Hey there, Korra Nation! As many of you know, The Legend of Korra Book 4: Balance aired its newest episode, “Kuvira’s Gambit” on December 12th. As promised, I’ve written a recap (which can be found on Black Girl Nerds) in case you haven’t checked it out yet, but now it’s time for a new post-cap!
If you don’t know what a “post-cap” is by now, then it’s a damn shame. But for refreshing purposes, it’s my make-believe term that by definition is part summation, part review, and tons of thoughts and feelings that one may have after watching an episode (and writing a full-blown recap). Got it? Cool.
Now let’s dig into The Legend of Korra Book 4 Balance, Chapter 11, “Kuvira’s Gambit”:
Kuvira makes her move. Sometime after the Beifong’s escape, Kuvira goes on the intercom in Zaofu and announces they’re going to take back the Earth Kingdom land Avatar Aang and Firelord Zuko carved out to make the United Republic in order to complete the Earth Empire. She practically says she’s unstoppable, having mopped the floor with Korra, and she’s ready to show the world that the Earth Empire is a force to be reckoned by marching on Republic City. Her minions cheer and she turns to Baaatar
Jr. for his support. BJ is all “I luh you, Boo,” and Kuvira’s like “I love you, babe” and says she can’t wait to put this whole pesky “taking over the Earth Empire thing” behind them so they can finally tie the knot. She then tells Baatar that if it wasn’t for him, she couldn’t have managed to make it this far. Meanwhile, in Republic City, President Raiko learns that people aren’t fleeing the city fast enough because they don’t think they’re in imminent danger. At that point, Bolin bursts into the room at the right time (as he’s done before) and has Zhu Li tell them that Kuvira plans to march on Republic City in two weeks. Raiko tells Wu to bump up the evacuation plans to mandatory and Korra vows to protect the city.
Zhu Li doesn’t do the thing. Bolin surprises Varrick at the warehouse/factory with none other than his precious Zhu Li. She explain to Varrick that she did everything she did (ie. call him a loser and switched sides with Kuvira) in hopes that she could double cross the enemy, sabotage some weapons, and see Varrick once again (translation: “You’re my lobster”). Varrick, on the other hand, says Zhu Li shouldn’t be hard on self, and after accepting her apology, he sends her off to some assistant duty. That’s when Zhu Li doesn’t do the thing, and instead, gets in Varrick’s face. She tells him that she’s not his assistant anymore and that he better start showing her some R.E.S.P.E.C.T. Zhu Li storms off, and Varrick’s left unable to decipher anything she’s said, while Bolin looks at Varrick like the nimrod he is.
It’s “Bye Felicia” to Republic City. Mako does his best to calmly instruct everyone to leave the city, but in backfires. Instead, Wu gets on the intercom and tells everyone that like them, he too is scared, but they’ve all got to be brave and make it out the city calmly. It actually works and Wu is later aided by Tenzin’s wife, Pema, who decides to stay in the city with the rest of Team Republic City (though their three-year-old kid is nowhere in sight). There’s a beautiful succession of still shots as we see Republic City go from thriving to desolate, and we even get to see General Iroh II (aka Hottie McHotterson) standing guard aboard his ship, as Kuvira’s army moves forward. Some time goes by, and President Raiko is moved to Air Temple Island, though he’s not too keen about it. That same day, Korra tells them that she, Asami, Mako, and Bolin are going to sneak behind enemy lines to take out Kuvira’s weapon. Tenzin’s apprehensive, but Raiko gives his blessing. That same night, however, Kuvira’s army has already advanced to United Republic lands, and before the border patrol can notify Republic City, Kuvira has the station blown to bits.
Who’s the boss? Korra’s plan of a sneak attack is thwarted when they all see Kuvira’s army advancing into United Republic territory with a giant metal mecha-suit in in the midst of it. It’s revealed that Kuvira’s metal bending the mecha-suit through a series of modules and Kuvira is notified of Korra’s flying bison. She aims the weapon at Oogi, but narrowly misses. She tries again, but Oogi escapes and manages to fly back towards the direction of Republic City. Kuvira let’s them go and is all “I ain’t got no worries” because she’s confident that she’ll win the attack.
Korra and the gang arrive at Air Temple Island and alert everyone of Kuvira’s attack — a whole week in advance. Everyone is pissed since no one’s ready, so Raiko has Lin notify Iroh II to prepare for an attack in a couple hours, while Wu continues to evacuate the city, and Asami heads over to the warehouse to get her suits running. Korra goes to the front lines with Iroh II, while Suyin goes with Asami.
The moment comes, and Kuvira’s new suit intimidates every-friggin-one. Raiko tells her to surrender over the intercom, but Kuvira scoffs and shows off her advantage in the situation by blowing up some of Iroh’s ships. Iroh II is a the front lines with Korra and waits for orders to engage, but Raiko concedes. Kuvira wants Korra and the city’s army turned over to her, but Korra says she’s not going to let Kuvira take her. She runs off and goes into hiding, while Kuvira sends over Baatar for negotiations.
What’s love got to do with it? Korra heads over to the warehouse and is determined that Team Avatar shouldn’t go down without a fight. They realize the only person who has real intel on Kuvira’s weapon is her boo, Baatar, so Korra creates a stealth team of Tenzin, Bumi, Jinora, and Kai to kidnap Baatar from his airship. Their plan goes off without a hitch, and when the airship reaches to President Raiko, they’re all baffled as to where Baatar is. Meanwhile, Baatar isn’t snitching on Kuvira at the warehouse, and when his mom tries to pull on his heartstrings, he tells her Kuvira is his only family now. With that, Korra threatens to keep Baatar in hiding from his lady love for the rest of her life in exchange for Kuvira backing off the city.
Raiko is growing impatient waiting for Baatar, and when Kuvira makes a call to the airship, Raiko answers the phone and asks Kuvira to end her tricks and bring on the negotiation. That’s when Baatar patches into the call and asks Kuvira to back off Republic City, since he wants nothing more than to be her baby daddy and worship her like the ironed-fist, woman of the house that she is. Kuvira has the call secretly traced, and tells Baatar that the city isn’t worth their love. She tells him she loves him and hangs up When Kuvira gets his location, she points her weapon at the warehouse. Mako tells everyone they’re on Kuvira’s radar, but Baatar says that his woman would never blow him up. Moments later, Kuvira fires a blast and everyone’s running for their lives. Raiko is devastated, and Lin leaves him to check for survivors. Kuvira goes back to her iron fist stance.
Thoughts & Theories: (1) I was totally right that Kuvira was going to demand the turn over of the city, or else. And while I thought Baatar would succumb to his family, I also forgot to mention that I thought Kuvira’s turn-around time for her attack would be sped up, since Zhu Li was free and I was right about that. TOTALLY wasn’t expecting Kuvira to come traipsing through the lands in some super giant metal suit (which she made from the domes in Zaofu — thanks, QuadL!), though. And then the ending… man, Kuvie doesn’t play, y’all! I was hoping for Baatar to turn over a new leaf — and when he was all “I love you, Kuvira,” I thought that would be the foreshadowing of his betrayal, but guys, they totally flipped the script! In the end of it all, Kuvira blew up her boo and I think it wasn’t just to kill the Avatar, who she knew was with Baatar, but to cut out her only weakness. As long as Kuvie was loving BJ, there would always be a way for people to get to her through hurting him. And to eliminate that weakness, she “blew up” her man. I also think Kuvie wasn’t keen on Baatar’s eagerness to just give up Republic City, turn around, and go back to living happily married in Zaofu.
Random: Kuvira doesn’t look like the type to wear a dress. I imagine that she’d wear a white romper at the wedding, with a blazer over it. Yeah. Either way, when home girl did that, I legit said:
Poor BJ. Looks like there’s no wedding in his future. As for as Kuvie is concerned, he doesn’t have a future. He’s deaders.
(2) I’m completely convinced that Bryan Konietzko and Michael Dante DiMartino know their audience isn’t just a bunch of kids anymore. By Kuvira’s blatant desire to kill Zhu Li, then her blowing up of the guard tower, and the warehouse, it’s pretty evident that the creators stopped giving all kinds of “effs” and are absolutely fine with picking off people on the show.
(3) I really enjoyed the pacing of this episode, and I especially loved the still scenes that were drawn to show the time lapse between the city’s evacuation and Kuvie’s attack. Something about it was just masterfully done, so I wanted to point that out. I also wanted to point out the sweat that was drippin’ on everybody’s face when they saw Kuvie’s new suit. You would’ve sworn it was the hottest day in the year, the way everyone was perspiring. Probably could’ve ended a drought somewhere with all that water…
(4) I think the time for Varrick to be dominated has come. Zhu Li came back, and said everything but “I love you”, just for Varrick to act like he wasn’t about to blow himself up over Zhu Li leaving him. I think he’ll finally admit his “apparent” disinterest in Zhu is just a defense mechanism when he feels like he and Zhu Li are on their last mission together, and the “Zhurrick” pairing that everyone’s hoping for will come to pass (hopefully).
(5) This episode was really about the girls not backing down. First, there’s Kuvira with her whole “Earth Empire” domination, then there’s Korra with her “I won’t let Kuvira win” thing, and then last but not least, Zhu Li putting her foot down with Varrick. Again, this show never fails to amaze me with it’s plethora of fearless females. Girl power!
(6) Wu is finally good for something! And while I still don’t think he’s completely ready to rule — especially when he started talking about not being able to go to the bathroom by himself (creepy much?), he’s obviously getting there.
(7) I was so happy to see General Iroh II (aka Iroh McHottie-Boo) appear in this episode. I already told y’all, I ship Asamiroh hard and I so was hoping that he’d show up in the final episodes, where he’d have a more engaging role in the coming episodes where he can engage with Asami. Though the boo only had like 2-3 lines (at most), I’m still hoping for some kind of interaction at the end. If not, then I’ll assume they got together after the series finale.
(8) How is it that Kai came back and said not a DAMN THING? This guy was gone for damn near the entire season —can he get a moment with his girl? Their world may be coming to an end, yo.
(9) Am I the only one who was catching the diva attitude Raiko had when he answered Kuvira’s phone call? He was on some “Kuvira girl, I may be surrendering, but ain’t nobody got time for this.” Haha!
Anyhow, it’s time for my speculations on the series finale (sigh):
It’s pretty obvious now that Baatar Jr. is going to sing like a bluebird now that he’s a battered fiancé scorned. It’ll take some time for him to do it, being wounded and all, but he’ll talk. Once he does, Asami, Korra, et al. will device some plan to take out Kuvira’s weapon, and when they do, General Iroh is gonna jump in the mix, fists blazing and there may be a bit of a war. However, Korra will have to take out Kuvira in some way in order to get her followers to halt the continued battle for Republic CIty. I can’t speculate too much, because let’s face it — it’s the series finale. Anything can and will go at this point, but one thing I’d really like to see is Korra somehow bend the spiritual energy from the weapon while in the Avatar State. After all, it’s spiritual energy and what is Korra but a link between the Spirit World and the only person able to tap into it herself. If she could redirect it like Zuko & Uncle Iroh could redirect lightning, that would be a friggin’ sight to see. And considering Aang learned about redirection, it should be in Korra’s psyche. *Shrugs*
But what will Korra do to Kuvira: Will she “end” her or take away her bending? Hmm… that’s the real question. Maybe Kuvira will do the Hitler thing and take her own life when she sees the end near? She wouldn’t be the first villain to be suicidal and a personal that maniacal may be better off dead, but who knows with this one. I think she’s the best villain yet. Kudos to the crew and Ms. Zelda Williams for giving us a compelling cartoon character. Papa Robin would’ve been proud. #RIP
I’m really going to be sad to watch the series finale in just a few short days, and I blame everything on Nickelodeon. LOL. First off, this series was shorted than Avatar: The Last Airbender and they decided to air it at such an odd time for people to watch. UGH! Furthermore, I don’t know if I can take another Avatar series that doesn’t give me closure on all the characters before. I’m still upset there wasn’t some animated movie showing us what happened with Zuko’s mom, or how Sokka died, or what the hell happened to Suki, Mai, Azula, and Tai Lee. Any way, prepare for the waterworks, guys.
The two-part The Legend of Korra Series Finale, Episode 12: “Day of the Colossus” and Episode 13: “The Last Stand” goes live on Nick.com/Korra on December 19 and will air later that night on Nickelodeon at 10:00 p.m. ET and 10:30 p.m. ET (following Episodes 10 & Episode 11 at 9:00 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. respectively).
I will be live-tweeting the finale, so join me on Twitter for the epic event.
What did you think of Legend of Korra Book 4 Balance, Chapter 11, “Kuvira’s Gambit”? Let’s talk about it in the comments or chat about it on Twitter.