So in case you didn’t know Kuvira is all sorts of crazy pants, and now we are finally able to see her for the conniving pai sho master she truly is. This week’s episode “Enemy at The Gates” had a lot of ground work to lay and served primarily as a set up episode for what we can only assume will be the fall of Zaofu. Kuvira, in a completely threatening and easily borderline psychotic way has brought her entire army to Zaofu in an attempt to make Suyin join the Earth Empire. Unfortunately for her everyone and their mother are beginning to see the cracks in Kuvira’s sanity and overall goal of “uniting” the Earth Kingdom under one ruler. In the meantime the new Korra attempts to get everyone to talk out their problems and come to a peaceful conclusion only for it to lead to disastrous results. So let’s dive in.
Yeah, Kuvira is a crazy, power hungry, racist dictator and no one in the entire world apparently saw that coming except for Suyin. If I have to say Kuvira reminds me of anyone it would easily be Azula, cold, calculating and showing brief dangerous cracks in her sanity that display she is not to be messed with. Every moment where she revealed she was not entirely on the nice benevolent ruler path was extremely tense from holding Varrick outside a moving train to informing Bolin about the “reeducation camps”. It is a little bit surprising that in the three years of following Kuvira, Bolin never once questioned what happen to all the villages they visited after they left. He just should have know better than to put his blind faith in her after all of his experiences with the Triple Threat’s and Varrick. I mean it is always to good to be true. I did love the fact that Korra was easily able to see Kuvira’s side of the argument even if it was clear as a viewer that Kuvira is going to double cross both Korra and Suyin the moment they are in her camp and imprison them.
Speaking of good material, to was great to see Bolin and Varrick team up once again in their escape attempt. This entire story had some amazing dialog from John Michael Higgins’ Varrick and the idea that Varrick is growing a conscious after all this time is an intriguing set up. Being that he is a crazy mad scientist with a seeming lack and regard for human life, Varrick knowing that his spirit vine experiment is a bad idea is the first real demonstration of character growth he has had all series. Couple that with Bolin finally realizing that Kuvira is cucoo for coco puffs and you have the ideal set up for wacky Avatar antics. The failed escape attempt did however lead to one of the best fight scenes we have seen in quite a while as Zhu Li and Bolin attempted to take down a few of Kuvira’s mechs. The overall staging and intricacy in which the fights happened were pretty great and it was a relief to see that Bolin’s lavabending was not a one time occurrence. The only down side to this entire story was Bolin being apparently shipped off to a reeducation camp which mean Mako and he will probably fight if Kuvira’s brain washing works. I’d rather the brothers get a happy ending rather the fight they seem destined to have.
Now for Asami, who finally got some real character development this week and she actually went to visit her father in prison. It has been a really long time since we last saw Hiroshi who has slimmed down significantly and has not aged gracefully, but he has had the chance to reflect on the mistakes he has made. It is great to see some real humility from one of our former villains and Hiroshi is seemingly very remorseful for everything he did while working for Amon. This is his chance to reconnect and prove that he is worthy of being a father to Asami and it seems like their reconciliation will go much better that originally planned. I really appreciated that Asami is not taking him and face value and that Hiroshi will have to prove he is a reformed man. Asami has really grown up over the course of the series and for her to face what is probably one of her biggest letdowns should be a rather excellent cap on her entire story.
So here we are, war on the brink and a pretty good setup episode for us all.
Final Grade B+
+Bolin and Varrick fun times
+Varrick growing a conscious
Kuvira beginning to show cracks in her stone cold facade
-Suyin running off to attack Kuvira
-No one attempted to stop Kuvira during the three years
-“If you’re not gonna fight why did we even look for you?” Oh Meelo, you make a valid point
-Bolin’s sides and circle joke was extremely intricate for him. Good to see his sense of humor has matured.
-“Little head voices are liars! What do little head voices know?” I have a new mantra.
-Opal is back but still no Kai. WTF where is he?