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Well. I'm done with school now, and in my free time, I do weird things. So today, I wanted to analyze Mako’s personality and attitude towards Korra; A source of major debate for a long time. (If you would like me to do another analysis of something, just message me. I'm open to about anything.)
So, since episode two, there's been divided opinions on this character. Some say Mako is a pretentious asshole, who only thinks for himself and sometimes his brother. Others, myself included, believe his actions are simply human and to be expected.
From the beginning, Mako has held an enormous weight on his shoulders. When his parents died, he assumed the role of both father and mother, to his younger brother; Everything in his entire life was dedicated to keeping himself and Bolin alive. And when he met Korra, everything changed. Many people accuse Mako of being a dick towards her, however, how was he supposed to know she was the Avatar? And simply because she has that title, does that automatically mean she's a trustworthy person? He blew her off, right off the bat, and for good reasons. We know Bolin has a habit of bringing in fans to the prep room, and who was Mako to assume Korra was any different? Mako knew he needed to keep his head in the game, in order to keep food on the table. And I'm going to assume he acted the same to every other girl ever to show up there. Then, after Korra proved herself to the brothers, both as a very able bender, and as a friend, Mako was able to get over himself and apologize for his initial inhibitions towards her; even offer a compliment. Not once after that, do we see Korra needing to "prove herself" to Mako, and we don't see him ever criticizing her abilities.
However, there are a few times where Mako is quick to judge Korra. For example, after Korra bluntly confesses her feelings to Mako and he shoots her down, he hears Korra agreeing to go out with Bolin. Now, Mako didn't hear everything we did; he was doing whatever with Asami. All he got out of it was her agreeing to dinner. And from that standpoint, his actions were completely to be expected. Think about it: A girl confesses her feelings to you, you shoot her down, and the next thing you hear his her agreeing to go out with your brother, who you know likes her, and who you've spent ten years protecting.
We also know that Mako does indeed have feelings towards Korra. Some might argue that he should've just admitted them right there, but he didn't want to complicate things with both her and Asami. We, the viewers, first became aware of this at the beginning of the episode, where Mako was trying to convince Bolin to not date Korra. So at the same time, when he overheard Bolin and Korra's conversation, he was jealous. He was both upset with Korra, for supposedly "leading Bolin on" and he was jealous. And while he confronted Korra the next day, he was able to cover up his jealousy with his legitimate concern for his brother. He didn't "assume everything was Korra's fault again", he confronted what he believed to be true. He acted in a perfectly human nature, and exactly how I would've reacted to the situation.
And when Korra kisses him later that night, he kisses back. Many accuse him of “cheating on Asami”, and as far as I’m concerned, all he did was return a kiss. He didn’t go on a date with her, they didn’t have sex, he didn’t immediately dump Asami for Korra. All of those things would then, classify him as an asshole. He kissed Korra back, because he likes her. When a girl (or boy) you like kisses you, the general rule of call is you kiss them back. Besides, was he supposed to push her away and reject her again? You can only push a girl away so many times before she stays away.
Then, after Bolin sees them, he blames her for what had just happened. Why? Well, she did kiss him. Had she not kissed him, the entire shebang wouldn’t have happened. But then Korra shoots back with the fact that, yes, he did kiss her back.
A second example, would be during the latest episode. Mako did not believe Korra’s accusations that the Satos were involved with the Equalists. But honestly, I wouldn’t have either. I mean, Korra was obviously jealous of Asami, in multiple regards, and he figured she was either a) paranoid or b) trying to get Asami away from him. And Korra is a very brash and impulsive person, so it would be in her nature to do something like that. Sure, Mako should’ve given her the benefit of the doubt, but he was trying to protect his girlfriend, and he didn’t believe that they had anything to do with Amon.
But I will agree, that his statement about “never being her friend again” was really out of line. And I can’t find a reason behind why he could’ve said that, other than, he was frustrated.
In the end, Korra turned out to be right, and Mako, once again, apologized to her. Which was a very mature thing to do. And we can see that, even though she didn’t drop it, he continued to pursue a friendship with her, which ultimately shows that, even though Mako has his moments, deep down, all he’s trying to do is protect the ones around him. He’s not an asshole, Korra is just difficult to work with, and we see the show through her eyes, not his.
Thanks for reading, please leave your thoughts below. ~