This post originally appeared on The Mary Sue.
Oh, I just wanted to be able to sleep tonight, no big.
That top face is caused by Ikki telling Asami–who’s just moved to Air Temple Island following the revelation that her father’s an Equalist–that Korra has a crush on Mako. It’s a little bit awkward after that, and at one point Asami is seen casting a suspicious glance at a buddy-buddy Mako and Korra. But no more love triangle stuff. We have Equalists to stop!
Now-former Chief of Police Lin Beifong has been replaced by Saikhan, who takes orders directly from Councilman Tarrlok, basically turning the latter man’s Equalist-hunting task force into a full-on personal army. Tarrlok later proposes a law that would make it illegal to be an Equalist or–this is key–a suspected associate of an Equalist, which is so vague as to basically mean “anyone who pisses me off.” Everyone agrees with the law except Tenzin, and it passes. Yo. Jackasses. Tenzin is usually right about these things. This law is stupid. Cue Tenzin a few episodes from now:
Tarrlok also further antagonizes Korra, sniping at her for being a “half-baked” Avatar who can’t even figure out how to airbend when she refuses to re-join his task force. She gets angsty about the airbending thing, and Tenzin suggests that it might help her to get in touch with her past lives. Those flashes she’s been getting, we learn, could be Aang’s spirit trying to get in touch with her.
Korra, still sad and weepy, is comforted by Mako, Bolin, and Asami, who suggest going out on the town to hunt down some bad guys. This exchange happens:
Korra: I’m the worst Avatar ever!
Asami: That’s nonsense. You’re amazing!
As four full-grown adults are a bit much for Naga, they roll out in a Satomobile, driven by a fully Tokyo Drift-capable Asami. Because Hiroshi Sato had police scanners installed in all his cars (no one was ever suspicious about that?), they hear about a group of Equalists busting some of their comrades out of prison. There’s a car chase, with Asami delivering the KO on some Equalist goons even while she’s driving. That taser glove sure does come in handy.
The new Team Avatar captures the escaped convicts but is given hell by Tarrlok, who doesn’t like that the Avatar is stealing his thunder. The next night, Team Avatar hears about another brou-ha-ha… but, as it turns out, the scawwy riot is just a bunch of angry but completely un-armed and non-dangerous non-benders, who are pissed at Tarrlok and his metalbending cops for turning off their power and trying to, essentially, force their neighborhood into martial law.
Korra, asked for help by one of the non-benders on the grounds that “you’re our Avatar, too” (true, true), tries to intercede on their behalf with Tarrlok, but all he does is arrest Mako, Bolin and Asami for being Equalist sympathizers. Korra and Tenzin book it to the police station, where Chief Saikhan gives an honest-to-God little gasp when he sees Tenzin’s there to bust his shit up. THAT’S RIGHT, RUN AWAY. Before scurrying off to piss his pants, he informs Korra and Tenzin that Tarrlok can keep Equalist suspects detained without trial for as long as he feels like.
Korra decides she’s had enough of Tarrlok’s narcissistic pissbaby bullshit, so she goes to confront him in his office that night. She accuses him of doing exactly what Aman says all benders do: Using his power to oppress and intimidate people. Tarrlok’s response is, no joke, “I am water, you are glue, whatever you say bounces off me and sticks to you.”
Tarrlok says he’ll release Korra’s friends if she agrees to obey him. Obviously, she refuses, and there’s a fight. Fueled by bitterness about him calling her a “half-baked” Avatar, she wails on his ass… until it’s revealed that he’s a bloodbender. Asked how it’s possible for him to be so powerful even though it’s not a full moon, he tells her that “there are a lot of things you don’t know about me.” They probably have something to do with the flashes Korra’s been having. Tarrlok knocks her out, ties her up, and drives her away in the back of a van to a place where (he says) no one will ever find her.
OK, I’ll admit that stuff with Tarrlok was pretty creepy, especially coming at the end of an episode that was otherwise kind of a snoozefest, but… honestly, this schmuck is still a season one villain. He’s Korra‘s Commander Zhao, down to the immature and somewhat pathetic obsession with positioning himself as the great nemesis of a teenager. Tarrlok, this is you:
And Korra’s going to get out of this one in what–ten minutes? Better luck next time, bozo.