Avatar: The Last Airbender/Recap/Book 2/08 The Chase

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"Well, look at this. Enemies and traitors all working together."

Conflict: The Episode.

Spring has sprung, and the Gaang, newly augmented by Toph, travel on Appa. When they make camp for the evening, Katara and Toph begin to bicker: Toph refuses to help with chores. "I carry my own weight" is Toph's excuse. Then they're disturbed by the advent of a large metal train-vehicle-thing containing Azula, Mai and Ty Lee, and have to flee without sleep. Zuko pursues them, and Iroh him, all leading to one big brawl at the end.

This episode is a step away from standard Avatar fare in that it doesn't really have a single overarching goal that Aang and his friends are trying to accomplish (besides "survive"); it just throws all the show's main characters together and lets them bounce off each other. It is driven solely by character and evolves much more organically.

Tropes:

  • Bits of Me Keep Passing Out: Sokka's fight with Ty Lee.
  • Blame Game: Katara blames Toph for delaying camp transitions. Aang tries to stop the argument, but Toph starts blaming Appa for leaving a trail for the pursuers to follow. Aang then blames Toph for weighing down Appa. Toph temporarily leaves the group.

Toph: You're blaming me for this?
Aang: No, she's not blaming you.
Katara: No, I'm blaming her!

  • Chase Scene: The whole episode. Multiple characters all chasing each other, and eventually a branch when it becomes clear that Appa's shedding is how Azula is tracking them. So after washing Appa off, Katara and Sokka take Appa to safety whilst Aang lays a decoy trail of Appa hair.
  • Curb Stomp Battle: Ty Lee and Mai vs Katara and Sokka. Then Appa gets involved
  • Enemy Mine: The seeds of Zuko's Heel Face Turn, planted in the last episode, begin to germinate here as he works alongside the Avatar for the first time in the series (not counting his earlier Blue Spirit stint).
  • Genre Savvy: Unfortunately, Azula figures out Aang's decoy, sending Mai and Ty Lee after the Water Tribe contingent.
  • Ineffectual Loner: Toph, who values her independence too much to help others or let herself be helped.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Toph and Iroh.
  • I Resemble That Remark:

Aang: (to Katara and Toph) Okay, you both need to calm down.
Katara: (with a crazed expression and bloodshot eyes) Both? I'M COMPLETELY CALM!

  • I Surrender, Suckers: Azula pulls this right before she attacks Iroh.
  • Kick the Dog: Azula shoots Iroh with fire right after saying she surrendered.
  • Let's You and Him Fight: Subverted by Toph's meeting with Uncle Iroh: instead, they have tea.
  • Melee a Trois: The Aang vs. Azula vs. Zuko duel. Provides the trope's picture.
  • Mexican Standoff: At the beginning of the Melee a Trois.
  • My Friends and Zoidberg: "Three on three plus Sokka."
    • The Avatar Extras call back to this joke. "This is the first time we've seen all four elements attacking at once." A beat later, it adds, "...Plus Sokka."
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Aang and Katara do this (mostly Aang) when they caused Toph to leave the group. Sokka even calls them out on it:

Sokka: "Yeah, you two were pretty much jerks."
Katara: "Thanks, Sokka."
Sokka: "No problem."