Korra spends this episode trying and failing to get the spirits of Republic City to help defend the place from outside attack, only to be shot down by the spirits basically saying they don’t interfere and even though Korra is simply asking, they still compared her to Unalaq.
That said, most of the plot follows Bolin making an ass out of himself and not realizing it. Also, he gets to meet his hero, and you should never meet your heroes.
See, he did accompany Lin and Opal back to Zaofu to try and rescue the rest of the Beifongs. And as he goes on and on about rescuing Opal’s love, all Lin can do is probably barely constrain herself from smacking him one. Not that Opal looks much happier about it, but Lin has never exactly been the warmest or friendliest of characters. The city’s metal domes are down, and there could be a scouting opportunity, but then someone even crankier than Lin shows up and makes her presence known.
Yeah, Old Lady Toph came by for one last episode, and unlike the other returning characters, she makes the most of it. And sure, Opal is glad to see her, and Bolin is gushing over her, and Toph is pleased to be with exactly one of those people, but she and Lin just refer to each other as “Chief” and move on. Toph has already done some scouting and knows the rest of the family is somewhere else.
That would be close to where Junior and Zhu-Li are experimenting with a spirit vine weapon, one that seems to have been sabotaged. Toph and Lin get the impression that the rest of the Beifongs are suspended somewhere in a wooden cage to prevent any earth or metalbending.
Now, Bolin does come in handy because Kuvira wants to test her new weapon in front of, oh, everybody, first by pointing out that Kuvira wants everybody to see the test firing. So that means no guards at that time. Bolin is pulling his weight and even impresses Toph (a little bit) by mentioning he can bend lava. He even learns who Lin’s father is just by asking…something Lin didn’t know from the looks of things.
Much of this episode shows Toph more or less acknowledge she was a terrible mother, and just as Lin and Suyin made up, this one will end with Toph and Lin making nice because Lin grew up without a dad and Toph only just seems to have figured out that was probably not a good thing for a girl like Lin.
Regardless, there’s a daring rescue of the Beifongs (Suyin’s husband is the most reluctant, and Toph never wants him to call her “mom”), but the weapon was damaged again. Apparently, Zhu-Li was sabotaging it the whole time, and Bolin convinces the others to try and rescue her because he knows Zhu-Li doesn’t make mistakes so it had to be on purpose.
Can the combined Beifongs hold off Kuvira’s entire army long enough to rescue Zhu-Li from ground zero of the test firing of the spirit vine cannon? Barely. And it’s a big blast. It does require Opal and Bolin to fly in on Opal’s bison to grab Zhu-Li while Suyin, Lin, and Suyin’s twins attack the cannon. There’s a nice duel between Kuvira and Suyin that ends with Su retreating and the Beifongs surrounded…until Toph changes her mind about helping and sweeps all the enemies away with an earthen tidal wave, telling Kuvira she’s a disgrace, and then getting everyone out of there on the bison.
Toph declines to go back to Republic City because she says she’s too old, and that something she and Katara both realized ages ago is true: the fight has to be passed along to the next generation sooner or later. She’s done. It was a great ending for the character, but she’s done.
Good thing too. Bolin, forgiven by Opal, is getting really obnoxious.
Oh, and Zhu-Li did have one more bit of information: Kuvira is attacking Republic City in two weeks.
Or, you know, sooner since that vital information got out early. But I don’t think these characters realized that yet.