April 29, 2005
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Writer: John O'Bryan
Director: Anthony Lioi
Katara begins teaching Aang Waterbending, and finds a Waterbending scroll at a store run by pirates. After Katara steals the scroll, the pirates chase the group, though they manage to escape. Meanwhile, Zuko runs into the pirates and agrees to help them find Aang and the scroll that Katara stole. Zuko proceeds to capture Katara and the pirates capture Aang and Sokka. A fight breaks out between Zuko's crew and the pirates. During the commotion, the group escapes with the scroll.
After receiving Avatar Roku's warning, Aang has become anxious, as he now has so little time to master three entire Bending Arts. Katara offers to give him a boost by teaching him what she knows about Waterbending.
Meanwhile, Zuko was busy sparring with Lieutenant Jee when Iroh had just diverted the ship to find a port in order to replace a White Lotus tile for his Pai Sho game. Venting with smoke through his nose and mouth, Zuko angrily allows him. Iroh calmly expresses that "it's so good to have an understanding nephew" as the smoke engulfed the bridge.
At a waterfall, Katara begins to teach Aang her knowledge of waterbending. Unfortunately for her, Aang immediately masters the lessons she gives him, despite the fact that it took her some time to master them. While she tries to hide it, she begins to grow jealous of Aang's natural talent.
After Aang accidentally washes away their supplies, the trio goes to town to buy some more, where Aang impulsively buys a bison whistle. They come upon a ship docked with a barker trying to attract business. Ship's crew is selling items that they acquired by "high risk trading." Katara comes upon a training scroll, featuring several waterbending techniques, among their loot, which they're reserving for a wealthy client in the Earth Kingdom, though he offered it to them if they had a better offer (two hundred gold pieces). They leave the ship, only to be chased by the crew.
Aang and the others escape, only to find the reason they had been pursued: they wanted the scroll Katara had stolen. Katara convinces Sokka and Aang to keep the scroll and learn from it. One of the first techniques they try is the Water Whip, a simple technique where water is formed into an elongated shape and snapped at the target. Katara ends up growing even more jealous of Aang as not only does he learn the technique easily, she herself has trouble getting it to work. When her jealousy nearly gets the best of her, she gives up the right to use the scroll, handing it over to Aang. But that night, she succumbs to temptation and steals the scroll to study the technique again.
Meanwhile, Zuko and Iroh arrive at the same port. Unfortunately for Zuko, Iroh didn't find a replacement White Lotus tile from every single merchant in town, but he found numerous trinkets for music night on the ship in which three of their troops were carrying. They then come across the pirates, discovering that they're pursuing Aang as well. Zuko joins forces with the pirates to hunt down Aang, and they find Katara late at night practicing the Water Whip. Zuko and one of the pirates ambush Katara, Zuko then proceeds to tie her to a tree, attempting to interrogate her for information on the Avatar, showing her that he holds her mother's lost betrothal necklace in his possession, the last tie that she has to her mother, to exchange. However, the pirates demand the scroll. Yet, Zuko threatens to destroy it if they don't find Aang.
Then, Aang and Sokka are found and captured. Aang and Sokka discover Katara bound to a tree surrounded by firebenders. As Zuko and the pirates are about to make the trade (the scroll for the Avatar), Sokka convinces the pirates to sell Aang by revealing to them that he's the Avatar, despite Zuko's attempts to keep it a secret from the pirates. The pirates decide that they want to sell Aang to the Fire Nation, and the situation quickly escalates into a battle.
During the fight Aang, Katara, and Sokka escape. Katara and Aang use waterbending to get the pirates' boat into water and sail away.And then Zuko laughs the only time in the whole series. But the pirates (except for their leader) steal Zuko's smaller ship and start chasing after them.Then Zuko gets mad again. They battle the pirates, Katara learning the Water Whip in the process. Unfortunately, the ship is fast approaching a waterfall. Aang and Katara manage to use Waterbending to stop the ship, but the Pirates ram it with Zuko's boat, sending them falling over, where they are saved by Appa, who heard Aang's bison whistle. Back on shore, Iroh discovers that his lost White Lotus tile was stuck in his sleeve the whole time. Unfortunately, Zuko grabs the tile from Iroh's hand and throws it over the waterfall in anger, which strikes one of the pirates on the head and bounces off.
Later, Katara gives Aang a full apology, while Sokka reveals that he was able to regain the scroll in the fighting. Before he could give it to her, he asks what they learned. She says never steal ever, except from pirates.
Production Notes Edit
Series Continuity Edit
- In "The Desert," it is discovered that Iroh's White Lotus tile holds significance outside of being a significant piece in the game of Pai Sho. The piece is also a symbol for the Order of the White Lotus, of which Iroh is a Grand Lotus.
- In The Library, Katara surrenders the Waterbending scroll to Wan Shi Tong to be admitted to his library. The Knowledge Spirit found the illustrations on the scroll to be "quite stylish".
- This is the episode where Aang purchases his bison whistle, which appears in many later episodes to call Appa and other animals (such as in The Desert and Tales of Ba Sing Se).
- This is the first episode where the ruby encrusted monkey statue is seen. It also appears in the episodes The Blue Spirit and The Runaway.
- The pirates Prince Zuko hires to capture the Avatar are again hired by Admiral Zhao in the episode The Waterbending Master to kill Zuko. Some of the pirates are hired again as actors to portray themselves in The Ember Island Players.
- This episode marks the first time Katara uses the water whip.
- This is the first episode in which Aang Waterbends outside of the Avatar State.
- Prince Zuko makes a deal with the pirates to track down their scroll in exchange for their help in capturing Aang. Ironically, Dante Basco, the voice actor for Zuko played the character of Rufio, leader of the Lost Boys, in the movie Hook.
- This episode is one of two episodes in which Zuko laughs. The other epsiode is "The Headband". Zuko rarely laughs in the series because he is often angry and is always yelling.
- The pirates crashed down a waterfall, even though they earlier came upriver from the seashore village. There is no visible way they could have gotten their ships over the waterfall on the way up.
- Pirate Barker refers to the Earth Kingdom and the Water Tribe as Earth Nation and Water Nation. Although he could have been distorting them to make a rhyme.
- When Katara says "These are real Waterbending forms, you know how crucial it is for Aang to learn Waterbending," the Waterbending Scroll is much thicker than before.
- When Appa lays down in the water at the beginning of the episode he is wearing a saddle but when he turns over the saddle is gone.
- When Katara first picks up the Waterbending scroll it is very thin, but when she rolls it out, it is far thicker.
- When Katara says "Aang, can we get out of here? I feel like we're getting weird looks", her mother's necklace can be seen around her neck.
Main article: Writing in the World of Avatar