As the story comes closer to its end, Legend of Korra writers have steadily built up the anticipation for the great battle between Kuvira and Korra. If the series is the main course for viewers, then Operation Beifong was the amuse-bouche. This week’s episode was nothing less than a thrill ride from start to finish. This episode was filled with character growth without coming across too emotion heavy as the earlier episodes, while still providing an action sequence that viewers have been waiting for. The plot was moving along smoothly, viewers questions behind characters motives were made clearer, and the stage was set for Kuvira’s final march on Republic City.
Where Legend of Korra left viewers off last week was the reunion of Opal and Bolin and their determination to rescue Opal’s family from Kuvira’s imprisonment. The Beifong mission was definitely a task that needed more man power behind and that is exactly what the two got. The chief followed the two and Toph made her triumphant return to lend some words of discouragement and (wo)man-power. Considering that Kuvira had been harvesting Toph’s new swamp home, it was only a matter of time before she decided to step in and do some fighting. The Beifong family was also in need.
The moments with Toph were the episodes highlights. Her signature blend of telling it like it is regardless of a person’s feelings definitely helped to lighten the mood. The reunion between Toph and the chief was awkward at first then just snowballed into the chief venting her frustrations in a similar fashion to how she confronted Su in the previous season of Legend of Korra. Since Toph virtually abandoned the siblings for over 20 years, it made sense that the chief was angry at her mother for lacking in the parenting department but her issues were later put aside once she let go of the animosity. Of course, Toph’s reaction was that of not caring but it was visibly apparent that she cared for her kids when she went along with the mission and even returned to help them after they got caught by Kuvira’s forces during the escape.
Everything was beginning to come full circle for the Beifong family in this episode of Legend of Korra. Toph admitted that she was not the best parent the two siblings needed, she even vaguely mentioned who the chief’s real father was. To viewers surprise, Toph actually apologized to the chief. She also blamed her old age on the reason why she did not stop Kuvira’s forces when they were raiding the swamp and also why Kataara stayed out of the civil war during Book 3 of Legend of Korra.
At this point in Legend of Korra, Kuvira is virtually unstoppable. She has tackled and subjugated the entire Earth nation to her iron fist rule, taken on the avatar, and conquered her home Beifong with ease. All that was missing was that one special weapon to make the rest of the world fear her power and bow down in obedience or face annihilation. That one weapon was the spirit laser that Varrick had mistakenly created. Unfortunately for Kuvira’s intentions, the spirit cannon just was not fully functional. Well it seems the real reason was not the mechanics but Zhu Li. To little surprise, her allegiance had always lied with her previous employer for several years and she was not going to let Kuvira continue her monstrous march upon the other nations.
Where Legend of Korra last left off was that of a stale place, but Operation Beifong was a refreshing dose of television. Viewers got to see exactly what Kuvira had planned for the spirit vines, the weapon in action, Zhu Li’s true allegiance, the return of the Beifong family, and a mini-showdown between Toph and Kuvira. Although Toph is strong enough to take down Kuvira, the writers set up the big battle for Korra to take down the “Great Uniter.” Once again, Korra did not make a major appearance but she was not missed very much as this episode was well needed closure for the Beifong clan and Legend of Korra/Avatar the Last Airbender fans.
Opinion By Tyler Cole