That Brief Shining Moment When Non-Bender Oppression Was Actually Acknowledged And Korra Had Her Views Challenged For About Five Seconds Before Going Away And Never Being Brought Up Again
remember when we were all convinced the legend of korra was gonna be the most flawless show?
Republic City scenery porn II
Republic City’s pinup girls. Real beauties.
WELP I GUESS THE POST IS HURR
If you don’t have tumblr saviour, don’t read past this point, as there is major spoilers and triggering content.
Like I said before, overall I wasn’t completely thrilled. Isolated, there were some great points in the episode that I loved and I flailed about, but mostly it was me doing this face throughout the finale (this is actually a pic of my friend monica and I actually making this face for about 90% of the series finale)
The 2 things I think that are kind of taboo in this fandom is the fact that if you don’t ship Makorra you are obvz a Mako hater, and therefore do not understand his character, you’re jealous because your ship isn’t canon, or you’re a bad fan. LOL PLZ. (I’m not saying this to generalize Makorra fans, this is what has been shot in my ask box and directed towards me the multiple times that I’ve expressed my opinion on why I can’t bring myself to ship it, as much as I would like to) I’ve mentioned in a couple of other asks that I’ve answered the issues I have directed towards the show, but I’ll try to articulate myself as much as possible. Also, not many people seem to get that it’s ok to disagree with any argument that pops up. You need to respect other people’s opinions as long as they don’t shame or hider on any kind of racist/prejudice or shaming of any social/ethnic/other group or people. Like I said, this is my opinion on something, so it does not mean you have to agree with me (I’d like to hear anyone’s opposing arguments if y’all have any, as I like to hear things from other people’s POV) Alright, so let’s get to the nitty gritty of why this finale just left a bad taste in my mouth that no amount of Sexy Aang could cure.
1. The Portrayal of the Equalist movement.
I’ll say it before and I’ll say it again. Since ep. 3, I’ve been genuinely interested in the actual reasoning behind the equalist movement, especially seeing the disadvantage they have in the Avatar world. Throughout the show, we’re shown that the Equalist Movement is composed of of mostly non benders who feel like they are being treated and extorted unfairly (and rightfully so) by benders in Republic City. They are not represented in the government, as we see that the Council is fully composed of all benders, giving the non-benders a disadvantage and no representation when it comes to politics within the city. As the season progresses, we’re mostly told through a BENDER’S PERSPECTIVE about the equalist movement being “eeviilll because they want to rid the world of bending (which is not even the case btw, it’s in amon’s interest). I repeat, BENDER, because again, we never saw reasoning for someone joining the equalists because of how they felt they were being treated by benders. The closest we come to is Hiroshi Sato, but then his story line is revealed to be a vendetta instead of the latter. I hated how almost everything regarding equalists was painted as black and white, as the non benders have every right to form something that feels could help them in any way possible. We see the privilege benders have in Republic City over jobs, as is shown in ep. 3 with power plants being powered by lightningbending, which non-benders could not do. Same goes with a career in pro-bending, as the sport glorifies the athletes and it is a requirement to bend an element. Another one that I wish had been addressed more was the Metalbending police, as this also marginalizes not only nonbenders, but also any other type of bending. What if you wanted to be part of helping keep the city you live in safe? Nope, you would have to be a bender; not just any type of bender, a METALBENDER, which we’ve seen takes hella time and giant amounts of concentration and skill. Imagine being a non bender, entrusting your government and police, which is entirely made up of benders, to have also your best interests at heart. Imagine trying to find a job as a non bender, I bet you it’s 10x harder finding something sustainable that makes ok pay that doesn’t rely on bending. Does anyone remember the first ep, where we saw the Triple Threats extort the megaphone seller? Imagine having to live like that in that world, in constant fear that any of the elements around you could be manipulated at will and be used against you, wouldn’t you try to make your voice heard? wouldn’t you want someone to finally say “Hey, let’s do something about this inequality, let’s stand up for ourselves”. That reason alone would make me want to join the equalists. Tbh, that scene in episode 4 where they surprise attack the chi blocker class in the basement always makes me cringe. Right there, you see the exact reasons why these people (non benders) are joining. The Task force uses brute force against these civilians, and I have a feeling most people weren’t there to “omg let’s defeat benders u guize”. If I was a non bender and I knew that I could be extorted, I’d learn the shit out of chi-blocking so I also had the power to defend myself, just as benders rely on their element to defend themselves in dangerous situations. In A:TLA my favorite character ever was Suki, because she showed how awesome she was and that she didn’t need bending to kick ass. This also contributes to the fact that I believe in the equalist movement, but not the way Amon represented it after “The Revelation”.
2. The Mako/Asami/Korra thing that doesn’t really have a name because I’m still confused as fuck as to what I witnessed in the finale.
It’s no secret that I really disliked the way the romantic relationships were thrown/written/portrayed in this season. I’ve said it before but some people don’t seem to grasp the concept: I DONT CARE WHAT YOU SHIP, just respect the fact that I won’t ship it and let’s be on our merry way. Honestly, if you ship makorra, great! If you don’t, great! I’m stating the reasons on why I PERSONALLY cannot ship it, so it’s 100% alright if you don’t take my opinion into account, because you don’t have to. I can’t get behind Makorra because I don’t think it has any ceontextual substance within the writing of the show. I can’t get behind Makorra because it was played off at the expense of hurting others, which includes the cheating. I can’t get behind Makorra, because I have been in Asami’s place, and seeing it hurts, it hurts a lot. I know most people have their different reasons for shipping or not shipping it, but the main reason I can’t get behind it, it’s because I know how all of that feels, and I never wish it on anyone else. Mako was completely inconsistent the entire season regarding his feelings for Korra, and even now after watching the finale I still don’t know the turning point in which he realized that he had fallen for Korra. Heck, I don’t even know when Korra realized that she loved Mako? (especially after that Avatar State Scene, but again, more of that in a little bit) I don’t even know how to articulate more on this so it doesn’t sound like I’m letting my experiences obstruct the writing and development of the relationship in the show. I have a problem with Asami being written so she’s basically just a stepping stone in Makorra, as after watching the finale I can totally tell that this was just a season 1 thing, and it makes me sad. Her character has so MUCH potential, and I have hopes for season 2, so we’ll see. But in the later half of S1, Asami was reduced to the jealous glare to add “tension”. Asami is one, if not, my favorite character in LOK. That’s why I don’t understand the hate she gets. She has been nothing but selfless, caring, considerate, and FAABULOUS. She gave up EVERYTHING to stand for what she believed in, she saved Mako’s sorry ass when it came to the father/daughter showdown in ep. 7 (and she did it flawlessly again in the finale, mad props to my homequrl Asami queen of actually everything). I know the hurt we see in her eyes, because she’s realized that the person she’s put her trust into, the person that could be there emotionally for her, has fallen for someone else- and she’s now alone. We can deduce that by now she’s friends with everyone in the Krew, but before that, she only had Mako to rely on, and that’s also something that irks me, but gives me even more reason to love her; she’s been betrayed now twice, by the people she loves, yet she keeps her head up and channels that anger and SAVES THE DAY while simultaneously shooting a Pantene commercial. The scene in the finale that we got regarding the “break up”, didn’t read off as a break up to me; well, it certainly didn’t come off that way to everyone in my house that watched it- maybe we’re just really thick, or maybe it wasn’t a break-up scene at all! It felt more along the lines of “I still care about you, so please be careful and stay safe” rather than “Well, I’m really sorry that it has come down to this, and I do apologize- I care about you and I don’t want to see you get hurt. Can we stay friends?” This is really rather problematic to me, because then the end Makorra kiss…is it cheating? Is it a bird? Is it Superman? WHAT WAS IT? The world may never know. All of these characters deserve so much more imo, and the love plot did nothing to enhance or develop anyone at all. It actually used up a lot of screen time that could have been used for the development of characters or the storyline or other issues that could have been addressed thoroughly. The season is 12 episodes at 23-25 minutes a pop, shit can get done properly in that time- so I do not really get why people are using it as an excuse because “there wasn’t enough time” Sure there was! If you get 12 episodes, work around it because it’s the time you have. I can honestly take out the entire episode of The Spirit of Competition and have the story make sense, because it added almost nothing to the series in terms of plot advancement. Another issue is that the way the relationship was glorified and that cheating was condoned for the sake of Mako and Korra getting together in the end was like uhh…. #hella issues with this shit
3. No metion or recognition of Bender Privilege
As much as they talked about the equalists, I didn’t see anything at once coming from benders that acknowledged the fact that they have a completely HUGE advantage when it comes to almost everything. Maybe I have to rewatch the series again, but what I mostly saw were benders abusing their powers against non benders but never recognizing any of it. Come full circle, I don’t think anyone actually learned a lesson about anything at all, especially why people got behind the Equalist movement in the first place. Just because the leader isn’t there, it doesn’t mean that the movement will dissolve and everyone will be happy. NOPE NOPE NOPE. The issues are still going to be there, if not, it’s going to come back stronger than ever. With the revelation that Amon was actually a bender, I feel like the non benders feel betrayed that the leader of the movement was someone they actually opposed in the first place.
4. The Avatar State Scene…deux ex machina thing thing…
As beautiful as it was to see Korra in the Avatar state, it was also rather disappointing. See, she had just pushed away Mako because she felt like she was nothing anymore without her bending. (which is also rather problematic, as it gives the notion that being a non bender is a bad thing that no one wants to be) She was broken, and just as maybe she was coming to terms with that, Aang shows up and gives her back her bending, and then she achieves the Avatar State, as well as learns how to give people back their bending? Seems rather convenient…Which pushes me to the fact that then no one was really in danger as comes to their bending, as it can be restored so there was nothing really to worry about. It’s still unclear HOW that is even possible, same goes with the bloodbending at any given time. I’m not sure how she even got into the spirit world, as it was addressed completely different than in A:TLA. I guess the thing that really bothered me was that Korra felt like she was unworthy of Mako’s love because she wasn’t the Avatar, but as soon as she gets back her bending she’s all “I love you too”. No explanation on why, but it kind of left a bitter taste in my mouth reminiscing of the whole “If you push this topic even more consider our friendship over” ordeal. I just wish there was more context. I didn’t like how this was handled, it was dealt with within the last 10 minutes of the show and there is no questioning that it was completely rushed. Sigh…
5. The Triggering content. I just wish that there had been a warning about it, I’m still in shock over the murder/suicide of Tarrlok/Noatak, the scene where the airbending children are tied up and gagged, the scene where Hiroshi sets his mind on actually murdering his OWN daughter, and the implied suicide thought that we saw from Korra in the end where she’s crying and looking down the cliff. There needs to be trigger warnings for that type of stuff, I’m still in shock over all of it.
I just have some questions regarding Amon/Noatak and the reasoning on why he started the equalist movement, although I do believe it was more for his self interest rather than the non benders of RC, but that’s a topic for another whole post… Welp, it’s about to be 11:00, my hand hurts and my carpal tunnel is definitely kicking in. I know I have more to say but this is all I could muster before my hand exploded.So if this doesn’t make sense- aoisdnf word vomit.