Chapter Thirteen:
The Blue Spirit

Written by: Michael Dante Dimartino, Bryan Konietzko
Head Writer: Aaron Ehasz
Directed by: Dave Filoni

Voices provided by:
Aang: Zach Tyler Eisen   Katara: Mae Whitman   Sokka: Jack DeSena
Prince Zuko: Dante Basco   Uncle Iroh: Mako  Appa: Dee Bradley Baker
Admiral Zhao: Jason Isaacs   Colonel Shinu: Nick Jameson
Herbalist: Jodi Carlisle   LT. Jee: Jim Meskimen

Episode Recap

We open the episode at a fortress in the Fire Nation. The YuuYan archers are doing target practice (not that they need to). Commander Zhao is trying to persuade Colonel Shinu to let him use the YuuYan archers to capture the Avatar. Shinu refuses to release his body guards for Commander Zhao’s vanity project. A red ribbon hawk flies down to the tower with a message from Fire Lord Ozai. Zhao has been promoted to Admiral. He now orders Colonel Shinu to relinquish his archers. As Zhao looks down on the YuuYan’s practice, we see on the roof of the tower a ninja in a blue mask who has overheard the conversation.

We move to an abandoned temple in the Earth Nation. Sokka is wrapped in his sleeping bag propped against Appa. Being out in a storm has made Sokka very sick. While looking for ginger root to put in some tea, Aang finds a map to an herbal institute on top of a nearby mountain. Sokka is in no condition to travel. While Katara dabs Sokka’s forehead with a cool cloth she starts to cough. Aang points out that Katara has the same early symptoms that Sokka had. Aang decides to travel to the institute alone. A flash of lightening makes Aang decide to run instead of fly. He sets off.

On Prince Zuko’s ship, Zuko and his crew are examining a map trying to pick up the Avatar’s trail again. Iroh is playing a game of Pai Gow with the other crew members. Another Fire Nation ship pulls along side theirs. Officials inform Zuko and his crew that all information regarding the Avatar must be reported to Admiral Zhao. Zhao’s promotion is news to the crew. Angry, Zuko orders the officials off his ship. Iroh wins his game of Pai Gow.

Two Fire Nation soldiers are in a watch station in the woods. One soldier is looking through a telescope and the other is reading a wanted poster about the Avatar. Amazed, the soldier reads aloud that the Avatar is said to be able to run faster than the wind. No sooner than he just read it, Aang runs by at super speed. The first soldier blows a signal horn.

Back at the temple, Katara has become as sick as Sokka and both of them are thirsty. Unable to go to the river, Katara tells Momo to fetch some water for them. Momo flies off with the water satchel.

Aang arrives at the herbal institute. He hurriedly explains to the elderly woman there that his friends are sick. The old woman tells Aang to calm down and begins to mix some herbs. She needs one more plant for the mixture and she starts to browse (very slowly) through her garden for it. Aang can see this is going to take awhile.

Zuko is doing some fast-paced fire bending practice on deck. Iroh approaches him concerned that Zuko has not given the crew an order for a long time. Zuko shoots off an angry remark and Iroh reassures Zuko that it is still possible to capture the Avatar before Zhao (even though Zhao has even more resources now he’s been promoted). Disheartened, Zuko thinks he is about to lose everything he loves.

At last the old herbalist lady finds the plant she needed, plum blossom. Aang tries to take the mixture from the lady but she slaps his hand and snatches it back. It’s not a cure. It’s her cat’s dinner. Aang asks the woman how his friends can be cured. The old woman tells Aang all his friends need are some frozen wood frogs from the valley swamp. The skin secretes a healing substance. All they need to do is suck on the frogs while they’re frozen because once they thaw out, they’re just useless frogs. Aang begins to leave the mountain top when two arrows pin the fabric of his boots to the ground. Aang looks up to see YuuYan archers, bows ready, in the nearby trees. Aang has to do some air bending to keep a volley of arrows from hitting him. Prying the two arrows out of the ground, Aang runs for it. Panicking, he leaps off the mountain. The YuuYan archers leap off the mountain too. Aang lands in the valley swamp and finds a frozen frog. The archers, catching themselves in the trees, keep firing at Aang. Aang is hurriedly stuffing frogs in his shirt while dodging arrows. The YuuYan archers finally pin Aang to a log.

Aang is chained in a room inside a high security Fire Nation fortress (with three high walls around a single tower). Admiral Zhao comes in to have a little chat with the great and powerful Avatar. After convincing Aang that his situation is hopeless, Zhao leaves.

Sokka and Katara are extremely thirsty and hope that Momo will return soon. Momo returns with a dead mouse. Katara explains to Momo again that he’s supposed to bring back water. Momo flies off again.

Outside the fortress we see the ninja (the Blue Spirit) hiding in the bushes. The Blue Spirit clings onto a delivery cart and rides into the fortress. Admiral Zhao is giving his army a speech about how they are sure to be victorious now that the Avatar has been captured. While everyone’s attention is on Zhao, the Blue Spirit sneaks along the fortress’s perimeter and ducks into the sewage system.

Aang’s frogs are beginning to thaw out. They escape from Aang’s shirt and begin to pull their half frozen bodies toward the door. The four guards outside the door are puzzled to see frogs escaping from the crack under the door. A fire soldier’s helmet crashes down the hallway toward the guards. One guard goes to investigate. A burst of fire issues from the hallway beyond. Two of the remaining guards go to investigate (cautiously). They find the first guard chained to the ceiling. The Blue Spirit ambushes the two guards chaining them up as well. The last guard picks up the alarm horn but a knife from down the hallway cleaves it in two. The Blue Spirit defeats the last guard and enters Aang’s cell. Aang is taken by surprise to see such a peculiar person in front of him. The Blue Spirit takes out two lightweight broadswords and begins to swing them furiously for momentum. Aang thinks he’s about to be attacked so he closes his eyes and braces himself. When he opens his eyes, the chains have been slashed. The Blue Spirit gets the chain cuffs off of Aang’s wrists and ankles as well and silently heads for the door. Aang asks if the Blue Spirit is here to rescue him. The Blue Spirit jabs his swords in a “follow me” motion and Aang takes that as a “yes”.

The floor of the abandoned earth temple is littered with knick-knacks. Momo comes back, this time with an old crown. Katara gives up trying to get Momo to understand and wonders what could take Aang so long to get back.

Admiral Zhao is telling a soldier that he wants a copy of his speech delivered to the Fire Lord when he walks into the hallway where the guards are chained up. Checking Aang’s cell to find it empty, Zhao sounds the alarm.

Aang and the Blue Spirit are almost over the first wall of the fortress when the alarm sounds and they are spotted. Fighting a battle against the soldiers, they make it over two of the three walls before they are cornered. After Zhao explains to his soldiers the Avatar must be captured alive, the Blue Spirit instantly puts his swords around Aang’s neck. Zhao has no choice but to let them out of the fortress. Before the Blue Spirit and Aang are safe in the woods, they must get across a clearing. Zhao informs a YuuYan archer to knock out the Blue Spirit so they can recover the Avatar. The arrow hits the Blue Spirit’s metallic mask and the Blue Spirit falls to the ground unconscious. Aang stirs up the dust around him and the Blue Spirit. Curious, Aang removes the Blue Spirit’s mask. To his horror, it is Prince Zuko! Shocked, Aang begins to run for the forest but he turns around and decides to take Zuko with him. The retrieval squad can find no trace of Aang or the Blue Spirit when the dust clears.

Zuko wakes up at dawn inside the forest and finds Aang sitting next to him. Aang tells Zuko a story about one of his best friends from 100 years ago. That friend was from the Fire Nation. Aang wonders had Zuko lived back then, if the two of them could have been friends. Zuko’s response is sending a jet of fire at Aang. Aang leaps away through the trees and Zuko stares after him.

Aang goes to the swamp and collects more frogs.

Zuko returns to his ship. His uncle informs him that he missed music night. Zuko tells his uncle that he’s going to bed and doesn’t want to be disturbed.

Aang returns to the earth temple and gives Sokka and Katara the frogs not telling them what they have in their mouths. Aang collapses onto Appa and rolls over to go to sleep. Sokka, still a bit delusional, asks Aang if he made any new friends while he was gone. Aang says he doesn’t think so.

Zuko is staring at a Fire Nation tapestry in his room. He rolls over just as Aang did and goes to sleep.

Sokka and Katara are enjoying the tasty treats they are sucking on. The frogs thaw out and disgusted Sokka and Katara start spitting and spluttering to rid themselves of the sensation and taste of frogs in their mouths.

-- Recap by InkHeart