Chapter Twenty:
The Siege of the North (part 2)

Written by: Aaron Ehasz
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   Koh: Erik Todd Dellums   Chief Arnook: Jon Polito
Master Pakku: Victor Brandt   Princess Yue: Johanna Braddy   Hahn: Ben Oiskin
Avatar Roku: James Garrett   Fire Lord Ozai: Mark Hamill  

Episode Recap

Outside the city walls, the Fire Navy continues to attack with large fireballs. Still inside the oasis, Katara is upset with herself for failing in her duty to protect Aang. Sokka assures her and Princess Yue that Zuko couldn’t have gone far and they take off on Appa through the upcoming blizzard while Momo waits behind in the oasis. The snow is deepening and Prince Zuko struggles through the snow with Aang on his back, his tattoos still glowing.

In the Spirit World, Aang’s spirit is in a swamp-like area with gnarled trees. He approaches the first creature he sees, which happens to be a white monkey dressed up in monk’s clothing and attempting to meditate. The creature tells him to go away, but when Aang does not leave, he tells him to follow a glowing orb. Aang chases after it from branch to branch, but when he grabs at it, the branch beneath him disintegrates and he lands in the water. Here, he sees Avatar Roku’s reflection within and his spirit appears in front of Aang.

Aang is oblivious to where his body is being taken, and Zuko is trying to find shelter. All of a sudden, the ice begins to break behind him and Zuko runs in a mad dash to escape. He finally leaps out of the way, and looks behind to see a huge canyon formed. Ahead of him he glimpses a cave and walks towards it. Once inside he ties Aang’s hands and legs with rope and they wait out the storm.

In the spirit world, Aang is asking Avatar Roku for a way to find the Ocean and Moon Spirit. Avatar Roku tells Aang that the Ocean and Moon Spirits became mortal a long, long time ago. The only spirit old enough to know their mortal forms is a dangerous creature named Koh, nicknamed the Face Stealer (I think that’s quite explanatory) A look of revulsion crosses Aang’s face when Avatar Roku tells Aang that the Face Stealer stole the faces of those who he met, unless they showed no emotion whatsoever.

Katara, Sokka, and Princess Yue continue their search on finding Aang, but to no avail.

In the cavern, Zuko is waiting out the blizzard that is only increasing in fury. He looks at Aang and says, “I finally have you, but I can’t get you home because of this blizzard. There’s always something.” He gets up on his feet and gazes out at the snow, “Not that you would know. You’re like my sister. Everything always came easy to her. She’s a firebending prodigy and everyone adores her. My father says she was born lucky and that I was lucky to be born. I don’t need luck though; I don’t want it. I’ve always had to struggle and that’s what made me strong. It’s made me who I am.” (*sniffle* ~_~)

While Zuko is waiting for the blizzard to lessen, the fire nation soldiers attack the city on komodo rhinos against waterbenders who are shooting pressured water against the rhinos and oncoming tanks.

Zhao and Iroh are watching their barrage of attacks on deck and Iroh warns Zhao once more that if they don’t defeat the Water Nation before the full moon rises, they will become undefeatable. In response, Zhao calmly tells Iroh that he intends to remove the moon. Iroh is completely taken aback and asks how. Zhao merely gives a knowing smile. At this moment, Hahn bursts out onto the deck, removes his helmet and attacks Zhao, spear forward. With one swift movement, Zhao sends Hahn overboard.

The two continue their conversation as if nothing has happened. Zhao tells Iroh about his training under General Shu in the Earth Kingdom back when he was a young lieutenant, and how he found a secret underground library with many scrolls. On one of these scrolls, it told of the Moon Spirit and Ocean Spirit’s mortal forms. Zhao knew that they could be found and killed; and believes that it is his destiny to do so. Iroh strongly opposes Zhao’s intended acts, saying “the spirits are not to be trifled with”, but Zhao casually replies that he knows that Iroh fears the spirits and that he’s heard rumors of Iroh’s journey to the Spirit World. But the Moon and Ocean spirits gave up their immortality to be a part of our world, and that “they will face the consequences.”

Aang has traveled quite some distance and approaches a giant gnarled tree with a glowing light above it. He leaps from one rock to another, up the cliff, and into the tree. Aang apprehensively approaches and is startled by a curly-tailed blue nose monkey. He immediately relaxes, but when the monkey turns its head, Aang is shocked to see that it has no face. Taking a deep breath, Aang says in his Avatar voice, “Show no fear; show no emotion at all.”

He enters the cavern, descending down step after step until there is very little light. A form shifts overhead and approaches from out of the darkness behind Aang. The Face Stealer attempts to scare Aang by leaping in front of him, but an impassive expression remains on his face. Koh is a giant centipede-like creature with spider-like legs surrounding its eye-like head. But in the middle of its head where the “pupil” would be is the face of its victims. Koh welcomes Aang, saying it has been a long time since an Avatar has visited him. Aang calmly asks, “You know me?” to which Koh replies in shock “How could I forget you?” And ‘blinks’ changing from the white face with red lips to a man with a long black mustache and beard. Koh continues on to say that one of Aang’s previous incarnations tried to slay him 8 or 900 years ago. Aang hesitantly asks why he -- or, I tried to do that.

Koh’s harsh face suddenly turns into a beautiful woman with long brown wavy hair, saying it was “something about stealing the face of someone you loved”. Aang focuses on the beautiful face, but when Koh fails to stir emotion within the Avatar, he laughs wickedly and shifts his face to that of a baboon. (Man that was creepy). He then begins to wrap around Aang, saying how that’s all behind them, and why should he hold a grudge against Aang for something his past life did? “After all,” he says whispering into Aang’s ear “you’ve come to me with a new face”. Aang closes his eyes and breathes deeply to stay calm and Zuko sees Aang’s body do the same.

Sokka, Katara, and Princess Yue continue their search through the blizzard. Whenever Katara and Princess Yue seem to give up hope, Sokka reassures them that Aang is safe.

In the lair of the creature, Koh permits Aang to ask his question about the mortal forms of the Moon and Ocean spirits. Koh answers in riddles and tells Aang that Twee and La (their spirit names) dance in an eternal circle of push and pull. Koh’s face shifts from an owl’s to an old man’s, and then to a blue mask while he tells Aang that it is the mortal spirits that are in trouble. With a few more hints, Aang realizes that the koi fish are the spirits and exclaims this aloud with a look of glad recognition on his face. Fortunately, Aang manages to revert his face back to an impassive stare before Koh turns around to face him once more. Aang makes his leave and Koh wears the face of a sad young man with a short brown mustache and beard, saying they’ll meet again before shrinking into the darkness.

Aang rushes out of the cavern and tells Avatar Roku that the spirits are in trouble and he needs to get back to the physical world. Avatar Roku sends Hei Bai (from episode 7) to bring him back to the gateway.

Night has come and full moon has risen, bringing the water tribe to the height of their power. Water tribesmen hail sharpened ice shards down at the fire nation soldiers with upraised shields and we see Master Pakku decisively slice three tanks in half and create a typhoon of water around him to attack from above. Meanwhile, Zhao draws nearer to his destination with his men, saying they’re “going fishing”.

Aang is at the gateway where Hei Bai (in his panda form) shoots a blue beam at Aang who is immediately returned to the mortal world. The meditating monkey in monk’s clothing opens one eye and says, “Good riddance.” At this, Hei Bai (in his scary form) rushes to the creature’s side and sends him off his rock into the waters with a blasting roar.

Aang is back in the mortal world, but when he tries to talk to Momo he remains fast asleep. Aang realizes that he is still in spirit form and is suddenly transported to the place where his body is.

Katara spots a glowing blue light fly through the sky leading to a cavern, and is convinced that it must be Aang. As Aang merges in to his body, he awakens and finds that he is tied up. Upon seeing Zuko, he blows a stream of air that forces Zuko against the wall (Seriously, Zuko can survive any sudden impacts) and forces Aang outside of the cavern. He then attempts to worm his way across the snow (LOL!) but Zuko grabs him by the collar and says, “You won’t get away from me that easily.”

Just then, Appa arrives and Katara jumps off. Zuko readies his stance and says, “Here for a rematch?” Katara replies, “Trust me Zuko, it won’t be much of a match.” She lifts a barrier of snow to block off his fire and then sends Zuko up in the air with a tower of ice and crumples it to have it collapse on top of him. Sokka cuts Aang loose and the companions are about to leave Zuko to freeze in the snow when Aang steps in and says, “No, if we leave him, he’ll die.” Aang carries Zuko into Appa’s saddle and they take off towards the oasis to save the Ocean and Moon spirits.

But the four are too late as Zhao catches the white fish and places it into a bag. The moon in the sky changes to a blood red and everything is bathed in red light. Even the water tribe’s waterbending attacks stop completely.

Yue begins to feel faint when the moon is in this form and Aang feels similar. Yue tells the three, “I owe the Moon Spirit my life.” She begins her story, “When I was born, I was very sick and very weak. Most babies cry when they’re born, but I was born as if I was asleep, my eyes closed. The healers did everything they could to save me. They told my parents that I was going to die. My father pleaded with the spirits to save me. That night, under the full moon, he bought me to the oasis and placed me in the pond. My dark hair turned white; I opened my (blue) eyes and I began to cry. At that moment, my parents knew I would live. That’s why my mother named me Yue; after the moon.”

Meanwhile at the oasis, Zhao is basking in his glory, saying how the Fire Nation will talk about him for centuries, calling him titles such as “Zhao the Moon Slayer” and “Zhao the Invincible.” Momo attacks him all of a sudden, giving Appa and his riders just enough time to approach from the opposite site of the pond. Zhao holds the bag threateningly in front of them with his fist ready to fire. Immediately, Aang drops his glider to the ground and tells Zhao that if he took out the moon, everything would fall out of balance and would unleash chaos on the entire world. From the side, Iroh speaks and confirms Aang’s explanation. He threatens Admiral Zhao, “Whatever you do on that spirit, I will unleash on you tenfold!” Iroh says this with such conviction and an expression of utmost fury.

Zhao reluctantly releases the fish back into the pond, and the red sky returns to normal. But in a moment of fury and decisiveness, he launches a flame and kills the white fish otherwise known as the Moon spirit. Iroh and the kids look on in horror as the moon fades away and the world falls into darkness. Iroh immediately attacks Zhao’s men using firebending with such fierceness and precision that Zhao retreats. Zuko is gone as well.

Iroh picks up the white fish and Princess Yue despairingly says, “There’s no hope now; it’s over.” At this moment, Aang’s avatar spirit kicks in and he says in the combined voices, “No, it’s not over.” He makes way into the middle of the pond where he remains in his prayer stance. The black fish (the Ocean Spirit) swims towards Aang and its eyes and white spot begins to glow as well. Aang pummels straight down into the water and the water surrounding the oasis and Water Tribe City begins to glow in an ethereal blue light. From the water he emerges as the Ocean Spirit itself; an incredibly large glowing water creature with a head shaped like a fish’s.

The Ocean Spirit begins to descend into the city, and upon sight, the water tribe people bow down in respect while the fire nation raises their spears. With just a flick of its arms, the Ocean Spirit kills off many men. Aang is in the center of the water spirit, controlling the movements in his Avatar mode.

Meanwhile, Zhao has escaped General Iroh, but is taken aback when Prince Zuko attacks him. “You’re alive?” Zhao asks and Zuko replies “You tried to have me killed!” and blasts more fireballs at Zhao. After a few more exchanges between them, the duel between Zuko and Admiral Zhao begins. Dodging and blasting fire bolts, Zuko flips over Zhao and fires under his arm, launching him off the wall and quickly following after him.

Back at the oasis, Iroh gently places the white koi back into the water. “It’s too late; it’s dead” Katara says in hopelessness. General Iroh, Sokka, Princess Yue, and Katara pray for the spirit but Iroh notices that Princess Yue has been touched by the Moon Spirit, also pointing out that some of the Moon Spirit’s life is within her. Princess Yue opens her eyes, and they are the only things in color. Being the dutiful person, she responds, “Yes, you’re right. It gave me life.” And after moment’s though, continues with “Maybe I can give it back.” Sokka realizes what Princess Yue is about to do and stops her by grabbing at her hand to hold her back.

When he tells her she doesn’t have to, she responds, “It’s my duty Sokka.” In one last attempt, Sokka states, “No I won’t let you. Your father told me to protect you.” Princess Yue gives Sokka the same response and Sokka releases his grasp. Princess Yue places her hands over the fish, which is now being held by Iroh, and the fish begins to glow. Yue closes her eyes and when the fish stops glowing, she falls back and Sokka catches her. In despair he says, “She’s gone; she’s gone…”

The Fire Navy ships begin to retreat as the Ocean Spirit flows out to them. It rises up again and slices the top of a watchtower, and sends wave after wave to tilt the ships over. It then moves out farther into the ocean, looking upon over a dozen more Fire Navy ships.

Sokka is still holding Princess Yue against his chest when she suddenly disappears. The white fish begins to glow and Iroh places it back into the pond. The pond then begins to glow and an apparition of Princess Yue in a flowing white dress appears solemnly. She glides down to Sokka and tells him, “Goodbye Sokka, I’ll always be with you.” The two tenderly kiss each other briefly and Sokka is left gazing up where Yue once was. A few moments later the moon reappears in the sky and the night returns to normal.

Back in the bay, the Ocean Spirit gazes up at the moon and sinks back into the water. Moving back into the bay, the Ocean Spirit drops off Aang on top of the wall and he slips out of his Avatar mode.

Zhao and Zuko are still fighting, when Zuko overpowers Zhao, knocking him to the ground. Upon seeing the moon once more in the sky, Zhao exclaims in disbelief, “It can’t be!” Just then, the Ocean Spirit reaches over the bridge and grabs Zhao with its massive hands. Zuko looks back to see it taking Zhao, and he rushes over and says, “Take my hand.” At first Zhao tries to reach, but then pulls back his arm, accepting his fate and sinking within the depths of the ocean.

It’s almost dawn now and the battle is over. Looking out over city, Master Pakku tells Katara that he will be heading to the South Pole with some other benders and healers to rebuild their sister tribe. When Katara asks about Aang, he assigns Katara the responsibility to teach Aang waterbending.

Chief Arnook and Sokka stand on the balcony, gazing up at the moon. “The spirits gave me a vision when Yue was born. I saw a beautiful brave young woman become the Moon spirit.” He says. “I knew this day would come.” Upon hearing this, Sokka comforts him by saying, “You must be proud.” And he replies with “So proud… and sad.”

On their makeshift raft, Iroh tells Zuko that he is surprised that he is not trying to capture the avatar. In response, Zuko tells his uncle that he is tired. Iroh lays a hand on Zuko’s shoulder and says, “A man needs his rest.” (He said this in episode 1 as well, but Zuko wouldn’t listen. It’s shown he’s grown) Exhausted, Zuko lays down and looks up at the sky with a pained, pondering expression on his face.

Back in the city, Aang is looking out at the ocean when he notices Katara staring at him, and turns around. After a moment they come together and hug, before Momo and Sokka join them. Together they look out at the ocean (and moon) as Appa hovers next to them.

We are taken to Fire Lord’s palace. A figure is kneeled in front of the Ozai’s fiery throne. “Iroh is a traitor and your brother Zuko is a failure. I have a task for you.” At this, Prince Zuko’s sister looks up with a malicious smile on her face. (Wahahaha! :-D)

-- Recap by Daxiaoqiao