The Legend of Korra served up a beautiful mix of back-story, plot and all important action this week, as episode nine; Out of the Past, delved into Korra’s visions and dealt with her friends looking for her, following her kidnapping last week at the hands of Tarrlok.
In a cellar with a box in it, Korra’s feet are floating through the air; Tarrlok is Bloodbending, controlling her. He floats her down the stairs and locks her in the metal box. It has an open-square railed roof she can see out of but she’s trapped. Guess she hasn’t learned Metalbending as well as Airbending yet. Tarrlok leaves and gets in his car. His cabin is in the snowy mountains, far away from Republic City.
At the Air temple, the phone wakes up Meelo, who is sleeping with his parents in their bed. He answers the phone in a manner befitting anyone who is being awoken at six am. Tenzin takes the phone from him and clearly, its bad news.
Tenzin arrives at the Council building, as a photographer is taking pictures of an Equalist gauntlet and bolo. As a Waterbending medic tends to Tarrlok, Tenzin asks what happened. Tarrlok lies through his teeth, accuses the Equalists of attacking and taking Korra. Flashes show Tarrlok leaving the gauntlet. Tarrlok tells Saikon to mobilize the force as they must find Avatar Korra.
Elsewhere, Lin Beifong wakes up to the radio, talking about the ‘˜Equalist attack’and Korra being missing. Still feeling the effects from her last encounter with the Equalists, she dresses in her metal uniform. She throws her badge off the uniform. Clearly her words about hunting outside the law were not just big talk.
At the police station. Asami is lying in bed when the door is ripped off. Beifong is busting her out. In another cell, Bolin can’t use the toilet because he knows Mako can hear. Beifong busts their door and Asami rushes in and kisses Mako. Bolin worries about privacy. Beifong interrupts the Mako and Asami reunion, telling them Amon has Korra, and they have an Avatar to save. Mako is clearly affected by the news. They leave the cell, not before Beifong Metalbends Bolin’s fly up, to his embarrassment.
Back at the cabin, Korra continues to beat on the box. Sinking to the floor distraught, she remembers Tenzin’s words about meditating and gives it a go. She succeeds! In what would be the first of many flashbacks seen through Korra’s meditating, we see Aang meet up with Toph and her Metalbending cops. He wants to come along with them, as they’re apprehending a dangerous criminal. She eventually agrees, and calls him Twinkletoes, which put the biggest smile on my face. It’s good to know Toph wouldn’t have changed. Aang mentions that he’s forty (140?) and is done with nicknames, the spoilsport. At least his voice is cooler. They arrest Yakone, the man from Korra’s previous flashes. Yakone says he’ll beat the charges and Aang looks concerned. Korra comes out of her focus, and is impressed that she finally managed to connect with Aang, although she wonders what he’s trying to tell her, and if he has a way out of the box. She goes back to meditating.
Tenzin is at the Air temple when Beifong, Mako, Bolin, and Asami walk in. He hangs up his phone, stating that Beifong should be in hospital and the other three in jail. Tenzin has no leads; Mako says that Naga could track Korra but Naga is missing too. Lin suggests looking for the Equalist-imprisoned Korra underground. Asami sulks about her dad, again. Bolin discusses the Equalists previous capture of himself, and mentions that he thought they went underground. Mako knows where to start after this info. As they’re leaving, Beifong remarks to Tenzin that wherever the Equalists are holding Korra, they’ll also be holding her officers who were captured at the factory. Tenzin says they’ll bring them all home.
A flying bison takes them all to where Bolin was captured. Mako leads the way into the alley and Beifong uses her mother Toph’s scanning trick. She says there’s a tunnel nearby. They find a metal shutter blocking the tunnel with motorcycle tracks. Beifong bends the shutter open and they pile in. Mako uses Firebending, turning his hand into a torch. When Asami questions what he’ll do if they don’t find Korra in the tunnel he snaps, and says they’ll just search another. She looks disheartened, and I loved it. Whilst only partly interested in Korra and Mako being together, I have decided that Asami just annoys me. May her misery last millennia.
Speaking of her misery, Asami and Bolin are at the back of the group and she asks him about Mako’s feelings for Korra. Bolin is less than smooth in denying there being any and she sees right through it. He tells her that Mako and Korra kissed during the tournament, but he says he’s sure it didn’t mean anything. Asami doubts that, and looks upset. Ha! As they go to catch up with the others they hear bikes coming. Beifong tells them to hide and they see the hidden entrance, a lifting wall of the tunnel. Beifong walks over and figures out the lock. She Metalbends the lock and Earthbends the wall open. The woman has skills.
Hiding, they overhear and Equalists mention the prison, after jumping off of a tram. They assume that’s where Korra is being kept and they get on the tram and head down yet another tunnel on it. Before it exits the tunnel, they get off, leaving two guards to wonder why it’s empty. From the darkness of the tunnel Beifong takes them down. Beifong once again uses her radar technique and locates her men. She tells Bolin and Asami to watch over the two Equalists. Mako asks her about Korra but Beifong can’t see her, yet.
Tenzin, Beifong and Mako make their way through the prison corridors. Two Equalists spot them and try to attack with bolos but Tenzin Airbends them into the wall. Tenzin rules. Mako questions a fallen guard about Korra. Beifong finds her men and bends the cage open. She knows she’s too late; Amon has already taken their bending. She’s sorry and leads them out of there. Mako is still threatening the guard with a fist of fire when she returns. The Equalist says they haven’t got Korra, they didn’t attack the Council and that Tarrlok is lying. Beifong tells Mako she’s scanned the whole prison and Korra isn’t there. Mako wonders why Tarrlok would say the Equalists have her. Tenzin puts it together first; Tarrlok has her.
An alarm goes off and they hightail it out of there. Bolin shouts them from the tram and they all get on. They’re being followed by another tram, full of Equalists, but Bolin Earthbends the tunnel walls and adds the perfect quip as it stops their pursuers. Beifong sees a large Equalist force at the end of the tunnel, led by Lieutenant. Beifong once again shows her skills, and quick-thinking, bending the rail the tram is on into a ramp and Earthbending the roof so their tram shoots through it. As they land, there is no time to rest, and she bends the roof now above them and sunlight shines in.
Back at the cabin, Korra is still meditating. She sees the Council building, court in session. The prosecution lawyer says Yakone has run criminal empires for years, via Bloodbending, which is outlawed. Sokka is head of the council, which, quite frankly, is awesome. Yakone’s lawyer responds by stating their case is impossible, as the witnesses say Yakone has been Bloodbending with no full moon, which everyone knows can’t be done; Aang watches on, right behind Yakone.
We see a quick glimpse of Korra, concentrating hard. It’s announced Councilman Sokka will give the verdict; awesome. Sokka talks about exceptional benders he has met. He tells the story about how he beat a Firebender (with his boomerang) who only used his mind to control fire; he also talks about Toph, mentioning how she invented Metalbending. Due to the evidence he has seen, he believes Yakone to be another exceptional bender, and thinks he is capable of Bloodbending at will, and therefore finds him guilty, sentencing him to life in prison. Yakone stands and Bloodbends Sokka. Toph tries to attack but Yakone gets her too, in fact the whole courtroom, including Aang, who is reaching out. We see Korra shuddering due to her vision.
At the current day council house, Tenzin thanks the other Councillors for meeting with them. Tarrlok walks in after Beifong and Saikon’s awkward hello’s. Tenzin accuses Tarrlok of taking Korra. Tarrlok feigns shock. Tenzin says he planted the evidence but Tarrlok says that’s’ridiculous. Then, the little admin guy Tarrlok sent away last week appears, and tells everyone he saw Tarrlok put Korra in his car. He didn’t mention it earlier because Tarrlok is a Bloodbender.
Tenzin asks him where Korra is but the cat is out the bag, and with the same look in his eye as Yakone, Tarrlok Bloodbends everyone is the room, until they’re knocked out, and then flees. Beifong slaps Tenzin awake and Bolin tells everyone of his strange dream of Korra being kidnapped by a Bloodbender. Asami tells him it wasn’t a dream. Beifong says they haven’t been out long and might be able to pick up Tarrlok’s trail. They head off to find Korra.
Korra is still in the box meditating. She sees Yakone knock everyone out with Bloodbending, except Aang, who he make hover. Yakone says Republic City is his and he’ll be back for it one day. He throws Aang into the stairs and flees, jumping onto a horse-drawn carriage and taking off. Aang wakes up in an Avatar state flash and goes after him. He follows the carriage on an airball and sends an airblast to cut the carriages reigns. He circles the tipped up carriage until Yakone pops up and Bloodbends him again. Yakone says he’ll put Aang to sleep for good but Aang blasts into the Avatar state, disrupting the Bloodbending. He traps Yakone in earth and removes his bending.
Korra snaps out of her meditation, realizing Aang was warning her about Tarrlok. The light above her box shines through and Tarrlok comes in. He blames Korra for ruining everything. She laughs, knowing everyone now knows about his Bloodbending. She also tells him she knows he is Yakone’s son; that’s how he can Bloodbend without the full moon. Tarrlok says his father was wrong, trying to rule Republic City via its rotten underbelly. He was going to be its savior, his plan was perfect and Korra ruined everything.
Tarrlok says he’ll escape, start a new life and take Korra as his hostage. He walks back up the stairs as Korra shouts at him. Tarrlok is shocked as he is greeted at the top of the stairs by Amon and Chi-Blockers. Korra hears him says ‘˜Amon’. Amon tells Tarrlok its time to be equalised, corny, but also brilliant. Tarrlok calls him a fool. He Bloodbends them and they all go down except Amon, who is seemingly immune. Tarrlok tries harder but after a little trouble Amon shrugs it off. Tarrlok asks ‘˜what are you’and Amon gives the greatest answer ever; ‘˜the solution’. He uses Chi-Blocking, bringing Tarrlok to his knees and then Korra hears the thud, as Tarrlok falls after having his bending taken away by Amon.
Amon picks up Tarrlok and orders his men to get Korra, and not to underestimate her. She hears this and looks at her wraps on her arm. Lieutenant uses his batons to electrocute the box but she has put her wraps over the open railed roof and is hanging on, avoiding the electricity for the most part. When the Equalist open the box, she bursts out with fire, then punches the ground, Earthbending it to knock them all down.
Amon is putting Tarrlok into a car when Korra shoots out of the cabin. They share a glance and she Waterbends the snow behind her, turning it to ice shards. They miss Amon but she’s already running. He flows a bit but gives up as she slides down a mountain. His men appear at his side and he scolds them for underestimating her. Korra keeps sliding down the snowy mountain but falls over a root and skids into a tree. Thankfully Naga finds her. Turns out Naga had been tracking her on her own. Good girl! Slumped on the back of Naga, Korra heads home.
In the city, Korra’s friends hear a howl and Mako comments it sounds like Naga. They follow it and find Korra on the back of Naga. Tenzin and Beifong try to ask her questions but Mako pushes them aside carries her to the flying bison, as Asami watches on. He says he was worried; she’s glad he’s there. He puts her onto the bison’s saddle and says she’s safe now. Asami, get your bags packed.
We got plenty of flashbacks via Korra finally progressing with her meditation. We got Mako’s feeling abundantly clear throughout, and Asami’s. We got Beifong being badass, Tenzin being cool and Bolin being funny. Plus Naga is a great pet as I knew she would be, the revelation that Yakone is Tarrlok’s dad will surprise few and thankfully he’s done with. Most importantly, despite my earlier wishes, I’m so glad Amon isn’t Tarrlok. Tarrlok isn’t cool enough to be Amon anyway. May the constant search for his true identity and the key to his Bloodbending resistance continue. It’s nice to have Korra back though. One day, she may even be as cool as Sokka.