|By Olorin The Black||Genre||Rating||Reviews||Updates|
|More from Olorin The Black||Adventure||G (all ages)||Here||No update page|
Does not really change till Sozin's Comet; feel free to skip ahead The Awakening
The episode begins with Aang awakening on a Fire Nation ship. Upon seeing the Fire Nation tapestries hanging in his room, he panics, believing he has been captured. He flees his room and runs into two guards—who turn out to be Pipsqueak and The Duke, two former members of Jet's Freedom Fighters. Aang attempts to flee, only to find himself crippled by his wounds. He eventually finds himself greeted by his friends, as well as Bato and Hakoda, all clad in Fire Nation uniforms and cloaks. Overwhelmed by this whole situation and weak from his wounds, he faints.
The scene switches to Zuko watching the moon until he is approached by Mai. He reveals his conflicted feelings about his internal changes and his imminent return to the Fire Nation. She tells him not to worry, and kisses him before leaving.
Meanwhile, Katara informs Aang that he has hair now, and she also tells him about how they had returned to Chameleon Bay after he was injured. They had found her father, and later captured a Fire Nation ship. Hakoda greets Aang and tells him that though the Fire Nation has captured Ba Sing Se, they would still go ahead with the plan to invade the Fire Nation on the Day of Black Sun. In an angered tone, Katara corrects him that it is Sokka's plan. Aang begins to feel pain once more and returns to his room with Katara to undergo healing. While she is healing his back, Aang begins to recall the battle in Ba Sing Se and feels that he has failed everyone as the Avatar, that he was more than hurt by Azula's lightning attack but that his spirit had actually separated from his body, and that if Katara hadn't healed him he would be dead. Katara says that she used the spirit water on him, not knowing what exactly she did; Aang says she saved him. They return outside again as daylight begins to break, as Sokka explains that the Earth King and his bear, Bosco, had decided to travel the world in disguise. He mentions that they have currently gotten through the Serpent's Pass. According to Sokka, although their forces are greatly outnumbered for the invasion, they have one clear advantage - the world believes the Avatar to be dead, and thus the Fire Nation will not be hunting for him any longer. However, Aang does not take this revelation well at all, because this marks the second "death" of the Avatar.
On the balcony of the Royal Plaza in the Fire Nation, Lo and Li announce the capture of Ba Sing Se, as well as the return of Prince Zuko and the death of the Avatar to the assembled armies below. They explain how Azula instructed the Dai Li to bring down a small section of the wall to allow the Fire Nation army to enter unopposed. Afterwards, soldiers are seen marching through the streets, and platoons of Fire Nation tanks roll towards the Earth Palace, amongst the Earth Kingdom citizens shown are Iroh and Zuko's former employer Pao, Jin, and Ying and Tahn with their baby, Hope. Both Azula and Zuko appear to the crowd to rising cheers to the armies. The scene then switches to the front of the crowd where a man is smiling up at Zuko and Azula. he looks much like Ozai except younger with shorter hair.
Meanwhile, Aang and the others run into an actual Fire Nation ship. While the others hide, Hakoda and Bato try to talk their way out, but the crew eventually finds holes in their story. The Captain decides to let them think they got away, but sink the ship as soon as they are clear. Toph overhears the order, however, and swiftly drops the captain and his guards into the water by way of Metalbending. Katara then puts space between the two ships with a huge Waterbending attack that nearly capsizes the enemy ship, and they try to escape. Despite the tremendous efforts of Katara and Toph, the ship takes heavy damage from the pursuing Fire Nation ship. Out of sheer bad luck, the Serpent of Serpent's Pass appears but is struck by a stray fireball. The heroes get the chance to escape as the enraged serpent attacks the Fire Nation ship.
The scene changes with Zuko at the palace, feeding Turtle Ducks like he once did with his mother, until Azula steps in to ask him why he looks so depressed. Zuko tells her that he does not want to see his father yet because he did not capture the Avatar. Azula reassures him that the Fire Lord should not care because the Avatar is supposed to be dead. She then asks him suspiciously if he thinks the Avatar is still alive. Zuko warily recalls the Spirit Oasis water that Katara had showed him, along with its special healing abilities, but he tells his sister that the Avatar could not have survived. Azula gives him a suspicious look and tells him that their father wants to see him.
Fire Lord Ozai congratulates his son on a job well done and even mentions that he feels especially proud that Zuko showed ferocity in how he killed the Avatar. Zuko asks him what he heard about this, and his father responds that Azula told him that Zuko had slain the Avatar.
Azula was seen with the man in the crowd briefly. They walk around the palace and kiss before they take different paths.
Later that night, Zuko confronts his sister pointedly as to why she said he killed the Avatar instead of telling the truth. She answers that she wanted to make him feel better and to let him have some of the glory. However, she also implies that, should the Avatar be found alive, whoever was responsible for not killing him, would face Ozai's wrath. In essence, Zuko is her scapegoat.
Docking at a port, Aang confesses to Katara he feels ashamed that everyone thinks he is dead and that he failed to stop the infiltration at Ba Sing Se. After giving into a burst of rage, he asks Katara to leave him alone. She reluctantly leaves him to gather supplies in port. While his friends are away, he flees the ship in hopes of infiltrating the Fire Nation alone. He makes it far, even passing a blockade of Fire Nation ships, before a storm picks up. He then uses a log in the water combined with his glider to make a sail-surfer.
Katara returns to Aang's room only to find it vacant, she immediately realizes what has happened and rushes out of the room. She runs to her father telling him, in tears, that Aang has run away to fight alone. She then pours her heart out to her father about the entire situation of the war and how she has missed him. Hakoda comforts Katara, and tells her that he has missed her and Sokka every day since he left, and not a day went by that he did not think of them. He says that he would sit awake at night thinking about them so much that it ached.
Meanwhile, the storm becomes even more intense, with Aang ultimately losing his glider. Aang feels like a failure, thinking that he will not make it out of the storm, but Avatar Roku appears to him in a vision, apologizing for not doing anything to stop the war before it began, and encouraging Aang not to give up. Princess Yue also appears in a beam of moonlight, calming the ocean, offering her encouragement as well. With Yue's help, Aang makes a huge tidal wave and heads off, washing up on Crescent Island, where the Fire Temple once stood.
His friends find him lying on the shoreline, having split up with the Water Tribe warriors until the attack. They tell him that they intend to travel with him, as they still need to continue his Earthbending training. Toph finds his broken glider and returns it to him. Aang decides that if he is to maintain the element of surprise, the world will have to think he is dead for the time being. He then impales the glider into the molten rock, leaving it to burn.
Zuko tosses and turns in his sleep before he eventually awakens. He approaches a Fire Nation prison and looks distantly towards it. As he stands near the entrance, a guard spies him from the roof and demands to know Zuko's identity, but he simply walks away instead.
Meanwhile, Aang and the others are traveling through the Fire Nation, using a combination of Waterbending and Airbending to hide Appa in a cloud. They take temporary shelter in a cave, and go to seek out new clothes so they could blend in the Fire Nation, eliminating the need to hide. They find an unattended clothesline and steal some outfits. Aang uncomfortably blushes when Katara comes in her new outfit, and he quickly indicates that she has to remove her Water Tribe necklace. Afterwards they go to town to buy some accessories (including a new necklace for Katara, who sadly removes her mother's Water Tribe necklace).
In town, the group attempts to act natural, which is somewhat impeded by Aang, who, having traveled through the Fire Nation a century before, claims to be an expert of their customs. He calls people he sees on the street "hotman" and other expressions that have clearly been out of date for a hundred years. When the others go to buy food from a meat stand, Aang declines due to his vegetarianism and goes off on his own for a bit. However, he is quickly caught by a group of men who escort him into a classroom. His stolen clothing happens to be the uniform of a local school, and the soldiers assume he had been a student playing hooky. The teacher assumes he is a new student from the Fire Nation colonies in the Earth Kingdom. Aang calls himself Kuzon after his old Fire Nation friend and attempts to blend in at the school with partial success. After dismissal he meets a girl named On Ji, who is friendly to him, as well as On Ji's apparent boyfriend, Hide, a popular student who is less than friendly. After a brief confrontation, Aang winds up making friends and playing with Shoji and other children from the school.
Aang returns to the cave at nightfall, to the relief of Katara, Sokka, and Toph who were evidently worried by his long absence. The fact that he had been attending a Fire Nation school all day shocks Aang's friends, especially Sokka. When Aang claims to have enjoyed the experience and wishes to return to the school the next day Sokka strongly objects. Aang argues that every minute in the class he is learning new things about the Fire Nation (showing Sokka a picture of Ozai as well as one he made out of noodles). Eventually Aang manages to convince him to allow it by pointing out that it's an opportunity to find out information about the Fire Nation, specifically mentioning a "secret river" they were going to learn about that led to Fire Lord Ozai's palace. Sokka admits that he is a fan of "secret rivers" and reluctantly permits Aang to go back the next day. Aang is full of joy, and says, "Flameo, hot man!" to Sokka, who doesn't have a clue what he just said.
Meanwhile, Zuko returns to the prison. When confronted by the guard from the previous night, he threatens him not to tell anyone about his visit to the castle. He goes into the room where Iroh is being kept prisoner; Iroh turns away from him, showing great disappointment in his nephew. Zuko tells Iroh that it is his own fault that he is in prison, and that the two could have returned to the Fire Nation together as heroes. Iroh still refuses to speak, sending Zuko into a fit of rage, leaving a saddened Iroh alone in the cell.
The next day at school, Aang gets in trouble for not properly reciting the Fire Nation Oath correctly, as he had obviously never heard it. The students think his bumbling through the oath is a funny joke, but the teacher punishes his disruption of the class by calling for a pop quiz on the Fire Nation's history. The first question asks for the year in which Fire Lord Sozin defeated the Air Nation Army. Aang, confused, points out to the stunned class that the Air Nomads had no formal military, and were defeated by an ambush. The teacher rejects his claim, as it is not in the Fire Nation's history texts, and stated that unless he was there 100 years ago, he has no right to argue.
In Band class, Aang tries to play the Tsungi Horn and gets chided by the teacher for dancing, which apparently is not considered proper in the Fire Nation. Nevertheless, On Ji is amused by the dance, and when Aang offers to show it to her during recess he incurs the wrath of Hide, who attempts to hit him. However, Aang skillfully evades every attempted blow with his hands behind his back, eventually getting the clearly outmatched Hide to stumble and fall over without any bending or even touching him. However, this gets Aang into trouble for "roughing up" a favored student of The Headmaster, resulting in a parent-teacher conference. Sokka and Katara attend the conference acting as Aang's parents, "Mr. Wang Fire" and "Mrs. Sapphire Fire". While they manage to succeed in fooling the teacher, Sokka is against Aang returning to school ("NO more school for you young man"). Aang, however, insists that they need to do something for the children in the school in order to allow them, at least briefly, to have freedom of expression. Since these students are the next generation of the Fire Nation, changing them might help. He then plans to hold a secret dance party in the cave for everyone in the school(to which Sokka, still wearing his beard, demands that he goes to his room).
Meanwhile, Zuko has a romantic picnic with Mai and they share a kiss. The two are interrupted by Azula, who tries to get Zuko to talk to her. He refuses, resulting in Azula sending Mai away; Mai complies politely, but shoots Azula a quick, venomous look as she passes. Azula tells Zuko about Sozin being back at the palace and tells him to go see Sozin. Azula then tricks Zuko into admitting that he was visiting Iroh, and warns him, with apparent sincerity, not to do so, as his visiting a traitor would make others suspicious. Nevertheless, Zuko visits his uncle in prison again. Again Iroh merely faces away from Zuko. Zuko attempts to be kinder, bringing Iroh food as a gift. Zuko begs Iroh for his advice; he explains that he believes the Avatar to be alive, and that he is very confused and has no idea what to do about it without Iroh's guidance. When Iroh remains silent, Zuko flies into another rage, berating Iroh, then leaves. As he leaves, Iroh remains silent, but a tear runs down his face.
Back in the cave, the children arrive and the school band begins to play. The children do not know how to dance and are afraid they'll get in trouble. Aang demonstrates some historical Fire Nation dances, and eventually asks On Ji to dance, which gradually encourages the rest of the students to do the same. Sokka states that Aang and On Ji look good together, to which Katara gives a slightly terse response. Later, Aang asks Katara to dance. After hesitating, she takes Aang's hand and they perform a combination of neijia drills and capoeira in synchronization, which does indeed appear to be an acrobatic dance. However, the headmaster and several teachers appear on the scene, having been told of the dance by Hide. They try to catch Aang, but he hides within the crowd of kids. Because the teachers identify Aang with his headband, they are thrown off when they discover several other students wearing the same headband. Eventually, every student in the cave appears to have put one on, effectively delaying the headmaster's hunt for Aang.
The crew manage to slip away in the opening behind the cave. But before leaving, Aang stops and exchanges smiles with Shoji before running off, closing the opening behind him with Earthbending and leaving Shoji speechless. While the party flies off on Appa, Toph compliments Aang on his efforts, which she believes made a serious impact on the students. Katara agrees and kisses Aang on the cheek, causing him to blush. Sokka refuses to take his fake beard off, claiming that it is permanently glued to his skin.
Meanwhile, Zuko walks into a dark alley at night. There he meets with a mysterious man with a metal arm and leg, as well as a tattooed third-eye. Zuko states his purpose for contacting the man very simple: he has heard the man is capable of doing his job effectively and secretly, and Zuko wants him to track down and eliminate the Avatar.
The Painted Lady
The group floats downstream, in the middle of a river that seems to be mostly brown sludge. With little chance of catching any food, they decide to buy some food in the village of Jang Hui. This conflicts with Sokka's "Master Schedule," planning every minute up to the Invasion Day.
The village happens to be in the middle of the river, which has been polluted by a nearby military factory. They are ferried to the village by Dock, a rather eccentric man. The village is in a deep depression. Many villagers are sick, and there is a lack of food because of the polluted water. Katara wishes to help these people, but Sokka says their overall mission is too important to stop to help everybody they come across. They buy some food from Xu, a shopkeeper who happens to bear a strong resemblance to Dock, save for a new hat. Before they leave, Katara gives one of the fish they bought to a small child, but as she sees him give it to his sick mother, she wishes she could do more.
That night, Sokka is trying to find a way to rearrange their schedule, and mentions that the solar eclipse will only occur for about 8 minutes. In the morning, Appa is found lying on his side, and his tongue is purple. Katara suggests that the village might have some herbs that can heal him.
When they get to the village, everybody happens to be in much better spirits. According to Xu, a legendary local river spirit known as the Painted Lady came and gave them some more food. But there is no medicine in the village, as the factory takes it all. Katara suggests letting Appa rest for another day.
That night, a thick mist comes across the village. The Painted Lady arrives and heals several of the sick. The child Katara helped earlier thanks her, and the Painted Lady leaves across the water.
The next day, Appa is still sick, so they return to the village. The village is in even higher spirits, and the people have erected a large statue of the Painted Lady in thanks for healing their sick. Xu/Dock suggests that maybe the Painted Lady could help Appa out. Sokka skeptically notes that the Painted Lady's work will be all for nothing unless she helps them all the time, as long as that factory is still there, and jokingly suggests that the Lady should use her "spirit magic" to just blow it up.
Sozin and Azula were seen briefly, having dinner while obviously on a date. They both had a smile on their face and didn't notice Zuko, Ty Lee, and Mai watching them from another table.
"Wow, they really look happy together" Ty Lee said.
"Yeah, it makes me think Azula isn't completely a monster" Zuko said.
"Why are we spying on them again?" Mai asked in her nonchalant tone.
"I want to see why they have been sneaking around. I thought they would be going off in secret so they could train" Zuko said.
"Okay but I do not want to have lightning through my body" Mai said.
"I don't think Azula would ever do that to us" Ty Lee said confidently.
"Is that really what you believe?" Azula asked after she led Sozin around every one so they could sneak up on Zuko, Ty Lee, and Mai.
"Yes. I do believe that" Ty Lee said.
"I guess you are right, somewhat" Azula whispered.
"How did you know we were here?" Zuko asked.
"You three are very easy to spot" Sozin said.
"I am sorry we followed you today" Ty Lee said.
"It's okay Ty Lee. Just don't do it again" Azula ordered. Zuko, Mai, and Ty Lee agreed immediately, and left Azula and Sozin to finish their dinner.
The next night, the Painted Lady turns out to actually be Katara. She once again puts on her disguise, but as she leaves, Momo wakes up, rousing Aang in turn. Seeing the Painted Lady, he tries to ask for her help, but she runs away. Aang chases her all the way to the village. Katara then gets very far ahead, since while Aang was running, he ran into a pole, and she thinks that she has lost him. But suddenly Aang pops out of nowhere and tells the "spirit" (Katara) that he is the Avatar. He then tells her that she was very pretty for a spirit and how the other spirits he meets are not very attractive.
Aang then eventually starts to see that the "spirit" looks very familiar to him and attempts many times to find out why, eventually Airbending the hat off her head, which is when he finally finds out Katara's secret Appa's "illness" was the result of her feeding him berries that stained his tongue. Katara sadly confesses and apologizes for holding them there to help the village, but Aang naturally likes the idea, saying that it was great and that Katara was like a secret hero. Together, the two infiltrate the factory and wreck it, stopping the flow of pollution.
In the morning, the two arrive back at the camp and find Sokka and Toph waiting for them, having found out the truth on their own. As they prepare to leave, they see a squad of Fire Nation troops heading towards the town on Fire Nation jet skis, and realize that they must believe the villagers had sabotaged the factory. Katara is determined to stop them, and despite their argument, Sokka readily agrees to help her once he sees that she's set on helping.
At the village, General Mung accuses them not only of destroying the factory, but also for stealing the food and medicine that Katara (as The Painted Lady) had given them before from them as well. The soldiers start attacking the village, but a gust of wind blows their flames out. Suddenly, a large mist began enveloping the town. With help from Appa, Toph, and Sokka providing spooky sound effects, Aang and Katara stage an encounter with the Painted Lady to defeat the troops and drive them away.
The villagers cheer the Painted Lady, but Dock/Xu notices that her facepaint has smudged, and recognizes Katara. Several of the villagers get angry, but Katara apologizes, tells the villagers that they need to deal with their own problems, and offers to help them clean up the river. Dock/Xu goes to get his brother Bushi, which consists of switching hats yet again. Bushi also confides that Dock happens to have Multiple Personality Disorder and is crazy.
The gang stays behind long enough to help the villagers clean up their river. That night, as Katara examines the water, a thick mist appears out of nowhere, and the real Painted Lady appears to thank her before disappearing into the mist.
The episode opens with Aang, Katara, and Sokka, watching a meteor shower. Toph naturally can't see anything, but is lying with them nonetheless. One meteorite falls to earth and impacts close by, starting a forest fire near a village. Fighting the fire, Aang and Toph begin to build trenches around it while Katara flies on Appa to Waterbend a nearby creek to dispose of the fire. Sokka, however, is placed in charge of Momo and does nothing to contribute, much to his dismay (even Momo manages to help out snuffing ember fires more than Sokka).
Meanwhile, General Poon goes to give Iroh his food in prison. The guard mocks a markedly disheveled Iroh as he scrabbles for the gruel, even scooping what had fallen onto the ground into his mouth. As soon as the guard is gone, he becomes more collected, wipes the sweaty hair out of his face and calmly finishes his meal in peace, only eating out of the bowl.
While they are eating in the town, Sokka expresses how he feels useless for not being able to bend or fight as well as the others. The group tries to console him and takes him shopping at a weapons store. Katara is seen trying on dirt red leather gloves, and Aang tries on some very intimidating, but heavy armor. After trying many weapons (and injuring himself a lot of times), Sokka sees a priceless sword that he falls in love with. The shop owner informs him that it was forged by the Fire Nation's most renowned swords master, Piandao, who happens to live in a castle nearby. At Aang's suggestion, Sokka decides to seek the tutelage of the master because every other member of their group was formally trained with a real master of a bending art (Aang by Monk Gyatso, Katara by Master Pakku and Toph by Badgermoles).
Iroh is once again shown again, lying on the ground deep in thought. Suddenly his eyes widen and he begins explosively doing bent-knee sit ups, five before the camera cuts away to the group.
Sokka then travels to Piandao's dojo only to be informed by Fat that he turns away almost everyone seeking the same thing, critical of Sokka having not brought any gifts to prove his worth. During the interview, Sokka humbly admits his own unworthiness to the master, which is exactly what he was looking for. He decides to take Sokka under his wing. He is set about to do tasks such as landscape painting and calligraphy, as well as practicing against one of the master's underlings.
It then cuts to the group missing Sokka, trying to make jokes in his absence. They have no success, and when Katara tries, Aang even says, "I guess the jokes don't run in the family."
Meanwhile, Iroh is still mocked by his guard. Iroh doesn't show any affect to the guard's insults but once the guard leaves Iroh to do some sit ups when his feet up in the air. Iroh is then seen to be training much more in the guards' absence, having upgraded to a more difficult variation of sit-up, the straight-legged inverted sit-up, and clapping push-ups. He keeps up the facade of loneliness and desperation in front of the guard and the guard insults Iroh numerous times.
In the meantime, Sokka's swordsmanship greatly improves, finally beating the underling while taking a new approach at some of the challenges set before him. Now, the swords master believes him to be worthy enough to choose a steel to make his sword. Unsatisfied with the samples of metal before him, Sokka gets a flash of inspiration, and gets Aang, Katara, and Toph to help him haul the meteorite up to the castle to use to make his sword. Aang and Katara are both overjoyed to see him again, while Toph claims that she didn't care, turning away to hide the blush on her cheeks. They haul the meteorite up, pushing it while Toph helps them by bending it up some. They are addressed at the door by Piandao, asking about Aang, Katara, and Toph, whom he claims to be friends also from the Fire Nation colonies from the former Earth Kingdom.
Still, Iroh is seen to be training whenever not under watch, being able to perform difficult exercises including but not limited to inverted crunches, inverted push-ups, and one handed pull-ups. By this time he seems to regain much of his strength.
After spending a full night forging his sword, being made in a traditional Chinese fashion of melting, pouring into a mold, shaping, and quenching, the swords master presents Sokka a very unique, all black sword, claiming to have never seen such a creative, imaginative student or blade. Sokka refuses, though, and confesses the truth about actually being from the Southern Water Tribe. The master attacks him, and they then engage in a duel. Aang and the others try to intervene, but Sokka tells them to stand back, feeling he needs to fight the battle on his own.
Meanwhile, still keeping his jailer unaware, Iroh has managed to recondition his body to be more formidable than ever before. Iroh also has to use his pillows to make sure his jailer still thinks Iroh is a large man.
As the duel between Sokka and his master moves outside, Sokka uses the techniques he's learned-coupled with his youth and agility-to get the upper hand (something the master points out several times) However, the swords master finally gains the upper hand, but sheaths his sword before delivering the final blow. He now reveals that he had known Sokka was from the Water Tribe all along just from his name, and also notes that Aang is the Avatar. Nonetheless, he claims that the art of the sword does not belong to any one nation, and gives Sokka his sword back.
After leaving his castle, Fat runs after Sokka, giving him a bag as the swords master's gift. Inside the bag is a Pai Sho tile: the White Lotus. As the doors to the master's home close, they notice that the symbol of the White Lotus can be seen surrounding that of the Fire Nation. As they leave, Sokka gives Toph a remaining piece of the meteorite, calling it "Space Earth". Happy with the gift, Toph easily forms the meteoric iron into various shapes between her hands, such as a sphere, a spiral, a star and (comically) the outline of the Nickelodeon logo.
Zuko, Azula, Mai, and Ty Lee unwillingly go on vacation to Ember Island at Lo and Li's beach house, due to the fact Fire Lord Ozai is holding a restricted meeting with his advisers. Zuko is especially upset because Sozin is allowed at the meeting, despite Ozai's hatred for him.
Meanwhile, Aang and friends rest up in an isolated quarry, where they think they'll be safe from getting spotted. Playing in the water, Aang is accidentally spotted by two bored Fire Nation soldiers, who send a message via Messenger Hawk to Fire Lord Ozai saying that the Avatar is still alive. However, the message is later intercepted by a Raven Eagle, owned by 'The Combustion Man', the Firebender assassin hired by Zuko to eliminate Aang.
Zuko, Azula, Mai and Ty Lee go to the beach to have some fun. Azula nastily crushes a kid's sand castle, while Ty Lee soon finds herself being approached by several boys, who try to please her. Zuko makes several unsuccessful attempts to impress Mai with pretty sea shells and ice cream. Azula pulls the group into a game of Kuai Ball with some other teens. Using their various skills, they easily overwhelm their opponents. Azula gets carried away, setting the net on fire and sinisterly gloating as if she had just crushed an enemy. Their game arouses the attentions of two boys named Chan and Ruon-Jian, who invite Ty Lee and Mai to a party; and after some persuasion, they reluctantly invite Zuko and Azula as well. Azula makes a point of not revealing her or her brother's royal identity; she explains that she wants to see what it is like to be a normal person for a change.
The group arrive at Chan's house early for the party. Azula tries to compliment Chan's outfit by saying it's 'sharp'. But again she gets carried away, saying it's sharp enough to puncture the hull of a Fire Nation Empire-Class Battleship. Zuko gets jealous of Ruon-Jian, thinking Mai is interested in him. Later, Ty Lee is flanked by a crowd of adoring boys and is forced to render them unconscious to escape. Seeing this, Azula calls Ty Lee a tease and says that none of the boys really cared about her. When Ty Lee starts crying, Azula hurriedly apologizes and confides that she was just jealous, and asks Ty Lee to give her some tips. She tells Azula to just smile and laugh at anything a boy tells her. To practice, Ty Lee poses as a guy, but Azula laughs way too loud, drawing everyone's attention.
Fully confident, Azula asks Chan for a tour of the house, after which they go to the veranda and flirt. After that the two share a kiss, despite Azula's relationship with Sozin. Then Azula loses control of the situation and maniacally exclaims that they could be the world's strongest couple and dominating the earth, while creating a blue fire in her both hands. Chan gets nervous and leaves in a hurry, leaving Azula disappointed.
After fetching her some food, Zuko finds Ruon-Jian talking to Mai. Zuko violently throws Ruon-Jian into a large pot across the room. Disgusted, Mai angrily tells Zuko that his temper is out of control. He tells her she doesn't feel anything and is a 'big blah'. Hurt and confused by this accusation, Mai tells Zuko that their relationship is over. Chan hears the sound of the shattering vase, and after Zuko's accusation by Ruon-Jian, Chan ejects Zuko from the party. Zuko heads off and goes to his family's abandoned vacation house where he reminisces about memories of himself as a child with his mother, father, and uncle. He spots a stone imprinted with his own baby hand print, only for his eyes to be drawn to an old family portrait hanging on the wall.
Meanwhile, Combustion Man arrives near the campsite of Aang and his friends. Toph sense the enemy's approach, commenting that a "metal man" is coming. The Combustion Man attacks, projecting rays of energy from his forehead tattoo that explode anything it touch. His bolts counter anything the gang throws at him, forcing the kids to take cover. Aang tells his friends to get on Appa and get ready to escape as he himself tries to lead the enemy away. Aang uses both Airbending and Earthbending to fend off the Combustion Man's attacks. Aang eventually escapes and rejoins the rest on Appa. Though Toph comments on the randomness of the encounter, Katara says that she feels that this new enemy seems to know exactly who they are.
Azula finds Zuko and tells him to come to the beach with her. Zuko tries to reconcile with Mai, but she is still cold towards him. Zuko burns his family's painting to help kindle a fire to keep them warm. Ty Lee wonders why he would burn something so precious, Zuko tells her to mind her own business, calling her a circus freak. Ty Lee tearfully reveals that she has six sisters exactly like her and went to the circus to be different, so being a circus freak was a compliment. Mai says that this is the reason Ty Lee wants so much attention; she received so little as a child with so many sisters. Ty Lee decides to turn the conversation to Mai, accusing her of having a "dingy, pasty, gray" aura.
Mai says she doesn't believe in auras, Zuko retorts she doesn't believe in anything. Mai goes into her own past, talking about her parents, who gave her everything she wanted so long as Mai behaved exactly as she was told. Her father's political career meant that Mai would always be under a spotlight, and thus could not live as freely as she would like. Azula deduces that that is the reason Mai stifles her true feelings so much and why she can't express herself, finally eliciting a sharp and emotional outburst from the normally indifferent Mai. When Zuko says that he likes it when she expresses herself, Mai refuses to let him touch her, saying that she's still angry. This pushes Zuko into a rant about his own life, where he admits that he's always angry but unsure why. The girls all pressure him into giving an answer, and he finally screams that he is angry at himself because he doesn't know the difference between right and wrong anymore.
Finally understanding what bothers Zuko so much, Mai returns to his side and says that the one thing she cares about is Zuko and kisses him once again. They then turn to the last member of the group; reluctantly, Azula delves into her own past and says that her mother thought she was a monster. Azula admits that this was indeed true, but that it still hurt to hear her own mother say so. With all their secrets out in the open, the heaviness between the four seems to vanish. Ty Lee says she will remember this night forever and that Lo and Li were right about the beach's ability to reveal people's true selves.
To celebrate their revelations, Azula decides on a fitting end to their night - the four then head back to Chan's party, trashing the house and leaving it a ransacked mess. Together, the four of them forge their own memory of the place, uniting as friends for the first time in years.
The Avatar and The Fire Lord
Aang is visited in a dream by Roku, who tells him it's time he learned about his past life's history with Fire Lord Sozin. Roku tells Aang to travel to his old home, a deserted volcanic island during the summer solstice. Upon arriving, Toph senses there is an entire village buried beneath the volcanic ash of the island's shore. As the solstice begins, Aang meditates and meets Roku in the Spirit World.
At the Fire Nation palace, Prince Zuko is awoken by the noise of someone outside his room door. He rushes out to see who it was and finds a scroll sitting on the floor, telling him he must find out about his great-grandfather's death in order to understand his own destiny.
Zuko visits a portrait gallery of the past Fire Lords the next day, and is greeted by his sister Azula. He asks her if she knows how their great-grandfather Fire Lord Sozin died, and she tells him he died peacefully in his sleep, before leaving to meet Sozin down the hall. Zuko mulls over the mysterious message to himself, unsure of what it means. In frustration he throws the parchment over a lamp and discovers a hidden message in the note, telling him to go to the Dragon Bone Catacombs to find the secret history. After eluding Fire Sages, Zuko infiltrates the catacombs and finds "The Last Will and Testament of Fire Lord Sozin", an autobiographical record of his life.
As Zuko reads the record, Roku shows Aang a flashback of his youth. Roku and then-Prince Sozin were best friends. They even shared the same birthday, which they celebrated together. On their sixteenth birthday, Roku's identity as the Avatar was revealed by the Fire Sages. The two friends were forced to separate as Roku had to leave the Fire Nation to master the other three elements. Before leaving, Sozin gave Roku a gift: the hair ornament customarily worn by the Crown Prince of the Fire Nation. Roku wore it ever since.
Roku began his journey at the Southern Air Temple, training to master Airbending. There he became friends with young Gyatso, surprising and delighting Aang. Roku tells Aang that some friendships are so strong they can transcend lifetimes.
After several years mastering Airbending, Roku traveled to the Northern Water Tribe where he learned Waterbending. Though it was challenging to learn his natural opposite, after several years Roku mastered it as well. Roku journeyed to the Earth Kingdom, where he mastered the last remaining element before becoming a fully realized Avatar. After the twelve years of training, Roku had returned to the Fire Nation. His old friend Sozin had become the Fire Lord, and greeted him warmly. Roku married his childhood sweetheart, Ta Min, with Sozin as his best man. During the wedding, Sozin took Roku aside and remarked that the Fire Nation was going through a period of great prosperity. With him as the Fire Lord and Roku as the Avatar, he believed the two of them could spread the Fire Nation's influence and create an empire. Roku was greatly disturbed by this, telling Sozin that the Four Nations are meant to be kept separate and to abandon such thoughts.
Many years later, Roku discovered that Sozin had ignored his request and invaded the Earth Kingdom. Roku confronted Sozin and demanded he cease the expansion. Enraged, Sozin attacked Roku with a powerful display of Firebending. Roku quickly disabled him and used the Avatar State to destroy the palace. He starkly warns Sozin he is sparing his life in recognition of their past friendship, but warns if he oversteps his boundaries again Roku will not hesitate to eliminate him.
Twenty-five years later, Roku's Island was consumed in a volcanic eruption. Roku helped his island's villagers escape safely and tried to contain the eruption, but without success. So massive was the eruption that Sozin could see and feel it from a hundred miles away. Sozin flew to the island on his blue dragon to assist his old friend, and the two worked together to try and quell the volcano.
Their effort appeared successful, yet the poisonous gas from the volcano overwhelmed Roku and caused him to collapse to the ground. He called to Sozin for help, but Sozin realized the elimination of the Avatar would make all his future plans for the Fire Nation suddenly possible. He flew away on his dragon, leaving Roku to die from the torrent of volcanic ash. Shortly afterward, as Roku exhaled his last breath, Avatar Aang was born to the Air Nomads.
Zuko finishes reading Sozin's testament, which explains Sozin attacked the Air Nomads to eliminate the next Avatar, but the Avatar managed to escape somehow. Sozin spent the rest of his life searching fruitlessly to find the Fire Nation's greatest threat: "The Last Airbender". Zuko is disappointed by the ending, still not understanding how it concerns him.
Zuko goes to the Fire Nation jail tower and bursts angrily into Iroh's cell. He accuses Iroh of having sent him the message and demands the point, as the testament did not even reveal anything significant about Sozin's death. Iroh explains that the message did not refer to his father's grandfather, Sozin, but to his mother's grandfather, revealed to be Avatar Roku. Zuko is alarmed by this, and Iroh further explains that their combined heritage is the reason Zuko is still conflicted over his destiny; whether he should destroy or assist the Avatar. Iroh gives Zuko the lost Crown Prince's ornamental hairpiece, telling Zuko he alone has the power to redeem their family and the sins of Fire Nation by restoring balance in the world.
Awakening from his vision with Roku, Aang tells his friends the story. He believes Roku was trying to tell him that any person is capable of great good or great evil, and that every person should be treated as though they are worth giving a chance for redemption. Toph wonders if friendships can really transcend lifetimes, Aang and Katara hold her hand to assure her. Yet Sokka is skeptical, saying there's no real scientific proof. Annoyed, Katara demands he just hold hands with the rest of them, which he quickly does.
net, and screams at Katara, saying that she betrayed her. Katara replies that Toph brought this upon herself, and that she had no choice.
Three days before, Katara and Toph are training Aang, who is blindfolded. When Toph accidentally hits Katara in the chest with a rock, the two start bickering, then start battling each other. Aang, still blindfolded, tries to figure what is going on while from a distance. Sokka is hiding behind a rock, screams "SNEAK ATTACK!" and makes a failed attempt to strike Aang. Aang jokingly tells Sokka "Sneak attacks don't work when you yell it out loud."
The fight between Toph and Katara continues with the two wrestling in mud. Aang interrupts them and they stop. While Katara goes off to clean up, Toph suggests to the boys that they should go and have some fun. Aang, Sokka and Toph go into town with only one silver piece left. However, Toph suggests they get more from a gambling game below them. She knows through her Earthbending that The Dealer is cheating others. She uses her bending to cheat back, earning them forty silver pieces. When they arrive back at camp, Katara advises them not to do it anymore. However, even when Aang makes an Avatar promise not to do so, they don't listen. Later on, Toph cheats at a dice-like game and a test-your-strength game, winning even more money. She also pretends to get run over by a noble's carriage so that Sokka, dressed as a Fire Nation soldier, can scam the noble by accepting money for silence.
Katara continues to say that these scams are dangerous and immoral. Toph tells Katara to quit acting like everyone's mother. When Katara suggests Toph is making a fuss because she secretly misses her own parents, Toph angrily walks off.
Azula, Zuko, Mai, Ty Lee, and Sozin are all walking around the palace and hanging out. Azula leads them to the beach where the 4 of them take a ship out into the ocean. Sozin asks Azula why they are leaving the beach and she tells him they are going to go practice some Firebending. Sozin still doesn't understand why they leave the palace but Zuko tells him no one wants to get in trouble with the Fire Lord. Sozin then arrogantly asks Zuko what Ozai would do, since Sozin would not allow him to do anything to any of his friends. Azula looks in envy at her boyfriend's bravery but Mai and Ty Lee are skeptical as they don't believe Sozin's talk so they walk off and leave the Firebenders to their fun.
After going into town to buy a Messenger Hawk, dubbed Hawky, Sokka finds a wanted poster for 'The Runaway' (a.k.a. Toph). After Sokka reads it aloud, Toph is delighted at the nickname and how much money is being offered for her return. Toph convinces Sokka to keep the wanted poster a secret from Katara by giving him funds for Appa's armor and expensive atlases.
While going through Toph's stuff, Katara discovers the wanted poster and has an argument with Toph, in which Toph angrily replied that Katara is not her mother and should not tell her what to do. The two of them from then on are on strict no-speaking terms. Sokka tries to write an apology message pretending to be Toph sent by Hawky to Katara but she easily finds out because Toph can't write. He later talks to Toph to try to mend the rift between her and Katara. As they discuss how Katara's motherly instincts can also be supportive and nurturing, Katara (who is bathing in the water beneath the cliff side where they sit to chat) listens to them. Sokka reveals how Katara took on the role of their mother after her death, so much so that, to Sokka she eventually replaced the face of their mother. Toph admits that she appreciates Katara's motherly nature, and believes Katara cares for her more than her real mother ever did.
The ship holding Azula, Sozin and Zuko stops just out of sight of the palace. Zuko starts the challenge by shooting a powerful Firebending blast out into the distance. Azula and Sozin nod at that before Azula shoots a fire blast with her blue fire that matched the size of Zuko's. The two then argue about who won before Sozin told them to be quiet and shot 5 simultaneous fire blasts of white fire out into the distance. Zuko and Azula looked out in shock at the power Sozin possessed. Sozin then shot lightning out off the ship and didn't stop until he got bored. Sozin then jokingly told his friends he won. Azula and Zuko acknowledged defeat and reminisced with their old friend.
A touched Katara later approaches Toph and suggests that she and Toph work together to collect the bounty that Toph has accumulated as the 'ultimate scam.' The group is very surprised (especially Aang and Sokka, who faint while foaming at the mouth), but Katara is insistent that she can show her fun side.
After Katara fakes handing Toph in to the authorities, the entire scenario turns out to be a trap set by Combustion Man. Katara and Toph are placed in a prison made of wood, material that neither of them can bend. As Aang and Sokka battle Combustion Man, Toph and Katara try to think of a way to escape the cage. Katara suggests that Toph use her meteor bracelet to make a saw, until Toph says she left it at camp. Katara then jumps up and starts to run in place. When Toph asks what she is doing, Katara replies, "I'm making my own water!" She then Waterbends her own sweat to escape the prison, earning Toph's praise. Katara and Toph race to help Aang, arriving just in time to save him from Combustion Man. Toph accidentally manages to hit Combustion Man on his third eye tattoo with a stone, knocking him back. He gets up and attempts to launch another explosion in the group's direction, only to find his chi blocked. The air around him explodes and the group escapes. While running away, Sokka renames their opponent Combustion Man.
At the end, Toph realizes she does not hate her parents after all. With Katara acting as a scribe, she writes down a heart-felt message for her parents that gets delivered using Hawky. The episode ends with Sokka returning and asking where Hawky is, not knowing that the girls used him.
The group has camped out in the woods for the night and sit around a fire. Sokka tells a horror story about a haunted sword, which completely fails to scare the others. Katara tells a frightening story about a little girl named Nini, a friend of her mother's who disappeared during a harsh winter in the Southern Water Tribe.
The story leaves the entire group jumpy. Toph suddenly says very seriously that she can hear people screaming from under the mountain, freaking everyone out. An old woman named Hama suddenly appears behind them and terrifies everyone, but she warmly offers them a safe place to stay for the night, which they accept. At her inn, they enjoy spiced tea. Hama warns them that people in the woods had been mysteriously disappearing on full moons recently, but says they'll be safe with her.
The next day they all go out shopping for food with Hama, who gets along with Katara very well. Sokka overhears some of the locals talking about the strange disappearances of villagers during the full moon. Sokka remarks to Hama how mysterious her town is, causing her to grin oddly and tell him "Mysterious town or mysterious children?"
Hama sends her guests ahead of her back to the inn, Sokka investigates the house for anything suspicious, finding a cupboard filled with wooden puppets in a hallway and a locked door in the attic. Peering through the keyhole, he sees a box lying in the room beyond it, and decides the pick the lock with his sword. After breaking into the room, Toph Earthbends her meteor bracelet into a key for the box. Just before they manage to open it, Hama walks in and catches them in the act. However, she opens the box for them and pulls out a Whale Tooth Comb, revealing she is from the Southern Water Tribe.
Hama prepares a traditional Water Tribe dinner for them, explaining she knows they are from the Southern Water Tribe too as she heard them talking in the woods. Hama reveals she is also a Waterbender, bending their soup into their bowls, and begins to tell them the story of how she was taken from the South Pole into the Fire Nation.
When Hama was young, the Fire Nation captured all of the Waterbenders during raids of their tribe, over time whittling down their numbers until Hama was the last remaining. She, too, was then captured sixty years ago, and among those taken was the only one who managed to escape alive. Katara is deeply moved by her tragic story, and Hama offers to teach Katara what she knows in order to carry on the tradition of the Southern Waterbenders. Katara is overjoyed to learn, wanting to know more about her tribe's cultural heritage.
The next day Hama shows Katara water can be pulled from the moisture of air, and leads her to a field filled with Fire Lillies. She demonstrates that water can also be drawn from anything that's alive as well. With a swift motion, Hama pulls water from the flowers, leaving them dried and dead. Katara is amazed, but becomes sad upon realizing the lilies were killed. Hama dismisses her concerns quickly, reminding her that they were simply flowers. She then tells Katara she has one more technique to teach: one that can only be used during the full moon when their bending is at its peak. When Katara expresses hesitance due to the rumors of disappearances, Hama reassures her, stating that two master Waterbenders under a full moon should be able to handle anything.
Meanwhile, Aang, Sokka, and Toph, believing the disappearances to be the work of an angry spirit, carry out an investigation. After briefly exploring the area, Aang concludes that the town is surrounded by natural beauty-the townsfolk have done nothing to disrupt the environment or anger the spirits. Questioning one of the locals leads the group to Old Man Ding, an elderly man who supposedly saw the spirit. That night, Ding tells the three that he never actually saw a spirit, but rather felt possessed and compelled to walk to the mountain. Unable to control his own movements, Ding almost walked into a cave. But then, the sun rose, and he regained control of his body. Toph realizes that she really had heard screaming coming from under the mountain, and that the captured villagers must be imprisoned there.
Katara and Hama arrive in the forest with the full moon in the night sky. Hama remarks sinisterly she's never felt so alive.
Aang, Sokka, and Toph discover an underground prison in a cave. Toph Metalbends the door open and crafts her bracelet into a key to free the villagers from their shackles. The villagers tell them it was not a spirit that captured them, but the innkeeper Hama. Sokka and Aang go stop Hama while Toph leads the villagers out.
Hama reveals to Katara the story of how she escaped. While imprisoned, she and the other Waterbenders were completely separated from any and all water. The guards pumped in dry air into the cells and made sure their arms and legs were tied before feeding water to them. However, she eventually realized that water exists within all living things, and began to manipulate water in the bodies of rats that crawled into her cage. This technique, Bloodbending, could only be used with the influence of the full moon enhancing her abilities. After years mastering the technique, Hama took control of one of the guards, forcing him to unlock her cage, allowing her to walk free after decades of imprisonment.
Horrified by the idea of controlling another person's body, Katara isn't sure about learning Bloodbending. Hama declares they must get their vengeance on the Fire Nation for nearly wiping out their entire culture, saying Katara must avenge her mother's death. The outburst leads Katara to realize that Hama has been causing the villagers to disappear. Hama wickedly states the people of the Fire Nation deserve the same treatment that they gave to the Southern Waterbenders. Hearing this causes Katara to refuse to learn Bloodbending and to stop Hama from further terrorizing the town, and so Hama uses the technique to temporarily force Katara into submission.
Katara quickly regains control of her body and prepares to fight, reminding Hama that she too draws power from the moon. The two begin to battle, each drawing water from the grass and trees surrounding them, but it quickly becomes obvious that Katara is the superior combatant. When Katara appears on the cusp of victory, Aang and Sokka arrive to assist her-and succeed in doing little more than providing Hama with an advantage, as she uses Bloodbending to control them like puppets to attack Katara.
Katara evades their attacks and manages to freeze both Aang and Sokka to two separate trees to stop them, but this proves to be only a temporary solution. Hama frees them both and resorts to sending them flying at each other, with Sokka's sword pointing straight at Aang. At the last second, Katara uses Bloodbending to subdue Hama and protect Aang. Toph arrives with the other villagers, who handcuff Hama and take her away, vowing to imprison her forever. Hama remarks that her work is done, as Katara has already willfully used Bloodbending, and therefore learned the technique. She cackles as she is dragged off. Katara breaks down in tears, with Aang and Sokka's comfort.
Nightmares And Daydreams
The gang arrives on the Black Cliffs, which is where the invasion force will meet up. Aang is stressed about the invasion being only four days away and that night he has a nightmare, in which he comes face to face with the Fire Lord, only to be told by him that he forgot to bring his pants.
Meanwhile, Zuko is enjoying his life of royalty and making the most of it while his relationship with Mai goes well. Zuko and Mai's relationship is doing nearly as well as Azula and Sozin's is. For the first time in their lives, Azula and Zuko are not fighting, but just enjoying life as it comes.
After staying awake training for the past twenty-four hours, Aang tries to get some sleep, only to have another nightmare; this time he forgets to study for a math test administered by Ozai. He wakes up and starts walking around some koala-sheep, Katara also gets up and asks him to try to get some sleep.
As this happens, Mai tells Zuko that there is a war meeting coming up, and he says that he was not invited, leading him to think that his father doesn't want him there, despite Mai repeatedly telling him he is wanted.
Aang has another nightmare in which Ozai tells him that he has overslept and missed the invasion, riding atop a flying, fire-breathing hippo-cow no less. As he wakes up, he starts going crazy from the lack of sleep, and says that he's unraveling. Katara, Toph and Sokka all try to help Aang using different methods. Katara tries yoga in an artificial hot spring, and when she asks how he feels, he says that he feels hot, as if he's in the Fire Lord's palace and he's shooting fireballs at him, making him panic. Katara says that maybe he should talk his problems out. Sokka dons his beard and mustache from "The Headband" and tries to be a psychiatrist, talking to Aang about his feelings on confronting Ozai. When Aang simply asks how to calm himself, Sokka suggests he screams into a pillow (a koala-sheep), but this does not work.
Meanwhile, Zuko confronts Azula about the war meeting, asking why she got invited and he didn't. She says that he didn't get an invitation because it's obvious he's supposed to be there, and goes on to tell him to stop acting like a child and go to the meeting. He says he won't go and requested Sozin go to the meeting instead of him. Sozin accepts but orders Zuko to go as well. Sozin then mentioned he is departing for Ba Sing Se that night. Azula and Zuko raise their heads in shock and alarm at Sozin's claim. Sozin told them not to worry, because he is only going so he can make sure the Fire Nation remains in control of Ba Sing Se.
Next, Toph tries her method on Aang, giving him a brutal massage using log-shaped pieces of earth and Earthbending to create hard vibrations. When this fails, she offers acupuncture with a Boar-q-pine. Aang, terrified of the idea, runs away screaming.
That night the gang asks Aang if he's okay. Aang says that maybe he feels a bit better. They all go to sleep, but Aang has another, more frightening nightmare, this time a jumbled montage, consisting of snap images, expressing Aang's fear and stress over the upcoming battle. He wakes up and because of the stress; he states that he won't sleep until the invasion. The next day, Aang, now very tired from lack of sleep, daydreams about professing his love for Katara, and passionately kissing her, calling her his "forever girl." He lies to her about it afterward, saying that he was daydreaming of what it is like living underwater. He spars against the noodle Ozai he made in "The Headband" and begins to hallucinate.
Meanwhile, Zuko is told by a servant that everyone is waiting for him at the meeting, and he realizes that his father does want him there.
Aang, on the other hand, is not doing so great, and as he tries to train, he starts hearing Momo talk, and then Appa. He then starts seeing them fight samurai-style, as Koala Sheep cheer them on. As well, he sees Guru Pathik with six arms floating on a cloud with two bowls of onion and banana juice singing about chakras. He also sees many more illusions.
After the meeting, Zuko, Mai, Ty Lee, and Azula went to the beach to say goodbye to Sozin. Sozin gratefully tells them he will take out some Earthbenders for them. Mai and Ty Lee then leave so the 3 Firebenders can have some time to say goodbye. Zuko said his goodbye to Sozin by calling Sozin "the most powerful Firebender in the world" before Sozin commended Zuko's work ethic. Zuko then went to go see Mai. Sozin and Azula stood face to face silently for a moment before kissing. When they finally broke apart and Sozin started to turn toward his ship. Before parting he told Azula he loves her, and he will be back before Sozin's Comet, despite whatever Ozai says. Sozin told Azula what her father's plan was for him, "Once I get to Ba Sing Se he is going to send troops after me. Ozai are going to try to take me out so he will have no competitors for the throne in the near future." You need to keep this conversation completely confidential. If you don't then your father will go completely berserk on you and Zuko, and kill you.
Zuko tells Mai that his father treated him like his right-hand man. But he confesses that although he acted like the perfect prince, he was not being himself.
Aang (now completely exhausted) wanders around the campsite and stumbles across what he takes to be a bed of clouds. He immediately dismisses it as another hallucination. His friends inform him that the bed of wool is indeed real and they spent hours working on it, so he could sleep. Aang continues to insist he is not ready, but Katara and the rest of the gang encourage him, with Katara saying that he has been training for this since the day they met, and that he is ready. Aang finally calms down and falls asleep. He has one last dream in which he appears before the Fire Lord. Ozai says that he forgot his pants but Aang merely smiles and says that it is in fact the Fire Lord who has forgotten his pants. Ozai covers himself, embarrassed that his "royal parts are showing." Aang, with his nerves gone, can now rest for the invasion.
On the morning of the invasion, Aang cheerfully greets everyone. Katara notes he seems well rested. Aang confidently believes he can face the Fire Lord. Toph asks Aang if he's going to use the Avatar State against him, but Aang explains that his seventh chakra was locked when Azula struck him with lightning, so he can't use it.
A fleet of Southern Water Tribe ships appear on the horizon undercover in a wall of mist. Together with Toph, Aang creates some makeshift docks in the cove. Sokka and Katara greet their father Hakoda and Sokka asks whether he was able to bring the people he requested for the invasion. Hakoda replies he did, but he's unsure about some of them, in particular the Foggy Swamp Tribe Waterbenders, whom Bato wishes would put some pants on. Emerging off one of the boats, Huu declares mystically that pants are an illusion, as is death. Due believes a rock he sees in the water is some sort of Fire Nation trap.
Off of another ship, Haru greets Katara, sporting a newly grown mustache. She hugs him and Tyro thanks her for helping them find their courage when they were imprisoned by the Fire Nation. Toph senses The Hippo and The Boulder approaching, and prepares to fight them. They instead tell her they're done with the Earthbending tournament and want to help fight for the Earth Kingdom.
There is a small explosion on one of the ships, and everyone rushes to see what happened. The Mechanist, Teo, Pipsqueak and The Duke emerge. The Mechanist was working on a new type of bomb using peanut sauce, but it proved to be a failure. Pipsqueak and The Duke remark the bombs are destructive and delicious. Teo gives Aang a gift, a brand new glider staff that contains a secret snack compartment.
At the Fire Nation prison, General Poon continues to taunt the imprisoned Iroh. Ming, a young female guard who is kind to Iroh, appears with his breakfast and snuck in some jade tea for him. After the other guard leaves, Iroh expresses his gratitude to her for the kindness.
Everyone gathers to hear the invasion plan, Sokka attempts to brief the force about the invasion, but is so nervous he trips. He gets more and more anxious until he begins to tell the entire story of how he met Aang. Hakoda takes over for him and confidently rallies the small army. He explains the plan to storm the beach and reach the palace before the eclipse. That way, when the eclipse begins, they can take on the Firebenders that guard the palace, and Aang can defeat the Fire Lord while he is powerless. After that they will have control over the Fire Nation capital, and the war will be over. Everyone cheers and prepares to depart, Appa wears armor and Aang shaves his head. Sokka, who is embarrassed of his behavior earlier, is reassured by Aang that he will have a chance to prove himself out on the battlefield.
Azula is seen looking at a picture of Sozin and then putting it away. It was obvious by the look on her face that she was genuinely worried about him. Azula was worried that Sozin wouldn't be able to survive Ozai's forces.
The invasion force heads to the Great Gates of Azulon. Under the cover of mist, as they approach the gates, an alarm goes off and a large net rises from both sides of the gate, blocking the path. As the net catches fire, groups of Firebenders infiltrate the ships and are shocked to discover that they are all empty. The invasion force passes the gate in submarine-like ships propelled by Waterbending. Unfortunately, the subs have a limited air supply so they have to resurface before they reach the beach.
Ming once again visits Iroh with his supper, sneaking in extra rice. Iroh reveals to Ming that her moments of kindness have made his imprisonment bearable. He also comments that she looks ill and insists that she should go home. When she insists that she is fine, Iroh starkly explains that it would be better if she were not present that afternoon, at which Ming appears to understand.
After resurfacing, the gang gets together one final time to wish each other good luck before parting ways. Aang and Katara say goodbye in private. Katara reveals she is proud of how much Aang has grown since they first met. Aang, realizing how big this day is and that there's a chance that he may not survive, kisses Katara, then confidently snaps out his glider and flies away to face the Fire Lord, leaving Katara blushing. Katara then hops on Appa and creates a bubble around his head so that they can breathe underwater; Appa then dives into the water as they commence their attack
Zuko is shown sitting in front of a painting of his mother, promising aloud that he will do what is right. After mentally apologizing to Mai and leaving her a note in her bedroom, he gets ready to leave.
After the subs evade capture at a gate armed with harpoon gun type weapons, they finally arrive at the beach near the capital. New caterpillar-like tanks powered by Earthbenders are released from the subs and face off against Fire Nation tanks, as ground fighting ensues, followed by other warriors, benders and eight supply trucks. The Earthbender tanks are highly resilient and easily defeat the Fire Nation guards.
After noticing a threat from towers shooting missiles, Katara, Sokka, and Hakoda attack them with Appa. While Katara and Sokka take out one tower, Hakoda destroys another one, but is injured in the process. Katara and Sokka take their father a short distance from the battle. Katara attempts to heal Hakoda, but he is still unable to join the battle anytime soon. Sokka pledges to his father and sister that he will lead the battle in his father's place and flies off on Appa. He lands among the troops, which have been split up in mild disarray. He reorganizes them into wedge formation and orders them to charge up to the palace.
As the invasion breaches the wall of the capital city, things are looking well. However, when Aang enters the capital city, he finds it completely deserted of people. When he reaches the Fire Lord's throne room in the palace, Ozai is nowhere to be found. In anguish, Aang falls to his knees and yells "Fire Lord Ozai, where are you?"
Aang rejoins the invasion force and reveals that the whole city has been abandoned. Sokka concludes that the Fire Lord must have expected the invasion and is hiding, likely in a secret underground bunker. After some deliberation, they agree to continue with the invasion: the invasion force will continue towards the palace while Aang, Toph, and Sokka search for the Fire Lord.
With the help of Toph's ability to see underground, she locates the secret bunker inside a nearby volcano. They pass through tunnels of gas and lava until they reach the metal bunker, which Toph opens using Metalbending. They corner a Fire Nation noble and he tells them where the Fire Lord's chamber is. As the eclipse begins, Aang blasts open the door of the chamber, and to their great surprise, find Azula waiting for them instead. Azula reveals she has known about the invasion for months and isn't surprised to find Aang alive. Meanwhile, Zuko enters the chamber where his father is hiding.
Zuko approaches Ozai and explains he is there to tell the truth. In amusement that Zuko chose the moment of an eclipse to face him, Ozai dismisses his guards. Zuko explains that it was Azula who supposedly killed the Avatar in Ba Sing Se, not him. Ozai wonders why she would lie, and Zuko reveals the Avatar is still alive and probably leading the invasion. Outraged upon hearing this news, Ozai orders his son to leave. However, Zuko refuses to leave and ignores his father's orders. Ozai threatens Zuko for his disobedience, but Zuko pulls out his swords and demands that the powerless Ozai sit and listen.
Azula refuses to tell Aang, Sokka, and Toph her father's location. Toph's lie-detecting ability proves ineffective on Azula, an expert liar. Two Dai Li agents Azula brought back from Ba Sing Se drop from the ceiling, and use Earthbending to protect her as Aang and Toph attack. The invasion forces start to take the capital city as all the Firebenders are surrendering at the loss of their power.
Zuko tells his father that all he had ever wanted was for Ozai to love him, and that he had spent his days in exile trying to please his father. He angrily berates Ozai for cruelly challenging Zuko to a duel when he was only a child, and then banishing him from the Fire Nation for simply speaking out of turn. Ozai claims the act was to teach Zuko respect, but Zuko retorts it was cruel and wrong. He reveals his beliefs that the Fire Nation is doing wrong in the world, and that they lie to themselves into thinking they are benefactors spreading their greatness to other nations. Zuko explains the Fire Nation has a responsibility to bring about an era of peace if the world is to survive. Ozai laughs and mocks Zuko, realizing that his older brother must have influenced him. Zuko proudly agrees.
Aang, Sokka, and Toph continue to fight Azula and her Dai Li agents, both of whom they eventually incapacitate. Though powerless, Azula proves far too agile for Aang or the others to take down. Sokka stops Aang and Toph from pursuing Azula any further, realizing she is just baiting them into wasting all their remaining time. As they attempt to leave, Azula tells Team Avatar about Sozin, who she says has more powerful than even the Avatar as she taunts Sokka by hinting that she has captured, imprisoned, and possibly tortured Suki, which enrages Sokka into rushing at her. Azula prepares to stab him with a concealed dagger, but Toph senses her movement, promptly disarming her and pinning her against the wall with a rock. Sokka seizes Azula and demands she tell him where Suki is.
Zuko now realizes that his uncle Iroh was more of a father to him than Ozai had ever been. He plans to free Iroh from his prison and beg for his forgiveness. After Ozai continues to mock him, Zuko openly states his intention to join the Avatar and help him stop the Fire Nation. Ozai wonders why Zuko would go through such trouble, seeing that the Fire Lord lay powerless before him. Zuko puts his swords away and states he knows his own destiny now, that Aang's destiny alone is to defeat Ozai. As Zuko departs the chamber, Ozai tries to bait him into staying longer with knowledge of what happened to his mother six years ago.
Zuko demands to know what happened, and Ozai reveals the circumstances regarding the disappearance of Princess Ursa. When Ozai mocked the death of Iroh's son, Fire Lord Azulon ordered Ozai to kill Zuko as punishment so that Ozai would feel the loss of a child too. However, Ursa swore to protect Zuko at any cost, and came up with a plan to which Ozai agreed. Ozai implies that Ursa arranged Azulon's death so Zuko would be spared and Ozai would become Fire Lord. As a result, Ursa was banished for her treason. Zuko realizes his mother may still be alive.
Ozai threateningly states that banishment is far too merciful for treason, and that Zuko's punishment for betraying the Fire Nation will be far worse. Sensing the end of the eclipse, Ozai lashes out and shoots a powerful bolt of lightning at his son. Zuko catches the lightning and redirects it back towards Ozai, causing an explosion which blasts the Fire Lord into the wall. Zuko quickly escapes the chamber as Ozai seethes with rage.
Meanwhile, Azula too realizes she has regained her Firebending and escapes from Sokka and the others. She reveals her father's location, believing he could defeat them now that the eclipse is over. Sokka feels ashamed for wasting their time, but Aang thinks he could still face the Fire Lord without the eclipse. Sokka and Toph don't think it's a good idea and convince him to retreat.
Aang, Sokka, and Toph return to the battle site, as fleets of hot air balloons and zeppelins emerge from behind the palace and attempt to attack the invasion force. Zuko attempts to free Iroh from prison, but discovers that Iroh has already busted out from his cell and is long gone, leaving behind dazed and unconscious guards.
The airships obliterate the submarines, thus making the invasion team's escape impossible. Hakoda tells Aang and the younger fighters to flee while the adults remain behind to be taken as prisoners. After saying their good-byes, the rest of the gang, along with Haru, Teo, and The Duke, get onto Appa; as they rise into the air, Aang states that the Western Air Temple will be a safe place for them to stay for a while. Azula watches from one of the airships as the group escapes, but she chooses not to pursue them, confident that they will have to return someday.
Zuko is seen following Appa on a hot air balloon, with a look of determination on his face.
The Western Air Temple
After a sore defeat in the Fire Nation on Day of Black Sun, the elders of the invasion force are now prisoners and the gang travels to the Western Air Temple for refuge. Appa gets tired carrying so many people, so they have to walk on foot. When they reach a cliff that descends into a misty canyon below, Toph exclaims that they've arrived at the temple, though no one else sees it. Aang realizes they have indeed arrived, as the temple is built on the underside of the cliff.
Meanwhile, Zuko, who had followed the group to the Western Air Temple, arrives first and descends into the temple. He remembers the last time he had been to the Western Air Temple, a week after his banishment; during which a freshly burned and bandaged Zuko proclaims that he will scour the world for the Avatar for the rest of his life and calls his Uncle Iroh lazy when he suggests rest. Ashamed of the memory, his lament is cut short as he sees Appa fly by overhead. Zuko runs off to hide and later practices his speech to convince them to accept him into their group.
While Teo, Haru, and The Duke explore the temple, the gang discusses the next course of action now that the Invasion failed. Sokka suggests they revert to their old plan of Aang mastering all four elements and facing the Fire Lord before Sozin's Comet arrives. Aang is less than thrilled at the idea, remarking that they don't even know where to find a Firebending teacher. Katara suggests looking for Jeong Jeong, but Aang doubts they'll ever see him again. Thinking it hopeless for the moment, he uses this as an excuse to run off and fly around the temple. The rest of the group follows him on Appa, trying to convince him to stop and continue the discussion. They land and find that Zuko has appeared before them.
Zuko tries to introduce himself politely while Appa licks him in a friendly manner. The group, however, prepares to attack him and refuses to put trust in anything he says. He tries to explain that he's changed for the better and wants to teach Aang Firebending. Sokka and Katara continue to point out his wrongdoings and Zuko apologizes anxiously. To try and get on their good side, Zuko reveals that it was he who freed Appa from his imprisonment in Ba Sing Se, but the gang doesn't believe him. As Zuko continues to apologize, he accidentally reveals he was the one who hired Combustion Man to kill them. Hearing this, the gang resolutely refuses to allow Zuko into their group, threatening to attack if he doesn't leave immediately. Zuko tries to offer himself as a prisoner, but Katara attacks him with Waterbending and tells him never to come back.
Back at his camp, Zuko laments over how terrible things went over.
At the temple the gang ponders Zuko's motives, ultimately deciding that he can't be trusted. Toph tells them she sensed Zuko was being sincere the whole time and believes the others are letting their hurt feelings affect their judgment. Remembering Toph wasn't around when Zuko chased and attacked them, the others quickly write off her efforts to defend him. Toph sternly points out how Aang desperately needs a Firebending teacher, but Aang himself adamantly refuses to accept Zuko. Frustrated at the group's continued disinterest, Toph leaves the temple.
Meanwhile, in Ba Sing Se Sozin gets a messenger hawk from Azula asking him to come back so they can deal with Zuko's betrayal. Sozin does immediately and takes an airship back to the Fire Nation at top speed.
While sleeping in his tent, Zuko hears someone coming through the bushes. It turns out to be Toph, but unable to see in the darkness, Zuko immediately Firebends at the intruder. Toph tries to defend herself but the soles of her feet are burned as she steps back. Zuko realizes who she is and apologizes, pleading with her to come back. Toph scurries away on her hands and knees in fear; Zuko tries to help her, but she pushes him away with Earthbending. As soon as she departs, Zuko, in frustration, shouts, "Why am I so bad at being good?"
The next morning the group wonders about Toph's whereabouts. She Earthbends through the wall of the cliff, falling to the ground and showing the group her feet, burned by Zuko. As Katara begins to heal her feet, Toph explains it was sort of an accident. The gang ignores this and calls Zuko a serious threat, planning to capture him.
Unknown to them, Combustion Man appears on a higher ledge of the temple and prepares to attack them. Zuko arrives and prevents him from getting a clear shot at the gang, redirecting his attack and alarming the others below. They find cover while Zuko tries to prevent the assassin from attacking them further. Combustion Man instead turns on Zuko and blasts him over the edge of the temple, though he manages to grab hold of a vine below just in time. Aang and Katara use their bending to counterattack Combustion Man, but their lower position leaves them at a severe disadvantage from the barrage of explosions.
While under cover from the attacks, Sokka estimates Combustion Man's position based on the angles at which the explosions hit the ground. Sokka throws his boomerang, curving it around a corner, where it hits the Combustion Man square on his forehead tattoo, blocking his chi and leaving him disoriented. Combustion Man tries another attack, which backfires and causes the temple building he is on to explode violently. His detached metal arm is seen flying away as the debris falls into the misty canyon below.
Aang thanks Zuko for saving them and Zuko tries, more confidently, to reconcile his past meeting with the group. He admits that he was wrong and says he has learned from his banishment that he must earn his honor by doing the right thing. He tells them he wants to play his part in finally ending the war, and that his destiny is to help Aang restore balance to the world. He apologizes for burning Toph, stating that fire is a dangerous and wild element and that he must control his bending so that he does not hurt others again. Reminded of his own Firebending experience that burned Katara, Aang decides to accept Zuko into the group as his teacher, but only if the others agree. Toph says playfully that she accepts Zuko so that she can get back at him for burning her feet, while Sokka accepts him only to help their plan of defeating the Fire Lord. Katara reluctantly agrees, only because it is what Aang believes is right. Zuko enthusiastically promises not to let the group down.
Sokka awkwardly leads Zuko into his own room at the temple, where he unpacks his belongings. He comments to Aang how weird it is having Zuko around. Settled down, Zuko takes out a picture of Iroh and fondly remembers his uncle's advice about destiny. Immediately afterward, Katara appears in the doorway and confronts Zuko. She warns him that while he may have the others convinced, they both know this isn't the first time he has struggled to do the right thing. She makes a very clear threat: should he give her any reason to think that he might hurt Aang, she will kill him personally. She departs, leaving a visibly disturbed Zuko alone.
The Firebending Masters
Zuko is beginning to teach Aang Firebending at the Western Air Temple. He asks Aang to show him however much fire he can produce, but it isn't very much, and thinks perhaps a demonstration from Zuko would help. However, Zuko finds that his own Firebending is very weak. He tries to Firebend at lower altitudes, thinking it may be hindering him, but to no avail.
Later that night, Zuko apologizes to everyone, saying he's lost his Firebending. Out of spite, Katara laughs and remarks how convenient it would have been for the group if Zuko's Firebending had failed him months ago. Aang hypothesizes that Zuko must not have enough rage to create fire like he used to in the past. Sokka figures then all they have to do is make Zuko angry and starts poking him wildly with his sword sheath. But Zuko no longer wants to rely on anger and hatred, so Toph encourages him to learn from the original source of Firebending, like how she learned Earthbending from the Badgermoles, who were the original Earthbenders. Zuko says that the Dragons were the original Firebenders, but that they have been extinct for some time. Searching for an alternate but equally viable source, Zuko then tells Aang about a civilization that died out thousands of years ago called the Sun Warriors. It turns out that the current Firebending country - the Fire Nation - inherited their skills from this ancient race and twisted them into a more aggressive style.
The scene cuts to Sozin and Azula in the palace, both furious at Zuko's betrayal. Azula then took Sozin outside the palace. Sozin is forced to help teach some younger students. After successfully doing so Azula tries to get Sozin to show the children some of his Firebending moves. Sozin reluctantly does, and begins amazing every one in presence, even Azula.
Zuko and Aang fly to the Sun Warrior ruins on Appa; they land and start exploring the ruins. Aang nearly falls into a trap and Zuko is surprised that the trap works even after centuries of being built and then bypasses the trap by running across the adjoining wall. Aang is hesitant to continue, but Zuko edges him on and they find a massive stone carving depicting Dragons and a Sun Warrior.
Two of the Dragons are breathing fire onto the Sun Warrior. Aang is surprised because he got the impression that the Dragons were friends with the Sun Warriors, while Zuko remarks that they had a funny way of showing it. Aang asks Zuko what happened to the Dragons, and Zuko reveals that the Dragons became extinct because Fire Lord Sozin started the tradition of hunting Dragons for glory, and the title of 'Dragon'. He tells Aang that the person who killed the last living dragon was his uncle, Iroh.
While exploring the ruins, Aang and Zuko come across a locked door with a sunstone on top. Zuko sees a celestial calendar is used to open the door specifically on the Summer Solstice. He uses his sword to reflect sunlight onto the jewel, causing it to open. Aang compliments Zuko's intelligence, telling him he doesn't care what anyone else thinks. Inside they find various statues which depict a Firebending form called the Dancing Dragon.
Aang imitates the first statue and discovers there are tile switches linked to the dance positions. He persuades Zuko to perform the dance with him and as they do, they activate an ancient key mechanism. Upon completion of the Dancing Dragon, a pedestal with a huge gold egg-shaped gem rises in the middle of the room. Zuko picks it up despite Aang's warnings, inadvertently triggering a trap. The chamber doors close, and a glue like substance fills the room. Zuko and Aang find themselves trapped by the liquid in a barred skylight where they have plenty of air but no way to get free. They are then captured by the still-flourishing Sun Warrior tribe, which accuses them of attempting to steal Sun Warrior treasures.
After explaining that Aang is the Avatar and they desire to learn the true form of Firebending, Zuko and Aang are put through a ritual where they have to carry a portion of the First Fire, the very first fire given to man by the dragons, up a mountain and present it to the true "Firebending Masters," Ran and Shao. At first Aang is scared to try to hold the flame, but the Sun Warrior chief comforts him by saying that fire is not just destructive, it is life.
They reach the Lair of the Masters and are sent to the top of a stairway. At the top they see two caves. Aang and Zuko present their fires and face one of the two caves each. Aang however loses his portion of the fire due to being distracted and scared; he then tries to get a piece of Zuko's fire but accidentally knocks his hands down, extinguishing his flame as well. At that moment two dragons emerge from the two caves, to Zuko and Aang's great shock, and start flying in circles around them. Zuko and Aang earn the respect of the dragons by performing the Firebending technique that they learned from the statues, dancing with the dragons in the process. The dragons then breathe beautiful, multicolored flames around them, revealing the true and harmonious way of Firebending.
While the dragons show Zuko and Aang all the colors of Firebending Sozin shows the crowd in the Fire Nation as well. Sozin used all of the colors separately in sequence of difficulty, as he said. He started with orange fire. Then he moved into red fire and blue fire respectively. Then Azula thought he was done, but Sozin created some purple fire, shocking every one. He then created yellow fire and green fire respectively. Then Sozin took a little break. He told every one to step back before creating white fire. Ozai saw the Firebending display and swore to punish Sozin.
When the dragons return to their caves, Zuko understands the reason he couldn't Firebend was because he had lost his "inner fire." He used to draw his fire from rage, anger, and his burning desire to capture Aang. After he joined the group, he could no longer draw from this source. But after watching the dragons, he learns that he can draw from the true source, his desire to help bring balance to the world.
Aang realizes that fire is not destructive, but energy and life, and is able to Firebend as well. The chief explains that Iroh was the last outsider to visit the Masters and deemed worthy to learn the secret. He lied to keep the dragons alive so they could continue on. The chief explains he has no choice but to imprison the both of them forever to keep their existence a secret, which freaks them both out. He's joking, but is very serious that they don't tell anyone.
Back at the Western Air Temple, Zuko and Aang show everyone the Firebending moves they learned. Sokka pokes fun at them by saying "they'll just tap-dance their way to victory over the Fire Lord". Zuko tries to explain how serious and ancient the technique is, but they can't look past the unfortunate name of the form, the "Dancing Dragon".
The Boiling Rock Part 1
Zuko serves freshly brewed tea to his new friends as they all hide out from the Fire Nation in the Western Air Temple. He tries to tell them all a tea joke his uncle once told him, but no one finds it funny because Zuko isn't a joke-telling kind of person like Iroh (and because he could only remember the punch-line).
As he is served tea, Sokka asks to talk to Zuko alone. He asks where Zuko thinks Fire Nation criminals would be placed. Hesitantly, Zuko answers in a prison out in the middle of a volcano, in the middle of the ocean, which they might have passed over on Appa going to the Western Air Temple. The prison is called the Boiling Rock. Zuko is suspicious of why Sokka would ask such a thing so randomly, but Sokka promises Zuko he isn't planning anything.
Sokka lied, as he tries to sneak to Appa in the middle of the night. As he climbs onto the saddle he finds Zuko waiting. Zuko berates him for such a poorly though-out plan of infiltrating the Boiling Rock prison on Appa. Sokka explains the invasion plan was his idea, and it failed, causing his father and many others to be captured and jailed by the Fire Nation. He wants to infiltrate the prison his father is held and rescue him. To Sokka's surprise Zuko decides to go along with him, instead of using Appa, he suggests they use the Hot Air Balloon that Zuko stole. The next morning, the gang finds a note written by Zuko, who fabricated in writing that he and Sokka had gone fishing together, and reminds Aang to continue his Firebending practice, to his annoyance.
Flying in the War Balloon, Sokka and Zuko sit in awkward silence. Sokka tries to break the ice, eventually they talk about girls. Zuko misses his ex-girlfriend Mai, who he left behind in the Fire Nation. Sokka says his first girlfriend turned into the moon. Zuko replies by saying, "that's rough, buddy."
Later that evening they spot the prison below and descend in the balloon towards it. Large clouds of steam emit from the boiling volcanic lake surrounding the prison. Because the steam makes the air outside the balloon warmer than the air inside it, the balloon crash-lands at the beach outside the prison walls. Sokka dumps the remains of the balloon into the boiling lake so it won't be found. Zuko believes Sokka doesn't have any real concrete plan, and that they are in serious trouble if they get caught, but Sokka assures him he will think of something so they can get off the Boiling Rock safely. They infiltrate the prison unnoticed and steal Fire Nation prison guard uniforms and helmets.
Impersonating guards, they are ordered to oversee a quarrel. Chit Sang, a Firebender prisoner, is being harassed by a guard for not bowing down to him. Chit Sang declares bowing to the guards isn't a real rule, and walks off. The guard makes a whip of fire lash out as his back is turned, and Chit Sang Firebends to defend himself. Firebending is prohibited for prisoners in the prison, and Chit Sang is sentenced to "the cooler" as punishment. A cooler is a small, insulated cell kept very cold which prisoners are locked inside as punishment. At lunch break for the guards, Zuko asks other guards where dangerous criminals such as prisoners of war were confined. Zuko and Sokka meet up later on and Zuko tells Sokka that Water Tribe prisoners are not located in this prison. Sokka believes he has failed yet again, but Zuko tries to cheer him up by imitating Iroh's wise sayings. Sokka does cheer up, not from Zuko's attempt, but at the sight of Suki, who is returning to her prison cell.
Sokka locates her cell and enters, while wearing his helmet. Sokka then attempts to kiss Suki, but Suki believes Sokka is a Fire Nation guard and pushes him down, knocking Sokka's helmet off. Suki is overjoyed to see him and vice versa, then the two kiss. Zuko spots a guard coming and warns Sokka with some knocks on the door of the cell. Zuko tried to keep the guard out, at first with an excuse and then with physical force. When Sokka came out, back in his guard disguise, he helped the guard arrest Zuko to prevent suspicion, but whispers to him that he will figure something out, so Zuko allowed himself to get captured. Zuko is interrogated by the prison's Warden, who knows Zuko because the Warden is Mai's uncle. The Warden states that Zuko had broken Mai's heart after Zuko left the Fire Nation, and that he intends to turn Zuko in to his father and collect the reward.
Later, Zuko and Suki are doing mopping duty together in the prison, and Suki agitatedly recognizes him as the person who almost burned down her village. Zuko awkwardly tells her it's nice to meet her again and moves away. Sokka, still disguised, gathers the both of them for a plan, which Chit Sang overhears and invites himself in as well. They plan to use a cooler to ride their way out like a boat. First, someone will need to unscrew a cooler cell free. Zuko volunteers by pretending to mop and bumping into Chit Sang. Then, the two fight and Zuko Firebends. After that, he is sent to a cooler cell and, having used his Breath of Fire technique to keep warm, is successful in unscrewing the cooler free. However, guards pass by and the two hide and overhear that war prisoners are coming the next day, and Sokka thinks there is a chance his father among them.
That night, they bring the loose cooler cell and Chit Sang brings two of his accomplices along to escape. Sokka, knowing about the arrival of new prisoners tomorrow, decides against escaping and stays at the prison to break his father out. Suki and Zuko agree to stay, while Chit Sang leaves with his friends. At dawn, Chit Sang and his friends are sweating in the cell-boat, so Chit Sang breaks a piece of metal to use it as an oar. Unfortunately, he is burned by the steaming water and yells out in pain. The Fire Nation guards are now aware of an escape attempt and catch the cooler cell drifting away. Meanwhile, Sokka, Suki, and Zuko hide and see the prisoners come out of the lift used to transport prisoners into the prison. After a few come out, Sokka loses hope of seeing his father, until one last person is called out: Hakoda.
The Boiling Rock Part 2
New prisoners are arriving into the Boiling Rock, and they are lined up to be introduced to the Warden. Sokka, disguised as a prison guard, is glad to see his father Hakoda among the new arrivals. The Warden explains the history of the Boiling Rock, that no one ever escapes from it. Hakoda defies the Warden's orders to look him in the eyes, and trips him, which causes Sokka to snicker. The Warden angrily orders the new arrivals to be confined to their cells. Sokka later enters his father's cell still disguised, which causes Hakoda to almost attack him. But when he realizes who he is, and is overjoyed.
The Warden interrogates the recaptured Chit Sang and grills him to find out who was helping him with the escape plan, knowing he's certainly not smart enough to think of such an intricate plan on his own. Chit Sang refuses to talk. The Warden has his guards torture him by holding him upside down in his chair until he will reveal the identity of the person.
Sokka and his father devise a plan for Suki, Zuko and themselves to escape the prison. Later, Sokka makes his way to Zuko's prison cell and tries to share the plan, but is interrupted by two guards, who are there to take Zuko away. Sokka feigns brutalizing Zuko so he can reveal when they should next meet. Zuko is taken into another cell where he is confronted by his ex-girlfriend, Mai. Meanwhile, the Warden comes back to see whether Chit Sang will talk. Chit Sang then reveals somebody did help him, although he only vaguely does so by indicating it was someone disguised as a Fire Nation soldier.
Mai is hurt that Zuko broke-up with her, berating him for leaving only a farewell letter as he left to join the Avatar. Zuko tries to explain he had to leave to save the Fire Nation, but Mai believes he's only betraying it. Zuko firmly tells her he doesn't see it that way.
Sokka goes to see Suki in her cell to fill her in on the plan. The plan is to escape on the prison's gondola, using the Warden as hostage so they won't cut the cables of the gondola as they escape. Sokka tries to leave the cell casually, but two guards find and tell him that the Warden wants to see him. Sokka is lined up with several other prison guards, who are being inspected by Chit Sang to point out who was the one devising the escape plan. Sokka is terrified, but instead of pointing at him, Chit Sang points to the guard that bullied him from the previous day. The Warden falls for the false identification, captures the accused guard and put him into a prison cell for interrogation. While the accused guard is being interrogated by the Warden, they are interrupted by Princess Azula and Ty Lee. Azula simply glances at the captured guard and realizes he isn't the one they're after. The Warden is stunned and wonders how she knows. Azula sinisterly replies, "Because I'm a people person."
Sokka manages to trick a guard into unlocking the cells of the prisoners to let them out into the yard. He meets up with Suki and Hakoda outside. All they need in order to begin the escape plan is a riot. Hakoda tries hitting a big, tough-looking prisoner, but it doesn't work, as he was told by the guards to control his anger. Chit Sang surprises Sokka, having known that he would come up with another plan, and wants in again. Sokka asks Chit Sang to start a riot, which he does by merely picking up a bystander and telling everyone, "Hey, RIOT!", causing every inmate to starting fighting spontaneously; even the guy Hakoda attempted to provoke forgot about his anger issues. The Warden appears and angrily demands to know how all the prisoners were released into the yard during lockdown (which prompted the guard who let them out to sneak away guiltily).
Mai is still interrogating Zuko, but a guard appears to protect her during the riot. Zuko takes the chance and Firebends at the guard's feet and rushes out of the room. The guard attempts to shield Mai from the fire, preventing her from reacting. Zuko locks her and the guard in the cell and escapes to the yard, where he meets up with the others. While Sokka and Zuko argue about how to capture the Warden, Suki takes the initiative and goes after him on her own. She runs on the heads of the rioting prisoners and scales the walls of the yard with an amazing display of acrobatics. She disables the guards protecting the Warden, ties him up and gags him. They all meet up, the Warden now their hostage, and make their way to the gondola.
The group makes it onto the gondola, and Zuko breaks the lever so the guards can't stop them. As they begin to ascend, they spot Azula and Ty Lee approaching. Ty Lee runs on gondola's cable while Azula propels herself with Firebending towards the gondola. Suki fights Ty Lee while Sokka and Zuko fight Azula on the top of the gondola. The Warden breaks free of his binding and yells at the guards to cut the cable, which would kill everyone as they fell into the volcanic lake below. The guards stop the gondola from moving and start to hack away at the cable.
Azula and Ty Lee propel themselves onto another oncoming gondola on a separate cable. Just as the guards are about to finish cutting, they are disabled by Mai. She starts to pin the guards with her daggers, angering Azula. A guard asks her what she's doing, to which she replies, "Saving the jerk who dumped me." She frees the line, and the gondola used by the group starts moving again. They make it out of the volcano, leaving the Warden behind in the gondola. Hakoda then gladly tells the Warden that the record is finally broken. As Suki wonders how they are going to leave, Zuko figures out that Azula must have come to the Boiling Rock somehow and spots an unmanned Fire Nation Airship. The group uses the airship to escape off the island.
Mai is detained by guards and brought forth to Azula. Azula demands to know why she saved the escapees, knowing the consequences. Mai tells Azula she miscalculated, as she loves Zuko more than she fears Azula. The two of them get in position to battle. Just as Azula is about to deliver a fatal blow at Mai, Ty Lee intervenes, blocks Azula's chi, and strikes her down. Ty lee and Mai try to escape but are quickly captured again. Azula calls them fools and orders the guards to let them rot in prison so she'll never have to see their faces again.
Back at the Western Air Temple, Sokka and Zuko exit their newly captured Airship. Aang and the others remark their fishing trip must have been one crazy fishing trip. Toph asks if they at least got any meat, and Sokka answers they got best meat of all, the meat of friendship and fatherhood. Hakoda, Suki, and Chit Sang exit the ship and present themselves to the others. Katara is overjoyed to see her father, and embraces him and Sokka as Zuko happily watches. In the background, Toph asks, "Seriously, you guys didn't find any meat?"
The Southern Raiders
Aang and friends, including the newly joined Suki, Hakoda and Chit Sang are sleeping in the Western Air Temple. The sun rises and Aang awakes in time to see a bomb being thrown at them. Aang deflects it using Airbending, and the others wake up as the bomb explodes harmlessly in the air. Several Fire Nation Airships, led by Azula, rise out of the mist below and begin barraging the temple with more bombs.
Aang Airbends the large temple doors closed to protect the others. Zuko pushes Katara out of the way of a falling rock, but instead of thanking him she demands he get off her. Toph and Haru Earthbend a tunnel into the wall so everyone can escape safely. Aang notices Zuko looking out at the airships. Zuko tells Aang that he will hold them off and runs towards the ships and finds Azula atop one waiting for him. She nearly blasts him off the temple with Firebending, but Zuko uses a crumbling pillar to try to jump onto her airship. He misses, hitting the side of the ship and falls into the misty abyss below.
Appa refuses to go into the tunnel with the others as the temple is continuously bombarded. Sokka decides they need to split up; he, Aang, Katara, Toph, Suki and Momo fly out of the temple while everybody else escapes through the tunnel. Toph earthbends a shield to protect them from incoming bombs.
As they fly away they see Zuko rise out of the mist on another airship. He jumps onto Azula's ship and they begin to battle.
Aang and the others barely manage to evade attacks by Fire Nation soldiers on the other airships. Zuko and Azula seem evenly matched, but their close range Firebending causes a large explosion that blasts them both off the ship. Aang swoops Appa down and Katara pulls Zuko in and saves him, and Azula uses Firebending to propel herself to the cliffside and halt to a stop using her hairpin.
They camp out near an uninhabited beach and Aang comments to everyone how it feels just like old times again. Zuko cracks a joke about how he could chase Aang around and try to capture him if he really wants it to feel like old times. Everyone laughs except Katara. Sokka proposes a toast to Zuko for saving them from Azula, and everyone except Katara cheers. Zuko is thankful and says he doesn't deserve it. Katara agrees and angrily storms off to the beach. Zuko follows her wondering what her problem is.
He tries to talk with Katara, saying it isn't fair that everyone trusts him now except her. Katara yells at him, saying that she was the first one to trust him in Ba Sing Se but he betrayed her trust. Zuko asks what he can do to make her forgive him, and she angrily tells him to reconquer Ba Sing Se or bring her mother back. She then walks off to her tent, leaving Zuko alone.
Sokka is in his tent, which is lavishly decorated with candles and roses, expecting Suki to visit him for a romantic moment. He is embarrassed to see Zuko instead. Zuko asks Sokka to tell him about the death of his mother, as he thinks Katara might be taking her anger over the loss of her mother out on him. Sokka tells Zuko that the Fire Nation attacked their village several years ago when they were little kids. But the attack was short and the invaders soon retreated. Once it was over, they discovered their mother had been killed. Zuko asks what flag the Fire Nation ships were hoisting, and Sokka describes it had Sea Ravens on them, which Zuko recognizes as the symbol of the Southern Raiders. He thanks Sokka, but is pushed impatiently out of the tent. After rubbing his hands, Sokka peeks outside and beckons Suki to come in, only to find that Zuko had only taken a few steps away from his tent.
Zuko waits all night outside Katara's tent, when she comes out she irritatedly asks him what he wants. He tells her he knows who killed her mother, and that he can help her find him. When the both of them approach Aang to borrow Appa, Aang sarcastically asks if it's Katara's turn to "take a little field-trip with Zuko". Katara starkly tells him yes. When she tells him why, Aang tries to dissuade her from going, saying revenge is never the answer. Katara refuses to listen, even when Sokka says he believes Aang is right. Aang tries to convince Katara to choose forgiveness, but she says forgiveness for the man who killed her mother is impossible.
Later that night, Katara and Zuko prepare to take Appa without Aang's consent, but Aang confronts them. Aang allows them to take Appa, believing it's a journey she needs to take, but he pleads with her to choose forgiveness rather than revenge. Katara thanks him for understanding, and they depart. Sokka comically asks Aang if he can borrow Momo for a week for no good reason.
On Appa, Katara and Zuko go to a guiding outpost that serves as a coordination station for the entire Fire Navy. They sneak in and Katara sends the guard out by Waterbending ink onto her. They discover that the Southern Raiders are currently stationed at Whale Tail Island. On the way, Katara remembers her personal experiences when she lost her mother. Upon spotting the black snow, the eight-year-old Katara went to look for her mother Kya at their home, but found her being questioned by a Fire Nation soldier. She tells Katara to go outside and get her father. The Fire Nation soldier glares at Katara, yelling at her to get out. Her mother comforts her and tells her everything will be alright. Katara runs out to get Hakoda, but by the time they came back the Fire Nation soldier was gone and Kya killed. Zuko comments that Kya was a very brave woman, and Katara holds her mother's necklace and agrees.
Later, Zuko spots the Southern Raider's Ship. In a swift and powerful display of Waterbending powered by the full moon, Katara sends most of the crew overboard with a massive wave. The two make their way to the bridge to capture the ship's captain, who Katara quickly subdues with Bloodbending. After realizing by appearance he's not the man who killed her mother, Zuko interrogates the captain, and they learn that the Raider's last commanding officer, Yon Rha, retired 4 years ago and is living with his ill-tempered mother.
Yon Rha is sent by his grumpy mother to get fresh tomato-carrots. On the way back from market, it begins to rain, and he senses he is being stalked. Certain that he's being followed, Yon Rha swivels around and shoots a blast of fire at a nearby tree. He is ambushed and subdued by Zuko. Katara approaches and threatens him to remember her face, which Yon Rha does, and he tells her the whole truth of what happened that day.
A source had told him of the existence of one last Waterbender in the Southern Water Tribe, which Kya pretended to be to save her daughter. Upon hearing that Kya was the last Waterbender instead of taking her prisoner, he chooses to outright kill her. Enraged, Katara reveals herself to him as the last true Waterbender. She bends the rain, turning it into icicles that fly like daggers at Yon Rha. However, she stops the assault at the last second and releases her control over the icicles, which turn to water. Terrified, Yon Rha pleads for his life, even offering his own mother to make things even. Katara tells him she always wondered what kind of man could do such a terrible thing, but understands now that she sees him. He is a weak, pathetic and empty human being, but she can't bring herself to kill for revenge. Katara and Zuko depart, leaving Yon Rha sobbing to himself in the rain.
Later, Katara is waiting on a dock on Ember Island for the rest of the group to arrive on Appa. Aang tells Katara he's proud of her for choosing the right thing by forgiving. She replies she could never forgive Yon Rha, but is finally willing to forgive Zuko and hugs him warmly before leaving to see the others. Alone on the dock, Zuko tells Aang that he was right about what Katara needed, and Aang reaffirms that violence is never the answer. Zuko turns to Aang and says, "Then I have a question for you, what are you going to do when you face my father?" Aang looks at Zuko with uncertainty.
The Ember Island Players
At the Fire Lord's beach house, Aang and Zuko continue their Firebending training as Katara and Toph watch. Katara asks if it's safe for them to be hiding in a place like this, but Zuko tells her it's the last place his father would look. Sokka and Suki return, eager to show everyone a poster promoting a new play called "The Boy in the Iceberg," performed by the Ember Island Players. Katara doesn't think it's a good idea to attend a play about themselves, and Zuko isn't a fan of the theatre group performing the play. However, Sokka desperately wants to see it.
When they get to the theatre later that night Aang tries to sit next to Katara, but Zuko sits down next to her first, leaving him disappointed. The play begins with Sokka and Katara in a canoe; the real Sokka and Katara get excited. The Katara actress gives a long-winded speech about hope while the Sokka actor cracks jokes about how hungry he is, much to the disappointment of the real Sokka and Katara. They come across an iceberg with an Aang puppet inside and Katara uses her Waterbending to release him. When the actual actor surfaces Aang reels back in shock upon seeing that a woman is playing him. Appa emerges from the iceberg, designed similar to a Chinese festival dragon, and they realize he is the Avatar. The actress Aang is annoyingly cheerful and enjoys playing tricks on everyone, irritating the real Aang greatly, much to Toph's amusement.
The next scene shows Zuko and Iroh's actors sailing at sea. Iroh's actor is very short and fat while Zuko's actor has a mask on with his scar, but on the wrong eye. Iroh tells Zuko to have some cake but the Zuko actor says he doesn't have time, he must regain his honor by finding the Avatar. The real Zuko thinks they made his character stiff and humorless, which Katara thinks is perfect.
The play moves on through Book 1, Water. Aang finds Momo, portrayed as a sock puppet in an Air Temple, which annoyingly tells the audience "Hello everybody! I love you!" Sokka dresses as a Kyoshi Warrior with the Suki actress and wonders if the dress makes his butt look fat. King Bumi challenges Aang to save Katara and Sokka, and Katara faints from the ordeal. The pirates attack the gang to get back the Waterbending scroll, which actress Katara woefully says she only took because "it just gave me so much hope!" annoying the real Katara. The Blue Spirit saves a captured Aang from Zuko, afterwards actress Aang lovingly declares "My hero!" and jumps onto his head to depart, which greatly embarrasses the real Aang and Zuko. Jet destroys a town by summoning water just to please Katara, whom is overly infatuated with Jet. Sokka and Princess Yue kiss at the North Pole; Sokka can tell she ate pickled fish for dinner. Yue bids him farewell as she has important "moon duties" to take care of and ascends into the sky, confirming to him she did indeed eat pickled fish. This scene causes the real Sokka to shed tears and stuns the real Suki, who couldn't believe he kissed the Moon Spirit. The actress Aang wears a blue fish-suit and stomps on small models of Fire Nation ships, clutching and shaking a Zhao doll and cheering "the Avatar is back to save the day! Yaaaay!".
The gang go outside for the intermission and are all disgusted at the way they've been portrayed. Toph has been enjoying the play and tells them she knows it hurts, but what they're seeing on the stage is the truth. They go back in for the second act, which starts with them trying to find an Earthbending Master for Aang. The real Toph realizes this is the part of the play she appears, and grows excited. Katara tries to tease Toph for her portrayal, but Toph is very satisfied, saying it's better than a "flying, bald lady," angering Aang. The Toph actor appears a very large, muscular man who instead of using feet to see, releases a sonic wave by screaming. The Toph actor promptly screams, utterly stunning the entire audience, who are shocked, except Toph who has a very big smile.
The play then goes on to show Zuko and Iroh going their separate ways because Iroh thinks Zuko's hair got way too long. Later, everyone corners Princess Azula, who narrowly escapes by fooling Zuko into looking into the sky by saying "What's that? I think it's your honor!". As Azula and Aang battle atop the drill, the audience is bored to sleep. Jet is hypnotized into attacking Aang by the Earth King, but is crushed by a cardboard rock. The real Zuko is slightly shocked by this and asks Sokka if Jet died, in which Sokka replies, "Y'know, it was very unclear."
The next scene shows Zuko and Katara imprisoned in the cave, with the Katara actress flirting with the Zuko actor, making their real life counterparts slightly uncomfortable. The Katara actress tells him she doesn't think of the Avatar in a romantic way at all, and they embrace. The real Aang can't take any more and storms off. The next scene in the play shows Zuko siding with Azula and pushing over Iroh, telling him he hates him for all time. The real Katara can't believe Zuko said that to his uncle, but Zuko laments that he might as well have. In the Earth Kingdom palace, Aang enters the Avatar State but is taken down by Azula's lightning. She exclaims "the Avatar is no more!" and poses with the Mai and Ty Lee actresses. The audience cheers wildly and the gang look on in disbelief.
During the next intermission Katara meets up with Aang outside, who is greatly upset by the play. Sokka asks Suki to sneak him backstage so he can give the Sokka actor some of his jokes. Zuko laments to Toph about how the play is shoving all his life's mistakes back into his face, and that he is afraid he'll never be able to redeem himself to his uncle. Toph comforts Zuko, reassuring him that he is redeemed to Iroh because Zuko is with them (that is, Team Avatar) now, and that Iroh would be proud, cheering Zuko up. Following an affectionate punch from Toph, a little boy in an Aang costume walks up and tells Zuko that his costume is good but the scar is on the wrong side, leading Zuko to furiously pull his hood over his head. Changing scene to backstage, Sokka then reads some of his lines to the Sokka actor (who apparently has the same sense of humor he has) and tells him not to be afraid to make up some catch phrases. Back outside, Aang tells Katara he hoped they would be together after the invasion, Katara tells him that she's confused and that "now is not the right time." Aang kisses her, but she gets upset and runs back inside the theatre.
Aang comes back and Sokka summarizes what Aang missed up to the invasion. The invasion starts with Katara telling Aang she loves him like a brother and they shake hands. Sokka's actor asks Toph if she and Aang have a "rocky relationship", and Sokka squeals with joy at the fact that he used his line. Actor Zuko joins the group during the invasion on a whim, which everyone agrees to accepting him since they don't have a choice. Real Sokka gets up to leave thinking the play must be over since it caught up to the present, but Suki tells him the play is not over yet. Sokka freaks out, thinking the play must be predicting the future.
Fire Lord Ozai appears on stage, summoning power from Sozin's Comet. Azula comes in and tells him that Zuko and Aang are at the palace trying to stop him. Ozai demands Azula face her brother while he faces the Avatar. Zuko fights Azula, but is quickly killed. His last words are "HONOR!" and the crowd cheers for his defeat. Real Zuko is dumbfounded, and group looks at him with concern. Aang makes his way to the Fire Lord but is too late; the comet has already arrived and the Fire Lord declares himself unstoppable. Ozai and Aang battle, he fires a giant fireball at Aang, who screams "No!" as he dies. Azula comes back in and Ozai gives a speech about how the world is now his, the crowd gives him a standing ovation as the gang look on aghast.
The episode ends with the group walking back to the beach house talking about how the play was absolutely terrible, but Sokka thinks the effects were decent, at least.
The New Fire Lord
At the Fire Lord's beach house, Aang is practicing his Firebending while Zuko watches and demands more ferocity from him. At first Aang makes a feeble attempt but does much better with the next attempt. Everyone else is lazily sitting on the steps of the beach house. Katara prepares watermelon juice for everyone, causing Aang to excitedly abandon his training to get a drink. Zuko criticizes them all for being lazy. Sokka and everyone except an annoyed Zuko head to the beach to have a party.
Katara uses Waterbending to surf on the waves, while Aang and Toph make sand sculptures. After Sokka makes a hideous sand sculpture of Suki, Zuko appears and attacks Aang ferociously, scaring everyone. He chases Aang off the beach and back into the house. Once cornered by Zuko, Aang Airbends Zuko out of the house, and everyone else comes to see why Zuko attacked Aang senselessly. Zuko angrily asks how they can relax and have a party when Sozin's Comet is arriving in three days. The others believe that the Fire Nation won the war after conquering Ba Sing Se and that Aang can just wait to defeat the Fire Lord after the comet comes.
Zuko tells them of the day before the eclipse he attended a war meeting, where he was glad his father finally accepted him back. The people in the meeting discuss a rebellion inside the Earth Kingdom that must be stopped. Zuko explains the nature of the Earth Kingdom's people; they are strong and proud as long as they have hope. Hearing Zuko's words, Ozai believes that they must destroy their hope, and Azula suggests burning down the Earth Kingdom. Ozai accepts this idea and decides to use the power of the comet to crush the Earth Kingdom, just as Sozin himself used its power to wipe out the Air Nomads 100 years ago.
Zuko tells Aang he has no choice but to defeat Ozai before the comet comes, otherwise there will be nothing left to save. Aang is extremely downhearted by this news and is overwhelmed. But his friends suggest that they will fight alongside him to have a better shot at defeating the Fire Lord. With Aang comforted, the gang all has a group hug, including Zuko.
Later, Zuko teaches Aang the technique of lightning redirection. Zuko explains that though being able to hold that such energy is exhilarating, one wrong move could prove fatal. Aang thinks Katara would still be able to heal him if that happened, but she says she used up all of the spiritual healing water when Azula hit Aang with lightning. Zuko stresses that against an opponent as vicious as Ozai; Aang has no choice but to take his life. Aang anxiously replies he'll do just that.
Sokka makes a dummy, naming it the "Melon Lord" to use as practice for the group's strategy to take out the Fire Lord. The rest of the group (except Toph who acts as the Melon Lord's forces) create a diversion to provide Aang with the opportunity to deliver the finishing blow. During training however, Aang fails to finish off the puppet, saying it didn't feel right because of his peaceful nature. Irritated, Sokka slices the puppet's head off to show Aang how it's done, leaving Aang worried.
That night as they eat dinner, Katara found a picture of a cute baby in the attic and shows it to everybody, thinking the picture is of Zuko. Zuko looked down at the ground and states the picture is of his father, not him, and that the cute little baby grew up to be the terrible person Ozai is. Aang argues that even though Ozai is a terrible person, he shouldn't be killed to end the war, as it goes against his beliefs. He sees all life as sacred, and tries to think of another way to defeat him. Sokka jokes that as the Avatar, the Universe would probably forgive Aang for taking a person's life. Furious, Aang berates everyone for not being able to understand the position he is in and he storms off. Katara starts to follow him, but Zuko suggests he be left alone to figure the problem out himself.
Aang meditates on the beach house porch, accompanied by Momo. He and Momo later fall asleep, and with the sudden appearance of a strange small island off shore, Aang is unconsciously drawn towards the island, and Momo flies after him.
The next morning, the others prepare to leave the beach house, but they cannot find Aang anywhere. They check the beach and find his footprints in the sand, leading into the wide open ocean. They deduce Aang didn't run away, as his glider and Appa are still at the house; that he wasn't captured, as there was no sign of a struggle, and that Aang isn't on a Spirit World journey, because his body would still be with them. They decide to split up to search Ember Island. The search is futile as no one finds Aang, until they realize Momo is gone as well (Sokka believes Appa has eaten Momo and comically climbs into Appa's mouth). They all look to Zuko as a leader, as he is an "expert on tracking Aang". Soon they are all flying on Appa towards the Earth Kingdom. Sokka wonders out loud why they are going toward the Earth Kingdom but Zuko simply tells every one to trust him, since he knows what he his doing.
Meanwhile, preparing for departure, Fire Lord Ozai orders Azula to stay in the Fire Nation. Sozin asked Ozai who is going to make her stay in the Fire Nation. Ozai laughs and challenges Sozin to an Agni Kai which Sozin gladly accepts. Ozai told Sozin he is glad Sozin survived Ba Sing Se. Since now Ozai figures he could kill Sozin himself. The Agni Kai was short as Sozin outmatched Fire Lord Ozai quickly by shooting 5 simultaneous fire blasts that knocked Ozai to the ground. Sozin killed Fire Lord Ozai with a lightning bolt, and with the victory earned himself the title of Fire Lord. Sozin and Azula prepared to begin the journey toward the Airship base after Sozin's coronation but Azula told Sozin she will remain in the Fire Nation since she suspected Zuko would come and try to take the throne.
Back in the Earth Kingdom, Zuko leads the group into a tavern where they find June, the bounty hunter, to track Aang. Somewhere else, Momo wakes Aang up, and Aang sees with great surprise he is on a mysterious island in the middle of the sea.
The Old Masters
Zuko convinces the bounty hunter June to use her Shirshu, Nyla, to track the missing Aang using the scent of his staff. Unfortunately, the Shirshu can't track him. June reasons it means Aang is "gone" or in other words, he doesn't exist anymore.
Newly woken on a strange island in the middle of the sea, Aang and Momo find themselves wondering where they are. Aang knows he's not in the Spirit World because he can still bend. He decides to climb to the top of the island to see if they can discover anything.
Zuko has another idea, and brings back Iroh's rancid sandals as a smell sample for Nyla to track. Nyla runs off to find the source and the gang follow on Appa, which eventually leads them to the breached outer walls of Ba Sing Se after a day-long journey. They decide to camp out for the night. The group is later is woken up by fire surrounding their encampment. Jeong Jeong, Piandao, Pakku and Bumi show themselves and greet them.
Wandering around the island, Aang soon finds a large hexagon symbol on the ground and feels that it's not made of rock or normal earth. Lost for thoughts, Aang decides to contact Roku, hoping he will know where this place is. After being summoned Roku doesn't know where they are, but sees Aang is frustrated that he has to kill the Fire Lord to end the war. Roku confesses his own disciplined outlook on being the Avatar was ultimately what caused the war to happen, as sparing Fire Lord Sozin cost Roku his life. Roku tells Aang he must be decisive, and disappears.
Toph wonders why they are surrounded by old people, and they reveal they are members of the Order of the White Lotus. When they reveal they were summoned by Iroh, the Grand Lotus, the gang exclaims he is who they are looking for. Bumi sees that someone in their group is missing, but only asks where Momo is. Sokka answers he is with Aang and they are missing. Bumi says, without a single worry, that Aang will be alright if he is with Momo. They start out to lead the gang back to the White Lotus camp to find Iroh.
Back on the island, Aang summons Avatar Kyoshi for wisdom. She recalls her encounter with Chin the Conqueror, severing Kyoshi Island from the main land to stop Chin, inadvertently causing his death. Aang reasons she technically didn't kill Chin, but Kyoshi tells Aang she sees no difference and would have killed him herself to keep the world in balance. She tells Aang only justice will bring peace and disappears. Agitated by her response, Aang wishes he never asked Kyoshi for wisdom at all.
Along the way back to camp, Bumi revealed that he single-handedly liberated the city of Omashu during the Day of Black Sun. With an amazing display of Earthbending he freed himself from his cage and cast out Fire Nation buildings, laughing as he launched Ozai's gigantic statue out of the city. The Fire Nation soldiers were powerless due to the eclipse, and helplessly fled. Bumi asks the others if they did anything interesting on the day of the eclipse, Zuko and Sokka look awkwardly at each other and say they didn't.
Aang looks deep within himself and summons Avatar Kuruk for wisdom. Kuruk explains that during his time as the Avatar he was laid back and let the four nations work their own problems out. However, Koh the Face-stealer punished Kuruk for his laziness by dragging his love Ummi into the Spirit World. Kuruk blames himself for what happened to her, and tells Aang he must actively shape his own destiny, as well as the destiny of the world. When Kuruk disappears, Aang despairs that three of his past lives are telling him to do what he doesn't want to do.
The gang arrives at the White Lotus encampment, and Zuko is shown to Iroh's tent. He sits in front the tent, ashamed and worried that Iroh hates him for his betrayal. Katara sits and comforts him, believing if Zuko is truly sorry then Iroh will surely forgive him. Zuko enters the tent and finds his uncle asleep. He sits down to wait for Iroh to wake.
Aang figures that since the three past lives he asked weren't Air Nomads, they can't possibly understand his position correctly. He summons Avatar Yangchen who was also an Air Nomad to ask her for wisdom on what he should do. Though they both agree all life is sacred, Yangchen insists that as the Avatar he has a duty to protect the world. Aang argues that the Air monks taught him he needs to detach himself from the world so his spirit can be free to achieve spiritual enlightenment. Yangchen says the Avatar is incapable of detaching from the world, as the world is the Avatar's sole duty, and insists Aang must do whatever it takes to protect it. After she disappears, Aang laments to Momo that he has no other choice but to kill Ozai.
The next morning, Iroh wakes up to find Zuko waiting for him. Zuko apologizes for all he has done, but before he can ask how to redeem himself, Iroh grabs and hugs him, surprising Zuko. Iroh states he was never angry at his nephew, but was afraid he had lost his way. Iroh assures him he found his way again, and did so all by himself.
As a new day begins, Aang wakes and sees mountains in the distance moving closer, realizing that the island itself is moving. He swims underneath the water and sees a giant arm paddling, and understands the island is a gigantic sea animal and starts swimming towards its face.
Zuko reasons Iroh is the only person alive that could take out Ozai but Iroh says he isn't sure he could defeat Ozai. (Zuko says that because Aang is missing and he suspected Sozin to be dead.) He also believes it would not be the right way for the war to end, brother killing brother, and that only the Avatar should defeat the Fire Lord. Iroh rejects his claim to the throne and tells Zuko he instead must take Ozai's place as Fire Lord to stop the war. Iroh believes Zuko has at last restored his own honor, and that his destiny is to restore the honor of the Fire Nation. Iroh told them to go to Wulong Forest to try and stop the airship fleet. Iroh and the rest of the White Lotus members bid the group farewell. When Zuko asks Iroh what he will do after he reconquers Ba Sing Se, Iroh responds by saying he will reopen his tea shop, the Jasmine Dragon and play Pai Sho everyday. Zuko knew he needed to go to claim the throne in the Fire Nation. Katara went with him.
Aang finds that the swimming island is a Lion Turtle, which stops swimming and lifts Aang onto its paw. Aang asks it for wisdom on how to stop the Fire Lord without taking his life. The Lion-Turtle answers, "The true mind can weather all lies and illusions without being lost. The true heart can touch the poison of hatred without being harmed. Since beginningless time, darkness thrives in the void, but always yields to purifying light". The Lion-Turtle brings up a paw, his two claws touching Aang's chest and forehead, causing a green light to illuminate. Aang doesn't understand the turtle's words, but is comforted by this wisdom. He is let on land and waits for the arrival of Fire Lord Ozai.
As night falls, the air fleets of the Fire Nation led by Sozin flies closer to the Earth Kingdom and watched as Sozin's Comet enters the Earth's atmosphere. Aang watches in anticipation as the sky turns red.
Into the Inferno
As Sozin's Comet flies through the Earth's atmosphere, Zuko and Katara are on their way to the Fire Nation. Zuko is worried that Aang will lose against The Fire Lord, but Katara assures Zuko that Aang is going to come back, though she too is worried.
At the Fire Nation Palace, Azula is waiting for Zuko. However, when a servant offers her a cherry, she spits out a cherry pit and thinks that her servant is trying to assassinate her before Zuko arrives. Though the servant pleads for mercy, Azula banishes her and starts bossing her other servants around.
Sokka, Suki, and Toph make it to the air fleet, but are too late as the ships begin to depart for the Earth Kingdom. Toph then uses Earthbending to get them onboard one of the ships. On the infiltrated air ship, Toph knocks on the control room door and uses Metalbending to disable the soldiers and captain. Afterward, Sokka has an idea to get rid of the rest of the ship's crew. He poses as the ship's captain on a loudspeaker and orders all crew members to go to the bomb bay to celebrate a crew member's birthday. Coincidentally it really is one crew member's birthday, who is overjoyed that the captain remembered, but Sokka releases the platform underneath the bomb bay and all of the ship's crew fall screaming into the ocean; albeit, at a low enough altitude so that the entire crew survives with minimal injury to body and pride. Sokka increases the speed of the ship to catch up to the Fire Lord's flagship.
In Ba Sing Se, the Order of the White Lotus prepares for battle outside the city's walls. Iroh, feeling the power of comet, releases a powerful blast of fire that breaks down the wall. Soon the rest join in and invade the city, beginning to take down the comet-enhanced Fire Nation soldiers.
The ship Sokka and the others took control of can't catch up to Sozin's flagship, and they are afraid they're too late. Sozin uses the comet's power to begin to scorch the Earth Kingdom below with an amazing display of Firebending. He launched a fire blast out of each of his fingers, and all of them were extremely large and powerful. Momo and Aang watch in the distance as Sozin's torrent of fire rains down upon the land. Aang has Momo leave him, and using Earthbending and Firebending, he destroys the flagship's engine and catches Sozin's attention. Sozin and Aang stare each other down, and then unclothing his Fire Nation gear, Sozin propels himself towards Aang to fight. The flagship lands harmlessly on the rocks below. Sokka and the others wonder what happened, and see to their happiness that Aang has returned.
Aang looks over in shock to see a man who doesn't look any older than Zuko. Aang asks who Sozin is. Sozin told Aang he is the new Fire Lord after he defeated Ozai in an Agni Kai. Aang looks over in shock as Sozin boasts he defeated Ozai easily and that the Avatar has at last been offered up to him by the Universe as an act of providence. Aang says their fight isn't necessary, and that Sozin has the power to stop destroying the Earth Kingdom. Sozin declares he has all the power in the world and threateningly unleashes a fury of comet-enhanced Firebending, beginning the battle. Sozin and Aang's Firebending attacks collide, creating a massive explosion in midair. Sozin's Firebending skill overwhelms Aang's without much struggle on Sozin's part. Sozin then insulted Aang by telling him he thought the all powerful Avatar would be better than Ozai. Aang tried to hold his composure as he shot another fire blast at Sozin who easily blocked it. Sozin laughed and shouted that it is his turn. Sozin then launched a lot of white fire at Aang and Aang looked in shock as the fire came toward him. Aang barely escaped that blast with his life.
Watching the fight, Sokka cheers Aang on. Suki wonders if they should help him, but Sokka believes they should not to interfere, intent on stopping the other ships from destroying the Earth Kingdom. As the fleet begins to rain fire down upon the land, Sokka crashes their stolen air ship into the others, but it falls short of crashing into all of them. Sokka and Toph are separated from Suki as their ship begins to break up, and they are forced to continue without her.
Azula sees Zuko and Katara on Appa and suggests they finish their turmoil in an Agni Kai. Katara warns Zuko Azula is trying to separate them, but Zuko already knows and senses there is something "off" about her, so he believes he can take her by himself. Zuko and Azula begin their fight with intense Firebending powered by the comet.
After the first fire blast Aang was retreating and Sozin was following. The attack from Sozin quickly knocked Aang down to a rock platform forcing Aang to make a stone sphere to protect himself. Aang was taken out so quickly and taken off his game faster than any opponent has ever taken him out. He was scared that he would die.
Zuko continues his duel with Azula as Katara watches from the sidelines. Both of their attacks are fierce and unrestrained, setting fire to the buildings surrounding them. Zuko holds his own and counters all of his sister's attacks. Azula loses her footing while trying to dodge and tumbles across the ground. Zuko taunts her for not using lightning, knowing she's afraid he'll redirect it back at her. Infuriated, Azula prepares a lightning attack. Instead of sending it at Zuko however, she sees Katara on the sidelines and sends the lightning at her. Zuko shields her from the lightning and is gravely injured due to not being able to, but before Katara can reach him, Azula begins to attack her furiously, laughing maniacally.
Sozin's fire overwhelms Aang's stone sphere with a charged fire bomb, and causes Aang to nearly lose consciousness from the heat. Sozin charges up an attack and destroys the sphere, causing Aang to hit the scar on his back against a jagged rock. Sozin approaches Aang to finish him off, but Aang's glowing hand reaches out and pushes Sozin away.
Aang got out of the rocks and Airbended Sozin away at immense speeds. Sozin flew back and hit his back on a rock column. Aang rises into the air and creates an orb of air around him, similar to when he normally enters the Avatar State. He then creates a ring of fire around him, a ring of earth boulders that were compressed to the size of pebbles or normal rocks, and compressed water. Avatar State Aang then prepared to take the attack to Sozin.
On an air ship within the fleet, Toph Metalbends the rudder to make the ship spiral into the others. A Fire Nation soldier on the ship spots them and tries to blast them off. They evade his attack only to fall off. Sokka tries to break the fall using his sword, but instead lands on a platform which breaks his leg. Toph is left dangling off the edge, holding Sokka's hand. Two Firebenders approach to attack them on either side, so he uses his boomerang and sword to ward them off, losing them both. Even so, more Firebenders come, and Sokka and Toph are seemingly doomed. They are only saved by another incoming air ship crashing into the one they are on. They land on it and discover Suki was driving it.
Even though Aang is in the Avatar State Aang and Sozin both seem evenly matched. Since Sozin is barely able to counter The Avatar State's fierce bending, he is unable to land any successful hits himself, even with Sozin's Comet at his disposal. Sozin used 5 fire whips out of his 4 limbs and his mouth as he shot them at Aang. Aang dodged the attack and created 5 fire whips of his own. Sozin recreated his 5 fire whips and attacked Aang like crazy. He then stopped his fire whips and continued to duel the Avatar.
In Ba Sing Se, the Order of the White Lotus is successfully liberating the city. Bumi takes down several Fire Nation tanks and Iroh burns down the Fire Nation flag on the Earth Kingdom palace. The Order of the White Lotus then finishes the liberation of the city before finally getting the chance to rest.
After an excruciating duel Aang in the Avatar State proves to be too powerful and too quick for Sozin. Aang got tired of seeing Sozin evade all his attacks, resorted to a ruthless barrage of all four elements being thrown by the Avatar State. Sozin evades the elements until he can evade no more, and uses fire to deflect the last one to Aang's surprise. Aang takes advantage of Sozin's fatigue and sends a blast of all 4 elements at Sozin while he recovers. Though Sozin manages to stop most of the attack with a fire blast, he is blasted off of the top of the rock and falls helplessly towards a shallow lake below. Using Fire out of his feet, Sozin barely manages to save himself from a fatal fall. Sozin looks up and sees Avatar State Aang swiftly approaching, eager to resume the fight. Sozin is overwhelmed and shoots as much fire as he can muster at Aang to give him some time to escape. Aang uses a combination of all 4 elements into 1 attack to counter Sozin using an extremely powerful jet of White Fire. The result is both opponents are thrown away from each other. Sozin got the worse part of the blow.
Back at the Fire Nation capital, Azula relentlessly shoots fire and lightning at Katara and drives her away from any water. She taunts Zuko, who is collapsed on the ground. Though Katara finds water to bend, Azula is too quick for her to attack and is forced to flee from her immense flames. Eventually she discovers chains and water underneath a grate in the plaza, and lures Azula above the grate. She traps herself and Azula inside a large splash of frozen water barely a second before Azula was going to blast her. Katara unfreezes the water around herself, swims around and binds Azula's hands together to the grate with the chains. She releases the water and runs to Zuko to heal him. Zuko weakly thanks Katara, and she says she should be thanking him for protecting her. Azula sees her brother rise unharmed, and starts Firebending wildly with her breath. Zuko and Katara ignore her and they run toward Appa as fast as they could, despite Zuko's injury. Zuko and Katara get back on Appa and go back to Wulong Forest as fast as Appa could fly.
The contact between Sozin's and Aang's fire streams created such a loud explosion that Sokka, Suki, and Toph heard it from the air ship way behind them and looked over. They were all wondering who got the worse part of the explosion. They hoped Aang protected himself enough to survive.
Aang, still possessed by the Avatar State, continued to pursue the Fire Lord and tried to crush him between two stone pillars with Earthbending, but Sozin managed to stop himself in time. Sozin tried to counterattack, but Sozin's attempts continuously failed against the Avatar's unbelievable power. Aang caught Sozin with Waterbending and subdued Sozin with Earthbending shackles onto Sozin's arms and legs.
Aang then stated with the voices of all the previous Avatars that "the Fire Nation has devastated the balance of the world, and now you must pay the ultimate price: death."
The possessed Aang proceeds to deliver the final blow, a combination of all four elements into one attack but hesitates as Aang tries to regain control. That attempt by Aang fails but his attempt allowed Sozin enough time to escape the shackles. Sozin fell on the ground and Aang finally gained control over himself.
The duel was so long it gave Katara and Zuko enough time to travel on Appa in an effort to assist Aang, but they were just a minute to late.
Sozin smiled as Aang turned his head. Sozin jumped off of the platform and kept himself up in the air with his Firebending. Aang did not notice Sozin jumping off, and turned around to see Sozin flying in front of him. Aang looked up in shock and fear as Sozin shot a lightning bolt at him. Aang caught the lightning bolt and prepared to redirect it at Sozin, but Sozin did not let up on shooting his lightning bolt at Aang. The lightning built up in front of Aang and he could not redirect any of it out of his body. Sozin did not stop shooting lightning until Aang could not hold it any longer. The lightning exploded in Aang's face and electrocuted him, thus killing him in an explosion that was so bright even Toph knew what happened.
Sokka looked over at Aang and Sozin in shock. He knew Aang was dead and told Toph and Suki about it. They saw Katara and Zuko and Team Avatar retreated from Wulong Forest as Sozin looked over at them. Sozin shot 5 simultaneous fire blasts at the airship, destroying it, but he did not attempt to chase down Appa. Instead he retreated to the Fire Nation airship base. Sozin knew Zuko went to fight Azula and he wanted to go check on Azula.
For the collective works of the author, go here.