Avatar: The Last Airbender

Season 2 Episode 5

Avatar Day

1
Aired Friday 6:30 PM Apr 28, 2006 on Nickelodeon
8.8
out of 10
User Rating
436 votes
77

EPISODE REVIEWS
By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

EDIT
Aang and the gang discover an Earth Kingdom town that celebrates something called "Avatar Day." But when they get there and learn the festival is of "anti-Avatar" sentiment and Aang is put on trial for a crime a past incarnation allegedly committed. Looking to clear the Avatar's good name, Katara and Sokka venture back to a familiar place to gather evidence and discover the truth. Can Aang redeem himself in the eyes of the people of the town?moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Avatar Day

    8.0
    Avatar Day was a really great episode of Avatar The Last Airbender. I enjoyed watching this episode because it was full of humor, action, intrigue, and some interesting plot turns. It is interesting to see the path Zuko has chosen. I thought it was cool how Aang wanted to defend his honor and became cool with the other inmates with bald heads and tattoos! I enjoyed learning more about Avatar Kyoshi and seeing her in action. Though there are only minor plot developments, this episode has some great defining moments. I look forward to watching the next episode of Avatar The Last Airbender!!!!moreless
  • While I particularly enjoyed this episode, Sokka was way out of chatacter, although finally hearing Avatar Kyoshi speak after 21 episodes of knowing her was a pleasant surprise.

    8.8
    The plot and story of 'Avatar Day' was a good one, but I believe they made Sokka too outof character in this episode. Although I thought Katara\'s dialouge was mostly in-character, and the lines with Sokka were most certainly meant for comic relief, I still believe Sokka was too out of character for my liking.



    History is one of my favorite subjects, and the history of this show is so deep and they could go so far with it. I liked how Kyoshi told of how Kyoshi Isle came about creation, as freedom from Chin the Conqueror. No wonder she has a statue in her name, and the island named after her.



    In a post on another message board, I put out a theory that Avatar Kyoshi ha done something for the greater good, but hurt the town (now known as Chin), and that was somewhat right, as she separated her people from Chin the conqueror's wrath, but killed Chin in the process.



    The Mayor of Chin was a little insane if you ask me. The whole part at the end "Avatar Day" will now be a celebration of how Avatar Aang saved the town of Chin..." was a bit weird and it felt rushed to me. One minute they want to kill him (or "burn him in oil") the next their making him a hero.



    And "community service" didn\'t feel right to me either. I mean that's more or less a Western idea, and they couldn\'t come up with a more Asian name for it? It just didn\'t feel right.



    I'll give the writers the benefit of the doubt here and give this episode a good rating. However it could have been better?



    But it makes you wonder. Episode 105 was silly, episode 205 was even sillier, how will episode 305 be?

    moreless
  • Underappreciated episode.

    9.2
    Another underappreciated episode. This episode tells what Avatar Kyoshi did in her past, about killing Chin the Great. We actually got to see Avatar Kyoshi do some bending, she was so strong, she separated her land and Chin the Great's land. It also premiered the Rough Rhinos, which they had a great fight with Aang, Katara, and Sokka at the end of this episode. Also, I loved when Aang talked to the prisoners about "the girl" Aang likes, which is obviously Katara. The one prisoner said "She'll like you. You have good looks, a good attitude, and not to mention you're the Avatar!" That part was really funny, I laughed until I cried. Overall, I give this episode a 9.2.moreless
  • Another dime piece.

    8.5
    There was close to no action in this episode--aside from those couple of scenes of fighting with the Rhino Squad--and yet this episode was still pretty damn brilliant. Writing as always is nicely paced and structured; a bunch of recurring stuff like the Rhino Squad, Waterbender money, makes the episode feel like the watch is much longer than just 20 minutes. The humour wasn't really laugh out loud funny, but it was just amusing. The whole Sokka being a detective thing and Aang having a serious and deep conversation with a bunch of prisoners were funny in an amusing way. A solid overall episode.moreless
  • Aang is held on trial due to crimes in his past life.

    8.3
    This episode didn't really have that much impact on the series, so I call it a filler episode. Aang and his friends arrive at an Earth town where they celebrate an "Anti-Avatar" day. Really weird in my opinion XD Anywho, Aang doesn't like it, and tries to redeem himself in front of everyone. He allows himself to get captured, then sends Katara and Sokka back to Kyoshi Island to find evidence of the crime. Back at the trial, Kyoshi herself materializes and tells the villagers why she killed the past leader. She only did it to protect everyone, and had she not killed him, the town would have been in chaos.moreless
Jennifer Hale

Jennifer Hale

Avatar Kyoshi

Guest Star

James Hong

James Hong

Mayor Tong

Guest Star

Byron McKittrick

Byron McKittrick

Crazy Foaming Guy

Guest Star

James Sie

James Sie

Oyaji

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (12)

    • Kyoshi Island's origin is revealed in this episode. It was created by Kyoshi herself when she separated a small portion of land from the mainland of the Earth Kingdom with the use of bending of all four elements enhanced by her Avatar Spirit.

    • This is the second time that a previous Avatar appears via Aang. The first time was when Roku helped Aang in the Avatar Roku (Winter Solstice, Part 2).

    • When the Rough Rhino member with the chain first attacks, his teeth are brown.

    • While Katara is telling Mayor Tong about their evidence outside of Aang's cell, the right side of Katara's white collar turns blue like her outfit.

    • A bust of Avatar Kyoshi is seen in the middle of her shrine, but it goes missing after its initial appearance.

    • After the torch guy burns the Roku float and poses, his torch is just red when it should be red, orange, and yellow.

    • When Sokka is jumping about the cell room, imitating Airbending, his back is facing the screen and you can see his boomerang is inside its sheath and the sheath's cords are missing.

    • There is a discrepancy in the punishment wheel. When the " wheel of punishment" is brought out to determine Aang's fate, it lands on "boiled in oil." Look at the square next to it, it looks like a person on a bed of nails.
      Later on when the Rough Rhino's attack, the wheel is moved ahead 1 square to land on "community service". The "bed of nails" was moved to be after community service.

    • When Aang is trying to defend himself in the town of Chin, Katara quickly dresses him up in Avatar Kyoshi's clothes. How did her clothes get there? When Katara and Sokka traveled to Kyoshi Island to look for clues, Kyoshi's clothes were there in her temple-- and the leader of the island did not even want Katara and Sokka to touch them, let alone take them.

    • If Avatar Kyoshi's airbending were powerful enough to push an island out into the sea, it certainly would have been strong enough to blow Chin over, yet he stays standing the whole time.

    • When Avatar Kyoshi is separating the peninsula (later Kyoshi island) from the mainland she uses bending to draw a roughly straight line in the earth. Then, as she's pushing the island off of the mainland with airbending you can see that the divide is very slightly curved, though still basically straight. Then, in a final, overhead shot of the mainland's edge, we can see that it has been drawn out into a very steep curve.

    • Right after Aang embodies Avatar Kyoshi he begins to fall forward and Katara runs up to catch him. She tells him he just confessed, and for the remainder of that shot they stay standing about a foot apart. However, in the next shot you can see them standing about three or four feet apart from each other, yet they haven't moved.

  • QUOTES (25)

    • Sokka: What is this?
      Mayor Tong: That's our new festival food, unfried dough. May we eat it and be reminded of how on this day the Avatar was not boiled in oil.

    • Mayor Tong (when the Rough Rhinos invade): You, Avatar, do something!
      Aang: Gee, I'd love to help, but I'm supposed to be boiled in oil.
      (Mayor Tong moves the Wheel of Punishment)
      Mayor Tong: There! Community service! Now serve our community and get rid of those rhinos!

    • Old Man (slurring): We used to be a great society before you killed our leader. (pointing to himself) Now look at us!
      Aang (cringing in revulsion): Huh!

    • Avatar Kyoshi: I killed Chin, the Conquerer. A horrible tyrant, Chin was expanding his army to all corners of the continent. When they came to the neck of the peninsula where we lived, he demanded our immediate surrender. I warned that I would not sit passively while he took our home, but he did not back down. On that day, we split from the mainland. (Kyoshi seperates the peninsula from the mainland and moves it out to sea. Chin yells angrily at her before falling off the cliff to his death) I created Kyoshi Island so my people could be safe from invaders.

    • (Guard looking at the tourture wheel)
      Guard: Looks like boiled in oil.

    • Aang: Having a huge festival in your honor is great but, frankly, it's just nice to be appreciated.
      Sokka: And it's nice to appreciate their deep fried festival food!

    • Aang (dizzy; after the flashback with Avatar Kyoshi): What happened?
      Katara: You kinda confessed. Sorry.

    • (Katara hands the Produce Guy some money to pay for the produce they just bought)
      Produce Guy (surprised): Hey, Water Tribe money.
      Katara: I hope that's okay.
      Produce Guy: So long as it's money. (closes shop and begins to walk away) Have a nice Avatar Day!
      Aang: Avatar Day?
      Produce Guy: Yeah, you guys are going to the festival, right?

    • Mayor Tong: It's the Avatar himself!
      Villager: It's going to kill us with it's awesome Avatar powers!

    • Sokka (to Aang about the trial): You can do it, Aang. Just remember the evidence.
      Aang: Right, evidence. Ladies and gentlemen, I'm about to tell you what really happened; and I will prove it with facts. Fact number one, (Pause)
      Sokka (Quietly): Psst...the footprints!
      Aang: Oh yeah! (Nervously) You see I have very large feet. Furthermore, your temple matches your statue. But I was in a painting at sunset. (Proudly) So there you have it; I'm not guilty!
      Sokka (to Katara): He's dead.

    • Sokka (to Aang): So some people don't like you, big deal! There's a whole nation of Firebenders who hate you.

    • Mayor Tong: Like we said: Justice. As in just us! (walks away laughing)

    • Prisoner 1: This you're talking about, she'll come around. You just gotta hang in there.
      (Aang pulls his head and arms out of the stock)
      Aang: You think so?
      Prisoner 1: Sure!
      Prisoner 2: Yeah!
      Prisoner 3: You're a catch!
      Aang (Doubtfully): I don't know...
      Prisoner 1: Hey! You're smart, handsome, funny, and not to mention, you're the Avatar.
      Aang: You guys are great!
      Prisoner 3 (Tearfully): Don't be afraid to tell her how you feel.

    • Townsperson 1 (as the wheel is spinning to determine Aang's fate): C'mon, torture machine!
      Townsperson 2: Eaten by bears!
      Townsperson 3: Razor pit!
      Katara: Community service! Please stop on community service!

    • (Sokka finds his Boomerang)
      Sokka: Boomerang! You do always come back!

    • Aang (to Sokka and Katara when they're standing outside of his jail cell, with Aang in hand cuffs): How was I supposed to know they wouldn't take water tribe money?

    • Prisoner (to Aang): You got a bald head and some nice tattoos? You'll fit in real well around here.
      (Aang smiles meekly)

    • Aang (dressed up as Avatar Kyoshi; in a high voice): Hey, everybody! Avatar Kyoshi here!

    • Sokka: I feel like I've lost part of my identity. Imagine if you lost your arrows. (looks at Katara) Or if Katara lost her (Pause) hair loopies.
      Produce Guy: Here's your produce pony-tail guy!
      Sokka: I used to be the boomerang guy. (Sulks)

    • Villager: Let's tell her what we think of the Avatar's honor. (turns around and makes farting noise)

    • Zuko: Then there is no hope at all.
      Iroh: No Zuko, you must never give in to despair, allow yourself to slip down that road and you surrender to your lowest instincts. In the darkest of times, hope is something you give yourself. That is the meaning of inner strength.

    • Sokka: This is by far the worst town we've ever been to.

    • Sokka (to Momo): What are you doing in my mouth?!

    • Sokka: Momo, you need to be a little more sensitive to my boundaries!

    • Sokka: Wait, my boomerang!
      Katara: There's no time!
      Sokka: Oh, I see. There's time to get your scrolls and time to get your staff, but no time for my boomerang? Katara: (cheerfully) That's correct!
      Sokka: (resigned) Oh.

  • NOTES (1)

  • ALLUSIONS (14)

    • Chin the great is almost an exact historical reference to the first emperor of China pronounced the same but spelled Qin. His full name was Qin Shi Huang and he was the first to unify all of the Chinese kindoms like Chin was in the avatar world.

    • Sokka's "detective hat", with it's two wing-like projections resembles an Imperial Chinese Magistrates/Judges cap. Chinese Magistrates were responsible for investigating the crimes in their district as well as presiding over the trials themseves.

    • Chin the Great could be seen as a mix between Alexander the Great, and Mao Zedong.

      Chin, much like Alexander the Great, had a great empire, but over the years after his death the empire fell apart. Also, much like Mao Zedong, he caused a group of people to leave a nation to go live on an island away from the policy's, and on the mainland.

    • Chin the Great's height could be seen as a play on Napoleon Bonaparte, as Napoleon was a man who was the leader of a great army with contrastingly short stature who sought to create a grand empire by subjagating neighboring nations under his rule, similar to Chin goals in regards to the Earth Kingdom.

    • On the mural, following the familiar word Avatar, appear to be the words chǔ nǚ which in Chinese mean 'virgin.' This possible allusion to Queen Elizabeth I of England who was known as the 'Virgin Queen' could be a possible Chinese name for Avatar Kyoshi.

    • Chinatown
      The town of Chintown and its mayor are a play off the early American Chinatown enclaves which were historically run by a social organization of Chinese immigrants, commonly referred to as Tongs.

    • Mayor Tong bears a resemblance to Disney's Mulan character Chi Fu, both having spaghetti mustaches, long faces, tall hats, and nasty attitudes and almost constant-rudeness to the protagonists. In fact, both are voiced by James Hong.

    • In this episode, Chin the Great (Chin the Conqueror) was the founder of the city of Chin. This character is an allusion to the First Emperor of China, Qin (pronounced Chin) Shi Huang Di, the emperor was powerful and indeed a tyrant. A lot like Avatar's Chin, he wanted to expand his empire to the ends of the civilized territory, which is modern day China.

      The seperation of Kyoshi from the mainland is an allusion to the seperation of Taiwan during the Chinese Communist revolution. They did not want to be ruled under a tyrant, so they broke off and made their own society.

    • The man running with a torch to light the Avatar floats seems to greatly resemble the torch lighting in the Opening Cermonies of the Olympics.

    • The War and differences between "Chin the Conqurer" versus "Avatar Kyoshi" is politically close in culture and link to China versus Japan. Japan and China had/has historical "feuds" and it is similar to the same land mass break-off from the continent. Even the names of Chin and Kyoshi tell us what cultures they are linked to.

    • Sokka's detective outfit is a spoof off of the famous detective, Sherlock Holmes. Like Holmes, Sokka wore a hat with a monacle, and smoked from a pipe (although his blew out bubbles).

    • Zuko going off on his own to reach wisdom and knowledge of the world, etc. is a common thread in history and in myth. Many leaders, sages, warriors, and hero/heroines go on a self pilgrimage to find themselves, and sample the world--in punishments and joys in order to become enlightened, well rounded, and just a stronger person. It's not something that selfish or tyrannical people do--they rely on a large group to do everything for them, and never search outside themselves. That is an ego-driven leader. Going alone and soul searching is someone that is trying to reach enlightenment and better themselves for others. This is something Buddha did.

    • The Fire Nation "Rough Rhinos" is an allusion to the U.S. "Rough Riders," a volunteer calvary group led by Theodore Roosevelt (prior to his Presidency) who fought in the Spanish-American War.

    • The unfried dough that was prepared for Aang in honor of the new Avatar Day looked strikingly similar in shape to gingerbread cookies.

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