Also, he’s a possessive control freak.
No seriously, hear me out. My thought process is a little scattered, but it all ultimately goes to my point: that Mako has a problem with infantilizing his peers for the sake of being able to jump in and save them.
When Bolin suggested ideas of ways to pay for the Pro-bending championship, Mako immediately dismissed him and countered it with “I’ll figure something out. I always do.” Every time he’s with Asami he’s always holding onto her in some way. Hands on her shoulder. Arm around her waist. Keeps her around because she’s pretty and a sponsor for his Pro-bending team. And when Asami wants to find out for herself whether her father’s an Equalist, Mako insists that he’s “going down there himself, to find out for her.” Sure, he could be under the impression that Asami can’t handle the truth, but I can’t help but get the vibe that he just wants to play the hero for the pretty damsel in distress. And besides, investigating her dad was not his decision to make.
And then we get Mako’s relationship with Korra. Doesn’t want anything to do with her for days, doesn’t show her an iota of respect until she proves she can help his team win Pro-bending matches. Completely disregards her during her mental breakdown after Operation Bolin Rescue—Okay sure, he was mooning over Asami, but if he were actually Korra’s friend the least he could have done was to ask if she was okay, and try to talk Korra out of trying to fight Amon by herself. The girl gave a public radio address, it’s not like he wasn’t aware of it.
—Oh, but in the midst of all this, suddenly Mako’s lending Korra his safety-scarf and giving her these backhanded compliments like “Sometimes you can be so infuriating, but I also think you’re pretty amazing.” At the same time, while he has a girlfriend, he’s trying to talk Bolin out of pursuing Korraso that he can keep his options open. He later accuses Korra of using Bolin—not because Bolin is a sensitive guy and deserves respect—to make him jealous. Then later, when Korra has the police investigate Hiroshi Sato on suspicion of Equalist affiliations, he man-handles her and accuses her of “spying” on him. Then Mako tries to manipulate her emotionally by accusing her of orchestrating the entire investigation out of jealousy, and finishes off by threatening to end their friendship. Because that’s what friends do—the relationships are conditional, and if the friend doesn’t follow the conditions, they get an ultimatum or face termination.
I understand the guy had a conflict of interest. Girlfriend on one side, “friend” with some serious conspiracy allegations on the other. But let’s face it, Asami’s dad being arrested would complicate their relationship, and I think he just wanted to keep things simple. And at the end of the day, even after Korra proves that Sato’s an Equalist, he gives her a half-arsed apology along the lines of “Sorry I didn’t believe you, but seriously, everything you said earlier sounded like a load of crazy bullsh*t,” and then asks if he can still crash at her place. After threatening to end their friendship. Nice.
Oh, and then—AND THEN—when Korra’s actually kidnapped, suddenly he has to get her back, by any means necessary. Why does it take kidnapping and the risk of possible torture or murder for Mako to care? As someone who’s lost his parents and had to survive on what little resources and generosity he had, Mako’s taking everything for granted seems very contrary to what you would expect from his character. Korra has done great things for him. She’s been nothing but nice to him. She saved his team from disqualification, helped rescue his brother, won matches for him, and offered his family and friends sanctuary during hard times—and yet none of that really touched him until his personal benefactor was removed from the picture.
Finally, when Korra reappears, having braved corrupt politicians, dangerous criminals, injuries, and hypothermia, he goes into White Knight Mode again. He has to be the one to push everyone aside and carry her back to the Sky Bison saddle. He has to be the one to treat her as if she’s this frail, fragile creature, and say everything’s going to be all right. I mean, give me a break. Where was Mako’s concern all the other times she was assaulted and humiliated by scary people and their minions?
I wanted to like Mako, I really did. But remind me why he is worthy of anybody’s affections in or out of the show? He’s got a lot of character development to endure before I can care about him again. The way he’s being written right now, I’m actually uncomfortable associating him with his namesake.
BLESS YOU AND THIS POST.
I feel like this generalizes a few of the instances and I’m willing to at least give Mako some leniency when it comes to “extenuating circumstances” and/or emotional inconsistency (i.e. the emotional aspect of certain situations could excuse some of the moral grey, so to speak), but basically…
Yes. All of this.
My main thought about any of this these days is just that it seems like Mike and Bryan/army of writers/whoever truly believe they’re giving children good role models with these characters, especially when they then shuffle them into the classification of “Hero” or “Good Guy.” These are not the kinds of role models I want my sons emulating as they grow up. These characters are flawed, and in some ways, that does make them more realistic and dynamic, but in other ways, it paints a terrible message for the children who watch these shows. I understand that with LOK they wanted to go deeper and darker and address “heavier” issues or whatever, but they’ve done it poorly. Mako’s character assassination is just one very poignant example.
*Is forever bitter about how badly Mako’s character was handled*
can we all reflect on how when the show first started everyone was saying Mako wasn’t a Zuko clone because he was nicer
yeah he’s a Nice Guy alright
i am so disappoint in Mako rn
Y ARE YOU SUCH A JERK? STOP BEING A JERK TO EVERYONE MAKO