Chapter Fifteen:
Bato of the Water Tribe

Written by: Ian Wilcox
Head Writer: Aaron Ehasz
Directed by: Giancarlo Volpe

Voices provided by:
Aang: Zach Tyler Eisen   Katara: Mae Whitman   Sokka: Jack DeSena
Prince Zuko: Dante Basco   Uncle Iroh: Mako  Appa: Dee Bradley Baker
Bato: Richard McGonagle   Jun: Jennifer Hale   Superior: Amy Hill
Hakoda (Katara & Sokka's father): Andre Sogliuzzo

Episode Recap

It starts out with a view of a sword that obviously looks like it's from the Water Tribe. Aang picks it up and shouts that he found something. Sokka comes over and takes it from Aang. He has a flashback to when his father's fleet was getting ready to leave the South Pole and says it's a Water Tribe weapon. He tells Aang to look around to see if there's anything else.

While the two are looking in bushes, Katara comes by and asks if they lost anything. Aang tells her that they found something. Sokka brushes aside a few leaves on the ground and finds a broken arrow. He says it's burned. Then he looks over at a tree that has burn and scratch marks. He runs his hand over it and says there was a battle. Water Tribe warriors ambushed some firebenders. The firebenders tried to fight back, but the WT warriors pushed them back. Sokka follows the route the battle took place on with Katara and Aang following him, and they come upon a beach. Sokka runs out into the sand a few feet away, but stops. Aang and Katara catch up to him and Aang asks what happened next. Sokka says he doesn't know, the trail ends here. Katara looks to her right, points, and says "Look!" The guys look over and see a WT boat. Katara and Sokka run over to it. Katara asks if it was their dad's ship. Sokka says it wasn't, but it was from their dad's fleet and that meant their dad was there.

Okay, then there's a scene transition to.....Iroh's face! And yes, he's drinking tea of all things. Then the view shifts to where you see Iroh and Zuko sitting at a table in the middle of Zuko's room. Iroh tells Zuko "See Prince Zuko? A moment of quiet is good for your mental well being." He pours Zuko some tea, and right as Zuko's about to drink it, there's a loud boom and the entire ship shakes, making tea splash all over Zuko and his hair gets in his face.

Outside, a large anteater/mole creature with Jun (pronounced "June"; her name was only said once in the entire episode and that was at the very end when Iroh catches her, but I'll get to that later) riding on a saddle climbs onto the deck of the ship. The crew members all retreat in fear. Jun says to get back - she's looking for a stowaway. Zuko says there aren't any stowaways on his ship. The anteater/mole tears off a chunk of the deck and tosses it away. Zuko, Iroh, and the crew members all duck in order not to be decapitated by the flying chunk of metal. The anteater/mole, which can only see with smells, sticks its head into the hole it made and sniffs around. The smell it's tracking stops at a barrel, which is knocked over, and a man comes out of it. He rushes out of the hole the anteater/mole made and tries to run for it. The anteater/mole runs after him, and shoots its tongue out at him. When the tongue hits the guy, he falls down to the ground. Zuko says he's paralyzed. Jun hops down from the anteater/mole and picks up the guy and says he’s only temporarily paralyzed. The toxins would wear off in an hour. But by that time, the man would be in jail and Jun would have her money. Zuko asks how she found the stowaway on his ship. Jun explains that her Shirshu (the anteater/mole) could smell a rat a continent away. Iroh says he's impressed - very impressed, as Jun ride's off on the shirshu. Zuko gives him a look.

Scene transition to Sokka, Aang, and Katara, who are camped out next to the WT boat. Aang and Katara are asleep while Sokka is awake, poking at the fire with a stick. He has another flashback. In the flashback, he's trying to haul a heavy pack towards the ships. His father walks up to him and Sokka says that he's coming with him. His father says that he's too young to be in the war. Sokka says he's strong, brave, and can fight. His father tells him being a man is knowing where you're needed most, and right now, Sokka needed to stay and protect his sister. Sokka says he doesn't understand, but his father says he'll understand soon. Then they hug and Sokka starts crying. The flashback ends and Sokka hears a noise. He stands up, boomerang in hand, and demands to know who's there.

A man, obviously from the Water Tribe, walks toward them. He says "Sokka?" Then Sokka replies with "Bato?" Katara and Aang wake up and Katara says "Bato!" Bato says it's good to see them two and that they've grown so much. Aang introduces himself, but no one pays attention. Sokka immediately asks where their father is and Katara asks if he's here. Bato tells them no, and that their father and the others should be in the eastern Earth Kingdom by now. A wind blows by and everyone shivers. Bato says they should go inside and leads them off down the beach.

They go to an abbey. Bato tells them that after he was wounded, their father brought him to the abbey and that the sisters had cared for him ever since (he's still bandaged up quite a bit, so I think he's still healing). Bato calls one of the sisters and tells her that K and S are Hakoda's children and that they're travelling with the Avatar, and that he found them by his boat. The sister tells Aang it's wonderful to be in his presence. As Aang replies, Sokka cuts him off by asking Bato what smells so good. Bato tells them that the sisters make ointments and perfumes. Sokka suggests that they dump some on Appa...because he stinks so much..."Am I right?". Someone coughs in the background and Bato says Sokka has his father's wit (in a very....non-complementary tone; you can tell Bato and their father were good friends).

Bato shows them where he's been living and Katara says it looks just like home. On one side of the room is a tent, and the floor is covered in pelts, as are the walls. There's also a fire in the middle of the room with a pot sitting over it. Aang makes a comment about the dead animal skins, but no one pays attention to him. Katara opens the pot that's over the fire and says "No way - stewed sea prunes?" Bato says to help themselves. Sokka makes a comment that their dad could eat a whole barrel of them. Aang picks up a bowl, sniffs it, and sets it down. Katara and Sokka start asking Bato about the different things he and their father did, meanwhile, ignoring Aang everytime he tried getting in on the conversation. Aang, feeling left out, goes to sit in a corner.

There's a scene transition to a building, which, by the sounds of things, is a bar. A man is thrown out of the building from the second floor. Inside, Jun is arm wrestling with this huge, muscular guy. The guy's straining himself, but Jun seems to be having no trouble at all. A whole bunch of people are standing around, watching, and shouting. Zuko and Iroh come in and Zuko pushes his way through the crowd. Zuko tells Jun he needs to talk to her. Jun says "Well if it isn't my old friends - Angry Boy and Uncle Lazy". Jun then pounds the guy's hand onto the table and everyone in the bar starts cheering. People start throwing money at Jun and she starts collecting it into a big pile. Zuko says that her beast trashed his ship and she needed to pay him back. While gathering the money in her arms, she tells him she'd love to help him out, but she's a little short on money. She then shouts that drinks are on her and everyone in the bar cheers. As Jun is about to drink, Zuko grabs her wrist and says money isn't what he had in mind.

There's a scene transition to outside the bar. Zuko tells Jun he needs her to find someone and holds out Katara's necklace. Jun makes a comment about his girlfriend leaving him, but Zuko ignores it. He tells her that he's not after the girl, but the bald monk she's travelling with. Jun says "Whatever you say". Zuko tells her that if she tracks him down, he'll consider his ship paid for. Jun tells them to forget it, and starts climbing onto her shirshu. Iroh tells her they'll give her her weight in gold. Jun says to make it his weight and she'd do it. Iroh laughs and says "You got it!" Jun tells them to get on the shirshu and she holds the necklace in front of the creature's nose. It sniffs it and then sniffs around for the scent's trail. Jun hops on and the shirshu speeds off.

Scene transition to the abbey. Bato tells Katara and Sokka that he's expecting a message from their father once he and the others found the rendezvous point. Bato tells them that if they wait until the letter comes, they can go with him to see their father. Katara and Sokka get all hyped up, while Aang just looks depressed. Aang leaves the building and the abbey. Back inside, Sokka says it would be great, but they need to take Aang to the North Pole first and Katara says they don't have time to take a long detour. Bato tells them that their father would understand and would be proud that they were helping the Avatar. Meanwhile, Aang is sitting on the front part of the boat back on the beach. A guy on an ostrich comes towards him and says he's looking for Bato of the Water Tribe. Aang says he knows Bato, and the guy gives him a letter to give to Bato. Aang opens it and finds out that it's the map to Sokka and Katara's dad. He crumples it up and stuffs it into his shirt.

Aang comes back to the abbey and says he's sorry for being gone so long. Katara says she didn't even notice that he left. Aang starts acting really weird, and Katara, Sokka, and Bato give him weird looks.

Meanwhile, the scene switches to a place that's oh, so familiar (oh, and it's morning now) with an old lady and poofy white cat are picking herbs in what looks to be ancient ruins (sound familiar?). She looks up and sees Zuko, Iroh, and Jun on the shirshu. Zuko says they're looking for someone. The old lady says she hopes it's not Miyuki, then turns to the cat and says "Miyuki, have you gotten in trouble with the Fire Nation again?" Miyuki meows and steps back. Jun tells Zuko that the Avatar had been through there. She cracks her whip, and the shirshu bounds off.

Back at the abbey, Aang airbends some hay to Appa, who starts eating it. The crumpled up map falls out of his shirt and a sister catches him. Aang thinks she knows that it's the map, but she only blames him for littering. He tells her he'll take care of it and stuffs it back in his shirt.

Now Aang, Katara, Sokka, and Bato are at Bato's ship. Bato tells them the ship is sentimental to him and that it was built by his father. Aang sees the ostrich prints in the sand from the night before and airbends the prints into nonexistence. He then whistles as though nothing had happened. Sokka asks Bato if the boat is the one Bato's father took him ice dodging in. Bato says it is and that it has the scar to prove it. Bato then says that Sokka must have some good stories from his first time ice dodging. Katara says that Sokka never got to go. Their father left before Sokka was old enough. Bato says he forgot that Sokka was too young. Aang asks what ice dodging is. Bato begins explaining, but sees Sokka's expression and says that he'll just show them.

And now there's a scene transition to.....a village!!! People are running around, screaming, while Jun, Zuko, and Iroh come through the village on the shirshu. The creature stops in front of Aunt Wu's place, where Aunt Wu is standing serenely by the door. Zuko asks why the shirshu stopped and Jun says the girl must've spent a lot of time there. They have no idea.... Zuko gets impatient and jumps down from the shirshu and lets it sniff Katara's necklace again. It lashes its tongue out at him and Zuko says "hey! Watch it!" Iroh chuckles while Jun says "Oh look - he likes you". Aunt Wu asks Iroh "Care to hear your fortune, handsome?" But Iroh tells her at his age, there's only one big surprise left, and he wants to leave it a mystery. Jun cracks her whip, and they're off again.

Meanwhile, on Bato's boat in some fast moving water....Bato tells them that ice dodging is a WT ritual of wisdom, bravery, and trust. It was done by weaving a boat through a field of icebergs. Sokka points out that there aren't any icebergs around. Bato tells him they'll be using rocks and points to a whole bunch of jagged rocks in the middle of the river. Bato then appoints them jobs. Sokka steers and gives everyone orders. Katara manages the main sail, and Aang controls something that sounds like "gib", but I couldn't catch the word. Bato tells him that his job is about trust. Aang says "I know that! I'm the Avatar! I know about trust!" Bato sits on the floor in the front of the boat and says for it to be done right, he can't help.

Sokka leads them through the rocks, and they come upon a bunch of rocks with no way through. Bato says Sokka's proved himself, but Sokka says they can make it. He tells Katara to bend water between the ship and the rocks, and Aang to blow air into the sails. They manage getting over the rocks. Afterwards, they line up on shore, Bato gets some black paint, and makes symbols on their foreheads. Sokka gets the mark of the wise, like his father did. Katara gets the mark of the brave. Aang gets the mark of the trusted and Bato says he is now an honorary member of the WT. Aang says he can't. Katara says of course he can. Aang says they can't trust him and he backs up. Aang takes out the crumpled up map and hands it to them, saying a messenger told him to give it to Bato. Katara takes it, reads it, and gasps, putting a hand to her mouth. Aang tries to explain himself, but Sokka sees it and explodes. He says Aang can go to the North Pole on his own and that he's going to find their dad. He asks Katara if she's coming with him, and, after looking back at Aang, she says she is. Then Sokka, Katara, and Bato walk back to the abbey, leaving Aang on the beach.

Back at the abbey, Katara, Sokka, and Bato are packing for their trip to go find K and S's dad. Aang is sitting sadly on Appa's head. Katara tells Aang good luck and she, Sokka, and Bato leave the abbey. A sister walks by Aang and he says he should probably be going. She tells him that would be best. He steers Appa out of the abbey. Aang looks after Katara, Sokka, and Bato and says "I'm an idiot, Momo". He then leads Appa off in the opposite direction.

Later, at the abbey, while the sisters are making perfumes and ointments, the shirshu bursts through the front gate. Jun says they're getting close. She cracks the whip and the shirshu heads off in the direction Katara, Sokka, and Bato went.

Meanwhile, on the trail, Katara, Sokka, and Bato hear a wolf cry. Katara says the wolf sounds sad. Sokka says it's probably wounded. Bato says it's been separated from its pack. He knew that feeling when the WT warriors had to leave him behind. They were his family and being apart from them was more painful than his wounds. Sokka has a flashback to when he watched the WT fleet leave to go to war. Sokka says they need to go back. He wanted to see their father, but helping Aang was where they were needed the most. Katara agrees. Bato says their father will understand and that he knows he's proud of them. Bato says he knows where to go from where they are and gives Sokka the map in case they ever want to come find their father.

Back at the beach, Aang is readying Appa for flight. A sister comes up to him and says that he has to leave. Aang says he knows - everyone wants him gone. The sister tells him that a group of people came to the village looking for him. Aang asks who. She tells him that it was a woman with a horrible monster and a young man with a scar. Aang immediately knows it's Zuko. The sister tells him that the beast was using the scent of a necklace to find him. It dawns on Aang that they're tracking Katara.

While Sokka and Katara are walking back to the abbey, they hear heavy footsteps, and Sokka stops and puts his hand out in front of Katara. The shirshu lands in the trail behind them and they run off a few feet away. The shirshu identifies Katara as having the scent it’s looking for and Jun says “So this is your girlfriend. No wonder she left. She’s way too pretty for you.” Zuko ignores her and jumps down from the shirshu. Zuko demands to know where the Avatar is, but Sokka says they split up. Zuko asks him how stupid he thinks he is. Sokka replies “Pretty stupid!” with a smirk and then tells Katara to run. They start running off, but the shirshu paralyzes them with its tongue. Zuko asks what do they do now. Jun says the shirshu is picking up a different scent – maybe something the Avatar was holding. As the shirshu sniffs Sokka’s pack, the map to their father falls out. The shirshu sniffs it and looks down the trail.

The shirshu bursts into the abbey and starts sniffing around in circles. Zuko asks what it’s doing, and it looks up into the air, where Aang appears on his glider. The shirshu rears up and Jun, Zuko, Iroh, Katara, and Sokka fall off. Jun gets up and cracks her whip, making the shirshu get up as well. She goes after Aang, but Appa comes in and headbutts the shirshu, which goes flying into a building. Go Appa! Aang smiles at Appa, but is now faced with Zuko. They face off and then Zuko shoots fire at Aang. Aang shoots air at Zuko, and they kind of rally back and forth a few times. Zuko knocks Aang’s glider away and they fight closer together. They eventually blast fire and air straight into each other’s hands only inches apart and cause an explosion, sending both of them flying into roofs.

Iroh revives Jun, who was unconscious from Appa’s headbutt, and she gets the shirshu up and going again. They go after Appa. Appa flies over them, but the shirshu’s tongue lashes out and gets Appa’s leg. Appa lands, and collapses. Jun looks triumphantly at Appa, but Appa opens his eyes and gets back up. Appa and the shirshu run at each other and headbutt. The shirshu flies back, but Jun jumps up over Appa and whips him. She lands on her back, and rolls out of the way right as Appa stomps on the ground where she used to be.

On the roof, Aang gets up finally, only to realize Zuko running at him. Zuko shoots fire at Aang, but Aang gets out of the way with airbending. They go back and forth with bending again, and Aang blows Zuko into a wall – ouch. Aang runs at him to blast him with air again, but Zuko jumps down from the roof. Aang tries to follow, but just as he gets to the edge of the roof, the shirshu jumps up (with Jun in the saddle), and Aang runs away. The shirshu gets on the roof and runs after him. Appa turns around so his back is facing the roof Aang and the shirshu are on and creates a strong gust of wind by slamming its tail that blasts away a part of the roof, but he misses the shirshu. Aang runs off the roof and through a small underground tunnel thing, with the shirshu in close pursuit. The shirshu jumps up onto another roof, while Aang stays on the ground. Appa blows another gust of wind at the shirshu, but it gets out of the way.

Meanwhile, Iroh tries on some perfume, smells it, and then stuffs it into his sleeves.

Now Aang and Zuko are fighting again, this time, around a well. Zuko keeps shooting fire at Aang, who keeps dodging. One time when Zuko shoots fire at Aang, Aang sees Katara’s necklace dangling from Zuko’s wrist. Aang says “you’ve got something I want” and jumps at Zuko. Zuko shoots fire at him, and Aang uses the thing over the well to dodge. Zuko eventually destroys the thing that’s over the well and the two of them start fighting on top of the well, placing their footsteps perfectly so neither of them would fall in. Aang flies over Zuko and kicks him back, getting the necklace with his foot. He grabs the necklace and dives into the well. Zuko jumps up and shoots fire into the well. A millisecond later, water shoots up from the well, propelling Zuko into the air. Aang comes out of the well and lands on the ground and the water from the well rains back on him. Zuko falls to the ground a few feet away. Then, he immediately gets back up, which would be impossible, since the impact was very hard. He runs after Aang, shooting fire again, but Appa comes after him and he runs away from Appa. The shirshu’s tongue lashes out at Appa again, three more times, and Appa finally collapses on the ground, defeated.

A sister walks over to Katara and Sokka and holds a perfume bottle under their noses. The smell makes them not paralyzed and they stand up. Sokka says that the shirshu sees with its nose and that they should give him something to look at. The sister says “The perfume?” Sokka nods.

All the sisters gather all the jars of perfume and dump them onto the ground. Katara uses waterbending to bring up a tidal wave of perfume and splashes it on the shirshu, which is attacking Aang along with Zuko. The perfume causes all sorts of smells and the shirshu becomes blinded. It goes crazy and Zuko gets hit with its tongue. Jun gets off of it and it paralyzes her as well. Iroh catches her as she falls and falls to the ground as well. The shirshu, still going crazy, jumps over a building and out of the abbey.

Aang picks up his glider, and Katara and Sokka come up behind him.

Meanwhile, Zuko, Iroh, and Jun are all lying on the ground. Zuko says he didn’t see Iroh get hit with the tongue. Iroh puts his finger up and says “shhh”, before lying back, trying to seem unconscious. Jun, who’s paralyzed with her arm around Iroh, glares at him.

On Appa, flying, Aang asks Katara and Sokka where they’re going. Katara says they’re going to the North Pole and Sokka says they’ve lost enough time as it is. Aang says “really? Don’t you want to see your father?” Sokka says of course they do, but you're a part of their family too, and you need us more. Katara says they need him as well. Then Aang says “I wish I could give you a little piece of home, Katara. Something to remind you…” Katara says she’ll be okay. But Aang persists. He says “Still, just a little trinket. Maybe something like….this!” He holds out the necklace. Katara asks how he got it and immediately puts it on. Aang jokes by saying “Zuko told me to make sure I got this to you.” Katara plays along and says “Oh, that’s so sweet of Zuko. Could you give him a kiss for me when you see him?” Aang replies “Sure.”. Katara kisses Aang on the cheek, and he blushes and twiddles his thumbs. The episode ends with Appa flying off over the trees.

-- Recap by Neko-chan