This week’s episode picks up moments after last week’s cliffhanger with Sue and the twins break into Kuvira’s camp with some sick ninja metal bending skills. Unfortunately, Kuvira saw it coming and took the opportunity to capture Sue.
Prepare for Battle
Korra is talking her options over with Opal(who has apparently sworn an airbender oath of peace) when Kuvira announces her possession of Sue Voldemort style throughout the city. Despite the dire circumstances, Korra is still trying to find a peaceful solution to the giant metalbending army of orcs parked right outside of Zhaofu.
While Korra makes her way down to the battlefield, Varrick is forced to continue his work on the spirit vines. For the the first time this season, Varrick shows he’s clever enough to get out of a sticky situation. He talks Bataar Jr. into using Bolin as his assistant(because of course he needs somebody to do “the thing”). Too bad Bolin doesn’t seem to get the gesture…
Bolin has never been the smarted guy out there, but his continued trend of being totally clueless even when someone is trying to help him is becoming almost unbearable. This is one of the key members of Team Avatar, and I’ve got a hard time believing he can continue to be this completely feeble minded after everything he’s been through. It was eye rolling at first, but after being totally out of sync with Varrick’s plan to save him, I have a hard time swallowing that pill.
Korra vs Kuvira
Despite having a massive army surrounding the city, Kuvira still tries to play the victim card after Sue broke into her camp. Korra attempts to talk her down, but ultimately a compromise for peace is made; Korra will fight Kuvira, and winner gets to take Zaofu. This must be what Korra calls “aggressive negotiations”.
The Legend of Korra continue to deliver breathtaking animation in this duel, even if Korra never lands a single blow on her foe. That is until she goes into the avatar state and pummels Kuvira into the grown…until Korra has another one of her hallucinations. Even though Korra has removed the metal from her body, it looks like she still hasn’t come to terms with her inner demons.
Jeremy Zuckerman’s score was full of enough raw energy and emotion to bend a freight train. The scoring for this series has always been the unsung hero that highlights every piece of exceptional storytelling all the way down to animation and voice acting. Zuckerman truly deserves more credit and the moving score playing alongside the fight scene was simply chill inducing.
Bombing the Kuvirapiercer
Varrick and Bolin begin working with the spirit vines and luckily Bataar Jr. isn’t as sharp you would think. Instead of continuing to work on the weapon, Varrick actually reverse engineers the energy and turns the vines into a bomb. Varrick is turning from his ways as a war profiteer and I’ve got to say I’m a little shocked. Initially I was totally with Bolin and thought he was bluffing to force Jr. out of the train, but Varrick actually believes that the weapon must be destroyed to save the world. His line “Varrick, what happened to that guy? He Varricked himself because some girl Zhu-lied him” was absolutely hysterical.
Too bad Bataar Jr had already studied up on the magical vine machine…..
Kuvira Demands Zaofu Bend the Knee
Korra may lose the battle, but luckily she’s got Meelo and Opal looking out for her. After creating a wind shield, they are all able to escape, but unfortunately Sue is left to suffer with her city. After winning the battle, Kuvira demands that every citizen of Zhaufu bend the knee and pledge their loyalty to her, but un Bataar Sr and his oldest son refuse. To cement the fact that we are dealing with a true dictator, she marches both of them off to a “re-education” camp.
In the final moments, Kuvira finds out about Bolin and Varrick’s escape. Clearly she’s not happy, but Bataar Jr. seem awfully certain that he can rebuild the weapon.
All In All
The Battle of Zaofu was a decent midseason climax to remind us that this show can still deliver on the action. This episode doesn’t do too much for any of our characters, but events that unfold are just short of spectacular. We didn’t get to see an epic battle, but a duel between Korra and Kuvira was the perfect way to mark the midway point. Despite being a little rough around the edges, this was a great episode drawing definitive lines between our hero and antagonist.
Overall Score: 8.5
Original post can be found at Renegade Cinema