While attending the premiere of the mover in which he stars, Bolin prevents four waterbenders from kidnapping President Raiko and his wife. The earthbender also forces one of the men to reveal that the mastermind behind the plot is Varrick, who is promptly arrested. With Mako's allegations proven correct, he is released from prison. Korra and Tenzin and his family return to Republic City to gather reinforcements to travel South in order to stop Unalaq from freeing Vaatu and destroying the world. When Raiko refuses to send the United Forces, Mako, Bolin, and Asami accompany them instead on Varrick's battleship. Meanwhile, at the South Pole, Unalaq's forces crush Tonraq's rebellion, with Unalaq gloating to Tonraq that he will soon destroy Korra.
Korra, Tenzin, Bumi, and Kya return to the Eastern Air Temple, where Pema is happy to see them. When she asks where Jinora is, Tenzin holds up her unresponsive body in response, trying to reassure his wife that he will do whatever it takes to retrieve their daughter's spirit from the Spirit World.
Visiting Mako in prison, Bolin makes small talk about his mover and gives Mako a souvenir poster, reassuring him that he will always be there for him despite their different choices. Ignoring Mako's claims about Varrick being behind his predicament, Bolin decides his brother is planning to plead insanity and promises to get him the best defense attorney he can find. Before Bolin leaves, Mako urges him to keep an eye out during the premiere, suspecting that Varrick is planning something, though the earthbender promptly dismisses the warning as more nonsense.
At the red carpet for The Adventures of Nuktuk: Hero of the South, held at the Pro-bending Arena, Shiro Shinobi introduces Bolin and Ginger as "Republic City's most famous couple". When Bolin happily mentions this to Ginger, she casually rebuffs his advance. Working security on the red carpet, Lu and Gang are caught eating Varri-cakes by ChiefLin Beifong, who angrily reprimands them and orders them to do their jobs. When PresidentRaiko and his wife arrive, Varrick comes out and personally greets them. Raiko, labeling Varrick's intentions as propaganda for the South, firmly assures him that his position on keeping the United Forces out of the Water Tribe Civil War will not be changed by the mover, though Varrick notes that he thinks the president will be surprised how persuasive he can be. Moments later, the businessman greets everyone on the arena floor with a short speech and begins the mover. Sitting with Asami, a disinterested Bolin tells her that he wishes Mako was with him. Outside the arena, a small number of waterbenders pull up to the structure in a boat and make their way inside, easily subduing the still-eating Lu and Gang.
Overwhelmed by being separated from his friends, Bolin steps outside in the middle of the mover. As Asami catches up to him, he explains his feelings to her. While she urges him to come back and watch the mover, Bolin decides to stay outside for a few minutes. A few seconds after his decision, he spots the now abandoned boat tied to and knocking against one of the arena's pillars and decides to investigate. He finds Lu and Gang stuffed inside a locker, and the two inform him that the waterbenders are after the president. Before the kidnappers are able to escape with Raiko and his wife, Bolin attacks them; the ensuing battle between the waterbenders and Bolin spills onto the pro-bending floor, where Bolin, his actions synchronized with those of Nuktuk in the mover playing in the background, subdues the benders while the audience watches and Shiro Shinobi provides commentary. After one of the captured benders reveals that they were hired by Varrick, the mogul and his assistant try to make their own exit but are apprehended by the police.
When Bolin is seen as a hero, Ginger finally acknowledges him as her boyfriend and kisses him, bewildering him completely. Korra, Tenzin, Bumi, and Kya arrive on Oogi, and Korra tells Raiko of Unalaq's plan to merge with Vaatu and destroy the world, asking him once more to intervene. Revealing Unalaq's true plan to Raiko had the opposite, however, as the global threat that emanated from the Chief's plan strengthened the president's belief that his troops where more than ever needed in the city, where they would protect the people of his nation. Bolin attempts one last appeal, quoting a line from his mover, but Raiko, admitting that he is indebted to Bolin, refuses to change his decision. As the president walks away, Bolin remarks with dark sarcasm that he should have let the waterbenders capture Raiko.
Now proven innocent, Mako is released from jail, and Lin promotes him to the position of detective, simultaneously demoting Lu and Gang. Mako shares a knowing look with Asami, who smiles at him kindly, though their moment is interrupted when Korra, seeing Mako for the first time since her disappearance, runs up to him and kisses him, declaring she missed him. Uncomfortable, Mako tentatively asks if she is no longer mad at him over the fight they had before she left and learns she was attacked by a dark spirit, which caused her to lose some of her memories. When she asks if the fight was serious, Mako denies the notion, eliciting another angry look from Asami.
Per Bolin's suggestion, the group visits Varrick to talk about defeating Unalaq. They find him in a lavish prison cell, accompanied by Zhu Li; Varrick amicably explains that his company built the prison, and that he ordered his cell's construction specially, anticipating his own incarceration. Despite being in jail, he is thrilled to see Team Avatar and tells Zhu Li to bring him some tea to celebrate the occasion. When Mako responds to his happiness with hostility, Varrick points out that he has been mostly helpful to all of them, with the exception of Mako. Asami counters by pointing out that he stole everything from her and tried to kidnap the president, and Varrick explains that he never intended to hurt Raiko, only to pull the United Republic into the war. Bolin promptly declares that they intend to end the war and asks Varrick what he did with all of the stolen Future Industries' goods. Varrick reveals them to be stored on his battleship, the Zhu Li, and decides to give them the ship with everything on it to make up for the trouble he has caused them. Leaving Varrick in prison, the team departs for the South.
Meanwhile, unable to wait any longer for Korra's arrival, Tonraq and the Southern Water Tribe rebels decide to attack in an attempt to drive the Northern army out of their city. Although they succeeded by nightfall force the Northern troops on the defence, the table turn when Desna, Eska, and Unalaq arrive with numerous dark spirits. Pressed hard, the rebels are forced to take cover. Eventually, Tonraq orders his men to fall back while he goes after his brother alone. Although he quickly disposes of Unalaq's guards, the Northern chief easily manages to knock Tonraq down, declaring he is too strong for him. Tonraq swiftly denounces their brotherhood, feeling betrayed by Unalaq, who got him banished from the Northern Water Tribe. As Tonraq madly charges Unalaq once again, he is caught off guard by a waterblast aimed at him by Desna and Eska, though their father quickly tells them to stand down. As the brothers barrage each other with their bending, Tonraq powers through Unalaq's attack. Launching himself through the air, he manages to grab the chief; as he is about to punch him in the face, however, Unalaq nimbly frees himself from Tonraq's grasp and strikes him in his unprotected stomach with an ice pillar. Now trapped in ice, Tonraq is forced to helplessly watch on as Unalaq seals his victory with a final blow, which knocks out Tonraq. Standing over his brother's unconscious body, Unalaq assures him that Korra will soon suffer the same fate.
In several instances, President Raiko reaffirms his position to remain neutral in the Water Tribe Civil War, a decision he revealed to Korra and Varrick during a meeting in "Peacekeepers".
Varrick funded the construction of the police headquarters in Republic City; he had lavish prison cell specially built, feeling that he would end up in prison at some point during his life.
Although Tonraq, Desna, and Eska all originally start on the same street, on Unalaq's right, when Desna and Eska attack Tonraq and interrupt his fight with his brother, it is from the wrong side, on Unalaq's left.