I hate to say this, but Mako, Asami, and Bolin being absent didn't effect the story at all. In fact I think adding them here would have hurt the episode overall. In the begining I was hopeful that they would all get good character development, but the book is almost done and they have been left out in the cold. Verrick plot, which looked promising now seems obvious it will have very little to do with the Vaatu plot and if that's true it seems doubtful Mako, Bolin, and Asami parts in this story will be B plot material. There are 4 episodes left, so I hope I'm wrong, but Asami, Bolin, and Mako aren't treated as main characters. At best they are secondary characters this book. New Team Avatar isn't getting the development that the Original Team Avatar got so far. I'm very disappointed in how Bolin is purely comic relief guy and given very little focus out of all 4 of them when we see potential there. I really hope the Verrick story pays off if not in this book then in book 3 because it will impact Bolin the most and make him realize he needs to grow up a bit.
I hope the love triangle isn't the only plot that will be given to Asami and Mako. I didn't mind the kiss in the Sting because Asami at a low point and it was understandable. They seemed like they got back together in the Guide. I really don't want a love triangle to be the dynamic of Korra, Mako, and Asami for the whole series. I would rather have Korra and Mako be done for good and keep Asami and Mako together then go revisit that storyline again. It would be cool if they resolve this before book 2 ends with maybe Mako and Asami realize they have residue feelings left over that it's better they don't get back together. Maybe book 3 just has Korra, Mako, Asami single to focus on other aspects of their characters kind of like what this season was attempting to do.
Funnily enough a summary for the next episodehas Bolin saving President Raiko and Asami busting Mako out. Apparently the next two weeks are going to feature double episodes. Not sure if sources are legit.
I hope book2 sets Verrick as the villain for book 3but how do you top the source of all evil in the world?Been sort of thinking (And dreading)that Korra ends with everyone loosing their bendingand Rava leaving Korra's body.