Tensions have been building between Kuvira’s army and the city of Zaofu, and have come to a boil in the Book 4 Episode 6 of The Legend of Korra: “The Battle of Zaofu”.

Certain that a siege or open warfare with Kuvira’s army would end poorly for the city, Su and her sons attempt a sneak-attack on Kuvira herself, leaving Korra behind to decide if taking action would be overstepping her authority as the Avatar. Meanwhile, the captured Bolin and Varrick are forced to work on the spirit vine project against their will.

Plotlines converge later in the episode as Su’s capture forces Korra to make a decision, leading to the centerpiece of the episode: the first fight between Korra and Kuvira. Kuvira challenges Korra to a one-on-one battle, telling her soldiers that she wouldn’t ask them to do something she wouldn’t do herself.

This fight serves two purposes to the plotline: to establish Kuvira as a threat a capable fighter, and to show that Korra still suffers from the psychological drawback that plagued her in earlier episodes. Despite the fact that the poison has left her bloodstream entirely, she still feels slower, and the extremely one-sided fight ends when Korra once again sees the image of herself that had been chasing her on her journey.

While the action in the episode was well done and there was some great characterization for Korra, Kuvira and Varrick, watching Korra get beaten down as hard as she did to demonstrate Kuvira’s strength was annoying, to say the least. The pro-wrestling term “jobbed”, often used to refer to a situation where a character is beaten to demonstrate the power of a new character, fits this fight so well that I’d expect to see a picture of it next to the TV Tropes article. Even in a somewhat weakened state, it seems like Korra should be a formidable opponent at this point in the series, but she doesn’t manage to even land a hit on Kuvira without using the Avatar state, and then fails in that when a vision of her evil twin causes her to have a breakdown. While both of these are likely important aspects of Korra’s character arc in this season, it would have felt a lot better to see her at least hold her own. Of course, later episodes may explain this fight better, and give viewers a reason for Korra’s failure. All in all, it was an enjoyable episode, and clearly and important one for multiple characters.

SCORE: 8.5/10

-Edward (Left Knee of A7)

Andrewhabara Avatar

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