It starts off a lot slower than last episode, but it's really worth it in the end as the culminated buildup really works for the second half. I love Korra's fear and her refusal to acknowledge it. She's likely never had to endure something of this caliber and probably not one where she couldn't solve with her physical prowess. Bending is a big part of who she is and her key solution to a problem, thus Amon taking it away IS a scary prospect in retrospect because, well, how else will she handle any issues as a result? They really emphasized it when both Tarrlok and Amon spun circles around her. They both used manipulation and games of chess to lure her in knowing this is Korra's weakness. And it worked. Both of them trapped Korra and outsmarted her. I was holding my breath thinking this would be a two-parter when Korra was captured very late in the episode, but not only was it not, it somehow manages to still drive my anticipation. Oh, god! The flashback! What's happening? Is that Sokka vs Aang? How will this be relevant to the overall plot? Was that Korra's first Avatar spiritual experience, even if it wasn't on purpose?
This show! All my feelings.
Also, I assume this still won't break the Avatar cycle since she's alive when he eventually takes away her bending (but depending on how long Amon needs to fulfill his goals, he can either let her live or kill her since the next Avatar would only be a baby while he still does his thing and who knows how far he'll have gone by the time said baby grows up).
Asami is a gorgeous lady, but her interaction with Mako was too quick and too convenient, yet there's a sense of organic growth that I liked at the same time. I am suspicious that there is something more; Mako's problem was solved way too easily and conveniently that I can't help but raise an eyebrow. However, the idea of an evil/morally ambiguous Asami seems so obvious and I have much bigger faith in the creators than that. It would be more unexpected if Asami turned out to just be who she is; daughter of a rich man and all around sweetheart. Either way, I'm keeping an eye on her.
The only other thing I want to add is the animation, specifically the clothing designs. I must have counted ten to twelve or so different outfits on multiple characters. In just one episode. Animating numerous clothing is a challenge as it is, but the fact that Asami alone goes through four different outfits is a testimony to the care and attention this show is given. Kudos.