The Cave of Two Lovers
Written By: Josh Hamilton
Directed By: Lauren Macmullan
Storyboard By: Lauren Macmullan, Chris Graham, Kenji Ono, Dean Kelly, Tomihiro Yamaguchi
Animation By: JM Animation Co, Ltd
Transcribers: Acastus, Pandora
(The episode opens with a daytime shot of the sky and cliffs covered in vegetation. The camera pans down and to the right to show that the cliffs have been cut by a river that runs at its bottom. Three figures appear in the river near a sand beach on its far bank. Two of the figures, Aang and Katara face each other like gunslingers in front of a natural arch of stone that protrudes from the cliff wall. The third, Sokka, rides lazily in a boat made of an enormous leaf.)
Sokka: You guys are gonna be done soon, right?
(Cut to a side shot of Sokka floating past the camera in the foreground. He is naked except for a white loincloth. His hair is no longer in a pony tail and now lies tangled in a wet mass on his head. In the background, Katara too has dispensed with her normal blue garb. She wears the equivalent of a white two piece bathing suit. She is in a bending stance as she faces Aang across from her, who is naked from the waist up and also in a martial arts stance.)
Sokka: We've got a lot of ground to cover if we wanna make it to Omashu today.
(Katara drops her bending stance and slumps over at Sokka's statement, then turns to face him with an arched eyebrow as she replies.)
Katara: (teasingly) What, like you're ready to go right now, naked guy?
Sokka: I can be ready in two minutes. Seriously. (He lifts his hair to look at them and lets his arm drop lazily back into the water.) Whenever.
Aang: So, you were showing me the octopus form.
Katara: Right. Let me see your stance. (evaluates Aang's form and comes over to correct it) Your arms are too far apart. See, if you move them closer together you protect your center. You got it?
Aang: (blushing, slightly flustered) Oh... yeah. Thanks.
(She drops her hold on him and walks back to her former position. She turns around to face him once again in a bending stance.)
Katara: Okay, let's see what you got.
(Cut to a shot of Aang's feet in the water. His hands enter the shot from above as he raises some water from the river. Cut to a wider shot as Aang finishes pulling up a large blob of water. With a smooth motion he causes the blob to sprout about a dozen, wide tentacles. Katara then begins to rapid fire icicles at him. The first one is grabbed and deflected in mid air by one of Aang's water tentacles. After several more are deflected, cut to Katara, back to the camera, legs wide apart, raising, freezing and shooting ice projectiles at Aang who is off screen to the right. Cut back to Aang, who dodges Katara's icicles and then uses one of his water tentacles to lash at Katara who is off screen to the left. Cut back to a close shot of Katara from the front. She is slightly surprised as Aang's water tentacle grabs her leg and yanks tight. Then she straightens, places her hands on her hips and smiles as she addresses the Avatar.)
Katara: You make a fine octopus, Pupil Aang.
(Cut back to Aang, who is now encased in the bubble of water, his arms and, consequently, his tentacles waving lazily around him. He is clearly having fun imitating an octopus. Cut to Sokka still lying in his leaf boat, Momo draped across him. Momo raises his head, his head and ears filling most of the screen and blocking Sokka as music and singing is heard from off camera.
Cut to a wide shot of the kids in the water looking towards the beach from where the sounds are coming from, then cut to a view from somewhere along the path to the beach within the forest. A group of travelers dressed in colorful mix of Asian and Polynesian styles walk by playing instruments and singing. The one carrying a guitar like instrument and wearing a wreath of flowers begins to sing softly.)
Chong: (singing) Don't fall in love with a traveling girl. She'll leave you broke and broken hearted...
(Cut to a frontal shot of the troupe as they sing and dance their way forward. The woman on his left wears black and pink, has big hair adorned with a single flower and plays a flute. A rotund fellow behind him wears a white and pink robe, a coolie hat and plays a drum.
Cut back to the kids in the river watching them approach. Suddenly, Sokka's leaf boats capsizes and he yells as he falls into the water. Cut back to the singers as they stop, finally noticing the kids.)
Chong: (smiling and pointing briefly at them) Heh-hey! River people!
Katara: (gesturing negatively with her hands as Sokka resurfaces behind her, Momo landing on his hand) We're not river people.
Chong: You're not? Well then what kind of people are ya?
Aang: Just... people.
Chong: (pleased) Aren't we all, brother? Whoo.
(Sokka walks into the shot from the left, still mostly naked and with Momo perched on his shoulder. He has grown noticeably since the prior season.)
Sokka: (with an accusing finger pointed at Chong) Who're you?
Chong: I'm Chong, and this is my wife Lily. (He indicates the woman on the left. She makes a little curtsy.) We're nomads, happy to go wherever the wind takes us!
(He riffs on his guitar like a real world rock star for a moment, his voice not matching the various random notes he plays.)
Aang: You guys are nomads That's great! I'm a nomad.
Chong: Hey, me too.
Aang: (flatly) I know... you just said that.
Chong: Oh. (His attention wanders elsewhere, then to Sokka) Nice underwear.
(Cut to close shot of Sokka and his mostly naked body, Aang and Katara behind him. His eyes bulge at the sudden realization that he is wearing very little in front of complete strangers. He grabs Momo and places him strategically over his body and sidles rapidly off the screen.
(Cut to a close up shot of Iroh's face. He is looking a pretty white and red flower in the foreground. Cut to a wider shot of Iroh squatting in front of the plant, mesmerized. He is in a forest and is wearing a dark green shirt and trousers. A bush begins moving in the background and a series of grunts are heard as Zuko, clad similar to his Uncle, emerges from it. Short black hair now covers his head.)
Zuko: (frustrated) I didn't find anything to eat. I can't live like this. I wasn't meant to be a fugitive. (kicks at the ground angrily) This is impossible!
(Iroh sniffs the flower deeply.)
Zuko: (more calmly) Uncle... what are you doing?
Iroh: You're looking at the rare white dragon bush. (lovingly) Its leaves make a tea so delicious it's heartbreaking! (gravely) That, or it's the white jade bush, which is poisonous.
Zuko: We need food, not tea. I'm going fishing.
(Zuko exits right.)
Iroh: (still contemplating and stroking his chin) Delectable tea? Or deadly poison?
(Cut to a close up of Appa's left eye. Around his eyebrow lie several braided locks of his fur which are adorned with many small, pink flowers. Appa groans. His eye looks up as the camera pans up to reveal one of the nameless members of Chong's troupe braiding his hair. Cut to a wide shot of Appa lying down on the beach in front of the river. Everyone but Sokka is lying on or close to Appa listening to Chong play his instrument. Sokka himself approaches from the left side of the screen.)
Aang: Hey, Sokka, you should hear some of these stories. These guys have been everywhere.
Chong: (stops playing) Well, not everywhere, Little Arrowhead. But where we haven't been we've heard about through stories and songs.
(Cut to frontal shot of Sokka who raises an eyebrow in skepticism at this.)
Aang: They said they'll take us to see a giant night crawler.
Moku: (dreamily) On the way there's a waterfall that creates a never-ending rainbow.
Sokka: (firmly) Look, I hate to be the wet blanket here, but since Katara is busy I guess it's up to me. (Katara, whose hair is being braided by Lily, looks crossly up at Sokka at this) We need to get to Omashu. (Counting off the verboten distractions on his hand) No sidetracks, no worms, and definitely no rainbows.
Chong: Whoa... sounds like someone's got a case of "destination fever," heh. You're worried too much about where you're going.
Lily: You've gotta focus less on the "where" and more on the "going."
Sokka: (emphatically) O. Ma. Shu.
(Sokka's face gets further distended and exaggerated with each syllable until his warped features almost fill the screen.)
Katara: Sokka's right. We need to find King Bumi so Aang can learn earthbending somewhere safe.
Chong: Well, sounds like you're headed to Omashu. (Sokka smacks his forehead loudly at this.) There's an old story about a secret pass... (ominously) ...right through the mountains.
Katara: (skeptically) Is this real or a legend?
Chong: Oh, it's a real legend. And it's as old as earthbending itself. (starts playing his guitar and sings) Two lovers, forbidden from one another... a war divides their people, and a mountain divides them apart. Built a path to be together. (stops and says normally) Yeah, and I forget the next couple of lines, but then it goes... (sings enthusiastically as everyone else dances) Secret tunnel! Secret tunnel! Through the mountain! Secret, secret, secret, secret tunnel! Yeah!
(Everyone enjoys the song except Sokka, who looks miserable. On the last note, Chong concludes his chord with a flourish that leaves his left index finger pointed to the sky in a gesture of triumph. His audience, except Sokka, claps enthusiastically.)
Sokka: I think we'll just stick with flying. We've dealt with the Fire Nation before. We'll be fine.
Aang: Yeah. Thanks for the help, but Appa hates going underground and we need to do whatever makes Appa most comfortable.
(Aang smiles widely at the end of this statement. Abrupt cut to a shot of a Fire Nation Commander in front of two long lines of Fire Nation catapults. The screen expands to show even more catapults in the surrounding area.)
(All the catapults fire simultaneously. Cut to Appa in mid flight, fireballs closing in around him. Appa opens his mouth to grunt and the camera angle flies right into it. Cut to Appa dodging fireballs at high speed, the cut to a close up of the kids on Appa's back.)
Aang, Sokka, and Katara: (terrified) AAAAAHHHHH!
(Cut to Chong and his band sitting by a log in the forest. The kids enter from the left, covered in ash and looking depressed.)
Sokka: (unenthusiastically) Secret love cave. Let's go.
(Cut to a shot of the forest canopy. It is still daytime. The camera pans down and stops as Zuko enters the frame from the right. He carries a long fishing pole and a sour expression. The camera pans right to reveal the present source of Zuko's misery. At the end of his enormous fishing pole he has succeeding in spearing what looks like a minnow. It wiggles pathetically. Zuko begins to speak from o.c., then cut to wide, overhead shot of Zuko standing behind Iroh from a point somewhere in the upper branches of a nearby tree.)
Iroh: Zuko, remember that plant that I thought might be tea?
Zuko: (horrified) You didn't!
Iroh: I did. (Iroh turns around to reveal his red, swollen face which he is scratching) And it wasn't.
Zuko: (in repulsion) Yah!
Iroh: (calmly while scratching) When the rash spreads to my throat, I will stop breathing. (excitedly) But look what I found! These are bacui berries, known to cure the poison of the white jade plant. That, or macahoni berries that cause blindness.
Zuko: (losing his patience) We're not taking any more chances with these plants! We need to get help.
Iroh: But where are we going to go? We're enemies of the Earth Kingdom, and fugitives from the Fire Nation.
Zuko: (musingly) If the Earth Kingdom, discovers us, they'll have us killed.
Iroh: But if the Fire Nation discovers us, we'll be turned over to Azula.
(They look at each other and nod in agreement.)
Zuko: Earth Kingdom it is.
(Iroh and Zuko walk off the screen to the right as the show cuts to a wide of Appa, the kids and Chong's group walking along a wide street lined with what look like the ruins of temples.)
Sokka: How far are we from the tunnel.
Chong: Actually, it's not just one tunnel. The lovers didn't want anyone to find out about their love, so they built a whole labyrinth.
(Sokka turns to face the others in a pose of horror, his hands holding the sides of his head.)
Sokka: Labyrinth !
Chong: I'm sure we'll figure it out.
(Sokka turns and begins walking again. The rest follow.)
Lily: All you need to do is trust in love. According to the curse.
(At this Sokka stops, standing bolt upright. The others pass him.)
Sokka: (in exasperation) Curse!
(Cut to a long shot of the top of a gulley or small canyon. The camera pans down to reveal the moss covered entrance to a large tunnel in the cliff face. The group stands in front of it. The tunnel is so large that Appa can easily be accommodated.)
Chong: Hey-hey, we're here!
(Cut to a shot of a plaque with some writing on the wall of the cave entrance. Sokka speaks from o.c.)
Sokka: What exactly is this curse?
(Cut to a wide overhead shot of the group from the viewpoint of the top of the cave entrance.)
Chong: The curse says that only those who trust in love can make it through the caves. Otherwise you'll be trapped in them forever.
Lily: And die.
Chong: Oh, yeah, and die. Hey, I just remembered the rest of that song. (strums a chord on his guitar and sings low and dramatically) And die!
Sokka: (aggravated) That's it! There's no way we're going througbrh some cursed hole!
(Cut to a shot of Moku and the two nameless members of Chong's band. Behind them in the distance a shaft of smoke curls towards the heavens. Moku and the others turn and see the smoke.)
Moku: (cheerfully and pointing at the column of smoke) Hey, someone's making a big campfire!
Katara: That's no campfire, Moku.
Sokka: That's Fire Nation. They're tracking us.
(Cut to a wider shot of the group from behind, with Chong in the foreground and Aang and Katara in the background, their backs to the camera. Aang looks over his shoulder at Chong with an uncertain expression.)
Aang: So all you need is to trust in love to get through these caves?
Chong: That is correct, Master Arrowhead.
(Aang turns to look at Katara. Cut to a close up shot of Katara's back, where a soft breeze blows her hair and robes slightly. Cut to a close up shot of Aang's eyes, shining with adoration, that pans slowly right. Cut back to the wider shot of Aang, Katara and Chong. Aang turns away from Katara and looks back at Chong with a smile.)
Aang: We can make it.
Sokka: Everyone into the hole!
(The group makes its way slowly into the tunnel, Appa groaning in protest, but still following.
Cut a long shot of a Fire Nation tank rapidly approaching the camera, then cut to another overhead shot from the cavern entrance. Several tanks pull to a stop in front of the cave entrance. Cut to a close up shot of the Commander in his tank.)
Commander: (o.c.) Hold on! It's too dangerous. (cut to him half out of his tank) Haven't you heard the song? Just close them in. The mountain will take care of the rest.
(Cut to a frontal shot of the tanks. The canister containing the projectile grappling hooks rotates upward. The tanks fire their grappling hooks into the top of the tunnel and pulls down a large amount of rock, completely blocking the entrance. Cut to an interior shot of the cave where the group turns in horror as the cave entrance collapses. Fade to black for commercial break.)
(The show returns to reveal a dark, overhead shot of the group inside the tunnel. Appa, on his hind legs, frantically tries to dig his way out of the trap.)
Katara: (sympathetically) It's okay, Appa. We'll be fine. (less confidently) I hope.
(Cut to a shot of Sokka, Chong behind him holding a lit torch.)
Sokka: We will be fine. All we need is a plan. Chong, how long do those torches last?
Chong: Eh, about two hours each.
Lily: And we have five torches so that's... (she takes the other four torches she is holding a strikes then on the ground like matches, lighting them instantly) ten hours.
Sokka: (while grabbing and stomping out the torches she lit) It doesn't work like that if they're all lit at the same time!
Lily: (spacey) Ohh, right.
Sokka: I'm gonna make a map to keep track of exactly where we've been. Then we should be able to solve it like a maze and get through.
(Cut to an overhead shot of the group as they slowly move deeper into the tunnel, followed by a cut to an exterior shot of an Earth Kingdom village by a lake, followed by a quick cut of the exterior of the village's hospital. The scene shifts rapidly to an interior shot of a room where a doctor is working with a patient who is on a table in front of him on his back. The camera pans right to reveal Iroh sitting on another table, naked from the waist up, being attended by Song, a young woman who is a healer at the hospital. Iroh is covered with the red rash from eating the white jade flower. Song is applying a clay like substance to the rash. Zuko sits behind the young woman in the background, a coolie hat obscuring his face as he looks toward the floor.)
Song: You two must not be from around here. We know better than to touch the white jade, much less make it into tea and drink it.
Iroh: (sheepishly) Heh heh heh. Whoops!
Song: So where are you traveling from?
Zuko: (standing and talking quickly) Yes, we're travelers.
Song: Do you have names?
Zuko: (hesitantly) Names Of course we have names. I'm... Lee. And this is my uncle, uh... Mushi.
(Iroh shoots him an unhappy look from behind Song's back.)
Iroh: (facetiously) Yes, but my nephew was named after his father, so we just call him Junior.
(Iroh looks over Song's shoulder at "Junior," who balls his fists at the name his uncle has just bestowed on him.)
Song: Mushi and Junior, huh? My name is Song. You two look like you could use a good meal. (She turns and swats Iroh's hand away scratching his rash) Why don't you stay for dinner
Zuko: Sorry, but we need to be moving on.
Song: That's too bad. My mom always makes too much roast duck.
(Iroh's puffy, clay smeared face enters from the right side of the frame to a humorous sound effect.)
Iroh: Where do you live, exactly?
(Cut back to the tunnel, where Sokka is fooling around with a map, the others stand behind him.)
Katara: Sokka, this is the tenth dead end you've led us to.
Sokka: This doesn't make any sense; we already came through this way.
Chong: We don't need a map. We just need love. (Pointing over to Aang) The little guy knows it.
Aang: Yeah, but I wouldn't mind a map, also.
Sokka: There's something strange here. There's only one explanation. The tunnels are changing.
(A low rumble through the tunnel startles everyone into looking up, then cut to a night shot of the exterior of Song and her mother's house. Cut to an interior shot where Zuko, Iroh and Song are seated at a knee high, Asian styled table. Song's mother approaches the table with a plate of roast duck.)
Song's Mother: (seating herself) My daughter tells me you're refugees. We were once refugees ourselves.
Song: When I was a little girl, the Fire Nation raided our farming village. All the men were taken away. (sadly) That was the last time I saw my father.
(Cut to a close up of Zuko's eyes as Song finishes and during his reply he lowers his gaze.)
Zuko: I haven't seen my father in many years.
Song: Oh. Is he fighting in the war?
(Iroh finishes slurping a mouthful of noodles as he looks with some trepidation at his nephew to see how he will answer this dangerous question. Zuko puts his bowl on the table and replies.)
(Zuko looks away as the camera cuts back to the tunnel.)
Chong: (worried) The tunnels... they're a-changin'. Ah, it must be the curse. I knew we shouldn't have come down here.
Sokka: (cynically) Right. If only we listened to you.
Katara: Everyone be quiet. Listen.
(Sounds are heard in the darkness ahead. Momo jumps off Sokka's shoulder and flies off into the darkness. Sokka looks ahead. Cut to Sokka's p.o.v., which is the pitch blackness ahead. After a few seconds, a wolf bat flies right into the camera. Cut to a wider shot of the group as Sokka is knocked over by the bat, which flies around the group members. )
Chong: It's a giant flying thing with teeth!
Moku: (o.c.) No! It's a wolf-bat!
(The wolf bat lands on four legs, and folds it wings. After snarling a bit, it launches back into the air and flies over the heads of the group. Sokka tries to burn it with the torch, but fails. Appa gets burned and stampedes around the tunnel. Finally the wolf-bat knocks the torch out of Sokka's hand. It sails through the air and lands on Appa's toe. Appa rear up and cries out in pain. He runs around in anguish, hitting the cave walls and causing a cave in. As the roof collapses Aang sends a blast of air to get Chong, Sokka and the others out the falling debris' way. Then he turns and tackles Katara to the ground to protect her. When the dust settles, Aang, Katara and Appa are separated from Sokka and Chong's party.
Cut to Sokka and the others on the opposite side of the cave in. Sokka runs to the obstruction and begins to dig frantically. Chong appears over his shoulder.)
Chong: (calmly) Yeah, it's no use. We're separated. But at least you have us, heh heh.
(Sokka freezes for a moment as this statement sinks in. Then unleashes a howl of despair.)
(He beings digging frantically again at the rocks and causes a mini cave in on his head.
Cut to a shot of a large porch lamp, then to a wide shot of to Zuko sitting cross legged on Song's porch. Song exits the house, walks over and sits beside him.)
Song: (kindly) Can I join you? I know what you've been through. We've all been through it. The Fire Nation has hurt you.
(She reaches out to touch his scar, but Zuko grabs her hand without looking before she reaches his face.)
Song: It's okay. They've hurt me, too.
(She raises the part of her dress covering her right leg to reveal a firebending scar. Cut to a close up of Zuko's shocked face.
Shift back to Sokka and Chong's band. The troupe sings as Sokka leads them on, scowling.)
Chong: (singing cheerfully) Oh, don't let the cave in get you down. Don't let the falling rocks turn your smile into a frown. When the tunnels are darkest that's when you need a clown, hey! Don't let the cave in get you down, Sokka!
(Sokka looks sidewise at Chong who is now obviously singing to the dour water tribe boy.
Cut to Aang, Appa and Katara walking through their own tunnel. Katara leads them holding a lit torch.)
Katara: Aang, look!
(Cut to a wide, long shot of a huge, round stone door ahead of them. They run to it.)
Aang: We found the exit!
(They both begin to strain with effort trying to push the door open. Appa lumbers forward and begins to make noises. Aang and Katara turn to see Appa pawing the ground and snorting. They look at each other in alarm, realizing Appa's intentions. They jump out of the frame just as Appa charges the door and forces it open. Cut to a shot from behind the door, as cracks of light show around the frame of the door as it opens. Cut to a wider shot as the door swings open to reveal the three. Aang and Katara enter and move deeper into the chamber.)
Katara: This isn't the exit.
Aang: No... it's a tomb.
(They move forward to a railing, then cut to a long shot of the three at the railing from down inside the tomb near the sarcophagi. Appa grunts and the view fades to black for a commercial break.
The show returns to a wide, long shot of Aang and Katara descending a wide staircase leading to the sarcophagi at the center of the crypt. They approach the dais on which the two coffins rest.)
Aang: It must be the two lovers from the legend. That's who's buried here.
(Cut to Katara holding her torch up to the side of the dais. A series of paintings and writing adorn the side of the dais.)
Katara: These pictures tell their story.
(Cut to a wide shot as Aang and Katara look at each other for a second, the cut to a shot from behind them, the paintings and writing visible between them. The camera closes in on the paintings. As the camera closes in on a drawing of a mountain, the screen flashes white. When the image returns, the image is now in letterbox format. The animation is different as well. It is highly stylized and looks as if it were from Japanese panel art. The image is still of the mountain and the camera closes in upon it fast. As the images unfold, Katara narrates from o.c.)
Katara: (voice-over) They met on top of the mountain that divided their two villages.
(The mountain fades away, replaced by the image of a long haired woman in pink and a man in blue on top of the mountain. She holds the branch or a red leafed tree in her hand. This fades, replaced by a close up image of their hands touching. Quickly, their hands separate, a Chinese character appearing between their hands.)
Katara: (voice-over) The villages were enemies so they could not be together.
(At this the character turns blood red, and the peaceful background becomes pink and sooty.)
Katara: (voice-over) But their love was strong and they found a way.
(The character fades in turn and is replaced by a scene of the woman, dressed in red, kneeling on his a hill overlooking a panoramic landscape. The camera zooms backward and a new hill enters the foreground. On it stands the man in blue, gazing longingly at the woman in red. This fades and is replaced by a shot of another painting from the side of the dais. This painting is of a large animal with claws.)
Katara: (voice-over) The two lovers learned earthbending from the badger moles. They became the first earthbenders.
(The painting of the badger mole is replaced by a more realistic depiction of the creature, and the woman in red appears on the creature's right, the man on the left. The badger mole disappears, replaced by a shot of the man and woman, backs to each other, creating tunnels through earthbending. This fades and is replaced by a map of the resulting labyrinth, a maze of tunnels.)
Katara: (voice-over) They built elaborate tunnels so they could meet secretly. Anyone who tried to follow them would be lost forever in the labyrinth.
(A hole appears in the middle of this map that shows the two lovers kissing.)
Katara: (voice-over) But one day the man didn't come.
(The cameo of the two lovers sharing a kiss is replaced by a shot of the woman looking to her right in vain, encased in a halo of white, the rest of the background in red.)
Katara: He died in the war between their two villages.
(A set of black arrows arcs across the sky and across the woman's form. This fades to a shot of the woman kneeling over her lover's grave, heartbroken, her hands holding her face in grief.)
Katara: (voice-over) Devastated, the woman unleashed a terrible display of her earthbending power. She could have destroyed them all.
(A close up of the woman's face is replaced by a shot of her standing atop a mountain, a red sun behind her, as the camera zooms backward. She stands head lowered, her arms straight out from her sides and her palms facing outward. As the camera zooms backward, huge columns of rock enter from the bottom of the screen.)
Katara: (voice-over) But instead she declared the war over.
(The red sun, columns of rock and general uproar fade, replaced by the woman still atop of the mountain, but this time with a peaceful new day where she is surrounded by cheering villagers.)
Katara: Both villages helped her build a new city where they would live together in peace.
(Fade to a shot of the city of Omashu. As the shot settles, a blank parchment appears in the middle of the screen, partially obscuring the city.)
Katara: (voice-over) The woman's name was Oma and the man's name was Shu. The great city was named Omashu as a monument to their love.
(As their names are spoken, their names appear on the parchment. When complete, the screen flashes white. When the scene returns, it is in normal pan-scan format. Katara still points to the picture of the city of Omashu. Cut to a frontal shot of Aang and Katara who look at each other in wonder, then turn to look behind them. There they see a statue of the two lovers kissing, a plaque with writing between them.)
Katara: (reading the inscription) Love is brightest in the dark.
(A wide shot of them looking at the statue is replaced by a shot of Sokka again looking at his map, Momo perched on his head.)
Moku: Oh, great! Your plans have led us to another dead end!
Sokka: (defensively) At least I'm thinking of ideas and trying to get us out of here, Moku.
Chong: Whoa, whoa, wait a minute; we're thinking of ideas! 'Cause I've had an idea for, like, an hour now.
Sokka: (explodes) Yes! We're all thinking of ideas!
Chong: Well, then listen to this: if love is the key out of here, then all we need to do is play a love song.
(Cut to a close of Sokka. Momo jumps off his head and he smacks his forehead again. Off camera Chong begins to strum his guitar.
Cut back to Aang, Katara and Appa in front of the statue.)
Aang: How are we gonna find our way out of these tunnels?
Katara: I have a crazy idea.
Katara: (hesitantly) Never mind, it's too crazy.
(Katara turns away from Aang, looking a little bashful.)
Aang: Katara, what is it?
Katara: I was thinking... the curse says we'll be trapped in here forever unless we trust in love.
Katara: And here it says 'love is brightest in the dark' and... (she turns to face him, but doesn't yet meet his eyes) has a picture of them kissing.
Aang: (totally clueless) Where are you going with this?
(Cut to a close up of Katara's face, her eyes still averted.)
Katara: (shyly) Well... what if we kissed?
(She finally look up at him, with a slightly dreamy, slightly hopeful expression on her face. She blushes visibly even in the darkness. Cut to Aang who doesn't react for a second, then speaks.)
Aang: (surprised) Us, kissing?
Katara: See? It was a crazy idea.
(She turns away from Aang, who himself turns to face the camera.)
Aang: (dreamily) Us... kissing...
Katara: (tries to laugh it off) Us kissing. What was I thinking? Can you imagine that?
Aang: (also tries to laugh it off) Yeah, heh, heh. (He points at her for additional emphasis) I definitely wouldn't wanna kiss you!
(Aang's eyes bug out a moment after his last comment as he realized the dreadful mistake he has just made.)
Katara: (offended) Oh, well I didn't realize it was such a horrible option. (Leaning over at him in anger) Sorry I suggested it!
Aang: (trying desperately to recover) No, no, I mean... if there was a choice between kissing you and dying...
(The sound of a symbol crashing is heard as Aang utters this relationship stifling comment. Katara, further insulted, turns away with a noise of indignation. Aang approaches and is visible over her shoulder.)
Aang: What? I'm saying I'd rather kiss you than die. (He holds clasps his hands together in a gesture of appeasement) That's a compliment.
Katara: (turning to Aang, infuriated) Well, I'm not sure which I would rather do!
(Katara stalks off the right side of the shot.)
Aang: (dejected) What is wrong with me?
(He walks off as the sound of Chong's guitar is heard, indicating another transition. Cut to Sokka and the rest of the group walking through a tunnel.)
Chong: (singing) Even if you're lost you can't lose the love because it's in your heart, ooooohhhhh...
(Fade to black, then cut to Zuko and Iroh leaving Song's house. They stand in her courtyard. It is still night, and fireflies buzz lazily around them all. Song and her mother stand ready to bid them goodbye.)
Iroh: (graciously) Thank you for the duck. It was excellent.
Song's Mother: You're welcome. (She hands him a package, presumably of leftover roast duck) It brings me joy to see someone eat my cooking with such... gusto.
Iroh: (patting his stomach) Much practice. (Zuko turns to leave, but Iroh stops him.) Junior, where are your manners? You need to thank these nice people.
(Zuko turns and offers a small bow, his face still obscured by his coolie hat.)
Zuko: (quietly, without much feeling) Thank you.
Song: (quickly) I know you don't think there's any hope left in the world, but there is hope. The Avatar has returned!
(Cut to a close up of the left side of Zuko's face, song visible in the background behind him.)
Zuko: (quietly, but intensely) I know.
(He walks off, Iroh in tow. As they pass the courtyard gate the see a stable where a war ostrich is tethered. Zuko stops, looks at the animal, and then looks back at the courtyard. He releases the ostrich and begins to lead it away with them.)
Iroh: (appalled) What are you doing? These people just showed you great kindness.
Zuko: They're about to show us a little more kindness. (offers his hand to Iroh) Well?
(Iroh looks down, dreadfully unhappy with this turn of events. Cut to Zuko and Iroh riding away on the ostrich, then cut to a close up of Song looking out from her front door. She is crushed. She looks down in sadness and closes the door.
Cut back to Aang and Katara walking through the tunnel with Appa.)
Aang: (gloomily) We're gonna run out of light any second now, aren't we?
Katara: I think so.
Aang: Then what are we gonna do?
Katara: What can we do?
(Cut to a shot of Aang's mid section, his hand in front of him holding the dwindling torch. The simple string music from the Omashu story begins to play softly in the background. The camera pans up to show Aang looking at Katara, smiling, then cut to a shot of Katara faces, her eyes serious, the camera panning slowly rightward. Cut to a wider, side shot of them both. They lean in to each other as the torch falters and goes out.
After a moment of darkness, the screen is lit by an assortment of gems in the ceiling that glow light blue. These are shortly joined by many more. The screen pans down to reveal that the crystals form a path in the ceiling of the tunnel. When the pan comes to stop, Aang and Katara stand beside each other, one hand each on the burnt out torch. Both look up at the crystals in wonder.
Cut back to a long, wide shot of Sokka and the others walking along the tunnel. Chong is still strumming his guitar. He stops, though, when ominous sounds begin to echo through the darkness. Cut to Sokka rubbing his head in frustration with his companions. He stops this and Momo jumps from his shoulder as the noises continue.
Out of the darkness a huge pack of wolf-bats emerges. The fly over and around Sokka, who flails frantically about. They are gone in an instant, flying down the tunnel.)
Chong: (happily) Hey-hey, you saved us, Sokka!
Sokka: No, they were trying to get away from something.
Chong: From what?
(Behind them the rocks explode and the tunnel around them quakes. A furry, brown badger mole appears from the dust. Cut to a wide shot of the group, surprised expressions on their faces. Behind them another explosion of rock reveals another badger mole. They are surrounded.
The badger mole in front of Sokka bends earth around the water tribe boy, pinning him down and separating him from the others. The creature stomps the ground in front of him and knocks Sokka backwards onto the ground.
As Sokka inches backwards away from the advancing badger mole, his fingers accidentally strum one of Chong's guitars discarded on the ground in the shuffle. Cut to a shot of the badger mole's face, as he stops his advance and puzzles over Sokka.
Cut to Sokka, looking up, expecting to get killed. He realizes what is going on, gets up with the guitar and starts strumming.)
Chong: Hey, those things are music lovers!
Sokka: (trying to sing to the one note he's strumming and not doing very well) Badger moles, coming toward me. Come on guys, help me out.
(Chong and his troupe stand and begin to play their instruments and sing.)
Chong: (singing) The big bad badger moles who work in the tunnels, hate the wolf bats but love the sounds.
(Cut to a wide shot of Aang, Katara and Appa in the tunnel lit by the luminescent crystals.)
Aang: It's made of some kind of crystals. They must only light up in the dark!
(Cut to a close up shot of Aang and Katara facing each other, their hands laced together.)
Katara: That's how the two lovers found each other. They just put out their lights and followed the crystals.
(She lets go of his hand as the camera pans down the tunnel. She points down the tunnel.)
Katara: That must be the way out!
Aang: (uncertainly) So... um...
Katara: (excitedly) Let's go!
(Aang looks after her and smiles slightly. He follows with Appa close behind. Cut to an exterior view of the mountain, the tunnel exit clearly visible. Appa emerges from the tunnel at a gallop, stops, rears up on his hind legs and flops on his back. He is clearly happy to be outside once again. Aang and Katara, backs to the camera, enter the frame.)
Aang: (worried) What about Sokka?
(Before he can answer, the camera cuts to a wide shot of the exit tunnel landing. Appa rolls back to his feet as a rumbling is hears. Two holes are blown open next to the tunnel exit to reveal the tow badger moles. Sokka and Momo ride atop one of these fierce creatures. Cut to Katara who shields her face from the flying debris, but recognizes her brother when she looks up.)
(Cut to a wide shot of the badger mole as Sokka slides down the side of the animal and runs over to Katara.)
Sokka: How did you guys get out?
Aang: Just like the legend says: we let love lead the way.
Sokka: Really? We let huge ferocious beasts lead our way.
(Sokka turns and waves goodbye to the badger moles. Cut to a wide, overhead shot as everyone waves the badger moles goodbye. They turn and enter the two holes the created to exit the mountain, closing them up with their earthbending powers after they passed through.
Cut to Momo landing in front of Appa. Momo begins to chitter excitedly, clearly telling Appa the story of what happened after they got separated. Momo begins to make hand gestures to illustrate his tale as Appa grunts and puts his head on his forepaw as he listens to Momo's explanation.
The camera pans over to Katara hugging her brother. They break the embrace as Katara questions her brother.)
Katara: Why is your forehead all red?
(Cut to a close shot of Sokka looking sour, his forehead indeed red. Katara stands back to the camera in the foreground. Before Sokka can answer, Chong leans into the frame and begins to whisper conspiratorially.)
Chong: (dead serious) Nobody react to what I'm about to tell you. I think that kid might be the Avatar.
(Sokka smacks his forehead again, answering Katara's question. Sokka's eye steal over to the singer before the shot cuts a wide shot of Aang addressing the rest of Chong's troupe.)
Aang: So, are you guys gonna come to Omashu with us?
Aang: Okay. Thanks for everything, Moku.
(The camera pans back to Chong, Sokka and Katara. Chong takes his flower necklace and places it aroun Itd Sokka's neck.)
Chong: Sokka, I hope you learned a little something about not letting the plans get in the way of the journey.
(Chong hugs Sokka.)
Sokka: (sullenly, but also blushing) Just play your songs.
(Chong releases him at such an excellent suggestion.)
Chong: Hey, good plan! (singing) Even if you're lost you can't lose the love because it's in your heart. Ooooohhhh...
(As Chong's sings o.c., Aang looks sideways at Katara, and Katara looks down and blushes.
The camera pans up to the kids walking up a hill or small mountain. Some time has passed since Chong's departure, but it is still daytime.)
Sokka: The journey was long and annoying, but now you get to see what it's really about - the destination.
(As the mount the top of the hill, the camera angle begins to whirl around Sokka, ultimately revealing the city in front of them.)
Sokka: I present to you the Earth Kingdom city of O... (devastated with realization) Oh, no...
(In front of Sokka lies the devastated fortress city of Omashu. It is surrounded by what appear to be siege towers. The city is smoking and appears to be on fire in several places. Cut to a shot panning down of the city. The pan stops on the main gate, where hangs the flag of the Fire Nation.
Fade to white.)
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