Arguably the most important scene in the episode, because I think it says something basic about Korra’s personality that’s easy to forget now when she’s at her lowest.
Korra loves bending.
She really, really does. This is the girl who walks into Republic City and goes toe to toe with bad guys in her spare time. The girl who learns about a new style of Earthbending from a no-named boy, says “woah cool!”, and jumps right into it. Who joins a probending team and, in one instance, single-handedly annihilates her competition. Who plays dirty in airscooter competitions. Who uses airbending to play fetch with her polar bear dog. Who thinks bending is fun.
After everything she’s been through, Korra’s sort of lost sight of the joy she used to get from a challenge- the joy she used to get from using her own strength and standing on her own two feet and facing an opponent head on. Here, though? We get to see that playful, determined side of her again.
At her core, she’s still the same girl she was. She just needs to rediscover the love she has for what she does.
This is one of the first things that I thought of when I saw that Book 4 of LOK would be set three years later.
If you were twelve when ATLA first came out, then nine year later, you’re going to be twenty-one when LOK ends. Which means that you were the same age as Aang when ATLA started and the same age as Korra when LOK finished.
And I don’t believe that this is a coincidence at all.
I’m really pleased with the choice to have Kuvira wear gloves. It seems like a small detail but it actually gives a great deal of insight into the character herself
She’s an earthbender who literally doesn’t want to touch earth. Contrast this with the rough and tumble ways of all the ATLA earthbenders, many of whom did not even wear shoes.
This sign of her fastidious nature makes her extreme proficiency in metalbending perfectly natural. Like Guru Pathik told Aang, metal is simply earth that has been purified and refined. It’s no surprise that Kuvira would be attracted to the ”purer” and more controlled metal as a weapon.
And of course there is the symbolism of her using a gloved hand to force the governor into signing what amounts to the type of dirty ”protection” contract seen in many broken societies—Kuvira is essentially a warlord but she truly believes in her image as ”The Great Uniter” and the necessity of her own power. This is a deeper sense of purpose and surety than even Azula displayed, which sets her in direct contrast to the wayward and under-confident Korra.