This post originally appeared on The Mary Sue.
Guess what, guys? It’s a good episode this week!
Following “Night of a Thousand Stars,” Team Avatar, together again, is on Varrick’s zebra battleship en route to the South Pole, where they will (hopefully) join forces with Tonraq’s rebellion, enter the spirit world through the Southern Portal, and close said portal before the Harmonic Converge hits, bringing with it the Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny between Korra and Vaatu, the world’s most evil of kites.
Kya tries to heal Jinora but has no success, while Korra trains with Tenzin (super pissed and ready to fuck some assholes up since what happened to his daughter, and I am loving it), utilizing a dummy that’s the boring grandson of the legendary Melon Lord.
Mako, meanwhile, is being angsty about telling Korra that they broke up before a convenient spell of amnesia erased part of her memory (okay…. that sounds fake but okay). Bolin tells him to
but Korra’s in fight mode and also has the small matter of an impending war, so he does the smart thing and backs down. I assume that in the next few episodes we’ll hear from Asami as to what she feels about this situation? Far from me to want more love triangle, but I’d at least like the treacle spread somewhat evenly. Asami’s boyfriend accidentally got back together with his ex–whom his feelings for wrecked their relationship in the first place–and that sucks for her. If all we get is Mako whining about it, that would be shit.
But hey, enough about the love triangle. Check out Bolin’s coat!
After a brief meeting with Katara (Katara!), Team Avatar discovers upon arrival that the entire resistance has been destroyed and Tonraq has been captured. With only a few hours left until Harmonic Convergence, they have to put together a plan that will allow a mere handful of people to either fight or evade Unalaq’s army so they can close the portal. Bumi goes off on a tangent about how one time he was in a similar situation, and he got out of it using a cunning combination of a catapult and hog monkeys. Everyone treats him like he’s the Ron Weasley of the group, but… wasn’t Bumi a general? For all that practically everyone around him treats him like he’s one big joke, he does have more military experience than anyone else here, right? I say “practically everyone” because Asami steps up and says “Uh… maybe there’s something to this whole ‘fly in from above thing.’ Because. You know. He’s actually done this sort of thing before.”
I want a webseries where Asami and Bumi sit around taking mud baths and venting about how benders think they’re sooooo much better than everyone else.
Asami, Mako, and Bolin approach the Southern Portal on a plane, intending to cause a distraction so Korra, Tenzin, Bumi, and Kya can sneak into the portal on a flying bison. Naga and Pabu get left behind, which is fine, because that’ll give Naga the chance to do one of those last-minute heroic rescues she’s so good at. The whole crew runs into problems when the Southern Portal’s better defended than they thought it would be, both by Unalaq’s troops and the dark spirits surrounding the portal. Everyone gets captured except for Bumi, who is attacked by a dark spirit, which he subsequently bodysurfs down to the ground.
Meanwhile, the relationship between Unalaq and Deska and Esna has continued to fracture. Now that their father has conquered–oh, excuse me, “united”–the water tribes, the twins don’t understand why he’s still fighting. “Oh, did I forget to tell you that I’m taking over the world now?,” Unalaq tells them, which results in this delightful (and synced up!) “Wuh-oh, our dad might be crazy” look.
All the prisoners are taken to Unalaq’s tent, where Tonraq has been chilling his heels? (You get it?… because it’s cold.) Unalaq tells Korra that the human and spirit worlds shouldn’t be split, that true balance is bringing the two worlds together as one. I mean… he’s not wrong, technically. He still wants to unleash a force of chaos upon the world–and fuse with it, becoming the Dark Avatar to Korra’s Original Flavor–and that’s awful and will result in the deaths of a lot of people. But all the same, I like Unalaq better as a character (not a person!) because his motivation comes from a place of genuine belief in his fundamentalist religious ideals, as opposed to him being corrupted by power and wanting more of it for his own sake.
But really, Unalaq, if you want to hold onto “I’m the good guy!” don’t name yourself the Dark Avatar? Maybe Avatar 2.0? Avatar: Electric Boogaloo?
The twins, hearing all this, are a little freaked out, and understandably so. Their dad A) wants to take over the world and B) is completely willing to give up his human side to do that. After Unalaq leaves, Korra unsuccessfully tries to enlist their help. Desna tells Korra that his father is wise, and if he says what he’s doing–a.k.a. abandoning Desna and his sister–is right, he believes him. It’s a sad moment. Jesus fucking Christ, there is more child abuse on this show… Eska and Desna aren’t ready to turn on Unalaq yet, but they’ll get there. It’s early. It took Zuko almost three seasons!
It’s up to Bumi to save the day, and he does so marvelously, using his sweet recorder skills to turn the dark spirit that attacked him into his new BFF. He then infiltrates Unalaq’s camp, gets into a Jaeger, and accidentally tears the whole place to the ground before sledding into the prison cell/tent on an ejector seat. And he did it all with his trusty flute. He said the thing.
I’m loving the throughline of this episode where all the things that Bumi does that annoy the shit out of people (outrageous anecdotes, playing music, being a bumbling idiot) end up saving them instead. Tenzin, you better throw your older brother a parade after this!
Also, Naga shows up to knock Eska and Desna out and there’s a fun jazzy soundtrack during the Bumi-tears-this-motherfucker-down scene. See, Korra, this is what I want from you.
Asami flies an injured Tonraq back to Korra’s mom Senna, leaving the rest of the crew to go into the spirit world. Mako and Bolin will fight Unalaq, leaving Tenzin and his siblings to search for Jinora’s spirit while Korra closes the portal. But whoops, Korra fails to do her part in time. The Harmonic Convergence happens, causing the spirit world to bleed into the human world in a way slightly reminiscent of a Lisa Frank drawing…
… and releasing Vaatu from his prison.