Avatar: The Last Airbender

Season 1 Episode 6


Aired Friday 6:30 PM Mar 25, 2005 on Nickelodeon
out of 10
User Rating
623 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

When the group arrives at a small Earth Kingdom mining town, they see an earthbender, named Haru, who is practicing his ability, but he runs away when Katara tries to confront him about it. They soon learn that the Fire Nation has taken over the town, that earthbending is forbidden and all earthbenders are taken away to an offshore prison. However, when an elderly man is trapped in a collapsed mine, Katara urges Haru to use his powers to save the man's life, but then, the old man reports Haru to the authorities. Katara blames herself for his predicament and she vows to rescue him, but will she succeed?moreless

Who was the Episode MVP ?

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  • Imprisoned

    Imprisoned was a perfect episode of Avatar The Last Airbender because it had a lot of character and heart as well as humor. I really enjoyed watching this episode because the whole concept of element bending is awesome and the characters are really complex and connect with viewers. In this episode we get to see more of Earthbenders, however they have been enslaved by the Fire Nation and have are stuck at sea with no way to use their gift until Katara gives them hope. This episode was very deep and character driven, the Earthbenders were really cool, and we got to see more of how the Fire Nation operates. I enjoy the humor between Aang and Appa the flying Bison or Buffalo, and thought it was hilarious this was brought up in the episode. This episode showcase's how great the series applies humor to the show. I look forward to watching more episodes of Avatar The Last Airbender!!!!!!!moreless
  • Not up to par

    Avatar is one of my all time favorite shows, so don't get me wrong...but I just don't think "Imprisoned" was up to par. First of all, Haru REALLY irked me...he struck me as a very boring, stock character with nothing special about him. Plus, the think Katara was mildly out of character by putting herself on that ship, even to save the earthbenders. There were other ways the kids could have approached that problem. The earthbenders themselves were irritating...I mean, they had such a great gift, but were so run down and depressed that they were not willing to fight anymore. I don't know...it was a detour in the plotline that was unneccessary and not particularly exciting. I'm glad the series has moved on.moreless
  • The gang travels to a small Earthking village for food, but after Katara and her new friend Haru do a good deed, it ends up turning bad.

    Although some people arent as crazy about this episode, i am. I thought, it was funny, creative, and very inspiring. The beginning starts off with Sokka being made fun of for finding the gang a delicious dinner... nuts. Very funny to me how Katara makes fun of him later. The gang fianlly arrive at a village for food besides nuts and discover the Fire Nation occupies it. I like that they showed the firenations as bullies cause they sort of are, it was also sad how they just too the money from Harus family. Kataras words were very encouraging when she talked about why Haru should Earthbend, and she was right too. The two also got a little personal time and we find out Kataras necklace is her moms. Very sad part. After they save to old man, he rats Haru out for earthbending... stupid old man. Katara decides to go to where Haru is being held to save him. How she gets caught for earthbending is hands down, the funniest part of the whole show. I liked how Sokka told Katara to seriously back down, and her face when she said Earthbending power was sooooo funny and then the soliders though Momo was earthbending and sokka had to say it was katara, too funny. At the prison, There is supposedly no earth around. Katara finds Haru. The part where Katara tries to get the earthbenders to escape is just pure gold. Its a very inspiring moment even though its just a cartoon show. I also just turn everything off and listen to her short, but very meaningful speech. And how Katara doesnt give up on the people shows alot about her character and shes like that throughout the series. When they get the coal out and nobody does anything, that was another sad moment, for a secound i could feel katara. We all know what its like to fail at something we try so hard to fix and when Katara did i felt for her. Finally everybody attacked!! I was expecting a bit more from the battle they were beaten often quick. In the last few episodes they were able to deliver great battle scences but this one wasnt quite up there. And then we get a cliffhanger with Zuko having Kataras necklace. Good ending and its great to see Zukos back on track in the story. Just amazing episode right here. One of the best of season 1moreless
  • As always, this episode of Avatar is both proficient and effective.

    Here's the biggest difference between Avatar and the general anime; it doesn't waste a second of time with nonsensical fillers, dragged out scenes, etc. In just a matter of a half hour, this lone episode of Avatar was able to send out a stronger message than most full length movies can do in its couple of hours. Katara's inspirational words to the earth benders was one of the more well executed speeches I've seen, and the fact that it didn't get through to the earth benders at first just made it that much more effective. Although even before the earth benders rebelled, everything before that sequence was still a solid watch.moreless
  • Katara convinces an earth bender to use his powers to help an elderly man. When the bender gets captured, Katara tries to save him.

    Many people say they don't care for this episode, but I think it's very important to the series. It's this episode that we see just how strong, clever, and leading Katara can be. Not very many people could have rallied a group of prisoners to risk their lives and revolt against the Fire Nation benders that held them. It's also this episode that the people realize just how helpful and strong the Avatar can be. It builds trust, and bonds the people to Aang. This will come in handy in the later episodes. Another important part was when Katara lost her mother's necklace. In the end, we find out that Zuko found it and is going to keep it to help in his search for the Avatar. All in all, a very good episode.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (7)

    • Katara loses her mother's necklace on the prison rig, and it is recovered by Prince Zuko. This will become a small sub-plot over the next few episodes.

    • While Katara is sleeping with the other imprisoned earthbenders and before Aang appears, her braid is missing.

    • When Tyro thanks Katara on the ship and she looks away in embarrassment, her braid is not connected to her bun or even to her head.

    • When Tyro is trying to convince Katara to stop rebelling against the Warden while she is standing on the coal pile, the blue beads connecting her hair loopies to her bun turn brown.

    • When Katara says that the Firebenders will take her to Haru, Sokka's gloves are missing.

    • From Katara shouting "Earthbending Style!" to being being taken away by the guards, the fur lining on the bottom of her outfit disappears.

    • When Katara is captured, and when the prisoners are walking onto the prison hold, Katara is second to last in line. But when we see the doors close on her, she's last.

  • QUOTES (19)

    • Katara: See this necklace? My mother gave it to me.
      Haru: It's beautiful.
      Katara: I lost my mother in a Fire Nation raid. This necklace is all I have left of her.
      Haru: It's not enough, is it?
      Katara: No.

    • Katara: What can they do to you that they haven't already done?
      Haru's Mother: They could take Haru away. Like they did his father.

    • Sokka: Momo (pause) you have some big ears.

    • Aang: Great hat. I'll trade you some nuts for it.

    • Katara: We just wanted to say hi.
      Aang: Hey, that guy's gotta be running somewhere. Maybe we're near a village, and I bet that village has a market!
      Katara: Which means no nuts for dinner!

    • Katara: An earthbender!
      Aang: Let's go meet him!
      Sokka: He looks dangerous, so we better approach cautiously.
      Katara: Hello there, I'm Katara. What's your name? (The earthbender runs.)
      Aang: Nice to meet you!

    • Katara (shouting): Earthbenders! You don't know me, but I know of you. Every child in my Water Tribe village was rocked to sleep with stories of the brave Earth Kingdom, and the courageous Earthbenders who guard its borders. Some of you may think that the Fire Nation has made you powerless. Yes, they have taken away your ability to bend, but they can't take away your courage. And it is your courage they should truly fear! For it runs deeper than any mine you've been forced to dig, any ocean that keeps you far from home! It is the strength of your hearts that make you who you are; hearts that will remain unbroken when all rock and stone has eroded away. The time to fight back is now! I can tell you, the Avatar has returned! So remember your courage, Earthbenders! Let us fight for our freedom!

    • Fire Nation Soldier (gasps): That lemur...he's earthbending!
      Sokka: No! You idiot! It's the girl!
      Fire Nation Soldier: Oh... of course.

    • (When Katara is about to get arrested for earthbending and she and Sokka are setting up the trick)
      Sokka: You know, I thought you were crazy at first, Katara, but this might actually work. There are ventilation shafts throughout the mine. All Aang has to do is send air through that vent to this vent, and, ta-da! Fake earthbending!
      Katara: Aang, did you get all that?
      (Screen shifts to see Aang air at a butterfly)
      Aang: Sure. Sure. I got it. (keeps playing with the butterfly) Just relax. You're taking the fun out of this.
      Sokka: By this, do you mean purposefully being captured by an army of ruthless firebenders?
      Aang (Keeps playing with the butterfly): Exactly. That's fun stuff.

    • Aang: Great, you're back! What's for dinner.
      Sokka: We've got a few options. First, round nuts and some kind of oval shaped nuts, and some rock shaped nuts that… might just be rocks. Dig in!

    • Aang:Hey, that guy's gotta be running somewhere. Maybe we're near a village, and I bet that village has a market!
      Katara: Which means no nuts for dinner!
      Sokka: Hey! I worked hard to get those nuts! Yeah, I hate them too.

    • Warden: No! I can't swim!
      Tyro: Don't worry, I hear cowards float.
      (Tyro throws Warden into water)

    • Warden: You thought some inspirational words and some coal would change these people? Look at their blank, hopeless faces. Their spirits were broken a long time ago. You failed.

    • Aang (thinking of a way to get the earthbenders off the rig): I wish I knew how to make a hurricane.
      (Katara and Sokka stare at him)
      Aang: The warden would run away, and we'd steal his keys.
      Sokka: Wouldn't he just take his keys with him?
      Aang: I'm just tossing ideas around.

    • Sokka: Shouldn't we run away from huge booms, not toward them?

    • Warden: Listen to him well, child. You are one mistake away from dying where you stand.

    • Wardon: Well, which was it? A flying buffalo or a bison?!
      Firebender Captain: I'm not really sure what the difference is...

    • Sokka: Get out of my way, pipsqueak!
      Katara: How dare you call me pipsqueak, you giant eared cretin!

    • Warden: Wake up the captain and search the rig.
      Firebender Soldier: Sir, that was the captain you just threw overboard.
      Warden: Well then wake up someone that I haven't thrown overboard!

  • NOTES (4)


    • Haru literally translates into "spring" from Japanese, which may allude to Book 2: Earth, which takes place in springtime.

    • Haru's name means "to dig out," in Akkadian, which alludes towards his earthbending abilities.

    • The earthbender prison is far out to sea and resembles modern oil rigs, used to find oil underwater. The firebenders are using these prisons for similar purposes, to get coal for their huge fleet.

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