With the end slowly coming into sight, it’s time to move all the pieces into place storywise. Legend of Korra did exactly that with “Operation Beifong”, as it not only brought a bunch of main characters back into the fold, but it alerted many to the endgame that’s now in view.
Easily the biggest chunk of the episode was the family Beifong (and Bolin) coming together to try and free Su and her family. Once Toph joined up it was a true family affair. And she also explained why she didn’t fight Kuvira in the swamp when she was taking apart the vines, she wasn’t there, she was trying to free Su as well. Good to know!
Though it was good to see the generations of Beifong united for a single goal, it wasn’t without strife, as Lin’s problems with Toph came to surface. This was good stuff, as it would’ve been all too easy for Lin and Toph to just get along and free Su. Instead we got a deep story that showed off (yet another reason) why Lin is upset at members of her family. Also, we got to learn a little (very little) about Lin’s father. Sorry fans, it’s not Sokka. Apparently, Lin’s lack of knowing her father was the source of much anger towards Toph, that and the fact that Toph wouldn’t talk about it, or as Lin said, “didn’t care”.
Of the original Team Avatar, Toph and Aang were the ones shown to truly not be what we thought they’d be in their older ages. Aang, though a good Avatar, didn’t love all his children equally, and put a lot of pressure on Tenzin. Toph, though a great officer of the peace, wasn’t a great mother, causing her children to resent each other and go on very different paths. I loved that Toph admitted this fallacy about herself, and asked forgiveness of her children. Again, it’s the little things that make all the difference.
Aside from the rescue mission (which I’m not even close to being done talking about), Kuvira and Korra had some progression storywise as well. For Kuvira, we got to see the grand weapon she was building, and oh what a weapon it was. The power was incredible, and easily could destroy a city…or a Republic…
Also, Zhu Li was finally outed as the mole we hoped she was. I loved how Zhu Li happily stood up to Kuvira and stated that she was a monster and had no regrets about what she did. Go Zhu Li!
As for Korra, she prepared for the inevitable by trying to bring defenses to Republic City. In her case, she went to the spirits, who were none too eager to join up in the fight. It was good that the spirits voiced their opinions in this, as if they jumped for joy and happily joined it wouldn’t have come off as believable. I’m not sure if this unity will happen, but if it does, it’s not going to come easily.
The coolest part of the episode was the back-to-back sequence featuring the rescue of Su and family, and the attack on Kuvira and the weapon. From the acrobatic rescue attempt, to Su, Lin, and the boys, joining up against Kuvira’s forces, it was all top notch. Oh, and Su vs. Kuvira was totally boss. You had to wonder though what would’ve happened if Su AND Lin and joined up to fight her. Oh well, maybe later.
There were a couple small gripes and one big gripe with “Operation Beifong”. Bolin was annoying some points as he tried getting back in Opal’s good graces. Then there’s Wu, who had a good idea!…only to find out he had it to get into Korra’s good graces. I seriously hate him, and his line about how guys only do things to get girls is an insult to seriously good guys.
The big gripe though was with Toph. Don’t kill me just yet, let me explain. I can understand on surface why Toph would focus on trying to free Su and not confront Kuvira. Su is her daughter, and her safety is paramount. HOWEVER, once Su was free, and both her and Lin went to take on Kuvira, why not join them? This is Toph Beifong boys and girls! The lady who discovered Metalbending, who took on a fleet of airships basically by herself! And yet…she doesn’t want to take down the lady who kidnapped her daughter and basically butchered her home? Really? Toph? Seriously? True, she got to show her epicness, but leaving when they clearly had a numerical advantage seems…dodgy, and done only so the weapon could be ready for the endgame.
In the end though, “Operation Beifong” was a fantastic episode that blended epic action with great family bonding scenes. All points now lead to Republic City, and with three episodes left, it’s about to get heavy.