(catch up on previous episodes here)
After her showdown with Amon at the end of episode four, a shaken Korra has decided to take a leave of absence from Tarrlok's task force. Instead, she decides to distract herself by focusing on training for the pro bending championships with her Fire Ferret teammates, Mako and Bolin.
The fifth episode centers around two love triangles that have been developing over the course of the season. The first concerns the three teammates. Korra obviously has feelings for Mako, while Bolin is head-over-heels for Korra. Meanwhile, Mako is conflicted between his feelings for Korra, and Asami, the daughter of the wealthy entrepreneur who is sponsoring the team.
After their first tournament match, which the Ferrets win easily, Korra confesses her feelings to Mako. He tells her that he doesn't feel the same way, and then when she sees him kiss Asami, she realizes she's wasting her time. So when Bolin comes into the picture to ask her out, she agrees. And though they have a great time together, she clearly views him as a friend. Things become more strained when Mako accuses her of going out with Bolin only to get back at him. These strained emotions carry over into their second match. The two of them are obviously distracted, and it's only because of Bolin that they are able to win the match.
Afterwards, the situation becomes more messy when Mako eventually confesses that he does have feelings for Korra and they kiss. Naturally, this is observed by Bolin and he's heartbroken. In the third match, the two brothers are at odds, and Korra single handedly wins it for them, advancing them into the finals. The victory is enough to bring the three friends together again, setting up the dramatic turn of events in the sixth episode.
As the team is training, a radio broadcast is interrupted by Amon. He demands that the pro bending championship be cancelled, calling for an end to the worship of benders. If it is allowed to go on, he promises retaliation. Spooked by fears of escalating violence between benders and equalists, Republic City's council initially votes to cancel the tournament. That is until Lin Beifong, the metal bending chief of police and Toph's daughter, tells them it would be a danger to give in to Amon's threats and assures them that her team can provide security. I loved the way this storyline was handled, and how it directly relates to terrorism and security concerns in our own world.
The match between the Fire Ferrets and the Wolf Bats is allowed to go on as scheduled. As it turns out, the Wolf Bats, three time champions, have bribed the refs and cheat their way to victory. Just as they are crowned, the equalists strike. Using electricity weapons, they are able to quickly neutralize the metal benders and Korra. Then Amon takes to the platform to make an example of the Wolf Bats, claiming that, like all benders, they are bullies who cheat and steal their way to glory. Then he takes away their bending, and declares that the equalist revolution has now begun.
Korra and Beifong recover and try their best to stop Amon from escaping. They put up a valiant fight, but there are just too many of the armed soldiers and eventually Amon escapes into a waiting blimp. As the episode ends, it is clear that Republic City is now at war!