Episode Nine: “The Stakeout”
This first part of Book 3 has been fast and full of non-stop action. So you know there would be some “set up” episodes and “The Stakeout” falls under this category. There isn’t too much revealed and not much action, but we do see the return of the spirit world and we learned about Zaheer’s past and perhaps clues to his intentions with Avatar Korra.
As we found out last time, Aiwei was the snitch that let Zaheer and the super benders in Metal City to try and kidnap Korra. Su feels betrayed and asks Team Avatar to capture him. She provides them with a vehicle but the best thing Team Avatar has is Naga’s sense of smell. Team Avatar sets off to grab the traitor but without Beifong’s knowledge.
Naga tracks the smell of Aiwei to the outskirts of Misty Palm Oasis as they find a vehicle hidden behind some rocks. At this point is where Mako goes all Colombo and decides that the best approach is a stakeout.
After trying some ridiculous disguises Team Avatar splits up. Mako and Bolin (in disguises perhaps inspired by Breaking Bad) go find Aiwee in Misty Palm Oasis while Korra and decide to stay back in case Aiwee returns.
As Mako and Bolin walk into city they notice that it is a city filled with spirits.
Back in the outskirts as Korra monologues why she doesn’t understand what Zaheer and his goons want with her, Asami discovers a clue in the vehicle Aiwei used to get away. Asami found a map with a destination written as “Xai Bau’s Grove.” After some thinking Asami and Korra determine that it is the location that Aiwei is gonna meet Zaheer. Problem is they cannot find that place on the map.
Meanwhile, Mako and Bolin have found Aiwei and they go meet up with Korra and Asami to plan the next steps. Korra wants to go all rogue and just bust in and take Aiwei, but Mako convinces Korra that a stakeout is the best policy. So Team Avatar rents a room across from Aiwei and monitor and monitor and (yawn!) monitor. Well Bolin is bored and discovers that the room come equipped with a Pai Sho game, cue Uncle Iroh and the White Lotus.
After being ridiculed by Asami for what feels the nth time, Korra decides that she cannot wait any longer and bursts in to Aiwei’s room only to find him meditating. That is when it hits Korra: “Xai Bau’s Grove” is not in this world but in the spirit world!
Korra quickly meditates and find herself in the spirit world. She spies on Aiwei and Zaheer as he pretty much tells him that he is a liability and right as he grabs him, Korra steps in but is too late. Zaheer disappears and all we see is that he throws him where he can never get out, the Fog of Lost Souls.
When Zaheer comes back Korra is ready to confront him, but Zaheer knows she wants answers, so they both sit down and Korra starts interrogating. He spills that the group of benders he has assembled are part of the Red Lotus — people who defected from the White Lotus because they had become glorified avatar bodyguards. In the middle of this conversation Zaheer communicates with the Red Lotus and tells them that Korra’s body is at Misty Palm. Meanwhile, Zaheer is telling Korra that her uncle Unalaq was part of the Red Lotus and in their attempt to free Vaatu they tried to kidnap her as a child. Once the plan failed Unalaq made sure that all of the member of the Red Lotus were jailed and dispersed.
As Zaheer reveals the intention of the Red Lotus — the greatest chaos brings order, which is to get rid of all leaders and destroy all sense of government — members of the Red Lotus attack Team Avatar. Mako and Bolin counterattack and give Asami and the body of Korra a chance to escape on Naga’s back.
But as soon as they make it out of the city, they are captured. As Korra tries to reason that destruction is not the answer, Zaheer reveals that his other Red Lotus members should have Korra’s body now. Korra panics and transports herself to her body and finds herself tied up like the Hannibal from Silence of the Lambs and discovers that it is not the Red Lotus that has captured her and Asami, but it is the earth queen. And Mako and Bolin are now in the hands of the Red Lotus.
This sets up a showdown between the Red Lotus and the earth queen. It should be interesting to see what happens, but let’s recall that Korra is learning metal bending.
I want to guess that it will become real handy in the next couple of episodes. What will happen? Friday cannot come soon enough.