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Transcript:The Western Air Temple

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The episode begins with an aerial shot of Appa, still in his armor, and the rest of the gang, now including Haru, The Duke, and Teo, searching for the Western Air Temple on foot. Cut to Toph leading with Haru and Sokka behind. Cut to Aang, Momo on his head, walking next to Appa. Cut to Teo and The Duke. Cut to Katara, Sokka next to her.
Katara This is humiliating.
Sokka [Looking up at her.] You mean getting thoroughly spanked by the Fire Nation or having to walk all the way to the Western Air Temple?
Katara [Looking at him momentarily before answering.] Both.
Cut to Aang.
Aang [He pets Appa, smiling slightly.] Sorry guys, but Appa gets tired carrying all these people.
Cut to a view of the whole team, Toph leading the way.
Teo I wonder how the rest of the troops are.
Haru [Frontal view.] They're probably on their way to a prison. Seems like my dad just got out and now he's going back in.
Cut to view of The Duke walking next to Sokka.
The Duke I miss Pipsqueak.
Sokka I miss not having blisters on my feet.
Brief view of the team from behind before we see Toph's foot stamp down. Cut to Toph looking up, smiling.
Toph Hey, we're here! I can feel it!
Cut to a wide panning shot of the surrounding area. A cliff edge in front of the gang.
Katara Uhhh ... I think your feet need their eyes checked.
Cut to Aang with Sokka behind.
Aang No, she's right. We are here!
Sokka looks around before shrugging. Cut to the front of the gang as the camera pans down, revealing the temple, hidden under the cliff.
Toph Wow ... it's amazing!
At another part of the temple, Zuko descends down a rope. When he lands on the ground, he has a flashback to three years ago, just after his banishment. Cut to a frontal shot of the cliff similar to the one Toph and the group were on earlier. Camera pans down to show the various natural structures through the mist of the temple.
Iroh What a stunning view.
Cut to Zuko with covering over his fresh scar. Iroh stands behind him.
Zuko The only view I'm interested in seeing is the Avatar in chains.
Iroh You know, the Avatar hasn't been seen for one hundred years. The chances of finding him here are very slim. [Cut to a shot of Zuko's bandaged side.]
Zuko [Determined.] First we'll check each of the air temples, then we'll scour the world, searching even the most remote locations until we find him.
Iroh Prince Zuko, it's only been a week since your banishment. You should take some time to heal and rest.
Zuko What else would I expect to hear from the laziest man in the Fire Nation? [Iroh sighs.] The only way to regain my honor is to find the Avatar, so I will.
Iroh walks away as the flashback ends, fading to Zuko who looks disappointed in himself. Zuko notices Appa flying nearby and hides quickly. He subsequently runs off. Cut back to Team Avatar.
Teo It's so different from the Northern Air Temple. I wonder if there are any secret rooms.
Haru [Running off to explore.] Let's go check it out!
Teo and The Duke follow Haru. Aang tries to, but is cut off by Katara.
Katara You guys go. I think we need to talk about some things.
Teo I'll race you, Duke.
The Duke I told you, it's The Duke!
The three head off. Cut to Katara and Aang.
Aang Why can't I go?
Katara We need to decide what we're gonna do now, and since you're the Avatar, maybe you should be a part of this.
Aang [Sitting down.] Fair enough. So, what's the new plan?
Sokka Well, if you ask me, the new plan is the old plan! You just need to master all four elements and confront the Fire Lord before the comet comes.
Aang [Sarcastically.] Oh, yeah. That's great, no problem. I'll just do that.
Katara Aang, no one said it's going to be easy.
Aang Well, it's not even gonna be possible! Where am I supposed to get a firebending teacher?
Katara We could look for Jeong Jeong!
Aang [Shooting her idea down.] Yeah ... right. [He lays down on the bench without a care.] Like we'll ever run into Jeong Jeong again.
Toph [Curiously.] Who's ... oh, [She folds her arms irritably.] never mind. If it's important I'll find out.
Aang Oh well, guess we can't come up with anybody. Why don't we just take a nice tour around the temple? [He and Momo fly off.]
Toph What's up with him?
Sokka There's gotta be someone who can teach him firebending.
Katara and Toph look down dejectedly as the camera slowly pans up and fades to a smiling Zuko in a forested area with his tent.
Zuko Hello ... [Raises an arm in greeting.] Zuko here, but I guess [Rubs his hand against the back of his head nervously.] you probably already know me, sort of. Uhhh ... so, the thing is I have a lot of firebending experience, and I'm [Places an arm on his chest with pride.] considered to be pretty good at it. [He continues smiling.] Well, you've seen it, you know, when I was attacking you. [His eyes widen.] Uhhh ... yeah, I guess [Places his fingers against his forehead in embarrassment.] I should apologize for that. But anyway, [Waves an arm to the side dismissively.] I'm good now. [Clenches both fists and places one on his chest while the other arm is raised.] I mean, I thought I was good before, but I realize I was bad, [He gets visibly uncomfortable and drops his arms into a slouch.] but anyway, I think it's time I joined your group and taught [Straightens up with a sincere expression on his face.] the Avatar firebending. [A badgerfrog croaks at him. Angrily.] Well, what's your answer? [The badgerfrog hops on his head before hopping away.] Yeah ... that's what I'd say, too. How am I supposed to convince these people that I'm on their side? What would Uncle do? [Imitating Iroh.] Zuko, you have to look within yourself to save yourself from your other self. Only then will your true self, reveal itself. [Normal voice.] Even when I'm talking for him I can't figure out what he means. What would Azula do? [Imitating Azula.] Listen, Avatar, I can join your group, or I can do something unspeakably horrible to you and your friends! Your choice! [Normal voice. Stops and sits down.] I guess I'm just not that good at impersonations.
A badgerfrog jumps in front of him as he sits and croaks. Meanwhile, Aang is flying on his glider. Sokka, Katara, and Toph follow him on Appa.
Katara Aang, can we talk about you learning firebending now?
Aang What? The wind is too loud in my ears! Check out this loop!
Aang proceeds to do a loop.
Sokka Aang, I think we should be making some plans about our future!
Aang Okay, we can do that while I show you the giant Pai Sho table! Oh, you're gonna love the all-day echo chamber!
Toph [Cut to a close up of Toph as she turns serious.] I think that'll have to wait.
Toph points behind herself, and the camera zooms out to show Team Avatar looking at her quizzically. Appa moves out of the way to reveal a shadow, and as the camera pans up, it is revealed to belong to Zuko. Cut to a close-up of the team as they look at him with shocked expressions, which subsequently turn into anger.
Zuko [Cut to a close up of Zuko's face.] Hello ... [Raises his arm up in greeting and waves.] Zuko here.
The gang prepares to attack.
Zuko Hey, I heard you guys flying around down there, so, I just thought I'd wait for you here. [Appa growls at him and licks him twice. Cut to a surprised Momo and Aang as he lowers his staff slightly.] I know you must be surprised to see me here.
Sokka Not really, since you've followed us all over the world.
Zuko Right. Well, uhhh ... anyway ... what I wanted to tell you about is that I've changed, and I, uhhh, I'm good now, and well I think I should join your group, oh, and I can teach firebending to you. [The gang expresses shock.] See, I, uhhh ...
Toph You want to what now?
Katara You can't possibly think that any of us would trust you, can you? I mean, how stupid do you think we are?!
Sokka Yeah, all you've ever done is hunt us down and try to capture Aang!
Zuko I've done some good things! I mean, I could have stolen your bison in Ba Sing Se, but I set him free. That's something! [Appa licks him again, much to his surprise.]
Toph Appa [The siblings turn toward her.] does seem to like him.
Sokka He probably just covered himself in honey or something so that Appa would lick him. I'm not buying it.
Zuko I can understand why you wouldn't trust me, and I know I've made some mistakes in the past.
Sokka Like when you attacked our village?
Katara Or when you stole my mother's necklace and used it to track us down and capture us?
Zuko Look, I admit I've some awful things. I was wrong to try to capture you, and I'm sorry that I attacked the Water Tribe. And I never should have sent that Fire Nation assassin after you. [Toph and Sokka's eyes widen with shock.] I'm going to try and stop-
Sokka [Pulls out his boomerang; angrily.] Wait, you sent Combustion Man after us?
Zuko Well, that's not his name, but-
Sokka [Sarcastically.] Ohhh, sorry. I didn't mean to insult your friend!
Zuko [Angrily.] He's not my friend!
Toph That guy locked me and Katara in jail and tried to blow us all up!
Zuko [To Aang.] Why aren't you saying anything? You once said you thought we could be friends. You know I have good in me.
 Aang turns to look at his friends, and Sokka shakes his head at Aang.
Aang There's no way we can trust you after everything you've done. We'll never let you join us.
Katara You need to get out of here. Now.
Zuko I'm trying to explain that I'm not that person anymore!
Sokka Either you leave, or we attack.
Zuko If you won't accept me as a friend, then maybe you'll take me as a prisoner. [Zuko kneels down.]
Katara No, we won't! [Blasts water at him.] Get out of here, and don't come back! And if we ever see you again, well, we'd better not see you again!
Zuko walks away. Cut back to Zuko's campsite.
Zuko Uggh! I can't believe how stupid I am! I mean, what was I thinking? Telling them I sent an assassin after them? Why didn't I just say Azula did that? They would have believed that! Stupid! [A badgerfrog croaks at him.] Uggh!
Back at the air temple.
Katara Why would he try to fool us like that?
Sokka Obviously he wants to lead us into some kind of trap.
Katara This is just like when we were in prison together at Ba Sing Se. He starts talking about his mother and making it seem like he's an actual human being with feelings.
Sokka He wants you to trust and feel sorry for him so you let your guard down, then he strikes.
Katara The thing is, it worked. I did feel sorry for him. I felt like he was really confused and hurt, but obviously, when the time came he made his choice, and we paid the price. We can't trust him.
Aang I kind of have a confession to make. Remember when you two were sick and I got captured by Zhao?
Sokka And you made us suck on frozen frogs? How could I forget? I had a wart on the flap that hangs down from the back of my throat for a month!
Katara Sokka, I looked at it, and I told you, there was nothing there!
Sokka I could feel it! It's my throatal flap!
Aang Anyway, when Zhao had me chained up, it was Zuko who came in and got me out. He risked his life to save me.
Katara No way! I'm sure he only did it so he could capture you himself!
Sokka Yeah, face it Aang, you're nothing but a big prize to him.
Aang You're probably right.
Katara And what was all that crazy stuff about setting Appa free? What a liar!
Toph Actually, he wasn't lying.
Sokka [Sarcastically.] Oh, hooray! In a lifetime of evil, at least he didn't add animal cruelty to the list.
Toph I'm just saying that, considering his messed-up family and how he was raised, he could have turned out a lot worse.
Katara [Sarcastically.] You're right, Toph! Let's go find him and give him a medal. The "not as much of a jerk as you could have been" award!
Toph All I know is that while he was talking to us, he was sincere. Maybe you're all just letting your hurt feelings keep you from thinking clearly.
Katara Easy for you to say! You weren't there when he had us attacked by pirates!
Sokka Or when he burned down Kyoshi Island!
Aang Or when he tried to capture me at the Fire Temple!
Katara Why would you even try to defend him?
Toph [Angrily.] Because Katara, you're all ignoring one crucial fact: [Pokes Aang in the chest.] Aang needs a firebending teacher! We can't think of a single person in the world to do the job! Now one shows up on a silver platter, and you won't even think about it? [Stamps her feet on the ground to a point where the ground shakes slightly.]
Aang I'm not having Zuko as my teacher!
Sokka You're darn right you're not, buddy.
Katara Well, I guess that settles that.
Toph Ergh! I'm beginning to wonder who's really the blind one around here! [Walks away.]
Nightfall. Zuko's campsite. Zuko is asleep when he hears something.
Zuko Who's there? Stay back! [Whips fire.]
Toph It's me! [Throws up an earth shield, but steps back into Zuko's fire blast.] Ow! You burned my feet!
Zuko I'm sorry, it was a mistake! [Comes toward her, but she begins to crawl away.]
Toph Get away from me! [As Toph crawls away, she grabs the earth under her and throws it backward at Zuko.]
Zuko Let me help you! [Dodges another rock.] I'm sorry! [Tries to grab her.]
Toph Get off me, get off me! [Brings up some earth which sends Zuko flying back.]
Zuko I didn't know it was you! Uggh, come back! [Toph leaves.] Uggh! Why am I so bad at being good?
The next morning, Western Air Temple. Katara is serving everyone breakfast.
Katara [Handing a bowl to The Duke.] Has anyone seen Toph?
Sokka I haven't seen her since she stormed off yesterday.
Haru Maybe she's just exploring the air temple. There are some pretty fun spots to practice earthbending.
Katara I think we should go look for her.
Sokka [Sitting.] Let her have fun with her rocks. I'm in no rush to have her yelling at us again.
The Duke We can go check for her!
Teo [Has a bandage around his forehead.] Yeah! I want to ride that tunnel down to the Hall of Statues again. It will work a lot better now that I fixed my brakes.
Haru, The Duke, and Teo exit.
A large rumble occurs. Toph falls down the pile of rock that she created from a wall.
Katara [Approaching, with Sokka and Aang. Worried.] Toph! What happened?
Toph My feet got burned!
Katara Oh no, what happened?
Toph I just told you, my feet got burned!
Katara I meant, how.
Toph Well, I kind of went to see Zuko last night. [Everyone is shocked.]
Aang You what?
Katara Zuko?
Sokka Uhhh ...!
Toph I thought he could be helpful to us. [Katara begins to try and heal her feet.] And if I talked to him, maybe we could work something out.
Sokka So he attacked you?
Toph Well, he did, and he didn't. It was sort of an accident.
Aang But he did firebend at you?
Toph [Sighs.] Yes.
Sokka See? You trusted Zuko, and you got burned. Literally!
Katara It's gonna take a while for your feet to get better. [Stops healing.] I wish I could have worked on them sooner.
Toph Yeah, me too.
Sokka Zuko's clearly too dangerous to be left alone. We're gonna have to go after him.
Aang I hate to go looking for a fight, but you're right. After what he did to Toph, I don't think we have a choice.
Sokka He's crafty, but we'll find a way to capture him.
Toph Maybe just invite him back here. [Aang and Sokka go to pick her up.] He's already offered himself up as a prisoner once.
Sokka Yeah, get him to come back and say he'll be our prisoner, then we'll jump him and really make him our prisoner. He'll never suspect it! [Aang and Sokka carry Toph away.]
Katara [Following. Sarcastically.] You are a master of surprise, Sokka ...
Cut to Toph's feet as they are dipped into a fountain.
Toph Ahhh, that's the stuff. Now I know how the rest of you guys feel. Not being able to see with your feet stinks. [Katara sits next to her putting a hand on her shoulder.]
Meanwhile, Combustion Man eyes the gang from a higher elevation. He sets his sights on Aang. As he prepares to fire, however, Zuko jumps in and knocks him off-balance, causing his shot to be wild. Team Avatar make to run away before hearing Zuko.
Zuko Stop! [Team Avatar turns their head up to the sound.] I don't want you hunting the Avatar anymore! [Cut to a quick close up of Aang looking up with shock as he is helping Sokka carry Toph. Cut back to Zuko as he stands in front of Combustion Man, arms spread out to block him.] The mission is off. I'm ordering you to stop.
Combustion Man shoves him away and attacks again.
Zuko If you keep attacking, I won't pay you! [Attempts to firebend at him, but Combustion Man grabs him.] All right, I'll pay you double to stop!
Zuko kicks Combustion Man as he fires, causing him to miss again. He subsequently takes aim at Zuko. Zuko creates a firewall to stop the attack but is pushed off the ledge. Cut to a shot of Team Avatar looking over the edge of the fountain shocked. Cut to a shot from behind Combustion Man as he faces a small crater in the floor and the smoke that is dissipating. Cut to a shot of the edge of the ledge and strafe right, revealing climbing a vine hanging underneath it and Zuko survived by grabbing the plant's root. Cut to Combustion Man as he turns back. Cut to a close up of Aang as he stands up from behind the fountain pool and runs to the side. Cut to a shot of Aang doing a spinning back kick, airbending and kicking up the dust around him, then leaping straight up just as a blast from Combustion Man explodes beneath him. The camera turns up to Aang spinning in mid air, airbending a tornado and kicking it at Combustion Man. Combustion Man leaps over the tornado and fires another blast as he descends. Aang lands and quickly back flips away from the blast, landing next to Katara and Sokka. Cut to a shot of Combustion Man falling, then cut to a shot of his metal, clawed hand as it catches on a small ledge and breaks it, slowing his fall. He lands on a new ledge and rolls, firing a blast just as he stops. Cut to a shot of Katara and Aang shielding themselves as the blast hits the fountain water. The camera follows Katara as she runs forward and bends the water from the pool. Cut to a far shot from the side as Katara bends a huge wave up between them and Combustion Man. Cut to a shot in front of the camera as she descends from jumping, bringing her arms down and crossing them and giving a battle cry. The wave matches her arm movements and icicles in both directions. Cut to a shot of Combustion Man as the icicles speed toward him. He brings his metal arm over his face and lifts his metal leg to shield him from the attack. The icicles break against him. Combustion Man flings his arms down to shake off the ice shards and steps forward, an angry frown on his face. Cut to his perspective as he scans the area. The group is nowhere to be seen. Aang fires a tornado, which the assassin jumps over and fires again. Aang narrowly avoids the blast by jumping back. Combustion man falls and lands on a ledge as he fires and misses again. Katara bends water from the fountain and turns it into ice spikes, but Combustion Man appears unaffected. The assassin looks up and realizes they have disappeared but continues firing. Cut to shot of the team hiding behind a wall, out of sight.
Toph He's going to blast this whole place right off the cliff side!
Katara looks out from behind the wall only to see another incoming blast.
Katara I can't step out to waterbend at him without being blown up and I can't get a good enough angle on him from down here.
Sokka [Pausing for a moment to think before having an idea.] I know how to get an angle on him! [Takes out his boomerang. After another blast, he sneaks his head out, but has to hide from another shot. He projects Combustion Man's angle with his boomerang.] All right buddy, don't fail me now! [Throws his boomerang.]
The boomerang hits the assassin in the head where his third eye tattoo is, causing him to hit the ground, before it returns back.
Sokka Yeah, boomerang! [Jumps up and grabs it, but Combustion Man gets up, albeit clearly shaken.] Awww, boomerang ...
As the team runs back to their hiding spot, Combustion Man gears up again, but is dizzy and cannot aim properly. His next shot fails to escape, causing an explosion around him resulting in the building he stands on getting destroyed. Cut to his metal arm as it flies away from the explosion, followed by the falling building. The gang looks on, shocked. Haru, Teo, and The Duke all appear from behind a pillar also shocked.
Zuko climbs a plant root, having survived the ordeal. Later, Zuko again approaches the gang.
Aang I can't believe I'm saying this, but ... thanks, Zuko.
Sokka Hey, what about me? I did the boomerang thing.
Zuko Listen, I know I didn't explain myself very well yesterday, I've been through a lot in the last few years and it's been hard. But I'm realizing that I had to go through all those things to learn the truth. I thought I had lost my honor, and that somehow, my father could return it to me. But I know now that no one can give you your honor. It's something you earn for yourself, by choosing to do what's right. All I want to do now is play my part in ending this war, and I know my destiny is to help you restore balance to the world. [To Toph.] I'm sorry for what I did to you. [Bows to her.] It was an accident. Fire can be dangerous and wild, so as a firebender, I need to be more careful and control my bending, so I don't hurt people unintentionally.
Aang [Looks at Zuko shocked, hearing these words, and thinks for a moment.] I think you are supposed to be my firebending teacher. When I first tried to learn firebending, I burned Katara, and after that, I never wanted to firebend again. But now I know you understand how easy it is to hurt the people you love. I'd like you to teach me. [Bows before Zuko.]
Zuko [Bows.] Thank you. I'm so happy you've accepted me into your group.
Aang Not so fast. I still have to ask my friends if it's okay with them. [To Toph.] Toph, you're the one that Zuko burned. What do you think?
Toph Go ahead and let him join. [Pounds her fist into her palm jokingly.] It'll give me plenty of time to get back at him for burning my feet.
Aang [Turning to Sokka.] Sokka?
Sokka [Shrugging.] Hey, all I want is to defeat the Fire Lord. If you think this is the way to do it, then, I'm all for it.
Aang [Approaching Katara.] Katara?
Katara [Glares at Zuko for a moment and Zuko starts to sweat; reluctantly.] I'll go along with whatever you think is right. [Aang smiles.]
Zuko [Excitedly approaching the group.] I won't let you down! I promise!
Aang, Katara, and Sokka exit, the latter carrying Toph. Later, Sokka shows Zuko to his room.
Sokka So, here you go, home sweet home, I guess, you know, for now. Unpack? Lunch, soon? Uhhh ... welcome aboard? [Zuko glances back and smiles at him.] Yeah. [Walks out of the room and meets Aang in the hallway; to Aang.] Okay, this is really, really weird.
The two exit. Cut to Zuko as he pulls out a painting of Iroh. He subsequently has another flashback to three years ago.
Zuko If I have to, I will spend every day of the rest of my life hunting the Avatar. I know it's my destiny to capture him.
Iroh [Placing a hand on his shoulder.] You know Prince Zuko, destiny is a funny thing. You never know how things are going to work out. But if you keep an open mind, and an open heart, I promise you will find your own destiny someday.
Fade to Zuko in the present, smiling at the memory. Zuko suddenly notices a clearly disgruntled Katara at the door.
Katara You might have everyone else here buying your ... transformation, but you and I both know you've struggled with doing the right thing in the past. [Approaches him; threateningly.] So let me tell you something, right now. You make one step backward, one slip-up, [Close-up of Katara's angry face.] give me one reason to think you might hurt Aang, and you won't have to worry about your destiny anymore. Because I'll make sure your destiny ends ... right then and there. Permanently.
She walks away and slams the door shut. Zuko slumps his shoulders.
Fade to credits.

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