Avatar: The Last Airbender

Season 2 Episode 3

Return to Omashu

Aired Friday 6:30 PM Apr 07, 2006 on Nickelodeon
out of 10
User Rating
429 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Despite finding out that Omashu has been captured by the Fire Nation, Aang insists on trying to find King Bumi within Omashu's borders, even with the dangers that will await him and his friends if his real identity is discovered. Meanwhile Azula goes in search of old friends to help her with her mission. Can Aang locate his friend Bumi or will Azula succeed in capturing the avatar?moreless

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  • Return to Omashu

    Return to Omashu was a perfect episode of Avatar The Last Airbender combining a great story with humor, intrigue, drama, danger, and great characters. It was awesome to meet Azula's old friends who now will help her on her quest. I thought it was strange that Omashu was taken so easily but King Bumi has a crazy plan as usual, and he teaches Aang some thing new! The slide scenes were fun to watch, as well as to watch Mai and Ty Lee in action. Katara, Sokka, and Appa hold their own as well. I look forward to watching the next episode of Avatar The Last Airbender!!!!!!!moreless
  • Good but could have worked out a few kinks.

    This is one of those episodes that tried covering too many things at once and feels less polished then it should be. Although Avatar has done this many times in the past and came out successful, not so much with this episode. The whole storyline with Bumi not doing anything about the invasion of the Fire Nation feels like it's not going to end well. It feels like only a Deus Ex Mechanica ploy is possible. Plus although the episode tried introducing new characters to side along with Azula, the execution of it wasn't that great. Although it is with its faults, the episode is still a good watch. The whole baby Tomtom situation and how it ended was just sweet and shows good character on Aang's part.moreless
  • Aang and the gang return to Omashu to find it captured by the Fire Nation.

    This episode still confuses me at times. I still don't understand why Bumi let the Fire Nation take the city without a fight. And I still don't understand why he wouldn't let Aang help him escape. This episode did have some cool parts though. For example, Aang was using Bumi's "cage" to slide down the many chutes leading out of the city. On another chute, Azula was following closely behind. She was going to capture both Bumi and Aang. The chutes don't always follow the same direction, so they had to keep changing chutes to continue to fight, or get away from the other.moreless
  • New charecters, New freinds, New enemys...

    Superb animation with twists and turns around evrey corner

    will make you want more. Hats off to the creators and may this seiries countinue to keep us on the edge of our seat... Personally this is my favorite episode so far and i can not wait for the next episode with these characters in it.

    This episode plays out to a fight that really introduces Azula (14 year-old princess of the Fire Nation. She is Zuko's younger sister and main rival and one of the major antagonists of the series. Cruel and self-centered since youth, Azula is a manipulative, sadistic, and self-admitted sociopath. Azula is considered a firebending prodigy, and is one of the few living firebenders capable of summoning lightning. She has no qualms about bullying and threatening her relatives, reserving any familial loyalty for her father, who greatly favors her over Zuko.)

    Will see the outcome in season 3...moreless
  • the fire nation invaded omashu!

    all aang wants to do is find king bumi. he wants to know if king bumi died and if he didnt he wants to ask him why he let the fire nation have control over omashu. this episode was pretty good because azula makes a team of 3: azula, ty lee, and mai. azula is planning to change omashu into new ozai. shes also planning on capturing the avatar because of zuko's (her older brother) huge failure from the north pole and other times. now i got nothing to say.oh wait i forgot the rating 9.7/ 10. i guess im done.moreless
Dee Bradley Baker

Dee Bradley Baker

Tom Tom

Guest Star

Fred Tatasciore

Fred Tatasciore

Omashu Resistance Leader

Guest Star

Tara Strong

Tara Strong

Governor's Wife

Guest Star

André Sogliuzzo

André Sogliuzzo

King Bumi

Recurring Role

Cricket Leigh

Cricket Leigh


Recurring Role

Olivia Hack

Olivia Hack

Ty Lee

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (10)

    • Azula re-names Omashu in honor of her father, it is now known as New Ozai.

    • When Yung points to Tom-Tom, you can see that Katara's braid is connected to her bun rather than appearing from between the bun and her head.

    • While Azula is telling the kneeling governor that she is taking charge, the bands on the end of Ty Lee's pants are gone.

    • As the girls are facing sideways as Azula speaks to the kneeling governor, the white dot on Mai's belt is colored the same as the belt.

    • While Ty Lee is doing a handstand before Azula appears, the man rolling the barrel across the ground, his feet are sliding across the ground as he moves. His pace of movement doesn't keep up with his feet.

    • Mai's nail polish occasionally disappears. Her length of nails also shortens and lengthens.

    • When Aang frees Flopsie, a long piece of the chain is still connected to the collar. But when Aang gets on Flopsie and rides off, the chain length is much shorter.

    • After Aang goes to free Bumi from the metal box, Katara uses water to whip up some planks to block Mai's attack. When the shurikens hit them, the planks all have perfectly straight edges, but when Katara pushes the planks toward Mai the edges are jagged.

    • While riding down the chute from the top, Azula is missing her bangs.

    • When Azula's attack cuts through the chain holding King Bumi, part of the chain is still attached to the metal box Bumi is in. But when the box lands on one of the mail delivery system slides, the chain part is gone.

  • QUOTES (30)

    • Mai: I thought you ran off and joined the circus? You said it was your calling.
      Ty Lee: Well, Azula called a little louder.

    • Aang: I guess I need to find someone else to teach me earthbending.
      King Bumi: Your teacher will be someone who has mastered neutral jin. You need to find someone who waits and listens before striking.

    • Guard: Wait! What's the matter with him? (Katara puts her hand on Sokka's shoulder.)
      Katara: Uh, he has pentapox, sir.
      (The guard walks up to Sokka and moves forward to touch him.)
      Katara: Umm... it's highly contagious.
      (The guard pulls his hand back as Sokka starts to make awful "sickness" groans.)
      Sokka: Ughhhh... it's so awful... I'm dying.
      Katara: ..and deadly. (Sokka continues to moan as if he was in horrible pain.)

    • Sokka: Aaahhh. (Sokka grabs the creature and attempts to pull it off his face. He stretches it to a long distance, but it still sticks to his face.) Aahhh! Aaaahhh! They won't let go! Help! Aaahh!
      (Aang pins Sokka to the wall.)
      Aang: Stop making so much noise. It's just a purple pentapus.

    • Azula: I would be honored if you joined me on my mission.
      Ty Lee (refering to the circus): Oh, I...uh...would love to! But the truth is, I'm really happy here! I mean, my aura has never been pinker!
      Azula: I'll take your word for it.

    • Captain Yung: We've got a problem. We just did a head count.
      Katara: Oh no. Did someone get left behind?
      Captain Yung: No, we have an extra. (points at Tom-Tom)

    • King Bumi: Momo's mastered a few Jings himself!

    • Aang: C'mon Flopsy, you gotta help me find Bumi. (Gets on Flopsy) Yip-yip! (Nothing happens) Oh, I guess that doesn't work with you.

    • Sokka: Aang, we don't even know if Bumi's still...
      Aang (cutting him off): What? If Bumi's still what?
      Sokka: Around.

    • Katara (Playing with Tom Tom): Does this look like the face of a killer to you?

    • Captain Yung: There are thousands of people who need saving. How are we going to get them all out?
      Sokka: Suckers! (Everyone stares at him) You're all about to come down with a nasty case of pentapox.

    • Aang: I can't believe it. I know the war's spread far, but Omashu always seemed... untouchable.

    • Sokka: No! No! Bad fire nation baby! (referring to Tom Tom)

    • Mai (with a tone of approval): So, we're tracking down your brother and Uncle, huh?
      Ty Lee (smirking): It'll be interesting to see Zuko again, won't it Mai? (Mai smirks)
      Azula: It's not just Zuko and Iroh anymore, we have a third target now. (referring to Aang, the Avatar)

    • King Bumi: Listen to me Aang, there are options in fighting called Jing. It's a choice of how you direct your energy.
      Aang: I know. There's positive Jing when you're attacking and negative Jing when you're retreating.
      King Bumi: And Neutral Jing, when you do nothing.
      Aang (surprised): There are three Jings?
      King Bumi: Well, technically there are 85, let's just focus on the third. Neutral Jing is the key to earthbending, it involves listening and waiting for the right moment to strike.

    • Mai (to Katara): How are you gonna fight without your bending?
      (Mai's throwing arrows are struck out of her hand by a boomerang)
      Sokka (flying on Appa): I seem to manage.

    • Azula (to the Governor): You stay here, Mai will handle the hostage trade, so you don't have a chance to mess it up. And there is no more Omashu, I'm renaming it in honor of my father: the city of New Ozai.

    • Governor: What is going on down there?!
      Guard: I saw some kids yesterday that were sick with Pentopox. It must have spread.
      Governor (loudly): Pentapox?! Hmm, I'm pretty sure I've head of that.

    • Azula (Aang's cover is blown): The Avatar? My lucky day.

    • Azula: I know, set the net on fire.
      Circus Leader (nervously): Of course, Princess.
      Azula: Ooh, what kind of dangerous animals do you have?

    • Circus Leader: We're deeply honored to have the Fire Lord's daughter at our humble circus. Tell us if there's anything we can do to make the show more enjoyable.
      Azula (evily): I will.

    • Captain Yung: The day of the invasion I asked King Bumi what he wanted to do, he looked me in the eye and said...
      King Bumi: I'm going to do ... nothing! (laughs and snorts)

    • Azula: Well, I wouldn't let you give up the life you love just to please me.
      Ty Lee: Thanks Azula!
      Azula: Of course, before I leave, I'm going to catch your show.
      Ty Lee (surprised and afraid): Uh, yeah, sure, of course!

    • Azula: The royal procession is dead weight. If I want to catch my prey, I must be agile, nimble. I need a small, elite team. It's time to visit some friends.

    • Sokka: A secret passage? Why didn't we just use this last time?
      (Aang opens the sewer and green slime gushes everywhere)
      Aang: Does that answer your question?

    • Aang: This isn't about finding a teacher. This is about finding a friend.

    • Fire Nation Guard: Hey, I think I've heard of pentapox. Didn't your cousin, Chang, die of it? (Sokka starts to cough on them) Let's get out of here and wash our hands ... and burn our clothes! (The guards run away)

    • Azula: Brilliant! Just brilliant! Oh, what kind of dangerous animals do you have?
      Circus Leader: Our circus boasts the most exotic assortment of-
      Azula: (Interupting) Release them all !

    • Mai (Jokingly, to Azula): Please tell me you're here to kill me.

    • Aang: Just like old times, isn't it Bumi?

  • NOTES (4)

  • ALLUSIONS (14)

    • Mai is actually the real spelling for May in french.

    • Mai's name pronunced in Cantonese as M¨¨i (ñÇ) translates to "sleeve of a robe," an allusion to where she hides her weapons.

    • When encountering Aang for the first time, Azula comments, "It's my lucky day", much like Admiral Zhao when he saw Aang for the very first time in Avatar Roku (Winter Solstice, Part 2).

    • The 85 Jings seem to be a allusion to the Thirty-Six Strategies, a Chinese collection of 36 proverbs used to illustrate military strategy and tactics.

    • Kowtow
      When requesting for aid with the trade-off, the Governor and his wife display their respect for, or rather, subject themselves towards Azula by bowing with their heads held so low that their foreheads touch the ground. This action is known as "kowtowing," a deep sign of respect that was usually performed before the Emperor of China and was protocol during the Imperial period of China. Although it is no longer seen as a neccessity today, during those times, if not performed, the emissary risks ultimately losing all favor with the Emperor. Despite common misconceptions, the action was more of a deep sign of respect than religious worship, also the person was only required to kowtow once in the Emperor's presence, as displayed correctly here, not nine or more times as often illustrated/satirized. The name comes from the Chinese phase kou tou, which means, "knock with reverence."

    • Ty Lee's style of fighting, inhibiting the flow of internal life force, is similar to the "Gentle Fist" style used by the characters Neji, Hinata, and the rest of the Hyuga Clan in the anime/manga series Naruto.

    • When the Fire Nation fly their flags, and take over a city, you see their political colors: Red and black, unlike the usual warm colors Fire Nation citizens wear on a daily basis. Red and Black are common colors of warrior driven cultures. Chinese, Hun, and Russian armies all used this coloration in their emblems, flags, and war attire; it meant strength in blood and vitality over death.

    • Mai's fighting technique is known as shuriken-jutsu, the traditional Japanese martial arts of throwing small, sharp, hidden, hand-held instruments such as knives, metal spikes, and circular plates of metal. The martial art has been illustrated and parodied an inumerable amount of times in various forms pop culture media.

    • Azula's companion, Ty Lee, has extremely similar characteristics to Makimachi Misao from the manga/anime Rurouni Kenshin. Like Makimachi, Ty Lee is a young woman with long braided hair who fights using hand to hand combat for the most part. Although she is MUCH more bubbly.

    • When Tom Tom escapes from the house, it alludes to similar events from cartoons from the 50's-80's, where the negligent baby-sitter or parent would leave the baby unattended, allowing it to escape and go on adventures outside the house.

      Near the end of the episode, Aang brings Tom Tom back, leaving his parents clueless as to how it happened. This alludes to the conclusion of the 50's-80's cartoon episodes, when the baby finally returns somehow, and the parents don't notice at all.

    • In this episode, the hidden knives that Mai throws at Katara, are known as shuriken. Shuriken were widely used by the ancient Japenese samurai in warfare, as well as by Japanese assassins. There are two major designs of shuriken, hira-shuriken and bo-shuriken. Hira-shuriken comes in a variety of forms but usually orbits around the shape of a star, while bo-shuriken has the shape of a large needle or spike. Both types were utilized by Mai.

    • The renaming provided in regards to the city of New Ozai (formerly Omashu) is a take on places such as New York, New Mexico, New Hamphire, etc., where the location's newly assigned title is named in the honor of a renowned person or another place.

    • Ty Lee's fighting techniques against Katara are consistent with traditional Kung Fu teachings that chi energy flows along certain meridians within the body. Some systems teach that application of force to specific points along these meridians can cause a number of problems for the victim ranging from mild ailments and weakness to paralysis and even (theoretically) death.

    • The Pentapuss is a spoof of the octopus, but a pentapuss has 5 legs instead of 8, and is obviously smaller.