Avatar: The Last Airbender

Season 2 Episode 16

Appa's Lost Days

Aired Friday 6:30 PM Oct 13, 2006 on Nickelodeon
out of 10
User Rating
500 votes

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Episode Summary

We go back in time to the moment Appa was kidnapped by the Sandbenders while Aang and the others were inside Wan Shi Tong's Library to see all of the adventures the poor bison has had, including his adventures with some special friends.

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  • Somewhere Out There

    This is another great one for me, it's a rather interesting one because it's for once focused on an animal character. It's sort of a throwback to the animal film genere like "Lassie Come Home", "The Bear" and any others you can think as well as stories on animals like Grant Morison's graphic novel "WE3" and Brian K Vahan's "The Pride of Bagdad" all focused solely on animals. What I liked about those kinds of films was simply the fact that they had next to no dialog but that you really understood them though the emotions they go though.

    We really feel for Appa as it seems left and right he is just getting crap canned and is no where near finding his friend Ang. From being soild to a circus and performing for a brief time, you see some blowhole trainer mistreating him, using the fire whip on him. I'll admit it, it just made me want to take that whip and use it on that trainer see how he likes it. In a way that circus scene was sort of a little way of addressing the issue of man's trespassing against nature and the corrupt nature of controlling what isn't ment to be controlled. But it was just a great moment when Appa makes that trainer look like a fool while giving a great show, as well as escaping.

    There was even a scene where he encounters Suki and her warrior tribe which I thought was also touching. Even liked it when Appa tries to help at the time when Suki was just about to be captured, but couldn't when Suki shoos him away so he'd be safe and find Ang. I'll admit that made me kinda sad because it really felt like Suki's capture could have been prevented if she let him help.

    There are also those near miss moments where we see how little moments we might have seen in past episodes were connected, kinda like in the animated movie "An American Tail" where sometimes the family and Fibel intersected with each other and didn't know it. It kinda made me a little more sad because it showed how Appa was so close and yet so far.

    One of the great moments were the flashback scenes where we saw depth on the relationship between both Appa and Ang. This all the more made me feel for the character because both truly go a long way but also show the loneliness both characters have gone though since not just were the Airbenders extinct but also the Air Bison.

    The ending was a sad as we see Appa is on the right track and goes to Ba Sing Se and seems close to reuniting with Ang once more but unfortunately is captured again which story wise makes sense since it connects with the running Ba Sing Se story arc. However it's not totally sad since it ends also on a small sense of hope when we see a track Appa left and Momo sees the track.

    Appa and Ang are somewhere out there but are never far apart.moreless
  • just my two cents

    this was probably my least favourite episode of the entire series ..im not saying it was bad but it just didnt interest me and i love animals and atla but i guess for me it was missing a little somethin somethin. I liked the tale of momo more.It could be because my favourite animals on this show is flopsy, hei bai, bosco, the lion turtle and the dragons...anyway glad it finally have appa back.moreless
  • Not that good.

    I really didn't like this episode for many reasons why. An obvious reason is that Appa was practically tortured in this episode. There were only two things that were good about this episode. That awesome fight between Suki and the other Kyoshi Warriors fighting Azula, Mai, and Ty Lee. We learned that Azula, Mai, and Ty Lee wound up winning but, it was still a very good fight with many shocks. If only it didn't stop it. The other good thing was the character devopement of Guru Pathik, he is a 150 years old that was a special friend of Monk Gyatso, Aang's mentor. Overall, this was an okay episode and I give it a 7.8.moreless
  • Appa's Lost Days

    Appa's Lost Days was an amazingly superb and entertaining episode of Avatar The Last Airbender. This episode was a focus on what has happened to Appa since he was captured by the Sandbenders. Appa has undergone such an unexpected journey that really touches the heart. I found this episode compelling as it was from Appa's point of view, and from being in a circus to battling Azula with the Kyoshi Warriors, and an unexpected friend at the Eastern Air Temple, this episode was full of surprises and interesting circumstances. I look forward to watching the next episode of Avatar The Last Airbender!!!!!!!moreless
  • A story without words is still effective.

    This is almost like a continuation of last episode; a "what have they been doing lately" type of episode, except this one is fully dedicated to Appa and his whereabouts since being taken from the sand benders. This one is clearly inferior in almost every way; without much dialogue, there wasn't much room to be successful. Though like the Momo sequence the last episode showed, you don't need human speech to portray a story. The episode did a wonderful job of portraying Appa's emotions through just sheer action. The only downfall is that Momo's was nice because it was only like five minutes. This feels like the quality of it was expanded to fit the half hour deadline. Not that there's anything wrong with that; still a great episode.moreless
Brian George

Brian George

Guru Pathik

Guest Star

Dwight Schultz

Dwight Schultz


Guest Star

Paul McKinney

Paul McKinney


Guest Star

Cricket Leigh

Cricket Leigh


Recurring Role

Olivia Hack

Olivia Hack

Ty Lee

Recurring Role

Jennie Kwan

Jennie Kwan


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (11)

    • According to Nick.com the female airbender we see is called Iio.

    • Precisely four weeks have passed since "The Library".

    • This is the first appearance of the Eastern Air temple. Unlike the Southern and Northern Air Temples which are situated on one mountain peek, the Eastern Temple is situated on three separate mountain peeks.

    • The Boar-Q-Pine while first charging at Appa has white lumps on its nose bridge, but later on they are missing.

    • When Mai jumps from her lizard's saddle, we can see she is missing her wrist harnesses and her gloves.

    • The audience members surrounding the Fire Nation boy at the circus constantly change.

    • When Azula disarms Suki of her katana in mid-attack, her wrist shield is missing. It then returns in the next shot.

    • During Appa's flashback when he and Aang first meet and Aang offers him the apple, a brown patch of fur appears next to his front right leg, close to his right ear, when Appa sniffs the apple; and then vanishes after he finishes eating it.

    • Appa's "bed head" doesn't appear until after Guru Pathik makes mention of it.

    • The Kyoshi Warriors are given much more diversity in this episode. While in "The Warriors of Kyoshi", virtually all of the warriors besides Suki looked completely identical, here no two are shown to have the same facial features, headband, or even hairstyle.

    • When the Sandbenders ransack Appa's cargo, a sleeping bag, Sokka's club, and the umbrella received from Aunt Wu is among the discarded.

  • QUOTES (18)

    • (Appa flies overhead)
      Iroh: Oh!
      : (triedly) Uncle? What are you looking at? Is there something out there?
      Iroh: Ahhh...it's nothing. Go back to sleep...

    • Suki (reassuringly to Appa): It's gonna be ok Appa. I have to leave, but I am gonna be back soon with help.

    • Kyoshi Warrior: I can't believe you found the Avatar's bison. Didn't you just see the Avatar a few days ago?
      Suki: Yes, so he can't be too far from here. It's our responsibility to get Appa back to him safely. This could be our most important mission yet.

    • Fire Nation Man: I am gonna get a bag of sizzle-crisps. Stay here and stay away from that monster. Behave yourself, or you'll regret it.

    • Circus Trainer (softly): Oh. I understand you've had a rather hard time lately. That's too bad. You probably felt you had no choice but to behave outrageously. Like a wild animal. But don't worry, you won't anymore. (in a sinister voice) Because I am going to break you.

    • First Beetle Merchant: We've gotta get rid of this one! He's too much trouble.
      Second Beetle Merchant: We could sell him for parts.

    • Ghashuin (calling back): He's your problem now. (laughs)
      Second Beetle Merchant: What!?
      (Appa rocks the sled side-to-side and breaks the ropes with his tail, flipping over the beetle that is supposed to transport him)
      First Beetle Merchant (shouting): We need the shirshu spit darts!
      Second Beetle Merchant (whips out a blowgun): Got em'! Ok big fella, you're gonna take a nice little snoozle.

    • First Beetle Merchant: How's his temper?
      Ghashuin: Uhhhh, pretty good.
      (Appa roars ferociously)
      Ghashuin: Uh, most of the time.
      Second Beetle Merchant (to the first merchant): I bet someone will pay a fortune for him in Ba Sing Se.
      First Beetle Merchant: All right. You've got a deal.

    • (Flashback of Aang as a child offering an apple to a pup version of Appa. Appa accepts the apple and tackles Aang)
      Aang: I guess this means we'll always be together. (End flashback to present day Aang at Serpent's Pass. Still asleep, laughs) Always.

    • Mai (after pinning a surprised Kyoshi warrior to a tree): You're so colorful, its making me nauseous. (throws more stilettos)

    • Suki (Waving a flaming branch to keep Appa away): Get out of here! You have to find Aang! We'll be okay!

    • Guru (to a grumbling Appa): I know I'm not the person you expected... and I didn't expect to be licked by a giant tongue just now. Life is full of surprises!

    • Azula: Afraid of fire I see. That's good - you should be.

    • Ty Lee (to a Kyoshi Warrior): You are not prettier than we are.

    • Suki: If you're looking for the Avatar, you're out of luck.
      Mai (sighs): I knew this was gonna be a waste of time.
      Azula: No Avatar huh? Well, that's okay, any friend of the Avatar (attacks) is an enemy of mine!

    • Azula (to Appa, holding up a handful of his fur droppings): My, my you're easy to find. It's astounding my brother hasn't captured you yet.

    • (Suki pulls out fan to prepare for Azula's attack)
      Azula: Don't you know fans just make flames stronger?

    • Suki (to Azula): What do you want with us?
      Azula (to the Kyoshi Warriors): Who are you, the Avatar's fangirls?
      (Ty Lee first confused than finally gets it)
      Ty Lee: Oh I get it! Good one Azula.

  • NOTES (3)

    • This episode is available in the Book 2: Earth, Volume 4 DVD, along with, "Lake Laogai", "The Earth King", "The Guru", and "The Crossroads of Destiny".

    • On March 27, 2007, this episode received a Genesis Award from The Humane Society of the United States in the category "Outstanding Children's Programming," which the HSUS Genesis Award press release described as "...a mythical tale about animals held captive for human entertainment that resonates with the way animals are used in circuses today."

    • Character Debut: Guru Pathik

  • ALLUSIONS (10)

    • Azula: And who are you? The Avatar's fangirls?

      This statement seems to have a duel meaning- making a pun of the fact that the Kyoshi warriors use fans as weapons; And the fact that a person who follows and is a fan of a show is known as a fanboy or a fangirl depending on the gender.

    • Once again, a reference to the work of Hayao Miyazaki is made within the show. The large "boar-q-pine" that fought with Appa for the refuge of a cave resembled that of the giant boars from Princess Mononoke in size and appearence, as well as brute strength and rash, extremely territorial behavior.

    • The tribe that had a sandsailer stolen was named 'Hami', which could mean the Family of Ham. Ham (father of Canaan), along with the other sons of Noah, Shem and Japheth, was rescued from The Great Flood of Genesis in The Ark.

    • The scene where Appa is backed into a corner by a woman holding a torch is an allusion to Frankenstein's monster and his fear of fire.

    • Bushido
      Along with geisha and tessenjutsu, the martial art of fan fighting, the warriors of Kyoshi also appear to be heavily influenced by Bushido, the Japanese code of conduct and way of life that especially applied to samurai, similar to the European concept of chivalry. This is displayed by their nobility and responsibility regarding Appa as well as the people that Suki and the others have been helping since they left Kyoshi. The Kyoshi warriors are even seen fighting with katanas, the traditional samurai sword, and their clothing resemble Japanese armor. Futhermore, Bushido also happens to translate to, "way of the warrior."

    • After telling Appa that he can use the bison's energy to see where Aang is, the Guru ends by saying "Funny, what invisible strings connect us all." This is not the first time this season that the writers have brought up the concept of everything, and everyone being connected. The Guru's words are reminiscent of Huu's statements in episode 2.14, The Swamp: "If you listen hard enough you can hear every living thing breathing together, you can feel everything growing. We're all livin' together, even if most folks don't act like it. We all have the same roots, and we are all branches of the same tree."

    • The swords Suki and the warriors of Kyoshi used appeared to be kodachis, a Japanese sword too short to be considered a long sword but too long to be considered a dagger.

    • The giant insect that the merchants intended to use to draw a sled Appa that was being carried on resembled an Atlas Beetle, a species of beetle found in Malaysia or other regions of southern Asia.

    • At the Fire Nation Circus, Appa is dressed to resemble a Chinese Imperial guardian lion. Also, judging from the brief appearance of the white-bearded ringmaster who wanted "the Wind Buffalo" in the show, the circus Appa was sent was the same one Ty Lee performed in before joining Azula.

    • Wind Buffalo
      During his circus performance, Appa is referred to as a buffalo by the announcer. This is a slight reference to the American Buffalo (aka American Bison), a race of bison who like the Sky Bison the Air Nomad race and are in general, were brought to the very brink of extinction due to extermination.