| Admit mistakes when they occur and seek to restore honor.
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|"All right, let's do this! Saving the Beifongs and saving our love."|
|— Bolin to Opal.|
"Operation Beifong" is the tenth episode of Book Four: Balance of The Legend of Korra and the 49th of the overall series. It was released on Nick.com and through the Nick app on December 5, 2014, and aired on Nicktoons Network on December 19, 2014.
Opal, Bolin, and Lin travel to Zaofu with the intent of rescuing Suyin and her family. There, they run into Toph, who tells them the prisoners were moved out of the city. Bolin knows where they are and they free them. Zhu Li and Baatar Jr. have been working on a cannon to harness the spirit energy. Zhu Li, however, tries to sabotage the project. Upon Kuvira's arrival, Zhu Li sabotages the weapon, intending blow up the cannon. She is, however, discovered before her plan is completed. Bolin and Opal save her while the rest of the Beifongs fight Kuvira's army. Meanwhile, in Republic City, Raiko unsatisfied with Varrick's reluctance to use spirit vine weapons. Korra opts to ask the spirits to help defend the city against Kuvira, only for them to refuse. The spirits state that they do not want to get involved in human wars.
In the mountains overlooking the city of Zaofu, Juicy lands, allowing Bolin, Opal, and Lin to dismount. Bolin expresses eagerness to save the Beifongs from Kuvira and also hopes to win back Opal's trust and affections, vowing to the airbender that he would repair the damage their relationship had suffered. Walking between the two, Lin pushes Bolin aside and silences him, muttering that she has had enough of his romantic vows on the trip there.
They walk to the edge of the drop-off and look toward Zaofu, where Opal notices the absence of the metal domes which encased the city—a result of Kuvira's deconstruction. Looking through a spyglass, Lin observes a whole battalion of troops stationed below. Seeing no other way to proceed, she decides their only option is to descend toward the city and obtain a closer look. Suddenly, Toph appears behind them, announcing that the action would be fruitless as the prisoners have already been moved elsewhere. Lin stands up and looks at her mother in surprise. They exchange pleasantries, addressing each other as "chief". Opal runs to Toph and gives her a hug. Toph reminisces that the last time they met, Opal was only up to her waist. Realizing that the old woman standing with Opal is the famed earth- and metalbender, Bolin hysterically jumps up and down, excited to meet Toph. Noticing his strange behavior, Toph asks Bolin sarcastically if he has to urinate, much to Opal's amusement. Lin interrupts, asking about how Toph knew about Suyin's situation. Toph replies that she was keeping watch on them from the swamp. Toph adds that when she was "snooping about town", she heard that Suyin and the rest of her family were in some kind of prison camp. Opal scornfully asks Bolin where that would be located, and he informs the group of a nearby "reeducation facility". When Toph inquires as to how Bolin knew that information, Opal informs her that Bolin used to work for Kuvira to which Toph shows disapproval. Opal introduces Toph to her flying bison, Juicy.
Meanwhile, in Republic City, Varrick and Asami show President Raiko their newest design: a flying mecha suit. Unimpressed, Raiko asks where it incorporated a spirit ray. Varrick retorts that due to the power of the spirit vines, it was much too dangerous to be used. Raiko angrily slams his hands on the desk and demands Varrick and Asami create spirit weapons to use against Kuvira. Avatar Korra, who is also present, interrupts, and informs the President that the harvesting of the spirit vines was what caused them to kidnap citizens in the first place. Korra suggests that she try to convince some of the spirits to help protect the city, to which Raiko agrees. Wu interrupts Korra and suggests moving the citizens out of Republic City so that when Kuvira would attack, no one would be hurt. Raiko agrees and tells Wu to work with the police department. Outside of the conference room, Mako compliments Wu on his good idea. Wu thanks Mako, revealing he did it all for the ladies, particularly Korra, something of which Mako immediately disapproves.
Back at the camp, Baatar Jr. orders Zhu Li to start the spirit energy cannon. The cannon malfunctions and Zhu Li attempts to override the system, though fails and shouts for everyone to evacuate. Ignoring her warnings, Baatar Jr. reaches into the system and pulls out part of the circuitry, stopping the cannon. Baatar Jr. also notices that the channeling ring is cracked, which caused the cannon to overload. The engineer is furious and yells that everything must be fixed to be ready for Kuvira's visit tomorrow.
While flying on Juicy, Bolin asks Lin and Toph how long it had been since they had last seen each other. Toph admits that it was "a little while", though an angry Lin corrects her, adding that it was, in fact, twenty years. Toph is surprised that Lin came to save her sister. Lin explains that she and Suyin had reconciled earlier. They land at the factory and Toph metalbends an opening in the side, allowing the group to filter through before sealing the wall again. As they enter, they notice the cannon, and using her seismic sense, Toph notices an empty cavern several stories down. The seemingly empty room is heavily guarded, a fact verified by Lin, who deduces that the prison must be suspended in midair, preventing the Beifongs from using their earthbending.
The main doors open, revealing Kuvira. Bolin, Opal, Lin, and Toph quickly hide as Baatar Jr. expresses his surprise to see Kuvira. She explains her early visit by stating that she "just wanted to check in", and shows her approval. Baatar Jr. remarks that there have been some slight complications, but the cannon will be ready tomorrow. Kuvira turns around and suspiciously glares at Zhu Li, asking her opinion, as Zhu Li was the one to be mainly operating on the cannon. She defends herself, stating that small mistakes are common in machinery as large as the cannon. Kuvira asks if Zhu Li is doing everything she can in her power to fix the mistakes, only being satisfied when Zhu Li affirms that she is. Nearby, Toph senses that Zhu Li is lying, causing Bolin's face to light up with joy. Kuvira orders Baatar Jr. to arrange for everyone to be present for the weapon test the next day. Bolin deduces that the best time to save Suyin would be when everyone would be at the weapon test. His idea earns a compliment from Opal.
Back in Republic City, Korra tries to contact the spirits, only for them to disappear. Korra worries that the spirits are abandoning Republic City.
Meanwhile, Bolin, Opal, Toph, and Lin sit around a rock table and eat noodles. Bolin asks Toph why he was not able to metalbend. Toph remarks that she once had a metalbending academy and states that with the right instruction, even "blockheads" would be able to master metalbending. Lin angrily swirls her noodles and mutters sarcastically to herself that Toph is a "real sensitive instructor". Bolin excitedly tells Toph that he can lavabend, Toph, recognizing the rareness of the ability, remarks that maybe he had some talent after all. When Lin sarcastically mutters to herself that her mother is "real encouraging", Toph retorts that she is blind but not deaf. Bolin randomly asks Toph who Lin's father is, causing Lin to spin around and give him a dirty look. Toph states that Lin's father was a nice man named Kanto, though it did not work out between them. Hearing Lin's angry, labored breathing, Toph challenges Lin to speak her mind. Lin angrily spits out that she was forced to grow up without a dad. Toph retorts that she and Suyin worked things out, but that Lin was the only odd one out who did not want to reconcile. Lin, visibly upset, says that Toph never mentioned Kanto at all until this moment; Toph makes her furious and that they are finished. Toph sighs and says that if Lin's decision will make her happy, she is fine with it.
In the morning, Kuvira and Baatar Jr. move the cannon out of the factory. Opal, secretly keeping watch, tells the group via radio that the cannon is about to start and that Kuvira is testing it by blowing up an empty town located nearby. Toph, Lin, and Bolin jump into a hole in the factory. They reach the prison where Suyin, Baatar, Huan, Wei, and Wing are kept. The prison is a wooden cage, suspended hundreds of feet in the air and kept up by wooden ties. Toph tells Bolin and Lin that the guards are on the other side of the door. Hearing Toph's voice, Suyin turns around and notices the group, excitedly motioning for her husband to see. Lin says that she will jump on the cage and swing everyone out, one by one, on a metal cable, and tells Bolin to catch everyone since Toph is blind. Toph and Bolin launch Lin onto the wooden cage; the cage swings back and forth under the impact, causing Baatar and Huan to groan loudly. A guard hears the noise and opens the door, and though surveys the area, he does not see anything and retreats, though his suspicions are not allayed. Lin uses her metalbending to cut an opening in the top of the crate and free her trapped family.
Meanwhile, Kuvira congratulates her crew, saying that with the cannon, the Earth Empire could be the strongest nation in the world. Baatar Jr. starts the weapon and the alert system starts to beep. He opens the engine and sees that the distributor pin is gone, confusing him because he made sure that he placed the pin inside securely the night before. Kuvira spins around and glares at Zhu Li, interrogating her. Zhu Li tells her she does not know anything, but Kuvira feels the distributor pin on Zhu Li, and realizes she meant to betray her all along. Kuvira angrily shouts at Zhu Li that she gave her a chance. Zhu Li determinedly retorts that Kuvira is a monster. Kuvira pushes Zhu Li down the steps, telling Baatar Jr. to chain her to the metal post in the abandoned town, so that Zhu Li "can see how the weapon works, up close and personal".
Back at the prison, Baatar worriedly clutches the sides of the cage. Suyin tries to calm him down, saying that Bolin will catch him, but due to his fear of heights, Baatar insists on staying. Lin forcibly zips Baatar to Bolin via a metal cable by the man's feet, causing Baatar to yell loudly, alerting the guards. The guards swarm in and press the alarm, alerting Kuvira of the break-out. Baatar Jr. asks Kuvira if the test should be stopped, but Kuvira demands for the cannon be fired. A mecha robot fires a large fire blast toward Lin and Suyin at the top of the wooden box, cutting several of the ties holding the box in midair. Lin pushes Suyin out of the line of fire, and the wooden box swings toward Toph and Bolin. Suyin and Lin jump the gap and successfully rejoin the group. Suyin notices her mother and gives her a warm embrace. Bolin radios Opal to alert her of the successful mission and that they are coming out. Lin and Bolin earthbend the group out of the factory as Opal flies in to meet them. Opal notices her parents and hugs them excitedly, thanking Bolin for all of his help. Opal tells Bolin that Zhu Li is tied up in the town, about to be blown up. Bolin is determined to save Zhu Li. Opal, on Juicy, follows him. Toph remains behind with Baatar and Huan and dismisses the former when he refers to her as "Mother", telling him not to call her that.
Meanwhile, in the Spirit World, Korra asks the spirits for their assistance. A dragon eel spirit approaches Korra and declines her request, saying that "spirits should not be used as weapons to fight in a human war". Korra argues that Kuvira is using spirit energy, and that they should defend the new world together, as they both live in it. The spirits still decline, and disappear one by one, leaving a disappointed-looking Korra alone.
Back near Zaofu, the cannon loads, ready to fire. Looking through a telescope, Baatar Jr. sees Opal with Bolin in the town. Baatar Jr. anxiously shouts to stop the test, but it is too late. The cannon fires, but a massive earthbending wall from Suyin shifts the cannon off-balance, causing the cannon to miss the town and to hit a mountain above the town instead. The cannon completely blasts through the mountain, leaving a giant, circle-shaped hole. Bolin and Opal look at the destruction in horror. Lin and Suyin work together, attacking Kuvira's army in an attempt to take down both Kuvira and the cannon. Wei and Wing also lend their aid to the assault effort. Suyin makes her way toward Kuvira, leaping on top of the cannon and attacking Kuvira with fired metal strips. Kuvira deflects the attack, and advances with strikes of her own. After metalbending an armor suit to protect herself, Suyin rips a metal bar from the railing to deflect Kuvira's advances before metalbending a freight car toward Kuvira; however, Kuvira successfully manages to throw the car to the ground. She unsheathes a metal sword and lunges at Suyin, swiping at her. The older woman barely dodges the assault and is soon overpowered and thrown from the car. Metalbending soldiers begin to surround Suyin, but Wing jumps in and uses earthbending and metalbending to propel him and Suyin to where Lin and Wei are. The four of them earthbend a wall around themselves, but Kuvira's soldiers break through. All seems lost until a massive earthquake ripples through the ground, knocking all of Kuvira's men and mecha robots off of their feet but sparing the intruders. Toph rejoins the group with Baatar and Huan. Opal, Bolin, and Zhu Li return on Juicy, allowing them to escape. Before ascending the animal, Toph points an accusing finger at Kuvira and shouts that she gives metalbenders a bad name. Kuvira does not react, though merely watches as everyone escapes on Juicy.
In the forest, Lin and Suyin thank Toph for coming to save them. Lin apologies for her behavior the night before and Toph admits that she was not a great mother, but says that she still ended up with two great kids – kids whom were "good enough to waste her bony old butt for". Toph says that if Lin can find some way not to hate her, then that is enough. They hug, reconciling their differences. Bolin unintentionally ruins the moment by joining Lin and Toph in a group hug, remarking how great it is to have family. An irritated Toph scoffs and frees herself from his embrace, leaving Lin to shove him away from her. Toph wishes the trio good luck, insulting Bolin by calling him a "gumflapper" in the process, as Opal questions whether Toph will come back to Republic City with them. Toph laughs and says that her fighting days are over, and that "you gotta leave it to the kids". Zhu Li thanks everyone for coming to save her, and advises Opal not to hate Bolin for working with Kuvira as his heart was in the right place. Opal smirks and playfully says that Bolin worked his way "out of the polar bear doghouse", giving him a kiss on the cheek as a sign of forgiveness, causing Bolin to excitedly pump his fists up and down in triumph.
Zhu Li interrupts the moment, saying that she has important news to bring to Republic City: Kuvira would be attacking the city in two weeks, much to the shock of those gathered around her.
- Janet Varney - Korra
- David Faustino - Mako
- P.J. Byrne - Bolin
- Mindy Sterling - Beifong
- Zelda Williams - Kuvira
- Todd Haberkorn - Baatar Jr
- Jeff Bennett - Radio broadcaster
- John Michael Higgins - Varrick
- Stephanie Sheh - Zhu Li
- Anne Heche - Su
- Jim Meskimen
- Alyson Stoner - Opal
- Marcus Toji - Wing
- Spencer Garrett - Raiko
- Sunil Malhotra - Wu
- Philece Sampler - Toph
- Dee Bradley Baker - Juicy
- Main article: Transcript:Operation Beifong
- Main article: Writing in the World of Avatar
- The domes protecting Zaofu have been dismantled as per Kuvira's orders in "The Battle of Zaofu".
- Lin recalls her reconciliation with Suyin in "Old Wounds".
- Toph mentions opening the Beifong Metalbending Academy in The Promise.
- Bolin recalls learning to lavabend in "Enter the Void".
- Toph has a sore back from fighting Korra in "The Coronation".
- Opal's bison is named Juicy.
- Katara did not get involved in the Water Tribe Civil War because she felt she was too old for fighting.
- Zhu Li's loyalty to Kuvira was a ruse to gain her trust and sabotage the super weapon.
- Lin's father is named Kanto.
- Baatar is acrophobic.
- Toph and Lin have not seen each other for twenty years.
- Baatar refers to Toph as "mother", though the latter does not approve of him doing so.
- When the mecha suit shoots a stream of fire at Lin and Suyin, the wooden cage is fastened down on all eight corners. When Lin breaks two of them, however, the bottom four have disappeared, allowing the cage to swing.
- When Kuvira orders some of her men to hurry down toward the prison hold, the slips of her jacket are missing between her legs.
- When Suyin rips off a metal door and spins it during her fight with Kuvira, its handle and hinges have disappeared by the time she stops.
- This episode features three generations of the Beifong family.