- This article is about the episode. For the group referring to the citizens of Zaofu, see Metal Clan.
|"The Metal Clan"|
|Image gallery (33)|
Korra's quest to find new airbenders leads Team Avatar and Lin Beifong to the city of Zaofu, home of the Metal Clan. There they meet up with Suyin, Lin's half-sister, whose daughter, Opal, is the new airbender. While Opal and Bolin form an instant connection, tension between Lin and Suyin runs high as they had not had contact in thirty years. Meanwhile, in Republic City, Zaheer infiltrates Air Temple Island in an attempt to find the Avatar's whereabouts, though is eventually exposed by Kya, forcing him to flee.
Somewhere in the Earth Kingdom, Korra is playing fetch with Naga, launching the ball with her airbending, while Lin Beifong, Bolin, and Pabu watch. Annoyed over wasting time playing games, Lin declares that they should move on, as four dangerous criminals are still roaming free. Korra waves off the metalbender's worry, noting that her current location is unknown to anyone but the people present. Having retrieved the ball, Naga places it on the ground in front of Lin, prompting Korra to translate the gesture as a desire for Lin to throw it. Eyeing the saliva and grass-covered object, the Chief of Police refuses to play along. That moment, Mako and Asami arrive and inform them of a new airbender in Zaofu, known as the home of the Metal Clan. Korra ask Lin if she knows of the place, though the woman becomes uncomfortable and sidesteps the question by saying that she has never been there. Emphasizing that she does not want Korra going there either, she states that she will be more at ease if Korra goes back to Republic City. Korra apologizes to Lin, asserting that she will go to Zaofu if that is where they can find a new airbender. As Team Avatar boards their airship, Naga begs the Chief of Police again to throw her ball by pushing the object closer toward her with her nose, which results in Lin using her metal cable to pierce the toy, upsetting the polar bear dog.
The group flies to Zaofu and explore the city apart from Lin, who decides to remain inside the airship instead and instructs the rest of the group not to reveal that she came with them. Aiwei greets Korra, Asami, Bolin, and Mako asks the four of them whether they were the entire group, to which Korra hastily responds yes. Per her request, Aiwei escorts Korra and her group to see the airbender in Zaofu.
While Ikki and Meelo introduce two new airbenders to Daw back in Air Temple Island, Zaheer enters and introduces himself as Yorru, claiming that he heard that the island is where new airbenders came to seek refuge.
Back in Zaofu, Aiwei tells Team Avatar about the significance of Toph Beifong to the metal clan's culture, as she expanded the possibilities of what a bender was capable of doing. He asserts that the citizens of Zaofu are encouraged to live up to their fullest potential, but regretfully tells Bolin that Toph stopped visiting the city after she left to wander the world in search of enlightenment. He escorts them to the airbender's mother, Suyin Beifong, in the middle of a dance rehearsal and the group is welcomed warmly, though promptly interrogated by Suyin after she is informed by Aiwei that they lied about how many people traveled in their airship to the city. Korra relents and reveals that they came with the Republic City Chief of Police, much to Suyin's surprise and delight, as she reveals herself to be Lin's sister.
Korra confronts Lin back in the airship along with Suyin, who criticizes her sister for not making any contact in thirty years. The two begin to fight about family affairs, with Lin declaring that it was Suyin who separated the family. Suyin takes the group back to her estate and introduces them to her family, starting with her twin sons, Wei and Wing, who are preoccupied playing a game they themselves had invented called power disc. She proceeds to introduce them to Huan, a metalbending sculptor whom Bolin offends by mistakenly identifying one of his works. They meet Opal soon after, who expresses delight over meeting her aunt. Suyin urges the group to stay in Zaofu to train Opal, even easing Lin's concern over Korra's safety by assuring her sister that Zaofu is the safest city in the world. Opal and Korra begin training in airbending, with the latter remarking how talented Opal is.
On Air Temple Island, Meelo trains the new airbenders to "be the leaf" and sends them to the training panels. All of the airbenders inevitably fail, until Zaheer effortlessly makes his way through the airbending gates. Kya arrives and informs the airbenders that Tenzin has arrived at the Northern Air Temple and wants the rest of the airbenders in Republic City to join him. Zaheer inquires whether the Avatar would be at the temple, to which Kya hesitantly replies no.
As Zaofu prepares to seal its buildings at night, Korra and her group dine with Suyin's family and meet her husband, Baatar, and eldest son, whom she introduces as the architect and engineer responsible for the city's development. Opal and Bolin engage in conversation during dinner, with the former growing more attracted to the earthbender. Meanwhile, Suyin asks Korra how her search for airbenders was going, to which the young Avatar replies that it has not been as successful as planned. She recalls the team's recent rescue of airbenders from Earth Queen Hou-Ting's custody, prompting Suyin to declare that the Queen's rule is outdated and needs to evolve alongside the nation. As Lin makes a facetious comment about Suyin's apparent expertise in global affairs, Varrick and Zhu Li enter the dining hall, much to Bolin's surprise and Asami and Mako's annoyance. Varrick asks Asami about how "their" company is doing, only for Asami to remind him that she regained full ownership because of Varrick's conspiracy to kidnap Raiko. The industrialist points out that technically he was never convicted; when Mako says it was because he escaped, the industrialist responded by telling him it was because the universe saw fit to liberate him. Varrick declares that he looked up Suyin, pitched her some ideas, went into business with her and now heads the matriarch's technology division, which primarily deals with the development of magnets and a high-speed rail. The mogul's presence angers Lin, who chastises her sister for harboring a criminal. Suyin remarks that a mistake shouldn't define a person and declares that people change, prompting Lin to state that Suyin hasn't changed at all before storming off.
As they prepare for the night, Mako tells Bolin about Opal's apparent affection toward him, prompting the earthbender to consider her as a love interest. In her office, Suyin tells Korra about how she created the city to make a mark in the world and reveals that she and Lin competed for their mother's affection during their childhood, which resulted in their strained relationship. Although Toph gave the two all the freedom in the world to discover their respective paths, Suyin reveals that she ultimately was disappointed by how her daughters chose to live their lives. The matriarch continues to recall how she left to travel the world at the age of sixteen. She reveals that during her journey, she discovered that what she wanted was a family, prompting her to purchase empty Earth Kingdom land to develop into Zaofu. Korra remarks how perfect her life sounds, but Suyin sadly remarks that she always wanted Lin to be a part of it, yet gave up any hope of reconciliation with her sibling.
In a courtyard, Bolin attempts to flirt with Opal, who urges him not to try too hard and just be himself. As the two share a moment, Korra intervenes and asks Opal to talk to Lin, in the hopes that meeting her niece would calm her down.
Meanwhile, Zaheer rummages through Tenzin's office and stumbles upon a locket bearing Guru Laghima's writing. Ikki discovers him there, however, and informs him that nobody is allowed inside the study apart from her father. Zaheer tells her that he could not sleep and, upon Ikki's inquiring, informs her that the text he is reading is a poem by Guru Laghima, whom he calls the wisest airbender who ever lived. Before the conversation could continue, Kya enters the room and tells her niece to go to bed. After Ikki leaves, Kya interrogates Zaheer about his comprehensive knowledge of Air Nomad history and how he had been able to move through the gates like an expert despite having only recently received airbending abilities. Zaheer defends his actions by noting that he has always admired Air Nomad culture, though after he states to be from a small village up north, Kya recognizes him for who he is, prompting him to flee the temple using an airbender staff. Kya immediately gives chase, pulling Zaheer out of the air with a water tendril and engaging in combat. Despite her fierce opposition and that of two White Lotus sentries who rushed to her aid, Zaheer manages to escape.
Opal and Korra approach a still-annoyed Lin in her quarters. Opal apologizes to Lin for the visit being hard on the metalbender and acknowledges that she had heard many stories about Lin from her mother and grandmother, Toph. She admits that she is sad because Lin does not want to get to know her. Opal continues by saying that her family could be "crazy and overwhelming" at times, but that it would mean a lot to her if her aunt would be a part of it. Lin tells her coldly to get out; Opal quickly expresses remorse again, believing she had said something wrong. After receiving the angered request a second time, Opal runs out of the room in tears. Korra berates Lin, who tells the former to focus on the world instead of her family problems. Korra tells Lin that her sister was right in saying that she would never change, before storming off and leaving Lin in tears.
- Janet Varney - Korra
- David Faustino - Mako
- P. J. Byrne - Bolin
- Anne Heche - Su
- Seychelle Gabriel - Asami
- Jeff Bennett - Radio broadcaster
- Dee Bradley Baker:
- Henry Rollins - Zaheer
- Mindy Sterling - Beifong
- John Michael Higgins - Varrick
- Maurice LaMarche:
- Lisa Edelstein - Kya
- Darcy Rose Byrnes - Ikki
- Logan Wells - Meelo
- Alyson Stoner - Opal
- Jim Meskimen:
- Jason Marsden - Huan
- Marcus Toji:
- Main article: Transcript:The Metal Clan
- Main article: Writing in the World of Avatar
- Meelo tells the new airbenders to "be the leaf", which is the same advice he gave Korra during her airbending training in "A Leaf in the Wind".
- Varrick inquires about the state of Future Industries, a company in which he purchased a controlling interest in "The Sting". However, Asami reveals that full ownership of the company returned to her after Varrick's involvement in the attempted kidnapping of President Raiko came to light in "Night of a Thousand Stars".
- Bolin recalls his and Mako's lives as orphans, which were explored in Republic City Hustle.
- While describing the type of girls to whom Bolin is attracted, Mako mentions a "dumb mover star" and a "psycho ice princess", referencing Ginger and Eska, respectively.
- The book Opal is reading when Korra arrives is the same one Lu and Gang had in their drawers in "Peacekeepers".
- Lin Beifong has a half-sister, Suyin Beifong.
- Toph Beifong decided to travel the world in search of enlightenment following her years serving as Chief of Police in Republic City.
- Varrick is the head of Zaofu's new technology division.
- At the end of the routine Suyin is practicing when Korra arrives, two of the dancers disappear.
- The airship that was already docked in Zaofu is the same model that the Equalists used, differing only in coloration.
- Among Suyin's collection of keepsakes are a dragon pipe identical to the one Sokka used in "Avatar Day", a Painted Lady statuette, and a mask used by sandbenders.
- This episode was one of four to be leaked by the Mexican Nickelodeon website, MundoNick, on June 8, 2014.
- There is a picture of Kuvira on the newspaper that Lin is reading right before Korra and Opal come in.
- The courtyard in which Korra and Opal train in airbending is a tribute to American painter Maxfield Parrish.
- A scene in which Ming-Hua shaves Zaheer's head with an ice razor was cut from the final storyboard.