Secrets were revealed and options ran out in The Legend of Korra season 4, episode 10. Here’s our recap of “Operation: BeiFong”!

Hello, Chief

Lin, Opal, and Bolin are met by Toph outside Zaofu, who tells them that Suyin and her family have been moved to a prison camp. The foursome take off for the prison camp/factory on Opal’s snot-happy bison, Juicy.

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Good plan, bad reason

President Raiko is upset when Varrick and Asami refuse to incorporate spirit rays into their new defense idea – flying mechatanks. Korra agrees that using that technology is wrong (even though Kuvira is already using it) but offers to try and persuade the spirits to help defend Republic City, which is now their home as well.

Prince Wu takes a more practical view, and suggests evacuating the city before Kuvira attacks; Raiko agrees. Mako is impressed with Wu’s newfound magnanimity, but the illusion is shattered when Wu reveals that he merely hopes to woo Korra with his “kindness.”

… and we continue to be “Team Kuvira” in this little leadership standoff.


Bugs

Speaking of Kuvira, Bataar Jr. prepares to demonstrate the spirit ray for Her Eminence at the prison camp/factory. Unfortunately, the system immediately overheats; Baatar discovers a cracked channeling ring.

He orders the crew to take apart the entire machine – everything has to be perfect for Kuvira.

Dissent in the ranks

Lin, Toph, Bolin, and Opal break into the factory. Kuvira arrives as Toph senses a cavern where Suyin and her family must be. The Great Uniter is early, and displeased to hear of the setbacks with the spirit ray.


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When she questions Zhu Li, the assistant merely says that the machine is complicated – there are abound to be bugs to work out. Zhu Li promises she is doing everything she can to fix them.

“She’s lying,” Toph murmurs, to Bolin’s delight.

Opal and Bolin want to destroy Kuvira – or at least the canon – while they have the opportunity, but Toph refuses: She is only here to rescue her family. On Bolin’s suggestion, the group agrees to stage the rescue tomorrow, while the factory is empty for the cannon demonstration.


Like the other

Korra tries to reach out to spirits in Republic City’s spirit vines, but finds the spirits disappearing around her. She goes into the Spirit World and asks the spirits to help her save Republic City, where they all coexist.

But a sinuous spirit tells her they do not get involved in human wars. The spirit accuses Korra of doing just what Kuvira is doing – using spirits as weapons in their wars.

“The answer is no,” he says, as the spirits disappear around Korra.

Honesty

At night, Toph, Lin, Bolin, and Opal share dinner and uncomfortable truths. Toph reveals the identity of Lin’s father – “He was a guy named Kanto,” she says blithely. “Nice man, but it didn’t really work out between us.”


As this colossally underwhelming information sinks in, Toph and Lin argue. Lin is furious that she grew up without a father, while Toph wants to wave the past away. Lin says she wants nothing to do with Toph after the rescue; Toph pretends not to care.

In the morning, Opal keeps watch as the spirit cannon is wheeled out of the warehouse; today’s target is the abandoned town nearby. Toph, Lin, and Bolin discover Suyin’s family in a wooden prison suspended across an underground chasm.

Lin and Bolin rescue the other BeiFongs.


The bug

The cannon is fired, but immediately malfunctions due to a missing part. Kuvira turns on Zhu Li, who is hiding the part in her coat.

“You’re a monster,” Zhu Li awesomely says. “I regret nothing.”

Kuvira orders Zhu Li tied up in the town, so “She can see how the weapon works – up close and personal.”

At the time, Kuvira is alerted to the escape attempt, but still orders the cannon fired on the town.


Holes in the plan

After the BeiFongs escape, Bolin and Opal race to save Zhu Li. Lin and Suyin try to take out Kuvira, but Toph refuses to help.

Bataar Jr. is about to fire the cannon when he spots Opal in the town, freeing Zhu Li. In possibly the most touching moment of the episode, Opal’s big brother frantically tries to shut down the cannon – but it’s too late.

Luckily, the platform is disrupted by earthbending, and the shot aims high – blowing a massive hole straight through the mountain looming behind them.

A bad name…

A massive battle breaks out between the earthbending BeiFongs and Kuvira’s forces. Suyin goes straight for Kuvira, and they spar spectacularly on the cannon’s deck.

Things look bad when the mechatanks show up, but luckily Toph is there to save her kids with an earth-wave. “You give metalbenders a bad name!” the tiny old lady howls at Kuvira, who watches in fury as the BeiFongs fly away.


… and bad news

After reaching safety, Toph confesses that she knows she wasn’t a great mother – but she is proud of her daughters. She hopes Lin can find a way not to hate her, and in a bizarre way, this is a healing moment.

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Toph has no plans to return to Republic City. Like Katara, she has realized that “At some point, you’ve gotta leave the fighting to the kids.

Opal admits she is no longer angry at Bolin, but Zhu Li dampens the moment. “I’m afraid I have bad news to deliver to Republic City,” she says. “Kuvira is going to attack in two weeks.”