Indy, brainwashed, being woken up by Short Round. Then, instead of just running off with the Shankara stones, he saves Short Round, a villageful of children and Willie. Then he proves how the Indy Ploy doesn't always work, twice (once in a subversion of the previous movie's awesomeness), before proving that, while cutting a shaky rope bridge, sometimes it does.
Just to prove Indy's big bad protector of children credentials there is a scene in Temple of Doom with two slavers beating a child. Cue whip crack, one slaver dropping a club, both of them turn, the music kicks in and the camera reveals Indy emerging from the shadows. Two loud thuds later, both slavers land on the ground. Ten feet away. And then slide 15 more feet after they land.
Indy: We're getting out of here. ALL of us.
Most of the movie is scary, with the most terrifying villains of all the movies. Then Indy gets dangerous, and the tone switches to one of pure uninterrupted asskicking. Also inverting The Worf Effect.
A scene in the novelization (ok, not technically part of the film, but still) tells why Lao Che's pilots don't just directly kill Indiana and Company in the airplane: as one of the pilots approaches a sleeping Indy with malicious intent, an egg drops from a crate above Indy's head. Without much effort, Indy catches it while still frigging asleep, and freaks out his would-be killer. The narrative jovially sums up the badassery:
Indiana Jones was not without flaw, but he had a sense for falling eggs.
"Mola Ram! Prepare to meet Kali! IN HELL!"
"You betrayed Shiva!" (This is Narm to some, but you may recall that this is actually the password that activates the Sankara stones' magic).
Mola Ram gets one just before, when Indy threatens to drop the Shankara stones into the river.
'''Drop them Doctor Jones! They will be found! YOU WON'T'!"
Lao Che gets a terrific bad guy moment near the beginning of Temple of Doom
Willie: What's that? Lao Che: Antidote. Indiana Jones:To what? Lao Che: The poison you just drank! [Cue giggling.]
This and Crowning Moment of Heartwarming, when Short Round and Indy are pummeling the Raj and his slaver in unison as the camera cuts between them. If the earlier hat-swap was the emotional synchronous moment, this is the badass determinator moment. Dammit, Short Round should have taken over the Indy name for the fifth film.
Though it's not enough for Willie to be Rescued from the Scrappy Heap, during the mine cart chase scene a determined mook attempts to strangle Indiana Jones to death whilst hijacking their cart riding at top speed, and doesn't let go. Willie finally makes herself useful after spending the entire film doing nothing but complain, and simply punches the mook square in the face, sending him flying. And knocking the other cart off track. Indy was impressed.
Willie spends half the time screaming her head off and the other half with a surprising amount of self control. The abandoned plane simply gets a very calm "oh no", she (unknowingly) flings a large snake several feet away, spits in a brainwashed Indy's face just as she's about to be sacrificed... and of course there's the aforementioned one punch knock-out.
She also puts Short Round in front of her after Mola Ram forces them to walk out onto the bridge, most likely to prevent Mola Ram from harming him.
Indy kills one of Lao Che's bodyguards with a flaming shish-kabob.
The thrilling mine-cart chase, still one of the most exciting chase sequences in movie history.