(Catch up on previous episodes here)
Episode 9 opens with Korra still in the clutches of the now-revealed bloodbender Tarrlok. Taken from Republic City, Korra is being held prisoner inside a metal box somewhere in the mountains. Meanwhile, Tarrlok stages the scene where he fought Korra in order to frame the equalists for her disappearance. Fearing this to be true, Beifong breaks Korra's friends out of prison and decides they'd better find her before Amon gets a hold of her. Along with Tenzin, they discover an underground equalist base and soon learn that the equalists had nothing to do with Korra's disappearance. When they confront Tarrlok, his secret is uncovered. He uses his powerful bloodbending to fight them off and flees before being captured.
With nowhere to go and nothing to do inside her metal box, Korra has decided to concentrate on her mediating and hope she can lean something from the visions that creep in from time-to-time. In her visions, we see characters from The Last Airbender as adults. Aang and Toph have successfully captured a criminal boss named Yakone, who terrorized the city with his bloodbending. Shortly after Councilman Sokka sentences him, Yakone breaks free. It is only in the Avatar state that Aang is able to stop him, and then permanently takes away his bending, in the same manner as Amon. As it turns out, Tarrlok is Yakone's son, trying to get back at the council for what they did to his father, and complete his father's dream of running Republic City. This dream dies with the arrival of Amon to the country cabin. Impervious to Tarrlock's bloodbending, Amon walks right up to him and takes away his bending. When Amon's henchman go to retrieve Korra, she barely manages to fight her way out, but does eventually escape.
During Korra's recovery back on Air Temple Island, the previously established love triangle gets a little more tangled. Asami knows that Mako has feelings for Korra, even before he realizes he does, no doubt setting up more complicated feelings in the future. But any time to dwell on relationships is quickly cut short as the equalists attack Republic City, bombing it from above with Sato's airships.
Soon all of the council members are taken and only Tenzin remains. Heading for police headquarters, he manages to get a communication through to the General of the United Forces before the station is attacked. Team Avatar is back together, and comes to his rescue as they fight off a fleet of megatanks and manage to save Tenzin, just in time to see several ships headed straight for Air Temple Island.
Beifong does her best to hold off the equalist attack on the island as she protects Tenzin's family while Pema is having her baby. In one of the best scenes of the episode, Beifong is aided in battle by the Airbending children, who fight wonderfully, if not a tad unconventionally. The peace doesn't last long however. More airships are headed for the island. Tenzin makes the decision to abandon the island, taking his family to safety. In their flight, they are pursued by Amon's airships and Beifong sacrifices herself in order to save the family. She bravely leaps from one ship to the next, taking it down much the way Aang did in the final episode of The Last Airbender.
Korra and her friends retreat to Republic City's underground tunnels, unsure of what lies ahead. But help is on the way. In the final shot, we meet General Iroh of the United Forces, a firebender that bears a striking resemblance to Zuko.