Avatar: The Last Airbender/Recap/Book 2/18 The Earth King
"I want to thank you, young heroes, for opening my eyes. All this time, what I thought was a great metropolis was merely a city of fools. And that makes me the king fool."
With the return of Appa completing the team at last, Sokka, encouraged by their new turn of good luck, suggests that they hurry to see the Earth King. Toph and Katara disagree, wanting to cut their losses and get out of Ba Sing Se while luck still seems on their side, but when Aang agrees with Sokka, Katara changes her mind, leaving Toph outvoted. After a massive battle, in which the team fight their way past the palace guards and into the throne room, they finally have their audience with the Earth King, only to find that Long Feng has beat them there. With the chancellor throwing doubt on their story, Team Avatar must convince the King that, not only has Long Feng been at the head of a conspiracy to control Ba Sing Se, but that the world is at war.
Elsewhere in the city, Zuko and Iroh return to their apartment, only for Zuko to fall deliriously ill. Iroh explains to him that Zuko's decision to set Appa free has left Zuko at war within himself.
- Angst Coma: Zuko falls into an extreme fever, apparently triggered by letting Appa (and, by proxy, Aang) go free.
- Apologetic Attacker: "Sorry! We just need to see the Earth King!"
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Provided by the Earth King: "You invade my palace, lay waste to all my guards, break down my fancy door- and you expect me to trust you?!"
- Catapult Nightmare: Zuko has one of these, due to his fever dreams.
- Cliff Hanger: So things are looking good for Team Avatar! Everything seems to be going their way for once. Right? WRONG. Toph's letter from her mother was a trap set by Xin Fu and Master Yu, the Dai Li are still loyal to Long Feng, and the Kyoshi Warriors Sokka vouched for are actually Azula, Mai, and Ty Lee in disguise.
- Curb Stomp Battle: Team Avatar completely decimates the Earth King's entire royal guard.
- Dressing as the Enemy: Azula, Mai, and Ty Lee infiltrate Ba Sing Se dressed as Kyoshi Warriors.
- False Start: See Moment Killer below.
- Fever Dream Episode: Zuko's side of the story.
- Good Angel, Bad Angel: In Zuko's fever dreams, a pair of dragons (one red, one blue, and voiced by Iroh and Azula, respectively) act out his inner conflict.
- It Was Here, I Swear: The Gaang takes the Earth King to Lake Laogai to the Dai Li base, but find it has been destroyed since they last left.
- Let's Split Up, Gang!: The team receives letters that Long Feng had confiscated, each of them pulling the teammates in different directions; they decide to split up.
- Moment Killer: As the group is saying goodbye to each other as they split up...
Aang: "Katara, I need to tell you something. I've been wanting to say it for a long time..."
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Politically destabilizing Ba Sing Se may have felt right, but it was a very, very, bad idea.
- Nothing Can Stop Us Now: Invoked by Sokka.
- Slipped the Ropes: Aang does this as a quick gag.
- Tempting Fate: "Everything will work out perfectly; from now on and forever!"
- True Companions: "Split up? But we just got the family back together!"