Mark Watches ‘The Legend of Korra’: S04E06 – The Battle of Zaofu

In the sixth episode of the fourth season of The Legend of Korra, Kuvira launches her attack while Bolin and Varrick try to stop Baatar Jr. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch The Legend of Korra.


Bolin / Varrick

I’m so transfixed by Varrick’s character development, y’all. The Legend of Korra has done a number of fascinating and satisfying things these last two seasons, but gods, Varrick’s transformation is fantastic. I don’t even question the fact that he’s now a moral character because… well, he still acts like Varrick. He’s ridiculous, over-the-top, and utterly absurd at all times. I wonder, then, if he acts as he does here specifically to distract Baatar. It makes sense, doesn’t it? As long as he’s being ridiculous, Baatar won’t realize what he’s doing, right?

Well, that’s a separate discussion that would mostly be speculation. In an episode that’s marked by a huge loss by Team Avatar, I found it pretty spectacular that Varrick was able to deal a partial loss to Kuvira and Baatar. Of course, with Zhu Li now working for the other side, it feels like it’s only a matter of time before Kuvira harnesses the potential in the spirit vines.

For what? How can they be used for anything other than domination? Does Kuvira plan on taking on the other nations with that weapon on her side?

The Battle of Zaofu

Lord, this was so hard to watch.

I love that Korra has changed and that she’s less reliant on the Avatar state and violence as a solution. Unfortunately, she’s thrown into a conflict that is inherently violent. It’s hard not to view Kuvira’s act of aggression as anything other than violence. Hell, it’s explicitly called out as a contradiction to her message of “peace” within the episode itself! So how does Korra fit within this now that’s no longer the same person as she was three years before?

I do appreciate that she tries to resolve this conflict without fighting, but the truth is that Kuvira was always going to respond with force. It’s sad, then, to watch as Korra battles someone who is undeniably her superior. Kuvira is in better shape, is a better fighter, is more alert, and is more powerful. The writers don’t hide this fact from us either, and thus, we watch as Korra gets her ass kicked. Utterly. Completely. Even after Suyin compels Korra to enter the Avatar state, Korra still can’t gain the upper hand on Kuvira.

But would Kuvira have left Zaofu alone? I don’t believe she would have, honestly. Kuvira likes to hide behind calls to reason and fairness while exploiting the vulnerabilities of others, which is why she agrees to fight Korra. That’s not because she wants a fair fight; it’s because she knows that she’ll win. So her excuse that Opal and Jinora violated the rules is absurd because all of Kuvira’s actions are against the law anyway. Everything is relative to Kuvira and her power, so I imagine that Kuvira would have taken whatever she wanted anyway. I mean, listen to her talk about equality. This is the same person who sends dissenters to RE-EDUCATION CAMPS. (Which we still don’t know anything about. What are they?) She doesn’t believe in equality at all, but you’d be fooled if you accepted the constant stream of propaganda out of her mouth.

So how the hell is this going to go down? Kuvira has “united” the Earth Kingdom under her tyrannical rule; most of the old rulers are either within her control or in captivity; the rest of the world is just standing by and letting this all happen. Korra is going to need to heal after the beating she got, and Tenzin’s kids and Opal are the only ones who escaped Zaofu and Kuvira’s grip. What does Kuvira ultimately want? Total control? Something else? Why did Korra see herself in Kuvira during the Avatar state? I thought she was healed!


The video for “The Battle of Zaofu” can be downloaded here for $0.99.

Mark Links Stuff

– The Mark Does Stuff Tour 2015 is now live and includes dates across the U.S. this summer and fall Check the full list of events on my Tour Dates / Appearances page.
– My Master Schedule is updated for the near and distant future for most projects, so please check it often. My next Double Features for Mark Watches will be the remainder of The Legend of Korra, series 8 of Doctor Who, and Kings. On Mark Reads, Diane Duane’s Young Wizards series will replace the Emelan books.
- Mark Does Stuff is on Facebook! I’ve got a community page up that I’m running. Guaranteed shenanigans!

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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