|"I bеlieve I have your attention now, benders of Republic City."|
|— Amon giving a speech at the Pro-bending Arena.|
Korra and the Fire Ferrets prepare for the pro-bending finals, as Amon threatens the United Republic Council to cancel the tournament lest severe consequences follow. At the Avatar and Lin Beifong's bidding, the Council disregards the threat and allows the Pro-bending Tournament to proceed. Right after the conclusion of the match, Amon and his Equalists attack the arena. After Amon openly declares war on the benders, the Equalists retreat and partially destroy the building, frustrating Lin and Korra's halt attempts.
Korra, Mako, and Bolin are training for the pro-bending championship match by using pictures of Tahno as target practice when they hear Amon's voice on the radio. He commands the United Republic Council to shut down the Pro-bending Arena and cancel the finals, threatening "severe consequences" if they fail to comply.
Not waiting to find out the Council's decision via the media, the Fire Ferrets head down to City Hall on Naga. When they barge in, Korra calls upon her status as the Avatar and a pro-bending player to be heard. However, Tenzin and Tarrlok explain that the Council had already unanimously voted to close the arena. Korra does not understand, as she surely thought that Tarrlok would want to take a stand against Amon. He informs her that while he is still committed to bringing Amon to justice, he is unwilling to risk innocent lives just to let them "play a game". Mako counters that pro-bending might be only a game to him, but it means much more to the city, as the arena is the only place in the city where benders and nonbenders alike come together in peace. Bolin finishes Mako's argument that everyone comes peacefully to watch benders "beat each other up in peace" and thus declares pro-bending to serve as an inspiration to everyone. Their plea falls on deaf ears, however, as Tarrlok dismisses their "naive idealism" for ignoring the reality of the situation. Korra argues that the reality of the situation is that closing the arena down is the equivalent of letting Amon win, but Tarrlok ignores her statement and readies his gavel to proclaim the meeting adjourned. However, much to the surprise of everyone, Lin Beifong intervenes by destroying the gavel with her metal cable and sides with the Avatar. The chief argues that it is time the benders of the city opposed the Equalists and offers to provide extra security with her officers during the match, since their armor is impervious to chi blocking. Upon Tarrlok's prompting, Lin also takes full responsibility for the spectators' safety if the Council would keep the arena open. Tarrlok states that it is hard to argue with Lin's excellent track record and that she has his support if the chief is confident she and her officers can protect the arena. Much to the Fire Ferrets' pleasure, every Council member, except Tenzin, changes their vote and the tournament is allowed to continue.
Once the decision has been finalized, Tenzin invites Lin to have a talk with him away from the others. In the hallway, he expresses his concern for her safety, stating that Tarrlok is simply playing her. When Lin bluntly states that she knows what she is doing, Tenzin announces that he will accompany her during the match. Albeit annoyed, she allows him to do so. When Korra comes up to the duo and passes Lin, she thanks her for her help; however, the metalbender completely ignores Korra. This urges her to ask Tenzin what Aang did to make Lin hate the Avatar, believing that was where the source of Lin's annoyance lay. Tenzin explains that her attitude had very little to do with Aang and the Avatar, but more with himself. Remembering what Pema told her the other day, Korra realizes that Lin and Tenzin used to be romantically involved. Taken aback by the statement, Tenzin begins to explain their story but stops halfway through, saying that it was none of Korra's business and that they had moved passed it since it had happened. Korra retorts that Lin certainly has not, considering she had tried to have Pema arrested.
Meanwhile, in a warehouse somewhere else in the city, Amon supervises the loading of four trucks with wooden crates. The Lieutenant approaches him and enlightens him about the Council's decision to ignore his warning and keeping the arena open. Amon is pleased with this news, stating that "everything is going according to plan".
That night, the Metalbending Police Force has deployed a multitude of boats, airships, and trucks to secure the arena. Before the match begins, several officers execute a security sweep of the building, including the stands. As Lin is finishing the check, Tenzin inquires how things are going. Annoyed, she brashly answers his questions and asks him to leave her to do her job. However, Tenzin does not back away and states that it would be nice if they could help each other out "like old times", even if it was only for one night. Lin complies, stating that she would try to be "less abrasive than usual".
As the match begins, the arena fills with spectators. Right before the start of the match, Bolin gives Pabu a pep talk, stating that the fire ferret would do great. The trio is subsequently called to the stage by the ring announcer. As the team approaches the playing field under the loud applause of the spectators, Asami, from an exclusive platform, blows a kiss to Mako and winks to him, which the firebender returns, much to Korra's annoyance. The moment they arrive on the field, Bolin and Pabu begin performing a trick as a way of introducing the team, which involves Pabu walking on his front legs and jumping through the middle of an earth disk; the trick only receives a mediocre response from the crowd. The reigning champions, the White Falls Wolfbats, are introduced shortly. The team has donned themselves in capes and wear wolfbat masks. Their introduction is accompanied by an excessive display of fireworks around the stadium, performance that an astonished audience applauds. Dismayed, Bolin dismisses their entrance, saying "anybody can howl", and commenting that they have nothing on him and the fire ferret. Korra is gravely annoyed by Tahno's extravagant entrance and proclaims that she is going to knock Tahno's "stupid hair off his stupid head".
As the match begins, it immediately becomes apparent that the Wolfbats are not interested in playing by the rules. Tahno displays an obvious "hosing foul" against Bolin, but it is not called by the refs. Capitalizing on this, the Wolfbats trip up Bolin by earthbending a disc under his feet and outside their zone which is again ignored by the referees, prompting even Tenzin to exclaim his outrage. Lin snarkily remarks that she would not have thought him to be familiar with the rules of pro-bending, to which he responds that Korra's participation had him brushing up on it. Thanks to the referees favoritism, the Wolfbats manage to push the Fire Ferrets back to zone three and eventually off the playing field. However, Korra manages to hold up herself and Mako on the edge of the ring with one hand. With an incredible effort, she tosses him back onto the playing field while letting herself plummet down into the water. Before landing, Mako knocks the celebrating Tahno down with a fire blast to the back, just as the buzzer sounds to end round one.
Before the start of round two, the Fire Ferrets briefly communicate on their best strategy against the unfair tactics of the Wolfbats. Korra suggests that if their opposing team is going to play dirty, they should do the same; however, Mako refuses to do so, as the only explanation for the Wolfbats ability to play as they were doing was that the referees had been paid off, and thus the Fire Ferrets would not be able to disobey the rules. Reluctantly, Korra agrees. After a fierce round two with some illegal ice moves and fire shot to the head by the Wolfbats, the round ends in a tie. The Fire Ferrets win the coin toss and Korra immediately decides that it would be a water against water battle. Tahno taunts Korra, inviting her to give him her best shot. He evades her seemingly lackluster blast, but the Avatar delivers another one with her foot, striking Tahno in the chin. The impact is so strong that Tahno's helmet is sent flying into the audience and caught by some Fire Ferrets fans, and he is knocked off the platform. In return, Korra taunts him by calling him a "chump".
From the stands, Lin and Tenzin are viewing the match. Upon witnessing Korra's easy victory, Lin expresses disbelief at the fact that the soft-hearted Aang was reincarnated into the tough as nails Korra. Tenzin remarks that Korra reminds him of a young Lin and that they would likely get along if the chief would give her a chance.
After taking the round, the Fire Ferrets regain some hope to win the finals. The teams are more or less matched, but Ming tips the scales in the favor of the Wolfbats when he scatters an earth disk and Tahno sends three water blasts containing pieces of rocks at the Fire Ferrets, knocking them off the ring and into the water. Although Shiro Shinobi proclaims that there would be no way that the knock out would be called legitimate, the referee pronounces the Wolfbats as the winners and the champions for the fourth time, provoking equal applause and heckling. As the Wolfbats celebrate, numerous spectators in the audience cover up their faces with a cloth that bears the Equalists insignia, the typical red circle. They each retract an electrified glove out of their popcorn cartons and use it to take out Lin, Tenzin, and all the policemen in the arena.
Korra and her teammates emerge from the water, and their attention is immediately drawn toward electricity waves that are visible in the audience. The Lieutenant appears at the side of the pool and, just before Korra can hit him with a waterspout, he knocks out the Fire Ferrets by sticking his charged weapons in the water. Meanwhile, Shiro Shinobi comments on the strange events happening in the stands, giving running commentary up to the moment he too is shocked into unconsciousness.
As his henchmen take out the security all around the stadium, Amon and some other Equalists appear in the middle of the ring. The Wolfbats attack them, but after a short duel, they are overpowered and Amon takes away their bending. The Equalists kick the defeated Wolfbats into the water and simultaneously, Equalist banners appear all around the arena.
Meanwhile, Korra, Mako, and Bolin are being dragged out of the pool to be tied up to one of the playing field's support beams. While teetering on the brink of unconsciousness, Korra has another vision of an adult Toph and Aang as they face Yakone.
Amon makes a speech to the entire audience, commenting that it seems fitting that they would all celebrate the victory of "three bullies who cheated their way to victory" as they do the same every day to the nonbenders of the city. He states that the fate of the Wolfbats should serve as a warning to all the other benders of the world; everyone who stands in his way would suffer the same fate. Amon called out to his followers as well, stating that they now had the numbers, the strength, and the technology to overthrow the bending regime and replace it with a fair minded Equalist government. He ends his speech by openly declaring that the revolution has begun.
After waking up during Amon's speech, the team sees Pabu swimming toward them, so Bolin immediately instructs him to chew through the ropes binding them. However, while the ferret is still gnawing at the ropes, Amon and his followers are already ascending to the roof, preparing to escape via airship and blow up the pro-bending ring as they go. The moment Pabu succeeds in freeing the Fire Ferrets, Korra sets out in pursuit of the Equalists, riding a waterspout to the top of the arena. The water does not hold enough power, and Korra plummets down. As she is falling, she is suddenly caught by a metal cable thrown by Lin, who is swinging from the top of the arena and uses her own momentum to launch Korra toward the escaping Equalists.
Korra succeeds in knocking some Equalist fighter off of the little platform they were standing on while being hoisted into the airship. She briefly glances around and sees that the wreckage of several burning police vehicles are scattered all across the bay. Although the Avatar fiercely attacks Amon and the other Equalists with her firebending, the Equalist leader remains outside her grasp and she is knocked off the platform soon after.
A battle ensues on the glass dome of the arena between Korra, Lin, and several Equalists. As Lin attempts to pull herself up toward the airship with her metal cables, she is knocked over by an electrified attack from the Lieutenant. However, before he can finish her off, Korra comes to her rescue and forces the Lieutenant on the run with her firebending. A one-on-one battle commences between the two while Lin immobilizes the other fighters and hoists herself up toward the airship. Korra manages to overpower the Lieutenant and knock him off the arena; however, the strain of the fight proves to be too much for the glass dome and it caves away underneath her. Lin sees that Korra is falling to certain death and ceases her pursuit of the Equalists. She uses her metal cables to propel her down after Korra and manages to catch the Avatar in midair, the two landing safely in the stadium's bleachers.
Korra thanks Lin for saving her life. As they both watch the Equalist airship fly away from the arena, Korra is welcomed back by Mako and Bolin, who each hug her in relief. As Tenzin walks over to them, Lin expresses her annoyance and disappointment of having played right into Amon's hand. Tenzin comforts her by stating that he had not only played her, but everyone. He concludes by stating that Republic City is now at war.
- Also starring:
- Additional voices:
- Steve Blum
- Mindy Sterling
- Dee Bradley Baker
- Jeff Bennett
- Tom Kenny
- Main article: Transcript:And the Winner Is...
- Korra has another vision of the past, this time with Aang going into the Avatar State. The vision also featured Yakone, who Korra saw in her vision in "The Voice in the Night", however, his full face is revealed this time, but his identity remained hidden.
- This is the second known time Amon has used his abilities to remove people's bending permanently, the first being on members of the Triple Threat Triad in "The Revelation".
- The two girls Tahno was with at Narook's Seaweed Noodlery in "The Spirit of Competition" are in the audience watching him.
- Pabu performs a trick before the match similar to the one he performed in "The Revelation".
- This is the first episode in which Tenzin's children did not appear.
- This is the third episode in which Tenzin has the final line, the others being "The Revelation", "The Voice in the Night", and "Endgame".
- This is the second consecutive episode in which a sudden death pro-bending round has taken place.
- Lin Beifong was Tenzin's former girlfriend that Pema mentioned in "The Spirit of Competition". In addition, Lin and Tenzin have known each other since childhood.
- Tenzin states that his father and Lin "got along famously".
- Bolin can communicate with Pabu through a series of chattering.
- When Lin Beifong destroys the gavel during the Council meeting, she comes in from Tarrlok's right, but when the gavel is destroyed, it is destroyed from the left.
- As the Fire Ferrets walk onto the playing field, Bolin is standing on the left. After a close-up of Bolin, he prepares to perform a trick with Pabu, and suddenly he is standing on the right. He and Korra switched places.
- Right before the championship match between the Fire Ferrets and the Wolfbats, when both teams are taking their positions, Mako's Future Industries logo is missing from his chest piece. In the next shot of Mako, the logo is again visible.
- At the beginning of round two, Ming defends himself against Korra's attacks with and retaliates by using firebending, though he is an earthbender.
- Tahno has six fingers in the shot where he kneels down to aim a low water blast at Bolin's feet, right before he changes it into ice.
- During Tahno and Korra's tiebreaker match, Tahno's face initially sways right when he is hit by Korra. However, during the slow-mo replay, his face only sways left.
- When Tahno surrounds his teammate's shattered earth disk in water, his glove on his right hand is the same color as his skin.
- When Amon takes away Tahno's bending, he initially reaches toward his face with his left hand. However, when the camera shows Tahno's face, Amon touches his face with his right hand.
- When Shaozu's bending is removed, his eyes are amber instead of his normal blue.
- When the Lieutenant begins to extract the Fire Ferrets from the water after electrifying them, he starts with Korra. When returning to this scene, Mako and Bolin have already been removed from the water, but he is just finishing with Korra.
- During Korra's flashback, Toph has six fingers on her left hand when she is pointing.
- In the shot where the Lieutenant is tying the Ferrets to the column, their hands are in front of them. In the next shot, however, they are pictured with their hands behind them.
- When Pabu is chewing through the rope after the playing field explodes, he is shown wearing his uniform. However, in the next close-up shot of Pabu, he is clearly seen without the uniform, and suddenly he is back in his uniform.
- A little before Amon finishes his speech, he is holding the microphone with his right hand. However, when his reinforcements arrive in the next frame, he is holding it with his left hand.
- When Amon's reinforcements' grapples are descending, Amon and his men are seen standing on the blue side of the pro-bending field; however, in the next viewpoint, they are standing on the red side, and in the subsequent point of view, only Amon is on the red side while his men are on the blue side.
- After Pabu chews through the ropes, they are discarded on the ground. In the next shot, however, the ropes have vanished.
- When Korra tries to use waterbending to ascend to the roof of the arena, Amon and his men are not shown going up through the hole in the ceiling. A few shots later after Korra begins falling, they are seen still ascending through the hole.
- When the Lieutenant strikes down Lin, her cable was never retracted and left lying on the roof. In the following fight, the loose cable is never shown.
- Before Amon is heard over the radio at the beginning of the episode, an advertisement from Cabbage Corp can be heard. The voice-over the radio describes Cabbage Corp as "Republic City's trusted name in technology for over fifty years". This would mean that Republic City was, to some extent, up and running by 120 AG, a mere twenty years after the end of the Hundred Year War.
- This is the first time that Tenzin uses airbending in combat on-screen.
- During the Pro-bending Tournament's final match, three enthusiastic fans can be seen in the crowd dressed as Korra, Mako, and Bolin. This is most likely a shout-out to the real-life fans who cosplay as their favorite characters.
- During the original airing of this episode, an "Up Next" banner of SpongeBob laughing shows up during the scene where Korra is falling, making it look like he was laughing at her misery. This inspired an Internet meme called "Inappropriate Timing SpongeBob", in which the banner is inserted into emotionally inappropriate moments from other works.