Well…that escalated quickly. With this being the final episode before the two-part series finale, Legend of Korra let it be known just what our heroes were up against. And that presence was felt in a BIG way.
Ok, let’s get this out of the way, Kuvira has a giant freaking mech! How giant? 25 stories tall, you know, Gundam size, just for reference. The reveal of the mech was nothing short of awe-inspiring. Mainly because there was no hint of this being made all season. Not even when the spirit weapon was being made. For this to be kept hidden, and to be made believable, was no small feat. Oh, and if anyone is curious how this was made? Remember the metal domes in Zao Fu that were taken down by Kuvira? There you go.
But obviously size isn’t everything (no jokes!), as power was the key thing here, as Kuvira strapped her spirit weapon to the arm of the giant mech. One that with a motion of the arm of the mech wiped out an entire outpost before it could even protect itself. Once again showing that people do die in this show.
Now, as much as I could talk about this mech for a while, we need to get back to everyone else. Republic City was a place dangling on the edge of a knife. They knew the cut was coming, but would it be for real? I liked how they talked about how only 18 families willingly volunteered to leave, to show that everyone else was certain Kuvira wouldn’t wipe them out.
In a word, WRONG! Which made for a mandatory evacuation, especially since she attacked a week early! Which was another cool thing, as it showed how Team Avatar and crew weren’t even close to being ready for Kuvira’s assault.
I’m going into the downsides right now as I think it’s important to the plot. There was no serious battle scenes in this episode, even though it was set up to be an all out war. Yes, the giant mech had the forces of Republic City outmatched and outgunned, and yes, there will definitely be fighting in the last two episodes, but a quick surrender like that? Just didn’t feel right. Especially since we know (99% sure) that the mech will be destroyed at some point in the final two episodes. It would’ve been nice for some mechs and planes to fire rounds at it, only to see them do no damage, AND THEN you can surrender. That’s all I’m saying.
However, the surrender did allow for one of the cooler and colder moments in Legend of Korra history. As Korra, Tenzin, Bumi, Opal, and Kai captured Bataar Jr., and tried to force him to spill the mechs secrets. But that’s not the cool part! The cool part was not only how Bataar shut them down, and promptly insulted his family in the process, but how Korra went stone cold and threatened Bataar with the one thing he fears most: To never see Kuvira again. That’s cold, epic, but cold.
So how could that moment be topped? Easy, Kuvira finding out where Korra and Bataar was…then wiping their location from the face of the earth. Ok, probably no one is dead (would be interesting if Bataar was though…), but it was another scene in showing how determined Kuvira was in completing her mission. One thing to note though, she was choked up at the idea of killing Bataar for their cause, and she didn’t smile evilly afterwards to show she never really cared. She just bowed her head in silence as if to remember him. At least that’s how I interpreted it.
One last thing before I wrap up. Zhu Li coming back to Varrick, and then FINALLY standing up to him and demanding she be treated as an equal? Great stuff.
In the end, “Kuvira’s Gambit” perfectly set up the ending of Legend of Korra by giving us a threat that no Avatar can deal with on their own. That’s important as we head into the finale. Now there were some down points, some curious still frames scenes, and some jumping moments where you wondered how those characters got to where they were shown, but overall this episode was good. And now the wait begins for the end of Legend of Korra. I hope it’s everything we want and more.