…All hail Lin Bei Fong
One of the most selfless acts I’ve ever seen.
That look that she gives Pema and the kids before she turns and leaps onto the Equalist ship is one of the most tender, almost longing looks I’ve ever seen on her face. It’s like she’s soaking in the sight of the family that she’s sacrificing herself for - that one last gaze that takes in everything they are - and it’s clear in this moment that, regardless of whatever animosity may have existed between her and Pema in the past (which, honestly, from their interaction earlier in the episode, mostly seems to be from Pema towards Lin, not vice versa), she still cares deeply about Tenzin, and therefore, will give her life to protect the family that he loves.
Even if it isn’t just the remnants of the love they used to share, you have to recall: these two probably grew up together. Before they were ever lovers, they were childhood friends. Their families were close; their parents were each others’ closest friends.
And in that moment, the moment where she looked at Tenzin’s family, you could almost feel her wonder for the briefest second if this is what she and Tenzin could have had, had they stayed together. And then you see her decision just crystallize in a single moment of choice. This - this family, Pema, this newly born child - was Tenzin’s choice, and Lin loves him enough to respect that, to protect that. It’s not just that they’re the last airbenders in the world - it’s because Lin effing Beifong respects Tenzin’s choice, and selflessly gives her life (because, if this had not been a Nick show, you could clearly see that she expected never to return) to protect that.
(Source: sapphire--fire, via pencilpaperpassion)