The third episode of The Legend of Korra. It aired on April 21st, 2012.
The episode begins with an early morning training session for the Fire Ferrets, which is interrupted when the head of the Pro-bending Arena comes to give them the prize money for winning their match. He immediately takes it all away to pay for equipment, housing, groceries, and to tell the brothers that they had better hand over 30,000 yuans if they want to compete in the finals.
Mako and Bolin, orphans who have lived on their streets, have no money to give, and neither does Korra, who has never had to earn any. Mako assures them that he'll find a way, and takes up a job lightning bending at the local power plant. Bolin's initial idea is to head to the streets and have his fire ferret Pabu earn money through tricks. Unfortunately, the reception is rather lack-luster, so when an old acquaintance offers him a job acting as muscle for the Triple Threat Triads, he can't refuse.
Hours later, Bolin has yet to return, and Mako is nervous. He learns that Bolin isn't on Air Temple Island with Korra. The two of them head back to the city to find him. Their search eventually takes them to the triad's headquarters, a place which is deserted and half-destroyed. Hearing the sound of engines, they rush out back, only to catch a glimpse of a bound and gagged Bolin being ushered into the back of a truck. Before they can do anything, some Gas Mask Mooks throw gas grenades and escape.
Korra and Mako give chase on Naga, but the kidnappers aren't going to let them follow. Two double-back on motorcycles, and manage to trap the polar-bear dog. Korra and Mako throw everything they have at them, but they're like lightning, striking quickly and efficiently. The mooks are chi-blockers as well, able to temporarily prevent bending. Korra and Mako are saved by Naga escaping her bonds just in time. The Equalists escape, leaving Korra and Mako without a clue to where Bolin has been taken.
The pair search in vain through the night. They are about to give up when Korra has an idea. They head to the plaza where she met the Equalist man on her first day in the city. The pair lean against Naga and chat for a bit. Mako explains his Dark and Troubled Past, how his and Bolin's parents died and he took up work for a gang to survive.
The next day, Mako and Korra have fallen asleep, and wake up to the protester's chant. They try to extort him for information. He initially refuses to talk, but he lets slip that the Equalists are having a rally that night where their leader, Amon, will reveal something amazing the world. The heroes make a quick getaway, with Mako snagging a few of their posters. The posters turn out to be a puzzle. On the back there is a map which, when put together, shows the location of the rally.
Disguised as a non-bending couple, Mako and Korra attend the rally and see Amon, the charismatic and masked leader of the movement. He tells of how he and his non-bending family were terrorized when he was a child, and how bending has started every war and conflict. But the age of bending is over, because the spirits have given him something which will change everything: the ability to take away someone's bending permanently. Amon brings out a group of four hostages, members of the Triple Threat Triads, some of Republic City's most notorious criminals. Amon gives their leader a chance to fight and quickly brings him down. He holds the leader by the head and takes away his firebending, leaving him as a quivering wreck.
Korra and Mako know that they have only a few short minutes to save Bolin from the same fate. Noticing the pipe on the nearby wall, Mako has Korra go to the steam room and bend steam as cover while he gets Bolin from the stage. One by one the members are brought before Amon and have their bending removed until finally only Bolin remains. Korra manages to beat a bouncer by slamming him into the pipe, giving her more then enough steam to work with. She covers the rally with it, causing the audience to flee. Amon slips away in the mist while Mako grabs Bolin and they escape out the back. They are pursued by the goggled Lieutenant from the first episode. The two fight him together but are overpowered, until Korra knocks him out. The three get a ride from Naga and flee the area. The Equalists start to follow but Amon calls them off and lets the trio go so Korra can be "a messenger".
Sure enough, Korra returns to the Air Temple and tells Tenzin what she saw. While shocked at the news, he believes her and proclaims if he wields such power, then all benders are in danger. The two look worriedly at the Republic City in the distance as the episode comes to a close.
Tropes in this episode:
- Aborted Arc: Skoochy tells Mako that the Republic City Triads are all preparing for "something big". Mako assumes there will be a turf war, but we never actually find out what that "something big" was going to be, as Amon and the Equalists make their move against the Triads, becoming the sole antagonists of Book One.
- Ambiguous Syntax:Bolin: Um, hello? Amon, sir?
- Back Story:
- Mako tells Korra part of his backstory, including how his parents were killed in front of him by a firebender.
- Amon also reveals his own background, though as stated below, its uncertain whether he's telling the truth, half of it, or lying through his teeth.
- Badass in Distress: Bolin is kidnapped by the anti-benders and has to be rescued by Korra and Mako.
- Big Damn Heroes: Naga attacks the Equalists before they could attack Korra and Mako some more. Then she's joined by Pabu, who tries to imitate her roars, only to squeak loudly.
- Big Eater: Apparently, Bolin eats enough that the brothers need an advance loan to pay for him.Bolin: I'm a growing boy!
- Clothing Combat: Korra borrows Mako's Scarf Of Asskicking for her Equalist rally disguise and ends up using it in a fight against the bouncer.
- Continuity Nod:
- The Fire Ferrets owe some money to the head of the pro-bending tournaments for Korra's new gear. After all, the ex-teammate's gear did not fit her before in the last episode.
- Korra tries the same "I was looking for the bathroom" excuse she used with Toza in the previous episode. It still doesn't work.
- Korra recalls the antibending protestor from the previous episode who gave her a hard time, and tracks him down so she and Mako can pump him for information on the chi-blockers.
- Cuffs Off, Rub Wrists: Lightning Bolt Zolt rubs his wrists after he's untied for his fight with Amon.
- De-Power: The three members of the Triple Threat Triad after Amon takes away their powers.
- Face, Nod, Action: Two Equalist fighters nod when Naga gets between them and Korra and Mako. Then they both retreat on their motorcyles.
- Facial Horror: According to Amon.
- Fake-Out Make-Out: A mild version; Korra clings demurely to Mako's arm to look innocent.
- Farm Boy: Amon claims he grew up as one in his speech to the Equalists about how good life was. It's questionable if his claim is true or not.
- The Flapper: Korra wears the signature hat to the revelation.
- Friend or Foe: The guard to Amon's "revelation" event asks Mako and Korra to show an invitation before he lets them in. The two produce a flier, which counts as the invitation.
- Funny Background Event: Ikki and Jinora float down in the background giggling, after Korra launched them into the air for embarrassing her.
- Harmful to Minors: Mako's parents were killed in front of him by a firebender. When he was eight.
- Held Gaze: Bolin and a minor unnamed bender share one of these when the bender is led away to have his abilities removed by Amon.
- I Did What I Had to Do: Mako delivers this line word for word when defending his prior association with the Triple Threat Triad.
- The Infiltration: Mako and Korra disguise themselves and sneak into an Equalist rally.
- Ironic Echo: What Lightning Bolt Zolt says after Amon takes his Bending away is the exact same thing Ozai says to Aang in the finale to Avatar: The Last Airbender. He even tries and fails to use firebending like Ozai.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: The first public victims of Amon's bending-removal ability are the leader of the Triple-Threat Triad gang and three of his bender thugs.
- Mission from God: Amon claims he obtained his energybending-like powers from a spirit who gave him the mission to get rid of benders. Whether or not this is true remains to be seen.
- My Parents Are Dead: Mako reveals this to Korra when she states she always had someone taking care of her.
- Not a Morning PersonKorra: The morning is evil.
- Not So Different: Mako's and Bolin's parents were murdered by a firebender. The same fate supposedly happened to Amon's parents.
- An Offer You Can't Refuse: The Triad gives Bolin one when they find him performing tricks for money.
- Oh, Crap!: The look in Korra's eyes says it all when Amon reveals he can take away people's Bending.
- Pay Evil unto Evil: The first people Amon makes examples of are stripping the leader of the Triple Threat Triad and other criminals of their bending. Subverted when he makes clear that he intends to debend any other benders.
- Reformed Criminal: Mako and Bolin.
- The Reveal: Amon can take away people's bending!
- Shut Up, Hannibal!:Lieutenant: You benders need to understand: there's no place for you anymore.
Korra: [enters the alley and earthbends him into a wall] I wouldn't count us out just yet.
- Siblings in Crime: Apparently, after their parents died, Mako and Bolin became involved in gangs.
- Sleep Cute: Korra and Mako fell asleep while waiting for the Equalist propagandist. Then they woke up.
- Smoke Out: The Equalists who attack Mako and Korra retreat by throwing smoke grenades and riding off on their motorcycles.
- Street Performer: Bolin's plan to make the money they need.Bolin: I was serious...
- Street Urchin:
- Skoochy, a twelve-year-old earthbender. He tells Korra and Mako that Bolin has been taken away by the Triad.
- We also find out that Mako and Bolin were both street urchins as kids. Butakha even calls them his "hard-working street urchins."
- Unreliable Expositor: Amon. The only authority we have on his backstory (not to mention whether or not his energybending-like powers are legit) is him, and he has every reason to lie to his followers in order to gain support for his own agenda.