I haven't reviewed Korra here in a couple of weeks because I reviewed episodes seven and eight over on Youtube.
Apparently Ryu wound up with the airbenders at some point over the three years. I can't decide whether I think he got tired of his mother and left on his own or if his mother dragged him there kicking and screaming, but somehow he wound up as a tour guide. I'm kind of in love with the idea of overly proud parents going along on a tour led by their children. Also, Ryu makes a terrible tour guide, but at least he seems to have a bit higher of a drive to actually do something than before.
The thing that got me is how fast they realize Ryu hasn't come back from giving his tour. If I remember correctly, not that much time had passed. How closely to the airbenders monitor each other?
I didn't think about this before, but someone on Tumblr (I wish I still knew where the post was) pointed out that it shouldn't have been that easy for Bolin and Varrick to get into a room with a bunch of world leaders. At least they were actually harmless. If that were reality though, I feel like Lin would be firing some people.
We hear Fire Lord Izumi (she has a name, guys!) speak for the first time, which we all know I have been not so patiently waiting for. I'm still hoping we get to see Zuko again, but I can settle for just getting to hear his daughter speak if that's all we get. I'm actually quite fascinated in the different between the Fire Nation in the first series and this one. While it's quite frustrating from a viewer's standpoint not to have her help bring down Kuvira, it also makes a lot of sense. (It could also be taken as a broader political statement outside of the show if you wanted, which wouldn't be a first for Korra.) What excites me most about this entire thing is that she does agree to help with border security, and that could totally lead to her showing up again if they wanted. (I can hope and dream.)
Another aspect of this episode that I've been waiting for is Bolin and Opal reuniting. I may have gotten a little too excited over it. And when Bolin lied to Opal it was tough to resist banging my head on something. As it was happening, I was just like, "No. No. Bolin, you did not. Please tell me you did not." I'm excited for him going with Opal and Lin to the Swamp though. Because, guys, they're going to meet up with Toph, and then we're going to have Bolin, Toph, Opal, and Lin all fighting together. Is that not amazing? Bolin gets to meet Toph. Toph who is his hero. I may or may not be freaking out about it just as much as Bolin would be. Part of it is just getting to see Toph again, and part of it is the thought of the four of them taking on Kuvira. I'm ready for it.
The Korra, Mako, and Bolin hug deserves a mention too. I'm always a sucker for group hugs, and now we have one with the Krew except Bolin's missing and one with the Krew except Asami's missing. I really need all four of them in a group hug before the series is over. I think that's a reasonable request.
Asami agrees to work with Varrick, which was something I didn't expect, but I'm exciting for anything that can allow Asami to live up to her full awesomeness potential. I'm ready to see what amazing thing they come up with that saves the day.
I also most certainly did not expect Korra to confront Zaheer. I didn't even give much thought to Zaheer still being around. The idea of him helping her because of a common enemy was an interesting one though, and I continue to be very interested in the idea of Zaheer being so spiritual yet a villain. I wonder if he'll play another part in the last episodes or if this was the last we'll see of him. That also may have been the end of Korra's spiritual struggle, so I'm wondering if the rest of the series will just be focused on taking down Kuvira or if another spiritual problem will pop up. I guess we'll have to wait and see!