Transcript for 204 - The Swamp
The Swamp
Written By: Tim Hedrick
Directed By: Giancarlo Volpe
Storyboard By: Oreste Canestrelli, Ian Graham, Bobby Rubio, Giancarlo Volpe
Animation By: JM Animation Co, Ltd
Transcriber: Acastus

Act I

(The show opens with an overhead shot of a rice paddy. It is daytime and the sun shines. The shot pans down to reveal an Earth Kingdom village. Cut to a shot of a bridge over one of the nearby streams. People bearing backpacks and other loads walk back and forth over the bridge, either entering or departing the village.

Cut again to a street scene within the village. The background is obscured for a second by an out of focus person walking in front of the camera. He exits to reveal Iroh and Zuko sitting on straw mats, their stolen ostrich horse behind them. Iroh holds his hat in his hand. A cart festooned with masks for sale passes briefly in front of them. One of the masks is the Blue Spirit mask. As the cart passes, another pedestrian walks in front of Iroh. Iroh holds his hat out to the pedestrian and speaks to him.)

Iroh: Spare coins for weary travelers?

(The man throws a few copper coins into Iroh's hat, joining perhaps a dozen already there. Cut to a profile shot of the two as Zuko turns to Iroh in anger.)

Zuko: This is humiliating! We're royalty. These people should be giving us whatever we want.
Iroh: They will - if you ask nicely.

(Cut briefly to a long shot as several more pedestrians pass. Iroh next solicits a well dressed young woman.)

Iroh: (in a weak voice) Spare change for a hungry old man?
Young Woman: Aww, (she produces a coin from her sleeve and puts it in his hat) here you go.
Iroh: The coin is appreciated, but not as much as your smile.

(Zuko slaps his forehead in a Sokka-like gesture of frustration. The girl giggles and walks away. A man carrying a pair of broadswords on his back wanders by the opposite direction as the girl. He stops and addresses the beggars.)

Broadsword Man: (smiling somewhat cruelly) How about some entertainment in exchange for... (cut to a frontal shot of Zuko sitting in a petulant pose. Suddenly the Broadsword Man's hand appears in the foreground holding a gold coin) a gold piece.
Zuko: We're not performers.

(Cut to a wider shot from behind the Broadsword Man's right shoulder. Iroh smiles and puts his hat on the ground.)

Iroh: Not professional, anyway.

(Standing up and clasping his hands together, he begins to sing)

Iroh: (singing, and shifting from one foot to another as he rocks back and forth) It's a long, long way to Ba-Sing-Se, (his mouth becomes very wide in an animation effect) but the girls in the city they look soo prett-ay!
Broadsword Man: (displeased) Come on! We're talking (he whips out one of his broadswords) a gold piece here! (He whips out the other) Let's see some action!

(Cut to a close up of Zuko's face. His eyes burn with anger. Cut to a wider profile shot of Iroh and the Broadsword Man.)

Broadsword Man: (pointing a sword at Iroh) Dance!

(The Broadsword Man begin to swing his swords at Iroh's legs. Iroh hops up and down to avoid the blows while continuing his song.)

Iroh: (singing) And they kiss so sweet that you've really got to meet the girls from Ba-Sing-Se!

(Cut to Zuko, gritting his teeth and gripping his knees in his hands. Cut back to a frontal shot of the sadistic almsgiver.)

Broadsword Man: Hahaha! Nothing like a fat man dancing for his dinner. (Tosses coin) Here ya go!

(Cut to a wider profile shot. Iroh leans down and picks up the coin as the Broadsword Man walks away, reseathing his swords. Cut back to Iroh and Zuko. Iroh sits back down as both look towards their benefactor's retreating back o.c.)

Iroh: (smiling) Such a kind man!

(The camera zooms in on Zuko's angry and humiliated expression before flashing white.

When the image returns we see an overhead shot of a swampy area. Appa flies onto the screen and begins pulling away from the camera, the kids on his back.

Cut to Momo peeping over the saddle guard and chittering, then cut to a profile shot of Katara reading a scroll and looking vaguely bored. Pan left to reveal Sokka sharpening his machete, also looking bored. Cut again to Aang in the driver's seat. He looks ahead, a vacant, almost mesmerized expression on his face. He holds the reigns loosely in his hands. Cut back and forth between Aang expression and the swamp below. Some sort of communication is happening, but its exact nature is unclear. Cut to Sokka, who looks over Appa's side.)

Sokka: (to Aang, o.c.) Hey, you takin' us down for a reason?

(Cut to an underside shot of Appa, who is indeed descending. Appa emits a low groan. Cut back to Aang, still zoned out.)

Sokka: (from o.c.) Aang! (Aang flinches and the camera zooms backward to a wide shot of Aang and Sokka, now visible behind him in the saddle) Why are we going down?
Aang: What? (Wiping his forehead with his left hand) I didn't even notice.

(Cut to long, profile shot of Appa et al. They are descending at a steady rate.)

Sokka: Are you noticing now?
Katara: (coming up from behind) Is something wrong?
Aang: (looking down at the swamp with a slightly fierce expression) I know this is gonna sound weird, but... I think the swamp is... calling to me.
Sokka: (holding his stomach) It is telling ya where we can get something to eat?
Aang: No, I... I think it wants us to land there.
Sokka: No offense to the swamp, but I don't see any land there to land on.
Aang: I don't know... Bumi said to learn earthbending I would have to wait and listen, and now I'm actually hearing the earth. Do you want me to ignore it?

(Appa continues to descend. Katara, Sokka and Momo peer over the saddle to look as they get closer to the swamp.)

Sokka: Yes!
Katara: I don't know... There's something ominous about that place.

(Momo chitters and exits the frame. Cut to a shot of Appa's head as he groans.)

Sokka: See Even Appa and Momo don't like it here.
Aang: Okay, since everyone feels so strongly about this... bye swamp.

(Cut to a wide shot of them flying on Appa. Aang shakes the reigns.)

Aang: Yip! Yip!

(Appa groans and flies out of the frame as he accelerates. Cut to a departure angle shot as Appa speeds away. As Appa and the gang recede, however, a huge noise is heard from o.c. A moment later a large tornado enters the frame from the rate. It moves at terrifying speed in pursuit of the kids, tearing up the swamp as it goes.

Cut to a view of the saddle from behind Katara and Sokka's back. Sokka turns around. His eyes bulge as he sees what is pursuing them.)

Sokka: You better throw in an extra "yip"! We gotta move!

(Appa tries desperately to evade the tornado. Aang manipulates the reigns furiously. The tornado is right on top of them, however, and they are unable to distance themselves. As the whirlwind bears down on them, Sokka is blown off the saddle. Katara catches his arm and holds onto him. As Sokka screams, Aang jumps out of the driver's seat and onto the saddle. He instantly creates an air bubble around them and Appa, just as they are sucked into the tornado. Sokka falls back into the saddle as Aang struggles to keep out the whirlwind. He fails as one of Appa's toes begins to stick out of Aang's protective air blister. Aang's barrier collapses and they are engulfed in the tornado, which throws them out in all different directions.

Cut to a shot outside the tornado. Appa is ejected deep into the swamp, knocking down much in his path as witnessed by the dust and dirt cloud that erupts over the swamp canopy. Cut to a shot inside the swamp as Katara and Sokka drop from the sky into the muddy water. It is dark in here, even though it is still daytime. The swamp canopy screens out most of the sunlight. A second later Aang drops into the frame using his airbending to cushion his fall. Cut to a shot of a Sokka shaped shadow in the water. Sokka gets up, rubbing his head and making pained sounds. The three get up and look about them.)

Aang: Where's Appa and Momo?

(Aang airbends himself through the trees and emerges at the top of the tree canopy. He scans around, but sees nothing.)

Aang: (calling fruitlessly) Appa! Momo!

(Cut back to an overhead shot of Sokka and Katara walking through the swamp. Cut to a shot of a crocodile like monster sits in the water some distance away, then cut back to Katara who points at Sokka.)

Katara: Sokka! You've got an elbow leech!
Sokka: (freaking out) Where! Where!

(After he stops moving, it is clear the leech is hanging from his elbow. Katara crosses her arms and looks coolly at her brother.)

Katara: Where do you think?
Sokka: (angrily ripping off the leech and throwing it near Katara) Why do things keep attaching to me!

(Katara looks angrily at her brother for a moment before cut to a wide shot of Aang swinging on a vine back towards them.)

Katara: You couldn't find them?
Aang: No... and the tornado... it just disappeared.

(Cut to a frontal shot of Katara and Sokka, who turn around to look behind them into the dark depths of the swamp. The camera zooms in on the blackness, then fades to a shot of Appa hanging from the swamp canopy by a net of vines. Appa strains to free himself, but the vines hold him immobilized. Momo chitters and begins to chew threw vine after vine. Finally, Appa's weight is too much for the remaining vines and they fall to into the muddy water below.

Appa shakes as much water off him as he can, then takes off again. He flies right into another net of vines and is once again held fast. Appa groans in frustration again, as Momo begins the process once more.

Cut to a shot of some vines and weeds. A machete cuts through them to reveal Sokka and the others behind him.)

Sokka: We better speed things up!
Aang: (concerned) Maybe... we should be a little nicer to the swamp.
Sokka: (continuing to chop through the vines) Aang, these are just plants! Do you want me to say "please" and "thank you" as I swing my machete back and forth?
Katara: (also concerned) Maybe you should listen to Aang. (Cut to an overhead shot of the dark swamp) Something about this place feels... alive.

(Cut back to a closer shot of Sokka addressing Katara.)

Sokka: (slightly annoyed and gesturing with his machete) I'm sure there are lots of things that are alive here, and if we don't wanna wind up getting eaten by them, we need to find Appa as fast as we can.

(Sokka begins cutting a path with his machete once again. Cut to the p.o.v. of someone looking at the kids through the vines some distance away.

Cut to Appa making footprints in the swamp floor. Momo sits atop his saddle as Appa plods on. A frontal shot of Appa reveals a large fallen tree in their way. Appa groans in frustration, then cut to a wider overhead shot. Appa collapses in a heap, refusing to move any farther, then cut to Momo blowing the bison whistle in the saddle. Appa cringes and tries to cover his ears. Appa groans, but Momo bows it again. Cut to a wider shot as Appa swats Momo in the saddle using the flat of his tail like a fly-swatter. Momo chitters and falls backwards, clearly knocked silly.

Fade to a long shot of the kids walking through the swamp. They are walking up a large fallen tree, the water beneath them. It is hard to tell, but it looks like night has fallen.)

Katara: (calling out) Appa! Momo!

Sokka: There's no way they can hear us and no way we can see them. We'll have to make camp for the night.

(Sokka is suddenly surrounded by about a dozen swamp flies which he flails at with his arms and machete. They go away just as a huge bubble of swamp gas burps from the muddy water beneath them. The gas rises up to them.)

Katara: What was that!
Sokka: Nothing. Just swamp gas. (The gas begins to swirl about them) Look, there's nothing supernatural going on here.
All: (As the gas reaches there noses) Ugh!

(Their disgust in interrupted by a terrifying scream. The stop in mid retch and grab each other with bugged out eyes. The camera zooms backward to reveal a white bird in the foreground with a huge mouth. This is the source of the scream. It screams once more and flies off. Cut back to the terrified kids still gripping each other.)

Sokka: I think we should build a fire...

(Sokka runs over to some nearby tree or vine roots and starts hacking them with his machete. Aang and Katara enter the frame from the left, their backs to the camera.)

Aang: Sokka, the longer we're here the more I think you shouldn't be doing that.
Sokka: (slightly sarcastically) No, I asked the swamp. It said this was fine. (He turns to address a nearby root) Right, swamp? (he grabs the root and begins to shake as he fakes a reply in a funny voice) "No problem, Sokka!"

(He then chops the top of the root off with his machete. Cut to a frontal shot of Aang, displeased and Katara disconcerted.

Switch to a long shot of the kids on a ledge created by the root system of a large tree. They have built their camp on it and sit around a small fire. It is sometime later that night.

Cut to Katara looking around out of the camp. She turns back to address the others, a slightly creeped out look on her face.)

Katara: Does anyone else get the feeling that we're being watched?

(The camera pans right across Aang to stop on Sokka, who responds in annoyed tone. A few flies continue to buzz around him, but not the others.)

Sokka: Please, we're all alone out here.

(He starts swatting at the fly with his machete and misses. Cut to a wider shot of the group as the fly turns into a ball of incandescent light. They shield their eyes from the light, then cut to a closer profile view of the three kids. Behind them in the swamp, many glowing eyes look down up them. The three turn their heads to look at the sinister eyes.)

Aang: ...except for them.

(They turn back to the camera with frightened faces and the eyes disappear behind them. They grab each other in a group hug.)

Sokka: (terrified) Right, except for them.

(Fade to a view of the swamp. It is still night. The screen pans up to show Appa lying down on the lowest branch of a huge tree. Cut to a closer shot of Appa, Momo perched atop him. The sounds of the swamp are all around them, and Momo scurries around, listening, and frightened at the cacophony. Cut to a close up of Appa, who opens an eye, lift his head and roars. The swamp falls silent. Momo curls up on Appa and tries to sleep.

Cut to a shot of the kids' fire. It is dying. The camera zooms back to reveal the three, backs to each other, fast asleep.

Shift again to the p.o.v. of the stalker from earlier in the story. Through a bunch of vines the stalker observes the kids from afar. Cut to a vine snaking its way across the ground. The camera pans up to reveal its target - Sokka - whose left leg sticks out. The vine winds around it and then around his whole body. Cut to black for commercial break.)

Act II

(The show returns to an overhead shot of the three, each tied up by three or four vines that snake out of the frame. Cut to a close up profile shot of the three. For a moment they are still asleep, but awake screaming as the vines simultaneously yank them all out off the screen and away from each other.

Cut to Sokka. He plants his machete in the ground as he is dragged away, halting his movement. Both Katara and Aang are dragged off into the mist. Sokka gets up and starts hacking the vines with his machete. He frees himself and runs back down the tree root, pursued by more vines.

Cut to Katara, struggling to free herself from the vines. Using a water whip she cuts through her bonds and runs off into the mist.

Cut to Aang, who frees himself by creating an air bubble around him and expanding it. His bonds loosened, he collapses the bubble and hops into the surrounding trees, closely pursued by more vines. He escapes a vine that pulls him to the ground using his airbending to propel himself far away and soon finds himself alone in the swamp. Cut to a wide shot of Aang looking around for his friends.)

Aang: Guys?

(Fade to a shot of Appa's footprint, filled with swamp water. Cut to two barely clothed figures who are looking down at the footprint. Due is tall and skinny, and Tho is short and fat. Both wear small, animal skin loincloths. Each has a single, large leaf on his head that serves as a hat. It is once again hard to tell, but it seems to be daytime. Tho carries a stick.)

Due: What'd you reckon make a track like that, Tho?
Tho: Don't know, Due. (Points stick at footprint) Something with six legs. (Cut to footprint as Tho's stick enters frame from o.c.) Pretty big'uns too.

(The camera pans up to reveal Appa's tracks in the mud.)

Due: Leaves a nice, wide trail to folla'.
Tho: You know what's at the end of that trail?

(Due shakes his head in the negative. Cut to a close up of Tho's smiling face.)

Tho: Dinner.

(Cut to Appa swimming in the marsh water, then cut to a close up of Momo. His eyes dart from side to side as he chitters. A fly is buzzing around his head. It flies off and Momo flies after it. He lands on a nearby tree root, still trying to trap the fly. He hops from root to root. He catches the fly on the last root, but releases it when the root turns out to be the back of a catfish crocodile. Momo jumps into the air as the creature roars and snaps its mighty jaws at Momo. The monster pursues Momo as he flies back to Appa. The camera pans left as the chase continues. When they reach Appa, the bison's mouth is open to receive the pursuing crocodile. Appa spits him back out. Momo and the monster hiss at each other for a moment, then the crocodile swims off. Cut back to Appa, who shakes his head slightly and groans.

Cut to another swamp view. The camera pans down to reveal Katara walking through an area where the tree roots are covered in white flowers.)

Katara: (calling out) Aang? (Cut to a closer shot) Sokka?

(Cut to Katara's p.o.v. Ahead of her is another water tribe woman, back to the camera. She wears the same robe as Katara and has the same hair style. Katara begins walking toward the figure.)

Katara: Hello? Hello? Can you help me? (She squints, then cut to again to water tribe woman's back) Mom? (More loudly and running towards the figure) Mom!

(Cut to a profile shot of Katara as she runs, her eyes streaming tears of joy. She reaches the figure and places a hand on her shoulder.)

Katara: I can't believe...

(The smile drops from her face as the scene begins to lighten. Cut to a wider shot. Katara stands in front of a tree stump. The figure was an illusion. Katara gasps at the realization, then falls to her knees and begins to cry. Cut to an overhead shot of the devastated water tribe girl, then fade to shot of Sokka's hand holding his machete high. The rest of Sokka appears.)

Sokka: Aang! (He is cutting a path in the vines before him with his weapon) Stupid swamp! Dumb, ugly vines! Katara! (Turning to another vine in his way) You think you're so tough, huh?

(He swings, misses, gets caught up in some vines, and falls flat on his face in the mind. He looks up and sees a ghostly figure hovering some distance away from him. Floating in a shaft of light, it is the spirit form of Princess Yue.)

Sokka: Hello? (Sokka walks forward) Yue? (Sokka grabs the side of his head and looks away) This is just a trick of the light... swamp gas... (he turns around, his back to the ghost) I... hit my head running away last night. I'm going crazy.

(He turns around, still frightened. He walks over to her.)

Princess Yue: (her voice sounds as if from far away, echoing) You didn't protect me.

(Sokka rubs his eyes and suddenly the shaft of light is empty. He turns to walk away and Yue is behind him. He yells and falls backwards into the water. He looks around once more, and she's gone. He stands, draws his machete, and walks off, a frown on his face.

Fade to an overhead shot of Aang walking through the swamp.)

Aang: (calling out) Katara! Appa!

(Cut to a shot from behind Aang's back. Above him on a stone or earthen mound are two figures in white.)

Aang: Hello?

(Cut to a closer shot of the two. The one on the left is a pig with wings. The one on the right is a girl in a white robe.)

Aang: (from o.c.) Who are you?

(The girl covers her mouth with her hands and laughs. The pig flaps its wings and raises itself into the air. The pig flies off and the girl runs down the opposite side of the mound. Cut back to Aang.)

Aang: Hey, come back!

(Aang pursues the girl through the swamp through several shots. She seems to be many places at once, able to move at lightning speed, or both. Aang cannot reach her.

Fade to a shot of a chicken possum hanging from a tree branch, then pan down to Appa swimming down one of the swamp's many rivers.

In front of Appa the mist clears to reveal three river boats. The point boat is manned by Tho and Due. The two parties survey each other. Momo chitters atop Appa. Sitting in the driver's seat, it looks as if Momo is Appa's master. Cut to a close up of Tho, who licks his tongue over his thick lower lip. Momo chitters again, then cut back to Tho and Due.)

Due: Look at that, Tho. Is that little hairy fellow ridin' that thing?
Tho: Naw, that's what they call a "lemoo," saw one at a travelin' show once. Real smart they say.
Due: Bet he tastes a lot like possum chicken.
Tho: You think everything tastes like possum chicken.
Due: (leaning forward and talking to Appa and Momo) C'mon now, fellas. Just a little closer. Nice and easy. Nothing to worry about. We just fixin' to eat ya.

(Appa roars, turns and bounds away. Cut back to Due and Tho, the waves from Appa's wake buffeted them.)

Tho: (angry) What'd ya say that fer?
Due: Well, we are!
Tho: But you don't have to tell'em that!
Due: (confused) Well how'd I know they'd understand me!
Tho: (exasperated, but wanting to stop arguing and get after Appa and Momo) Come on!

(Due stands up and begins making paddling motions with his hands. Within a few seconds the boat speeds off, with Due waterbending to propel the canoe. The other boats follow, a waterbender in each of those as well.

Cut to Appa running over the surface of the river, his feet splashing as he goes. The boats follow close behind.

Shift back to Aang still in pursuit of the laughing girl. After a few more shots, he spies her on top of another mound.)

Aang: Who are you?

(He runs up the mound and charges her. She turns, but it is not the girl in white, it is Katara. Cut back to Aang, who realizes too late that it is Katara. He runs right into her and knocks her off the mound. She cries out as they go down. Cut to Sokka walking along, then drawing his sword as he hears something approach. The other two appear rolling into the frame and knock him down as well. The land in a pile at the bottom of another tree root. Sokka gets up, angry.)

Sokka: What do you guys think you're doing! I've been looking all over for you!
Katara: (displeased with Sokka's attitude) Well, I've been wandering around looking for you!
Aang: (airbending himself to his feet) I was chasing some girl.
Katara: What girl?
Aang: (helping Katara to her feet) I don't know. I heard laughing and I saw some girl in a fancy dress.
Sokka: (sarcastically) Well, there must be a tea party here and we just didn't get our invitations!
Katara: (after a pause and looking down) I thought I saw Mom.
Sokka: (again after a pause and looking down) Look, we were all just scared and hungry and our minds were playing tricks on us. That's why we all saw things out here.
Katara: You saw something too?
Sokka: (turning away) I thought I saw Yue. But, that doesn't prove anything. (Turning back to the others) Look, I think about her all the time, and you saw Mom, someone you miss a lot.
Aang: What about me? I didn't know the girl I saw. And all our visions led us right here.

(Aang begins scanning around as if looking for something.)

Katara: Okay... so where's here? (Gesturing in front of them) The middle of the swamp?
Aang: Yeh, the center...

(As Aang speaks, cut to a wide shot of the swamp that zooms backwards to reveal that they are standing at the base of the largest tree imaginable.)

Aang: (from o.c.) It's the heart of the swamp, (cut back to Aang, the others behind him) it's been calling us here, (smiles) I knew it.
Sokka: (frustrated) It's just a tree. It can't call anyone! For the last time, there's nothing after us (cut to a wide shot of the three standing on the tree root, Aang on the left, Sokka on the right, Katara in the middle) and there's nothing magical happening here.

(At that moment a huge swamp monster, seemingly made of vines bursts from the water behind the log. Cut to a close up of the three hugging each other and screaming their heads off. An animated effect appears behind them to accentuate the terror. Cut to black for commercial break.)


(The show returns to an overhead shot of the three standing on the tree root looking up in terror at the camera. Cut to a close up of the monster which has a very simple, carved wooden mask on its face. The camera zooms back as the vine monster swings at Aang. The three break up and run out of the frame in different directions.

The monster grabs Sokka as he runs away and begins flailing him around. Aang turns and knocks Sokka out of the monster's grip with a blast of air. Sokka falls into the water with a yell. The monster then knocks Aang way back with a sweep of its arm. Cut back to Sokka cutting vines around him with his machete. To his right, the vines start rising out of the water. The camera pans up to reveal the vines attaching itself to the monster and rebuilding the right arm that Aang had damaged with his blast of air when he released Sokka. The monster swings at Sokka and grabs him again.

Cut to Katara who skates across the water in a graceful curve and fires a jet of water through the creatures left shoulder. The creature drops Sokka, a large hole in its left shoulder. Katara squares off against the creature as it fills the hole with more vines. Cut to a close shot of Katara who looks on in alarm. Katara skirts around the monster as it swings a few times and misses. She sprays some water at it and then concentrates, building a large wave and washing the creature backwards. Sokka screams, as he is once again in the monster's clutches.

Katara then parts the water between her and the monster. She runs down the dry earth in front of her, but the creature knocks her backward with vines that grow right out from its body.

Cut to Aang running back to the fight. Katara sails the other way in the background, yelling as she goes. Aang turns back just in time to get smacked backwards by another vine appendage. Cut back to the monster which has Sokka in its grip. It places Sokka on its and begins to suck him in. Sokka struggles, but is slowly drawn in.

Switch to a long shot of Appa running through the swamp, pursued by the waterbender boats. Cut to a close up of Tho and then Due, still performing his waterbending moves. He is hit in the face by something and is disoriented momentarily. Cut to Momo, who is atop Appa and looking for things to throw at their pursuers. Cut back to a profile shot of Tho, one of the other boats in the background. A blue shirt whaps one of the other boatmen in the background in the face. He struggles to get it off.)

Tho: Now what would a lemoo need a shirt fer?

(The other boat with the blinded crewman capsizes. Cut back to Appa running over the swamp surface. Appa bends low and runs under a tree root or fallen tree that blocks his path. Appa makes it, but knocks Momo off his back. Cut to Tho, ready to catch Momo with an open sack. Momo flies right into it, Tho closes the sack, ties it and drops it beside him. The chase continues.

Cut to a swamp shot that pans down to reveal the monster flailing about, then cut to Sokka still struggling in the monster's chest. Shift to Aang approaching rapidly across the water, seated on an air ball. Aang rides the air ball up the monsters torso and back as the monster swings at him and misses. Aang lands atop its head and begins to make a whirlwind around the monster. The whirlwind twists the vines that compose the monster into a huge coil.

Switch to Katara who makes a few waterbending motions then blows a breath out that freezes the water vapor in front of her. Cut to a view from Katara's back. Her breath has frozen the vines around Sokka. She raises a column of water behind her that propels her and Sokka through the chest of the monster and into the water behind. The monster repairs the hole in its chest and begins to advance on the pair.

Cut to Aang jumping through the air and landing on the monster's back. Aang jumps back onto the ground and the monster blasts him out of the frame again. Aang goes flying through the air and lands back in the water.

Katara turns back to the monster, an expression of determination on her face. The camera zooms back as she begins to rapid fire loops of water at the monster as it approaches. Cut to a profile shot of Katara and the monster. The loops get larger the farther they get from Katara. As they strike the monster, the sound of a cutting knife is heard. A few close ups show the water slicing the vines apart. One of the close ups reveals that there is a man inside the monster dressed like Due and Tho. Katara continues to rapid fire and the monster begins to disintegrate, revealing a few more glimpses of the man inside. Cut to Sokka.)

Sokka: There's someone in there! He's bending the vines!

(Cut back to Katara who twirls around in a bending move and slices the mask and the head of the monster with a mighty lash of the water whip. The head and mask fall into the water as a bunch of vines grab Katara. Sokka watches as Aang flies back into the picture and with a single blast of air blows away the rest of the monster to reveal a fat, leaf clad man.)

Aang: (angry) Why did you call me here if you just wanted to kill us?
Hue: (dropping the rest of the vines around him) Wait! I didn't call you here.
Aang: We were flying over and I heard something calling to me, telling me to land.
Sokka: He's the Avatar. Stuff like that happens to us - a lot.
Hue: The Avatar! Come with me.

(The kids drop their combat stances and then fade to a view of the swamp from above the canopy. It is daylight. The kids and Hue are climbing the exposed roots of the great tree at the center of the swamp.)

Katara: So, who are you then?

(Cut to a closer view of the group. Hue bends a vine out of their way.)

Hue: I protect the swamp from folks that want to hurt it. (He lets Aang and Katara pass, and then to Sokka as he in turn passes) Like this fellow with his big knife.
Sokka: (to his friends) See? Completely reasonable. Not a monster (he sheathes his machete as he follows Aang and Katara who have now exited the frame), just a regular guy defending his home. Nothing mystical about it.

(Cut again to the wider shot of them ascending the tree root.)

Hue: (voice over) Oh, the swamp is a mystical place, all right. It's sacred.

(Cut to a shot of a space between the roots of the tree at its base. The group enters the frame.)

Hue: I reached enlightenment right here under the banion grove tree. (He sits) I hear it callin' me, just like you did.
Sokka: Sure ya did. It seems real chatty.
Hue: See, this whole swamp is actually just one tree spread out over miles...

(The camera zooms out and fades to show several shots of the tree, finally ending with a shot of tree and the whole swamp.)

Hue: Branches spread and sink and take root and then spread some more - one big living organism, just like the entire world.

(Cut back to Hue's p.o.v. looking at the kids.)

Aang: I get how the tree is one big thing, but, the whole world?
Hue: (cut to Hue's face) Sure. You think you're any different from me? Or your friends? Or this tree? (The camera cuts to different shots of the swamp as Hue speaks) If you listen hard enough you can hear every living thing breathing together, you can feel everything growing. We're all livin' together, even if most folks don't act like it. We all have the same roots, and we are all branches of the same tree.

(Camera pans up form the last shot to show a long shot of the group sitting on the tree root.)

Katara: But what did our visions mean?
Hue: In the swamp we see visions of people we've lost, people we loved...

(The screen flashes white as we enter a flashback. The flashback pans right to show the spirit of Yue, and the back of Sokka and Katara's mom.)

Hue: (continuing from voice over) ...folks we think are gone. But the swamp tells us they're not.

(The screen flashes white and the flashback ends. When the screen returns, Hue is seated where he was and continues to speak.)

Hue: We're still connected to'em. Time is an illusion, and so is death.
Aang: But what about my vision It was someone I had never met.
Hue: (smiling) You're the Avatar. You tell me.

(Cut to a profile shot of Aang, who tries to puzzle this out.)

Aang: (to himself) Time is an illusion... so, it's... (looks up at Hue, realization spreading across his face) someone I will meet?

(Cut back to Hue, smiling, who winks at Aang to a subtle sound effect. Then cut to a wider shot of the group. Sokka stands up and addresses the group)

Sokka: Sorry to interrupt the lesson, but we still need to Appa and Momo.
Aang: I think I know how to find them. (Aang leans forward and places his hand on the tree root. He closes his eyes and begins to concentrate.) Everything is connected.

(The arrow tattoo on Aang's hand begins to glow. Lighting or some other energy suddenly surges from his hand and into the tree root. The energy follows a zigzag path down the tree root and then through the swamp. The screen flashes to show Aang's head superimposed on vines rushing by in the background.

The screen flashes white, and then a fish eye view of Appa getting netted by the boatmen appears. Appa roars and struggles, but is clearly on his way to being subdued. The flashback ends and Aang stands up.)

Aang: Come on! We've got to hurry!

(Cut to a hand strumming the side of a boat.)

Tho: (singing) Set my lines by the river bed! (Cut to a wider shot of Tho, Momo struggling in the bag in front of him, Appa caught in a net being towed behind him.) Caught ten fish and I killed'em dead! (Cut to a wider shot of the two boats slowing being waterbended forward.) Cut'em and gut'em and I tossed the heads in the water to keep them cat gators dead.

(Suddenly a jet of water erupts beyond the boats and destroys the one farther one that does not contain Due and Tho. Cut to an overhead shot of the captured Appa from the p.o.v. of a tree branch. Aang appears on the tree branch.)

Aang: Appa!

(Aang unleashes a blast of air that knocks Tho off the boat. He drops the bag with Momo as he flies off and Momo gets out and flies away.)

Due: We're under attack!

(Due waterbends a wall of water up at Aang and Katara, who has joined Aang on the tree branch, which they bend away from them. Cut to Katara, who bends back and forth as she manipulates the water.)

Katara: Hey, you guys are waterbenders!

(Cut to Due.)

Due: (smiling) You too? That means we're kin!

(Cut back to Katara, who looks vaguely horrified. Cut to a wider shot as the water wall collapses between them. Sokka and Hue run up the tree branch to Aang and Katara. They look down, then cut to Due.)

Due: (Putting his hands on his hips and smiling) Hey, Hue! How you been?
Hue: (smiling sheepishly) You know, scared some folks, swung some vines, the usual.

(The camera pans to the kids looking with various expressions of surprise over at Hue.)

Sokka: Hue?

(Cut to an overhead long shot of a campfire with the kids and the swamp men around it. Appa is with them, freed. Cut to a closer shot. They are eating meat off shish-kabobs.)

Due: How you like that possum chicken?

(Cut to a shot from between Hue and Tho, looking at Katara and Sokka across the campfire. A catfish crocodile sits just behind Hue and Tho in the foreground.)

Sokka: (examining his kabob) Tastes just like arctic hen. (Looking up at them) So why were you guys so interested in eating Appa? (Points at the catfish crocodile) You've got plenty of those big things wandering around.
Due: (incredulously) You want me to eat old Slim? He's like a member of the family!

(Due takes a fish off his kabob and tosses it at Slim, who eats it in one bite.)

Sokka: Nice Slim!

(Sokka throws a piece of roasted insect at Slim, but it bounces off his mouth. Slim turns and growls at Sokka, who recoils in terror.)

Due: (laughing) Oh, he don't eat no bugs! That's people food.
Tho: Where d'you say you're from?
Katara: The South Pole.
Tho: Didn't know there was waterbenders anywhere but here. They got a nice swamp there, do they?
Katara: No, it' all ice and snow.

(Tho and Due look surprised.)

Tho: Hmm. No wonder you left.
Sokka: (To his sister in a slightly sanctimonious tone) Well, I hope you realize now that nothing strange was going on here. Just a bunch of greasy people living in a swamp.
Katara: What about the visions?
Sokka: I told you, we were hungry. I'm eating a giant bug!

(Sokka lifts up what appears to be a huge fruit fly, fully the size of a grown cat, and takes a huge bite out of it and swallows. The camera pans over to Aang, seated in front of Appa with Momo in his lap. Hue is seated next to him, eating.)

Aang: But what about when the tree showed me where Appa and Momo were?
Sokka: That's Avatar stuff, that doesn't count. (To Hue) The only thing I can't figure out is how you made that tornado that sucked us down.
Hue: I can't do anything like that. I just bender the water in the plants.
Sokka: (trying to sweep the issue under the carpet) Well, no accounting for weather. Still, there's absolutely nothing mysterious about the swamp.

(Cut to a long shot of the camp from across some open water. A tree branch is in the foreground. One of the screaming white birds lands on the branch and screams. A nearby vine rises up and bats the bird into the camera, which goes dark.

When the image returns, it is of a full moon back in the Earth Kingdom village where we last saw Iroh and Zuko. The camera pans down to reveal the Broadsword Man walking down a street alone. He hears something behind him, turns and draws his blades. Cut to a frontal shot of him, there was nothing behind him.)

Broadsword Man: Who's there?

(Cut to a close up shot of his hands, which are grabbed each in turn by another man's hands. He is disarmed and thrown against some nearby boxes, his swords useless on the ground. His assailant's feet are seen to approach the sword. He picks them up, as the camera in turn pans upward to reveal that the assailant is no less than the Blue Spirit himself. Fade to white.)

[End Credits]

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