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Recap / The Legend Of Korra S 4 E 11 Kuvira's Gambit

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Large and in charge.

Korra and Team Avatar try to stop Kuvira from moving against Republic City.


  • Arm Cannon: The spirit cannon is mounted on the arm of the Colossus, with artillery shells housing the spirit vines stored in the chest compartment.
  • As You Know: Said verbatim by Kuvira when she exposits how Aang and Zuko founded Republic City.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: The Colossus is stated to be 25 stories tall by Korra.
  • Audience Surrogate: Bolin plays as this again as he, and likely the viewers as well, Face Palm when Varrick shows how Oblivious to Love he still is to Zhu Li.
  • Bag of Kidnapping: Baatar Jr. is shoved into a burlap sack when he's kidnapped from his airship.
  • Big "NO!": Baatar Jr. lets out a small one when he realizes that Kuvira is fully willing to sacrifice him to achieve Earth Empire goals.
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  • Book-Ends: Just like in Season One, the Big Bad has managed to take control of Republic City.
  • Bound and Gagged: Baatar Jr. is tied up after being kidnapped by Korra and the airbenders.
  • Brick Joke: What was that about coercion and burlap sacks you said three years ago, Tenzin?
  • The Cameo: Tahno (in company of his fangirls) and Gommu are seen among the people listening to Wu's evacuation speech. The same policeman who chased Korra through the park in "Welcome to Republic City" is also seen with Gommu, and the old woman who gave Korra directions to Air Temple Island in that same episode is seen evacuating. Feather Hat Guy also appears in a couple of crowd shots.
  • Character Development: Wu really steps up in this episode when he helps with the evacuation.
  • Cliffhanger: The episode ends after Kuvira has destroyed the warehouse the majority of the main cast is hiding.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Raiko complains about how Bolin keeps bursting in and interrupting his meetings, as he did two episodes ago.
    • Wu mentions how he was afraid to go to the bathroom alone, which got him kidnapped in "Reunion".
    • Asami and Varrick have put their hummingbird mecha first shown in the previous episode into production. Unless they have more than one factory, though, it looks like Kuvira took out the entire line when she fired on the factory.
  • Cranial Processing Unit: The Colossus is piloted from the head.
  • Darkest Hour: Raiko surrenders Republic City to Kuvira and the main characters are seemingly annihilated by Kuvira's laser.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Bolin when Team Avatar sees Kuvira's mecha.
    "Oh, did I forget to mention it? NO, OF COURSE I DIDN'T KNOW!!!"
  • Deer in the Headlights: The soldiers at the outpost completely freeze when they see the Colossus.
  • Easily Forgiven: Varrick accepted Zhu Li with open do her thing again. Zhu Li is obviously not happy about this.
  • Effortless Amazonian Lift: Korra lifts a bound Baatar Jr. above her head from the ropes with one hand, chair and all. Though she activates the Avatar State before lifting him, she's still able to hold him up even after turning it off.
  • Epic Fail: Mako's attempt at giving an evacuation instruction speech is so bad and confusing that he causes a city-wide panic.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: This episode definitely settles that yes, Baatar Jr. genuinely loved Kuvira. The idea of being without her is genuinely the worst thing that he can envision. Kuvira's feelings are bit less clear.
  • Fate Worse than Death: After realizing that Baatar Jr. isn't going to give in to their demands that he reveal the Colossus' weak points, and has chosen Kuvira over his own family, Korra threatens to spend the rest of her life making sure Baatar is never reunited with Kuvira. He lives, but loses Kuvira forever. The threat works, and Baatar tells Kuvira that losing her is not worth gaining the United Republic lands. Kuvira agrees, then launches an attack on Korra's (and his) position.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: A military outpost is blasted with the spirit laser. The scene shows the outpost from afar, just after a close-up of the soldiers in it attempting to warn Republic City. They aren't shown to have survived. The United Forces ships she fired on, on the other hand, are shown being evacuated by airbenders.
  • Hidden Depths: Wu commandeers the radio after Mako causes panic by being too specific with his wording, and manages to both calm the public and get the message across. While his original motive for the evacuation was to impress Korra, he's clearly sincere in this instance.
  • Humongous Mecha: The rail cannon Kuvira has developed is being deployed on a 25 story mech, the Colossus; this explains why she needed all the metal from Zaofu's domes.
  • I Have Your Wife : The heroes pull this on Kuvira by abducting her fiancé' and trying to get her to back off of Republic City. It doesn't work.
  • Impossibly Graceful Giant: The Colossus sort of lumbers along, but when it fires its weapon, it manages to do so with shocking speed, fluidity, and precision. It's justified in that functions like walking and reloading the cannon are done automatically, whereas any movements done when firing are controlled by Kuvira's metalbending.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: Varrick, once again, hears Zhu Li's heartfelt speech and after a second of seeming like he's about to open up, continues acting like, Varrick.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: In the last episode, Kuvira was planning on attacking Republic City in two weeks. That episode was released two weeks before the finale. In this episode, Kuvira and her army arrive at Republic City a week early.
  • Let Them Die Happy: Kuvira tells Baatar he's all that matters, and that they'll be together... and then opens fire on his position.
  • Little "No": Raiko does this when he sees Kuvira's colossus seemingly annihilate the factory where Korra, Team Avatar, Tenzin's family and the Beifongs are keeping Baatar Jr.
  • Mass "Oh, Crap!":
    • When Team Avatar sees the Mecha for the first time, all of them are worried.
    • When Team Avatar realizes the arm cannon is pointing right at them. It slowly dawns on them what's about to happen... except for Bolin, who has seen this before and is already in full freak-out mode.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Varrick reiterates he should have never built the spirit vine weapon.
  • No Endor Holocaust: Averted. Knowing there is going to be a lot of fighting, Republic City is evacuated, so no one has to worry about innocents getting hurt or killed during that battle. Prince Wu and Tenzin's family have a subplot about it and everything.
  • Not So Stoic: Kuvira has a rare moment of affection with Baatar Jr. early in the episode. Later on, she can't bear to look when she decides to open fire on Asami's warehouse, knowing it may very well do in her future husband. More generally, she's abandoned any pretense of being benevolent now that she has her superweapon. Her deep breath suggests that she's holding back her reservations about this decision.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Zhu Li gives one to Varrick when he goes back to treating her like an assistant.
  • Redemption Rejection: Suyin apologizes to Baatar Jr. for everything she might have done that caused him to become the ruthless person he is. She even pleads him to come back to her. His only response? "Kuvira is my family now." Suyin was just saddened to tears hearing that.
  • Rousing Speech: Wu gives one to urge the citizens to evacuate. It's about facing fears, showing their strength as "Republic City winners" and how civil leaders like him are going to make sure they get out safe.
  • Rule of Symbolism: Kuvira's normally well kept hair comes loose while she's firing the spirit cannon at Team Avatar, symbolizing her becoming less Lawful Evil and more willing to do anything for her goals.
  • Shoot the Hostage: Kuvira's titular gambit; after a brief hesitation, she shoots the location where both Korra and her fiancé are, sacrificing him in exchange for taking out the greatest threat in Republic City.
  • Story-Breaker Power: The Colossus is such an advantage over conventional weapons and armies that any kind of balance is gone. Team Avatar simply runs as soon as they see it and barely survive. President Raiko immediately surrenders when it arrives and shows off its cannon.
  • Take a Third Option: Kuvira had a choice between losing Baatar Jr. or keeping him and losing Republic City. Instead she decided to take him out herself and catch the Avatar at the same time.
  • Unusual User Interface: Though the Colossus can be piloted by conventional controls, Kuvira can also control it more precisely through a series of trackballs mounted in the cockpit. By metalbending the balls, the mecha loosely follows her movements.
  • Weapon of Mass Destruction: We again see how much destruction the spirit vine weapon is capable of when Kuvira uses it to take out targets from a great distance with it.
  • We Have Ways of Making You Talk: Korra tries pulling this on Baatar Jr. once he's captured by threatening him with use of the Avatar State should he fail to comply. Unfortunately, Baatar Jr. calls her bluff. The second time she does this, she threatens to keep him away from Kuvira for all eternity should Kuvira take Republic City. Baatar Jr. is visibly distressed at this, and caves.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Kuvira simply loved her empire more than her fiancé. When he was captured as a bargaining chip, she fired on Team Avatar's location, despite knowing that Baatar Jr. would be caught in the crossfire.


Example of: