entire army, I'm thinking "oh boy oh boy! Let's see what she can really do when she's forced to cut loose!". So, then to have the 'battle' just be a one on one with Kuvira, where Korra gets utterly humiliated, is kind of a bleugh feeling.

Even her reluctance to fight in the first place I felt missed the sweet spot a bit. Sure, it shows how Korra has grown as a character, but couldn't there be a far more personal dilemma to be exploited here? After all, Kuvira was the one who saved her Dad's life! Being forced to fight someone you owe that much to, potentially to the death, should be excruciating, but I think it's been mentioned like, once?!

Korra vs Kuvira is a terrible fight, and here's why: It's too one sided. Because Korra can't touch Kuvira there is no tension, making it boring. To make one thing clear, Korra did not have to lose this fight. Kuvira could go back on her word. Actually, that should have been Kuvira's change to full on villian, not the episode before.

But going back to the fight scene; I think I found the problem with the fights in LoK as a whole. They are using what I like to call Round fighting, which goes like this: First one side is dominating, than the other side is dominating, before the other side is dominating again and wins. It's boring and predictable, and exactly what did happened.

Too bad Korra isn't in full control of the Avatar State or being an overpowered Avatar! I mean if she was overly powered, she could of incapacitated Kuvira and the entire army by metal bending the hell out of them (like locked the metal on them in place and enject the pliots out of the mech suit) which I bet Toph is capable of doing! I would loved to see the look on Kuvira face if she ever did that.

Yeah at the moment, it's hard to read Zhi Li face (excellent poker face she got) since she could still betray Kuvira (I bet Varrick never once made her as bait when it come to assassination) and she put on a good act by being unmoved by hearding of Varrick death or she just view it as another job now that she is Bataar Jr assistant). I would lol if she try to seduce Jr next when trying to wreck Kuvira plan.

Speaking of Bataar Jr, he clearly got some kind of recongition issue which I'm hoping the spirit vine bomb he create will explode on his face.

Lastly, that other Suyin son would make a great art teacher and Meelo paiting skill is still impressive and funny!

For my part I thought the Kuvira fight was really dumb. It was one of those comic book fights where you know what has to happen because of plot reasons, so they don't really explain it. Korra loses and can't use the avatar state to end the conflict now ... check. They didn't play to Kuvira's strengths. She can't use bloodbending to figure out what her opponents are going to do, so why does she flight like Amon. Her strength should be her ruthlessness which wasn't really on display. The fight itself was also boring, it looked like a one sided pro bending match, which is surprising since they had such good action sequences in season 3. A lot of people like the sequence, but I was unimpressed.

I'm going to have to bring up a controversial topic, as many "purists" (for lack of a better term) would object to calling an anime-style production not actually produced in Japan as "anime". Considering not only the art style, but story structure, I think the term applies.

I bring this up because I'm seeing a lot of complaining regarding the common anime trope involving the main character getting their ass handed to them by the villain before finally being able to overcome them in one last showdown, usually after an internal conflict resolution, or unlocked strength, or the power of love/friendship, or insert-deus-ex-machina-here.

It's almost as if the posters above have never heard of this. It's absolutely mind-boggling. It's almost as if some people put the Avatar series on some kind of bizarre "But this show's supposed to be different!" pedestal, for no valid reason whatsoever. I'm not saying LoK is somehow terrible because of this, but how many anime cartoons television shows have we watched where this was okay, but suddenly that same yardstick doesn't apply for LoK?

It's almost as bad as Wakfu fans complaining about fart jokes in a show primarily targeted to the prepubescent demographic. Let's take a step back here and re-examine what, specifically, we're upset about. Perhaps (and stop me if I'm stepping out of line), it's not nearly that big a deal.

Relax a bit; have a soda or something.

It was a great episode imo.

Korra suddenly recovering completely after some pep-talk and removing some trace amounts of poison from her body would have been a ridiculously shallow development.

But here she gets her butt handed to her the same way as before, with her psychological state still being all messed up as she is clearly still unsure about her own role in all of this and burdened by guilt etc.

Kudos!

ryazoph:
Zhu Li must be a mindbender.... how else does she know what the "thing" is?

That's how she knows.

OT: As a fan of Varrick to the point where he's my user image for almost every site I use and my Steam Username, I'd like to say this season has had copious amounts of Varrick and I have not found any reason to complain yet. I liked Season Two because of his introduction. But for as good as he was in that season, Book Four is shitting all over season two with Varrick basically becoming Iron Man. I love it!

SilverUchiha:

OT: As a fan of Varrick to the point where he's my user image for almost every site I use and my Steam Username, I'd like to say this season has had copious amounts of Varrick and I have not found any reason to complain yet. I liked Season Two because of his introduction. But for as good as he was in that season, Book Four is shitting all over season two with Varrick basically becoming Iron Man. I love it!

I really hope for an adventures of Varrick after Korra. Not only will we see more Varrick, but we'd get the chance to explore the Avatar world again.

ryazoph:

SilverUchiha:

OT: As a fan of Varrick to the point where he's my user image for almost every site I use and my Steam Username, I'd like to say this season has had copious amounts of Varrick and I have not found any reason to complain yet. I liked Season Two because of his introduction. But for as good as he was in that season, Book Four is shitting all over season two with Varrick basically becoming Iron Man. I love it!

I really hope for an adventures of Varrick after Korra. Not only will we see more Varrick, but we'd get the chance to explore the Avatar world again.

Oh my Varrick, a spin-off mini-series or OVA of just Varrick's bullshit would be amazing. I doubt Nickelodeon will give them the funds to make that happen, but if they did I might forgive them for all the bullshit that's been happening with their lack of promotion of Korra. That would be the sickest shit!

The previous episode convinced me that Suyin bears a lot of the responsibility for passively allowing conditions to escalate to where they are now. The Earth Kingdom desperately needed someone to end the anarchy wrought by centuries of oppression followed by an instantaneous loss of authority. Suyin could have led a force to unite the Earth Kingdom with the progressive mindset to reform what had been abusing the peasantry for so long. Unfortunately, she refused to use military force out of a misguided fear that an army couldn't be positive. Kuvira could have been more than simply a great uniter if only her methods of rule were not so cruel. Military force was necessary to reunite the nation, but obviously Kuvira is using that progress to justify any any means afterwards as justification.

I had hoped that this season wouldn't have a mustache twirling villain, that it could demonstrate a difficult, harsh conflict without an obvious hero. They waited for half a season before actually demonstrating that "Kuvira's crazy". So, now we'll watch Kuvira be felled by her own hubris undoubtedly linked to the spirit vines, but I'll remain optimistic that the series will explicitly acknowledge that a balanced approach utilizing both force and peaceful means is necessary for a prosperous society.

I already posted topic on the site reviewing the episode on friday, but to recap what I thought. I didn't like the new pacifist Korra, who actually tried to make a deal with Kuvira and didn't want to rescue Suyin right away.. I know Korra's had trauma, but still she needs to open up her eyes and see that Kuvira is crazy women that wants to do what Fire Lord Ozai was trying to do of ruling the world... just in different way that tricks people into routing for her.. Korra needs to get her stuff together, and kick the psycho's ass.

I had a huge problem with this episode, which could have been titled "Everyone is really stupid (except Varrick)"
First, trauma or no trauma, a fighter as skilled as Korra doesn't forget the most basic shit about how to fight. Like, hey my opponent is literally WEARING her ammunition, maybe I should do something about that instead of just letting her toss me around with it. Second, Suyin KNOWS kuvira, and her family is everything to her so the idea that she'd be naive enough to a) think she could catch her alone and pull of an assassination and b) ALSO risk the lives of her two youngest kids felt pretty out of character. And then there's Kuvira. We've seen her be ruthless, pragmatic, deceitful, singlemindedly driven toward her goals and willing to do anything to further them, without a second thought. This is NOT a person who would risk everything on a one on one duel. At the outset, she had nothing to gain by goading Korra into that fight. Unless she knew 100% that she couldn't lose - which, evidenced by how onesided it got the moment Korra step into the Avatar state, she clearly didn't - I cannot believe someone so cunning and pragmatic would do something so needlessly risky over...what, impressing the troops? Maybe if the moment Korra hesitated some ace up her sleeve got employed, taking Korra out in an underhanded way and showing once again that Kuvira cannot be trusted at all, I'd have bought it. As it stands, however, it's completely out of character and nearly killed the episode for me. If it weren't for the absolute awesomeness of Varrick and Bolin, I'd have seriously questioned whether or not I should continue with the season. (the subsequent episode made that decision a lot easier too.)

 

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