Once again, the grainy newsreel footage gives a brief recap of the previous episodes, as Korra becomes a pro bending star and the Equalist movement gains momentum and strength under the leadership of the man in the creepy white mask.
Mako and Bolin have brought Korra to practice pro bending, but she's not feeling it. As rookies, this team must take the earliest practice slot, and Korra doesn't do mornings. Mako doesn't like her attitude, but Korra sends him reeling with a ball to the belly as the slimy looking owner of the place arrives to introduce himself and pay the boys for winning their last match. It looks like quite an impressive prize... but there's a catch. Well, there are several catches. They have to pay for Korra's gear; there's one handful of cash gone. Swoosh! Gym and equipment rentals; Swoosh! Rent on the apartment; Swoosh! Oh, and Bolin used up the rest of the money on groceries. So the guys... get squat. However, if they want to compete in the championship, they have to come up with a huge wad of cash just to enter, and they've only got a week to do it. Korra's got nothing. She can throw fireballs, cause earthquakes and create waterfalls with a thought, but she can't bend them a big stack of gold. Someone has always taken care of her.
This comment sets Mako off, and Bolin explains that the two boys have been on their own since their parents died. Mako is more concerned about raising the money, but he's not terribly impressed with Bolin's suggestion of turning Paboo into a circus act. Mako says he'll figure out the solution... he always does. Bolin feels slighted. Them's fighting words, Bro.
Later, in the square, Bolin has donned a fake mustache twice the width of his face as he presents Paboo the FireFerret, who obligingly walks a little balance beam Boline made for him. Good Ferret! Good Ferret! Bad Audience! Bad Audience, ignoring them like that! They've earned one coin. So far, so hopeless. Help... if you can call it that... arrives in the sleazy form of Shady Shem, an old buddy with a questionable past who needs to recruit some extra muscle for a "job." Bolin is hesitant at first, but when Shem throws a wad of cash in his cup, he's ready to do just about anything. Who needs a fireferret circus?
Sizzle! Well, here's a novel way to make a living. Mako uses lightning bending to create energy at a power plant. He appears to be a day worker. Mako comes home, looking for Bolin as he collapses in exhaustion, but his tone turns to concern... where is Bolin? Ah... Mako can just bet he's gone to flirt with Korra. And where is Korra? Floating easily through the airgates that confounded her before as Janora and Ikki watch. Janora and Ikki break into a flurry of giggles as Mako approaches; they can tell, even if Korra and Mako cannot, that they will become the big romance of this Avatar generation, whether they like each other now or not. Mako tells her he's looking for Bolin. Korra convinces him to take her with him. Naga, her best friend, is a great tracker.
Mako finds the polar bear dog ride to be a bit odd. As they ride into Bolin's normal hangout, there are children roughhousing. Have any of them seen Bolin? Scootchie isn't sure... he's got a bad memory... it requires the smell of cash for a jump start..... Sniff.... Oh, yes! Bolin was failing as a ferret trainer when this Shady guy dropped a bunch of money in his lap, and Bolin ran off for a life of crime with the cities' finest gangsters. Korra can't understand why a nice guy like Bolin would want to run with those creeps.... ah, here's Paboo! How far away can Bolin be?
Korra and Mako head towards a local hangout, where the thugs lurk at night. They burst through a door, searching for him, and then stop with fear to see that he's sitting, bound and gagged, on the floor of a van. The thugs throw canisters of green stuff to blind Mako and Korra so they can't see the getaway. Korra calls Naga, and they all ride for their lives to save Bolin. Chase scene! Mako's fireballs are frying! Korra's earthquake sends one flying! The thugs bring down the polar bear dog, however, with a well-thrown rope trick that catches all four of Naga's feet. . Korra finds herself engaging one of them in hand to hand combat and discovers, in shock, that this non-bending fighter is too much for her. She is soon on the ground, as is Mako as well, and then their opponents charge toward them; they are saved only by Naga. As she rises to her feet, Korra makes a terrible discovery. She has lost the ability to bend.
This does not surprise Mako. He explains that these thugs were chi-blockers, the henchman of Amon. Mako is extremely distressed that Bolin has managed to blunder into this particular crew of dangerous people, but Korra vows to find Bolin.
After a long, tired night of fruitless searching, Korra and Mako stop to rest, and Mako reveals how Bolin came to be involved with the dangerous Triple Threat Triad; he and Bolin used to run numbers for them as orphans who were trying to survive. Mako's parents were killed by a firebending thug when he was eight; he saw it happen. And with that painful revelation out there to stab Korra and the audience through the heart, the two drift off to sleep, side by side, making quite the romantic picture as they lie back against a huge polar bear dog. It's just a matter of time, kids.
Their awakening is not romantic. "Equality NOW!" comes the angry, demanding scream that startles Mako and Korra out of their slumber and out of their awkward, accidental snuggle. Fortunately, this call against benders give Korra something better to do than be embarrassed, so she steps forward to confront the guy. He screams that the Avatar cannot silence him; she wants to know where Bolin is, and when she doesn't get the answer she wants Korra sends the protestor, his table, and all of his materials flying in a manner so violent it actually supports the idea of benders being dangerous bullies. Then she grabs the guy by the neck and tries to force him to talk... but he does not know where Bolin is. Mako, who has been reading the flyers, sees that Amon plans a meeting to discuss something called The Revelation. When the police arrive to subdue the oppressive Avatar, Korra and Mako scram. They are not making the best case for themselves right now.
Mako proves himself the brains of the operation a little later as they examine the flyers. There is no clear location on the front, but Mako soon realizes there's are four different map sections on different copies of the flyer. Once assembled, they create a map that shows the location of the meeting. They decide on a subdued, dark brown outfit that doesn't just scream "Water Bender and Fire Bender coming right toward you!" and Korra adds a little improvisation; she's decided she'll seem less like a bender if she's snuggled up to Mako like she's his girlfriend. OK, Korra, whatever works for you. They pass by the bouncer with a copy of the flyer and enter a huge chamber to find bender haters by the thousands in the corridor.
That's gotta be kind of nerve-wracking for Korra, even if she take them all down with one good earthquake. But the point now is to look for Bolin, so they continue to search as the big show begins. The platform rises. It is Amon, and he begins with a terrible story; a firebender killed his entire family of non-benders because they stood up to him, and then he destroyed Amon's face. It occurs to me that this is the second Avatar villain to be horribly scarred by a firebender as a child, and it's got me wondering if Amon is going to end up joining the gang and being the show's most interesting protagonist before it's all over, like Zuko did. Amon believes bending causes war, and he may be right, for all we've seen. The spirits have chosen Amon as the bringer of balance to his generation; he has the power to remove a bender's power permanently.
Yes, it is possible, Korra. He's not crazy, Mako. He can prove it. Amon's guinea pig for the evening is Lightning Bolt Zolt, firebender and crime boss... and there are three others with him. Fourth victim in the line is Bolin. Amon points out that Zolt has made his living all his life by exploiting non-benders, and this is a valid point. Amon's not going after a nice old man here. He also offers Zolt a chance to fight to keep his powers, and Zolt begins throwing lightning and fireballs so ferociously I am surprised he does not burn the place down. But Amon is a more skillful than he, and in a few moments we him subdue the lightning bender and take him down with the same gesture Aang used to subdue Fire Lord Ozai. "The era of bending is OVER!" roars Amon to a cheering crowd.
OK, who's next? Fortunately for us, it's not Bolin. As the poor second victim - we will never even know the poor schlub's name - gets his turn under Amon's thumb, Korra ducks into the hallway to release enough steam from the pipes to create cover and confusion. She's caught; a bouncer comes in and attacks her, but she has the good sense to use old-fashioned martial arts fighting to knock him senseless rather than tipping her hand by using bending. She crashes him into the pipes, revealing enough steam to create all the cover they need, and in the meantime, Amon unbends the powers of another poor schlub. Oops, stop dawdling, folks. Now we are up to Bolin, and it's going to be tough for your pro team to lose his earthbending, even if he does serve the same purpose as Sokka in this series. Just as Bolin tries to talk his way out of this, Korra begins to bend the steam into an intense fog that blinds the entire audience in a growing chorus of screams that clears the crowd from the building. Amon fades into the background as the trio run from the scene; one of Amon's thugs catch up with them and use some kind of odd zapping device that takes away their bending for a short time.
"You benders have to understand; there's no place in the world for you anymore." And, of course, that's when Korra knocks him out, summons Naga, and helps them all escape. Amon lets her go; he feels the Avatar is the perfect messenger to tell all of his power. Korra returns to break the bad news to Tenzin. No bender is safe anymore.