|"Venom of the Red Lotus"|
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After succumbing to the poison, Korra enters the Avatar State and battles Zaheer, while Bolin and Mako duel Ghazan and Ming-Hua. The captive members of the Air Nation escape and band together to help Korra and defeat Zaheer, who they manage to recapture. However, the poison in her system forces Korra in a wheelchair and the young Avatar slips into a state of depression. Jinora is anointed as an airbending master by Tenzin, who also proclaims that the Air Nation will return to its nomadic roots and serve as the world's ambassadors for peace and balance.
In the Air Nomad caves near the Northern Air Temple, a captured Korra threatens to end the lives of the members of the Red Lotus after she escapes, prompting Zaheer to remind her that she cannot break free from her platinum restraints. He goes on to remark that once the Red Lotus administers a poison, Korra will inevitably enter the Avatar State in an effort to keep herself alive, at which point the Red Lotus would end her, ensuring that the Avatar Cycle will be broken. He reiterates the goals of the order and states that Korra's death will usher a new era of "true freedom", unaware that Jinora's astral projection is witnessing the events unfold nearby. Distraught, she returns to her body after Zaheer finishes his statements.
Back in the chamber in which the airbenders are imprisoned, Opal asks Jinora whether she found a means of escaping, to which the latter replies that they will find a way to free themselves soon. Daw worriedly remarks that Bumi and Kya may not make it for much longer, considering their extensive injuries. Ikki asks if Korra will come and save them, seeking reassurance from her older sister, who only states that they have to find a way out by themselves.
Back in Korra's cell chamber, Zaheer orders a member of the Red Lotus to administer the poison. Using metalbending, the earthbender applies the metallic solution to Korra's arms and legs before forcing the blobs to diffuse into the Avatar's body. Korra's eyes begin to glow instantly, prompting Ming-Hua to prepare her tendrils and Ghazan to form a pool of lava underneath Korra. The lavabender expresses confusion over why Korra continues to enter and exit the Avatar State, prompting Zaheer to remark that she cannot resist the mechanism for long.
Aboard Oogi, the members of Team Avatar follow Kai and Lefty in an attempt to find the missing airbenders as well as Korra. Kai eventually leads the group to a series of caves adorned by numerous statues of nomadic monks and nuns. Su reassures Tenzin and promises to find the missing airbenders, before heading into the cave along with the others to search.
Korra begins to hallucinate as the poison takes over her body, seeing Zaheer turn into Amon, who reminds her that the world no longer needs the Avatar. She also sees Ghazan transform into Unalaq, who reiterates Amon's point and urges Korra to surrender. Ming-Hua suddenly appears to transform into Vaatu, who taunts Korra by remarking how much stronger he is before urging the young Avatar to stop resisting.
Back in the chamber where the airbenders are held, Ikki and Meelo begin a chorus of complaints from the captives who begin demand for water. Frustrated, a sentry threatens to punish the airbenders in a similar fashion to Kya and Bumi until Pema pleads for refreshments, insisting that there are children among the captives as well as an infant. After convening with another guard, the man agrees and begins to hand over a water skin, before he is stunned by a gust of wind from Jinora. The blast causes the guard's keys to fly off, prompting Meelo to hand them to Opal using airbending. Opal immediately begins to work on her handcuffs but is discovered by one of the guards, who is promptly subdued by Lin Beifong. Soon after, Suyin blocks a series of earth projectiles from the other guard, who Asami promptly stuns with her electrified glove.
Relieved over seeing her daughter, Suyin rushes to hug Opal but is quickly pushed back by Bolin, who is also delighted to reunite with the airbender. After she is freed by Asami, Jinora rushes to hug Kai, whom she believed to have been killed by P'Li's combustion attack. Seeing Bumi and Kya's condition, Lin orders for their immediate evacuation. Tonraq instructs the group to exit the caves while he searches for Korra. Bolin and Mako volunteer to accompany him in his search, prompting Jinora to remark that they did not need to waste time as she was aware of the Avatar's whereabouts.
Unable to resist any longer, Korra finally enters the Avatar State, prompting Zaheer to order the other members of the Red Lotus to destroy her. Having triggered her defense mechanism, Korra easily deflects Ming-Hua's attack and stuns the waterbender by slamming her against a wall, before defending herself from Ghazan's lava wave with airbending. The Avatar breaks free from her restraints and pursues Zaheer, who lures Korra out of the caves. Alarmed, Tonraq sets off to assist his daughter while Bolin and Mako battle Ghazan and Ming-Hua.
After pursuing Zaheer, Korra unsuccessfully attempts to strike the airbender with a series of devastating earthbending attacks as Tenzin watches from a distance. The master's focus shifts temporarily as he reunites with his children and he expresses relief over seeing his family safe. Shortly after, Tonraq appears and urges the others to help Korra, who continues to battle Zaheer in the rock fields nearby.
Back in the caves, Ming-Hua defends herself from a series of Mako's firebending blasts and the two head deeper into the tunnels, while Bolin and Ghazan continue to battle each other with earthbending. Bolin exasperatedly asks his opponent why he is smiling, prompting Ghazan to respond by saying that he is simply recalling their previous battle, before conjuring a lava column and sending it toward Bolin. The latter remarks that a lot has changed since their previous meeting, before splitting the lava column in two and redirecting it back toward Ghazan.
Outside of the caves, Zaheer continues to dodge Korra's attacks by maneuvering through the air and eventually manages to strike Korra, who tumbles to the ground as a result. Enraged, the Avatar sends a massive boulder toward Zaheer and attacks him with a series of amplified water whips, one of which she uses to freeze Zaheer's leg. As the airbender falls, Korra propels herself toward him and prepares to strike, but she falls to the ground after the poison in her system continues to settle.
From the ground, Kai suggests to go after Zaheer with Lefty but is immediately dismissed by Lin, who notes how powerful Zaheer is. Bumi inquires how Zaheer is able to fly, prompting Tenzin to regretfully respond by remarking that Zaheer managed to unlock an airbending ability which has not been seen for thousands of years. Inspired, Jinora also remarks that it has been a long time since a large number of airbenders have gathered in one place, stating that they have considerable power together. She leads the airbenders in a circle and begins to create a tornado, which expands as the other airbenders begin to participate.
In the caves, Ming-Hua retreats deeper into the caves in an attempt to defend herself from Mako's attack but finds her foot caught on a protruding crystal, causing her to fall back and lose her water tendrils. Cornered, Mako urges the waterbender to give up, stating that it is over as she is out of water to use. Unwilling to surrender, Ming-Hua refuses and jumps into an underground pool of water, with Mako following suit. The waterbender creates eight tendrils to use in attacking Mako, but she is promptly electrocuted when he directs a lightning blast toward the pool.
As Ghazan begins to overwhelm Bolin, Mako arrives and assists his brother in a joint assault, forcing Ghazan back. Bolin urges the lavabender to surrender, but the latter remarks that he refuses to return to prison. Convinced that he is outnumbered, Ghazan turns the cave walls into lava, causing a cave-in from which Bolin and Mako immediately escape.
Back outside of the caves, Zaheer begins to suffocate Korra but finds himself dragged into a vortex of wind. Despite his efforts to fly out of the cyclone, Korra pulls Zaheer down and slams him to the ground, before collapsing from the effects of the poison. Lin and Suyin immediately trap Zaheer in an earth prison, while Jinora and Tonraq tend to Korra.
Zaheer laughs in amusement, stating that the Red Lotus has won. Jinora interjects, urging Su to use her metalbending to pull the poison out of Korra's body. The matriarch manages to drain the metallic solution out of the Avatar's body and Korra regains her consciousness much to Zaheer's disappointment. He begins to rant that the revolution has already begun and chaos is the natural order but is silenced when Bolin stuffs a sock in his mouth.
Two weeks after the incident, the group gathers on Air Temple Island to celebrate Jinora's airbending mastery. In the women's dormitory, Asami prepares Korra for a formal appearance. Due to the poison and her battle with Zaheer, Korra requires the use of a wheelchair and has fallen into a state of depression. Asami reminds Korra that she needs time to heal from her injuries and assures the Avatar that she is always available whenever Korra needs her. She urges Korra to try and enjoy herself as a courtesy for Jinora and leads her to the courtyard, where she is welcomed by Lord Zuko, her parents, and Tenzin. President Raiko also officially welcomes the Avatar back to Republic City and thanks her in her efforts to defeat the Red Lotus. With Lin's assistance, Korra heads to the temple. After her departure, Raiko remarks that Korra is not looking well, prompting Tenzin to assure the others that she only needs time to properly heal. Raiko states that the increasing dangers posed by the rise of anarchy and the Red Lotus movement necessitates the Avatar's increased involvement in world affairs, and expresses his concern over the lack of a figure to protect the people while Korra recovers.
Inside the temple, Tenzin announces Jinora and remarks that it is a historic occasion as the Air Nation welcomes the first airbending master in an entire generation. Tenzin recalls Jinora's unwavering hope in the face of adversity and Korra's involvement in saving the Air Nation itself. He urges the attendants to follow the Avatar's example of service and sacrifice, before announcing that the Air Nation would reclaim its nomadic roots and roam the world as ambassadors of balance and peace. He proceeds to anoint Jinora as an airbending master before revealing her tattoos. As the crowd applauds, Korra sheds a single tear.
- Janet Varney - Korra
- David Faustino - Mako
- Seychelle Gabriel - Asami
- P. J. Byrne - Bolin
- J. K. Simmons - Tenzin
- Henry Rollins - Zaheer
- James Remar - Tonraq
- Mindy Sterling - Beifong
- Anne Heche - Su
- Skyler Brigmann - Kai
- Dee Bradley Baker
- Jeff Bennett - Radio broadcaster
- Richard Riehle - Bumi
- Logan Wells - Meelo
- Darcy Rose Byrnes - Ikki
- Kiernan Shipka - Jinora
- Adrian LaTourelle - Unalaq (last appearance)
- Spencer Garrett - Raiko
- Jonathan Adams - Vaatu (last appearance)
- Bruce Davison - Lord Zuko
- Grey DeLisle-Griffin - Ming-Hua
- Peter Giles - Ghazan
- Maria Bamford - Pema
- Steve Blum: (last appearance)
- Alyson Stoner - Opal
- Jim Meskimen
- Main article: Transcript:Venom of the Red Lotus
- While hallucinating, Korra sees visions of her previous opponents; Amon was the primary antagonist in Book One: Air, while Unalaq and Vaatu served as antagonists in Book Two: Spirits.
- During their battle, Ghazan recalls his previous duel with Bolin in "The Stakeout".
- Zaheer attempted to kill Korra with the same technique he used to kill Hou-Ting in "Long Live the Queen".
- President Raiko remarks that his last meeting with the Avatar did not "end on the best terms", referring to when he banished her from Republic City in "A Breath of Fresh Air".
- Lin's use of earthbending to lift a platform and scale a flight of stairs recalls a similar move her mother, Toph Beifong, used to scale the flights of stairs outside of the Earth Kingdom Royal Palace in "The Earth King".
- Tenzin decides to anoint Jinora as an airbending master, an action he began to consider following the events of "Original Airbenders".
- Korra's outfit at Jinora's airbending master ceremony is similar to the one she wore to the party Tarrlok held in her honor in "The Voice in the Night".
- Despite his initial reservations, Ryu eventually became part of the Air Nation.
- Jinora becomes an airbending master.
- After being slammed to the ground, Zaheer's clothes are not damaged, though when Lin and Suyin imprison him, they are.
- When Meelo jumps on Korra's lap, the white part of her cap is colored the same as her hair, something that also occurs when Tenzin vows to Korra that the Air Nation will follow in her footsteps in order to bring harmony to the world. Similarly, when Lin comforts Korra, the cap is colored entirely white, without the tribal pattern.
- When showing an overview of the temple's stairs, there is a platform halfway up. However, when Lin bends a slab of earth to lift Korra's wheelchair, the platform is absent.
- Zaheer's line, "we lucky few, this band of brothers and sisters of anarchy," is an allusion to the line, "we happy few, we band of brothers," from the St. Crispin's Day Speech from William Shakespeare's Henry V.
- Korra's battle with Zaheer recalls several elements from the Battle at Wulong Forest, such as the fact that both conflicts occurred in the Earth Kingdom in a field of rock columns. Furthermore, Korra utilizes several earthbending techniques which Aang used during his final battle with Ozai, primarily involving the separation of portions of rock columns for use in offensive maneuvers. Ozai and Zaheer were both eventually immobilized with earthbending and ridiculed by Sokka and Bolin, respectively.
- "Venom of the Red Lotus" is the one hundredth episode of the Avatar franchise. It is the franchise's highest rated episode on IMDb and, as of its release date, the only one to receive a ten star rating, with over four hundred reviews.