|"Sending troops is not something I can do at this time. But I promise I will work with Unalaq and the South for a diplomatic solution."|
|— Raiko to Korra and Varrick.|
Korra attempts to gain support for the Southern Water Tribe from the United Forces, but her request is denied by President Raiko. As a result, she, Bolin, Varrick, and Asami attempt to take matters into their own hands and devise a scheme to send military troops to the South Pole behind the President's back. However, brewing tensions between Korra and Mako complicate things.
After a long journey from the Southern Water Tribe, Avatar Korra, Mako, Bolin, Asami, and Varrick finally arrive in Republic City. Lin Beifong is waiting for them on the docks and informs them that there will be a peace march that night in support of the Southern Water Tribe; she tasks Mako with being present at the event to maintain peace. Korra volunteers to go as well, but Mako warns against this, advising her that, as the Avatar, she should maintain neutrality in the matter. Varrick informs Korra that he was able to secure an appointment with United Republic President Raiko. She decides to learn more about the peace march while Asami goes to check on Future Industries. Meanwhile, Bolin accompanies Varrick in experiencing "Republic City at night".
Down in the South Pole, Unalaq is told by his military advisor that the rebels are hiding in the mountains, but he dismisses them as non-threatening and tells his adviser to focus on the security of the spirit portal. As the adviser leaves to carry out his orders, Desna and Eska enter, Eska still in her wedding gown and her hair and makeup messed up from her pursuit of Bolin. When questioned, Unalaq reveals that despite telling Korra otherwise, he needs her to activate the Northern portal. Eska, believing that Korra stole Bolin away from her, swears to get her back and only reluctantly acquiesces when Unalaq insists that he needs her alive.
Meanwhile, at the Southern Air Temple, Meelo is trying to train Poki to roll over by demonstration, eliciting Tenzin's disapproval. After Meelo undeservingly rewards Poki, Tenzin walks up and offers to teach him how to be a master trainer to which Meelo excitedly agrees.
In the streets of Republic City, citizens of Southern descent are marching outside the Southern Water Tribe Cultural Center, led by Korra, and holding candles and signs. They are met by angry citizens of Northern descent at the side of the streets. Mako is standing guard nearby when two men exit the cultural center and try to get away inconspicuously. When one of the men steps on a can, Mako turns around and orders them to stop in the name of the police. The man simply turns and pushes a button on a remote he is holding, setting off an explosion inside the cultural center, which Mako tries to control using firebending. Back at the protest, those present stare at the explosion in disbelief, most notably Korra and Lin Beifong. Mako chases after the men and uses firebending to try to stop them, but one man blocks the attacks, proving to be a firebender himself. The man is hit by one of the strikes, causing him to drop the remote, and hastily climbs into a motor vehicle with the help of his accomplice, while another man drives the both of them away. Mako picks up the remote and subsequently meets up with Korra, who is trying to extinguish the fire with waterbending. Korra states that the North is out of control, but Mako suggests that the North might not be responsible for the bombing, as he saw a firebender fleeing the scene.
Outside the Pro-bending Arena, Bolin and Varrick arrive in a limo and are immediately photographed by the Republic City press. As they proceed inside the arena into a reserved box seat, a fan notices Bolin and points him out, causing an uproar in the crowd. Shiro Shinobi calls Bolin to his booth for a quick interview, and though the young earthbender loses the crowd several times, he quickly manages to regain their support by saying a few words in an exciting voice. Upon Bolin's return, Varrick states that he has figured out his young friend's true calling.
The next day, Korra and Varrick go to see Raiko. After hearing about Unalaq's occupation of the South, Raiko states that he cannot bring the United Forces to fight the North, believing that such a dispute can be solved diplomatically between the two tribes. Korra begins to protest, but Raiko stands behind his decision, even after Varrick brings up the event at the cultural center the night before to reinforce the increasing aggression coming from the North. Raiko simply states that he is urging the police force to apprehend the culprits responsible, but nonetheless reasserts his position and dismisses the two from his office.
Following this, Korra goes to Mako's apartment and vents her frustration regarding the president's decision, which Mako justifies as it is not his war to fight. Korra is angered by Mako's apparent agreement with Raiko, but he insists that he is not taking sides or working against her. She points out that he is not helping her get troops to the South, but he refuses to continue arguing, stating that he is just doing his job as an officer, which prompts Korra to storm off.
On Varrick's yacht, Korra and Asami both approach Varrick for counsel on how to garner support from the United Forces and save Future Industries from bankruptcy, respectively. After a brief brainstorming session, Varrick proposes for Korra to approach the United Forces directly behind Raiko's back, while suggesting for Asami to ship mecha tanks to the South as a means of supporting the war efforts while also increasing sales. Varrick reveals that he is creating a series of propaganda films to incite opposition against the North, featuring Bolin as a Southern hero named Nuktuk.
Back at the apartment, Bolin tells Mako about Varrick's plan while the firebender scans through criminal records in search of the man he saw at the bombing. Apparently ignoring his little brother, Mako only pays attention when Bolin mentions that Korra is going to try to get Iroh to bypass Raiko and support the South directly, an idea which Mako thinks is terrible. Bolin flips the page in the records, and Mako recognizes one of the culprits before running off to Chief Beifong.
At the Southern Air Temple, Tenzin is teaching Meelo how to train Poki by establishing dominance, but it does not go so well at first for Meelo, as he is tickled by the ring-tailed winged lemur. Later Meelo realizes the loneliness that comes with being "alpha lemur", to which Tenzin says he can relate.
President Raiko is in the middle of a meeting with Lin Beifong inside the police headquarters, when Mako walks in and reveals his breakthrough about the bombing case. He receives bad advice from Lu and Gang to take the information to Beifong right away, for which he is reproached. Mako gives the information to the two detectives about the culprit being a member of the Agni Kai Triad, and he asks if they found out anything about the remote that he found, but they dismiss his inquiry, convinced that the North is responsible. Mako returns to his desk as the president walks out and is approached by him. Raiko recognizes Mako's efforts as a rookie and asks him if he has any information about anything the Avatar and Varrick are plotting. As Raiko begins to walk away, Mako calls him back and hesitantly reveals that there is something that he should know.
Korra visits General Iroh, who initially agrees to provide military support for the South until he is interrupted by Raiko, who reminds him that he will be court-martialed if he leaves without direct orders. Raiko also reminds Korra that the Avatar does not command the military of the Republic and warns her not to go behind his back again. Iroh gives Korra an alternative and suggests for her to go to the Fire Nation and talk directly with the Fire Lord, since she and his grandfather have always been close friends with the Avatar and the Southern Water Tribe.
Varrick is busy filming "Nuktuk" when Korra shows up, asking for Bolin to watch Naga while she journeys to the Fire Nation. Korra explains how Raiko showed up and ruined the plan to get General Iroh to help, insisting that someone tipped the president off. Bolin reveals that he had told Mako, prompting Korra to conclude that he must have told Raiko, much to Bolin's disbelief. The Avatar storms out of the room in anger.
Meanwhile, Meelo is showing his whole family, including his aunt and uncle, how he trained Poki. They are all impressed, when Meelo reveals that he had actually trained all of the lemurs, demonstrating the fact by commanding a whole troop of them. Tenzin tells Meelo that he should forget the training for now and just have fun with Poki.
At the police headquarters, Korra busts through the door, enraged by Mako ratting her out. Mako tries to explain, but Korra points out that he betrayed her and her family and blasts his desk out of the way with airbending. They both state how they each have a job to do and that the other one is inhibiting them from doing it, and Mako reluctantly breaks up with her, leaving Korra to flee the scene in tears. Beifong walks out of her office and, upon seeing the wreckage, asks what happened. After Mako tells her that he broke up with the Avatar, she tells him that he got off easy compared to what she did to Air Temple Island after Tenzin broke up with her.
En route to the Fire Nation in a speedboat, Korra is pursued and attacked by Desna and Eska, who are riding jet skis, the latter who is angry at her for "ruining her wedding". As she fights them off, a dark spirit suddenly appears and the twins back down to watch as it attacks Korra. She tries to dodge the spirit's attacks, but the spirit is too fast, and she is knocked into the ocean. She enters the Avatar State and attempts to purify the spirit, but her attempt fails, and the spirit proceeds to swallow her whole, she defends herself by attacking the spirit with a blast of fire, but her plan failed as the spirit swallowed her in whole. After watching the Avatar and the spirit disappear below the surface, the twins fled the scene with their waterbending.
- Written by:
- Directed by:
- Janet Varney - Korra
- David Faustino - Mako
- P. J. Byrne - Bolin
- J. K. Simmons - Tenzin
- John Michael Higgins - Varrick
- Adrian LaTourelle - Unalaq
- Mindy Sterling - Beifong
- Logan Wells - Meelo
- Seychelle Gabriel - Asami
- Aubrey Plaza - Eska
- Aaron Himelstein - Desna
- Jeff Bennett:
- Radio broadcaster
- Northern General
- News reporter
- Dee Bradley Baker:
- Main article: Writing in the World of Avatar
- There are pictures of Lightning Bolt Zolt, Shady Shin, Mushi, Zhen, the Equalist doorman, and other Triple Threat Triad members in the criminal records Mako searches.
- Korra crying while piloting the speedboat is similar to Amon doing the same in "Endgame".
- General Iroh is the son of Fire Lord Izumi.
- Lin wrecked Air Temple Island when Tenzin broke up with her.
- When Mako searches through the criminal records while talking to Bolin, his black belt disappears and reappears in the same scene.
- During the peace march, the signs held by the Southern Water Tribe residents read "freedom" ( ), "peace" ( ), and "autonomy for the South" ( ).
- Michael Dante DiMartino voiced the pro-bending spectator who calls out Bolin. DiMartino's voice was originally intended to be just a placeholder for the early animatic, but his take was kept in due to his fellow crewmembers loving it.
- Korra and Asami's meeting with Varrick originally had the business tycoon continue to dangerously fire his bow and arrow while the women were in the room.
- Varrick created the first hair dye product in the Avatar World, with Ginger being its first user.
- This episode was watched by just 1.1 million viewers in the U.S., making it the lowest rated episode across both Books One and Two.
- This is the second episode in The Legend of Korra whose title is only one word, the others being "Endgame", "Rebirth", "Reunion", and "Remembrances". Avatar: The Last Airbender contained only two episodes like this: "Imprisoned", and "Jet".
- The book in Lu and Gang's drawer has a wide publication, also appearing at the Misty Palms Inn.
- The term "flameo", revealed in "The Headband" to have fallen out of everyday use by 100 AG, had resurfaced by 171 AG, though its meaning had changed to be that of a mild swear, used to convey surprise and shock.
- DiMartino mentioned that the writers had intended for "flameo" to be more well-used in the post-Hundred Year War vernacular.
- The large group of lemurs huddling around Meelo was an homage to the Alfred Hitchcock film The Birds.
- The dark spirit that attacked Korra was redesigned by Bryan Konietzko and Angela Mueller given the former's concerns that the spirit overly resembled Vaatu.
- DiMartino, Michael Dante; Konietzko, Bryan; Hedrick, Tim & Hamilton, Joshua (July 1, 2014). "Peacekeepers" commentary. Book Two: Spirits Blu-ray.
- Yanan, Travis (October 7, 2013). Friday's Cable Ratings & Broadcast Finals: CBS Tops Viewers, ABC Leads Demos. Retrieved on June 10, 2014.
- DiMartino, Michael Dante (writer) & Graham, Ian (director). (August 1, 2014). "The Stakeout". The Legend of Korra. Book Three: Change. Episode 9. Nick.com.