Strangely enough (or maybe not so strangely,) you don’t see the main villain’s face until season three, and the main villain (Firelord Ozai), happens to be one of my favorite characters, for reasons unknown. This picture does not have Appa the flying bison, but it has the original group of “Team Avatar”, as Sokka dubbed them in season two when they reached Ba Sing Se. The intro to all the episodes informs us that the four nations lived in harmony until the Fire Nation attacked. This attack was only possible because of Sozin’s comet, something that brought unbelievable power to fire benders once every hundred years.
It was named Sozin’s comet because Firelord Sozin was the first one to think of using it in a war. Of course, we don’t learn this in the first season, but hey, spoilers don’t hurt anyone. ^_^ The Avatar, able to bend all four elements (water, earth, fire, and air), is also the peace keeper between the four nations. The manifestation of the spirit of the world. When the war started, or as our narator, Katara says “When the world needed him most”, he disappeared. Vanished was the word she used, but I like to use disappeared, even though really, Avatar Roku died while saving his home island. We don’t learn this in season one either by the way. And right there, starts the episode.
We are introduced to Katara and Sokka, who are out fishing. Sokka is also one of my favorite characters, being, in his own words, the “meat and sarcasm guy”. While Sokka tries to spear a fish, Katara tests her water bending and lifts a fish in a bubble of water, Sokka, being too intent on aiming for a fish in front of him, doesn’t turn around to look. Unfortunately, this results in him getting splashed when he draws the spear back and bursts the bubble. After getting crushed by some floating ice (the canoe got crushed, not them), Sokka says some things that really annoy Katara, and without meaning to, as she tells him off, she does quite a bit of water bending.
Then this huge glowing iceberg comes up from underwater and there’s a boy in it, along with some… thing. Katara rushes over, and starts whacking at it to try and help the boy, while Sokka yells at her not to, but then this perfect circle is cut out and a beam of light shoots up into the air. Now we meet the prince of the Fire Nation and his uncle, the Dragon of the West. They are Prince Zuko and General Iroh, two more of my favorite characters. Though I have to admit, I like Iroh more than Zuko, the prince doesn’t have a sense of humor. So they set a course for the light, while Katara and Sokka see the boy climb over the top of the rim that was made by the ice falling away, and his arrow tattoos are glowing, along with his eyes.
Suddenly the glow stops, and he falls forward, and Katara catches him. When he opens his eyes, he says that he has to ask her something, and tells her to come closer, sounding very tired…… as soon as she leans in close, he’s suddenly very enthusiastic and asks her if she’ll go penguin sliding with him. And she agrees. Then he scrambles back up onto the rim and lands on the thing that was in the iceberg with him. His flying bison, Appa. Sokka freaks out when he sees Appa (the expression on his face was priceless, no wait, if it’s a cartoon, there would be a price wouldn’t there?) and Katara remains completely unconcerned. Appa sneezes all over Sokka (leading to one of my favorite scenes in the first episode), and then they head for the village. Appa swims, because he’s tired, but this explanation doesn’t really convince Sokka that Appa can fly, but Katara is completely fine with it.
Later on, Aang leaves and Katara gets really upset. Afer that, Zuko appears at the village, and is going to destroy it when Aang appears. Zuko says that he’s spent years training, and that all he’s faced with is a child, Aang replies by saying “So? You’re just a teenager”. XD I loved that line. 😛 When one of the fireballs Aang dodges hits one of the houses, Aang realizes that the villagers are in danger and has Zuko agree to leave them alone if he’ll go with him. So he takes him prisoner and Katara and Sokka go after him with Appa. By lucky chance, Sokka stumbles upon what Aang would say to get Appa flying, “yip yip”, and after his bit of elation going “HE’S FLYING! KATARA HE’S…!” he notices the amused look on Katara’s face and says, “I mean, big deal he’s flying.” So funny….
So after they save Aang, and realize he’s the Avatar (he went into the avatar state and did some pretty sweet waterbending), they set off for the south pole. But Aang doesn’t think that the journey should be completely solemn….. no, he’s planned it all out. The route makes Zuko think that Aang is a master of evasive maneuvering, but in reality, Aang is just visiting places for fun. They go to the air temple where Aang grew up, and Katara warns him that the monks might not be there, because lots of things have changed. They were right, no one was there. Aang discovers his mentor (and friend) Monk Gyatso’s skeleton, surrounded by dead Fire Nation soldiers. He goes into the Avatar state, and luckily, Katara is able to bring him out of it. The lemur he was chasing joins their group, and is named Momo by Aang. The place we see next (that is on Aang’s route of “master evasion”) is Kyoshi Island, where they go so he can ride the giant koi fish. This goes a little bit wrong, when the Unagi appears and he almost gets eaten. Luckily, he makes it back to land. Not too soon after that, they’re caught by a bunch of girls, the Kyoshi warriors. The fact that they are female doesn’t sit too well with Sokka, who doesn’t think girls have a place fighting.
Of course, after he starts practicing with them (he had to wear the full outfit, including the face paint) he apologizes for saying that they fought like girls (I worry about that boy’s way of phrasing things…) Of course, Zuko found them there too and set fire to a good portion of the village. On their way away from the island, Aang jumped off Appa and rode the Unagi, and made it spew water onto the place, getting rid of the fire. This also drenched Zuko and his soldiers. 😛 More mishaps happened when they went to go get supplies, they went onto a pirate ship (without knowing that was what it was) and found a waterbending scroll, and they didn’t have enough to buy it. When they realized that they were pirates though, Katara stole it.
Zuko and his group went to the same place, purely by coincidence. Why? Because of something very important, even more important than finding the Avatar. The lotus tile for his pai sho game was missing, and he needed a new one. They didn’t find one at the market, but they found a lot of other very useful (in Iroh’s opinion) things. And at the end of the episode, after the pirates and Zuko had their ships take a trip down a waterfall, Zuko is feeling angry because Aang got away, and Iroh suddenly blinks and he says, “Prince Zuko, you’re going to get a kick out of this. The lotus tile was up my sleeve the entire time!”
Zuko was so mad he grabbed it and tossed it down into the river. That is another of my favorite scenes, mainly because Iroh finds what he was looking for, and while Zuko is ticked off, he presents it with that big grin on his face. 😛 Another of my favorite lines is where Zuko says that Iroh will teach him an advanced set of fire bending, and Iroh goes, “very well, but first I must finish my roast duck”, and then he has this hilarious expression on his face as he eats. XD
Another fun thing about Iroh is his obsession with tea, but I’ll mention the amusing situation this got him into in season two later. For now, Aang and the others are on their way again. After a couple more adventures, they make it to the south pole, only to discover that women are only allowed to learn how to heal with waterbending, instead of fight. This really ticks Katara off, and after attending a session, she goes back and she challenges Paku (the waterbending master) to a fight. When he refuses twice, she hits him in the back of the head with a water whip. The fight cut off her necklace, which had belonged to her mother, and before that, her grandmother. It was a betrothal necklace, and guess who made it, and who it was made for? Master Paku carved it for Katara’s grandmother. O.o Unbelievable, I agree.
Anyway, in the end he agrees to teach her to waterbend and she is better than quite a few of the boys. Of course, the Fire Nation finds them there too, but it isn’t only Zuko. In one of the earlier episodes (the second I think), they ran into Admiral Zhao (which sounds more like “Jou”) who was given the task of finding and capturing the Avatar. He got the pirates to “kill” Zuko, while Iroh was out on a walk. Zuko survived the burning of the ship, but he got a few nice burns from it. They had to have stung. Of course, even though Iroh started advising Zhao, he was helping Zuko, who was disguised as a soldier on board the ship.
Aang, seeking a way to help, was led by the princess, Yue (which sounds like You-eh), to the most spiritual place in the entire south pole. There was grass, it was warm, and there was even a tree. In a pond, two koi (one black, the other white) circled each other. He didn’t know it, but these were the spirits of the moon and ocean. Zuko successfully kidnaps Aang, despite Katara’s best efforts, and takes him away into the cold of a blizzard. When Zhao successfully reaches the spiritual garden during the night (it’s a full moon, so waterbenders are at their most powerful), he puts the spirit of the moon into a bag, and the moon goes red. The waterbenders lose their powers, and have to flee. Iroh steps in then, telling Zhao to put the moon spirit back, because the Fire Nation relies on it too, in ways that he could never guess.
Zhao does so, but in a moment of anger (the guy just can’t control his temper), he shoots fire and the moon spirit is killed. Iroh then goes ballistic and knocks out the firebenders with his power (he isn’t called the Dragon of the West for nothing). Zhao, being a bully and a coward, flees. Seeing as they had rescued Aang around now, when Yue started crying and said it was over, Aang went all avatar state and said “no, it’s not over” and merged with the ocean spirit to form (guess what?) Koizila! Dun dun dun!!!!!! *drumroll*
They easily beat the fire nation fleet, and then they leave. They are each given gifts by Paku as they sail towards the north pole, to rebuild their “sister tribe”. Aang is given water bending scrolls, Katara is given a bit of the water from the spiritual pond or whatever it’s called, and Sokka doesn’t get anything. Poor boy. 😛 From there, they head to the Earth kingdom, towards the city of Omashu. They meet the king thanks to an accident, and he throws them a feast. He tricks Aang into displaying his airbending powers and tells them to get some rest, because he is going to subject Aang to a few tests the next day.
The first one is whether he likes his new outfit (which is purple), and he wants Aang’s honest opinion. Aang says he guesses it’s okay, and this is greeted with approval. But it wasn’t one of the “really challenging” tests. The first one is to retrieve his lunchbox key, which is inside a waterfall in the center of a cavern. First Aang tries climbing the ladder, next, diving at it, but then he finally throws a spear of rock at it. Next he has to capture “Flopsy”, the king’s pet. This isn’t the tiny rabbit-like creature as he thought, but the big one chasing him that has huge teeth. Flopsy licks him and then the king gives him the “final test”. He’s supposed to choose an earthbender he wants to fight. He chooses the king.
He almost beats him, but then realizes that there is a rock hanging over them both. But the king throws it away, and then gives Aang one more test, he must discover his name. Aang figures it out with hardly any thought. Bumi, his old friend from one hundred years ago. Still as much of a mad genius as ever. 😛 I’m not exactly sure where this is, seeing as I just remembered that Aang is supposed to learn water bending first, then earthbending, aaaaah….. I’m confused now.
Anyway, so the series progresses with Aang and his friends meeting friends and discovering “important lessons”, and teaching a few. Keeping the peace, settling disputes, that sort of thing. And all the while, they are chased by Zuko. An unfortunate accident occurs at one point when Aang is learning firebending from a “firebending genius”, and he burns Katara’s hands without meaning to. This causes him to promise himself to never firebend again. Then they head on so he can learn earthbending. When they get back to Omashu, it’s been captured by the Fire Nation, and King Bumi practically surrendered, which angered one of the men fighting.
But after a bit, Aang discovers that Bumi knew they wouldn’t have won, so he was waiting for the right opportunity to escape, “I didn’t know what it would be, but I knew I’d know it when I knew it!” being what he said about his escape in season three. He tells Aang that he must find a teacher who waits and listens. When they go to a swamp, Aang gets a vision of the girl who will teach him. There is a flying boar by her, and when they finally discover her, Toph Bei Phong, known in the Earth Rumble Six as the Blind Bandit. Of course, no one else knows her identity. And her title is real, because she is blind. She uses her earthbending to see, it was taught to her by badger moles, not the guy who is keeping her to basics and thinks that she doesn’t know how to fight.
So after a bit, she joins their group and they fly away. Princess Azula has been on their tail since she met Aang at Omashu when she went to recruit Mai, the daughter of the governer, into her elite group that would be after Zuko and Iroh, who are now fugitives. She has already brought her “friend” Tai Lee into the group. Tai Lee knows pressure points on the body that you can hit to get rid of bending and cause paralysis. Mai is really good with daggers or these little arrow like things. And of course Azula is good with fire, but she can also bend lightning, and her firebending is blue, “the cold fire” as Iroh called it.
The funny thing with tea that I mentioned earlier for Iroh, is when he found a flower that either made the most delicious tea, or a deadly poison. Of course, being a tea lover, he risks it. And it turns out to be the deadly poison type. Luckily though, he’s found some berries that either cure it, or are also poisonous! Zuko says they aren’t taking any chances. They meet a girl who fixes Iroh’s little rash problem (when it reached his throat his air would be cut off), she invites them to dinner. Zuko immediately says no, but she says it’s a pity, because her mom always makes too much roast duck. Iroh says “where is your house exactly?”
So skip skip skip, they go to Ba Sing Se, the impenetrable city. The Dai Li control most of the city, and inside the city, no one mentions the war, unless they want to get brainwashed (of course, they don’t know that would happen). They discover Jet there, a boy they ran into a while ago, who was fully prepared to kill a bunch of innocent people through drowning if it would liberate the valley from the Fire Nation. Luckily, Sokka managed to convince the people to evacuate and everyone was saved, and a little girl’s doll “Mrs. Pretty” came back. 🙂 Anyway, Jet has been brainwashed, and supposedly gives them a lead on Appa, who was kidnapped by sand benders when they were in the desert. But it was a trick of the Dai Li to get them out of the city. Luckily, it didn’t work, because two of Jet’s friends appeared. Katara’s waterbending helped him remember what he’d been made to forget, and then he led them to Lake Laogai.
They enlighten the Earth King about what’s going on and he arrests the leader of the Dai Li. Appa was also returned to them (thanks to Zuko setting him free), and it seemed that all was right in the world. Unfortunately…… the Kyoshi warriors who had found Appa before he went to Ba Sing Se (including Suki, the girl who had taught Sokka on Kyoshi Island and kissed him before they left) had been captured by Azula, Mai, and Tai Lee. The three then pretended to be Kyoshi warriors and were allowed into Ba Sing Se. Thanks to their time in the library in the desert, Aang and co. had delivered important information to the Earth King. There was going to be a solar eclipse, during it, the Fire Nation would be powerless.
Unfortunately, the Earth King told this to Azula, thinking she was an ally. She took control of the Dai Li, and locked Katara up. Aang, who had gone to train to unlock the Avatar state at will (with a guru) gave it up when he was at the last chakra and went back to collect Sokka (who had gone to help his dad, Hakoda, another of my favorite characters) and go back to Ba Sing Se to help Katara. This wasn’t the best choice I don’t think. Sure he finally managed to go into the Avatar state at will, but while he was in it, Azula hit him in the back with lightning, killing him.
Iroh helped them escape, while Zuko, who was still unsure of what he was going to do, had gone over to Azula. Katara managed to save Aang with the water Paku had given her, and they went to get ready to invaade the Fire Nation. Aang, discovering that the world thought he was dead, got upset and left to go and try and fight Ozai on his own. The others followed and helped him. So while they prepared for the invasion, Aang started having nightmares, involving him going to confront Ozai, and something being wrong. In the first case, he supposedly didn’t have any pants, in the second case, he didn’t remember a math test. This also led to a hallucination where Momo and Appa started talking. Momo got into a ninja outfit and Appa was dressed up as a samurai, and they started a duel. When Katara and the others helped him get rid of it, the last dream with Ozai had Ozai repeating the thing with him not having any pants. Aang just smiled and said it was Ozai who didn’t have pants.
I’m not sure how this would help Aang, but hey, it worked! ^_^ The invasion group was friends of theirs. A genius who had started remodeling an air temple, Pipsqueak (who is actually huge) and The Duke (a tiny kid), Hippo and the Boulder (two of Toph’s old enemies in Earth Rumble Six), and some of the swamp benders, including Hugh. When Hakoda asked Sokka if they couldn’t wear pants, I think Hugh said “Pants are an illusion, as is time”. XD Typical.
The invasion plan failed, but Zuko left the Fire Nation and Iroh escaped from prison (he’d been secretly working out, and used a pillow to make it look like he still had a pot belly.) The youngest members of the invasion force left, so that means Haru (an earthbender), The Duke, Katara, Sokka, Aang, and the inventor guy’s kid. I can’t seem to remember his name right now. So after a bit, Zuko joins their group and then everyone gets to go on a “life changing field trip” with him. Except for Toph. Zuko goes with Sokka to the Boiling Rock, the worst Fire Nation prison (it happens to be one of my favorite episodes) to save Hakoda. Suki is there too, and so they save her as well, and Mai helps them escape. When asked what she was doing by the guards, she says “saving the jerk who dumped me”. XD She’s his girlfriend if you haven’t guessed. 😛
Katara goes with Zuko to find the man who killed her mother. She can’t kill him in the end, but she came pretty darn close. Aang went with Zuko to find the place where the Sun Warriors so that he could fix his firebending, which seemed to have gone wrong. They discovered that not only did the Sun Warriors still exist, and that they didn’t use their fire for only destructive purposes, but there were still two dragons alive. Iroh had said he killed the last ones, to protect them. From the dragons, Aang and Zuko learned some firebending, thanks to a form called “the dancing dragon”.
And guess what? Aang was going to face Ozai on the day of the comet’s arrival. When they’re going to leave, he disappears, having gone out to the lion turtle. Even June’s strange creature (the name sounds like “sheer shoe”) couldn’t track him. He was apparently gone, as if he’d never existed. So instead, they went to find Iroh. I’ll skip a bit here, seeing as I can’t tell everything, and get to my impression of Aang’s battle with Ozai. It was freaking fantastic! 😀 Splendiferous! Superb! Whatever word you want to say that is something like awesome! Ozai’s bending is pretty impressive, and at one point he used lightning, which Aang redirected. He could have killed Ozai, but he didn’t. He pointed it away from him.
In the end, of course, Aang won. How? I’ll let you find out yourself, but it was pretty cool. 😉 Anyway, I love this TV show, and could watch it again, and again, and again, and again, and… you get the idea. Check it out, and I hope you like it too! 😀