The Chakra Theory
Thought there was too much shipping in the last episode? So did I (and I'm a shipper) - but I'm willing to forgive, and you might be, too. All the love triangle/quadrangle/dodecahedron business might be annoying, but there may very well be a plot-related reason behind it. The Water Chakra is associated with sexuality, and is unblocked by resolving sexual guilt. And what was this episode about, if not getting shipping grievances out in the open and putting them aside (or at least on hold) in the interest of friendship? This leads me to believe that Korra has opened her second chakra.
Yes, second. If the Chakra theory is correct, the unblocking of Korra's chakras began in episode four, when Korra finally admitted she was scared of Amon. Recall Aang's own experience with chakras in Book Two's "The Guru." The first chakra he and Pathik tackled was the Earth Chakra, which is blocked by fear and focuses on survival. This seems to be a thematic focus of LOK's "The Voice in the Night" - it's a dark, frightening episode, with Korra feeling pressured, overwhelmed, and utterly terrified, ultimately ending with Korra sobbing out her confession to Tenzin. Could this moment have signified the opening of her Earth Chakra? It's subtle, but Tenzin's line about acknowledging fears spoke to me, and after "The Spirit of Competition," I'm fairly convinced: the next five episodes will have a thematic focus on Korra's chakras.
Accepting this hypothesis, here is what we can expect. Information comes from this page on the Avatar wiki.
Episode 6: Fire Chakra, blocked by shame, deals with willpower.
Episode 7: Air Chakra, blocked by grief, deals with love.
Episode 8: Sound Chakra, blocked by lies, deals with truth.
Episode 9: Light Chakra, blocked by illusion, deals with insight.
Episode 10: Thought Chakra, blocked by earthly attachments, deals with pure cosmic energy.
Speculation time! I predict that Korra will access the Avatar State either in episode 10 or episode 11, when she has opened all of her chakras. She will have an airbending breakthrough in episode 7; since the associated chakra deals with unconditional love, I think it's quite likely we'll get some heartwarming air family interaction (maybe the birth of Pema's baby) and Korra connecting with the brothers. As Wikipedia informs me that the fourth chakra is also symbolic of male-female union, I would not be in the least surprised by some development on the Makorra front in this episode as well (I don't believe for a second either of them will have gotten over their feelings by this point). While I would like to see Korra talking with Spirit Guide!Aang before episode 8, I believe that this or episode 9 will be the episode in which we learn precisely what happened with Yakone 42 years ago. Episode 9 may also give us some information on Amon (backstory, identity, etc.) and/or other supplementary characters people have suspicions about (the Satos, Tarrlok).
Thoughts? Are you persuaded by the chakra theory? Why or why not? Do you have some chakra-related speculation of your own you'd like to share?