Chapter Twelve:
The Storm

Written by: Aaron Ehasz
Head Writer: Aaron Ehasz
Directed by: Lauren MacMullan

Voices provided by:
Aang: Zach Tyler Eisen   Katara: Mae Whitman   Sokka: Jack DeSena
Prince Zuko: Dante Basco   Uncle Iroh: Mako  Appa: Dee Bradley Baker
Fire Lord Ozai: Mark Hamill   Monk Gyatso: Sab Shimono   Dour Monk: James Hong
Senior Monk: Clyde Kusatsu   LT. Jee: Jim Meskimen   Fisherman: Robert Pine
Fisherman's Wife: Susan Silo

Episode Recap

The title screen opens to a soft, bright dream of the trio flying through the clouds. Aang on Appa, Sokka on Aang's glider, and Katara on a giant version of Momo. Everybody is smiling and having a good time, when the dream takes a scary turn. Katara and Sokka have vanished, leaving Aang and Appa flying into a dark storm.

Aang and Appa re-live the events that led to them to be frozen in the iceberg, and a quick silhouette of Fire Lord Ozai appears, causing Aang to wake up in fright.

As Aang shrieks, the rest of the trio wakes up. Katara asks Aang if he is alright, since he's been having a lot of nightmares lately. Aang reassures her that he'll be okay.

In the morning, the group packs up, ready to go. There's not a cloud in the sky, and they head out. The "camera" changes to Prince Zuko's ship. Uncle Iroh claims that a big storm is coming, even though the skies are clear. Zuko naturally doesn't believe him. Iroh tries to get Prince Zuko to consider the safety of the crew, but according to Zuko, the safety of the crew doesn't matter. A lieutenant walks over to the duo, not happy with Zuko's comment.

Zuko explains that nobody's individual safety is as important as capturing the Avatar, before leaving the deck angrily. Iroh reassures the lieutenant that he doesn't mean what he says.

Back to the travelers...

They are on a dock shopping for food, when they realize they have no money. A fighting husband and wife catch their attention, the wife telling the husband not to go out fishing as a storm is coming. The husband refuses to believe her, and decides to go out anyway. The wife refuses to go with him, Sokka immediately volunteers, and is hired.

And, now back to Zuko's ship...

Storm clouds are gathering out on the ocean, where the ship is. As Prince Zuko walks on deck, the lieutenant and some other members of the crew await. The lieutenant states that his uncle was right. Zuko scolds the lieutenant for his disrespect, while the lieutenant claims that Zuko doesn't know anything about respect. Iroh breaks up the conflict, and Prince Zuko and the lieutenant storm (no pun intended) off in opposite directions.

Aang and Katara spot the storm clouds and try to convince Sokka not to go out to sea. The fisherman discovers that Aang is the Avatar, and attacks him verbally for turning his back on the world. Katara defends him saying that it wasn't his fault, but Aang leaps on his glider and flies off. Katara grabs Appa and flies after him.

It begins to rain, and Katara finds Aang safely in a cave. Katara tries to convince Aang that it wasn't his fault, and not to take what the old man said to heart, but Aang believes that the fisherman was right. Katara starts a fire in the cave, and Aang starts telling her about his life in the past.

Before he was the Avatar, he was playing with the other boys, teaching them how to ride on "air scooters," which are basically slightly smaller airballs conjured by bending. Five monks come over to Aang, and ask to see him.

There are four of his toys from his younger days in the room they are in. They explain that out of thousands of options, he chose those four toys to play with. These four toys belonged to past Avatars, and the reason he chose them was because they were familiar to his past lives. He is the new Avatar. They normally wouldn't have revealed this to him until he turned sixteen, but they fear that war is coming to the world.

Aang's flashback ends, and we see the lieutenant, and a few other men sitting around a table in the boiler room, talking about how they are tired of chasing the Avatar. Iroh comes in, and asks to join in the conversation. He is welcomed by the lieutenant, and sits down to say that Zuko is a young man that has been through much.

Another flashback! (Squee!!)

Fire Nation military walk into the war chamber, a heavily guarded area. A younger version of Zuko, without the scar, tries to enter as well, but is stopped by the guards. Iroh tries to convince Zuko that the meetings are quite boring, but Prince Zuko still wants to join in. Convinced, Iroh lets Zuko in, but cautions him not to talk.

In the chamber, a general is telling the group about his plan on attacking the Earth Kingdom. In this plan, he would send in a group of new recruits to attack them directly, while the more experienced men attack from the rear. Zuko speaks out against the general, saying it's wrong to sacrifice their soldiers.

The flashback ends with Iroh explaining to the others that Zuko was right, but this wasn't the place to speak out.

Now, back to Aang and Katara.

Aang explains that after it was revealed that he was the Avatar, things began to change. His friends wouldn't play with him, thinking that because he was the Avatar, it would give their team an unfair advantage. Then, when he and Monk Gyatso are playing a game of Pai Sho, one of the other monks says that Gyatso should be training him in his airbending skills.

Gyatso claims that Aang has done enough for one day, but the other monk is not pleased with this situation.

Now, the scene changes and Iroh once again picks up the story.

After Zuko spoke out against the general, his father was furious. Only an Agni-Kai could settle a matter such as this. Zuko was sure his opponent would be the general he had challenged, but when he spoke out in the chamber, it wasn't the general he had disrespected, but his own father, Fire Lord Ozai. (And we still don't see his face...)

Back to Aang and Katara...

Gyatso and the other monks had a private meeting about the fate of the Avatar's training. Gyatso wanted Aang to have a normal life, but the head monk does not agree, claiming that what the world needs is the Avatar, and that Gyatso's feelings for Aang are clouding his better judgement. They would send him to the Eastern Air Temple instead to complete his training. Aang has overheard the conversation (Sneaky Aang is always eavesdropping…)

Back to reality, Katara tries to comfort him, but Aang is too angry and begins some light airbending out of rage.

Now, back to the flashback (yee haw!). He ran away from the Southern Air Temple, and was captured in a harsh storm... and the dream from the beginning is awakened.

Katara tries to comfort him, by saying that if he hadn't run away, he would have been killed with the other airbenders when the Fire Nation attacked them. She continues, saying that he can't change what happened, that he's here now, and that he brings hope to those that have none. Aang starts to feel better.

Now, I know you probably just want to know what happened to Zuko, right?

The story continues... When Zuko found out it was his father he had to face, Zuko begged for mercy. (He is crying....)His father, having no compassion for his son's feelings, orders him to fight. Zuko refuses, and his father claims that Zuko must learn respect and the only way to learn it is through suffering. (Ouch... *hugs Zuko plushie*)

The camera angle changes to show the audience, including Iroh. In his own words, cutting into the flashback, he says, "I looked away.."

The screen grows brighter with flame, and we hear Prince Zuko scream out in pain.

The lieutenant and others thought that he'd gotten his scar from a training accident, but Iroh has told them otherwise.

"After the duel, the Fire Lord said that by refusing to fight, Zuko had shown shameful weakness. As punishment, he was banished, and sent to capture the Avatar. Only then could he return with his honor."

The lieutenant realizes why Zuko's so obsessed with capturing the Avatar, saying that the Avatar is the only chance Zuko has of things ever returning to normal. Iroh states that things will never return to normal, but the Avatar gives Zuko hope. (The Avatar brings hope to those who have none...)

The scene changes to Zuko in a room, meditating. Still pictures in a soft reminiscent effect begin appearing. The first one being two children playing in a field, apparently one being Zuko. The next is somebody's (probably the fire lord) hand on Zuko's shoulder from the back, before changing views into the front, Zuko scarless and smiling.

The memory fades back into the present time, Zuko angry and scarred. It is then that a bolt of lightning interrupts, hitting the ship.

The fisherman’s wife has found Aang and Katara in the cave; saying that the storm is becoming a typhoon and that her husband and Sokka are still out in the storm. Aang and Katara set out to find them.

While back on Zuko's ship, the crew is terrified as the storm rages onward. Iroh sees the helmsman hanging above from a bar. The lieutenant and Zuko head up the ladder that leads to the helmsman while Iroh is struck by lightning down on the deck. He is able to control it and discharge it into the sea. (Uber awesome! ^^)

Prince Zuko and the lieutenant are about to reach the helmsman when he looses his grip and falls from the bar. Zuko catches him miraculously and lowers him down to the lieutenant. They both exchange smiles.

Aang and Katara are having their own problems with the storm; as they dodge huge waves on Appa's back, they even go straight through one. Aang spots the fisherman's boat and directs Appa toward it, passing Zuko's ship in the process. The lieutenant asks Zuko what he wants to do, and after a brief pause, he replies with, "Let him go." He would rather get his boat and crew to safety. (Awesome moment)

Iroh states that they will have to travel into the eye of the storm (It's a hurricane now?). Aang and Katara reach Sokka and the fisherman, and they get upon Appa's saddle. Their relief is short as a large wave hits them and sends everybody down into the water, much like Aang in the South Pole. They all seem somewhat paralyzed, and hope is fading when Aang's Avatar spirit activates. He grabs Appa's reins and creates an air bubble, encasing the group and they begin to rise.

Zuko's ship has reached the eye of the storm and is temporarily safe. Zuko apologizes for his behavior, and Iroh accepts with a smile. Only seconds later, Appa and the travelers burst out of the water in front of the ship. Aang and Zuko's eyes meet for a brief moment before Appa flies away.

After returning to the cave, the fisherman's wife tells her husband to apologize to Aang about his comment earlier. The fisherman asks if instead of an apology, if he can give him a free fish to call it even. Aang tells the man that he doesn't eat meat. The fisherman laughs, and replies with "Fish ain't meat." Sokka isn't amused and asks if he's going to get paid.

The man drops a large raw fish in Sokka's hand as payment. Aang agrees with Katara that she's right and he is through beating himself up about the past and he's going to make the best out of it. The fisherman thanks Aang for saving his life, and Sokka states that it’s stopped raining. Everybody exits the cave, just to get drenched by Appa shaking his fur out.

-- Recap by KoiKitten