The Legend of Korra is still trying to give its characters a sense of identity. With Unalaq’s troops ready for war, Korra and the gang head to Republic City in search of aid from the United Forces. The team’s sense of camaraderie is put to the test, though, as outside forces pull them in different directions.

If ‘Peacekeepers’ taught us anything, it’s that Korra needs to work on her diplomacy skills. Part of what makes her character so appealing is her “my way or the highway” approach to negotiations; however, politics is a subtle art, which is a skill Korra lacks. As Korra looks for troops, Bolin and Mako try to settle back into their old lives.

During a peaceful Southern Water Tribe protest, Mako sees men firebombing the Southern Water Tribe Cultural Center. The rookie police officer believes these men are a new threat, having nothing to do with Unalaq’s Northern Water Tribe forces. Who could this new opposition be? Are they somehow linked to Unalaq? Varrick remains the new character that we know the least about. While seeming like a funny crackpot, his motivations might be more sinister.

Bolin continues to be the exceptional comic relief we’ve come to depend on, as he confesses to crying himself to sleep after a tough Pro-Bending defeat. His charisma is beginning to show, and Varrick wants to use his star power to gain support for acquiring more soldiers. Does Varrick truly wish to help the Southerners, or are his plans a ploy to amass an army for himself?

Asami is sadly the one member of the group that the writers are putting the least amount of effort into. Ms. Sato’s battle against her father at the end of last season was one of the more compelling stories. She was faced with the dilemma of choosing family over doing what is right. Now, the beautiful industrialist is stuck talking about falling revenue and how to conduct good business. This series is better than that, and hopefully Asami will be given more to do in future episodes.

The best moments of ‘Book 2: Spirits’ continue to take place at the Southern Air Temple with Tenzin and his family. Meelo’s attempts at teaching Poki were heartwarming, as the young airbender realizes that being a leader can be a lonely affair. You can see the sadness on Tenzin’s face when Meelo has to put Poki on the floor to sleep. Being the alpha is difficult, but it’s a lesson Meelo must learn if he’s going to be like his father some day (or so Tenzin believes). The Legend of Korra is at its best in these small moments of character building. Sure, the action and top-notch animation are always reasons to watch, but Spirits has had too few of these instances within the main group.

Korra and Mako’s breakup seems trivial, since there aren’t many reasons to like the Avatar this season. She’s been mean to her family and friends when any of them disagree with her. By the end of the episode, Korra is once again on her own being chased by Chief Unalaq’s children, Eska and Desna. The action sequence was stunning, as the large water spirit emerged out of the sea. It was nice to finally see a spirit again.

Will Korra make it to the Fire Nation in time to help her father? Find out as the Avatar’s legend continues.

The Legend of Korra continues with ‘The Sting’ next Friday @8:30pm on Nickelodeon.