Written By: Tim Hedrick
Directed By: Giancarlo Volpe
Storyboard By: Michael Chang, Juan Meza-Leon, Bobby Rubio, Giancarlo Volpe, Tomihiro Yamaguchi
Animation By: JM Animation Co, Ltd
Transcribers: Avatar_Mom, Psycho Silver
["Previously on Avatar" sequence includes clips from "The Desert" and "The Headband".]
(The episode opens with a shot of a meteor shower flying across the night time sky. The camera tilts down to the ground.)
Katara: Wow, this is amazing to watch.
(Cut to a shot of Aang and company lying on a makeshift roof covering Appa and staring up at the sky.)
Sokka: Kind of makes you realize how insignificant we are.
Toph: Eh, you've seen nothing once, you've seen it 1,000 times.
(There is a sparkle in the sky as a large meteorite enters the atmosphere and falls toward the earth.)
Sokka: Oh, man. You've never notseen anything like this.
(Sokka, Aang, Momo and Katara all sit up and stare at amazement at the meteorite, engulfed in blue fire. The camera follows the meteorite as it whistles through the air and passes over their heads. Sokka turns around and watches as the meteorite crashes in a huge, blue explosion off in the distance, causing him to shield his eyes. Toph stands up in surprise. The camera zooms out of a shot of the group all looking at the smoke rising from an orange glow. Aang, Katara, and Sokka look to each other nervously.
Cut to a shot of a town nestled in the mountains. The camera zooms out to show Appa flying down towards a large, fire filled crater where the meteorite landed.)
Katara: The fire is gonna destroy that town.
Aang: Not if we can stop it.
(Cut to a shot of Appa landing close to the fire. Aang, Toph, and Sokka jump off of Appa while Katara slides onto Appa's neck and takes his reigns.)
Katara: There's a creek over here. I'll bend the water on to the fire. (Katara whips Appa's reigns and flies off.)
Aang: Toph, let's make a trench to keep the fire from coming any closer.
Sokka: (dejectedly) What should I do?
(Cut to a shot of Aang and Toph looking back. Momo flies past the screen and chirps.)
Aang: Keep an eye on Momo (Momo flies to Sokka and lands on his head.)
Sokka: So what, I'm just a lemur-sitter (petting Momo's head) There, there. Feel better?
(Cut to Aang and Toph running toward the fire. They both swing their arms down and cut a fissure through the ground in front of the fire. Aang and Toph raise their hands, then fling their arms to both sides, bending the fissure into a trench and pushing the fire back. Cut to Sokka and Momo. Flaming embers fall around them. Sokka frantically stamps one out with his club while Momo stamps out the rest and jumps back on Sokka's shoulders. Sokka looks back to see all the other fires put one and gives Momo a sour expression. Cut to Katara and Appa flying over the nearby creek. Katara bends a huge orb of water out of the creek and high into the air. Cut to a close up of Katara bending the water behind her, stabilizing it. Cut to Sokka watching Appa fly over the fire while Katara sprays a shower of water from the orb, putting out most of the flames. Cut to Toph moving her hands from side to side, bending a large, rectangular slab of stone to roll over its edges and stomp out more flames. Cut to Sokka and Momo as they watch the stone slab pass by. Cut to a shot of Aang taking the orb of water from Katara with his waterbending as Appa flies past him.)
Aang: (bending the water around) Sokka, stand clear.
(Cut to Sokka and Momo.)
Sokka: (disappointedly) Right, stand clear. Got it.
(Sokka stands up, picks up Momo, and begins to walk away. Cut to Aang. He bends the water behind him and takes a deep breath before pushes his arms forward, throwing the water the water at the fire and exhaling a gust of wind. Cut to Sokka carrying Momo. Momo quickly flies away before Sokka is caught by surprise by the torrent of water. Cut to an overhead shot of the flaming crater. A globe of water grows out from the center and explodes, spreading a light shower of snow all over the area, putting out all the fire. Cut to Aang as Appa and Katara land nearby and Toph walks up to him.)
Aang: (dusting his hands off) Good work, everybody.
(Cut to an overhead shot of the snow covered crater. The camera zooms out before cutting to a shot of Sokka emerging from a pile of snow. Momo slides past him on the ice covered ground.
The scene cuts to a shot of the outside of the Fire Nation prison. Cut to the inside of a very dark cell. The door opens and light pours in over Iroh. He is leaning against the wall, eyes glazed over and drooling. Cut to a shot from floor level of Warden Poon walking up to the bars of the cell. The warden drops a bowl of mush on the floor in front of the cell and kicks it over to Iroh, spilling it. Iroh scrambles at the food, desperate and gasping. He falls face first into the mush and begins to slovenly shovel it into his mouth.)
Warden Poon: (descending) Look at you. You're just a fat, disgusting old man. You do nothing, you say nothing. You just eat and roll around in your own filth like a pig. You're a disgrace.
(Warden Poon spits on the floor before turning away and exiting the cell. Cut to a close up of Iroh. He smiles and flicks the stray strands of his hair back. Iroh picks up the bowl of mush and assumes a much more dignified, cross legged position and continues eating.
The scene cuts to a shot of the small Fire Nation town Shu Jing situated in the
mountains next to a cliff overlooking a river. Cut to Aang, Katara, and Toph seated at an outdoor table at a local restaurant, each with trays of food.)
Aang: These people have no idea how close they were to getting toasted last night.
Toph: (eating a dumpling) Yeah, the worst thing about being in disguise is we don't get the hero worship anymore. I miss the love.
Sokka: (off screen, sarcastically) Boo-hoo, poor heroes.
(Cut to a shot of Sokka sitting at the edge of the floor by himself, a tray of steaming smoked sea slug next to him.)
Katara: What's your problem? You haven't even touched your smoked sea slug.
Sokka: It's just...all you guys can do this awesome bending stuff like putting out forest fires, and flying around, and making other stuff fly around. I can't fly around, ok (sadly) I can't do anything.
Katara: That's not true. No one can read a map like you.
Toph: I can't read at all.
Aang: Yeah, and who keeps us laughing with sarcastic comments all the time I mean, look at Katara's hair, right (grabs a lock of Katara's hair and gestures to it) What's up with that?
Katara: (embarrassed) What? What's wrong with my hair? (Katara looks left and right nervously, trying to cover her hair.)
Aang: (apologetic) Nothing, I was just trying to...
Sokka: Look, I appreciate the effort, but the fact is each of you is so amazing and so special, and I'm not. I'm just the guy in the group who's regular.
Katara: (sits down next to Sokka) I'm sorry you're feeling so down, but I hope you know none of us see you that way. (pauses a moment, then places a hand on Sokka's shoulder) I know something that's gonna make you feel better.
Sokka: (depressed) You do?
(Cut to a quick zooming out shot of Aang, Sokka, Katara and Toph standing in the doorway of a weapons shop.)
Sokka: (clapping his hands excitedly) Shopping!
(Sokka runs forward. Cut to a shot of him examining the various weapons displayed on the tall racks.)
Sokka: Maybe a little something to reinvigorate my battling. (pulls a nunchaku from the rack) Hey, how about these (begins twirling the nunchaku) Ho-ya! Smack-a-dacka-doo!
(Sokka accidentally hits himself in the head and falls over, knocking over a few of the poles weapons on the rack and making Toph flinch. Cut to Katara fitting on a pair of gloves.)
Aang: (off screen) What do you think? (cut to a titling
up shot of Aang wearing an extremely stylized and complex suit of heavy, shiny armor) Pretty slick, huh? (cut to a close up of an alarmed Katara) All I need to complete the outfit is a wind sword.
Katara: (shielding her eyes from the shine of the armor) What's a wind sword?
Aang: It's where I get a sword handle. And then I just swing this around and bend air out like a blade. (Aang raises a sword handle a swings it around, making wind noises.)
(The heavy armor creaks and begins to fall over. Aang, Unable to move anything but his arm, starts to panic. Katara tries to stop Aang from falling, but Aang and the armor hit the floor with a loud thud.)
Aang: I'll just stick to what I got.
(Cut to Sokka holding a pole weapon with a blade the end, a guandao. He swings it to one side, the swings it over his head and twirls it in a circle. The weapon flies up towards the ceiling like a helicopter and Sokka puts his hands behind his back innocently. Still within the same background, Sokka is next seen dragging an enormous, metal club across the floor. He groans as he tries to lift it, but loses his grip and falls off screen. Sokka is next seen holding two swords. He marches past the screen and chops downward with them, making short battle cries in pace as he does so. Sokka is next seen spinning a chain over his head, but he ends up wrapping the chain around him and falls over. Sokka is next seen running past the screen, carrying a very wobbly spear.
Cut to a close up of Sokka examining a sai before using it as a toothpick. Something catches Sokka's eye. The camera rotates around Sokka and brings into view a sword rack on the wall, and a particular sword framed and positioned above the others. Cut to a close up of the sword. The camera pans right, showing all the details of the hilt and scabbard. A dragon is depicted on the scabbard. Cut to a close up of Sokka eyeing the sword.)
Sokka: Ooo. (walks to the sword, closely examining it and feeling the scabbard) That's what Sokka's talking about.
Shop Keeper: (off screen) You have a good eye. (everyone gathers around the sword) That's an original from Piandao, the greatest sword master and sword maker in Fire Nation history. He lives in the big castle up the road from here (walks away).
Aang: That's it. That's what you needed all along, Sokka.
Sokka: A sword?
Aang: Not the sword...a master. (Sokka pulls the sword off the rack) We've all had masters to help us get better. You should see if you can study with Piandao.
Katara: That's a great idea. I could've never gotten to where I am without Master Pakku. Everyone needs a teacher.
Toph: I learned from badger moles. They don't talk, but they're still good teachers.
Sokka: (pulls out the sword and examines the blade) It would be nice to be a master swordfighter. All right, I'll talk to him.
(The scene cuts to a shot of the top of the bars of Iroh's cell. A ray of sunlight shines through a small window. Cut to an overhead shot of Iroh lying on his back on straw mat in the corner, hands behind his head. Cut to a close up of Iroh's profile. The camera suddenly zooms in as his eyes open wider. Iroh begins to do a series of sit ups, grunting as he does so.
The scene cuts to a shot of Piandao's castle, located on top of a large bluff. Cut to Sokka at the front gates. He grabs a knocker and taps it against the large door a few times. He waits a moment and looks around, but there is no answer. Sokka knocks the door and waits again. Still receiving no answer, Sokka becomes frustrated and grabs both knockers, banging them loudly and frantically. The right door is opened by the butler, Fat, frightening Sokka.)
Fat: (apathetic) Can I help you?
(Cut to a close up of Sokka still looking frightened. He quickly composes himself and assumes a more mannered persona.)
Sokka: I've come to train with The Master.
Fat: You should know The Master turns almost everyone away. (holds his hand out) What did you bring him to prove your worth?
Sokka: Well, uh... (feels around his clothes for something to offer)
Fat: Right. (shakes his head sadly) Let's get this over with.
(Fat gestures for Sokka to enter. Sokka steps through the gate and Fat closes the door. Cut to an overhead shot of the castle courtyard as Sokka and Fat walk towards the main structure of the castle. The camera tilts up to the tallest tower. Cut to a large room with a red carpet and tall windows, giving a view of the valley. Rows of lit candles are places on both sides of the windows. Piandao sits at a small table in front of the windows, his back to the camera. He has dark skin and wears a black cheongsam. Cut to a close up of Piandao's hand holding a calligraphy brush and dipping it into a tray of ink, carefully holding his sleeve with the other hand. His hands move off screen and Sokka and Fat are seen in the background. The camera zooms in on Sokka as he steps forward.)
Sokka: Master, my name is Sokka, and I wish to be instructed in the way of the sword.
(Cut to a shot of Piandao, his back still towards Sokka. His sword is placed next to the table.)
Piandao: Sokka. That's an unusual name.
Sokka: (nervously) Oh, uh, really? Uh, where I come from, The Fire Nation colonies, it's a pretty normal name, for Fire Nation colonials.
Piandao: (writing calligraphy on a piece of parchment) Let me guess. You've come hundreds of miles from your little village where you're the best swordsman in town. And you think you deserve to learn from The Master.
Sokka: Well, actually, I've been all over the world.
Piandao: (knowingly) Yep, here we go.
Sokka: And I know one thing for sure, (gets down on his knees and hangs his head) I have a lot to learn.
Piandao: (glancing back) You're not doing a very good job of selling yourself.
Sokka: I know. Your butler told me that when I met you, I would have to prove my worth. But the truth is...I don't know if I am worthy.
Piandao: Hm, I see. Well, then, (smiles and picks up his sword) let's find out together how worthy you are.
(Sokka looks up as Piandao's shadow passes over him. Cut to a shot of the red carpet the end of Piandao's sword's scabbard strikes the floor. The camera quickly zooms out to a shot of Piandao standing now before Sokka, sword firmly planted before him. Cut to a close up of Piandao.)
Piandao: I will train you.
(Cut to Sokka as a huge smile spreads across his face. Cut to commercial.)
(The episode returns with a shot of Sokka and Piandao standing in a sword fighting ring in front of the building they were in earlier. Sokka is wearing an almost identical outfit to Piandao's.)
Piandao: The first thing you must learn is that your weapon is an extension of yourself. (unsheathes his word and begins performing a sword form) You must think of it as another part of your own body.
Sokka: Like a second head.
Piandao: Well, more like an extra-long, really sharp arm. The sword is a simple tool, but in the hands of a master it becomes the most versatile of weapons, (sheathes his sword and assumes a stance) and just as the imagination is limitless so too are the possibilities of the sword.
(Sokka smiles excitedly and nods his head in understanding.
The scene cuts to Aang, Toph, Katara, Appa, and Momo in the countryside. Cut to an overhead shot of Aang, Top, and Katara lying on their backs in a circle. Momo runs up to them and lies down next to Katara. Appa is sleeping under the makeshift roof.)
Aang: What should we do today?
Toph: I'm tapped out. I already picked my toes, twice.
Toph: The first time was for cleaning, but the second time's just for the sweet picking sensation.
Katara: Sokka's been in charge of the schedule. I'm not sure what we should be doing.
Toph: (picking her nose) Plus, it's so hot today.
Aang: (jokingly) How hot is it?
Toph: I don't know. Real hot?
Katara: It's so hot, it's so hot... Momo is shedding like Appa. (pets
Momo and flicks tufts of fur from her fingers) Huh, huh?
(Aang scratches his head and Katara's joke receives no laughs. Cut back to the overhead shot.)
Aang: I guess the jokes don't run in the family.
Katara: Oh, everyone's a critic.
(Appa grunts in response.
The scene cuts to a shot of Iroh hanging upside down and doing crunches, panting with effort. Cut to a shot of his feet as he hangs from the over head bars. Cut to and zoom out from a wide shot of Iroh doing the upside down crunches in his cell.
The scene shifts to Piandao and Sokka standing in front of a table inside the building. On the table is calligraphy stationary.)
Piandao: The warrior practices a variety of arts tokeep his mind sharp and fluid. (flattens out a piece of paper on the table) The first
you will learn is calligraphy. Write your name.
(Piandao delicately hands a brush to Sokka, who takes it, messing the bristles up with his thumb.)
Sokka: (skeptical) Writing my name will make me a better swordsman?
Piandao: (takes the brush and positions it correctly in Sokka's hand) When you write your name, you stamp the paper with your identity. You must learn to use your sword to stamp your identity on a battlefield.(holding his sleeve, Sokka dips the brush into the ink and prepares to write his name) Remember, you cannot take back a stroke of the brush, or a stroke of the sword.
(Sokka hand quivers and he sweats nervously, the brush barely an inch above the paper. He scratches his head and places the tip of the brush on his chin, thinking hard about what to do.)
Piandao: You are getting ink on your face.
Sokka: I am? (looks at the brush) I am. So this is about putting my identity on the page, right?
(Piandao nods. Cut to a close up of Sokka. He smiles and the camera zooms out as he proceeds to brush the ink over his face. The camera tilts down as Sokka presses his face onto the paper and rolls his head around. Sokka picks up the paper and shows it to Piandao, smiling cheerfully. On the paper is a large inkblot which vaguely resembles a face. Piandao simply closes his eyes in response.
The scene cut to a shot of the main building. The camera tilts down to show Sokka and Fat facing off in the sword fighting ring, both wearing training equipment and holding wooden swords. Piandao sits at the top of the steps leading to the building, watching. Fat wipes his nose as he waits for Sokka to make a move. Sokka lunges at Fat and thrusts his sword. Fat effortlessly parries the attack and knocks the sword from Sokka's hands. Sokka runs away in fright and Fat chases after, whacking him in the rear with the wooden sword.
Cut to a shot of the sky. The camera tilts down to a blindfolded Sokka being guided through the countryside by Piandao.)
Piandao: Landscape painting teaches a warrior to hold the lay of the land in his mind.
(Piandao stops Sokka turns him to face left and pulls off the blindfold.)
Piandao: In battle, you only have an instant to take everything in.
(Cut to a close up of Sokka rubbing his eyes. The camera rotates around to his front as his eyes grow wide and he smiles with excitement and amazement. Cut to a shot of Sokka and Piandao, their backs to the camera, standing before a majestic view of a mighty river flowing into a series of waterfalls that drop into a canyon. Cut back to Sokka. Piandao grabs his head and turns him away, making him sit in front of a table with a piece of paper, paint, and paint brushes.)
Piandao: Now, paint it.
(Sokka gapes in disbelief. He turns to look at the waterfall, but Piandao turns his head back.)
Piandao: And no peeking.
(Piandao walks away as Sokka takes a brush and begins to paint the intricate view. Cut to a wide shot of the landscape. The camera pans right, towards Piandao and Sokka. Fade to a shot of Piandao's back, the camera tilting up, then to his front, his eyes closed in silent meditation.)
Sokka: I'm finished.
(Piandao opens his eyes and looks at Sokka. Cut to a shot of Sokka presenting a very childish and colorful drawing of the landscape, which bears little resemblance, including a rainbow and a sun with a smiling face.)
Piandao: You added a rainbow.
Sokka: (worried) Is that ok?
(Piandao sighs and shakes his head. Cut to the main building. The camera tilts down to Sokka and Fat in the sword fighting ring with the training gear. Sokka thrusts forward and he and Fat begin their practice fight. Sokka fares much better than before. He grunts as he parries a strike and attempts to swing his wooden sword down, but is distracted.)
(Sokka looks over to Piandao, giving Fat the opportunity to circle behind him and kick him in the back, causing a slightly painful fall to the ground.)
Piandao: Concentrate on what you're doing.
(Sokka frowns and drops his head, giving Piandao a half hearted thumbs up. Cut to a wide shot of Piandao's castle. The camera tilts down to Sokka and Piandao walking to the top of a stairway leading down to an empty, tiled area. A small statue of a lion turtle comes into the foreground.)
Piandao: Rock gardening teaches the warrior to manipulate his surroundings and use them to his advantage.
(Cut to a close up of Sokka. He places a hand on his chin and thinks carefully.)
Sokka: Hm, manipulate them to my advantage. Oh!
(Piandao watches as Sokka runs down the steps. Cut to a shot of Piandao. A look of worry comes over him and the camera quickly zooms out to show Sokka rolling a huge stone across the ground. Sokka groans at the strain of it. Cut to a shot of a sheet of moss lying on a rock. Sokka appears from behind and examines its texture before taking it and running back to the other side of the area. Sokka throws the moss on the huge stone and then lays down on it, sighing in relaxation. The camera quickly zooms out to a shot of Sokka lying on the easy chair he made from rocks and moss. Cut to a shot of Fat walking up from behind Piandao. Fat suddenly gasps in shock. Cut to a shot of stones scattered all over the tiled floor, creating a mess. Sokka waves at Fat.)
Sokka: Hey, would you mind grabbing a cold drink for me?
(Fat gasps and turns to Piandao.)
Piandao: I'll take a slice of lemon in mine, please.
(Fat groans in resignation, hangs his head, and walks off to fetch the drinks. Cut to Sokka and Fat dueling in the sword fighting ring again, Piandao sitting in the foreground. Sokka and Fat thrust and parry a few strikes. Sokka swings his sword in a circle and tries to hit Fat's leg, but Fat pulls his leg up and he avoids the attack. Cut to a close up of the two from behind Sokka. The scene goes into slow motion as Fat swings his sword and Sokka parries it. Sokka returns the strike and is also parried. The camera cuts to behind Fat as Sokka continues his offense with four quick thrusts. Fat blocks all the attacks and tries to attack Sokka. He misses, and Sokka uses this opportunity to slip the blade of his wooden sword under Fat's hand and fling the wooden sword from it. Fat is shocked and raises his hands in defeat as Sokka thrusts his sword forward and places the blade on the side of Fat's neck, ending the duel. Sokka steps away from Fat, puts his hands together and bows to Piandao, while Fat frowns angrily at him. Cut to a shot of Piandao sipping a drink from a cup with a slice of lemon stuck on it.
The scene cuts to a shot of the outside of the Fire Nation prison and zooms in. Cut to the inside of Iroh's cell and zoom in on Iroh doing push ups on his knuckles, clapping his hands together at the apex of each push. Cut to a shot of Warden Poon sitting and eating a piece of bread. He hears the clapping and goes to investigate. Cut to Iroh continuing to do push ups. Cut to Warden Poon walking towards the door to Iroh's cell. Cut to a shot from inside the cell of him looking in through the barred window in the door.)
Warden Poon: What's going on in there?
(Cut to a shot of Iroh sitting against the wall and lazily clapping his hands side to side with a delirious expression. Cut back to Warden Poon.)
Warden Poon: Crazy old man.
(Warden Poon leaves. Cut back to Iroh. He claps a few more times and smiles when he is sure the warden is gone, ceasing his clapping and pushing back the stray hair hanging over his face. The scene cuts to a far shot of the Avatar group's campsite near the river. Cut to a shot of Aang and Katara sitting around a map of the Fire Nation.)
Katara: So where are we going next? (pointing to the map) We're starting from here.
Aang: (pointing at a different spot) No, we're over on this island.
Toph: (lying down) You noodle-brains don't know what you're doing. I miss Sokka.
Katara: Ooh, I got one. If you miss him so much, why don't you marry him?
(Katara grins at her joke. The camera quickly zooms out and a groan is heard in the background. Toph rolls over on her side, away from Katara. A winged insect buzzes in front of Aang, who simply blows it away with a quick blast of wind from his breath.
Cut to a shot of the sword fighting ring in front of the main building at Piandao's castle. The camera tilt's down to Sokka and Piandao sitting on the ground.)
Piandao: You've had a good first day of training.
Sokka: I have? But I thought I messed up every single thing we worked on.
Piandao: You messed things up in a very special way. You are ready for a real sword.
Sokka: (excited) Are you giving me one of yours?
(Sokka groans disappointedly and slumps down.)
Piandao: Your sword must be an extension of yourself. So tomorrow, you will make your own sword.
(Cut to and zoom in on Sokka. He immediately perks up and grins. Cut to commercial.)
(The show returns to a shot of a rack of swords. Weapons are hung all about the room. The camera pans left to Sokka and Piandao standing at a table. On the table are several bricks of steel.)
Piandao: Choosing the correct material is the most important step in crafting a sword. You must trust your steel with your life. Choose carefully.
(Sokka takes two bricks and weighs them in each hand. Sokka sets them down and takes another brick. He sniffs it and then bites the brick to test its quality. Sokka puts the brick down and puts a hand to his chin thoughtfully. An idea comes to his mind and he turns to Piandao.)
Sokka: Master, would it be possible for me to leave and bring back a special material for my sword?
Piandao: I wouldn't have it any other way.
(Piandao smiles at Sokka. Cut to Aang, Katara, Toph and Appa all asleep and sitting around the map as they were before. Toph suddenly sits up.)
Toph: Sokka's coming!
(Aang and Katara wake up, gasping and smiling excitedly. Cut to a shot of Sokka walking up to the top of the hill.)
Sokka: Hey, guys. What are you doing?
(Aang, Katara, and Toph all jump at Sokka and give him a group hug.)
Toph: You're back.
Katara: We missed you so much.
Aang: Say something funny.
Sokka: Funny how?
(Aang and Katara both laugh heartily.)
Sokka: What's their deal?
Toph: I don't know. They missed you or something. I didn't care. (turns away, blushing and smiling)
Sokka: Thanks. That warms my heart. Anyway, I need some help.
(Cut to a shot of the gang running over to the edge of the crater created the night before. Cut to a shot of the group, their backs to the camera, as they stare at the meteorite at the bottom of the crater.
The camera zooms in on the meteorite before cutting to an overhead shot of Iroh sitting in his cell, looking through the bars in the ceiling. Cut to a close up of Iroh's eyes. They are closed for a brief moment, then open. Iroh leans forward and puts his head on the floor. The camera cuts to a shot of Iroh's legs rising into the air and tilts down as Iroh stands on his hands. Sweating heavily, Iroh begins to perform hand-stand push ups.
The camera zooms out, and the scene cuts to a shot of Sokka, Aang, and Katara pushing the meteorite up the slope to Piandao's castle. Toph is behind the meteorite, pushing it forward with her earthbending. Fade to an overhead shot of the group and the meteorite at the large doors. Sokka runs to the doors and bangs both knockers frantically. Piandao opens one of the doors almost immediately and steps out.)
Piandao: Who's this?
Sokka: Oh, these are my friends. Just other good Fire Nation folks. (Piandao bows to them) Do you think we can make a sword out of a meteorite?
(Piandao lays a hand on the meteorite and examines it.)
Piandao: We'll make a sword unlike any other in the world.
(Cut to a shot of a fiery forge. The camera zooms out and turns left to Sokka bare-chested and shoveling coal into it, then to Piandao and Fat, who is carrying a large sledge hammer. The camera cuts and tilts up to a shot of Sokka holding a chisel against the meteorite while Fat hammers it, Piandao watching in the back. Cut to a shot of Sokka tapping the chisel with a smaller hammer. A piece of the meteorite breaks off and falls to the floor. Sokka takes a moment to wipe the sweat from his brow. Cut to a shot of a wooden filled with the meteorite fragments. Fat takes the bucket and the camera follows him as he brings it over to the forge. Sokka is seen working the bellows diligently. The camera zooms in as Katara and Aang peer in at Sokka from around the corner.
Fade to a shot of the bucket sitting in the fires of the forge. Cut to a shot of Sokka holding his legs to his chest, asleep. He wakes up and looks behind him at the forge. He stands up and resumes shoveling in coal. The camera zooms out to show Piandao observing Sokka from outside. Fade to a shot of the bucket being pulled from the forge by iron tongs by Sokka. He carefully positions the liquid space metal over a mold of a blade and pours it in. Cut to a shot of the red hot metal being hammered against a stone. Piandao raises the hot blade and looks carefully at it. An excited Sokka can be seen behind him. Cut to a shot from inside a trough of water as Piandao dips the blade in. The blade makes the water bubble and boil as it hisses and cools, turning black.
Fade to a shot of the outside of the main building, the camera tilting down to the open doors. Cut to a shot of the inside. Sokka is seated in front of Piandao. Aang, Katara, and Toph sit behind Sokka while Fat stands behind Piandao, holding Sokka's sword.)
Piandao: Sokka, when you first arrived, you were so unsure. You even seemed down on yourself. But I saw something in you right away. I saw a heart as strong as a lion turtle, and twice as big. And as we trained, it wasn't your skills that impressed me. (Fat kneels to Piandao and gives him the sword) No, it certainly wasn't your skills. (Sokka looks down in shame) You showed something beyond that. (unsheathes the sword, showing its black blade) Creativity, versatility, intelligence... these are the traits that define a great swordsman. And these are the traits that define you. (sheathes the sword, kneels and gives it to Sokka) You told me you didn't know if you were worthy, but I believe that you are more worthy than any man I have ever trained.
(Cut to a shot of the sword in Sokka's hands. The camera tilts up to Sokka as he lowers his head in shame.)
Sokka: I'm sorry, Master. You're wrong. I am not worthy. I'm not who you think I am. I'm not from the Fire Nation. I'm from the Southern Water Tribe. (Aang, Katara, and Toph all gawk at Sokka with shock and disbelief) I lied so that I could learn swordsmanship from you. I'm sorry.
(Sokka holds his sword up for Piandao to take. Cut to a close up of Piandao frowning and turning away.)
Piandao: I'm sorry, too.
(Piandao quickly turns back around and swings his sword at Sokka. Sokka stands and avoids the attack, using his sheathed sword to block a thrust from Piandao. Aang, Katara, and Toph get up and go to help Sokka, but he raises his hand to stop them.)
Sokka: No, this is my fight, alone.
(Cut to a close up of Piandao before cutting to Iroh's cell. Warden Poon enters, carrying a tray of food. The camera pans right to a close up of Iroh.)
Warden Poon: You used to be the pride of The Fire Nation. Our top general. The Dragon of the West. Now, look at you. (drops the food to the floor. Iroh grabs a green fruit from behind the bars) Look what you've become.
(Iroh watches the warden leave and stands up. He puts the fruit to his mouth and holds it in his teeth as he begins to untie his belt. His shirt comes off and a thick, folded sheet that had been covering his belly falls to the floor. The camera tilts up to reveal Iroh's new, incredibly buff physique. Iroh takes the fruit from his mouth and bites into it. He jumps up and grabs a bar above with one hand. Iroh takes another bite of the fruit and begins doing one handed pulls ups.
The scene cuts to a shot of Sokka and Piandao squared off in the sword fighting ring. Aang, Katara, Toph, and Fat watch from the upper part of the main building. Cut to and zoom in on Sokka, ready with his black sword. Cut to a shot of the tip of Piandao's sword pointed at the ground. The camera tilts up to him, his other hand raised and pointed. The others watch nervously. Cut to a panning right close up of Sokka, then to a panning left close up of Piandao. Piandao lunges forward and begins his attack, striking four times. Sokka deflects the blows and stabs at Piandao.
Piandao moves his head out of the way and stabs at Sokka, who sways back and avoids the attack; Piandao sweeps his sword at Sokka's legs, but Sokka jumps over it and lunges at Piandao, thrusting his sword forward. Piandao deflects Sokka's blade and hits him with the butt of his sword's hilt. Sokka is knocked back several feet and slides over the floor. Sokka flips himself backward and grabs a post of a small bridge to regain his balance. He quickly climbs onto the post and leaps to the other one just as Piandao thrusts his sword at him. Piandao spins around and tries to slice Sokka's foot, but Sokka jumps away to the other rail of the bridge. Piandao stabs at Sokka again, but Sokka jumps off the rail and rolls to the side. Piandao strikes again, but Sokka rolls under the blade. Sokka blocks Piandao's next strikes as he gains distance and hop back on the railing. Sokka leaps away to the end of the bridge as Piandao swings his sword at him.)
Piandao: Excellent! Using your superior agility against an older opponent...smart.
(Piandao charges at Sokka again, striking at Sokka and pushing him up a large stone stairway. Sokka blocks all of the attacks, but the force pushes him against the wall of the stairway. He deflects a thrust from Piandao upward, then ducks as the blade slices through the part of the wall above his shoulder. Piandao swings his sword around his head and body in two large circles. Sokka barely dodges Piandao's blade, cart wheeling to the right. Sokka spins back around, hops a foot off the ground and pushes off the wall with his legs, propelling himself forward, sword extended. Piandao deflects the attack and Sokka rolls across the stair to the other wall, climbing to the top.)
Piandao: Good use of terrain...fighting from the high ground.
(Sokka swings at Piandao below him, who parries and swings at Sokka. Piandao thrusts his sword at Sokka, who pins the blade under his own blade, weighted down under his feet. Piandao tries to wrench his sword free, but can't. He leans forward and pushes his sword upward, throwing Sokka off. Sokka grunts as he stumbles back into a tall stalk of bamboo. Cut to a shot of Toph, Aang, and Katara all wincing at the sight. Cut back to Sokka as he looks up fearfully, strands of hair falling over his face. Piandao raises his sword and charges at Sokka.
Sokka ducks as Piandao slices the bamboo just above his head. He runs off into the bamboo thicket, slicing through as many surrounding stalks of bamboo that he can. As Piandao chases after, the stalks all begin to fall. Piandao skillfully cuts through the bamboo. Sokka desperately runs through the bamboo and turns, grabbing a stalk and pulling it. He lets it go just as Piandao catches up, causing the bamboo to whip back at Piandao. Piandao cuts through the stalk and begins to strike at Sokka, who deflects and runs off again, grabbing two bamboo stalks.)
Piandao: Yes, use your surroundings. Make them fight for you!
(Sokka lets go of the stalks. They whip around at Piandao, who slices through them. Cut to a shot of Sokka running out of the bamboo and back towards the sword fighting ring, screaming in terror and Piandao not far behind. The camera shifts to Sokka's front. He is very frightened and takes a look behind, but Piandao has run off to the side and out of sight. By the time Sokka looks ahead, Piandao is already in front of him and pokes his sword out in front of Sokka, trying to make him run into it. However, Sokka leans back.
The scene goes into slow motion and the camera cuts to an overhead close up of Sokka sliding under the blade. The scene comes back to normal speed as Sokka stands back up and stumbles forward, stabbing his sword into the ground to stop his fall. Using his momentum, Sokka swings his sword back around, flinging dirt and dust at Piandao. The scene goes into slow motion again and the camera cuts to a close up of Piandao as the dirt hits him in the face, blinding him. The scene comes back to normal speed as Piandao spins around and positions his sword behind his back to defend any sneak attacks. Cut to a close up of Piandao trying to blink the dirt out of his eyes.)
Piandao: Very resourceful.
(Piandao turns his head and listens for any sounds. Sokka nervously raises his sword defensively. He then slowly tries to sneak away, careful not to make any noises that would give away his location. Unfortunately, Sokka steps on a lone twig on the ground, snapping it. Piandao turns his head towards Sokka when he hears it. He twirls his sword around into an offensive position and charges forward. Sokka takes a step back as Piandao closes in and stabs at him. Sokka parries the attack, but Piandao catches Sokka's blade with his own. He pushes Sokka's sword around in two circles and flings Sokka's sword out of his hands. Sokka watches as the sword stabs into the ground several feet away.
The scene then goes into slow motion as Piandao swings his sword in large, horizontal arc at Sokka. Sokka is not cut by the bade, but is instead hit in the chest by Piandao's arms, knocking him on his back. Sokka looks up fearfully as Piandao turns and points his sword at Sokka's head. Aang, Katara, and Toph all jump from the building to the ground and run towards Sokka and Piandao. Cut to a close up of Piandao. The camera zooms out as he swings his sword away from Sokka, halting Aang, Katara, and Toph.)
Piandao: Excellent work, Sokka.
(Cut to a shot of Sokka squinting at Piandao curiously. Cut to a shot of Piandao with Aang, Katara, and Toph in the background. He raises his hand and the camera tilts up slightly as he signals to Fat. Fat flings the scabbard of Piandao's sword towards him. Still blinded, Piandao turns and points his sword upward, letting the scabbard fly right onto the blade.)
Piandao: I think I'm a little old to be fighting the Avatar.
(Cut to a shot of Aang, Katara, and Toph in their bending stances. They come out of their stances and look at each other in surprise.)
Aang: How did you know?
(Cut to a shot of Piandao and Sokka. Sokka stands back up as Fat walks on screen carrying a drink and a white cloth.)
Piandao: Oh, I've been around a while. You pick things up. (wipes the dirt off his face with the cloth) Of course, I knew from the beginning
that Sokka was Water Tribe. You might want to think of a better Fire Nation cover name. Try "Lee." There's a million "Lees" (sips his drink).
Katara: But why would you agree to train someone from the Water Tribe?
Piandao: The way of the sword doesn't belong to any one nation. Knowledge of the arts belongs to us all. (gives his sword to Fat. He pulls Sokka's sword out of the ground and gives it back to Sokka) Sokka, you must continue your training on your own. If you stay on this path, I know that one day you will become an even greater master than I am.
(Cut to a shot of Aang, Katara, and Sokka all smiling warmly. Cut back to Sokka and Piandao as they bow to each other. The scene cuts to a wide shot of the group leaving Piandao's castle through the front gates. Cut to a closer shot of the group from the front. Fat is running up to them from behind.)
Fat: Wait. (everyone turns to him) The Master wanted you to have this, as something to remember him by.
(Cut to a close up of Fat giving a small, brown bag to Sokka. They all bow as a farewell and Fat walks back to the castle. The camera zooms in as Sokka opens the bag and pulls out a white lotus Pai Sho tile.)
Sokka: It's a Pai Sho tile.
(Cut to a close up of the tile in Sokka's hands.)
Aang: The white lotus. Hm.
Katara: What does it mean?
Sokka: I have no idea. (Fat is seen in the background closing the doors. Sokka and Aang look back and the camera zooms in on the doors, clearly showing a lotus design on the doors surrounding the Fire Nation symbol) Ooh, that reminds me. Toph, I thought you might like this since you've probably never had a chance to bend space earth before.
(Sokka pulls from his pocket a chunk of the meteorite used to make his sword. Cut to a close up of the black space earth as Toph takes it.)
Toph: Sweet. Check this out.
(Cut to a close up of the space earth floating between Toph's hands. She shapes it into a swirl, a star, and then a splatter shaped similarly to the Nickelodeon logo. Cut to a shot of the group as they walk off down the trail.)
Katara: You know, I don't think there's such a thing as "space earth." If it's from space, then it's not really earth.
Sokka: Must you ruin everything?
Katara: I can't believe I missed you.
(Cut to a wide, overhead shot of Piandao's castle and the Avatar gang walking away. Fade to white.)
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