With regards to the Mako subplot, I think it is coming along pretty decently. It's still this whole mystery war profiteering thing. I do like that Varrick is still a crazy eccentric rich guy in addition to his scheming and plotting. I mean, let's be honest, after that Platypus scene... But it's great to know that he's still, you know, Varrick, even if he is now plotting. I'm kind of hoping he comes to a more benevolent end than simple prison, though it'll require some work on his part.
Bit ashamed of Lin Beifong for going blindly with this. I know the law's her prerogative and such, and she's mostly by the book (her whole leaving the force thing spells a bit higher motive) but I'd expect her to be at least a little tiny bit... understanding? Cognizant? More than just an empty hardline police chief character? She knows Mako's and maybe it'd be fine if she had started out this way, but after what we saw of her last book... I'm waiting for more of her.
I do find the Twins' coming along very interesting too. Nice to hear Desna actually... step up a bit? He was a bit of the neglected twin with the Bolin-Eska thing. I think this scene could start to show at least a bit of humanization. The twins' have really ever only known one another, and their father, so I'm thinking this moment might have been a bit turning point for them.
Jinora Subplot. I am pleased. Very very pleased.
However, I do agree with a bit of the criticism. I think they do need to flesh her out a bit more, because I find her one of my most favorite characters of the series. She needs to be a bit more sincere, and perhaps a bit more of her calm Book 1 Self. Perhaps a bit less helpless, although it's somewhat required for the plot to proceed. I hope we see a strong presence of her character going forward, especially since she's apparently this very strong spirit person, and ergo someone I hope Korra will be working with after Tenzin gets over what appears to be an impending heart attack.
Part of the problem I think is that this is all sort of rushed. It's kind of a corporate/planning thing. This had to be hashed out just a bit more before they began with Korra. If it had, we would have been able to see a lot more subtle development. Although I am very pleased with her plot inclusion, frankly, these little hints are things they should have been giving early on.
In part... frankly I think that the S2 plot in particular needed more time devoted to it. It's just too bit a plot. While the creators acknowledge wanting to do a bunch of different things with the different Korra seasons... I mean, come on. Avatar Aang used 3 seasons to save the world, granted that it also included mastering bending and coming to terms with a massive situation. But honestly... they're trying to fit Korra fighting/preventing the ultimate good and evil fate of the universe battle into... 8 episodes. I mean, really, this needs more time.
Tenzin's tragic plot definitely is something great to bring up recently. Hopefully, I think, his tragedy will be resolved soon. Jinora maybe taking him into the spirit world for a little while, teaching her spirit knowledge while remembering not to neglect his other children...
At the very least, if Jinora doesn't survive this one, the creators better give her a good compensation package. Yuki's "moon spirit" deal might be a bit hard to beat technically, but we never really saw her after that.
I think... hopefully, that I'm getting right about Korra's "character defects" being a bit intentional and her using this time to begin to learn. I think the last episode just confirmed it, where in the Spirit World, which seems like this great medium for conveying character traits and emotions physically (in awesome scenes) she reverted back to her young discovering-her-avatarness state and sort of doing a bit of a mini-relearning there. I've honestly come to like the Korra cast (rushed as they may sometimes be but with their great spots--Kya's turning out to be interesting, as is Bumi) and Korra herself has held somewhat of a conflicted spot in my head, so I do hope that they really give her Avatar rate some clout... or at the very least make it short so we can skip to the next one and see Adult Jinora mastering the Spiritual world and Adult Meelo conquering the world via lemur army.
And now for the grand finale...
Oh yes Iroh! That was awesome. I kind of lost it at his appearance. As much as I'm enthralled with the Jinora plot (...maybe she could replace Wan Shi Tong. He's a bit of a jackass, though his foxes are nice) seeing Iroh was the icing on the cake.
Admittedly, the voice was obviously a bit off, but his pure appearance fills me with joy. I find it completely awesome that he's just sort of there... resident spirit of Pai Sho and Tea (and apparently a spiritual expert like Jinora), and he has Wan's teapot, which is a brilliant detail by the creators. I hope he does come back as well, though I'll have to start limiting myself a bit.
Also, I'm completely enthused by the fact that he didn't actually die but just sort of became a spirit upon his own choosing. I feel that's appropriate.
And he taught Korra. That has to do something.
On a final note... I wonder if Raava plans to make a speaking appearance. As far as we know she hasn't talked to any avatar since Wan. However I think she could give some... valuable assistance here, probably. She didn't even speak when Vaatu called her out directly. We know you're in there.