At the South Pole, Tonraq and his rebels are defeated by Unalaq and his forces. Meanwhile, in Republic City, Bolin prevents four waterbenders from kidnapping President Raiko and his wife. After a brief battle, the earthbender forces one of the men to reveal Varrick as the mastermind behind the plot, leading to his arrest. 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.
While in prison, Mako is visited by Bolin, who gives him a poster from his newest mover. He tells his brother that he will always be there for him despite the fact that they have strayed away from one another. Mako continues to insist that Varrick was the one behind his being set up and asks Bolin of the whereabouts of Asami, to which he responds that she chose not to come as the ordeal reminded her of her father's imprisonment. Refusing to believe Mako's accusations, Bolin decides his brother is going for an insanity plea, and promises to get him the best defense attorney money and fame could buy. Before Bolin leaves, his brother urges him to keep an eye out during the premiere, suspecting that Varrick is planning something.
Overwhelmed and disparaged at feeling disconnected with his friends, Bolin steps outside, followed closely by Asami, who urges him to return to watch the mover. Bolin decides to stay for a while longer, and spots the boat, prompting him 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 leave with Raiko and his wife, Bolin is able to subdue the benders and uses earthbending and his knowledge of pro-bending to defeat them in the arena, much to the audience's interest. Shiro Shinobi provides commentary as Bolin combats three waterbenders simultaneously, managing to knock them all in the water, to everyone's elation. After one of the captured benders reveals that they were hired by Varrick, the mogul and his assistant try to make their exit, but are apprehended by the police.
When Bolin is referred to 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 tell Raiko about Unalaq's plan to merge with Vaatu and destroy the world, asking him once more to intervene. Raiko stands by his decision, with Tenzin angrily stating that lives are at stake. Raiko agrees, and apologizes for being unable to help, but justifies his decision to keep the troops in place in order to protect the people of his nation. Bolin attempts one last appeal, quoting a line from his mover, but Raiko, though indebted to him, refuses to change his decision.
Having been freed from his charges, Mako is released and promoted to detective, with two openings after Lu and Gang's demotion. Korra rushes up and kisses Mako, much to his, Bolin's, and Asami's surprise. When reminded by Mako of the fight they had before her departure, Korra reveals that she lost her memory due to an attack by a dark spirit, and asks if the fight was serious. Mako brushes it off and dismisses the topic, earning a displeased look from Asami.
Per Bolin's suggestion, they all visit Varrick to inquire about finding a way to end the war. Varrick's cell is lavish, as it was constructed in anticipation for the presupposed incarceration of the mogul, which Varrick tells the group. Despite being in jail, he is thrilled to see Team Avatar, telling Zhu Li to bring him some tea. When they point out that he tried to kidnap the president and start a war, Varrick points out that in a way, he helped them all in some way, save for Mako. Asami demands to know where he hid all of Future Industries' stolen weapon line, which Varrick reveals to be stowed on his battleship, the Zhu Li. Varrick offers to give them the ship for all of the troubles he had caused, and the team begin to set sail for the South.
Meanwhile, Tonraq and the Southern Water Tribe rebels decide to attack, despite lacking reinforcements, in an attempt to drive off the Northern Water Tribe army from the harbor city. Although they are initially successful, the rebels are forced to fall back by Desna and Eska, along with Unalaq and a number of dark spirits. Tonraq orders his men to leave, intending to handle his brother on his own. The two engage in a fierce battle, but Unalaq is ultimately too strong and emerges victorious.
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.