Transcript for 017 - Bender Battle
Bender Battle
Written By: Josh Hamilton
Directed By: Oh Seung Hyun
Storyboard By: Joel Crawford, Ian Graham, Oh Seung Hyun
Animation By: JM Animation Co, Ltd
Transcriber: dragonofthewest

(The scene opens on: a sunny day, outdoors in a park surrounded by a high cliff wall. A close-up bird's-eye shot of the grass.)

Aang, Katara, and Toph: (offscreen) One...two...three...BEND!

(The kids are playing yet another Avatar version of Rock, Paper, Scissors. Their outstretched hands enter the screen. A small tornado whirls in Aang's palm; a tiny earthen pyramid sits in Toph's; Katara spins a miniature waterwheel. After a slight delay, Sokka's hand enters the frame, thumb and index finger crooked.)

Aang: (disdainfully) What's that supposed to be, Sokka?
Sokka: This is BOOMERANG! (He displays the power of boomerang with an elaborate flourish, ending by poking Aang in the forehead.)
Aang: Ow, my arrow!
Toph: I don't think "boomerang" is an element.
Aang: Even if it was...nothing beats air!

(He bends a gust of wind, mussing Sokka's clothes and hair.)

Katara: (scornfully) Yeah! Nothing except for water. Everyone knows that water is the best element in the world!

(She propels Sokka into the air with a powerful jet of water. The water encases him in mid-air, freezes into a block of ice, and is broken by Katara into several cubes - each containing a piece of Sokka. These fall to the earth, where Katara recombines them and releases Sokka, damp and a bit flustered. Aang and Katara butt heads in a jealous rage.)

Toph: Guys! Come on! I think air and water are both wonderful elements. (Aang and Katara bask in the praise.) But earth beats the pants off both of those sissy elements combined!
Aang and Katara: (outraged) WHAT?

(Katara shoves Aang into the far background.)

Katara: You think earth is better?
Toph: Can waterbending do this?

(She earthbends a giant pinball machine from the cliff wall and flips Sokka upward, finally scoring by landing him in the mouth of Appa, who is napping on top of the wall. Appa, moving mechanically, sits upright and spits Sokka back down toward the kids. Aang cushions his landing with a blast of air.)

Sokka: Thanks, Aang, for catching me. You know, I'm sick and tired of being used as everyone's personal (Aang pinches Sokka's nose, turning his voice into a nasal whine) dummy...

(Aang bends air into Sokka's open mouth, inflating him into a round pony-tailed balloon, which floats into the sky.)

Sokka: (muffled) Aang! What are you doing?
Aang: I'm showing these two why air is the best element!

(Sokka bobs to the top of the wall, where Appa has returned to his nap, and pricks himself on one of Appa's horns. Deflating, he rapidly zigzags through the sky, finally splashing to earth in a small pond. Aang chortles triumphantly.)

Sokka: (emerging from the pond, having adroitly managed to catch a fish in his right hand) Alright, enough! No more bending!
Zuko: (offscreen) You call that bending?

(Cut to Iroh and Zuko, standing atop the cliff wall.)

Katara: (looking hearts) Tiny Zukooo! You look so cuuute!
Zuko: (disgusted) I am neither cute, nor tiny!

(Enraged, chibi Zuko morphs into regular Zuko and prepares to avenge his honor. Iroh taps him on the shoulder.)

Iroh: You are pretty cute, my tiny nephew.

(Zuko rechibifies as Iroh speaks.)

Zuko: I'll show you "tiny"! (He soars into the sky and bends a blast of fire at the kids, which has little effect but to singe Sokka's fish.) Everyone knows fire is the best!
Toph: You want a bending battle? You got it!

(She begins bending mountains and entire mountain ranges into existence, in what appears at first to be random earthbending. Cut to a shot from outer space, where we see that Toph has bended her own image into the surface of the earth [with a heart-shaped crater by her ear as a finishing touch]. A camera snaps and we cut back to ground level, where Toph is proudly holding a satellite photo of her achievement. Momo and Appa, judging, hold up their scorecards giving her a 7.6 and an 8.2, respectively, while Iroh claps in amazement.

Aang, not to be outdone, propels himself into the stratosphere, partaking of some delicious cloud on the way. Arriving in outer space, he shivers from the cold and rushes back to earth, bending as he goes. He lands, not seeming to have done anything else worthy of note, and looks to the judging stand. Momo and Appa, unimpressed, give him a 6 and an 8, while Iroh wags his finger in disappointment.)

Aang: C'mon! Hunh?

(He gestures skyward, where we see he has in fact bended the clouds into the shape of a giant arrow. Momo, after some confusion, turns his card upside down to give Aang a 9, and Appa, trying to be helpful, turns his card upside down as well, with little material change in Aang's score. Iroh gives Aang two thumbs up.

Everyone's attention is abruptly caught by Zuko, who has caused a nearby volcano to erupt and is riding the lava towards them. He bends the lava into the shape of a giant dragon and causes it to fly into the sky.)

Zuko: Step back! I'll bring in the heat.

(Running up the dragon's back, he turns as a shadow falls over him. It is Katara, riding a tidal wave which cascades over poor Zuko, to leave him dripping and cross, standing atop a small stone dinosaur [which is perhaps meant to be a dragon]. Iroh walks up to stand beside him.)

Iroh: Now, I hope that you can see that each element has its own strengths, and weaknesses. (Cut to the kids, who stand listening, crestfallen. Cut back to Iroh.) BUT FIRE IS THE BEST!

(He and Zuko dash off into the distance.)

[End Credits]

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