Wu is preparing for his coronation, while Mako has his doubts about the leadership capabilities of the prince. At the coronation ceremony, downsized because most of the royal artifacts have been looted, Wu honors Kuvira with a medal, but she declares Wu's authority illegitimate and herself the head of a new Earth Empire, threatening to crush anyone who stands in her way. Although anointed king, Wu does not command respect among his people, which Mako brings to his attention. With a conflict brewing, Tenzin orders his three eldest children to search for Korra and bring her back to Republic City. Meanwhile, Korra is training with Toph Beifong in the Foggy Swamp and finds out that there are still residual traces of mercury in her body. Toph gives up on her attempt to remove it after Korra subconsciously fought against her actions, hypothesizing Korra accepts the poison as an excuse to escape being the Avatar.
Wu is very excited about his coronation, discussing the details of the ceremony, which include singing earthbenders and dancing badgermoles, with Mako. Mako thinks the prince should prepare himself for ruling the Earth Kingdom, but Wu insists he will have ministers for that. Raiko joins the duo, but Wu is quickly distracted by a metalbending officer putting the bleachers in the wrong place. Mako announces his doubts about Wu to Raiko, but the president assures him experienced people will go with him to handle the governing. Tenzin notes Wu is getting used to the royal lifestyle, to which Raiko replies that most royals like a ceremony. He inquires if Tenzin has received any word about Korra's whereabouts, but the master sadly replies no, reporting that even though airbenders all over the world are on the lookout, they cannot locate her. Tenzin is also concerned about Kuvira's growing military forces and her increasingly immoral methods. Raiko tries to reassure him, saying that she will step down after Wu's coronation, but Mako still has his doubts about Kuvira handing over power to Wu. Raiko assures him that he has Kuvira's word that she will step down to which Tenzin replies that he would still feel better if Korra were there.
In the swamp, Korra asks Toph to help her regain her fighting spirit again, as she is "getting her butt kicked by losers" all over the Earth Kingdom and the world needs her. Toph disputes this, telling her to get over herself because "the world doesn't need her one bit". Offended, Korra says that while she has been the Avatar, she has defeated several powerful villains, but Toph merely replied that although she worked very hard as Chief of Police in Republic City, crime did not disappear. Korra then questions if everything she ever accomplished was pointless. Korra does not like this attitude one bit, and comments that she thought Beifong was grumpy, comparing Toph to her own daughter; Toph replies that she is the "original Beifong". Korra then asks if she is going to help her to which Toph responds that she was planning on "soaking her feet in the mud" for a few weeks, but she could not stand seeing her so pathetic and getting her butt kicked all the time, so she thinks that she can help. Thanking her, Korra excitedly gets up to hug Toph only to be blocked by a wall of earth the latter bends up.
In the Republic City Four Elements Hotel, Bolin arrives with Kuvira's party. He becomes frightened when he spots Eska; Eska thinks that she has been replaced by Kuvira as Bolin's girlfriend, complimenting him on choosing a woman with a threatening appearance. Bolin corrects her, but she waves this off. Meanwhile, Varrick tells Zhu Li that he is surprised he was allowed back into the hotel, and wonders aloud how Raiko reacted to giving him a full pardon. Mako and Wu arrive where Mako quickly catches up with his brother. He inquires Bolin about his work with Kuvira. The earthbender tells him she can be tough, but they are doing a lot of good, referencing the improvement of their family's neighborhood in Ba Sing Se as an example. Mako is slightly embarrassed to tell his brother that he is currently working for Wu. Suyin is also checking in, where she is approached by her eldest son. She greets him coldly calling him Baatar Jr. to which he responds that it is "just Baatar now". Baatar then tells her that she must feel sorry for not having gone with them because they have done so much good. Suyin responds that she does not know if she would call marching all over the Earth Kingdom, and forcing people to bow to Kuvira "doing good", but Baatar Jr. tells her that she is going to have to get over her grudge with her as they are engaged, so she will be an "official" member of the family soon to which Suyin replies that she is just happy that she is going to be stepping down after the next day. Baatar Jr. then questions her if she would rather be ruled by "that royal idiot". Wu tries to chat up Kuvira, by saying that he hopes he is not out of order telling her that she is "pretty easy on the eyes for a military type", but she keeps on looking at him without saying a word. Wu then tells her that he will "put in a good word for her" with the hotel staff to maybe get her a little upgrade because he has been living here for years and "they love him". Kuvira finally responds telling him that she will not be needing his help as she already booked the presidential suite. Wu then says that he thinks somebody is pulling her chain because he is in the presidential suite. Kuvira then informs him that not anymore because she had him moved out. Wu, shocked, pulls a staff and asks where his stuff is to which he is responded that he has been moved to a "very nice junior suite" on the seventh floor, Wu repeats junior suite sadly. Kuvira then tells him that something he should know about her is that she always gets what she wants.
Later on, Mako and Wu are waiting for the delegation from the Earth Kingdom to arrive, and Wu is shocked to learn only three people, including Gun, have come. Gun informs him this is because most of the servants scattered after the Earth Queen was overthrown, and most of the royal artifacts were stolen from the palace. They only managed to save a single earring, which Gun declares to be the "Royal Brooch". Wu is angry at the fact that nothing he had planned can go through, and that the ceremony will be much simpler.
Korra and Toph are practicing in the swamp, with Korra trying to land a hit on Toph, but she is unable to do so. Toph effortlessly evades every blast the Avatar throws at her, mostly with her hands behind her back. After knocking her down, the earthbender inquires how she was able to beat Korra. She replies that she thought, something Toph warns her not to do, and tells Korra to try again. The elderly woman defeats Korra easily for a second time, throwing her into a shallow pool. Korra gets back up, and Toph declares her to be pathetic, while ripping an elbow leech off the Avatar. She asks Toph why she came to the swamp, disconnected from the entire world. The earthbender counters this by saying that the swamp is in connection with everything, allowing her to be as well. Korra tries to silently land a hit, but is once again knocked down, to which Toph says that Korra is closer to being the blind one.
In Republic City, Wu is crowned to be the new Earth King by Gun, who pins the "royal brooch" on Wu's chest. He gives a small speech to the unimpressed and mostly disinterested crowd. During this speech, he gives the Kyoshi Medal of Freedom to Kuvira for her services to the Earth Kingdom. She asks the newly crowned king whether she can say a few words, and he agrees, seeing how they have six hours to kill. She addresses the crowd, and tells the audience about how her youth in Zaofu taught her how archaic the idea of royal lineage is, and how the reign of kings and queens is precisely what allowed the Earth Kingdom to slip into anarchy. She continues by saying that she will not allow that to happen again, and that she is removing King Wu from power, taking the actual position of power herself, much to the shock of everyone attending. The crowd meets this with much more enthusiasm than Wu's coronation. She pulls the medal off her neck and crushes it, just as she warns the world leaders not to interfere with her new Earth Empire.
Inside the presidential suite in the Four Elements Hotel, Bolin expresses his worries about Kuvira's words to Varrick, who tells him not to worry. As the businessman is distracted by Zhu Li, who brought a piece of spirit vine, Kuvira walks in, and reassures Bolin that what they are doing is good work. He has his doubts, but he tells Kuvira he will stand by her. Suyin breaks them up, and Kuvira tells Bolin to leave. The Beifong tells Kuvira she represents the other world leaders, and that Kuvira needs to stop. Kuvira counters by saying that she was the one to step up when the whole world looked at Suyin, and that she did nothing but hide behind the walls of Zaofu. As the ruler of the new Earth Empire, she will not accept a dictator chosen by the other world leaders. Suyin asks what makes Kuvira so different from another dictator, as she came to power by force, subtly reminding her she knows what her former captain did to get reluctant cities to follow her. The Great Uniter remarks that means Suyin will know what is coming for Zaofu. Somewhere else in the hotel, Wu is angry that Kuvira took his suite and his throne, in that order, and also disappointed that Mako does not get to go to Ba Sing Se with him. Bolin meets with his brother, but Wu is not too pleased to see him, so the bending brothers continue their conversation in the hallway. Bolin tries to persuade Mako that Kuvira is doing good, and even goes as far as comparing her to Korra. Mako still thinks she is just a dictator, but is forced to admit the Wu would not be a better ruler. Bolin angrily says that Mako is just a "glorified butler for a snotty rich bozo". The lavabender storms off, reminding his bother that he is going to spread freedom across the Earth Empire. Back inside the suite, Wu admits to Mako that he heard everything, and invites him to go shopping.
Korra and Toph stopped dueling, something which Korra said was terrible. Toph replied by telling her that maybe it seemed that way to her, but she had a great time, recalling how much she missed tormenting the Avatar. Korra then reminded her that she was tossed around like a rag doll all day long. Toph sounded pleased saying that she knew, and she was an old lady, she then told Korra to imagine her in her prime, she laughed and told her that she would have destroyed her. Korra stressed that she does not understand why she cannot get back to her old self, noting that she is a step slower, she is out of sync, and that she just cannot get back in the groove. Toph then tells her that carrying around that metal does not help. When Korra questioned what metal, Toph told her that the little bits of metal poison stuck in her body. Then she asked if she was trying to tell her that she could not feel metal in her own body, then saying that she "really [was] the worst avatar ever". Korra said that Suyin got it all out, but Toph responded by saying that her girls never really picked up metalbending all that well if you asked her. Korra excitedly climbed the tree root Toph was on top of exclaiming that that was what her problem had been the entire time. She grabbed Toph by the shoulders saying that she has to get it out of her system, and then asked Toph if she can get it out for her. Toph then asked who she thought she was talking to, grabbing her by the face and shoving her back, making her fall back into the mud again.
Meanwhile, Mako and Wu are drinking smoothies in the mall. Wu drinks part of his smoothie, and turns around, checking his surroundings. He then suddenly spits his smoothie onto Mako's jacket, and runs up to two women, asking them where they got their shirts. One of them points and tells Wu where they are selling them a tore nearby. Wu looks furious, pulls his hair making a weird noise, and runs up to the little establishment. He yells that they could not sell "that junk" there because it was the Little Ba Sing Se Fashion Mall, and that he was the king there, emphasizing this point by telling them to respect the brooch. He was booed at and even told by one person: "stop it little king". He threw his smoothie at them, hit one of them and he told the rest of the crowd to get him. Mako grabbed him by the arm and got them both out of there. Mako firebent, creating a cover which left a little fire separating them from the crowd so that they could escape. By the time the crowd could see again, Mako and Wu were behind a wall, hidden from their sight. They went to a floor with a grand cafeteria that looked like a palace. Wu then exclaimed that it was destiny, telling Mako to look where they were identifying the place as the "royal palace". He then ran inside and saw a throne, he then exclaimed: "The throne!" and ran deeper into the cafeteria, telling people to move, and shoving them out of the way. When he got to the throne, he took the staff, crown, and cape from a kid, who exclaimed that it was his birthday. Wu then replied by telling him that it was his coronation day, and that he would have another birthday next year, but he would never have his coronation day back again. He then started sobbing, and put on the crown, and the cape. Mako went in and told him that he was losing it, to which Wu responded that it was the worst day of his life, still sobbing. Mako then asked why, and pressed Wu onto the fact that he had never done anything for his people, while Kuvira had spent three years doing just that. Wu just stared at him sadly. Mako then realized that he said something out of line, and apologized, but Wu replied by saying that he was right, Mako knelt and grabbed him by the shoulder while Wu continued saying that nobody had ever talked to him like that before, and that he thought he was just a joke who got what he deserved. Mako then turns around, and sees the crowd who was after Wu, he wrapped the conversation up by saying that they should get out of there, and someplace safe.
Korra is lying on a bed, and Toph is telling her that if she wanted her to bend out that metal, she needed to relax. Korra said that she was relaxed, but Toph asked if she said that her body was "like a twisted tree trunk". Korra told Toph to "just do it" because she was ready. Toph cracked her knuckles, her neck, and started bending the metal inside Korra's system, pulling it until Korra cried out in pain, and sat up. Toph yelled at her telling her that it would not hurt if she just relaxed, and that she should stop fighting her. Korra then exclaimed that she was not fighting, and slumped back. Toph then cracked her spine, and started moving the metal inside Korra, until Korra saw a flashback of her being asphyxiated by Zaheer, and cried out once again. Toph then said that she was going to have to do this herself, because clearly, she wanted to keep the metal in there. Korra asked her what she meant. Toph responded by saying that she did not know, maybe as an excuse for not going back to being the Avatar. Korra states that that is ridiculous. Toph then said that when she wanted it out of her system, she could bend it out because she could not deal with all her issues for her. Korra told her to wait, and then asked what she was supposed to do then. Toph responded by saying that she does not know, and she should ask the spirit that brought her there, but that the good news was that if she was looking for a place to "hang", where no one would bother her, she picked the best swamp in the world.
On Air Temple Island, Tenzin is standing in the meditation pavilion, briefing his children about the conflict coming to the Earth Kingdom, and that finding Korra is of the utmost importance. He then asks if he can count on his children to bring Korra home. Meelo informs him that he can count on one of them, but he was not so sure about his sisters, which caused Jinora and Ikki to glance at him with annoyed looks.
Inside Kuvira's train, a spirit vine in a capsule is shown, the capsule is placed in a bigger machine. Switches are then ignited, and a lever is pushed by Zhu Li, Kuvira is looking from above, informing that from then on, developing technology was his number one priority. Varrick then looks at the capsule with some sort of glasses that have yellow lenses and purple, red, and blue circles around them. He then comments excitedly that it was "going to change everything".
- Janet Varney - Korra
- David Faustino - Mako
- P. J. Byrne - Bolin
- J. K. Simmons - Tenzin
- Jeff Bennett - Radio broadcaster
- John Michael Higgins
- Front desk clerk
- Sunil Malhotra - Wu
- Anne Heche - Su
- Zelda Williams - Kuvira
- Spencer Garrett - Raiko
- Stephanie Sheh
- Zhu Li
- Philece Sampler - Toph
- Mitchell Whitfield - Gun
- Todd Haberkorn - Baatar Jr.
- Aubrey Plaza - Eska
- Logan Wells - Meelo
- Dee Bradley Baker - Bullfrog
Production notes Edit
Series continuity Edit
- Almost all of the royal ceremonial artifacts and other valuable objects belonging to the Earth Kingdom Royal Family were looted during the anarchy in Ba Sing Se.
- Eska remarking that there is no difference between being someone's boss or girlfriend references how she treated Bolin during their relationship.
Character revelations Edit
- There is residual mercury remaining in Korra's body.
- Varrick was pardoned by President Raiko.
- During the coronation, when Wu is thanking everyone for the ceremony, Izumi, who is sitting in the background, is missing her crown.
- When Wu notices the two girls wearing Kuvira shirts in the mall, he spits his smoothie onto Mako's shirt, leaving a prominent stain. When Mako drags Wu away from the hostile Kuvira supporters, the stain is missing. It reappears in the next scene, only to disappear again when they reached the royal palace.
- When Toph prepares to remove the poison from Korra's body, the latter's shoes are on at first, but in the next shot of her, Korra is barefoot.
- A plastic version of Bosco is present in the Little Ba Sing Se Fashion Mall.
- The scene in which an elbow leech clings to Korra recalls a similar scene in "The Swamp", where an elbow leech clings to Sokka when Team Avatar crashes into the Foggy Swamp.
- This is the first episode in which Izumi, Zuko's daughter, makes an appearance.
- The script for the episode featured the council meeting between Suyin and the world leaders, but it was ultimately cut.
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