Transcript for 209 - Bitter Work
Bitter Work
Written By: Aaron Ehasz
Directed By: Ethan Spaulding
Storyboard By: Michael Chang, Miyuki Hoshikawa, Justin Ridge, Ethan Spaulding, Tomihiro Yamaguchi
Animation By: DR Movie
Transcriber: Nat



Act I

(The episode opens with a view of a rocky canyon. The camera pans down to reveal Aang, Sokka, Katara, and Appa sleeping. Cut to Aang leaping into the air excitedly.)

Aang: Today's the day! Can you believe it? After all that time searching for a teacher, I'm finally starting earthbending! And this place... i-it's perfect! Don't you think, Sokka?

(Sokka rolls over, giving Aang an angry look. He moans.)

Aang: Oh, you're still sleeping, huh?

(Sokka moans again and rolls back over.)

Aang: (whispering) Sorry!

(The ground begins to shake and Aang takes a step backward. Cut to Toph's rock tent which suddenly explodes, revealing Toph standing with a fist in the air.)

Toph: Good morning, earthbending student!

(Cut back to Aang. Toph walks up to him and he bows slightly.)

Aang: Good morning, sifu Toph.

(Katara rouses from her sleeping bag.)

Katara: (sleepily) Hey... you never call me sifu Katara.

(Aang scratches behind his head nervously.)

Aang: Well, if you think I should...

(Sokka sits up and grumbles angrily. Cut to Aang and Toph.)

Toph: Sorry, snoozles. We'll do our earthbending as quietly as we can.

(Cut to Toph's feet. She kicks the ground and cracks travel toward Sokka. Cut to Sokka as a large spire of rock shoots up underneath him. Sokka screams as he's launched into the air and toward the camera. He hits the ground with a thud, then gets up and bounces toward Aang and Toph, grumbling angrily. He bounces offscreen. Cut to Toph. Aang leaps over next to her.)

Aang: So what move are you going to teach me first? Rockalanche? (He shoves his fist down to illustrate the move.) The trembler? (He pretends like he's has someone in a hold and trembles slightly.) Oh! Maybe I can learn to make a whirlpool out of land!

(He holds his arms up and spins around. Toph slaps a hand on his chest to stop him.)

Toph: Let's start with "move a rock".

(She walks offscreen.)

Aang: Sounds good! Sounds good!

(Cut to an open part of the canyon. Aang and Toph each stand in front of a boulder. Katara watches from a rock outcropping nearby.)

Toph: The key to earthbending is your stance. (She lowers herself and widens the distance between her feet. Aang tries to imitate her.) You've got to be steady and strong. Rock is a stubborn element. (She shoves Aang, causing him to stumble to the side.) If you're going to move it, you've got to be like a rock yourself.
Aang: Like a rock. Got it.

(He rubs his side where she shoved him. Cut to Toph. She straightens up.)

Toph: Good. Now the actual motion of this one is pretty simple. (She lunges forward and punches, causing the boulder to shoot off into the distance, slamming into the side of the canyon.) Okay, you ready to give it a try?

(Aang takes up a similar stance.)

Aang: I'm ready.

(His eyes narrow and he punches forward, but a blast of air sends him shooting backward. He slams into Appa's side and falls on his face. The camera zooms out, showing Sokka, still in his sleeping bag, sitting on a nearby rock.)

Sokka: Rock beats airbender!

(Cut to Iroh's dream. There's a single tree on a grassy hill. Iroh runs up the hill with Lu Ten behind him. Cut to Lu Ten who does a pretend firebending motion with his hands.)

Lu Ten: (laughs) I got you, dad!

(Cut to Iroh. He lets out a cry of pain as he falls to the ground. Lu Ten falls on top of him and they both laugh.

Cut to the future. Rain is falling on a stone object. The camera pans up to reveal and older Iroh, a look of pain on his face.)

Iroh: My beloved Lu Ten, I will see you again.

(The camera zooms out, revealing that he is on the same hill, presumably in front of a grave. The tree is leafless and the sky is a gloomy dark red color.)

Zuko: Uncle!

(Cut to a deserted, broken-down shack. The camera is from Iroh's viewpoint and Zuko is looking down at him, a concerned look on his face.)

Zuko: You were unconscious. Azula did this to you.

(Iroh attempts to get up but winces in pain. A bandage covers the left side of his chest and shoulder.)

Zuko: It was a surprise attack.
Iroh: Somehow, that's not so surprising.

(He grunts in pain as he moves to lean up against the wall. Zuko picks up a steaming cup and hands it to Iroh.)

Zuko: I hope I made it the way you like it.

(Iroh takes a sip from the cup and his eyes widen. He lets out a cry of disgust, but manages to mask it.)

Iroh: Mmm, good. (He takes another drink and grunts.) That was very, uhh... bracing!

(Zuko hands him another cup and he tosses itout the window when his nephew isn't looking.)

Zuko: So uncle, I've been thinking. It's only a matter of time before I run into Azula again. I'm going to need to know more advanced firebending if I want to stand a chance against her. I know what you're going to say: she's my sister and I should be trying to get along with her.
Iroh: No, she's crazy and she needs to go down. (Zuko nods. Iroh grunts as he stands up.) It's time to resume your training.

(Cut to Aang's group. Katara and Toph are standing next to the boulder Aang tried to move. Aang walks up, a hand behind his head.)

Katara: I don't understand what went wrong. (She glances at Toph and points at Aang.) He did it exactly the way you did.
Aang: Maybe there's another way. (He takes up a fighting stance and begins to walk toward the boulder.) What if I came at the boulder from a different angle?

(Toph grabs him by the collar and he turns around.)

Toph: No, that's the problem. You've got to stop thinking like an airbender. (She knocks her fist lightly against the side of Aang's head. He winces slightly.) There's no different angle, no clever solution, no trickity trick that's going to move that rock. (She shoves Aang. He cries out and falls down offscreen.) You've got to face it head on. And when I say head on, I mean like this!

(She runs forward. The camera pans out as she jumps into the air and crashes into the rock that Aang tried to move head-first, shattering it. Aang recoils.)

Aang: Whoa!

(He looks down, unsure of himself. Cut to Toph walking away. Katara runs to catch up with her. Toph stops.)

Katara: I've been training Aang for a while now. He really responds well to a positive teaching experience. Lots of encouragement and praise. Kind words. If he's doing something wrong, maybe a gentle nudge in the right direction.
Toph: Thanks, Katara. A gentle nudge. I'll try that. (Cut to Toph shouting.) Keep your knees high, twinkletoes!

(Cut to Aang carrying a large rock on his back. He's obviously straining to hold up the weight. The camera zooms out, showing Toph in the background stomping down and causing pillars of rock to rise underneath Aang's feet as he walks. Aang loses his balance and falls offscreen.

Cut to Toph rubbing her hands together. The camera zooms out and she begins to quickly shove her hands effortlessly into a rock. The camera pans over and Aang rubs his hands together and tries to do the same thing, but he merely hurts his hand and grunts in pain.

Cut to Aang. A bead of sweat drips down his face. The camera zooms out and Toph leaps out of the ground and lands next to him.)

Toph: Rocklike!

(Aang falls over and blinks. Toph kicks the ground and a pillar of rock shoves him back up. She pokes him in the eye and Aang grins nervously.

Cut to Sokka's face with Toph's hand holding him back. He grunts, trying to move forward. Cut to a side view, showing Sokka struggling to get his sword back from Toph, who is holding it to the side and preventing Sokka from grabbing it. She shoves him backward and he stalks offscreen. She hands the weapon to Aang, who is blindfolded. She stands on a rock in the distance and begins to kick the ground, causing columns of rock to emerge. Aang tries to hit them and finally succeeds after missing four. Cut to Toph, who nods in approval.

Cut to Toph and Aang standing in a clearing. Toph raises her arms and two walls of rock rise on either side of them. Aang looks up in amazement. Cut to Toph. She moves her fingers in a straight line in front of her and a line is drawn in the ground at her feet. She holds up her fists and rocks shoot toward her, covering her entire body except for her eyes in rock armor. Cut to Aang, who gasps in surprise. Cut to Toph's feet. She begins to slide forward. Cut to Aang. He extends his arms to stop her and slowly begins to push her back. He begins to lose ground, but finally pushes her past the line she drew in the ground.

Cut to Aang, who is tossing a rock with a handle on it into the air and catching it. The camera zooms out, showing that he's standing on two tall pillars of rock. Toph stands at the base. She walks between the pillars, stomps down, and then hits the columns with her hands, causing tremors to go up them.)

Toph: Rocklike!

(Aang doesn't budge, a look of determination on his face. Toph rises on her own pillar of rock and nods in approval. Aang gives her a huge grin.

Cut to another area of the canyon. A small baby mooselion walks up to a small patch of grass and begins to eat. The camera pans up to show Sokka looking down from a tree.)

Sokka: You're awfully cute, but unfortunately for you, you're made of meat. Just a bit closer...

(Sokka yells as he jumps down toward the baby moose lion. He misses and lands in a crevice. The baby mooselion looks at him questioningly. It walks up to him and wags its tail. Sokka brings back his sword to strike it.)

Sokka: Gotcha! (He falls deeper into the crevice and drops his sword. He's stuck up to his shoulders. He struggles to free himself but doesn't budge.) You are a lucky little meat creature.

(He points at the mooselion and it wags its tail.

Cut to Zuko and Iroh. The camera shows the outside of the decrepit building and then cuts to inside. Iroh sits in front of Zuko. A pot of tea sits on a small fire between them.)

Iroh: Lightning is a pure expression of firebending, without aggression. It is not fueled by rage or emotion the way other firebending is. Some call lightning the cold-blooded fire. (Iroh takes the tea kettle off the fire and pours it into another pot. He then begins to pour two cups.) It is precise and deadly, like Azula. To perform the technique requires peace of mind.

(He hands a cup to Zuko.)

Zuko: I see. That's why we're drinking tea: To calm the mind.
Iroh: Oh yeah, good point! I mean, yes.

(Cut to the outside of the building. Zuko and Iroh stand on the edge of a hill overlooking the valley with a walled, abandoned city at the bottom.)

Iroh: There is energy all around us. (Cut to a front view of Zuko and Iroh.) The energy is both yin and yang; positive energy and negative energy. (He holds up one finger on each hand to stand for the two forms of energy.) Only a select few firebenders can separate these energies. This creates an imbalance. The energy wants to restore balance and in a moment the positive and negative energy come crashing back together. (He brings his hands together to illustrate the point.) You provide release and guidance, creating lightning.

(Iroh holds out a hand, signaling for Zuko to step back. He holds his right hand to his side and with two fingers extended begins to create lightning by rotating his arm in a circular motion around his body. He mimics the motion with his left arm. Cut to Zuko, who looks impressed. Cut back to Iroh. He brings his two hands together and then lunges forward with his right hand extended and shoots lightning into the distance. Cut back to Zuko.)

Zuko: I'm ready to try it!
Iroh: (rubbing his injured shoulder slightly) Remember, once you separate the energy, you do not command it. You are simply its humble guide. Breathe first.

(Zuko breathes in and closes his eyes. He then begins to mimic the motions that Iroh performed, except that he does not create traces of lightning. Cut to a close up of Iroh for a moment, then back to Zuko. He shouts and shoves his right hand forward, but it merely causes a fiery explosion that shoves him backward. He falls on his back next to Iroh. Iroh shakes his head slightly.

Cut to Aang's earthbending training. Aang, Toph, and Katara stand in the middle of the canyon. Toph walks in front of Aang as she speaks.)

Toph: This time we're going to try something a little different. Instead of moving a rock, you're going to stop a rock. (She walks off screen, then quickly lunges toward Aang, who recoils slightly.) Get in your horse stance! (Aang widens his stance. Cut to Toph standing in front of Aang with a trail leading up an angled cliff behind her.) I'm going to roll that boulder down at you. (She points up the hill at a large boulder sitting at the top of the trail.) If you have the attitude of an earthbender, you'll stay in your stance and stop the rock. (Cut to a close-up of Aang's face. His mouth opens and he looks surprised and scared. Katara looks on with concern in the background. Cut back to Toph.) Like this.

(She lunges toward the boulder with her arms outstretched to illustrate what she means. Katara walks up to Toph and Aang.)

Katara: Sorry, Toph, but are you sure this is really the best way to teach Aang earthbending?
Toph: I'm glad you said something. (She reaches down and grabs Aang's belt.) Actually, there is a better way. (She jerks off Aang's belt and blindfolds him with it.) This way he'll really have to sense the vibrations of the boulder to stop it. Thank you, Katara!

(She gives Katara a thumbs-up.)

Aang: (sarcastically) Yeah, thanks Katara!
Katara: (nervously) Heh.

(Cut to Toph standing at the top of the hill with Aang at the bottom. She shoves the rock forward and it begins to roll down the slope. Aang looks worried and afraid as it rolls toward him. Katara covers her mouth with her hands, a worried look on her face. Cut to a close-up of Aang, his teeth clenched and beads of sweat flowing down his face. Cut to the rock rolling toward the camera.

Cut to commercial break.)



Act II

(The boulder continues to roll down the hill toward Aang. Cut to a close-up of Aang, a frantic look on his face. Cut to Toph, the camera looking up from above. She has her arms crossed. Cut to Katara, who still covers her face with her hands. Momo cowers down on her head. Cut back to Aang, who jumps over the boulder as it almost hits him. The boulder rolls passed Katara and slams into the side of the canyon. Aang lands on the ground. Cut to Toph, running toward the camera. She runs up to Aang as he removes the blindfold, glaring at him disapprovingly.)

Aang: I guess I just panicked. I don't know what to say.
Toph: There's nothing to say. You blew it. You had a perfect stance and perfect form but when it came right down to it you didn't have the guts.

(She gives Aang a light punch to the chest that knocks him down. He sits at her feet with his legs crossed.)

Aang: I know. I'm sorry.

(Toph leans down, looking right into his face.)

Toph: Yeah, you are sorry. If you're not tough enough to stop the rock, then you could at least give it the pleasure of smushing you instead of jumping out of the way like a jelly-boned wimp! Now, do you have what it takes to face that rock like an earthbender?!

(Aang looks down sadly, not meeting her gaze.)

Aang: (sadly) No. I don't think I do.

(Toph straightens up and crosses her arms as Katara walks over to comfort Aang. She puts her hands on his shoulders.)

Katara: Aang, it's no big deal. You'll take a break and try earthbending again when you're ready. Besides, you still have a lot of waterbending to work on, okay?
Aang: Yeah... that sounds good.

(Katara and Aang walk off to the right.)

Toph: Yeah, whatever, go splash around until you feel better.

(She walks off in the opposite direction.

Cut to Zuko training. The view is from the abandoned village. A smoking hill is seen in the distance. Cut to Zuko getting blown back by an explosion. He has a frustrated look on his face and clenches his fist. Iroh looks on while leaning against the building in the background.)

Zuko: Why can't I do it? Instead of lightning, it keeps exploding in my face! Like everything always does!

(Iroh gets up from his spot and walks over to Zuko. Zuko stands up.)

Iroh: I was afraid this might happen. You will not be able to master lightning until you have dealt with the turmoil inside you.

(Zuko turns to him, an angry look on his face.)

Zuko: (frustrated and enraged) What turmoil?
Iroh: Zuko, you must let go of your feelings of shame if you want your anger to go away.
Zuko: But I don't feel any shame at all! I'm as proud as ever!
Iroh: Prince Zuko, pride is not the opposite of shame, but its source. True humility is the only antidote to shame.
Zuko: Well... my life has been nothing but humbling lately.

(Iroh looks to the side.)

Iroh: I have another idea. I will teach you a firebending move that even Azula doesn't know, because I made it up myself!

(He points a thumb toward himself and smirks slightly. Cut to Zuko who smiles.

Cut to Sokka, who is stuck up to his shoulders in the ground with the baby mooselion sitting on top of his head.)

Sokka: You probably think I deserve this, don't you? (The baby mooselion peers over Sokka's forehead and looks at him.) Look, I'm sorry I hunted you, but that's just the natural order of things! Big things eat smaller things, nothing personal. But this time it didn't work out that way.

(The baby yawns and then walks in a circle on Sokka's head before lying down again and closing its eyes.)

Sokka: I admit it. You're cute. (The mooselion begins licking its paws.) Okay, you've convinced me. If I get out of this alive, it's a comically correct vegetarian existence for me. No meat. Even though meat is so tasty.

(The baby jumps off of Sokka's head and exits the screen. A bug flies on from the left and begins to buzz around Sokka's face. Sokka makes a groaning noise as he struggles to swat it away with his trapped hands. The bug lands on his head, and Sokka grunts in defeat. Sokka perks up suddenly and the bug flies away. Cut to the baby mooselion running toward the camera with an apple in its mouth. It stops and rolls the apple toward Sokka.)

Sokka: (offscreen) Hey, it looks like my karma is already paying off!

(Cut to a profile view of the scene. The apple stops between the cub and Sokka, far out of his reach.)

Sokka: That's okay! I got it!

(Sokka struggles to reach into his backpack and then tosses his boomerang at the apple. It falls down next to it.)

Sokka: Now come back, boomerang.

(The cub's tail twitches. Cut to a pond where Aang and Katara are training. A frog sits on a rock and Momo grabs it, but the frog wiggles from his grip. Momo struggles to catch it but falls face-first into the water. The camera pans up to show Aang and Katara waterbending in the distance, moving around a ball of water between them.)

Katara: You know this block you're having is only temporary, right?

(Cut to a close-up of Aang.)

Aang: (dejectedly) I don't want to talk about it.

(Cut to a close-up of Katara, who gives Aang a concerned look.)

Katara: You do know that's the problem, don't you? If you face this issue instead of avoiding it...

(Cut to a close-up of Aang.)

Aang: (frustrated) I know I know I know I know, I get it, alright! (He lets the ball of water fall back into the pond.) I need to face it head-on, like a rock. But I just can't do it! I don't know why I can't, but I can't.

(Cut to a close-up of Katara.)

Katara: Aang, if fire and water are opposites, then what's the opposite of air?

(Cut to a full-view of the pond.)

Aang: I guess it's earth.
Katara: That's why it's so hard for you to get this. (Cut to a view of Aang's reflection that then pans up to show Aang himself.) You're working with your natural opposite. But you'll figure it out. (Cut back to Katara.) I know you will. (Katara reaches behind her and breaks off a reed. She hurls it at Aang without warning.) Think fast!

(Cut to Aang, who looks up in surprise before causing a wave of water to shoot up and slice the reed in half. The two halves sail harmlessly by him.)

Katara: Excellent. You have the reflexes of a waterbending master.
Aang: Thanks, Katara. Sifu Katara.

(He puts his hands together and bows. Cut to Katara who smiles, and then bows as well.

Cut to Iroh and Zuko. Iroh is drawing the symbols of each of the bending disciplines in the dirt with a stick as he explains them. Zuko sits cross-legged nearby, observing intently.)

Iroh: Fire is the element of power. The people of the Fire Nation have desire and will, and the energy and drive to achieve what they want. Earth is the element of substance. The people of the Earth Kingdom are diverse and strong. They are persistent and enduring. Air is the element of freedom. The Air Nomads detached themselves from worldly concerns and found peace and freedom. Also, they apparently had pretty good senses of humor! (Iroh smiles widely, but Zuko doesn't react.) Water is the element of change. The people of the Water Tribe are capable of adapting to many things. They have a deep sense of community and love that holds them together through anything.
Zuko: Why are you telling me these things?
Iroh: It is important to draw wisdom from many different places. If we take it from only one place, it becomes rigid and stale. (He draws lines separating the four symbols in the dirt.) Understanding others, the other elements, and the other nations will help you become whole.
Zuko: All this four elements talk is sounding like Avatar stuff.
Iroh: It is the combination of the four elements in one person that makes the Avatar so powerful. But, it can make you more powerful too. (He pokes Zuko's chest with his stick.) You see, the technique I am about to teach you is one I learned by studying the waterbenders.

(Cut to Zuko, who looks intrigued. Cut to an overhead view of the two, showing Iroh's picture of the four symbols in the dirt.

Cut to Aang who is sitting on a rock formation meditating with Momo sleeping at his feet. Toph walks up behind him carrying his staff. She sits down on the other side of the rock. Cut to a close-up of Toph.)

Toph: Aang! I found these nuts in your bag. (She holds up a green bag with a crudely-drawn picture of Aang's face on it.) I figured you wouldn't mind. And besides, even if you did, you're too much of a pushover to do anything about it.

(Cut to Aang with Toph in the background. He looks at her out of the corner of his eyes, an annoyed expression on his face.)

Aang: As a matter of fact, I don't mind. I'm happy to share anything I have.

(He closes his eyes and begins to meditate again.)

Toph: You know, I'm really glad you feel that way, because I also have this great new nutcracker.

(She spins Aang's staff above her head. Cut to Aang, who looks over his shoulder with a pained expression on his face. Cut to Toph as she smiles widely, lifts the staff, and smashes it down on a nut. Cut back to Aang.)

Aang: Actually, I'd prefer if you didn't... (There's another crack as Toph smashes another nut, and Aang cringes.) That's an antique, hand crafted by the monks... (There's another crack and Aang cringes again, growing more frustrated.) It's a delicate instrument!

(Cut to Toph, who is eating the nuts with Momo.)

Toph: (in a mocking tone) It's not the only delicate instrument around here.

(Toph gets up and walks off with Momo, carrying Aang's staff. She hits it along rocks as she walks. Cut to Aang, who glares at her and then tries to meditate again.)

Aang: Ohmmmm...

(Katara walks up behind Aang.)

Katara: Hey Aang, have you seen...
Aang: (annoyed) Meditating here!

(Cut to a close-up of Katara, who looks worried.)

Katara: It's important. It's almost sundown and Sokka isn't back yet. I think we should search for him.

(Cut to Aang, who looks over his shoulder at Katara with a concerned look on his face. Cut to a wider view of the scene. Aang uses his airbending to stand up and leaps off the rock while Katara runs offscreen.)

Aang: We'll find him faster if we split up.

(Cut to Sokka. The baby mooselion is biting his ponytail and pulling on it playfully.)

Sokka: Okay, karma person or thing, whoever's in charge of this stuff, if I can just get out of this situation alive, I will give up meat and sarcasm. Okay? OW! (The band holding Sokka's hair in the ponytail comes off after a strong tug by the baby mooselion and Sokka's hair becomes a fuzzy mess.) That's all I got! It's pretty much my whole identity! Sokka, the meat and sarcasm guy! (The baby mooselion exits to the right.) But I'm willing to be Sokka the veggies and straight talk fellow! ...Deal?

(Cut to Aang, who runs in front of Sokka.)

Sokka: Aang! Thank goodness! Have you got any meat?

(Aang runs up to Sokka and stops in front of his boomerang.)

Aang: Sokka! Are you okay?

(He bends down and begins to tug on Sokka's trapped arms.)

Sokka: (grunts) Stop, stop! You're going to pull my fingers off and I don't think the rest of me is coming!
Aang: (scratching his head pensively) Hmm... I bet I can airbend you out of here.

(Cut to behind Aang. He raises his arms and then slams them down, causing a huge gust of air to erupt from the crevice that sends dust flying. When the dust clears, Sokka is still trapped and his hair has been blown up in what resembles a Mohawk. His boomerang comes down and hits him in the head, flattening the Mohawk.)

Sokka: Seriously, Aang, I know you're new at it, but I could use a little earthbending here. How about it?

(Cut to Aang, who looks unsure before looking down sadly.)

Aang: (forlornly) I can't. I can't do it.

(Cut to an overhead view of Aang standing in front of Sokka. Cut to commercial break.)



Act III

(Aang is still standing in front of Sokka, only now his back is to the sun.)

Sokka: (annoyed) If you can't earthbend me out of here, go get Toph.

(Cut to a close-up of Aang with Sokka in the background. Aang looks away from Sokka.)

Aang: I can't do that either.
Sokka: You can't? Why not?
Aang: It would just be really... uncomfortable.
Sokka: Uncomfortable? (Cut to a close-up of Sokka in the crevice.) Well, I wouldn't want to make you feel uncomfortable.
Aang: Thanks, Sokka. (Cut to behind the two. Aang crouches down.) This whole earthbending thing really has me confused. There's so much pressure. Everyone expects me to get it right away. It puts me in a really awkward position.
Sokka: Awkward position... I think I know the feeling.

(Cut to a profile of Aang.)

Aang: If I try, I fail. But if I don't try, I'm never going to get it. I feel like I'm caught between a rock and a hard place.

(Cut to a front view of Aang and Sokka. The baby mooselion enters from the right and walks around Sokka's head.)

Sokka: Hmm. How about that. (He motions to the mooselion.) Aang, this is my friend Foo Foo Cuddlypoops. Foo Foo Cuddlypoops, Aang.
Aang: Aww, what a cute name for a little baby sabertooth mooselion cub.

(He lifts the cub into the air.)

Sokka: Really? He looks nothing like a sabertooth mooselion.

(The camera pans up to show the baby mooselion's face.)

Aang: It's hard to tell before their giant teeth and horns grow in. Whatcha doin' out here, little guy? Did you lose your mama?

(The cub blinks at Aang. There's a roar from offscreen. Aang looks surprised and then looks over his shoulder. The camera pans out to reveal a huge sabertooth mooselion standing in the bushes. Cut to a close-up of the mooselion. It roars and shakes its head.

Cut to Zuko and Iroh. The camera pans from a small building to Zuko and Iroh practicing waterbending moves.)

Iroh: Waterbenders deal with the flow of energy. A waterbender lets their defense become their offense, turning their opponents' energy against them. I learned a way to do this with lightning.
Zuko: (excitedly) You can teach me to redirect lightning?

(Cut to Iroh. He nods.)

Iroh: If you let the energy in your own body flow, the lightning will follow it. (He points with his right arm at an angle into the air and points at it with his other hand.) You must create a pathway from your fingertips up your arm to your shoulder and down into your stomach. (He moves his left hand from his arm, to his shoulder, and then to his stomach.) The stomach is the source of energy in your body. It is called the sea of chi. Only in my case, it is more like a vast ocean. (He laughs. Cut to Zuko, who remains stoic. Cut back to Iroh.) You direct it up again and out the other arm. (He points off into the distance with his left arm.) The stomach detour is critical. You must not let the lightning pass through your heart (he walks up to Zuko and points his fingers at his chest.) or the damage could be deadly. You may wish to try a physical motion to get a feel for the pathway's flow. Like this. (He points to the left with both his arms and Zuko mimics the motion. Iroh then takes his right arm and points it in the other direction. Zuko copies this move as well. Iroh and Zuko then move their left arms to the right and back again.) Now, are you focusing your energy Can you feel your own chi flowing in, down, up, and out?
Zuko: I think so.

(He continues to mimic the motions Iroh showed him. Shift to Iroh. He begins to move his arms in waving motions at his sides.)

Iroh: Come on. You've got to feel the flow.

(Cut to later in the evening. Zuko and Iroh are still practicing the motions. Iroh suddenly stops and stands in front of Zuko.)

Iroh: Excellent! You've got it!

(Zuko bows slightly, putting his hands together.)

Zuko: Great! I'm ready to try it with real lightning!

(Cut to Iroh, who gives Zuko a questioning look.)

Iroh: What, are you crazy? Lightning is very dangerous.
Zuko: (annoyed) I thought that was the point: (Cut to Iroh, whose eyes twitch as Zuko continues.) you teaching me how to protect myself from it.
Iroh: (frantically) But I'm not going to shoot lightning at you! (He waves his arms around defensively. He turns away from Zuko and looks at him out of the corner of his eye.) If you are lucky, you will never have to use this technique at all.

(Cut to Zuko, who gazes off at dark clouds in the distance.)

Zuko: Well, if you won't help me, I'll find my own lightning.

(Cut to Iroh, who closes his eyes and trembles a bit. Cut to Zuko riding off into the distance on his ostrich.

Cut to Aang and Sokka. Aang is standing in the foreground with the baby mooselion in his hands while the mother mooselion stands in the background.)

Aang: (nervously) Hey, there... we found your cub! (He smiles and raises the baby into the air. The baby yawns. The mother growls and Aang puts the baby on the ground. It runs to its mother and then passed her into the bushes, squealing.) See? We have no problem with you! We're friendly.

(The mooselion roars and shakes its head. Cut to Sokka, his eyes wide.)

Sokka: (frantic) Aang, this is bad! You gotta get me outta here!

(Cut to the mooselion. It roars, and then begins to charge. Cut to Sokka, who cries out as the camera zooms in on his eye. Cut to the mooselion as it charges. Aang airbends the stampeding creature over his head, and it barely passes over Sokka's head before hitting the ground and spinning around. The mooselion roars loudly and Sokka looks up at Aang with a scared look on his face.)

Sokka: This is really bad! (Cut to Aang, who looks increasingly worried as Sokka speaks.) Please, Aang! You have to earthbend me out, there's no other way!

(Aang stomps down, does an uppercut move, and then aims both hands toward the sky, but Sokka doesn't budge. Aang gives him a nervous grin and then turns back to the mooselion. It scrapes its paw against the ground and prepares to charge again.)

Aang: Oh no! (Aang leaps up on a rock outcropping away from Sokka. He cups his hands around his mouth and begins to shout at the mooselion.) Whoo-hoo! Look at me!

(He begins to dance and flail about, trying to get the mooselion's attention. The mooselion, however, turns its attention back to Sokka and begins to charge. Aang leaps off the rock and shoots a gust of air at the mooselion that blows it away from Sokka. It lands and spins around again. Cut to Aang with Sokka visible over his shoulder.)

Sokka: (terrified) Please don't leave me again.
Aang: (determined) I won't.

(The mooselion charges toward Aang. He waits for it, taking up a stance and preparing to use his airbending on it. Cut to a close-up of his determined face. Cut back to the mooselion charges. It nears him and he shoves his hands forward, blowing the mooselion backwards with a strong gust of air. The mooselion hits the ground, glances at Aang, and then walks off into the bushes.

When the dust clears, Aang is still standing in his stance. Toph is revealed to be sitting on a rock in the background. She begins to clap slowly. Aang turns to her. Cut to a close up of Toph. She is sitting cross-legged on a rock, clapping slowly with her eyes closed. Cut to Aang and Sokka.)

Sokka: What are you doing here?
Toph: Just enjoying the show.
Aang: What? You were there the whole time?
Toph: Pretty much.

(Aang points at Toph accusingly.)

Aang: (angrily) Why didn't you do something? Sokka was in trouble! I was in trouble! You could've gotten him out and helped us get away!

(Cut to a close-up of Toph, who looks unaffected by the accusations.)

Toph: I guess it just didn't occur to me.

(She tosses down a nut and then pulls out Aangs staff to crack it. As she brings it down to strike the nut, Aang catches it.)

Aang: (forcefully) Enough! I want my staff back!

(He takes the staff from Toph. She stands up and jumps off the rock, standing in front of Aang.)

Toph: Do it now.
Aang: (still angry) What?
Toph: Earthbend, twinkletoes. You just stood your ground against a crazy beast, and even more impressive, you stood your ground against me. You've got the stuff.
Aang: But...
Toph: DO IT!

(Aang glances at her with confusion, then stomps down and shoves his fist forward, causing a large rock to shoot off and crash into a ridge.)

Toph: (excitedly) You did it! You're an earthbender.
Aang: (happily) I can't believe it!

(Cut to Sokka.)

Sokka: Aww, this is really a wonderful, touching moment. So, could you get me out of her so I can give you both a big, snuggly hug?
Aang: No problem, Sokka!

(He begins to march eagerly toward where Sokka is trapped, but Toph holds out a hand to stop him.)

Toph: Actually, you should probably let me do that. You're still a little new to this. You might accidentally crush him.

(Cut to Sokka, who smiles.)

Sokka: Yeah, no crushing, please.

(Toph walks up to Sokka and lifts her left foot, then stomps down. Sokka pops out of the hole and Toph grabs his hair, dragging him out as she walks away.

Cut to later in the night. Aang has an arm wrapped around Sokka to help him walk and Toph walks next to them with Aang's staff. Katara runs toward them from the foreground.)

Katara: You found him!

(She runs up to Sokka and gives him a hug. Aang and Toph watch.)

Sokka: The whole time that I was in that hole, not knowing if I would live or die, it makes a man think about what's really important. I realized...
Aang: (cutting Sokka off) Hey, Katara, look what I can do!

(Katara's gaze turns to Aang as he shoves his arms forward, causing a large rock formation to break in half.)

Katara: You did it! I knew you would! (She glances at Toph.) You tried the positive reinforcement, didn't you?
Toph: Yep. It worked wonders.

(Appa roars and Aang runs up to him.)

Aang: Appa! Appa! I can earthbend now! The key is being completely rooted! Physically and mentally unmovable!

(Appa licks Aang and he flies forward onto his face. Sokka begins to laugh and Aang joins him.

Cut to a mountain during a rainstorm. Zuko stands at the peak, staring at the clouds.)

Zuko: (defiantly) You've always thrown everything you could at me! Well, I can take it! And now I can give it back! (Lightning strikes in the distance. Cut to a close-up of Zuko's face as the rain pours off of it. He glances up at the sky.) Come on! Strike me! You've never held back before!

(He closes his eyes and a stream of tears begins to flow from his good eye. He raises his arms and shouts before collapsing onto his hands and knees.

Fade to white.)



[End Credits]

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