I, like everyone else in the fandom, made many predictions about LOK when it was airing. Some of my predictions (such as the Equalists attacking Probending and Asami becoming a part of Team Avatar) were right! I couldn’t have been more wrong about Amon and Korra’s avatar state. However, I was surprised by how totally thrown for a loop I was by Mako and Bolin.
Warning: Incoming Mako/Bolin critique!
If that don’t float your boat then you can just stop reading right here!
I seriously thought Mako was going to have some sort of beef with Korra’s dangerous life style influencing his brother. I mean, dude’s had a hard life it seems. Thought he’d be desperate to maintain their relatively stable Probending lifestyle off of the streets; that he’d become more abrasive or controlling with the rise of Equalist threat or by Bolin wanting to be Korra’s handsome sidekick—I mean, Korra is baby’s first serious love interest after all! The Equalist Revolution would have given Bolin the chance to protect his presumed-more-capable brother, I assumed. Then again, I thought their “modern” bending style was going to be further addressed after the second episode, but that sure went no were.
Look, I’m not asking for “Zuko Alone” style flashbacks of their back alley baby days (although Bolin’s chubby cheek’s would be adorable to witness) and I’m not asking for a raging redtide of angst with one of the brothers exploding into chunks, or for Bo to call his brother a CHARRED MONSTER!!! But, come on… How are you gonna briefly mention such a tragic back story and not do anything with it? Show us how their dangerous upbringing has affected the boys’ relationship, for better and for worse, and how they must grow from it. Jiminy jilikers, by the end of Book 1, I was starting to think that the only reason BoBo and Scarfy were even orphans was because Bryke and the studio didn’t want to animated their parents nagging about curfews. I mean even Asami’s dead mother had some relevance to her and her father’s character arc, and Asami didn’t actually start being a character until episode 7 (I’m sorry I said that Salami *smooch*)!
And, yes. I did expect a conclusive character arc between Mako and Bolin by the finale. Some people might say that my expectations were too high for a single season, but hey, I wasn’t sure their would even be others seasons. I was looking at this as a twelve episode mini-series, and from what I gather, that’s how Bryke initially wrote it to be.
But why write this? Why bother when we’re getting three more seasons? Well, because I’ve heard from many pro-Makorra fans that Mako is a deep, expertly written character. And I’ve heard from some anti-Makorra fans that he is a disaster and the only way he can be redeemed is to die a horrible, horrible death in Book 2. I don’t agree with either of these arguments. As much as I like Bolin, he and Mako were a mess in Book 1, but they clearly have some potential that has been largely ignored by the writers. Do I expect amazing bonding from the boyzies in Book 2? Considering alleged bizarre love interests and motorcycle cop antics, probably not. But hey, four seasons. You never know…
Tagging this anti-mako rather than Mako because I’m pretty sure Mako fans won’t like this in their tag.