Hah, I was thinking about this amongst many other things as I lay awake just now, terrified of sleep.
Ok well my feelings on this subject tend to be quite complicated so I hope you’re not looking for a real short answer. Mako is very poor at the whole other people’s feelings thing (also his own feelings), as is evident. I will never deny he is a disaster, human being wise, and he has a whole load of sorting out to do. There are many valid criticisms to be made about him, such as:
The thing that irks me about much of the criticism of Mako I’ve seen is that it is more along the lines of: WHAT A TOOL, GET OUT FOREVER, YOU ARE FOREVER SHUNNED. I’ve seen so much of this black-and-white understanding of good and bad (which is worrying wrt Asami because she is put on a pedastal so much that the second she does something wrong I don’t even know what will happen, particularly since she has the AUDACITY to look like satan’s mistress apparently. Oh god, we have to like her even though she’s pretty! cried fandom. But they are ready to pounce, I’m sure of it.) If we get to the very last ep and Mako is at the exact same place that he is in now, well then, that would be a waste of fucking time and I would probably have given up by then and just started hating his existence too. But is that really likely? This is why I get annoyed with people who bring Zuko into it and talk about how they hated his behaviour because that so clearly misses the very point of him. LOK has very clear issues with pacing, like this ep Bolin had to tell Asami everything while they were urgently hurrying down a tunnel to rescue a Korra whose life was probably in danger when instead he could have told Asami to ask Mako about it face-to-face or even better, Mako could have come to her along with Korra to straighten everything out. But we aren’t given the time to even breathe so we’ll never know how that could have turned out. That certainly perplexes me.
tl;dr I just think we all need to concentrate on expressing our frustration where it is needed and in a more constructive way than all collectively hating on a character who does sucky things but could be loveable if given the chance by the show. And if he isn’t given the chance then get annoyed at that fact, fine. Let’s just not tear into every shitty thing a character does as if it isn’t necessary (because it probably is - who would bother to create a character who acts shitty if they aren’t going to address that?). Especially Zuko. Babe. Let’s not bring him into this.
even more tl;dr Mako was a terrible boyfriend this episode, but I want him around still because I think he has a lot of potential even though at this point bad pacing is preventing this from unfolding any time soon, and that’s the real let down to me.