I definitely enjoyed the episode, though, I agree that the acupuncture aspect wasn’t necessarily the finest hour of the half hour. I reckon the writers felt there was no other way to force Lin to confront those memories short of a medical emergency, but the flashbacks were worth it. It was an enlightening aspect of Toph’s character, where she didn’t hold Suyin to the crime she had committed. I had never guessed that Suyin would be the origin of the scars (interesting the development of the metal wire spool placement from the original location on the hip to the back), but it made for an incredible aspect for the scars for Lin. She literally had to see the ramifications of her sister’s behavior every day of her life, whenever she saw her reflection. The wound never healed, it was ripped open on a daily basis. What’s also interesting is that Suyin’s free soul journeys appeared to have been kicked off by this event, versus just a natural evolution of her life. Since we learned Toph retired a year later, one has to wonder what she did with herself all those years since.
The fact that we had an episode that focused on the sisters alone (with minor metal bending tidbits for Bolin and Korra) was pretty awesome. I’m glad that the conflict between them was resolved, as hey, Avatar (the series et al) has always been a show about family, be it one’s natural family or the family that develops among friends. The fact there’s a rift in it is often held as a major, major crisis or sign of imbalance.
As an aside, I was taken back when Suyin told Avatar she was the first Avatar to metal bend. I would have assumed that Aang would have been taught by Toph, herself. It turns out that this was covered in the ATLA comics and Bolin wasn’t just making up a number, it is a rare gift amongst Earth benders and apparently, Aang couldn’t do it. … which one would think would preclude his reincarnated soul from being able to do it, but well, there ya go.