I love the idea of duelling. It seems to me to be a very precise and gentlemanly way of settling a dispute.
In light of this, I should have enjoyed the duel between Korra and Kuvira in The Battle of Zaofu much more than I did.
Unfortunately, it is a completely one-sided affair. Until Korra enters the avatar state, she does not manage to inflict one blow upon the self-titled Great Uniter.
And then, just as Korra is about to deliver the coup de grace to Kuvira, she starts to hallucinate. Instead of her enemy lying on the ground, she now sees the ‘Dark Korra’.
Why? Wasn’t the removal of the Red Lotus’ poison supposed to have healed her?
Yes, absolutely, but I wonder if Korra was so badly hurt by the Red Lotus that in actual fact she was only healed physically; that her psychological wounds are so profound they can never be cured.
By way of a comparison, think about how, after his return to the Shire following the destruction of the One Ring, Frodo Baggins is never quite able to settle down again. The Ring has left an indelible mark on him, a stain upon his spirit that cannot be removed.
As with Frodo, so with Korra and the poison.
At the end of The Lord of the Rings, Frodo is allowed to travel to Valinor so that he might find peace, and – perhaps – healing there. I wonder if that is why Korra and Asami travel to the Spirit World at the end of this series. I’ll have to wait and see!
I may be completely wrong about why Korra sees the ‘dark’ version of herself, but at least the latter’s reappearance has taken my mind off the disappointment of the duel. I only hope that the eventual reason for the Dark Korra’s return is itself not disappointing.