The Blue Spirit
Written By: Michael Dante Dimartino, Bryan Konietzko
Directed By: Dave Filoni
Storyboard By: Michael Dante Dimartino, Dave Filoni, Bryan Konietzko, Anthony Lioi, Ian Graham, Bobby Rubio
Animation By: DR Movie
(The episode begins with a night scene. A bird, one of the red hawk like birds seen at the beginning of "The Spirit World, Part 1", flies through the moonless night sky and cries out. Cut to a shot of the upper reaches of a Fire Nation fortress. The shot pans down to reveal several towers connected by the walls of the fortress. All are manned and have fires burning in them. Pan left to reveal Fire Nation ships in the water beyond the fortress. Cut to a shot of several fierce looking archers, their faces painted either for decoration, camouflage or both. They release volley after volley of arrows which strike their archery range targets dead center. Successive arrows split the one already occupying the bulls eye right down the middle of its shaft. Shift to wide shot of the archers which pans up to one of the fortress towers where two men stand side by side watching the archers.)
Colonel Shinu: Absolutely not. The Yu Yan archers stay here. Your request is denied Commander Zhao.
Zhao: Colonel Shinu, please reconsider. Their precision is legendary. The Yu Yan can pin a fly to a tree from a hundred yards away – without killing it. You're wasting their talents using them as mere security guards.
Colonel Shinu: I can do whatever I want with their talents. They're my archers and what I say goes.
Zhao: But my search for the Avatar is –
Colonel Shinu: – Is nothing but a vanity project! We're fighting a real war here and I need every man I've got, Commander.
Zhao: But –
Colonel Shinu: That's final! I don't want to hear another word about it.
(Zhao grumbles, then cut to the red bird seen earlier swooping down into the tower. It lands on Colonel Shinu's outstretched arm. He unties a message from its back and it flies away. Cut to a view of the Colonel that shows Zhao behind him. The Colonel's expression turns to horror as he reads the message. Zhao approaches from behind and he hands the message to Zhao.)
Zhao: News from Fire Lord Ozai? (Smiles.) It appears I've been promoted to Admiral. My request is now an order.
(Colonel Shinu bows and exits. Cut to the archers firing again at their targets, then cut back to Zhao looking over the railing of the tower at the archers. The screen pans up and zooms in to reveal a figure in a blue mask sitting atop the tower, listening, who then exits. Fade to a scene of a hillside strewn with broken boulders. The dawn is approaching, but the sky is cloudy so it is still quite dark. The screen pans down to reveal the remnants of a decaying ghost town. A cough is heard, then cut to an overhead shot of Sokka in his sleeping bag resting on Appa, Aang and Katara are facing him. A fire burns in the background. They appear to be inside an enclosed, temple like structure overlooking the decaying town below and the hillside beyond. Cut to a close shot of Sokka coughing, Momo playing around his head and Katara wiping his forehead with a wet cloth.)
Katara: This should bring your fever down.
Sokka (feverishly): You know what I love about Appa the most? His sense of humor.
Katara: That's nice. I'll tell him.
(Cut to a wider shot as Appa grunts at Sokka in response.)
Sokka: Haha! Classic Appa.
Aang (walking over): How's Sokka doing?
Katara: Not so good. Being out in that storm really did a number on him.
(Cut to Sokka shivering in his sleeping bag and snorting back his runny nose. Cut back to Sokka's p.o.v.)
Aang: I couldn't find any ginger root for the tea, but I found a map.
(Aang produces a scroll. Cut to a side view of Aang, the mountains visible in the backdrop, as he spreads out the scroll on the ground.)
Aang: There's an herbalist institute on the top of that mountain. We could probably find a cure for Sokka there.
Katara: Aang, he's in no condition to travel. Sokka just needs more rest. I'm sure he'll be better by tomorrow.
(Katara begins to cough at this.)
Aang: Not you too!
Katara: Relax, it was just a little cough. I'm fine –
(She cuts herself off with more coughing. Cut back to Aang, shielding himself from her violent coughing.)
Aang: That's how Sokka started yesterday. Now look at him – he thinks he's an earthbender!
Sokka (swinging at something that isn't there): Take that, you rock!
Aang: A few more hours and you'll be talking nonsense too. (Getting up and grabbing his staff.) I'm going to find some medicine.
(He opens his glider and walks to the edge of the temple. A huge flash of lightning illuminates Aang and the exterior of the temple. He twirls his glider shut and leans it against the wall of the temple.)
Aang: Uh, maybe it's safer if I go on foot. (Cut back to Appa et al, Aang continues from o.c.) Keep an eye on'em guys.
(Appa grunts in reply.)
Sokka (deliriously): Haha! You guys are killin' me!
(Aang turns and launches himself into the air, landing far down the hill the temple sits on. Cut to p.o.v. form somewhere in the decayed town. Aang zooms by at high speed, using his airbending to accelerate his running speed. Cut to a shot of Zuko's ship steaming through water with land visible behind it. Cut again to Zuko standing over his Lieutenant's shoulder. They are both looking at something.)
Lieutenant Jee: We haven't been able to pick up the Avatar's trail since the storm.
(Cut to a map of the world that they are both looking at. The position of the Lieutenant's hand and extended index finger indicate that they are currently at the northwest extremity of the Earth Kingdom, close to the eastern most extremity of the northern air nomad lands.)
Lieutenant Jee: But, if we continue heading northeast –
(The Lieutenant is cut off as the light is blocked by an enormous shadow. Cut to wider view of the bridge where Iroh and some crewman are playing Pai Sho on the right. Another Fire Navy ship, a massive hulking thing, is passing them to starboard, headed the opposite direction. Everyone on Zuko's bridge stares at it.)
Zuko: What do they want?
Iroh (hopefully): Perhaps a sporting game of Pai Sho!
(Cut to a brief shot of Zuko's ship resting alongside the much larger, double-smoke stack Fire Nation vessel. Switch to a scroll being unrolled to reveal a drawn figure of Aang and some writing in Asian calligraphy. Cut to a shot behind the herald who is holding up the "wanted" poster. Zuko is in front of him, looking sour.)
Herald: The hunt for the Avatar has been given prime importance. (He lowers the scroll.) All information regarding the Avatar must be reported directly to Admiral Zhao.
Iroh (making a move on the Pai Sho board): Zhao has been promoted? Well, good for him!
(Iroh's opponent looks chagrined at the move and slaps his face. Cut to Zuko.)
Zuko (sullenly): I've got nothing to report to Zhao. Now get off my ship and let us pass.
Herald: Admiral Zhao is not allowing ships in or out of this area.
Zuko (angrily): Off my ship!
(Cut to Iroh, with the Herald and his two guards behind him. They leave as Iroh smiles.)
Iroh: Excellent! (He leans forward and gathers all the chips on the table)ake the pot. But, you're all improving. I'm certain you will win if we play again.
Cut to Zuko looking out over the waves as Iroh and the men begin another game in the background behind him. Cut to a view of a mountain path. The screen pans right to reveal a Fire Nation lookout post, the switch to a view inside the post. One of the lookouts is looking out with a telescope, another is reading Aang's wanted poster.)
Reading Lookout: Says here that the Avatar can create tornados and run faster than the wind. Pretty amazing.
Telescope Lookout (looking back at his colleague): Ehh, that's just a bunch of Fire Lord propaganda. There's no way that's true.
(The telescope lookout returns to his instrument, where we cut to his p.o.v. through the telescope. He has a view of three bends in the mountain pass. In a flash a cloud of dust rockets through the bend farthest away, then the next and finally past the lookout itself. The rush of wind and dust is tremendous. The lookouts blink their eyes and then the telescope lookout blows his horn to the sky. Pan up to the empty sky, quickly replaced by an exterior shot of the abandoned temple where Appa et al are resting. Cut to Sokka, still shaking feverishly in his sleeping bag.)
Sokka: Katara... please... water...
(Camera pans left to Katara, now obviously sick, resting on Appa too. Momo stands in front of her.)
Katara: Listen carefully, Momo. I need you to take this to the river and fill it with water.
(Katara has raised up the water bag around her neck, offering it to Momo. Cut to a close of Momo's expressive green eyes, which blink. He is trying to understand her. He chitters. Cut to Momo's p.o.v. He sees Katara making walking motions with her fingers and hears her yammering at him in gibberish. Cut back to Katara's p.o.v, looking at Momo's face.
Katara: Got it?
(Momo grabs the water skin and flies off. Cut to Aang huffing and puffing as he runs at breakneck speed up the steps on the herbalist institute. He reaches the top and runs into a circular wooden building. Cut to the inside of the building which is filled with trees, bushes and flowers. An old woman is in the background and a white fluffy cat is in the foreground. Aang runs into the frame and cat meows and jumps out of the way.)
Aang (speaking very fast): Hello! I'm sorry to barge in like this, but I need some medicine for my friends. They have fevers and they've been coughing and –
Herbalist (mixing something in a bowl on the table in front of her): Settle down, young man. Your friends are going to be fine. (She walks over to another table where the cat is sitting.) I've been up here for over forty years you know, used to be others, but they all left years ago. (She pets the cat who begins to purr.) Now it's just me and Miyuki.
Aang: That's nice.
Herbalist: Wounded Earth Kingdom troops still come by now and again, brave boys, and thanks to my remedies they always leave in better shape they when they arrive.
Aang: That's nice. Are you almost done?
Herbalist: Hold on, I just need to add one last ingredient. (Walking amongst the shrubbery, looking around and muttering to herself) Oh, sandalwood... oh, er, uh, that won't do, banana leaf? Ah, nope, uh, ginger root, uh uh, oh where is that pesky little plant?
(Aang looks exasperated in the background. Cut to Zuko's ship steaming by the shore, the sunset in its last stages in the background. Cut to Zuko practicing firebending on the foredeck in the background. Iroh's arm comes into the frame.)
Iroh: Is everything okay? It's been almost an hour and you haven't given the men an order.
Zuko: I don't care what they do. (Looks away out to sea.)
Iroh: Don't give up hope yet. You can still find the Avatar before Zhao.
Zuko (turning back, desperation and fear on his face): How, Uncle? With Zhao's resources it's just a matter of time before he captures the Avatar. (Turns back out to sea and whispers) My honor, my throne, my country, I'm about to lose them all.
(Cut back to an exterior shot of the herbalist institute, then a shot of the old woman from the p.o.v. of some bushes she is looking at.)
Herbalist: Here's what I was looking for! Plum blossom!
(She grabs one, then cut to Aang, his head on the table were Miyuki sits. He gets up.)
(Cut to Aang grabbing the bowl from the woman's hands, then zoom backwards to show Aang and the Herbalist.)
Aang: Thanks for all your help!
Herbalist (hitting Aang on the wrist and knocking loose his grip on the bowl): Hands off! What do you think you're doing?
Aang (looking frightened and abashed): Taking the cure to my friends!
Herbalist: Ahaha! This isn't a cure, it's Miyuki's dinner.
(The Herbalist places the bowl on the table in front of Miyuki. She pets the cat who begins to eat and purr.)
Herbalist: Plum blossom is her favorite.
Aang: What about my friends?
Herbalist: Well, all they need is some frozen wood frogs. There's plenty of them down in the valley swamp.
Aang: What am I supposed to do with frozen frogs?
Herbalist: Why, suck on them of course!
Aang (shocked): Suck on them!?
Herbalist: The frog's skin excretes a substance that'll cure your friends, but make sure you get plenty. Once those little critters thaw out, they're useless!
(Cut to a wide shot of the two and space that separates them. A few moments pass in silence.)
Aang: You're insane aren't you?
Herbalist: Thaaat's right. (She turns back to her work, then turns back to Aang.) Well, don't stand there all day. (She whips her spoon at Aang, who ends up with a bunch of black gunk on his face.) Go!
(Cut to Aang running out of the building, wiping his face. Suddenly arrows fly through the air at him. Two land to his immediate right and left. As Aang looks around, cut to a wide shot of the field Aang stands in. Above, a huge number of arrows arch toward him at a reduced frame rate. Cut back to an overhead shot of Aang as the arrows enter the shot from the sides of the screen. Aang airbends a shell of wind around him knocking all the arrows aside. Aang pulls one of the arrows out of the ground and offers it to someone o.c.)
Aang: Uhh, I think you dropped this.
(Cut to a panning shot of the Yu Yan archers in the surrounding trees, then a cut back to Aang's frightened face. Cut to commercial break.)
(When the show returns, Aang is struggling to pull an arrow out of the ground that is holding his foot in place. He releases it just in time as the archers fire another volley. He runs out of the way as two groups of four arrows each plow into the ground near him as he runs o.c. He runs towards the gate he entered through, but it is blocked by archers. They fire, but he dodges and runs in the opposite direction. Dodging hails of arrows, he jumps off the cliff at the back of the institute. Cut to Aang hurtling down the cliff. Up above, the archers jump off the cliff after him. Cut to side view of Aang falling with the cliff face on his left. He lets his hood billow a bit to slow him down until he hits the tree canopy beneath. Aang's face gets beaten repeatedly by the brush rapidly flying by. Cut to the archers who fire in mid flight, sending anchor ropes into the nearby trees as they fall so they can swing tarzan-like after Aang. Several shots are shown in quick succession as Aang is pursued from tree branch to tree branch by the archers. Eventually Aang comes out of the forest in the swamp. He lands in the water and emerges with a white, frozen frog.)
Aang: A frog!
(The frog is knocked out of his hand by an arrow. He stands up and tries to run through the water, looking for frogs along the way. Arrows fall all around. He gets to a log rising out of the water, and an arrow pins his right arm to it. It is soon joined by several more. The archers fire another volley, but Aang waterbends a wall of ice in front of him. The arrows shatter the ice. They fire another volley, pinning his left arm, followed by a net that covers his upper body. Close of Aang's face in terror. Fade to a close up of Aang's upper body, his arms stretched out, his face downcast. The room is dark, but there is fire in the room that sheds some illumination. Aang's raised eyes of defiance as the screen fades to a wider shot. Aang is a prisoner in a large room with two stone pillars that have fires on their crests. Aang is shackled to them from his arms. Fade to a shot of the guards outside his room, then fade and zoom out to show exterior shots of the fortress in which he is being held. It looks impregnable. Rank upon rank of walls, gates and towers. Cut back to the prison chamber, where Aang struggles against his bonds. The door opens and Aang looks up. Cut to a view from the doorway. Zhao walks into the room towards Aang, hands behind his back.)
Zhao: So this is the great Avatar? Master of all the elements. I don't know how you've managed to elude the Fire Nation for a hundred years, but your little game of hide and seek is over.
Aang: I've never hidden from you. Untie me and I'll fight you right now!
Zhao: Uhh, no. Tell me, how does it feel to be the only airbender left? (Putting his face up to Aang's.) Do you miss your people? (Aang's look of defiance melts and he drops his head.) Oh, don't worry, you won't be killed like they were. (Aang looks up again in anger.) See, if you die you'll just be reborn and the Fire Nation will have to being its search for the Avatar all over again. So, I'll keep you alive – but just barely.
(Zhao turns to leave, still smirking. Aang blows a gale force wind, knocking Zhao until into the wall where he collapses in a heap. He shakes his head to clear his vision and stands up.)
Zhao: Blow all the wind you want! Your situation is futile. There is no escaping this fortress – and no one is coming to rescue you.
(Exit Zhao, the door slamming behind him. Cut to Katara and Sokka snuggled up in their sleeping bags which lie between Appa's feet. Sokka has a coughing fit.)
Katara: Momo should be back any minute.
(Momo jumps into the shot, chittering happily. He jumps up close to Katara. He drops a dead mouse on to her chest. She looks at it in disgust.)
Katara: Ugh! No, Momo, water. Wa-ter! (Momo's ear go straight u. He then jumps off her and scampers o.c.) Aang, what in the world is taking you so long?
(Cut to an overhead shot of Aang still bound between the pillars, then cut to several exterior night shots of the fortress, culminating in a long shot of the figure in the blue mask. The camera zooms in three step changes to a close up of the blue masked face which then moves left o.c. Cut to a view of the road leading to the fortress where a wagon is making its way toward the gate. Cut to a view of the undercarriage of the wagon as it passes. The Blue Spirit is holding on to the underside of the wagon. The wagon reaches the gate.)
Guard: All clear.
(A gate guard looks at the wagon and walks around it. When the guard checks the undercarriage, the Blue Spirit is gone. The guard gets back up. Cut to a wider shot of the wagon and the guards around it.)
Guard: All clear. Go on in.
(Shift to a view from inside the wagon where the Blue Spirit has hidden himself, then cut to an overhead shot of the wagon as it enters the first of the fortress' three gates. The shot pans up to rest on the massive central tower where Aang is held prisoner. Cut to a view of the first courtyard where the boxes in the wagon have been unloaded. The Blue Spirit runs from them and ducks into the shadows. Cut to a shot of an ornate balcony with bonfire pots on either side. The balcony is festooned with gold and red spades. Admiral Zhao appears in ceremonial dress flanked by attendants. During his speech the view cuts to show the innermost courtyard full of fire nation soldiers standing at attention.)
Zhao: We are the sons and daughters of fire! The superior element! Until today, only one thing stood in our path to victory. The Avatar! I am here to tell you that he is now my prisoner! (The soldier's cheer three times.) This is the year Sozen's comet returns to grant us its power! (Another cheer is heard.) This is the year the Fire Nation breaks through the walls of Ba-Sing-Se and burns the city to the ground!
(As Zhao speaks, various shots are seen of the Blue Spirit steadily and stealthily infiltrating the fortress. Cut back to Aang, still struggling fruitlessly against his chains. He finally stops, breathing heavily. Suddenly, frogs start leaping out of his shirt and hood.)
Aang: What? No! Don't leave frogs! My friends are sick and they need you! Please go back to being frozen!
(He begins to struggle again as the frogs hop away towards the door. Cut to the four guards standing outside the chamber. They begin to look confused when they frog noises. They look down to see a few frogs coming from underneath the door. Suddenly they look up as a Fire Nation soldier's helmet comes bouncing down the corridor towards them. One of the guard walks up the corridor and turns right at the first junction, disappearing from view. A gout of flame erupts from the cross hallway as well as the sound of a brief scuffle. Two more guards go up to the junction and turn right, firebending stances at the ready. Cut to a view looking down the cross hallway. The first guard who went is hanging from the ceiling, tied up. Shift to the hanging soldier's p.o.v. and pan up to reveal the Blue Spirit on the ceiling above the two new combatants. He drops down and melee begins, but it is over quickly. Cut back last guards p.o.v. where he now sees the Blue Spirit at the junction. Cut to a view of the door to Aang's chamber. The lone guard grabs the alarm horn next to him, but a knife throw from o.c. knocks it out of his hand. The guard lets loose a gout of flame at the Blue Spirit as he runs down the hall toward the door, but the intruder extinguishes the blast with a bucket of water. The masked figure then sweeps the guards feet out from under him with the empty bucket. Cut to Aang still struggling inside the chamber. He stops and looks at the noises of violence coming from through door. These stop abruptly and replaced by the sound of the lock turning in the door. The door opens and the Blue Spirit enters. He brandishes two curved swords and runs forward to Aang, who screams in fear. Cut to commercial break.)
(When the show returns, we see a zooming close up of the prison keep in the center of the fortress. Cut to Aang, still screaming. The Blue Spirit approaches and two sword cuts are heard. Aang pulls his arms back in surprise – the Blue Spirit has freed him. He looks at his liberator in wonder. The Blue Spirit comes closer and cuts his remaining bonds, turns and walks back toward the door.)
Aang: Who are you? What's going on? Are you here to rescue me? (The Blue Spirit opens the door and motions for him to follow.) I'll take that as a "yes."
(Aang follows him out past the gagged and tied guard at the door to his chamber. He hears frog noises and turns to see his frogs on the floor.)
Aang: My frogs! Come back! And stop thawing out! (The Blue Spirit comes back, picks him up by the collar and carries him out. He continues from o.c.) Wait! My friends need to suck on those frogs!
(Meanwhile, back at the run-down temple, Momo has succeeded in piling up mountains of junk around Katara, but no water. Momo returns again with another trinket.)
Katara (with a weak, sickly voice): How many times do I have to tell you, Momo, we need water. Wa-ter. Oh forget it. Aang, please, hurry.
Sokka (delirious): Who's this "Aang" kid you keep talking about, Your Highness?
(Cut back to an obviously annoyed Katara, her right eyebrow twitching. Scene shifts back to a few exterior shots of the fortress, then to Aang and the Blue Spirit walking silently in the sewer system underneath the fortress. Soldiers walk back and forth above them. They hope out of a grate and into one of the courtyards. Cut to Zhao walking in one of the torch-lit corridors of the fortress, followed by some sort of scribe.)
Zhao: I want a full transcription of my speech sent to the Fire Lord, along with glowing testimonials from all of the ranking officers present, and –
(He cuts himself off as he hears moans. Cut to Zhao's right, where the soldiers that the Blue Spirit tied still lie. Zhao, upset, slams open the door to Aang's prison cell. It is empty, except for a frog which "ribbits" at him from the floor. Zhao turns in anger and leaves, the scribe in tow.)
Scribe: Sir, should I hold off sending that speech to the Fire Lord?
(Cut back to the two would-be escapees who are now scaling a rope on the innermost wall of the fortress. They are spotted and the view zooms out as one of the guards shouts.)
Soldier: There, on the wall!
(A soldier appears at the top of the wall they are climbing. He cuts the rope and the pair fall down the wall, Aang screaming. Cut to side view where Aang airbends them to a soft landing. When the dust clears, the Blue Spirit unsheathes his swords and they run. Cut to Zhao on the ornate balcony.)
Zhao (shouting): The Avatar has escaped! Close all the gates immediately!
(Cut to the escapees running, Aang passes the Blue Spirit.)
Aang: Stay close to me!
(The third gate is closing in front of them, as are the two beyond it, and it is blocked by many soldiers. Aang airbends a blast of air that blows them out of the way. Aang makes the gate, but the Blue Spirit gets involved in melee and has to stop. Aang turns to see his liberator in trouble. He grabs a spear from a guard near him, airbends him out of the way, breaks the head off the spear and launches back into battle to save his new friend. The gate closes behind him. The Blue Spirit is surrounded, but Aang airbends them all out of the way. With a mighty effort he then catapults his liberator to the top of the third wall. He is instantly surrounded, but Aang appears using his staff as a helicopter blade. He plucks the Blue Spirit off the wall and heads into the next courtyard. Cut to a close up of Aang struggling to keep them aloft. The Blue Spirit uses his swords to knock the spears sent up at them by the guards. They barely next the top of the next wall as they crash unceremoniously onto the battlement. Aang's staff goes spinning away as guards instantly rush them. Aang runs for his staff, but a guard stops him, taking several swings at Aang with his sword. The Blue Spirit throws the guard over the wall. Aang then airbends the other guards off the wall. Cut to a wide shot of the second wall, where more soldiers are brings scaling ladders. Aang the Blue Spirit knock off the soldiers as they reach the top. With two mighty blasts, Aang depopulates the two scaling ladders nearest him as the Blue Spirit knocks the one final soldier off his. Aang brings over his two scaling ladders and steps onto the one his liberator has just emptied. He hands one ladder to the masked man.)
Aang: Here, take this. Jump on my back!
(The Blue Spirit complies and Aang begins to use the ladders as massive stilts, shedding one each time a step is taken. Cut to a wide shot of the second courtyard where dawn is approaching in the background. The first ladder shed still had some Fire Nation soldiers on it, but it falls in the dust.)
Aang: Gimme the next one!
(The Blue Spirit again complies. Cut to the bottom of their final stilt where a Fire Nation soldier sends a gout of flame up the ladder. It is too late though, as Aang and the masked man jump from the last stilt and just manage to grab the edge of the final wall. They are unable to hold on, however, and fall to the ground. The Blue Spirit draws his swords. Four firebenders unleash their flame on them, but Aang puts the masked man behind him and airbends the flames away.)
Zhao (initially from o.c.): Hold your fire! (Cut to Zhao) the Avatar must be captured alive!
(The Blue Spirit instantly comes up behind Aang and crosses his swords in front of Aang's throat. Cut to a view behind the escapees that pans right slowly, accenting the stand off, then cut to the implacable blue mask of the intruder. Cut back to a close of Zhao's eyes.)
Zhao (through gritted teeth): Open the gate.
Officer: Admiral, what are you doing?
Zhao: Let them out, now!
(The gate is opened and the Blue Spirit backs out with his captives, swords still at his throat. Cut back to Zhao, the officer questioning him still visible over his left shoulder.)
Officer: How could you let them go?
Zhao: A situation like this requires... precision.
(The Blue Spirit continues backing away from the fortress. Zhao now looks on from the top of the main gate. Cut to an arrow being strung on a bow by an unseen soldier, then cut back to Zhao, who looks to his right as he speaks.)
Zhao: Do you have a clear shot?
(Cut to a Yu Yan archer, who doesn't respond, but lowers his head in preparation for his shot.)
Zhao: Knock out the thief. I'll deliver him to the Fire Lord along with the Avatar.
(The archer releases his arrow, which the camera follows across the field to its impact point on the Blue Spirits masks. Cut to a side view of Aang and the Blue Spirit as the masked man collapses backward in slow motion. Aang turns in horror, his eyes glazed. He recovers, turns around and airbends up a huge cloud of dust around him and the Blue Spirit. Cut to Zhao.)
Zhao: Quick! Recover the Avatar!
(Cut to the main gate opening and a crowd Fire Nation soldiers emerging and running towards the dust cloud. Cut to inside the dust cloud, where Aang removes the Blue Spirit's mask to reveal Prince Zuko. Aang starts back in horror, he falls backward on the ground. He jumps up and runs away, but then turns to look at Zuko, his eyes huge and full of compassion. He sees the Fire Nation shoulders getting close through the smoke. Still, he hesitates. When the dust clears, however, the soldiers find nothing. The crossroad where Zuko had fallen is now empty. Cut back to Zhao looking insanely angry. A frog hops up onto the railing, “ribbits”, and hops off. Fade to white, then a blurry shot of a forest looking straight up into the canopy overhead. It is morning. The screen pans down to Aang sitting on a nearby root, the view is still blurry. He looks forlorn. Cut to Zuko, whose view we were clearly just seeing. He looks a bit dazed still.)
Aang (from o.c. at first): You know what the worst part about being born over a hundred years ago is? I miss all the friends I used to hang out with. Before the war started (cut to Aang still looking down at the ground), I used to always my friend Kuzon. The two of us, we'd get in and out of so much trouble together. He was one of the best friends I ever had (he turns to face Zuko) – and he was from the Fire Nation, just like you. (Cut back to Zuko still looking at Aang.) If we knew each other back then (cut back to Aang), do you think we could have been friends too?
(Cut to a wide shot of Zuko lying on a bank of earth, Aang next to him, perched a large tree root. After a pause, Zuko lets loose a huge gout of flame at him, but Aang dodges and flies away on a current of air. Zuko watches him hop away from tree branch to tree branch and out sight. Cut to Zuko as the camera slowly zooms backward. Fade to a close up of the swamp, where Aang is collecting frozen frogs once again. Cut back to a wide shot of Zuko's ship reeling in the cutter vessel back into the mother ship. Shift to Zuko, sullen, walking past his Uncle on the main deck. He has been practicing with the sumki horn he bought in "The Waterbending Scroll.")
Iroh: Where have you been, Prince Zuko? You missed music night! Lieutenant Jee sang a stirring love song.
Zuko (walking away): I'm going to bed. No disturbances.
(Iroh rubs his head and begins to blow his horn again, echoing the same sad dirge that has been playing for much of the episode. Fade back to the run down temple. Aang returns, downcast. He puts frogs in his friends' mouths.)
Aang: Suck on these. They'll make you feel better.
(Aang collapse backwards onto Appa's beaver like tail with a sigh. Cut to Sokka with a frog in his mouth.)
Sokka (speech impaired by the amphibian oral obstruction): Aang, how was your trip? Did you make any new friends?
Aang: No, I don't think I did.
(Aang rolls over. Fade to Prince Zuko lying awake in his own chamber, lost in thought. He looks at the Fire Nation symbol hanging on his wall, then rolls over himself. Cut back to the temple and then to Sokka, a happy expression on his, still sucking on the frog in his mouth.)
Sokka: Mmmm! This is tasty! Mmm!
(It thaws out and begins moving around and croaking. Sokka realize what it is and spits it out in disgust. Cut to Katara, her frog has also thawed. She cries out and it hops out of her mouth. Both Katara and Sokka begin spitting and coughing. Fade to white.)
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