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The Terror Within

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Aiwei interrogating
"The Terror Within"

The Legend of Korra





Original air date

July 25, 2014

Written by

Joshua Hamilton

Directed by

Colin Heck


Studio Mir

Guest stars

Grey DeLisle-Griffin (Ming-Hua), Maurice LaMarche (Aiwei - Chef - guard #2), Marcus Toji (Wing - Wei), Peter Giles (Ghazan - guard #1), Zelda Williams (Kuvira), Joey Richter (Hong Li)

Production number


Episode guide

"Original Airbenders"


"The Stakeout"

"The Terror Within" is the eighth episode of Book Three: Change of The Legend of Korra and the 34th of the overall series. It aired on July 25, 2014, for attendees of The Legend of Korra panel at the San Diego Comic-Con, and on Nickelodeon the same night.[1]


As Opal leaves for the Northern Air Temple to start her airbending training, Zaheer and his gang try to kidnap Korra in Zaofu. Although Korra's friends are able to prevent this following a climactic fight, they suspect that someone inside Zaofu has been aiding the enemy.


In Suyin Beifong's estate, Wei and Wing train Bolin and Korra in the art of metalbending. Wing expresses his disbelief over being able to spar with the Avatar, while Wei voices his disappointment over being stuck with Bolin, who is unable to metalbend a meteorite despite his efforts. The metalbender begins to attack Bolin with metal to force him into bending, but the latter simply strikes him back with a pebble to the forehead, prompting Mako to compliment him on his technique, despite emphasizing that the purpose of the session was to practice metalbending. While Bolin tells his brother that learning metalbending takes time and considerable effort, Korra duels Wing once more, exhibiting impeccable metalbending technique, much to the earthbender's frustration. Asami remarks that it is almost time for Opal's farewell dinner, distressing Bolin even more.

Chef presents meal

The chef tells Opal that he will miss her.

In the dining hall, the chef presents Opal with her favorite meal and expresses how much he is going to miss her, being the only individual who appreciates his raw vegetable wraps. Bolin dismally remarks that he will think of Opal every time he sees raw kale, expressing how unfortunate it is that Opal had to leave just as they were getting to know one another. Opal reassures Bolin that they will be reunited soon enough and the two share a vegetable wrap while gazing into each other's eyes, until Varrick interrupts to offer Bolin some relationship advice, which he promptly declines.

Varrick is unfazed by Bolin's choice and orders Zhu Li to bring his new invention, an "airbender finder", which he shows Asami. Initially curious to see whether the invention worked, Asami tests the device on Korra, but is ultimately disappointed when the device fails to do anything. Varrick grabs his invention in frustration and states that it only works when an individual is airbending. On the other side of the table, Mako attempts to partake in Varrick and Asami's conversation, but is frustrated over being unable to hear anything from his end. Suyin calls for everyone's attention and expresses how proud she is of Opal's decision to leave for the Northern Air Temple, causing Wei and Wing to become emotional, much to Huan's annoyance. After a brief toast, Suyin and the others say goodbye to Opal and watch as she leaves Zaofu aboard an airship. Once the airship takes off, a guard uses a radio to instruct the other guards to seal the city off for the night, while Lin tells the others that they would be departing the next morning.

Korra and Naga sedated

Korra and Naga are sedated by Zaheer using shirshu-spit darts.

At night, Zaheer and his associates infiltrate the city and eventually make their way to the guesthouses by Suyin Beifong's estate. Despite their efforts to remain undetected, the four startle Pabu, who begins to cry out in distress despite being initially dismissed by Bolin. Outside of Korra's room, Ming-Hua uses ice to cut a small circle from the window, allowing Zaheer to fire three shirshu-spit darts at Naga in order to subdue her. As the polar bear dog managed to growl before being paralyzed, Korra wakes up and becomes aware of the group's presence. She attempts to use firebending to attack her opponents but is shot with a dart in the process, paralyzing her instantly and allowing Ghazan to carry her over his shoulders. Outside of Bolin and Mako's room, Pabu notices the four criminals once more, crying out enough for his owner to recognize Korra slung over Ghazan's shoulders. The two brothers head outside and attack the four criminals, but are immediately overwhelmed by a continuous barrage of bending attacks. The commotion outside causes the guards to ring a warning siren and shine several spotlights on the four criminals, prompting Ming-Hua to remark that the group's attempt to take advantage of the element of surprise failed. Ghazan calls to initiate the back-up plan, inciting P'Li to begin firing several combustion beams aimed toward the guards as well as the two brothers.

Bolin and Mako are thrown back by the impact of the blast, with the latter asserting that they could not allow the four criminals to leave the city with Korra. Asami attends to the two brothers and remarks that they will not be able to escape easily, as Lin begins to surround the four with metal panels. Suyin and other members of the Metal Clan begin to follow her lead, effectively trapping Zaheer and his associates inside a makeshift metal prison. One of the guards, Kuvira, orders the four to surrender and release the Avatar, just as the ground surrounding the makeshift prison begins to turn into a moat filled with lava. Bolin expresses his excitement over seeing a lavabender, but soon realizes that Ghazan's ability will make it more difficult for them to retrieve Korra.

P'Li stunned

Bolin manages to stun P'Li by striking her third eye with a pebble.

Zaheer attempts to use airbending to cover himself and his associates with a cloud of smoke, but he is restrained with metal cables and pulled away from the moat. Several guards attempt to subdue the airbender, to no avail. As numerous attempts to cross the moat prove unsuccessful, Suyin and Lin resolve to drop down from the top of the metal dome on cables, instructing Bolin to temporarily stun P'Li by striking her third eye with earth. Despite miscommunication issues, Bolin manages to block P'Li's chi while the two metalbending sisters retrieve Korra, much to Zaheer's outrage. Despite the airbender's attempt to pursue Lin using his airbender staff, Zaheer is eventually grounded by Suyin, who uses metal shards to pierce his glider. Realizing that they failed, Zaheer conjures a large air dome which gathers enough smoke to obstruct his and his group's escape.

Back in Suyin's estate, Aiwei administers an antidote to neutralize the shirshu toxins in Korra's systems, allowing her to regain mobility instantaneously. Lin reprimands Suyin for allowing a breach in her city, though the latter denies any involvement in the incident. Aiwei insists that someone from inside the city must have helped Zaheer and his associates enter the city, to which Korra agrees, insisting that it must have been one of the city's guards. Per Suyin's orders, Aiwei interrogates everyone from the guards to Varrick and, at Lin's insistence, Suyin herself, but he finds them all innocent until he questions Hong Li, whom he accuses of lying. Suyin berates Hong Li for betraying the clan and Aiwei suggests searching his home, where the group finds a note from the four criminals and a copy of the guards' logbook. Convinced that Hong Li is guilty, Mako suggests confronting the guard with the evidence, but he is surprised to find that Aiwei intends on delaying the interrogation.

Varrick and pumice stone

Varrick collects pumice stones to help treat his calluses.

While examining the crime scene, Mako begins to question whether Hong Li is responsible for aiding Zaheer and his gang, as it is improbable for him to have been involved with the group due to his relatively young age. Korra reiterates that the evidence against Hong Li is overwhelming, prompting Varrick to suddenly appear and remark that it is almost "too overwhelming". Bolin greets Varrick and asks why he is exploring the crime scene, to which the mogul replies that he is collecting pumice stones to treat his calluses, to Team Avatar's disgust. Mako urges Varrick to expand on his comment about the evidence, prompting him to reply that the case is clearly a conspiracy. He remarks that accusing someone and planting evidence in that person's apartment is a guaranteed way of setting him up. Mako compares the current situation with his own experience in being compromised, deducing that it must be Aiwei responsible, as he is the only person capable of keeping secrets in Zaofu.

Team Avatar heads to Aiwei's residence and proceeds to explore it in search of evidence to compromise the official and prove his involvement with Zaheer. Despite being initially unsuccessful, Mako notices scuff marks on the floor and finds a secret room behind one of Aiwei's bookshelves. Before the group can explore the premises, Aiwei returns and demands answers as to why the group was in his home. Korra reasons that they were looking for answers as details of Hong Li's involvement become less clear.

Korra metalbends

Korra uses metalbending to pry open a metal wall in pursuit of Aiwei.

Aiwei urges the group to sit and have some tea, noticing small changes in his apartment that suggest that the others have been looking through his belongings. Realizing that he is compromised, Aiwei warns Korra that she is unaware of "what is coming for [her]" before lifting a metal wall to separate himself from the others. Albeit some difficulty, Korra manages to pry the wall open with metalbending and the group begins to pursue Aiwei. After opening the door to the hidden room, Korra notices a bomb about to detonate and manages to cover herself and the others with an air dome to protect themselves from the blast. Having heard the explosion, Lin and Suyin arrive soon after, demanding to know what happened. Korra reveals Aiwei as the traitor, much to the matriarch's dismay. Lin orders the guards to search for Aiwei and find where the tunnel underneath his house leads. Despite their efforts, the guards are unable to find Aiwei and resolve that he had an escape plan in place.

Mako expresses how dangerous Zaheer and his associates are, prompting Korra to hold off the group's search for airbenders in favor of tracking Aiwei as well as the rest of the Red Lotus. Lin sharply disapproves, insisting that Korra return to Republic City for protection. She initially protests, but relents when Suyin reiterates her sister's concerns. Back in the guesthouse, Suyin appears and asks Korra whether she is certain that Naga can track Aiwei. After being reassured, Suyin provides the group with keys to a jeep parked outside of the city. She urges the group to leave, promising to deal with her sister in the morning. After thanking Suyin, Korra, and the others head out of the city in search of Aiwei.


Written by:

Directed by:


Also starring:

Production notes


Main article: Transcript:The Terror Within


Main article: Writing in the World of Avatar

Series continuity

  • Zaheer used shirshu-spit darts to sedate Korra and Naga. The darts were also the same type used by the beetle-headed merchants to subdue Appa in "Appa's Lost Days".
  • Suyin urged Bolin to temporarily stun P'Li's third eye, which blocked her chi and weakened her combustion. This technique was first used by Toph Beifong in "The Runaway", when she inadvertently stunned Combustion Man after a stray pebble from her attack hit him in his third eye.
  • Mako recalls the time he was framed by Varrick in "The Guide".
  • Korra employs a style of earthbending used by both Toph and Aang while trying to pry open the metal wall, by flicking her wrists inward rather than with a full fist.

Character revelations

  • Aiwei is a mole for the Red Lotus.


  • At the start of the dinner, only Opal is served a raw veggie wrap while everyone else is served fish. However, when the scene pans to Mako, everyone else also has raw veggie wraps on their table.
  • One of the guards uses both earth and firebending while battling Zaheer.
  • After Lin and Suyin make it back to the top of the dome, Korra is lying between Lin and the hatch. In the next shot, Lin and Korra have switched positions.


  • "The Terror Within" was the last episode of Book Three: Change to debut on television, as the remaining five episodes premiered online through several digital platforms before airing on Nicktoons during the week of October 6, 2014.
  • This is the only episode in which P'Li is seen generating normal fire.
  • Lin's use of the phrase "third-eyed freak" mirrors Katara's when she described Combustion Man in "The Runaway".
  • This episode marks the first time that seismic sense is used by an earthbender in footwear, as all previous uses of the technique involved being barefoot to increase the user's connection with the earth.


  1. Jenny at SDCC. Tumblr (July 25, 2014). Retrieved on July 25, 2014.

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