It is nearly sunset. The screen pans down to reveal a shot from behind Gran Gran and some other villagers. They look down the ice road out of their village to see Aang and Katara in the distance walking toward them. As they approach, the children run forward to greet them. They gather around Aang as Sokka comes forward angrily.
- Sokka (pointing at Aang): I knew it! You signaled the Fire Navy with that flare! You're leading them straight to us, aren't you?
- Katara: Aang didn't do anything. It was an accident.
- Aang: Yeah, we were on the ship and there was this booby trap and well... (putting his hand to his head as if trying to puzzle out the thought) we "boobied" right into it.
- Gran Gran (shaking her head): Katara, you shouldn't have gone on that ship. Now we could all be in danger!
- Aang: Don't blame Katara! I brought her there. (Looking downcast) It's my fault.
- Sokka: Aha! The traitor confesses! Warriors, away from the enemy! (The children walk away from Aang and towards Sokka and Gran Gran.) The foreigner is banned from our village!
- Katara (angrily): Sokka, you're making a mistake.
- Sokka: No! I'm keeping my promise to Dad. I'm protecting you from threats like him!
- Katara (motioning to Aang): Aang is not our enemy! Don't you see? Aang's brought us something we haven't had in a long time. Fun.
- Sokka: Fun? We can't fight Firebenders with fun!
- Aang (smiling earnestly): You should try it sometime.
- Sokka: Get out of our village. Now!
- Katara: Grandmother, please, don't let Sokka do this.
- Gran Gran: Katara, you knew going on that ship was forbidden. Your brother is right. I think it best if the airbender leaves.
- Katara: Then I'm banished too! (she turns, taking Aang by the shoulder, and begins to walk off.) C'mon, Aang, let's go!
Cut to a wide, profile shot of the scene. Appa is on the left, ready for flight, Sokka and the villagers on the right. In between are Katara and Aang walking to Appa, the sun starting to set behind them.
- Sokka (pointing at Katara): Where do you think you're going?
- Katara: To find a waterbender! Aang is taking me to the North Pole!
- Aang (momentarily confused, then brightening): I am . . . ?
- Sokka: Katara! (She stops) Would you really choose him, some kid you found this morning, over your tribe? Your own family?
She pauses, doubt and indecision on her face. Aang comes up next to her.
- Aang: Katara, I don't want to come between you and your family. (smiles) I'm just a kid you found in the iceberg.
He walks forward and towards Appa.
- Katara: You're leaving the South Pole? This is goodbye?
- Aang: Thanks for penguin sledding with me.
- Katara: Where will you go?
- Aang (putting a hand on Appa): Guess I'll go back home and look for the airbenders. (Thinking) Wow, I haven't cleaned my room in a hundred years. Not looking forward to that.
He airbends himself onto Appa's head where he takes the reigns. He turns to address the village.
- Aang: (sadly, almost wistfully) It was nice meeting everyone.
- Sokka: Let's see your bison fly now, air boy.
- Aang: Come on, Appa, you can do it! Yip! Yip!
Appa rumbles and gets onto his feet.
- Sokka: Yeah, I thought so.
Just then a little girl with pig tails rushes forward with a cry to stand by Katara.
- Little Girl (her eyes shining with tears): Aang! Don't go! We'll miss you!
- Aang (sadly): I'll miss you too.
He turns to look at Katara, then cut to a close of Katara, her braids blowing in the breeze. Cut back to Aang who turns away, shaking the reigns once more.
- Aang: Come on, boy.
Appa begins to walk off in the background, Katara and the little girl, backs to the camera, in the foreground. The little girls runs off crying back to the village while Gran Gran comes up behind Katara.
- Gran Gran: Katara, you'll feel better after you...
- Katara (cutting her off angrily): You happy now? There goes my one chance of becoming a waterbender!
She too stalks off angrily, leaving Gran Gran alone. Cut to a shot of Sokka directing the little boys through the village gate. Fade to a shot of the frozen wasteland outside the village. The camera pans right to reveal Appa and Aang resting in the curves of some ice formations. The formation has two doughnut shaped holes. Appa lies on his back in the lower one, Aang in the smaller higher one. Appa rumbles.
- Aang: Yeah, I liked her too.
Aang looks out to see and gets up with a start. Cut to his p.o.v. which shows a Fire Navy ship steaming toward the village. The camera zooms backward to show the back of Aang's head. He looks over from the ship to where the village lies over the horizon.
- Aang: The village! (He slides down off his perch) Appa, wait here!
Appa rumbles in reply and shifts his position slightly. Cut to Sokka putting on his war garb. Fingerless gloves, arm wraps, boots and face paint are all applied silently. Cut to a quick exterior shot of Zuko's ship steaming ahead, then cut again to a parallel shot of Zuko being helped into his armor by some attendants. He girds himself with a breastplate, shoulder guard and helmet. The scene shifts to Sokka leaving his tent with his weapons, then cut to a silent overhead pan shot of the village. Alone, Sokka stands atop the ice wall of the village, scanning the mist for any sign of the enemy. Suddenly, a deep rumbling noise is heard and the ground begins to shake. Parts of the wall on which Sokka stands begins to crumble. The villagers look around in alarm. Cut back to Sokka where the guard tower in the background collapses in a heap of snow and ice. Pandemonium breaks out in the village as people being to run every which way. Katara is in their midst, but stops, seeing something in the mist. Cut to a shot from Katara's p.o.v. Still atop the wall, Sokka looks small. Suddenly a massive shadow emerges from the mist, dwarfing Sokka. It is the bow of Prince Zuko's ship. Cut to a zoom in close up of Sokka.
- Sokka: Uh-oh.
The shot shifts to a profile view of the village and the encroaching ship. Prince Zuko's vessel has cut through the ice all the way to the city wall itself. As the ships continue to ice break towards the wall, Katara puts Gran Gran into one of the tents in the rear and then gets a little child out of harm's way as the ice floor of the village begins to crack all over the place under the stress. As she puts the child in a tent, she turns to look back to Sokka. Cut to a wide overhead shot of the ship reaching the wall, Sokka poised both tragically and comically to the ships hull with his weapon.
- Katara: Sokka, get out of the way!
As the ship reaches the wall, it collapses into a heap of ice and snow which tumbles back into the village, carrying Sokka with it. Cut to a wide shot of the ship which has come to a halt. Steam wafts up from where the bow has split the ice. The villagers, Katara in front, have emerged from their shelters and stare in trepidation and amazement at the ship. Katara draws a deep breath in anticipation. Cut to Sokka looking up at the ship, who also draws breath. Cut to a wide shot from behind Sokka that pans up. With a noise of metal on metal the bowsprit of the ship opens and folds out and down onto the village's floor. The bowsprit has become a huge gangplank, similar to the Roman corvus, for disembarking Fire Nation troops. Sokka's falls backwards to avoid being crushed by the bowsprit. As the steam clears from the top of the bowsprit, Zuko and a host of Fire Nation soldiers are revealed. A quick cut to Sokka and the villagers is replaced by one of Zuko walking down the gangplank stairs followed by guards. Cut back to Sokka, who gets up and charges Zuko with an adolescent war cry. As he runs up the steps to the Prince, Zuko casually and expertly kicks his weapon out of his hand and then kicks him in the face, sending him sprawling on the ice to the planks right. The villagers draw back in fright and the ease with which their only warrior has been dispatched by the invaders. Cut to an overhead shot of the villagers and Fire Nation soldiers who have now reached them. Zuko walks forward to address the village. He looks over the crowd, then walks over to Katara and Gran Gran. He takes off his helmet.
- Zuko: I am Prince Zuko, son of Fire Lord Ozai and heir to the throne. I am looking for the Avatar.
He looks around the crowd as there is no immediate response. He grabs Gran Gran and shows her to the villagers.
- Zuko: He'd be about this age, master of all elements!
Again no one responds. After a brief pause, he throws Gran Gran roughly back to Katara. With a cry of frustration he launches a gout of flame over the villager's heads. They cower in fear.
- Zuko: I know you're hiding him! WHERE IS HE!?
Behind Zuko, Sokka gets up, his face paint largely gone. He retrieves his weapon and charges Zuko with another cry. Cut to Sokka's p.o.v., where Zuko turns to him in annoyance. He dodges Sokka's charges and flips him over his head. Zuko fires a blast of flame at Sokka, but Sokka rolls out of the way, throwing his boomerang at Zuko as he does. Caught by surprise, Zuko barely avoids the boomerang. He turns to look back in anger at Sokka over the near miss. Cut back to Sokka, the villagers behind him. A little boy in the crowd throws him a spear.
- Little Boy: Show no fear!
Sokka catches the spear and charges Zuko, who, as Sokka reaches him, breaks off pieces of the spear shaft with his wrist guards. After the head of the spear has been shorn off, Zuko grabs the spear, then breaks it in half and drops the pieces on the ground. Sokka has also sunk to the ground. Cut to a shot from Sokka's p.o.v., with Zuko standing sternly over him. In the sky in the background the boomerang reappears. It slams Zuko in the back of the head, knocking his helmet off kilter. Furious, Zuko begins to spit fire out of his hands as he hovers menacingly over Sokka.
Cut to Aang skyrocketing towards the village on a penguin, staff in hand. He flies right under Zuko, sweeping his legs out from under him. Zuko lands butt up. The helmet lands on his behind in a most suggestive manner. The children cheer as Aang reaches the villagers. The penguin slides to a halt and it pushes Aang off. The penguin gets up, looks at Aang, and then turns and waddles away.
- Aang: Hey Katara. Hey Sokka.
- Sokka (dryly): Hi. Thanks for comin'.
Aang looks over at the Firebenders. Cut to Zuko getting to his feet and assuming a firebending stance, then cut to an overhead shot of Aang at the ready with his staff, surrounded by Zuko and his men. They begin to close in, but Aang blows the men on either side of him backwards with blasts of air. He blasts Zuko as well, but he holds his ground, shielding his face from the wind.
- Aang: Looking for me?
- Zuko (incredulous): You're the airbender? You're the Avatar?
- Katara: (in disbelief) Aang? The Avatar?
- Sokka: No way.
Cut to an overhead shot showing Zuko and Aang maneuvering for position against each other in the middle of a village that has become an arena.
- Zuko: I've spent years preparing for this encounter. Training. Meditating. You're just a child!
- Aang: Well, you're just a teenager.
Zuko fires blast after blast. Aang cries out. He is hard pressed, fear showing on his face. Aang dissipates each blast as it strikes by twirling his staff in front of him like a helicopter blade. The dissipation doesn't block the fire from reaching the villagers, though, and they cry out. Aang looks behind to them and realizes he can't protect them all.
- Aang: If I go with you, will you promise to leave everyone alone?
Cut to wide shot of Zuko still in a firebending stance. After a brief pauses he straightens up and nods stiffly. Cut back to Aang, a soldier's hands entering the frame to take his staff and lead him to the ship. Cut to a shot of the villagers where Katara rushes forward.
- Katara: No, Aang! Don't do this!
- Aang: Don't worry, Katara, it'll be okay. (They push him forward roughly) Take care of Appa for me until I get back.
- Zuko: Head a course to the Fire Nation. I'm going home.
They board the ship and the bowsprit rises back up. Aang looks back hopefully at his new friend as the ship closes. Katara's eyes water as the prison closes around Aang. His smile drops as he sees her pain. The shadow of the closing bowsprit closes over him. It is morning. The jagged path through the ice that Zuko's ship opened is plainly visible as is the shattered village wall. Life goes on, however, the fire at the center of the village smokes and villager are visible about their work. Several shots flip by of villagers tending the fire, digging out the watchtower and re-raising tents. They look sad. Cut to a long shot of Katara at the water's edge looking out at the sun rising over the sea, then cut to a frontal view of her. Sokka walks by in the background carrying some things.
- Katara: We have to go after that ship, Sokka. Aang saved our tribe; now we have to save him.
- Sokka: Katara?
- Katara: Why can't you realize that he's on our side? If we don't help him, no one will.
- Sokka: Katara! Are you comin' with me or what?
Sokka motions to his left and the screen expands to show a canoe ready to go.
- Katara (with a happy gasp): Sokka!(gives him a bear hug.)
- Sokka: Get in. We're going to save your boyfriend.
- Katara: He's not my...
- Sokka: Whatever.
- Gran Gran (entering the shot from behind them): What do you two think you're doing?
They turn and try to look innocent. Cut to Gran Gran, who looks momentarily severe, but then smiles and offers them a blue bundle.
- Gran Gran: You'll need these. You have a long journey ahead of you. It's been so long since I've had hope. But you brought it back, my little waterbender. (She hugs Katara) And you, my brave warrior, be nice to your sister. (She hugs Sokka.) Aang is the Avatar. He's the world's only chance. You both found him for a reason. Now your destinies are intertwined with his. He will need you, and we all need him.
- Katara (turning to the canoe): There's no way we're gonna catch a war ship with a canoe.
The shot expands to show Appa mounting the crest of hill in the background. He emits a low rumble as he approaches.
- Katara: Appa!
Fade to a shot of Zuko's ship's prow cutting through the ice packed water. Cut to the foredeck. Aang, hands bound behind him, faces Zuko, Iroh and a bunch of guards.
- Zuko: This staff will make an excellent gift for my father. I suppose you wouldn't know your father, being raised by monks. Take the Avatar to the prison hold. And (shoving the staff in Iroh's direction) take this to my quarters.
Iroh takes the staff as Zuko walks away. Iroh immediately turns to the guard on his left. The guard takes the staff as Aang is escorted down some stairs into the ship. A quick shot of the ship steaming through a narrow strip of water between walls of ice is replaced by another of Aang being escorted along one of the ship's hallways.
- Aang: So... I guess you've never fought an airbender before. I bet I can take you both with my hands tied behind my back.
- Guard 1: Silence!
They stop in front of a door. As one of the guards moves to open the door with a key, Aang draws a great breath and blows the guard with the key into the door, knocking him out. The breath also propels him backwards and into the guard behind him. They are blown all the way back down the hallway. They crash into the stairs they came down on. The guard is knocked out since Aang used him to cushion his own impact. Aang then airbends himself back up onto the deck and airbends the door at the end of the deck open. He enters the ship and runs down the hall. Cut to an overhead shot from the bridge looking down onto the foredeck. One of the guards Aang just escaped from emerges and shouts up to a guard on the bridge deck in the foreground.
- Guard 2: The Avatar has escaped!
Cut to an overhead shot of Appa swimming through the water, with Katara at the reigns and Sokka on his back in the saddle.
- Katara: Please, Appa, Aang needs your help. Sokka doesn't believe you can fly, but I do, Appa. (coaxingly) Come on. Don't you wanna save Aang?
Appa rumbles in response, but doesn't speed up or fly.
- Sokka: What was it that kid said? Yee-haw? Wahoo? Uh, yip yip?
This last gets a response. Appa rumbles again and begins to flop his massive beaver tail. He begins to hop along the surface of the water as he picks up speed. Finally, with a mighty heave, he takes off into the sky.
- Katara (ecstatic): You did it, Sokka!
- Sokka: He's flying! He's flying! Katara, he's...! (Katara gives him a smug look. Then, nonchalantly) I mean, big deal, he's flying.
Cut to a stationary shot as Appa flies by at high and into the horizon, then cut to Aang running down one of the ship's hallway, looking behind him for pursuers. His hands are still bound behind him. He turns and starts to run forward, right into three Fire Nation soldiers blocking his way, weapons drawn. Aang runs forward and up and around the guards by running along the walls and ceiling in corkscrew circles. He gets by them with ease and look at his retreating form with surprise. He runs into another hallway, this time blocked by a single guard. He blasts a fireball at him, but he avoids it by launching himself over the guards head. The frame rate slows as Aang passes, showing how Aang is able to cut his wrist bonds by catching them on the horn of the guard's helmet. The bonds break and the guard is thrown off balance and onto the ground. Aang, his hands now free, runs off-screen. Several shots of Aang opening random doors goes by. The last door he opens reveals a snoring Iroh. Aang slowly closes the door. He then runs by another open door, stops and turns back to it.
- Aang: My staff!
He enters and the door shuts behind him. Cut to an interior shot of the room where it is clear that Zuko was hiding in wait for the Avatar.
- Zuko: Looks like I underestimated you.
After a brief pause, Zuko begins blasting fire at Aang, who barely dodges. He is terrified and he gasps and pants to catch his breath. After dodging a few more shots, Aang rolls underneath Zuko to get behind him. By staying behind him, Zuko is unable to blast him with fire. Cut to an exterior shot of the upper decks of the ship. The long window of the room where Aang and Zuko are fighting lights up every other second each time Zuko releases a blast. Cut back to the fight, where Aang now faces Zuko. He dissipates each fireball with a small air ball he forms with his hands. Aang creates an air scooter and rides around the walls and ceiling of the room, all the time getting licked by the gouts of flame Zuko unleashes at him. Aang terminates the airball and grabs a tapestry off the wall. He wraps Zuko up in it as he passes. While Zuko struggles against the tapestry, Aang is able to grab his staff. Zuko breaks his bonds and they once again square off against each other. After a few seconds of maneuvering, Aang airbends a mattress up off the floor and slams it into Zuko. The mattress propels Zuko into the opposite wall. He is smashed into it and he falls to the ground, onto the mattress. Aang then airbends the mattress up to the Zuko, smashing Zuko into that. Both fall back down to the ground. Zuko looks up in anger to find Aang gone.
Cut to the bridge, where a the wheel mechanism that opens a deck hatch on the floor begins to spin. The hatch opens and Aang airbends himself on to the bridge from below. Aang rushes forward out on to the bridge's observation deck. He opens his glider, throws it into the air and jumps after it. He catches it, a happy expression on his face. Unfortunately, behind him, Zuko has jumped after him in pursuit. With a fierce cry of desperation, he grabs Aang's foot. Both get up and square off yet again. Aang's look of trepidation is tempered as he turns over his left shoulder to see Appa up in the sky gaining on Zuko's ship.
- Zuko: What is that?
Cut briefly to a shot from behind Katara and Sokka as they close in on the ship.
- Aang: Appa!
Aang turns just in time to use his staff to block a fire blast from Zuko. He uses his staff as a helicopter to escape the blasts and comes back down on the edge of the deck, almost falling overboard. He regains his balance and blow three more fireballs before his staff is knocked away from him. He dodges a few more blasts before he is finally knocked overboard. Aang falls into the water below.
- Katara (hysterical): Aang! No!
Cut to an underwater shot as Aang sinks.
- Katara (voice-over as Aang sinks): Aang! Aang! AANG!
At Katara's final scream, Aang's eyes and tattoo's glow white, an expression of determination forming on his face. He turns around in the water and begins to rise towards the surface. Around him, a mighty whirlpool of water begins to form. Cut to a wider underwater shot. Aang, at the center of a now monstrous, inverted tornado of water is propelled toward the surface at amazing speed. He breaks the surface in front of the ship, towering high over the bridge atop his swirling maelstrom of water. Cut to Zuko, who looks up at the swirling column of water and the Avatar at its pinnacle with dismay and fear. Aang lands on the deck, his eyes still aglow, and bends the water from the column around him in circle. He releases it and it expands outward in a shockwave that blasts Zuko and his men overboard. Cut to Sokka and Katara witnessing the scene from Appa's back above.
- Katara (incredulously): Did you see what he just did?
- Sokka: Now that was some Waterbending!
(Cut to Aang on the foredeck. He is on his knees, wobbling after the huge energy expenditure. He falls forward, the white energy fading from his eyes and tattoos. Appa lands and Katara and Sokka jump off to retrieve him.)
Katara (worried): Aang! Are you okay?
Cut to Katara kneeling and holding Aang, Sokka beside her.
- Aang (drained): Hey Katara. Hey Sokka. Thanks for coming.
- Sokka: Well, I couldn't let you have all the fun.
- Aang: I dropped my staff.
- Sokka: Got it!
Sokka runs over to pick up the staff. As he picks it up, Sokka is shocked to see that Zuko holds the other end of it. Zuko was washed overboard, but held onto the part of Aang's staff that was hanging out over the deck. Sokka grabbed it. Zuko lets go and begins to fall to the water below, but grabs the anchor chain in time. He hangs by one hand. Cut to a wide shot of Appa, Aang and Katara. Appa gets up, shaking off some water. Cut to some of the guards who had been washed way down the deck by Aang's waterbending. They get up, preparing for combat. Katara picks up a stream of water from the deck and the guards pull back slightly in fear. She tries to whip the guards with the water, but instead freezes the water on the deck, including the water around Sokka's feet in the background.
- Sokka: Katara!
Sokka starts to chip away at the ice holding his feet with his boomerang while the soldiers move forward once again. Katara picks up another stream of water and throws it at the soldiers without looking. The camera then expands to show that they are now frozen in a thin sheet of ice. She turns and climbs back up on Appa.
- Katara: Hurry up, Sokka!
- Sokka (to himself): I'm just a guy with a boomerang; I didn't ask for all this flying and magic.
He finally frees himself and runs up Appa's tail.
- Sokka: Yip yip! Yip yip!
Once he is onboard, Appa rumbles and takes off. Cut to Iroh who has just emerged onto the deck after his nap, looking up to the sky.
- Iroh (rubbing his eyes): Huh?
Cut to Appa rapidly flying away from the ship, then to Iroh helping Zuko back up onto the ship.
- Zuko: Shoot them down!
As Appa gains altitude, Zuko and Iroh in unison launch a massive bolt of fire at Appa. Katara and Sokka look behind them in horror at the approaching fireball. Aang jumps to the back of the saddle and, using his staff like a baseball bat, airbends a gale that sends the fireball at a right angle away from Appa and into the ice cliff nearby. The fireball explodes, releasing a huge amount of ice from the cliff wall which falls into the narrow channel that Zuko's ship is navigating. Zuko gasps in horror as the bow of the ship and indeed the entire channel is blocked up under an avalanche of ice. Cut to Aang, Katara and Sokka laughing as they fly away. Cut back to Iroh and Zuko on the foredeck of the heavily damaged ship.
- Iroh: Good news for the Fire Lord. The nation's greatest threat is just a little kid.
- Zuko: That kid, Uncle, just did this. I won't underestimate him again.
- Iroh: Prince Zuko, it's not by chance that you were the one to see the light and find him.
- Zuko: I had him, Uncle. For a moment... I had my honor back.
- Iroh: (pats Zuko in the shoulder) Your destinies are tied, Zuko. That...I can be sure of.
Fade to a long shot, sunset scene of Appa flying through the clouds. Then cut to a closer, profile shot of Appa and the kids flying through the clouds.
- Katara: How did you do that? With the water? It was the most amazing thing I've ever seen.
- Aang (sitting cross legged on the bridge of the saddle, a slightly sad expression on his face): I don't know. I just sort of... did it.
- Katara: Why didn't you tell us you were the Avatar?
- Aang: Because... I never wanted to be.
Overhead, a cloud passes over them, momentarily blocking the fading sunlight. After it passes, they enter a shaft of sunlight.
- Katara: But Aang, I knew you were real. I always knew you'd come back. The world's been waiting for the Avatar to return and finally put an end to this war.
- Aang (looking down sadly): And how am I going to do that?
- Katara: According to legend, you need to first master water, then earth, then fire, right?
- Aang: That's what the monks told me.
- Katara: Well, if we go to the North Pole you can master waterbending.
- Aang (now smiling): We can learn it together!
- Katara: And Sokka, I'm sure you'll get to knock some firebender heads on the way.
- Sokka (somewhat dreamily): I'd like that. I'd really like that.
- Katara: Then we're in this together.
Cut to a long shot of Appa flying through the clouds at sunset, shafts of the suns fading light breaking through the clouds.