Can I just say how much win is in this small scene that Bryke chose to give us at the beginning of 1x10? I’m sorry, but out of all the moments they’ve had, I really think this could be the best. It could be me and it’s might be in the running with “You’re safe now” but seriously. So much is said in this scene. First, Korra is laying there after a hostile and dangerous kidnapping by Tarrlok and ambush by Amon. She’s faced more in probably a DAY than anyone else. Not to say that all the other characters haven’t been through heck and back.
So our first image is of Korra who has her hair down. From other scenes of her sleeping, she wears it up (which can be the most uncomfortable thing in the world). She’s finally home and recovering from her ordeal. There are still injuries she’s recovering from, but she definitely looks comfortable resting up. And can I just say she looks just as gorgeous with her hair down?
Can I also address the PERFECT use of string instruments in this scene? This can be heard here. JC, how the heck am I supposed to watch a scene if I’m uglysobbing from the way the notes hit my heart? It hits the highest notes just as it panes on Korra. AND THAT VERY MOMENT, YOU GET THE FEELS FOR HER. THE INSANE FEELS THAT LITERALLY BREAK OUT OF YOUR HEART BECAUSE IN THE FIRST MINUTE OF THE EPISODE, BRYKE CAN’T HELP BUT BREAK YOUR CHEST CAVITY OPEN AND CRUSH A HEART YOU DIDN’T NEED WORKING ANYWAYS!
We expect to see Mako next, but no. The next scene is of him reaching for her hand. He doesn’t just lay it on their like a limp noodle, but he holds it. His fingers tighten on her hand as if she’s going to disappear in a moment. We can even say that if she were semi-conscious, he wants her to know he’s there. To have that slight pressure on her hand is probably all the comfort she needs. Mako’s probably never seen her this way - sleeping and with her hair down. He’s accustomed to her tough and strong attitude. She’s courageous and reckless in his eyes, but when he sees her in this moment, all he can see is the girl he wants to protect. He may think he doesn’t need to, but he wants to and maybe she secretly wants that, too.
MAKO. He doesn’t even move. His eyes are trained on her. Like if he blinks or looks away, something will happen. Ugh. I don’t condone his behavior, but I still LOVE him. Anyways, how can you not help but love him here? This is a girl who literally stumbled into his life who he had complete misconceptions about. And now he’s sitting by her bedside seeing her in a way he’s never seen her. What makes it so SJDFSFFSDFKND is that he doesn’t pity her or anything. He truly wants to be there for her when she wakes up or if she needs something.
He just wants to take care of her.
Yes, exactly. All of this.
What speaks volumes about this scene, besides the fact that it didn’t feel designed to be outright shippy, is that Korra is unaware about the whole thing.
She has no idea he’s sitting in the room with her, watching her, or that he reached for her hand, or the extent of his worry for her during her disappearance. She is completely and totally unaware of it all, and Mako probably subconsciously knows it, yet he STILL does all this out of genuine care and concern for her and DESPITE of this fact. He wasn’t even aware of Asami watching them or of her concern for his feelings for Korra, so there’s no way he did this to be a dick to her. This isn’t all just some big game or act to him. The idea that Mako is being ‘sweet on Korra this week’ or being intentionally unfair to Asami is complete bullshit.
The point is that Mako acted the way he did NOT to be a jerk or play with people or to be indecisive about his own feelings. He isn’t putting on any acts. He isn’t trying to hurt anybody. This is all genuine and honest and unrestrained. He feels that he’s doing the right thing by being with Asami and supporting Korra, and genuinely caring for them both, but doesn’t understand Asami’s anger towards him because he doesn’t see what she (and probably everyone else) does - his heart has been with Korra. His emotions and actions give this away, but his head hasn’t caught up to the fact. This is what is causing him to unknowingly hurt Asami and the reason he denied her accusation of him having feelings for Korra - which is also why we always see Asami looking so crestfallen and hurt in every one of these moments. I think a big part of his role in the finale will have to do with him finally coming to terms with this and accepting the decision he has unknowingly made already.
Mako still has a lot to answer for regarding his relationship with Asami; there’s no debating that. It’s not even that he doesn’t care about Asami anymore or that he won’t continue to care about her. He’s only just had his wake-up call regarding the extent of Korra’s vulnerability and her need for his (and the rest of Team Avatar’s) support after a string of rudeness and overestimation of her on his part, and he’s finally accepting the responsibility of being her friend and has made it clear that he wants nothing more than to be there for her and support her. Hopefully once this all is over, he’ll be able to accept his own feelings for her as well.