After a so-so episode with “The Calling” last week, Legend of Korra stormed back with “Enemy at the Gates”, showcasing some much needed info and character moments. Though not perfect, it was still one of the best episodes this season.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the visually epic shot of Kuvira’s army approaching Zaofu. From the metal air blimps to the army of platinum mechs, it was very impressive both in terms of story and art. It’s rare we see such a shot, so it’s cool we got to see it happen.
Anyway, with Kuvira officially in Zaofu to try and bring it (as the last ununified state in the Earth Empire) under her banner, you knew things would get tense, and boy did they! I’ll give Kuvira credit though, she knows how to be sneaky in order to get what she wants. Many have wondered why Bolin is working with her, and while we still may not have the answer, we know why she accepted his loyalty. Not only is he a face the public loves, but he’s been in contact with many a high-ranking person, one of which was Su. So using him to show the “peaceful” option Kuvira was offering was nice.
Truly though the best part was when Su forced Bolin to ask the question of what exactly was happening to those under Kuvira’s protection. The answers showed that Kuvira truly is a tyrant, and will stop at nothing to get her brand of peace in the kingdom. Don’t believe me? Ask Varrick! After finding out how dangerous the spirit vines energy was (epic by the way), Varrick straight up told Kuvira they needed to stop. Her response? Threaten him with death unless he continues. Not nice!
What really set “Enemy at the Gates” apart was that we FINALLY got more backstory on Kuvira and her rise to power. Not so ironically, Su was asked to be the new leader of the Earth Kingdom, when she refused (for very good reasons might I add) Kuvira felt betrayed and began her rise under her own terms.
While that was very nice to know, I wish it was a little longer. Especially with how she convinced Su’s son and guards to join her. We have had no reason to know those two were together, or that anyone in Zaofu was unhappy with their roles. With Su stating that Kuvira convinced them so easily makes me wish we had more time with the metal clan.
And then there’s Korra, who showed some real Avatar wisdom in this episode by trying to be a mediator to both sides. I liked how she called out that “her old self” would’ve charged right into Kuvira’s camp and demanded her to stop. That’s important as sometimes Korra’s grow wasn’t shown in some episodes, here though it was in full force.
Speaking of force, the single battle in this episode was quite epic. With Bolin, Varrick and Zhu Li going up against three mechs, while in mechs of their own! It was awesome seeing the mechs go at it, but even more that Zhu Li was owning everyone! And of course Bolin got to showcase his earth and Lavabending skills. I’m glad Bolin finally snapped out of Kuvira’s spell, hopefully he’ll join up with Korra and the others soon. You know…after he escapes the re-education camp.
One thing that honestly didn’t fit in “Enemy at the Gates” was the Asami storyline. Fans have been BEGGING for the writers to give Asami more screentime. Yet more times than not she’s given very short bursts or useless stories. Today was no different. As for some reason she decides (AT THIS MOMENT IN TIME!!!!) to tell her father (who’s still in jail) that she never wants to hear from him again. And of course, he repented to her and she walked away. Then, she realized she still wanted her father in her life and decided to spend time with him. The end….wait, that’s it? Given, it was nice to know that her father was guilt ridden with what happened, but did we have to find out now? And to what end will this lead things? Too many questions.
In the end though, “Enemy at the Gates” brought the main plot of the season back into the light and showed that things are about to heat up in the worst way possible. And this time, Korra may not be able to stop what’s coming. There were curious omissions and the Asami storyline didn’t make much impact on the episode, but for what it was, it was darn good.
Oh, and Julie chewing out Varrick at the end? Classic. Go Zhu Li!