The Earth Queen is dead. Chaos has erupted within the walls of Ba Sing Se. And Zaheer has an ultimatum for Korra that could determine the fate of the rebuilding Air Nation. Assigned the task of delivering the ultimatum, Mako and Bolin board an air ship and attempt to fly out of the city. “Oh, you think just because you dated Asami, you know how to fly this better than me?” After a few take-off mishaps, the brothers stop by their family’s apartment and offer to fly them out.
“I’m not going,” protests Grandma after a heartfelt delivery from Bolin. “Fine, you leave me no choice! We’re rolling out!” As the air ship flies over Ba Sing Se, the chaos throughout the city is distinctly visible. The riots, the fire – it’s so sad to see such disorder erupt within the walls. It truly showed how twisted of a vision Zaheer had for the world. “The natural order is disorder.” Yep, your vision certainly changed Ba Sing Se for the better, Zaheer. Now jump off a bridge and the world will change for the better. Wow, it works like magic!
Mako and Bolin fly over the Si Wong Desert in search of air ship wreckage, hoping to locate Korra and Asami. Their eventual discovery of air ship parts leads them to follow a trail back to the Misty Palms Oasis. It’s a bit surprising (and possibly unrealistic) that the trail remained visible for that long, but the brothers locate Korra and Asami nonetheless.
Lin, Zuko and Tonraq arrive as well, setting up yet another humorous Bolin scene. “Oh my gosh, it’s Lord Zuko! I can’t believe it! (squeals)” And of course, Grandma can’t help but steal the spotlight as well (she was hilarious throughout the episode). After watching her confuse Asami as the Avatar, and ask Mako why he isn’t dating either girl, you have to wonder whether or not Grandma was trying to start something all along.
Soon after, Mako informs Korra about the ultimatum: “Zaheer is headed to the Northern Air Temple as we speak. He said he’s going to wipe out the new Air Nation and everyone in it, unless you turn yourself over to him.”
Team Avatar travels back to Zaofu to communicate with the Northern Air Temple. Korra enters the Spirit World in hopes of finding Zaheer at Xai Bow’s grove, but finds… Uncle Iroh instead! “In the Spirit World, you always seem to find something you didn’t know you were looking for.” Iroh suggests seeking advice from his nephew, Lord Zuko. Before leaving for the Fire Nation to protect his daughter, Zuko tells Korra that Aang would do anything to protect the Air Nation.
Meanwhile, Mako and Bolin get through to the Air Temple via radio. Korra speaks to Tenzin, warning him of the Red Lotus’s eventual arrival – but it’s too late.
For the remainder of the episode, Korra and Team Avatar take a backseat. Zaheer orders Tenzin and the Airbenders to stay put while he awaits Korra’s arrival. Tenzin, however, simply won’t have it. He, Kya and Bumi attempt to fend off the Red Lotus while the rest of the Airbenders attempt a getaway. What would ensue as a result is arguable the most intense action sequence of the season (or series?): Tenzin vs. Zaheer, Kya vs. Ming-Hua and Bumi vs. Ghazan.
The fight between Tenzin and Zaheer was extremely one-sided. Tenzin pretty much owned Zaheer for the most, proving that Jinora can’t, in fact, do everything her father can do. We love you, Jinora, but your father is simply a beast. Kya had some trouble with Ming-Hua, but she managed to hold her own – until the armless Waterbender added several more arms to her arsenal. Dr. Octopus alert! The battle between Ghazan and Bumi was simply hysterical, unfortunately, Ghazan was able to fend off Bumi long enough to get a clear shot on both him and Kya. And this is when that battle simply became unfair.
While Tenzin had success against Zaheer in an awesome Airbender-Airbender battle, he was no match for the Red Lotus altogether. Although he still put up a good fight, Tenzin was eventually surrounded. “As long as I’m breathing it’s not over.” Zaheer and the Red Lotus continue to mercilessly beat Tenzin until the camera pans out.
This is definitely not a kid’s show.
“The Ultimatum” had everything you could want in an episode of Avatar: humor, advanced plot details and endless bending combat. Mako and Bolin’s Grandma stole the show in terms of humor, and the battle between Tenzin and Zaheer was priceless. It took some time, but we finally had a chance to see some real Airbender-Airbending combat.
“The Ultimatum” left off on quite the cliff-hanger with the torturing of Tenzin. Although it was brutal, it set-up the next week’s season finale perfectly. Who will save Tenzin? Will the Red Lotus capture Korra? How will Korra defeat the Red Lotus? We’re in for a real treat next Friday, but at the same time, I can’t believe Book 3 is already coming to a close.
- Watch The Ultimatum online