Transcript for 312 - The Western Air Temple
The Western Air Temple
Written By: Elizabeth Welch Ehasz, Tim Hedrick
Directed By: Ethan Spaulding
Storyboard By: Oreste Canestrelli, Miyuki Hoshikawa, Dean Kelly, Lauren Montgomery, Ethan Spaulding, Tomihiro Yamaguchi
Animation By: JM Animation Co, Ltd
Transcribers: Avatar_Mom, Psycho Silver, Icy_Ashford



["Previously on Avatar" sequence, including clips from "The Day of Black Sun, Part 2: The Eclipse".]



Act I

(The episode opens up to an overhead shot of Appa still in his armor and the rest of the group walking slowly on a rocky and barren land with the Sun blazing above their heads. Cut to a frontal shot of Toph with her head down, trudging along with Haru and Sokka walking behind her with their eyes closed.

Cut to Aang walking tiredly with Momo resting on his head with a similar expression. Cut to a frontal shot of Teo wheeling his wheelchair with The Duke following behind him. Both of them are hanging their heads down dejectedly. Switch to a sideview shot of Katara walking beside her brother with the same expression as the rest of the group.)

Katara: This is humiliating.
Sokka: Do you mean getting thoroughly spanked by the Fire Nation, (Katara turns her head towards her brother) or having to walk all the way to the Western Air Temple?
Katara: (She turns her head back) Both.
Aang: Sorry guys, but Appa (he stretches his hand out and affectionately scratches the area under Appa's eye) gets tired carrying all these people.

(Cut to a frontal shot of the whole group)

Teo: I wonder how the rest of the troops are.
Haru: (Cut to a close up shot of Haru's face) They're probably on their way to a prison. Seems like my dad just got out, now he's going back in.

(Cut to an overhead shot of Sokka and The Duke)

The Duke: I miss Pipsqueak.
Sokka: I miss not having blisters (Cut to an overhead shot behind Appa) on my feet.

(Cut to a close up of the rocky ground as Toph's foot stomps into screen. Cut to a close up of Toph with a relieved expression on her face.)

Toph: Hey, we're here. I can feel it.

(Camera pans out to show the group stopping near the edge of a cliff. The camera pans to the right to show a vast empty space filled with white mist in between the cliff they're standing on and the next.)

Katara :(off screen) Uh, I think your feet need their eyes checked.
Aang: (off screen) No, (Cut back to Aang with Sokka in the background) she's right, (Sokka looks up at Aang, stunned) we are here.

(Sokka looks around and brings up both his arms to show that he can't see anything. Cut to a frontal shot of the cliff with the group standing above it.)

Toph: Wow, (Camera slowly pans down to rows of rocky protrusions) it's amazing.

(Camera pans down further to show a multi-tiered structure of an upside down pagoda. Camera zooms out rapidly to show more upside down pagodas of the Western Air Temple with a couple of statues seemingly fixed into the cliffs.

Cut to a close up side view of one of the pagodas as a rope drops into screen. Zuko is then seen slowly sliding down the rope with his hands. Cut to the back of Zuko's head as he turns around. Cut to a large statue of a female airbender as Zuko stares at it. The camera follows him as he continues to make his descent. Cut to a wide side view shot of 3 statues as Zuko stops and swings himself on the rope, gaining momentum with each arc. He jumps off at the 4th swing. Cut to an area on the ground as Zuko lands into screen, balancing himself with a hand on the floor. He straightens up and looks around.

The screen flashes white to a flashback. Cut to a frontal shot of the cliff similar to the one Toph and the group were on earlier. Camera pans down to show the various natural structures through the mist of the temple.)

Iroh: (off screen) What a stunning view.

(Cut to a frontal shot of Zuko with Iroh behind him. Both are in their Season 1 outfits. Zuko has a large, white bandage over the scarred side of his face with a cloth strap secured in place.)

Zuko: The only view I'm interested in seeing (Iroh's expression changes into sadness) is the Avatar in chains.
Iroh: (He takes a step towards his nephew) You know, (Cut to an overhead shot of the 2 standing at the edge of a platform in front of the 3 statues present day Zuko landed on earlier) the Avatar hasn't been seen for a 100 years. (The camera pans down slowly) The chances of finding him here are very slim. (Cut to a shot of Zuko's bandaged side)
Zuko: First, we'll check each of the air temples. (takes a few steps forward, looking around) Then we'll scour the world, searching even the most remote locations until we find him.
Iroh: (Iroh looks on, concerned) Prince Zuko, it's only been a week since your banishment. (Cut to a far back view shot of the 2) You should take some time to heal and rest.
Zuko: (turns around and raises his voice) What else would I expect to hear from the laziest man in the Fire Nation? (Cut to a close up of Iroh's slightly appalled face as he looks down and sighs) The only way (Cut back to a frontal shot of uncle and nephew) to regain my honor is to find the Avatar. So I will.

(Iroh glances up at Zuko, turns, and walks away. Cut back to present day Zuko with his eyes closed. He groans and rubs his nose bridge with his fingers.

Appa growls off screen and Zuko looks towards his left, gasping in surprise and runs off screen. Cut to Zuko taking cover from behind a pillar as Appa flies into screen. Zuko crouches down.

Cut to a frontal shot of Zuko's face as he looks on from behind the pillar. He proceeds to stand up and walk off screen. Camera pans to the left to show him running up a flight of stairs.

Cut to a shot of an hour glass shaped fountain. Cut to Teo and The Duke looking up in wonder.)

Teo: It's so different from the Northern Air Temple. (Camera pans to a flight of stairs linking to a bridge) I wonder if there are any secret rooms.
Haru: (Haru runs into screen and waves a hand, beckoning the others to join him) Let's go check it out.

(Cut to The Duke and Teo as they enthusiastically make their way off screen. Aang runs after them but is stopped by Katara who blocks him with his staff.)

Katara: You guys go... (Aang catches his glider and Katara lays a hand on his shoulder) I think we need to talk about some things.

(Cut to the top of the bridge as Haru and The Duke help Teo onto it. As Haru sets Teo's wheelchair down, Teo wheels off rapidly.)

Haru: I'll race you, Duke.
The Duke: (annoyed) I told you, it's "The Duke."

(Haru and The Duke proceed to run after Teo. Cut to a close up of a disappointed Aang.)

Aang: Why can't I go?
Katara: (Cut to a serious Katara) We need to decide what we're gonna do now. And since you're the Avatar, maybe you should be a part of this.

(Cut to a flat, slightly broken down stone bench as Aang leans his staff against it and sits down and crosses his arms grouchily.)

Aang: Fair enough. So, what's the new plan?

(Cut to a wide shot of the Gaang with each of them sitting on stone benches except for Toph who is sitting on a rather tall stone column)

Sokka: Well, if you ask me, the new plan is the old plan. You just need to master all four elements, and confront the Fire Lord before the comet comes.
Aang: (sarcastically) Oh, yeah, that's great. (He picks up a pebble and tosses it into the air nonchalantly) No problem, (He continues fidgeting) I'll just do that. (He lays the pebble on the bench and flicks it away.)
Katara: Aang, no one said it's gonna be easy.
Aang: (continuing his little tantrum) Well, it's not even gonna be possible. Where am I supposed to get a firebending teacher?
Katara: (deep in thought) We could look for Jeong Jeong.
Aang: Yeah right, (He lies down on the bench without a care) like we'll ever run into Jeong Jeong again.
Toph: (Cut to a sideview of a confused Toph) Who's - Oh, (She folds her arms irritably) never mind. If it's important, I'll find out.

(Cut to another wide shot of the Gaang from a different angle as Aang stands up with his glider in hand)

Aang: Oh well, guess we can't come up with anybody. Why don't we (He jumps over Sokka's bench) just take a nice tour (He proceeds to run off screen as Momo follows him) around the temple?

(Cut to a shot of the mist as Aang's boot runs into screen and he unfolds his glider and leaps off the cliff. Momo flies into screen and joins his master in the mist as both of them fly upwards and off screen.)

Toph: (off screen) What's up with him? (Cut to the remaining 3)
Sokka: There's got (brings up his hands to his chin and thinks) to be someone who can teach him firebending.

(Katara and Toph look down dejectedly as the camera slowly pans up and fades to a smiling Zuko in a forested area.)

Zuko: Hello, (raises an arm in greeting) Zuko here. But I guess (rubs his hand against the back of his head nervously) you probably already know me... sort of. Uh...so, the thing is, (He puts his arm down and looks to the side hesitantly) I have a lot of firebending experience, and I'm (places an arm on chest with pride) considered to be pretty good at it. (He continues smiling) Well, you've seen me... you know, when I was attacking you? (His eyes widen at his verbal mistake) Uh, yeah...I guess (places his fingers against his forehead in embarrassment) I should apologize for that. But anyway, (waves an arm to the side dismissively) I'm good now. (clenches both fists and places one on his chest while the other arm is raised) I mean, I thought I was good before, but now I realize I was bad. (He gets visibly uncomfortable and drops his arms into a slouch) Ugh, but anyway... I think it's time I joined your group, and taught (straightens up with a sincere expression on his face) the Avatar firebending.

(The camera slowly zooms in on him. Cut to a sideview of Zuko to reveal him talking to a badger frog sitting on a large log. The tarp from Zuko's war balloon can be seen in the background and it has been used as a form of shelter. Cut to a frontal shot of the badger frog as it croaks.)

Zuko: (Cut to a close up of a frustrated Zuko) Well, what's your answer?!

(Cut to a sideview of Zuko as the frog ribbits and hops on Zuko's head before jumping off screen. Zuko slouches dejectedly.)

Zuko: Yeah, that's what I'd say too. (Cut to a far shot of Zuko's campsite as he raises his arm to his head in despair) How am I supposed to convince these people I'm on their side? What would Uncle do? (He proceeds to imitate Iroh's voice and pretends to hold an imaginary beard on his chin as he starts pacing.)

"Zuko, you have to look within yourself, to save yourself (He releases his finger and points) from your other self. (turns and paces in the opposite direction as he raises his finger as he pretends to be lecturing) Only then will your true self reveal itself." (Zuko sighs and presses a hand to his forehead) Even when I'm talking for him, I can't figure out what he means. What would Azula do? (Zuko raises the pitch of his voice and Azula's theme starts to play in the background.)

"Listen, Avatar, I can join your group (maneuvers his body into a position he thinks is feminine) or I can do something unspeakably horrible (folds his arms arrogantly) to you and your friends. Your choice." (stops and sits down) I guess I'm not that good at impersonations.

(The badger frog leaps in front of Zuko and croaks. Cut back to a wide shot of the upside down pagodas as Appa flies underneath them. Cut to a close up of the spires and Appa and Aang fly around them. Cut to Appa's saddle to show Katara and Toph inside it while Sokka steers towards a gliding Aang.)

Katara: Aang, can we talk about you learning firebending now?
Aang: (Cut to a close up of Aang as he feigns deaf) What? The wind is too loud in my ears. Check out this loop.

(Cut to an overhead shot of the mist as Aang maneuvers his glider into a loop and Momo mimics his actions in perfect sync.)

Sokka: (straining his voice against the rushing wind) Aang, (Appa continues to fly behind Aang) I think we should be making some plans about our future. (Cut back to a shot of the hour glass fountain as Aang and Appa land on the platform.)
Aang: Ok, we can do that while I show you the giant Pai Sho table. (Cut to a frontal shot of an excited Aang as the remainder of the Gaang descend from Appa behind him) Oh, you're gonna love the all-day echo chamber.
Toph: (Cut to a close up of Toph as she turns serious) I think that'll have to wait.

(Camera zooms out to show the Gaang looking at her quizzically. Toph points behind as Appa moves aside to reveal a shadow. The camera pans up to show the shadow belonging to Zuko. Cut to a close up of the Gaang as their expression changes from surprise to anger.)

Zuko: (Cut to a close up of Zuko's face) Hello, (raises his arm up in greeting) Zuko here.

(A sound effect of awkwardness chimes in the background. Cut to commercial break.)



Act II

(Scene returns to a sideview shot of Zuko's confrontation with the Gaang back at the Western Air Temple. Cut to Aang as he raises his staff in an attacking position and the camera pans across the group to show the rest of them doing the same as well. Cut to a frontal shot of Zuko.)

Zuko: Hey, I heard you guys flying around down there, so I just thought (raises his shoulders) I'd wait for you here.

(Appa enters the screen and growls at Zuko as he takes a cautious step backwards and covers his face with his arms. Appa then proceeds to lick his back. Cut to a surprised Momo and Aang as he lowers his staff slightly. Cut back to Zuko as Appa licks his face affectionately. Zuko wipes off the slobber with his arm.)

Zuko: I know you must be surprised to see me here. (Cut to a sideview shot of the Gaang as they wear hostile expressions on their faces)
Sokka: Not really, since you've followed us all over the world.
Zuko: (Cut to a visibly uncomfortable Zuko) Right... Well, uh... anyway, what I wanted to tell you about is that I've changed, and I uh, (Cut to a slight overhead shot behind Zuko as the camera slowly pans upwards to show the Gaang) I'm good now. And, well, I think I should join your group.(Cut to a close up of Zuko's apprehensive face) Oh, and I can teach firebending... to you. (Cut to a confused Aang as he lowers his staff further. Cut to Katara in disbelief. Cut back to Zuko.) See, I uh...
Toph: (Cut to Toph as she interrupts Zuko. Sokka remains dumbfounded in the background) You want to what now?! (Camera pans down towards Katara and Sokka raises his fist in preparation for a fight)
Katara: You can't possibly think that any of us would trust you, can you? I mean, how stupid do you think we are?
Sokka: Yeah, all you've ever done is try to hunt us down (Cut to a sideview shot of Zuko) and capture Aang.
Zuko: (defensive) I've done some good things. (walks forward) I mean, I could've stolen your bison in Ba Sing Se, but I set him free. (He thrusts both arms out towards Appa to prove his point) That's something.

(Appa licks Zuko's back to his surprise. Cut back to Toph, Katara and Sokka.)

Toph: Appa (The siblings turn towards her) does seem to like him. (Brother and sister turn back angrily towards Zuko)
Sokka: He probably just covered himself in honey or something so that Appa would lick him. I'm not (swipes his arm aside in a "No" gesture) buying it.
Zuko: (Cut to a remorseful Zuko with Appa licking its lips in the background) I can understand why you wouldn't trust me, and I know I've made some mistakes (looks to the side in shame) in the past.
Sokka: (off screen) Like when you attacked our village?
Katara: (off screen) Or when you stole my mother's necklace (Cut to a sideview of the siblings) and used it to track us down (she takes a step forward with her fists clenched) and capture us?
Zuko: (Cut to a close up of his face) Look, I admit I've done some awful things. I was wrong (lowers his head down and presses a palm against his temple) to try to capture you, and I'm sorry that I attacked the Water Tribe. (Camera pans across the Gaang who are still not pleased with his presence) And I never should've sent that Fire Nation assassin after you. (Sokka and Toph widen their eyes in shock) I'm gonna try to stop him.
Sokka: (interrupts) Wait, you sent (unsheathes his boomerang and holds it towards Zuko) Combustion Man after us?
Zuko: (Cut back to a slightly panicking Zuko) Well, that's not his name, but...
Sokka: (off screen) Oh, sorry. (Cut back to a frontal shot of Toph and Sokka as he remains in a defensive position) I didn't mean to insult your friend.
Zuko: (raising his voice) He's not my friend!
Toph (Cut to a visibly angry Toph) That guy (points an accusing finger at Zuko) locked me and Katara in jail and tried to blow us (swipes her hand down audibly) all up.
Zuko: (Cut back to Zuko who closes his eyes and opens them as he angles his head diagonally) Why aren't you saying anything? (Cut to Aang's back with Zuko still in view) You once said you thought we could be (Zuko shrugs) friends. (Aang looks down to the side, pondering) You know I (Cut to a frontal shot of Aang as he remains deep in thought) have good in me.

(Aang looks towards the rest of the Gaang. Cut to a sideview of the 3 of them as Sokka shakes his head at Aang. Cut back to Aang as he looks back at Zuko.)

Aang: There's no way we can trust you after everything you've done. (Cut back to Zuko who listens intently) We'll never let you join us. (Zuko's expression changes to surprise)
Katara: (off screen) You need to get out of here, now.
Zuko: (closes his eyes for a moment before opening them and staring back at the group with determination. Cut to back the slight overhead shot behind Zuko again.) I'm trying to explain (raises both arms in frustration and takes a few steps towards them) that I'm not that person anymore. (He continues to walk to the group but Sokka takes a step forward and thrusts his boomerang out as a warning. Zuko takes a step back.)
Sokka: Either you leave, or we attack.
Zuko: (aghast) If you won't accept me as a friend, (Cut to a shot of the ground in front of Zuko as he kneels down with his head bowed) then maybe you'll take me (raises both arms out as if he was holding an offering but his fists are clenched) as a prisoner.
Katara: (Cut to an angry Katara) No, we won't!

(She proceeds to draw water from her water skin and waterbends it towards the screen. Cut back to Zuko as he gets pushed off screen by the small wave of water. Cut to Zuko lying facedown on the ground in a puddle of water sopping wet.)

Katara: (off screen) Get out of here (Zuko rolls himself onto his back and the camera pans up towards the Gaang) and don't come back. And if we ever see you again...Well, (Sokka takes a step towards Zuko) we'd better not see you again!

(Cut back to a shocked Zuko with water dripping from his hair as he closes his eyes in defeat. Cut to a sideview of the confrontation as Zuko stands up and walks towards the camera, away from the Gaang. The Sun is starting to set as the inside of the temple glows slightly orange. Cut to an angry Aang and Katara as they watch him leave. The camera slowly zooms in on Aang as he drops his head in thought.

Cut to the edge of the cliff as the camera pans up to the vast forest. Cut back to Zuko's tarp as Zuko walks into screen with his hands up on his head.)

Zuko: Argh, I can't believe how stupid (thrusts both arms outwards as he exits the screen) I am. I mean, (walks back into screen) what was I thinking? (lays a head on his forehead as his expression turns into sheer despair and utter horror) Telling them I sent an assassin after them? Why didn't I just say Azula (thrusts his arm out behind him) did that? They (He brings his head towards the camera) would've believed that. Stupid!

(He brings his hand to his forehead again. Cut to a sideview of the scene to show the badger frog sitting on the log, staring at him. It croaks and Zuko slouches forward. He then kneels on the ground and sighs in frustration. Cut back to an overhead shot of the hour glass shaped fountain. Cut to an overhead shot of the Gaang standing near the doors of a chamber.)

Katara: Why would he try to fool us like that? (Katara starts walking into the chamber)
Sokka: Obviously, he wants to lead us into some kind of trap.
Katara: This is just like when we were in prison together in Ba Sing Se. (Cut to a sideview of the 3 to show the siblings each holding a sleeping bag while Aang holds a jar) He starts talking about his mother, (Aang proceeds to walk off screen) and making it seem like he's an actual human being with feelings.
Sokka: He wants you (Katara turns towards him) to trust him and feel sorry for him, so you let your guard down, then he strikes. (punches his fist out)
Katara: (Cut to a back view of Sokka with his sister still in sight) The thing is, it worked. (kneels and sets the sleeping bag down) I did feel sorry for him. I felt like he was really confused and hurt. (looks around) But obviously when the time came, (stands up) he made his choice, and we paid the price. (Cut to a close up of Katara as she turns angry) We can't trust him.
Aang: (off screen) I kind of (Katara turns her head towards him) have a confession to make. (Cut to Aang's back) Remember when you two were sick and I got captured by (turns his body slightly so his side is facing the camera) Zhao?
Sokka: (Cut to an outraged Sokka) And you made us suck on frozen frogs? How could I forget? (throws down his sleeping bag) I had a wart on the flap that hangs down from the back of my throat for a month!

(He takes a step towards the camera as he opens his mouth and points a finger towards it. Cut to the inside of his mouth looking out towards Aang. His uvula appears normal.)

Katara: (off screen) Sokka, (Sokka turns towards his visibly annoyed sister as his uvula flaps around slightly) I looked at it and told you there was nothing there.
Sokka: (Cut back to a frontal shot of Sokka as he argues) I could feel it! It's my throatal flap. (Cut to outside the chamber looking in at the Gaang)
Aang: Anyway, when Zhao had me chained up, it was Zuko (the siblings turn towards him) who came in and got me out. (Cut to a close up of Aang's face) He risked his life to save me. (Cut to a sideview of the 3 as Katara steps forward)
Katara: No way, (brings her arms up and thrusts them to the side) I'm sure (punches her fists down) he only did it (crosses her arms) so he could capture you himself.
Sokka: Yeah, (steps towards Aang) face it Aang. You're nothing but a big prize to him.
Aang: You're probably right.
Katara: And what was (punches her fists down again) all that crazy stuff about setting Appa free? (crosses her arms once more) What a liar.
Toph :(off screen)Actually, (The 3 of them turn towards her. Cut to Toph leaning nonchalantly against the door) he wasn't lying.
Sokka: (Cut back to the siblings) Oh, hooray. (throws his arms up sarcastically) In a lifetime of evil, at least (brings his hands to his cheek and puts on a mocking friendly face) he didn't add animal cruelty to the list. (He brings his hands down and looks back at Toph angrily)
Toph: (off screen) I'm just saying that (Cut back to Toph with an empathetic expression on her face) considering his messed-up family, and how he was raised, he could've turned out a lot worse. (Cut back to Aang and Katara)
Katara: You're right, (thrusts her arms down as Aang looks towards her) Toph, let's go find him (raises her arms up) and give him a medal. (She says this with sarcasm) The "not as much of a jerk as you could have been" award.
Toph: (Cut to a sideview of Toph with her arms crossed) All I know is that while he was talking to us, he was sincere. Maybe (brings an arm up with her palm facing upwards) you're all just letting your hurt feelings keep you from thinking clearly. (Cut to a frontal shot of the 3)
Katara: (standing her ground) Easy for you to say, you weren't there (takes a step forward and points to the side) when he had us attacked by pirates.
Sokka: (clenches his fist) Or when he burned down Kyoshi Island.
Aang: Or when he tried to capture me (Cut back to Toph) at the fire temple. (Cut back to a frontal shot of the 3 again)
Katara: Why would you (brings her hands up and throws them down rapidly in hot anger) even try to defend him?
Toph: (Cut back to the blind bandit) Because Katara, (walks off screen) you're all ignoring (Cut to full view of the Gaang as Toph confronts them) one crucial fact. Aang needs (Cut to a sideview of Aang as Toph enters the screen and jabs a finger on his chest repeatedly to prove her point) a firebending teacher. We can't think (her expression changes to frustration as she walks away from him) of a single person in the world to do the job. (Cut back to a full view of the group as Toph walks around defensively) Now one shows up on a silver platter, (stomps her feet on the ground as the camera shakes slightly) and you (points to an accusing finger to Katara) won't even think (she stomps her other foot on the ground) about it?

(Cut to a close up of a slightly remorseful Katara as she thinks about her words and looks towards Aang. Cut to a view of Aang and Toph baring her teeth in anger.)

Aang: I'm not having Zuko as my teacher. (He walks off screen and Toph's expression changes to surprise. Cut to a full view of the Gaang as Aang walks to an area behind Katara with his back towards them.)
Sokka: You're darn right (Sokka takes a step towards his sister and it appears like a 3 versus 1 standoff) you're not, buddy.
Katara: Well, (crosses her arms) I guess that's settled.
Toph: (Cut to a frontal shot of Toph's face as she groans in frustration and turns her back) I'm beginning to wonder who's really the blind one (walks out of the chamber) around here.

(Cut to an overhead shot of the chamber as Toph continues to walk off. Fade to Zuko's campsite at night. Zuko has lit a campfire in front of his shelter. He appears to be sleeping. Cut to a close up of the slumbering prince. Leaves and twigs can be heard rustling in the background and Zuko wakes up groggily. Cut to an overhead shot of Zuko as he pushes his upper body off the ground and stares beyond the campfire.)

Zuko: Who's there? (Cut to a frontal shot of Zuko as he sweeps his arm in an arc and firebends) Stay back.
Toph: (Cut to Toph as she earthbends a rock pillar in front of her as a form of protection from the fire) It's me! style="mso-spacerun: yes"> (Cut to the ground behind Toph's feet as the fire circles around the pillar. Toph takes a step back into the burning flames) Ow!

(Cut to a sideview of Toph as she throws her head back in agony and falls down off screen. Cut to an appalled Zuko as he rubs his eyes and brings them down to take a good look at whom he has accidentally burned. Cut back to Toph sitting on the ground with the soles of her feet visibly red and raw.)

Toph: You burned my feet!
Zuko: (Cut to Zuko as he gets off the ground) I'm sorry, it was a mistake! (proceeds to run off screen)
Toph: (Cut back to a frightened Toph as she uses her hands to push herself back) Get away (she throws a chunk of earth from the ground towards Zuko who is off screen) from me!

(She gets on her knees and crawls while earthbending chunks of earth back to Zuko. Cut to Zuko as he dodges the chunks deftly. Cut to Zuko's back view as he continues to dodge the rocks Toph continuously throws at him. Cut to a frontal shot of desperate and visibly terrified Toph as she continues to crawl away. Zuko catches up to her.)

Zuko: Let me (his hands are in a pleading gesture) help you. (Toph sends a chunk of earth back as he dodges it) I'm sorry.

(Toph earthbends another slab of earth as Zuko dodges it again. He lays a hand on her shoulder.)

Toph: Get off me, (she turns around and pushes Zuko away) get off me!

(Cut to an overhead shot of Toph as she thrusts her palms out. Cut to a shocked Zuko as a column of earth rises into screen, hits him in the chest and propels him away. Cut to an area behind Zuko as he lands on his back and proceeds to sit up.)

Zuko: (Cut to a frontal shot of an apologetic Zuko) I didn't know it was you. (He tries to move forward but holds his side and grimaces in pain. Cut to Zuko's back view as Toph is seen crawling away.) Come back! (Toph disappears into the darkness. Cut back to Zuko as he lies down and groans in frustration. Cut to an overhead shot of the campsite as Zuko brings up his hands to his head in despair, bends his knees and rolls slightly on his sides.) Why am I so bad at being good?

(He throws his limbs out into a star shape and relaxes. Fade to commercial break.)



Act III

(Scene returns to an overhead shot of the large fountain at the Western Air Temple, surrounded by the group, minus Toph. Cut to a shot of a large urn full of steaming hot rice. Katara takes some rice out with a wooden spoon and puts it in a bowl with a pair of chopsticks. Cut to a zoomed out shot of everyone.)

Katara: (passing the bowl to The Duke) Has anyone seen Toph?
Sokka: I haven't seen her since she stormed off yesterday.
Haru: Maybe she's just exploring the air temple. There are some pretty fun spots to practice earthbending.
Katara: (worried) I think we should go look for her.
Sokka: Oh, let her have fun with her rocks. I'm in no rush to have her yelling at us again.
The Duke: We can go check for her.
Teo: (rolls in from off screen) Yeah, I want to ride that tunnel down to the hall of statues again. It'll work a lot better now that I fixed my brakes.

(Teo pulls his break stick and rolls off, kicking up a cloud of dust. Cut to a zoomed out shot as Teo, Haru, and The Duke leave Aang, Sokka, and Katara. Cut to a shot of Aang, Sokka, and Katara sitting around the urn. A loud rumble is heard and they flinch as the ground shakes. They turn their heads to see a large cloud of dust. Cut to a shot of a large pile of rocks beneath a newly formed hole in the wall. A few more rocks fall to the ground as Toph climbs out of the hole and slides to the floor, grunting in pain. Cut to a shot behind and above Toph as Aang, Sokka, and Katara come from around the stone pillar and run towards her.)

Katara: Toph, what happened?
Toph: My feet got burned.
Katara: (examining Toph's feet) Oh, no, what happened?
Toph: (annoyed) I just told you, my feet got burned.
Katara: I meant how.
Toph: Well, I kind of went to see Zuko last night.
Aang: (shocked) You what!?
Katara: (shocked) Zuko?
Sokka: (shocked) Ugh!
Toph: I just thought he could be helpful to us. And if I talked to him, maybe we could work something out.

(Katara bends water out of her water skin and around Toph's feet to heal them)

Aang: So he attacked you?
Toph: Well, he did and he didn't. It was sort of an accident.
Aang: But he did firebend at you?
Toph: Yes.
Sokka: See, you trusted Zuko and you got burned... literally.
Katara: (cut to a close up of Toph's feet as Katara bends the water away and back into her water skin) It's gonna take a while for your feet to get better. I wish I could've worked on them sooner.
Toph: Yeah, me too.
Sokka: Zuko's clearly too dangerous to be left alone. We're gonna have to go after him.
Aang: (disappointed) I hate to go looking for a fight, but you're right. After what he did to Toph, I don't think we have a choice.
Sokka: He's crafty, but we'll find a way to capture him.
Toph: (Aang and Sokka take her arms and lift her up) Maybe just invite him back here. He's already offered himself up as a prisoner once.
Sokka: Yeah... get him to come back and say he'll be our prisoner. Then we'll jump him and really make him our prisoner. He'll never suspect it.
Katara: You are a master of surprise, Sokka.

(Sokka and Aang carry Toph off screen and Katara follows them. Cut to a close up of the edge of the fountain water as Sokka and Aang set Toph down on it, letting her dip her feet in the water.

Toph: Ahh, that's the stuff. Now I know how the rest of you guys feel. Not being able to see with your feet stinks.

(Cut to a wide overhead shot of the fountain. The camera pulls back to reveal Combustion Man standing on a ledge high above them. Cut to a close up of Combustion Man and slowly zoom in on his face as he looks down and narrows his eyes. Cut to his perspective as he follows Aang, who is carrying a towel over to Katara. Cut back to the close up of Combustion man as he rears his head back and inhales, preparing to fire a blast of energy. Quickly cut to Zuko swinging on a vine towards Combustion Man, bumping into him just as he fires. Cut to a shot of the beam hitting the ledge above the fountain and exploding. Cut to a shot from behind of Aang, Sokka, Toph and Katara shielding them from the falling rock. Cut to a shot of them from the front as Aang and Sokka pick up Toph to take her away, but stop when they hear Zuko.)

Zuko: (off screen) Stop! (cut to a shot of Zuko walking towards Combustion Man as he stands back up) I don't want you hunting the Avatar anymore.

(Cut to a quick close up of Aang looking up with shock as he is helping Sokka carry Toph. Cut back to Zuko as he stands in front of Combustion man, arms spread out to block him)

Zuko: The mission is off. I'm ordering you to stop!

(Combustion Man shoves Zuko out of the way and fires another blast at the top of the fountain, destroying it. Aang, Sokka, Katara, and Toph take duck behind the ledge, covering their heads. Cut to a shot of Zuko running towards the camera. The camera zooms in of his hand as he pulls it back and surrounds it in flames.)

Zuko: If you keep attacking, I won't pay you! (Combustion Man stops Zuko in his tracks by grabbing him by the shirt. Zuko throws his fireball, but misses and it hits the ground) All right, I'll pay you double to stop!

(Zuko swings his arms down, making Combustion Man let go. He turns and executes a shot jumping sidekick just as Combustion Man fires another shot, knocking his aim off and knocking Zuko away. Cut to a shot of the edge of the fountain water as Aang looks at the incoming blast with fright and ducks his head. Cut to a far shot from the side as the blast of energy travels down past the ledge where the fountain is and explodes as it makes contact with an upside down pagoda below it.

Cut to a shot behind Zuko landing on his hands and feet, and then quickly zoom out until Combustion Man's feet step into the shot. Cut to a close up of Zuko as he turns around, a look of shock on his face. The camera quickly rotates around towards Combustion Man as he inhales and fires a blast at the camera. Cut to a shot of Zuko creating a shield of fire. The blast hits it and explodes. Cut to a shot of Zuko from the side as the blast pushes him across the floor. Cut to an overhead shot as the camera follows the smoke. It passes the edge of the ledge, leaving no sign of Zuko. Cut to a shot of Aang, Katara, and Sokka looking over the edge of the fountain in shock. Cut to a shot from behind Combustion Man as he faces a small crater in the floor and the smoke that is dissipating. Cut to a shot of the edge of the ledge and strafe right, revealing climbing a vine hanging underneath it.

Cut to Combustion Man as he turns back. Cut to a close up of Aang as he stands up from behind the fountain pool and runs to the side. Cut to a shot of Aang doing a spinning back kick, airbending and kicking up the dust around him, then leaping straight up just as a blast from Combustion Man explodes beneath him. The camera turns up to Aang spinning in mid air, airbending a tornado and kicking it at Combustion Man. Combustion Man leaps over the tornado and fires another blast as he descends. Aang lands and quickly back flips away from the blast, landing next to Katara and Sokka.

Cut to a shot of Combustion Man falling, then cut to a shot of his metal, clawed hand as it catches on a small ledge and breaks it, slowing his fall. He lands on a new ledge and rolls, firing a blast just as he stops. Cut to a shot of Katara and Aang shielding themselves as the blast hits the fountain water. The camera follows Katara as she runs forward and bends the water from the pool. Cut to a far shot from the side as Katara bends a huge wave up between them and Combustion Man. Cut to a shot in front of the camera as she descends from jumping, bringing her arms down and crossing them and giving a battle cry. The wave matches her arm movements and icicles in both directions. Cut to a shot of Combustion Man as the icicles speed towards him. He brings his metal arm over his face and lifts his metal leg to shield him from the attack. The icicles break against him. Combustion Man flings his arms down to shake off the ice shards and steps forward, an angry frown on his face. Cut to his perspective as he scans the area. The group is nowhere to be seen.

Cut to a shot of Sokka, Aang, Katara, and Toph all hiding behind the large stone pillar, out of Combustion Man's view. There's a sound of another blast, and the camera turns to the side as the beam of energy hits a different pillar and explodes, destroying it. The group raises their arms to protect themselves from any flying debris. Cut to a shot of Toph sitting on the ground.)

Toph: (urgent) He's going to blast this whole place right off the cliff side.

(Cut to a shot of Katara peeking out from behind the pillar, then pulling back as another blast explodes.)

Katara: I can't step out to waterbend at him without getting blown up. And I can't get a good enough angle on him from down here.
Sokka: (thinks for a moment, then comes up with an idea) I know how to get an angle on him.

(Sokka gently pushes Katara aside and pulls out his boomerang. He presses his back against the pillar. Cut to a far shot of Sokka peeking out from behind the pillar and another blast exploding on the ground. Cut to a close up of Sokka looking around the pillar as smoke billows past. Cut to Sokka's perspective as he watches the two blasts of energy shoot out from behind a stone pillar and explode on the ground. He raises his boomerang towards the source of the blasts and measures their trajectory. Cut to a shot of Sokka from the side as he figures out the right angles and raises his boomerang. Cut to a closer shot of Sokka.)

Sokka: All right buddy, don't fail me now.

(Sokka throws the boomerang. Cut to a shot of the boomerang as it flies through the air and curves behind a stone pillar. Cut to a shot of Combustion Man from above. The camera zooms as he inhales for another blast. He turns at the sound of the boomerang and the camera zooms in on the eye tattoo on his forehead. There's a white flash as the boomerang hits his head, and we cut to a shot of him being knocked down by it. Cut to a close up of Sokka grinning happily, then running out from behind the pillar, followed by the rest of the group. Cut to an over head shot of them as the boomerang flies back to Sokka.)

Sokka: (jumps and catches the boomerang triumphantly) Yeah, boomerang! (he and Katara look up smiling, but quickly frown. Cut to a shot of Combustion Man standing back up and putting a hand to his forehead. Cut back to Sokka as he looks at his boomerang disappointedly) Aw, boomerang...

(The group starts to run back towards the stone pillar they were hiding behind. Cut to a shot from behind Combustion Man as the group runs away down below. Cut to a shot in front of him, dizzied from the attack to his head. He sways and rears his head back for another blast. Cut to Combustion Man's perspective as his vision blurs. Cut back to the shot of him as he inhales and tries to fire a blast of energy. Sparks fly from his forehead. Cut to a farther out shot and pan around Combustion Man as small explosions erupt from his head. He puts a hand over his forehead. Cut to a shot of the upside down pagoda he is standing on and quickly zoom out as a massive explosion destroys it.. Out of the smoke and debris is a glint of light, and Combustion Man's metal, clawed arm flies towards the camera. Cut to a shot of the structure falling into the misty chasm below. Cut to a shot from below of the edge of the cliff as Sokka, Katara, and Aang look down in shock. Cut to a shot from the side as the three of them stare at each other, speechless. Cut to a far shot of the large metal doors behind the fountain. Haru and Teo peek out from behind one of the doors. Cut to a closer shot of them, perplexed, as The Duke also peeks out from behind the door. Cut back to the side view of Aang, Katara, and Sokka as they look upward. Cut to a shot of Zuko climbing up the vine from earlier. Cut to a close up of him reaching the ledge and pulling himself up.

The scene fades to a slow sweeping shot of the misty canyon, and then cuts to a shot from above and behind the metal doors of Zuko walking towards the group facing him. Cut to a shot of Aang, Sokka, Katara, and Toph, who is sitting on a large rock. Aang hangs his head down.)

Aang: I can't believe I'm saying this... but thanks Zuko.
Sokka: Hey, and what about me? I did the boomerang thing. (gestures)
Zuko: (walking towards them) Listen, I know I didn't explain myself very well yesterday. I've been through a lot in the past few years, and it's been hard. But I'm realizing that I had to go through all those things to learn the truth. I thought I had lost my honor, and that somehow my father could return it to me. But I know now that no one can give you your honor. It's something you earn for yourself, by choosing to do what's right. All I want now is to play my part in ending this war. And I know my destiny is to help you restore balance to the world.

(Cut to a close up of Aang's profile as his expression softens. Cut to a shot from behind Toph and Aang. Zuko looks to Toph.)

Zuko: I'm sorry for what I did to you. (he bows to Toph) It was an accident. Fire can be dangerous and wild. So as a firebender, I need to be more careful and control my bending so I don't hurt people unintentionally.

(Cut to a close up of Aang as his expression changes to one of surprise and realization. He looks down in though for a second before looking back up to Zuko.)

Aang: I think you are supposed to be my firebending teacher. When I first tried to learn firebending, I burned Katara. And after that, I never wanted to firebend again. But now I know you understand how easy it is to hurt the people you love. (he bows to Zuko) I'd like you to teach me.

(Cut to a close up of Zuko's profile. He smiles warmly. Cut to a shot from the side of Zuko and Aang. Zuko bows to Aang.)

Zuko: Thank you. I'm so happy you've accepted me into your group.
Aang: Not so fast. I still have to ask my friends if it's ok with them. Toph, you're the one that Zuko burned. What do you think?
Toph: (quiet for a second) Go ahead and let him join. It'll give me plenty of time to get back at him for burning my feet.
Aang: Sokka?
Sokka: (closes his eyes and hangs his head a second, then shrugs) Hey, all I want is to defeat The Fire Lord. If you think this is the way to do it, then I'm all for it.

(Aang nods to Sokka and turns to Katara.)

Aang: Katara?

(Katara looks at Zuko and frowns. Cut to the close up profile of Zuko as he waits anxiously for the answer, beads of sweat rolling down his cheek. Cut back to Katara as she closes her eyes, then looks to Aang.)

Katara: I'll go along with whatever you think is right.

(Aang smiles at Katara. Cut to Zuko.)

Zuko: (excitedly) I won't let you down, I promise.

(The group turns and walks away, Sokka carrying Toph. Cut to a shot of Zuko smiling as he watches them leave. Cut to an overhead shot of them as the group walks past the metal doors. The scene fades to a panning down shot of Zuko with his belongings following Sokka down a hallway to a door. Cut to a closer shot of the two of them. Sokka stops and gestures to the room as Zuko walks past.)

Sokka: So here you go, home sweet home. I guess, you know, for now. (cut to a shot looking through the window of Zuko inside the bare room and Sokka looking in through the door) Unpack... lunch soon. Uh...welcome aboard? (Zuko turns and smiles at Sokka. Cut to a close up of Sokka staring back before turning away.)Yeah. (cut to a shot outside the room as Sokka walks up to Aang) Ok, this is really, really weird.

(Aang and Sokka walk away. Cut to a shot of Zuko sitting on the bed and unpacking. He pulls out a picture. A close up of it reveals it to be a small portrait of Iroh. Cut to a shot of Zuko's face. The scene fades to a flashback of the same shot of Zuko, bandage covering his eye.)

Zuko: If I have to, I will spend every day of the rest of my life hunting the Avatar. I know it's my destiny to capture him.

(Iroh places his hand on Zuko's shoulder from off screen and the camera zooms out to reveal him.)

Iroh: You know, Prince Zuko, destiny is a funny thing. You never know how things are going to work out. But if you keep an open mind and an open heart, I promise you will find your own destiny someday.

(Cut to the same shot of Zuko, then fade back to Zuko in the present, smiling and nodding his head. He then opens his eyes with slight alarm and turns his head. The camera turns towards the door to reveal Katara leaning against the frame. Zuko stands up and faces her, about to say something, but Katara speaks first.)

Katara: (venomously) You might have everyone else here buying your "transformation". But you and I both know you've struggled with doing the right thing in the past. (walks up to Zuko and leans forward threateningly) So let me tell you something right now. You make one step backward, one slip-up, give me one reason to think you might hurt Aang... and you won't have to worry about your destiny anymore. Because I'll make sure your destiny ends right then and there... permanently.

(Katara turns and walks away. Cut to a close up of Zuko and slowly zoom out. Cut to a wide shot of the room from behind them and slowly zoom out as Katara leaves through the door and closes it behind her. Fade to white.)



[End Credits]

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