I must applaud this episode for its incorporation of realistic qualities. This includes Naga being unable to carry all four members of Team Avatar and hair not staying perfect (that's really credit to the animators for not being lazy). It also includes the series's inclusion of strong female characters. It's something that's been prominent since Aang's time and I haven't commented on.
However, this episode also had a couple things working against it. The content is moving too far, too fast. Tarrlok's actions are obvious, even if his motives are slow to follow. Clearly he's not a normal person; hasn't aged since Aang and Toph left the picture (and that's what Aang's trying to warn Korra about, thanks flashback of bloodbending). This whole holding people indefinitely doesn't reek of the issues with the 2012 NDAA, either.
Speak of, though, I did not see the bloodbending coming. Really should have, but it was perfectly timed and just confusing enough of an intro to make you stop and wonder. Some things are paced well, despite the driving plot.