A Future Industries shipment is stolen by unknown assailants who possess the same remote-detonated bombs possessed by the people who attacked the cultural center, and once again, the North is believed responsible. Asami is upset, as her company is now on the brink of collapsing.
At the southern portal, Unalaq emerges from an unknown venture to meet with his children, who report that Korra has been killed by a Dark Spirit, to Unalaq's shock.
Meanwhile, Bolin is starring in Varrick's movers as "Nuktuk, Hero of the South", a swashbuckling southern Waterbender who fights the evil Unalaq. The fame has gone to Bolin's head, and he tries to force a relationship on his costar Ginger. The films are successful, however, and Varrick intends to keep rolling them out.
Mako is derided by Lin, Lu and Gang for believing the culprits of the Future Industries thefts to not be from the North, and the captain of the hijacked ship does not recognize the bomb recovered from the cultural center bombing. Mako suggests a covert operation to find the culprit, but is shot down by his commanding officers.
Knowing his job is on the line, Mako tells Asami that he will set a trap for the thieves with a decoy ship provided by Varrick and then capture them. When Bolin is unwilling to help, Mako recruits his former comrades, the Triple Threat Triads, promising that Korra will restore Amon's victims' bending. However, during the operation, the Triads turn on Mako and Asami, having been hired to keep the two distracted, and the duo narrowly escape.
To Asami's despair, she finds that her last warehouse has been completely picked clean by the thieves while they were away. Asami declares herself ruined, but Mako promises not to give up on her. Asami responds by somberly kissing Mako, to their confusion. Mako learns that the Triads were hired by an extremely wealthy individual, and on the set of Nuktuk, finds the pyrotechnics are the same as the bombs used by the thieves. Mako runs to Varrick's office, where Asami has just finished signing the papers to allow Varrick to buy out Future Industries. Varrick's smug smirk clicks everything into place — Varrick has been purposely stealing from Future Industries to drive Asami to sell him her company out of desperation, but Mako is silent for the moment.
On a distant island, the Fire Sages discover Korra has washed up on their beach, but she has lost her memory.
- Absentee Actor: This is the first episode in Book 2 where Tenzin and family don't appear.
- Acquired Situational Narcissism: Bolin as his "acting" career is taking off. Mako comes to him two times for help but he refuses him due to an earlier slight.
- Affably Evil: Two-Toed Ping is quite laid-back and likable for a Triad member. Same goes for Varrick.
- Awkward Kiss: Asami kisses Mako out of desperation after finding out Future Industries is more or less ruined long after their breakup. Mako reacts with shock and quickly tries to change the subject back to the matter at hand.
- Broke Episode: Played With. Asami isn't necessarily impoverished yet, but Future Industries is very much bust because of her father, which is a major plot point of this episode. The fact that Varrick liquidated her assets and attempted to takeover her company only made her situation worse.
- The Bus Came Back: The Triple Threat Triad return, and the Fire Sages appear for the first time since the original series.
- Chase Scene: A boat chase ensues after the Triple Threat's plans are found out.
- Continuity Nod:
- Mako is using the Fire Dagger bending technique when interrogating Two-Toed Ping.
- When one thinks about it, the Nuktuk films are a semi-heroic version answer to the "Boy in the Iceberg" by the Ember Island Players, especially when one compares Actor!Unalaq to Actor!Ozai.
- A Day in the Limelight: This time around, Mako is the main character of this episode.
- Da Chief: Lin is now a textbook example, refusing to listen to the one good cop she has.
- Despair Event Horizon: Asami briefly has one when she discovers that Future Industries' last warehouse was robbed while she and Mako were on a wild goose chase. She even kisses Mako out of the desperation of the situation.
- Eureka Moment: Mako notices how the timed explosions for the Nuktuk film resemble the ones from the cultural center bombing.
- Evil All Along: Varrick is this or at least Amoral All Along, but his involvement and motives with regards to the Civil War qualifies him as another, yet separate antagonist.
- Fake Nationality: In-universe, Bolin is a Republic City earthbender playing a Southern Water Tribe waterbender. His "bending" is, needless to say, rather obviously fake.
- False Flag Operation: In the opening, a Future Industries shipment is intercepted by Northern Water Tribe soldiers. It's later discovered that Varrick is behind the attacks, driving Future Industries to bankruptcy so he can buy a controlling interest.
- Forceful Kiss:
- Bolin plants one on Ginger, who is not pleased about this at all.
- Asami gives one to Mako after he promises to find out who stole from her, though she immediately apologizes afterwards.
- Genre Blind: Eska and Desna, who believe Korra is dead despite having Never Found the Body.
- Grin of Audacity / Psychotic Smirk: Varrick gives a beautiful combination of these to Mako at the end of the episode.
- Have You Told Anyone Else?: Varrick wanted in on whatever Mako was up to, but Mako and Asami try to avert this by not giving him any details, but that was just the opening he needed.
- Ironic Nickname: Two-Toed Ping doesn't only have two toes. He got it because he has two extra toes and Republic City already had a guy named Twelve-Toe Ping.
- Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: After being double-crossed, Mako pulls one of these on Two Toed Ping threatening to burn his toes off with blowtorch like firebending if he didn't admit the truth.
- Karma Houdini: Subverted. While the bending gangs still have members that can bend, it's indicated that Korra did not restore the bending of the ones Amon did catch.
- Laser-Guided Amnesia: Korra upon finding herself on a Fire Nation island.
- Lost in Character: Bolin insists on being called "Nuktuk" even when he's not filming and doesn't understand why Ginger the actress doesn't share Ginger the character's feelings for him.
- Motive Rant: Varrick delivers one to Mako and Asami. In such a way that Asami doesn't even seem to realize he's giving one...
- Mundane Utility: The mecha-tanks, once the chief weapon of the Equalists, are now used by Future Industries as glorified fork-lifts. Hey, Asami did say they operated like one.
- Nice Character, Mean Actor: Ginger, although Bolin doesn't seem to understand this.
- One Steve Limit: Averted. There are two people named Ping in Republic City, and both of them have 12 toes.
- Out-Gambitted: Mako and Asami attempt to act as a decoy to keep the remaining Future Industries stock safe with the Triple Threat Triad as bodyguards. But, unsurprisingly, the Triple Threat double cross them. And it's later revealed that they were paid off no sooner then Mako and Asami had came to them for help. What's more, they were the distraction while the thieves had raided Future Industries warehouse and made off with the remaining stock.
- Out of Focus: Korra doesn't appear until near the end of the episode.
- Pals With The Avatar: Mako's "payment" to the Triple Threats for their help was that he could convince Korra to restore the bending of Shady Shin.
- Police are Useless: Once again the police don't listen to Mako when he tells them it wasn't the North. And while they're at it, don't seem to bother doing any actual detective work, just going by assumption.
- Repower: Defied. Korra apparently chose to not restore the bending of the de-bended triad members. For obvious reasons, they deserved that fate.
- Shout-Out: Mover Unalaq's costume is modeled after Ming the Merciless from the original Flash Gordon serials.
- Special Effects Failure: In-universe with the Nuktuk films. It is, after all, new media.
- Strapped to an Operating Table: Ginger during the Nuktuk mover.
- Stylistic Suck: The Adventures of Nuktuk are... rather bad. Then again, they're based on the serials of the 1920s and '30s. The quaint, melodramatic writing and acting, super-cheap effects, and generic villainy of "The Evil Unalaq" are all part of that.
- Talking Animal: Naga and Pabu are this (through voice acting) in the film.
- Throw It In!: In-Universe example. Bolin kisses Ginger while she's strapped to a table with the Evil Unalaq's drill coming towards her. It's not in the script but Varrick decides to keep it in, though at first he lampshades the stupidity of kissing her rather than doing something useful when severely pressed for time.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: It doesn't take long for stardom to go to Bolin's head.
- Wham Episode: Varrick is revealed to be behind the thefts of Future Industries, and has been trying to escalate the civil war at a global scale from the start. And Korra wakes up in the Fire Nation with no memory of how she got there or who she even is.
- Wham Line:Fire Sage: It's alright, Avatar Korra. We're here to help you.
Korra: ...Who's Avatar Korra?
- You Are Too Late: Mako tries to warn Asami not to trust Varrick, but she already gave Varrick controlling interest of Future Industries.