If you ship Makorra, that’s cool and all you have a right to your ship, but that does not exempt your ship from being criticized. There are many things wrong with how Makorra is being handles and I would think if you’re for this ship, you wouldn’t be a fan of how the writers are treating it. And you’d want something different.
So, let’s take a step-by-step analysis of how we got to the finale.
Korra already knows who Mako is before she meets him by listening to Pro-Bending tournaments on the radio. She becomes somewhat of a fan of him, admiring him for his fire-bending skills in the Pro-Bending arena. You can tell how excited she was to meet him when she said, “You’re THE Mako? I’m such a big fan!” but he completely blows her off.
He pushes her to side as nothing more than another fan-girl who Bolin brought up to watch the match. He saw her as just another girl, nothing special and didn’t think anything was different about her. So, in Mako’s universe, why treat her any different?
OHHHH, that’s right. Because, let’s not forget, that the moment that Mako found out who Korra was, his attitude changed. He didn’t treat her like a decent human being until he found out that she was the Avatar. He didn’t decided to give her a shot because the way he was acting was dickish, but because she was the Avatar. How do you think things would have played out if she wasn’t the Avatar, eh? If she really had been just a normal Water Tribe girl? I doubt Mako would have given her the time of day. Unlike Bolin, who knew she was amazing right from the very moment he met her, regardless of her Avatar status. Props to Bolin there.
So, she joins the team and yeah yeah a bunch of fighting and yee. Come to find out, Bolin gets captured by Amon and his gang and Mako sets off to find him. Coming off as seeing Korra not “fit” to go and help him find Bolin, he shoves off her suggestion for her to help find him, as her and Bolin are friends at this point. Admittedly, we get a cute Makorra moment when they wake up next to each lying against Naga, but even then we can take that with any two characters on the show. Pretty sure if I woke up nestled next to somebody I was relatively unfamiliar with, I’d be a bit weirded out too.
However, when Mako realizes that Bolin was missing, did everybody forget that Mako knew that Bolin liked Korra? Remember how he came home from working in the factory with Bolin’s favorite dumplings and realizing that Bolin wasn’t there, he assumed that Bolin had gone to Air Temple Island? Those “love birds” ring a bell? Make a “house call”? That’s right. Mako knew that Bolin had a thing for Korra right away. Making his deception that much more dickish.
So, Korra and Mako go and get Bolin and Bolin is very thankful to both of them. Bolin expresses his gratitude by bringing Korra a beautiful flower and a sweet treat, acknowledging just how much of an impact she was already having on his life. At this point, we’re definitely seeing much more Borra than Makorra.
In the next episode, episode 4, the character of Asami Sato comes into play. The beautiful, privileged, woman who accidentally runs into Mako with her mo-ped. A very cute moment, Mako is instantly smitten with the dark-haired beauty. This leads to a date and the ship of Masami is born. Mako seems to really like Asami, laughing at her jokes, being cute with her, taking care of her. On their date, we see that Mako and Asami instantly clicked and had chemistry. Both of them had a parent lost to a firebender, yet Asami was willing to trust - and date- a firebender. She tells Mako that she feels safe with him and that she trusts him, and judging from Asami’s past, we see this as a huge step for her. Mako, at the beginning of their relationship, was a great boyfriend to Asami. He was what she needed and the whole context of “love falling out of nowhere” story seemed to fit with them.
In episode five, we see a bit of a time jump as it’s now winter. Asami and Mako are still going strong and Korra is left in the background jealous of Asami and resenting her just for the fact she’s dating Pretty-Boy. Other than that, Asami has done nothing wrong. She doesn’t deserve the hate she is receiving because she has done absolutely nothing to deserve it. Many people resent her just on the sole fact she was/is dating Mako. Mako seemed happy with Asami, they were adorable together. It wasn’t until Korra said she liked Mako that the entire love triangle/square/hexagram/whatever the fuck you want to call it happened.
So, taking Pema’s horrible advice of interferring in a relationship that she has no place getting herself into, Korra experiences grade-A word vomit and tells Mako that she likes him. Mako admittedly tells Korra that he doesn’t feel the same, telling his brother Bolin just the night before that it makes more sense if he’s with Asami and that him and Asami are better fit in a relationship and he’s unsure if he even feels that way about Korra. Feeling rejected, as she has the right to be, Korra realizes that she can’t get everything in the world and tries to get over it.
Bolin tells Korra just how amazing she is after she admits to feeling “undateable”, making her blush and cheering her up. Bolin made her feel worth something after Mako had made her feel unwanted. They go to have a fantastic date together, revealing that Bolin and Korra have excellent chemistry together and that Bolin is definitely somebody who Korra can feel 100% herself around.
We can see that Mako is feeling a bit jealous because I feel as if Mako wants his cake and he wants to eat it, too. He can’t have Korra now that he knows she wants him so of course he’s going to try and take her back.
Mako shows his jealous side and confronts Korra about her date with Bolin, which is none of his business whatsoever, and tries to make her feel guilty about it. He never once thought about how Korra may have felt when he began dating Asami. He only cared about how he felt, but masking it under the “I just because my brother” facade. Even when earlier in the season we saw that Mako KNEW that Bolin liked Korra yet he’s spending his time getting jealous over her and trying to make her feel bad about going on a date with his brother, something he should be staying out of and he should support his brother, not try and take the girl away from him.
So, Korra is pulled back in to Mako’s grips by getting some grim assumption that Mako maybe kinda sorta has feelings for her, without the writers showing any romantic development between the two or even showing how these two characters would even be slightly drawn together in a romantic manner. We saw how Mako and Asami had acted on their date, concluding that they clicked and how Bolin and Korra had been, showing great chemistry. With Mako and Korra? Nothing.
So skip ahead a few minutes and we see Korra standing alone, thinking to herself about a lot of things when Mako comes up and shows up out of the blue to cut her even deeper. He tells her that he kinda sorta likes her, once again why we’ll never know, and Korra acts on impulse and kisses him and Mako succumbs to his confusion and kisses her back. Not having any regard for how Bolin would feel in this situation, they get a good kick in their ass when we’re seen a heartbroken Bolin. However, the writers don’t want Bolin to feel anything at all so they just shoved off his reaction as nothing more than comedic relief because Bolin can’t have actually feelings, can he? (sarcasm).
So Bolin goes and eats his feelings and when Mako comes to find him, we see that Mako isn’t going to take any blame at all. After all, he is the Golden Boy of the show. Mako can’t do any wrong, right? He blames Bolin for liking Korra by saying, “I told you getting involved with a team mate was a bad idea”. Yet, it was okay for him to kiss Korra because apparently the rules don’t apply to him because he’s older. Bolin, in that scene, told Mako that he had betrayed his trust by kissing the girl he really liked. It was a dick move. It wasn’t sweet, it wasn’t cute, it wasn’t right.
It was at that moment we saw that Asami didn’t mean much to Mako. Which said a lot because if it weren’t for Asami, they wouldn’t have been able to compete in the tournament. Asami convinced her dad to sponsor them without asking for anything in return. She did it for Mako, for the team, and because it was the right thing to do.
So, by Mako kissing Korra in that moment he completely throws out Asami right away by betraying her, especially so early on in the relationship. Korra should not have kissed him and she is equally to blame. I feel as though both of them really didn’t give a fuck about either Asami or Bolin at that moment. They only cared about themselves, because apparently their feelings are the only ones that matter.
So now we get this awkward feeling between Mako, Korra, and Bolin. Asami is ignorant to the fact that her boyfriend was making out with the girl she is trying to become friends with. Amon comes in and fucks shit up, closing the Pro-Bending arena. Some more shit goes down and Mako and Bolin are homeless by the end of the night. Asami right away offers her home to both of the brothers, asking for nothing in return. She gained nothing from it, she simply did it because it was the right thing to do.
Korra decides to come over and hang out with all of them, and realizes that Asami’s father is an Equalist. After confronting her friends about it, and them shoving her off, she goes and informs Tenzin and we find out later that Korra was telling the truth.
BUT GUYS, REMEMBER HOW MAKO ACCUSED KORRA OF BEING JEALOUS OF HIM AND ASAMI AND THAT SHE JUST MADE UP HOW ASAMI’S FATHER WAS AN EQUALIST BECAUSE SHE WAS JUST JEALOUS? Or are we going to conveniently forget that? Mako threatened to cut off his friendship with Korra because he thought that she was just being jealous and immature. Wow, it’s not like we didn’t see a jealous and immature Mako just an episode or two before, right? Wow, Mako can’t do a damn thing wrong, can he?
So Korra basically says, “fuck you” and a bunch of shit happens and we realize that Mr. Sato sucks and Asami loses her family. Korra finally decides that she needs to stop being a twat to Asami and a friendship begins to form. It would have been great if Korra had been the one to tell Asami about the kiss, implying that Korra respected Asami. However, this doesn’t happen. When Asami finds out about the kiss, it’s from Mako’s little brother and even when Mako is confronted about the kiss by Asami, she is basically told to “shut up” and “get over it” and act as if it never happened.
So, when Korra gets captured, Mako goes batshit crazy about it, and we see that he didn’t show half as much emotion when Bolin had been captured. You’d think that having his brother taken away from him would cause a stronger reaction but nope! It has to be Korra or we don’t care, right Mako? It makes me wonder how he would have reacted that, instead of Korra being captured, if it had been Asami?
Keep in mind that Asami and Bolin are basically taking the back burner. Asami is losing things left and right and her boyfriend is beginning to act as if she doesn’t exist at all.
So, Korra gets brought back again and yay and the feels are coming. Mako seems like he just struck a rainbow and Bolin and Asami are being forced to take it. Bolin becomes relatively silent at this point, probably trying to think that his brother really isn’t trying to get two chicks at the same time. His brother fucked him over and didn’t even ask how Bolin felt. He just assumed that Bolin got over it. Asami, on the other hand, is starting to see things and yet the fandom is hating Asami over nothing.
From then on until the season finale, we see a bunch of empty moments between everyone. Mako is completely disregarding everybody’s feelings but his own because Mako feels as if Asami and Bolin don’t matter when it comes to Korra. He waits on Korra hand and foot and tells his girlfriend to go away when she comes to him about a genuine concern. The girl isn’t going to give up without a fight. Korra shows signs of shoving off Mako’s late advances, which is a good sign.
But, somehow, we come to see that although there were no romantic moments shown by the writers to portray a genuine love connection between Mako and Korra, Mako out of the blue spits out that he “loves” Korra and she word vomits back that she feels the same. Up to this point, Mako has tossed his girlfriend Asami to the side not giving her proper closure to their failing relationship. Remember that one part where Korra said that Asami needed Mako? Did that only last five minutes? Smooth move, guys.
In less than 24 hours, Mako has single-handedly managed to try and hit on his girlfriend’s friend while she was sleeping, break his girlfriend’s heart by vaguely dumping her but telling her that even though he lied to her and treated her like a sack of potatoes that he cares about her, forces himself upon the girl he had been stringing along throughout the entire season by chasing after her even after she stated that she needed to be alone and then spitting out that he “loves” her even though it’s more related to infatuation than anything else. Once again, completely shoving his and Asami’s relationship back in Asami’s face, perpetuating that if you’re a pretty boy you can have anybody you want and you won’t have to suffer any consequences for your actions if you say “I love you”.
The reason why Makorra is poorly developed and not a relationship people should strive to emulate is because of its poor development in and of itself. These two people have had no moments together besides maybe one or two, that would convince somebody that they have romantic feelings. Attraction does not equal love, it equals infatuation. It takes a lot more than thinking somebody’s hot to fall in love with them. Korra had been meaningless to Mako until he found out that she was the Avatar. He went and took the girl right under from Bolin because he felt threatened that for once his brother could have something he couldn’t. Mako broke Asami’s heart and thought it was completely okay for him to do so as long as he got the “it” girl in the end.
Makorra is a sexist and toxic relationship that only feeds into the stereotype that pretty boys can get off easy from anything. If Mako had been a girl, or if Asami had pulled the same things as Mako had, you KNOW that you wouldn’t forgive them nearly as easy and would sitting here writing the same analysis calling them out on their bullshit.