And so the series heats up. It feels a lot like a well-oiled machine at this point, to continue with the industrial era analysis. The methods of fighting, both with and without bending, have become very streamlined. Fight sequences are precise and don't take up more time than they need to.
But with less fighting comes more politicking, and boy is there a lot of it. Tarrlok's an absolute snake - it's so obvious he's going to be working is way to the top through this season. He's going to be an issue if he isn't dealt with and soon. And it really pisses me off that through his character, the series fell into the trap of stereotyping the press and/or the media with slander. Not all reporters are open to bribes or are intent on muck-racking.
There are other things that are too much, as well. The Asami/Mako relationship is moving WAY too fast, but it's probably a plot device, so I'll take what I'm given. Also, this series is really very heavy on super thinly-veiled metaphors for real life issues: I can't help but see Korra's fear of Amon as a rape metaphor, or the whole equality movement as religion (though I can also see bending as religion in this situation, so it's not as clear to flat out say what it is). It's a little distracting.