anti nuktuk

So um?

I actually agree wholeheartedly with the premise that “character development” doesn’t necessarily mean “a better person”.

But if a story is going to attempt that kind of deliberate character deterioration, then maybe it should honestly acknowledge and confront all the factors which led to a particular character’s moral decay? Especially if the factors includes neglect and marginalization by other character(s) that we’re supposed to sympathize with and root for, which – surprise surprise – is something that can end up having a hugely negative effect on their intended likability if they’re never called out at any point on their neglect.

In other words? Mako has not only been extremely cold and dismissive towards Bolin (his little brother) throughout the entire Book, but he does absolutely nothing to prevent the abuse that Bolin received at the hands of the Twins. And yet not only is he never called out on his neglect and how it tangibly accelerated his brother’s moral decay, but the narrative incongruously frames him as a 100% decent and morally responsible guy.

Bolin’s stupidity (and Korra’s, and Asami’s, and Iroh II’s, and Lin and her police force’s – but those are other rants for other days) exists solely to contribute to the glorification of Mako. That’s it.

The bathtub-in-the-apartment scene – which initially seemed like it would actually be a “calling out” scene – ended up being simply another example of the narrative glorifying Mako at the expense of Bolin (whose accidental self-electrocution scalding at the end of that scene* is framed as “karma” for his stupidity).

tl;dr - Nice try to justify the shit writing and character derailment, but no cigar.

Antiyonder:

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Honestly, I feel that Bolin is suppose to be more of a take that considering how Mako is too good for this world.

I mean even when Bolin makes a good point whether it’s shoving Mako’s brush off back in his face or owning up to Korra, I feel like we’re suppose to view him as an annoying pest who needs to learn respect.

I’m not even sure what the hell the writers are thinking in regards to Bolin.  Bryke insist that he’s supposed to be sympathetic, that he’s supposed to be funny, and that he’s definitely not their chew toy…but, yeah, the story so far has done little besides invalidate him even when he’s in the right.  (When it’s not derailing him for shit like that Ginger fuckery, that is.)

And then, there was the vaguely ableist swipe that they took at him when talking about how P.J. Byrne doesn’t have to fake being a keet.  (Which may have been intended to imply that Byrne is notably sharp, but even so.)