Chapter Eighteen:
The Waterbending Master

Written by: Michael Dante Dimartino
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
Admiral Zhao: Jason Isaacs   Master Pakku: Victor Brandt
Chief Arnook: Jon Polito   Princess Yue: Johanna Braddy   Yaguda: Lucille Bliss   Pirate Barker: Byron McKittrick   Captain Li: Keone Young

Episode Recap

Aang and his friends are having trouble finding the Northern Water tribe while flying through the North Pole, when icebergs start appearing out of nowhere in front of them and forces them into the water. Suddenly the water around the bison freezes, keeping them in place. The ones responsible are several boats full of Waterbenders and soldiers from the Northern Water Tribe.

Meanwhile Admiral Zhao holds a meeting with six fellow Fire Nation military men on the whereabouts of the Avatar. Captain Li urges them to just go and retrieve him, but Zhao explains that there’s a reason why the Northern Water Tribe has survived 100 years of war. They cannot take on the Tribe without a massive invasion force.

The Watertribes men from early lead Aang and co to the tribe’s entrance. Once inside they are escorted through the city are welcomed with open arms. They pass by a boat and Sokka sees a white-haired girl inside, and instantly falls for her.

On Zuko's ship Iroh is once again hosting Music Night on the deck. Lt. Jee is playing a pipa while Iroh sings a song about the four seasons. While Iroh is singing and the crew dances, Zhao and two guards step aboard the ship.

Back at the Water tribe, a banquet is held in honor of Aang, Katara, and Sokka. The Chief announces their arrival to the rest of the Tribe, then adds that his daughter Princess Yue has just turned 16, which is the proper age for marriage in their tribes. Sokka recognizes her as the girl from earlier, and begins to flirt when she sits down next to him. The Princess enjoys Sokka's cute little attempts at courtship and obviously likes him as well. During the celebration of the Avatar's arrival, Master Pakku and some of his students perform advanced Waterbending moves to entertain the audience. Afterwards, the Chief introduces Aang to Pakku, who will teach him and Aang’s friend Waterbending.

Back on Zuko’s ship, Iroh enters Zuko's room who repeats that he won't play the Sungi Horn. Iroh says that it’s about their plans, and Zhao enters the room. Zhao tells him that he’s recruited his crew for an expedition to the North Pole. Iroh confirms, saying that he’s taking everyone, including the cook. As they are talking Zhao looks around the room and notices Zuko's Long Dao Broadswords that are hung on the wall. Zhao remembers the Blue Spirit and how the masked warrior also carried those weapons. Zhao takes one of the swords down and says that he did not know that Zuko was skilled with Broadswords. Zuko denies it and claims that they are simply antiques. Zhao asks Iroh if he has heard of the Blue Spirit, which he replies with just rumors. Zhao tells him that he is a criminal, but he feels that justice will catch up with him soon. Zhao hands Iroh the sword and leaves Zuko and Iroh alone in the room.

The next morning Katara and Aang walk towards Pakku who is ‘streaming the water’ as Katara called it in episode 9. As soon as Aang greets the older man, Pakku loses his concentration and drops the water. Aang introduces Katara, but Pakku sees her and tells Aang that she cannot learn from him. He states that female benders are to learn only the healing arts of Water bending. Aang refuses to learn from Pakku if he turns Katara away, but Katara tells him that he needs to learn more than her and then takes her leave. As soon as Katara leaves Pakku sits up and begins the lesson.

Sokka meanwhile, is chasing after Princess Yue as she sails around the city in her boat. Sokka walks beside the boat and they talk about last night. Sokka hopes that they can see more of each other, and Yue agrees. She smiles and tells him to meet her on a particular ice bridge later that night. Sokka smiles and then walks right into the water by mistake. Yue laughs, apologizes, then waves goodbye. Sokka climbs back onto the ice sidewalk and smiling, leans back in bliss.

At a Fire Nation harbor in the Earth Kingdom, the group of pirates from episode 9 is in a meeting with Zhao. He says that he is impressed with them and that they are highly qualified for the mission in mind, and are given a small chest full to the brim with gold pieces. The pirate captain asks Zhao what he wants them to do. Zhao smiles and asks if they are familiar with Prince Zuko.

Katara arrives at the healing hut and watches as a woman uses a wooden human dummy to demonstrate how to properly heal. There are several other little girls in the room as well. The woman, Yaguda, asks Katara if she is there for the lesson. Katara says yes and sits down in front of the group. After the lesson Yugota notices her necklace and asks who is her future husband. Katara says that she doesn't have one and that the necklace belonged to her mother who had gotten it from her grandmother. Yaguda recognizes the necklace’s carving and says that when younger, she was a friend of Kana's -- Katara’s grandmother -- when she used to live up in the Northern tribe. She told Katara that Kana's husband was supposed to be a Waterbender, but she ran away before they could get married.

Back at the docks, Iroh says goodbye to the rest of the crew. He then visits Zuko, who is lying in bed, and tries to convince him to take a walk with him. Zuko refuses and Iroh leaves the room and closes the door. As soon as Iroh walks off the ship and the coast is clear, the pirates board the ship and set 2 barrels of blasting jelly in a ventilation room. When the pirate barker opens the door, the metal makes a creaking sound that is heard by the Prince Zuko. Thinking that it is possibly Iroh returning, he walks out of his room and listens. Not hearing anything, he begins to search the ship for intruders. Outside, the pirates light a trail of gunpowder that leads to the blasting jelly barrels then run off the ship onto land. Zuko walks into the top helm room and looks around. He sighs and then looks outside the window where the pirate captain's parrot sits on the rail. Zuko realizes whom he is dealing with as the barrels finally explode. Zuko is shaken from the force as the explosion work their way up the ship, until it blasts through the vents in the room. Zuko screams as the ship explodes into flames. Iroh is about a quarter of a mile away from the docks when he sees the smoke. He runs back to the ship, fearful for his nephew's life. When he arrives he is too late to do anything. Iroh hangs his head in despair and mourns his loss.

At the Water Tribe, Princess Yue looks out at the city from the ice bridge. Sokka walks up behind her and gives her a little wooden figure. Yue takes it and asks if it is a bear. Sokka frowns and turns the piece around and states that it is a fish with a tiny fin. Yue turns and tells him that asking him to be here was a mistake then runs off. Sokka, confused and angry, throws the wooden fish over the bridge. Sokka returns to the tent and tells his sister and Aang what happened. He then asks about waterbending training, to which Aang frowns and tells about Pakku's refusal to teach Katara. Sokka scowls and tells them that Aang could simply teach Katara to bend. Katara excitedly expands on the idea and then she leaves with Aang. They walk down to the water and Aang shows Katara a move that he had learned from Pakku. Katara copies it, but does it perfectly. Katara admits that she did not do it and then looks up seeing that Pakku had performed the move. Pakku frowns at Aang and tells him that he has disrespected his culture and that he will no longer teach him. The next day Katara and Aang beg for forgiveness and ask Pakku if he will teach Aang again. Pakku refuses to begin lessons again until he has heard Katara say that she was sorry. Katara agrees, but when he calls her ‘little girl’, she gets angry and challenges him to a fight.

In the Fire Nation port, Zhao pours Iroh some tea and tells him that he is devastated to hear of Zuko’s death. Iroh nods and says that Ozai will not be pleased to hear who was responsible. Zhao asks him who it was and Iroh tells him that it was a band of pirates that wanted revenge. Zhao smiles at this and sips his tea. He then asks if Iroh has reconsidered his offer to join his force, to which Iroh accepts, saying it will be an honor to serve as his general. He then raises his glass to the Fire Nation, and Zhao raises his to Victory.

Sokka, Katara and Aang are walking down the main stairs while they try to dissuade Katara from fighting, but she won’t back down. They stop at the bottom, and Pakku keeps walking calmly past them. Katara asks if he’s going to fight, and Pakku tells her to go back to the healing hut where she belongs. Enraged, Katara waterbends a thin waterwhip out of the snow and hits the back of Pakku’s head. Pakku smiles and then fights back with a blast of water. Katara puts up a great fight, as does Pakku, and a crowd watching cheers for each fighter’s momentary victory. But Pakku’s waterbending often gets the best of Katara, and she begins to get worn out. She always fights back though with a new technique, and Pakku admits that she is an excellent waterbender, though he still won’t teach her. Shortly later her necklace falls off while getting hit, and Pakku ends the fight by creating a couple dozen ice spears that surround and immobilize her. Pakku walks away, but then notices the necklace and picks it up. He realizes that it is the one he had carved over 60 years ago for the love his life; for Kana. That is when Katara realized that Pakku was the waterbender that was supposed to marry her grandmother.

At the Fire Nation port in one of the ships, General Iroh is walking down the hallway but stops midway when a guard walking towards him also stops. Iroh tells this guard that their plan is working perfectly, and the guard takes off his white mask revealing the face of Prince Zuko. Zuko's face is cut up and a bruise covers his right eye. Zuko tells him that he didn’t have to do this, but Iroh replies that he wouldn’t let his nephew stow away on a ship without some backup. Zuko thanks him and down the hall a door slams. Zuko puts the mask back into place and Iroh tells him to stay hidden until they reach the North Pole, and the Avatar will be his. Then both go their separate ways.

Pakku tells Katara that he loved her grandmother very much and Katara says that she probably did not love him back. Gran Gran wouldn’t let her life be run by the rules of the Northern Water Tribe so she left for the Southern Tribe. At these words Yue bursts into tears and runs away crying. Sokka chases after her, and later that night finds her on the bridge they met at before. Sokka makes his peace, saying how he understands, and that he never thought a girl like her would even notice a guy like him. Yue tries to tell him that it isn’t the reason, but he doesn’t listen. Sokka then starts to leave, but she pulls him back and kisses him. Now Sokka is even more confused. Yue explains that while she does like him, a lot, they can’t be together because she is engaged. She begins crying again as she apologizes and then runs away, leaving him alone on the bridge.

The next morning Katara runs up to Aang and Pakku, who allows her to join in on the lesson. Both kids smile and bend the water into sphere just like Pakku.

Elsewhere Iroh sighs as he stands behind Zhao on the ship deck. The fleet is ready to head to the Northern Water Tribes and they light their engines.

-- Recap by SlpnDrgn13 and Jade