While The Legend of Korra has been disappointing slow for the bulk of its final season, occasionally there’ll be a diamond in the ruff, such as with ‘Korra Alone,’ ‘Enemy at the Gates,’ and now this week’s ‘Operation Beifong.’ Last installment, Book 4 picked up some serious slack with the Zaheer-Korra storyline and a ton of character set-up, and now, ‘Operation Beifong’ is earth bending the pieces in place for an absolutely thrilling story that’s easily one of the season’s best.
First of all, what you all care about: the highly ambitious Beifong family reunion does not disappoint. Lin, Toph, Opal, and later Suyin all play off each other beautifully, and having Bolin there as both a moderator and HUGE Toph fan results in the best cast grouping since Bolin and Varrick were paired. Each Beifong attributes a unique personality or skill which leads to some entertaining mingling among the group without a single character being overshadowed. Each Beifong gets a moment to shine, however, Suyin steals the show in an incredible confrontation with Kuvira that garnered 3 or 4 rewinds from me, personally.
The climactic action sequence of the episode is easily the best fight scene of the season so far, and Su v. Kuvira is one of my personal favorite fights from the entire series. The choreography is superb and the animation is stunning. It’s also an excellent character moment for Su who gives the formidable Kuvira a run for her money. Wing and Wei (Su’s sons) also do a number on Kuvira’s forces with their combined efforts in earth and metal bending which rival Eska and Desna’s own water bending techniques. Eventually, however, the Beifongs are surrounded and suppressed, except for one. Toph puts her foot down (literally!), disabling any mecha tanks or metal bending foes in classic Toph fashion. And then… They retreat? Maybe they were trying to confuse Kuvira.