So… can we talk for a moment about this, fandom?
Sooooooo. Am I the only one who was really really disturbed by this scene? Like, here’s Mako threatening an equalist mook with a FIST FULL OF FIRE, and this guy, he doesn’t have his hood on, he has a face and everything, and he’s scared and has…
Yes. This was an important moment, and it seems to have slipped through the cracks amidst all the other debates and discussions. We understand that Mako was, for whatever reason, driven to frantic measures by Korra’s abduction. I’ll allow for that.
…But this is also the boy who watched his parents (I’ll assume they were nonbenders, because it’s hard to believe that one firebending mugger would be able to take out another firebender and an earthbender at once, especially if they were fighting to protect their son) be murdered by a firebender, yet he doesn’t even hesitate to use that same power for threatening a person who is essentially defenseless at the moment.
Mako, how do you know this man isn’t somebody’s father? Somebody’s husband? Somebody’s older brother? He’s somebody’s son, at least, and that should count for something.
I think this issue has been addressed with Korra’s character, what with Tarrlok’s biting but rather true “And you don’t?” comment when she accused him of using his power to intimidate people. But I don’t want that to be the end of the discussion, either.
I was so freaked out by this. I immediately flashed back to Amon’s story. I was even more freaked out when absolutely no one said anything about this in canon. I mean, a similar thing happened in AtLA, and Sokka spoke out, when Jet was going too far with that elderly Fire Nation civilian.
And sidetracking into Tarrlok, I love how in that scene we really do see more of what’s really behind his own mask. That epic retort he gave to Korra and his whole attempt to finally persuade with words alone made me think he was rather self-aware, and made him more sinister in my eyes. Tarrlok knows he uses his power to intimidate people, knows he goes to extremes to get what he wants, and seems perfectly okay with that; hell, it’s a choice. It goes back to my thought that his “hero” plan isn’t as sympathetic as some fans think. I love Tarrlok, but I think there’s more interesting stuff going with his “hero” scheme; as in, he purely planned to do it only to gain control of Republic City. There was really no altruistic desire. I think of this line from Mirrorverse!Superman in the Justice League cartoons, paraphrased: “After we save the city, they’ll be so grateful, they’ll roll right over for us.” To me Tarrlok takes a similar stance on “heroes,” looking at them more critically, pragmatically, and cynically: the “hero” swoops in, does “good,” and in exchange the people saved will give control and such to the “hero.” Tarrlok only wants to take control of Republic City where his father failed, and he’ll come at it a different way too, opposite what his father had tried.
I don’t know, at least Tarrlok’s a bastard bender who seems to fully know what he’s doing is wrong and chooses to do it anyway, while there are benders who thoughtlessly do it, and that seems rather worse to me. I found Mako’s thoughtless abuse of power above and all the other benders nearby ignoring it more disturbing that Tarrlok’s biting honesty behind closed doors.
I miss Tarrlok.
If they’re intending to turn this into a learning experience for our protagonists, then I’ll be thrilled.
But if it was just there to emphasize how worried Mako was about Korra…it’s like they’re going out of their way to give this pairing a morally questionable foundation.
I miss Tarrlok too. To me this scene was Mako’s lowest point. That type of misuse is what Amon has been talking about the whole time in his story and speeches. This has been talked about in ATLA here and there as well. There was no excuse for Mako to go that far. Equalists are normal people who have jobs and maybe a family, but they decided to follow Amon because they are sick of the standard that non-benders are put in. Non-benders do not get the best jobs and the Sato family seem to one of the few rich non-benders in RC. Amon may not be so normal since we don’t know for sure with the feats that he did in this season, but the other equalists are.
This scene was most likely put in to show that Mako was worried about Korra to give the Makorra pairing some buildup. If this is the case that is just disappointing.
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