Things I Love About LoK
Goal: Write 1 thought every day re: why I love The Legend of Korra until I finish rewatching the series.
#100: Bolin saves the president in “Night of a Thousand Stars.”
Bolin is a very frustrating character for me in that I want very much to like him, but I like him less than I want to. As likeable, funny, and good-hearted as he is, he is also naive, gullible, and, as Ginger says, “as dumb as the rocks [he] bend[s].” And … I’m not really sure he ever moves beyond that. Even as I cheer when Bolin develops physical skills like lavabending in Book 3, I also wish he had grown more out of his little brother/naive persona throughout the series.
I do genuinely enjoy Bolin’s interactions with each member of Team Avatar (particularly with Mako). And he does have some hilarious comedic lines. But my favorite Bolin moments are the emotional ones, where he is surprisingly soft and genuine. (One of my favorite lines of his comes later in Book 3, when he and Mako are rescuing their family from Ba Sing Se.)
In “Night of a Thousand Stars,” I love the scene where Bolin and Asami share a tender moment outside the theater during the Nuktuk movie showing:
Bolin: I guess I just miss my friends. Everything is going so well for me, but it feels empty without everyone around. Korra’s gone, Mako’s in jail, you’re doing… business lady stuff. Team Avatar’s fallen apart.
It’s a nice moment that shows some welcome self-awareness on Bolin’s part, and a wistfulness that is touching:
Otherwise, I generally struggled a lot with Bolin’s entire Nuktuk mover story line in Book 2 – mostly because I could not stand that it made Bolin come off as simultaneously dumb and creepy (toward Ginger). (I did enjoy the throwback to wartime propaganda films, though. That, and the fact that Varrick was doing all this to encourage warfare and benefit his own industry.)
Nevertheless, even though I am ambivalent-to-slightly-negative on the whole movers storyline and what it did (or didn’t) do for Bolin’s character, I enjoyed the sequence where Bolin saves President Raiko in “Night of a Thousand Stars.”
First, Bolin literally rips off his sleeves:
Second, the staging of the action sequence is cleverly timed off the Nuktuk mover in the background, underscoring that Bolin goes from on-screen hero to real-life hero:
I love that Bolin gets his moment of triumph. Nevertheless, the payoff here did not outweigh the downsides of the story line for me.
I’d be interested in hearing contrary opinions, though, from those who enjoyed or found valuable the Nuktuk movers story line.