This review contains spoilers.
4.6 Battle Of Zaofu
This week’s episode of Legend Of Korra manages to be somehow even more tense than the previous one, despite such a feat seeming to be against the laws of nature. The writing is once again so tight that you feel like you’re holding your breath the entire time.
The plot is once again relatively simple: Su and two of her sons are captured while trying to invade Kuvira’s camp, which forces Korra’s hand and leads to a showdown between the two. Kuvira turns out to be more than a match for Korra, which forces her to use the Avatar State… only for her PTSD to rear its head at the worst possible moment and lead to her defeat. Korra escapes with the Airbenders at the last moment, but the damage is done: Kuvira takes Zaofu. Elsewhere, Varrick proves just how clever he is by first convincing the guards to let Bolin be his assistant as he begins work anew on the spirit vines, then by turning it into a bomb and forcing Kuvira’s soldiers to separate their section of the train. The bomb blows, but not before Bolin manages to get himself and Varrick off the train, leading Kuvira’s soldiers to believe they are dead.
It’s a testament to how good the writers are at what they do that this episode is simultaneously unbelievably tense and also at times very funny. They managed to find the perfect balance between the humour that’s inherent with either Bolin or Varrick are around and the tension created by the presence of the bomb. It never feels like they’re bouncing between genres; it feels natural and organic to who these characters are and the situation they’re in.
I am, however, a little confused as to why Korra was so initially reluctant to enter the Avatar State. I guess it’s due to what happened with Zaheer and her remaining mental blockages, but to me it seems naive to be facing off against Kuvira and insisting that you not play your trump card. Then again, I guess it didn’t matter, since “nega!Korra” appears almost as soon as Korra enters the Avatar State. I was under the impression that the writers were using the poison as a metaphor for Korra’s PTSD, and so that now that the poison was out, we wouldn’t be seeing nega!Korra again. But then again, I guess that is true to how PTSD works in real life: it doesn’t go away, and it can be triggered at any time, when you least expect it.
I really enjoyed this episode and I can not wait for next week. See you then!
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