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Seventy years after Aang and his friends defeated Fire Lord Ozai, Korra (Janet Varney) is the newest Avatar and is training in Republic City to master airbending with Aang’s son, Tenzin (J.K. Simmons). She is also friends with Mako (David Faustino), a Firebender, and his brother Bolin (P.J. Byrne), an Earthbender, and plays on their team, the Fire Ferrets, in a competition known as pro-bending. Right now, Korra and her friends are embroiled in a struggle with Amon (Steve Blum), leader of the Equalists, who has developed the ability to remove a person’s bending permanently. He wants to conquer Republic City and destroy everyone’s bending abilities. Meanwhile, Councilman Tarrlok (Dee Bradley Baker) has been waging his own war with the non-benders, thus butting heads with Korra.
In the previous episode, “When Extremes Meet”, Tarrlok wrongfully imprisoned Mako, Bolin, and Asami (Seychelle Gabriel), Mako’s girlfriend, and Korra went to his office late that night to demand that they be set free. When Tarrlok refused, the two engaged in a brutal fight and Tarrlok only won because he revealed that he is a bloodbender. He kidnapped Korra and threw her in the back of a police car, driving her miles away from the city.
In “Out of the Past”, Tenzin finds out that Korra has gone missing. When he confronts Tarrlok, the councilman lies and says that Equalists kidnapped Korra. When former police chief Lin Bei Fong (Mindy Sterling) hears that the Avatar has been kidnapped, she gears up and breaks Korra’s friends out of jail and joins with Tenzin to go find Korra as well as her kidnapped police officers, whom Amon captured in an earlier episode.
Meanwhile, Korra, who is trapped in a cage in an abandoned house miles outside of Republic City, heeds Tenzin’s words and meditates in order to figure out what the past Avatar, Aang, has been trying to tell her. She discovers that a vicious criminal named Yakone (Clancy Brown) had been menacing Republic City with his bloodbending back when Aang and his friends were adults. He was put on trial and found guilty, but then he attacked the entire courtroom and tried to escape. Aang gave chase and just barely managed to stop him by taking away his bending.
Bei Fong and Korra’s friends find a tunnel beneath Republic City where the Equalists are holding the kidnapped police officers. However, they find that Korra isn’t there and realize that Tarrlok lied. They free the officers and confront Tarrlok, who continues lying, but his assistant reveals that he saw Tarrlok kidnap Korra. This forces Tarrlok to bloodbend the group and run away to go ransom Korra off. However, when he arrives, Amon and the Equalists burst in to capture Korra for themselves. Tarrlok tries to bloodbend Amon but it doesn’t work and Amon removes his bending and captures him. Korra manages to bust out of her cage and escapes. Her polar bear-dog Naga finds her and takes her back to Republic City where her friends get her to safety.
Like the episode before it, this episode is outstanding. The dramatic tension between the new Team Avatar, as Bolin coined them, Tarrlok, and the Equalists, is executed perfectly. Everything builds towards a truly exciting conclusion and leaves tons of problems in its wake. Almost everyone got their moment to shine as they searched for Korra and continued digging for the truth about Tarrlok. Furthermore, the reveal that bloodbending does not work on Amon sent the entire fandom into a frenzy with wild theories about just who and what Amon really is.
It was particularly nice to see Aang, Sokka, and Toph as adults who still share the same level of respect and friendship as they did when they were children. The flashbacks manage to remind us of who they are and how they have changed while still giving an air of familiarity. Fans were especially delighted upon the reveal that Tarrlok was Yakone’s son, as many of them held this theory when they found out he could bloodbend.
This episode also increased the romantic tension between Mako and Korra as Mako was desperate to find Korra and treated her with an amazing amount of tenderness when he finally found her. Bolin told Asami that Mako and Korra had once kissed, so there will definitely be some emotional drama in the next three episodes that remain in the season.
If the preview for the finale is any indication, ‘The Legend of Korra’s’ first season will be just as awesome and heartwrenching as the first season of ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender.’ Fans are eagerly awaiting the finale’s one-hour premiere June 23, 2012.
‘The Legend of Korra’ premieres Saturdays at 11a.m. EST. Be there.