- This article is about the episode. For the celebration, see Avatar Day festival.
Aang and his friends stumble upon a town celebrating an Anti-Avatar Day. The villagers blame the Avatar for killing their leader, Chin the Great, in a past life and Aang is arrested and tried for his crimes. After Fire Nation soldiers attack the village, Aang is pardoned after he defeats them. The town consequently changes the anti-Avatar celebration into a pro-Avatar celebration. Meanwhile Zuko had disguised himself as the Blue Spirit to steal food for him and his uncle. Iroh is not happy with what Zuko is doing, and Zuko decides to leave him.
Momo spots a spider that has made a web in Sokka's mouth, due to the fact that he was sleeping with his mouth open. Attempting to grab the spider, the lemur wakes Sokka, who yells at Momo in response; he, in turn, wakes Katara and Aang. His outburst attracts the attention of a mounted Fire Nation military unit known as the Rough Rhinos, who surround them.
In their attempt to leave quickly, the trio instantly realizes that they each left a precious possession behind at the camp: Katara's waterbending scroll, Aang's staff, and Sokka's boomerang. Katara and Aang take advantage of their bending abilities and retrieve their desired possessions while Sokka is the only who is unable to retrieve his. He asks them, sarcastic and upset, if the two really had only enough time to get their possessions back and not his. Katara simply affirms the fact.
While purchasing supplies, Aang, Sokka, and Katara learn of a festival known as "Avatar Day", celebrated in an Earth Kingdom village. Curious and excited, they go to the festival, and find a parade with giant floats that are made to look like Avatars Kyoshi, Roku, and Aang himself. The trio initially believe that the festival is honoring the Avatar, and Aang is very satisfied with the fact. However, a man appears and torches the three floats to the loud approval of the villagers, who chant, "Down with the Avatar!"
Katara promptly extinguishes the burning effigies; when the festival-goers protest, Aang reveals himself as the Avatar. Believing that he will destroy them, the villagers cower from him, and he is told by Mayor Tong to leave the village as he is an unwanted visitor. When Katara states that they have no right to question his honor, since Aang helps people, Tong scoffs at the suggestion, explaining that it had been Kyoshi, Aang in a past life, who the villagers believed to have killed their former leader, Chin the Great. In an attempt to clear his name, Aang agrees to stand trial. He is imprisoned, however, as the town does not accept Water Tribe currency to cover bail; he tasks Sokka and Katara with investigating the townspeople's accusations. After hearing Mayor Tong's description of Chin's statue and his account of Kyoshi emerging from the temple to strike the emperor down, Katara realizes that Kyoshi would never have set foot on the island if the temple and statue were carved out of the same stone and the statue was built following Chin's death.
After some searching, they also discover a footprint at the end of the island, which would prove to be some evidence later. Sokka and Katara return to Kyoshi Island to find evidence that can help prove his innocence. They are welcomed with cheers from the islanders, including the foaming mouth guy, but the villagers become disappointed when they realize Aang is not one of the visitors. Katara and Sokka briefly state their business to Oyaji, who subsequently takes the them to the Kyoshi Shrine. Inside are several relics belonging to the past Avatar, as well as a painting, "The Birth of Kyoshi", through which they find out that Kyoshi was founding the island at the very same time she supposedly murdered Chin the Great. Katara also discovers, by looking at Kyoshi's boots, that the size of her feet was very large (the biggest of all the Avatars, she is told); she begins to voice her conclusion, but Sokka interrupts her and proceeds to voice the realization himself: Kyoshi's supposed murder of Chin the Great was unlikely, as the footprint they previously saw was small, not large.
Returning to Chin Village, however, they discover that the evidence they have gathered, while convincing, will be rendered useless by the structuring of the trials, in which the opposing sides only tell what they believe happened. Using only the two stories, the jury decides who is innocent and who is guilty; for this case, the village mayor serves as both prosecution and jury. Meanwhile, Aang, still in his jail cell, has become somewhat friendly with the other prisoners. One of them offers him advice about girls, that is, Katara.
During Aang's trial, after hearing Tong's story and Aang's vague, disjointed version, he is found guilty. Refusing to give up, Sokka and Katara have Aang dress up in Kyoshi's old uniform.
Suddenly, Kyoshi manifests through Aang's body, much like Avatar Roku did during the winter solstice at the Fire Temple. She announces to the village that she did indeed kill Chin the Great, or Chin the Conqueror, as she calls him. He was conquering neighboring lands and was planning on conquering Kyoshi's village, which at the time was situated on a peninsula. To protect her people, she confronted Chin's army alone, coming face to face with the surprisingly short warlord. However, instead of fighting, Kyoshi used the Avatar State to separate the entire peninsula from the mainland, pushing it into the ocean to form Kyoshi Island. In the process, Kyoshi's airbending scattered and decimated Chin's army. Chin himself was left standing on a weakening overhang at the end of the cliff. He cried out in frustration, but because he was too stubborn to walk away, he fell to his death when the ground broke off from under his feet.
Once Kyoshi disappears, Aang asks Katara what happened, and she tells him that he confessed to the murder. The village brings out a wheel for Aang to spin to determine his punishment. It lands on being boiled in oil, but before the sentence can be carried out, the Rough Rhinos arrive and attempt to take over the village. Fearing for his safety, the mayor quickly changes the punishment to community service and pleads with Aang to "do a service to the community" by defeating the warriors, which he, Sokka, and Katara do. The trio engages the warriors in battle and is successful in driving them away. Sokka regains his boomerang during the battle exclaiming, "Boomerang! You do always come back!" In an act of thanks, the mayor decides that in the future, Avatar Day will honor the day Avatar Aang saved the town from the Rough Rhinos. Since Aang was not boiled in oil on that day, the celebration involves eating effigies of the Avatar made from unfried dough. Sokka, unnerved by the whole experience, offers the opinion that Chin Village is "by far the worst town [they have] ever been to".
Meanwhile, ashamed of the position in which he finds himself, Zuko disguises himself as the Blue Spirit to steal from the wealthy. Worried about how Zuko is coping with the situation, Iroh tells Zuko, "In the darkest times, hope is something you give yourself. That is the meaning of inner strength." After thinking about what his uncle said, Zuko decides to travel alone.
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- Additional voices:
- Main article: Transcript: Avatar Day
- Main article: Writing in the World of Avatar
- Main article: Avatar Extras for Book Two: Earth
- Sokka foreshadows events in season three as he speaks of losing his boomerang, Aang losing his arrow, and Katara losing her hair loopies. These things come to occur over the course of the third season. Sokka loses his boomerang and his sword in the finale, Katara stops sporting hair loopies as to not look Water Tribe while undercover in the Fire Nation, and Aang is forced to grow hair and cover his arrow during the same period.
- However, Aang wears his headband with its design pointing downward to resemble his arrow tattoo.
- There is no recap to this episode. The other two episodes that do not have recaps are "The Boy in the Iceberg" and "The Swamp".
- The man who foams at the mouth after Katara and Sokka land on Kyoshi Island was first featured in "The Warriors of Kyoshi".
- This is the first episode in which Avatar Kyoshi is seen bending elements other than earth.
- Sokka's exclamation, "Airbending slice!", is made again in "Sozin's Comet, Part 3: Into the Inferno", giving him an idea as to how to stop the airships.
- This is the third time Aang's body physically takes the form of a previous Avatar, in this case Kyoshi; the first two were in the episodes "Winter Solstice, Part 2: Avatar Roku" and "The Deserter", when Aang took the form of Avatar Roku.
- When attacked by the Rough Rhinos, Sokka, Aang, and Katara all forget to take a certain possession of theirs. Katara claims to have forgotten her waterbending scrolls, even though they were given to Aang in "The Avatar State" by Master Pakku.
- When the merchant asks Team Avatar if they are going to the festival, Sokka is seen crying. The white part of his eyes are the same color as his skin.
- When the group is watching the Avatar statues roll by, Momo is on Sokka's shoulder the whole time; when the guy with torch runs by and the camera is behind Sokka, Momo disappears, but suddenly reappears in the frontal view.
- In the beginning, when Zuko, disguised as the Blue Spirit, steals food from two people, some food was seen spilled on the ground. When he disappears, however, the there is no longer any food on the ground.
- If the shot is paused when Sokka is making a sweeping motion with his hand, his glove can be seen as solid with no slit for his first two fingers.
- Even though Sokka had left his boomerang behind, when Aang is first shown in prison, it can be seen on the former's back.
- In "The Warriors of Kyoshi", a large mountain could be seen behind the Kyoshi Island village entrance. However, in this episode, the mountain is no longer there.
- When Katara and Sokka first see Kyoshi's boots on Kyoshi Island, they are brown. Yet when Aang is wearing them at Chin Village during his trial, they are black.
- When the scary prisoner first appears, he is shown with thin eyebrows; however, when he is later seen giving relationship advice to Aang, he has no eyebrows.
- Avatar Kyoshi took out one of her fans to airbend at Chin the Conqueror, but before she split the peninsula to create Kyoshi Island, both of her fans were in her belt.
- During Kyoshi's flashback, Chin can be seen firmly planting his foot in the ground, making the footprint Mayor Tong shows Katara and Sokka. When Chin falls, however, the ground underneath both his feet gives way, meaning the footprint should not be there anymore.
- After Avatar Kyoshi's flashback finishes, the close-up of Kyoshi's face has a large animation error, containing an unhidden layer of duplicate tassels and hair.
- When the scene shows a frontal view of Mayor Tong sitting between the civilians, there is a woman with a shorter man beside her. When the scene cuts to a side-view of the mayor, the woman disappears.
- When Zuko leaves on the ostrich horse, in the first scene the tail is white, but in the next scene the tail is brown.
- When the Wheel of Punishment landed on the "boiled in oil" punishment, the image to the right appears to be someone lying on a bed of nails. When the mayor moves the wheel one space to the right later, the picture is of community service. However, when Aang prepares to face the Rough Rhinos, the order is back to boiled in oil, nails, and community service.
- When the Rough Rhinos arrive to attack the village, one of them is already directly next to the statue of Chin. However, he was never seen coming down. When he cuts down the statue, the statue does not go down with the cut at all either.
- This is the first time in Book Two that Zuko mentions his goal of capturing the Avatar.
- When playing detective, Sokka affects an unusual hat and ornate pipe. Sherlock Holmes, a detective created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, was often portrayed in magazine illustrations wearing an unusual deerstalker hat and smoking an ornately curved pipe.
- Sokka's special detective hat is the winged cap traditionally worn by Chinese magistrates, who in Chinese literature were often depicted as great detectives.
- The hat Sokka wore was first worn by the calm man in "The Fortuneteller".
- Even though Kyoshi confesses, in the flashback, it shows that she did not actually kill Chin the Conqueror. She merely caused the conditions which led to him falling off the cliff. In the finale of the show, when Aang comments on how Kyoshi technically did not kill Chin, she blankly responds: "Personally I don't see the difference, but I assure you I would've done whatever it took to stop Chin."
- This is the last episode prior to Toph's introduction.
- The bailiff repeatedly refers to Aang as "it", either unsure whether it is Kyoshi, a female, or Aang, a male, that is up for trial, or in an effort to further humiliate the Avatar, denying him humanity even in the pronoun used to address him.
- Aang's fellow prisoners give him the advice that he has an advantage as the Avatar with the ladies. This is similar to what Roku said to Aang during Roku's wedding flashback in "The Avatar and the Fire Lord".
- This is the only episode in Book Two, prior to Toph joining the group, where the kids do not mention the search for an earthbending teacher.
- This is the first time hair loopies are mentioned by their name.
- This is the only episode in Avatar: The Last Airbender in which fire is produced and spread for destructive purposes by somebody other than a firebender.