I praised the action of The Legend of Korra last week, and I had no idea what was in store for us this week. “The Terror Within” is a fantastic episode of Korra with an amazing action set-piece that leads into a quick mystery case. This episode brought together a few different narrative threads into a great showcase of all the different things Korra does so well. Bolin continues to shine this season and brings the funny. Korra is mostly sidelined this episode and so the big confrontation is between Team Zaheer and Korra’s friends. Mako is given something important to do as he gets his Detective Mako thing on in the latter half of the episode. This episode even managed to address some of the issues I had with “Old Wounds” last week.
Let’s start with the kidnapping sequence. I don’t know what else to say other than it was fan-freakin-tastic. We’ve been waiting for Zaheer and his crew to take on Team Avatar since they all busted out and even with Korra out of commission it was one of the best action sequences the show has ever put together. There was a great push and pull in the momentum of the fight and everyone had a part to play. The Beifongs build a metal cage and Ghazan creates a moat made of lava. Mako and Bolin hide behind columns and P’Li curves her explosions around them, which causes the metalbenders to provide cover. It was so much fun to watch. It was also nice to see the Zaofu guards portrayed as competent soldiers. Sure, when two of them try to take on Zaheer by themselves he makes quick work of them, but he’s been shown to be a very gifted fighter so I don’t fault them there. The climax of the battle with the Beifong sisters descending from the dome was super cool and allowed Bolin to contribute as an earthbender after struggling with metalbending at the start of the episode. Once Korra is safe the episode shifts over to uncovering the truth behind the attack.
Bolin had his moment of triumph and the short mystery plot is Mako’s turn to be useful. From the moment we were introduced to Zaofu it seemed a little too perfect. The most suspicious element had to be Aiwei “The Human Lie Detector” and Suyin’s declaration that there are no secrets in Zaofu. That never works. Mako quickly notices that things don’t quite add up and if anybody knows what a set-up looks like it’s Mako. Varrick pops in to hilariously remind us why, in case anybody forgot. The scene of Aiwei confronting Team Avatar after they’ve searched his house was incredibly tense and showed off a different side of Korra. I loved the way Aiwei poured everyone tea which then is completely ignored by every single person in the room. Aiwei’s booby trap was genuinely surprising and for a second I was afraid the show was going to end on a crazy cliffhanger. Thankfully that doesn’t happen and the last few scenes are all about setting Korra and the gang in motion for the last few episodes.
I really enjoyed the fact that Suyin helps Korra sneak out of Zaofu against Lin’s wishes. I mentioned last week that the reconciliation of the Beifong sisters felt like it happened too quickly. “The Terror Within” shows that old wounds like that can’t be healed in a matter of days. Clearly there are still some hard feelings between Lin and Suyin if Lin immediately suspects Suyin of being the traitor. Lin and Suyin are still fundamentally different, and are going to react to things differently. It will be interesting to see how Lin reacts to Suyin’s actions here moving forward. Both the Zaheer storyline and the Zaofu plot are sure to provide plenty of great material for the coming weeks.
- I was going to complain about all the kale talk in the episode because I hear enough about it outside of Korra, but then Bolin mumbled it in his sleep and made it all worth it.
- It was funny seeing Mako and Bolin fighting in their pajamas, but when your best friend is getting kidnapped there’s no time to waste!
- We don’t see Korra with her hair down very often, do we?
- I’m still waiting to see what else the show does with Varrick. That magnetic suit has to come into play at some point, doesn’t it?