Avatar: The Last Airbender

City of Walls and Secrets

Season 2, Ep 14, Aired 9/22/06
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  • Episode Description
  • Having finally made it into Ba Sing Se, the kids are given a house in the upper ring. The kids are anxious to tell the Earth King their plan, but there are complications. Meanwhile, still convinced that Iroh and Zuko may be from the Fire Nation, Jet decides to take matters into his own hands and do whatever it takes to get the refugees to reveal their true nature.

  • Cast & Crew
  • Dee Bradley Baker

    Momo

  • Jack DeSena

    Sokka

  • Mae Whitman

    Katara

  • Zach Tyler Eisen

    Aang

  • Lauren MacMullan

  • Fan Reviews (87)
  • City of Walls and Secrets

    By TrueTvWatcher, Jan 11, 2011

  • Great all around episode!

    By ZaleIsBackAgain, Feb 03, 2010

  • Aang tries to talk to the Earth King about the war while Iroh and Zuko are attacked by Jet.

    By trm6, Jan 19, 2009

  • Great.

    By lordozai890, Aug 21, 2008

  • so many secrets roaming around ba sing se

    By Breaker94, Jul 09, 2008

  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (27)

    • Iroh: I just want our new place to look nice in case someone brings home a lady friend.

    • Iroh: Would you like a pot of tea? Zuko: We've been working in a tea shop all day! I'm sick of tea. Iroh: Sick of tea?! That's like being sick of breathing!

    • Aang (Referring to Toph and Katara): Where could they be? Toph (To Aang): Another crab puff, please? Aang: How did you find us? Toph: I could recognize your little footsteps anywhere twinkle toes.

    • Guard: No entry without an invitation. Step out of line please. Toph (irritated): Look, the Pangs and the Yum Soon Hans are waiting in there for us. I'm going to have to tell them who didn't let me in. Guard (unyielding): Step out of line please.

    • Jet: Arrest them. They're Firebenders. Iroh: This poor boy is confused. We're just simple refugees. Pao (pointing at Jet): This young man wrecked my tea shop and assaulted my employees. Officer: It's true sir. We saw the whole thing. This crazy kid attacked the finest tea maker in the city. Iroh (blushing): Ohh, that's very sweet.

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    Notes (5)

    • This episode is in the Avatar: The Last Airbender Book 2: Earth, Volume 3 DVD, along with The Library, The Serpent's Pass, The Drill, and The Tales of Ba Sing Se.

    • Character Debuts: Long Feng, Bosco, Joo Dee, Earth King Kuei, the Dai Li.

    • This episode was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Animated Program.

    • Joo Dee is modeled after Miken Lee Wong, a line producer for the production management of the show who, as some describe, expresses a seemingly perpetual smile that immediately puts one at ease.

    • This episode's original name was The Secret of Ba Sing Se.

    Trivia (13)

    • Professor Zei from "The Library" is mentioned briefly by one of the students at Ba Sing Se University.

    • When Katara leans in to tell Aang of Long Feng's persistent tailing of them, the yellow item on her collar turns the same color as the collar for a moment.

    • In the Earth King's palace, Sokka had food in his tray, but after Joo Dee found him, his food disappeared, and later the food reappeared.

    • When Aang approaches the Earth King, the soldiers immediately carry the pavilion away, and a line of 6 guards approach Aang. in the next shot, however, there are only 4, and then the other two reappear when Long Feng addresses Aang.

    • Iroh's apron is missing when Jet is arrested.

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    Allusions (17)

    • It can be inferred from this episode that Ba Sing Se is based on the Byzantine city of Constantinople (now Istanbul). There are many similarities that suggest this. Both Ba Sing Se and Constantinople had large exterior walls that were considered impregnable. Both cities had numerous interior walls. These walls served as both lines of defense and to segregate the population. Both cities had water and farm land inside the walls. This allowed both cities to survive prolonged sieges. In addition to the physical similarities, both cities were the last strongholds of their respective kingdoms. Both cities also fell due to suspected circumstances.

    • It could be argued that Long Feng and the Dai Li are based off 'Big Brother' and the Thought Police of George Orwell's 1984. In this book Orwell describes a totalitarian reigime where 'Big Brother' controls and watches over everyone, using the Thought Police to spy on people and make sure they don't commit 'thinkcrime', which in Ba Sing Se means mentioning the war.

    • The formal attire of the upper ring citizens is based on Manchurian clothing.

    • The word Dai is a Chinese male name meaning: draw back or pull. The word Li is also a Chinese male name that means upright. This is perhaps a reference to the fact that they uphold order in Ba Sing Se and their Earthbending.

    • Ba Sing Se's "rings" heavily suggest towards social class systems (lower-class, middle-class, upper-class) that have and continue to divide certain (primarily Western European-influenced) societies. The comments made by Aang and Katara on the stratification further help illustrate the social issues and tensions the divisions have been known to inevitably produce.

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