Indy, brainwashed, being snapped out of it 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 a good five 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 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!"
Indy resisting the heart-ripping magic that the high priest is capable of and punching him with his own fist!
Seriously, just the fact that Indy more or less beats the villain personally for once in the franchise, if you don't count 'The Emperor's Tomb'.
Mola Ram: THE STONES ARE MINE!
Indiana:(grinning) You've betrayed Shiva! Thum Shiva Ke Vishwasth Karthe Ho! You betrayed Shiva! Thum Shiva Ke Vishwasth Karthe Ho! (Indy's satchel bursts into flames as the Shankara Stones blaze red hot) YOU'VE BETRAYED SHIVA! THUM SHIVA KE VISHWAASTH KARTHE! VISHWAASTH KARTHE!! VISHWAASTH KARTHE!!!
Mola Ram:(tries to seize the last stone as it tumbles from the ruined satchel, searing his hand, he loses his grip and plummets to his death while Indy snatches the stone out of the air)
(Indy's invocation is Narm to some, but you may recall that this ties in to the clues Indy discovered in the catacombs and the scrap of fabric the escaped slave child gives him. It seems to be the password that activates the Sankara stones' supposed magic).
Narm my ass... the Death Glare Indy gives Mola Ram is fantastic, and the fact that he's practically spitting out the incantation; as if to say, "You and Kali can go fuck yourselves!"
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 gets some Character Development as well—jumps right in to help release the kids from their chains as Indy knocks out the various guards, gives Mola Ram a very smug look when Indy threatens to throw the stones away—revealing that she fully understands their importance—and also takes on an almost Mama Bear-like attitude to Short Round—spending several instances rescuing or protecting him, to the point where at the end when Mola Ram forces them to walk out onto the bridge, she puts him in front of her, 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.
Indy ending the last Belligerent Sexual Tension moment by using his whip to seize Willie by the waist. She whirls to him...and then smiles sexily and lets him pull her to him for the Big Damn Kiss.
The young Maharaja has quite a commanding presence during the dinner scene. Notice how everyone stops dead when he speaks, to the point where the musicians in the background even stop playing. Even Indy is deferential to him.
Maharaja: I have heard the evil stories of the Thugee cult. I thought the stories were told to frighten children. Later I learned that the Thugee cult was once real and did unspeakable things. I am ashamed of what happened here many years ago and I assure you it will never happen again in my kingdom.