So rises the Empire. I didn't really like this episode as much as the last one, sadly, but I guess it was okay. This episode somehow managed to have a lot going for it, but it was all very slow and very bland at times. It seemed like they didn't have enough time for everything. It all feels really awkwardly crammed in there. This should have been a two-parter, I think. Or at least they should have spent some of the time focusing on the ever-annoying Wu and spent it on Korra, who we're actually emotionally invested in, or Kuvira, or Tenzin, or anybody other than Wu! Seriously, Wu gets probably more dialogue than Korra, and her conflict is far more interesting. How is that fair in any way?

I'm sorry, but everything we see in the city just feels boring. Even during Kuvira's takeover, it just feels boring and dull. We all wanted Korra and Toph. We all wanted to see that conflict and her inner struggle, and we didn't get much of that at all. And before you guys get mad at me for getting a bit mad at the episode, you guys gotta admit, you wanted more Korra too. Maybe a fight scene would have helped?

Let's talk about the elephant in the room, I think we can all agree that Toph hasn't changed a bit. I find this both good and bad, good because it's refreshing to see her again like this, bad because I had hope the years would have given her some Katara-like wisdom, and that we would have gotten a great blend of classic Toph and a wise, almost Yoda-like old woman. Perhaps as the series progresses, maybe we'll get that. Who knows?

I also hope they explored Korra's mental block more in the next episode. That's a great internal conflict that I wish I had seen coming. Interesting stuff. And a lot of the dialogue from Toph, reminds me of both "Bitter Work" and "The Swamp". The scenes with Toph were very well written, I think.

Good to see more Varrick. I've had a feeling for a long time that Zhu-Li will eventually get fed up with her job and turn against Varrick. Let's see where this goes. I have a feeling something major is going to happen with her in later episodes. As for Varrick himself, what on earth is he doing with that spirit vine? I only hope Kuvira isn't looking for a new ultimate weapon, as we saw Germany do in WWII. :(

On a side note, we see that things are not well within the Bei Fong family between Bataar Jr. and Suyin. However, simply put, I don't care. I don't know Bataar. He didn't even get any lines in the last book. Why should I have any sympathy at all for him? I feel bad for Suyin, sure, but it's hard to feel anything for a character we just now know, and the episode expects that of us, I think.

Team Avatar is divided, and will become more divided as the show goes on, I think. But I think we can all look forward to it's triumphant reuniting later in the show... I hope.

Of course, this episode left us with any unanswered questions. Will Korra regain her Avatar mojo? What is Varrick doing with that chunk of spirit vine? And why does Desna prefer to sleep in a bathtub? Tune in next week and find out, same Avatar time, same Avatar place!

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