Wow – now that was an episode! Both Josh and I loved “Kuvira’s Gambit,” an easy highlight of both Book 4 and the rest of The Legend of Korra. Kuvira continues to build herself up (literally!) as a truly intimidating opponent for the Avatar and her allies. She arrives on the front steps of Republic City with an army and a giant mech while Korra’s team works to prepare for the assault.
We begin our discussion with the Colossus itself, a plot point we guessed a few podcasts ago going off of the title of the 12th episode. We then wonder what constitutes a perfect episode of Avatar. This one in particular lacks any meaningful bending combat, yet it works on virtually every level. Is it a 10/10?
I then bring up Prince Wu and argue that he has developed into a surprisingly empathic and charismatic leader, making him a good foil for the overly bureaucratic Mako. We consider Kuvira’s anti-colonialist motives which hearken back as far as Avatar: The Last Airbender – The Promise comics. Might this spur Fire Lord Izumi’s involvement considering Zuko and Aang’s history in founding the city?
We also cover Kuvira and Bataar, Jr., who seem to genuinely love one another. This is where I talk about historical parallels between these characters and their real-life counterparts from World War II, as outlined in this album. We move on to the immediate threat and how Korra et al. might take out the Colossus. Could this lead to Zaheer’s return?
Finally, we analyze Korra’s transformation this season (and over the entire series) from a brash teen with 2-dimensional ideas of heroism into a more nuanced, more neutral and more balanced peacekeeper. And then, in the last moments of the podcast, we disappear into pragmatic musings on who might have died in the Colossus blast.
Note that this is where Josh loses his composure and starts giggling madly about Mako’s potential demise while I listen incredulously. But to be fair, I do finish my end of the conversation with a non-sequitur rant about the term “Bryke.” It’s been a long couple of weeks. ~ Søren
Note that this podcast contains spoilers up through “Kuvira’s Gambit.” As always, you can subscribe to Ember Island Airwaves using iTunes. Alternatively, you can check out the episode online or download it here. Happy listening!
What do you think? Is Korra on a path to redefining the Avatar as a neutral non-heroic entity? How did you feel about Kuvira’s final decision? And who makes it out of that explosion? Sound off in the comments!
Stay tuned – next week we tackle the 1-hour finale, which includes “Day of the Colossus” and “The Last Stand.”