Avatar: The Last Airbender

Season 1 Episode 2

The Avatar Returns

Aired Friday 6:30 PM Feb 21, 2005 on Nickelodeon
out of 10
User Rating
697 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

After Aang accidentally sets off a Fire Nation trap, he is banished from the South Pole. Soon after Prince Zuko attacks the Southern Water Tribe seeking to capture the Avatar. Aang returns and surrenders to save the Water Tribe. But can Sokka and Katara save the world's only chance at peace, or will Zuko keep his ultimate prize?moreless

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  • The Avatar Returns

    The Avatar Returns was a perfect follow up to the series premiere of Avatar The Last Airbender. I really enjoyed watching this episode because this is where the journey really begins for all of the characters. I think this episode shows that there is a good deal of character development and complex plot lines. I was breathe taken by the scenery where Appa was flying in the sky. I think this is one of the best cartoons of recent times. I really like the characters, the story is interesting and there is a good mix of action, drama, and humor. I look forward to watching more episodes!!!!!!!moreless
  • Aang accidentally sets off a Fire Nation trap and draws their attention to the Southern Water Tribe. Will he be able to save them?

    For the second episode of the series, this was a very impressive episode. When Aang and Katara stumble on a Fire Nation ship, they accidentally set off a trap. Since Zuko is in the area, he sees the trap, and goes to confront the Water Tribe. Aang is banished from the Tribe while the men and women work to defend the people. When the Fire Nation ship arrives at the Tribe, the people turn out to be no match for Zuko and his cronies. Sensing this, Aang returns and wards off the Fire Nation. To save the people of the Tribe, he allows himself to be captured by Zuko. Katara and Sokka plan to save him, and pack up to leave with Aang on his journey. They steal Appa, and fly him to the ship. Aang is already fighting with Zuko to escape. This marks the first time we see him use the Avatar State to fight a battle. And boy was it amazing!!! This allows Aang to escape and begin the journey to defend the Nations with Katara and Sokka.moreless
  • A notch worse compared to the introduction episode.

    While this was still a pretty decent watch, it is no pilot episode. Although there is some action to be found and the fight scenes were entertaining no doubt, it regressed in the other categories that made the first episode of this cartoon such a great watch. First episode was noticeably funnier. In this episode there are some gags here and there, but nothing that really will make you giggle, much less smirk. And the writing isn't as good, although the opening scene where Aang gets banished from the village was an effective and emotional part. All in all though, it was an average episode, no more or less.moreless
  • As a Fire Nation ship approaches, Aang departs the Water Tribe to avoid trouble. When the ship, commanded by Prince Zuko, attacks anyway, Aang turns himself over to protect his new friends. Katara and Sokka decide to rescue him and the adventure begins.moreless

    Like the first episode, this one establishes a bit more of the characters' motivations, particularly this year's villain Prince Zuko, as well as getting a better look at Aang's abilities with his airbending mastery and a glimpse of just what an Avatar can do. This episode sets up most of our Book 1 A-Team, with Aang, Katara, Sokka, and Appa deciding on the journey they will take that will drive the rest of the year (as well as justifying a number of side episodes ;D) and Zuko gets to see just what he is up against. This episode really serves as an extension on the pilot, something a good two parter will often do, building on the ideas and characters of the last episode and presenting the show's first action sequences. That extra action, done in a pretty exciting fashion puts it a notch higher for me than the pilot episode and gives a good taste of what's to come.moreless
  • Aang attempts to escape the ship he is now held on. After Katara and Sokka depart and save Aang, they realize he is the Avatar and their journey begins

    Just Amazing. As i said in the other review which overlapped into episode, only bad part was how Zuko captured Aang. Now to the meat of the review. Aang is captured and thrown into the prison. I love how Aang espcaped because it seemed like he was having fun even though it was a life and death situation and had fun with the guards very funny. This episode also had a lot more humor than the first half. It was funny how Grangran seemed to care about Katara and just said bye to Sokka and to take care of Katara. Poor Sokka! Another funny part, probably of the whole season was when Sokka got Appa to fly. He was like "Katara look hes flyin!!!.... eh no big deal...". Oh Sokka....

    Finally The gang meets up at Zukos ship. When all hope seems lost, Aang goes into the avatar state and does the most insane Waterbending and defeats Zuko... As a pilot, this is something that keeps a series going, awesome action with the waterbending i was just wowed by this, everything in the episode was funny, and entertaining at the same time. This is the beginning of the Zuko, Aang rival too, which goes through alot of twists and turns throughout the series. Another good part of this episode is the very deep and amazing ending when Katara asks Aang why he didnt tell her he was the avatar. Aang responds "Because i never wanted to be". Perfect ending to a pilot, and you see why he says this throughout two full seasons until he finally accepts it. It has more to it than Aang just being a kid not wanting to protect the world. Amazing episode... This is the start of one of the best series ever.moreless
Melendy Britt

Melendy Britt

Gran Gran

Guest Star

Madeline Lovejoy

Madeline Lovejoy

Additional Voices

Guest Star

Luke Zampas

Luke Zampas

Additional Voices

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (9)

    • It is revealed that Aang is the Avatar, and this is the first time he goes into the Avatar State.

    • Just after Zuko breaks his spear Sokka's left leg appears to switch places with his right.

    • When Gran Gran is shoved back to Katara by Zuko, Katara's bun is white.

    • In the first shot of Zuko walking down the ramp of his ship towards the villagers, it shows four firebenders behind him. But when he reaches the bottom, there are three firebenders and three foot soldiers.

    • When Sokka stumbles while on the snow wall, the black triangle on his forehead temporarily vanishes.

    • As Sokka tells the children that Aang is banished, Gran-Gran's wavy design belt is straight but when the camera returns to Sokka, her belt has the wavy design again.

    • During the end of Gran Gran's farewell to her grandkids, Katara's braid is missing.

    • At the opening credits, it had the usual beginning, shorter than the first episode. But the beginning Katara already said that they found the Avatar, when it wasn't confirmed until this episode.

    • When Aang first goes into the Avatar state it is seen that his arrow is glowing. But when he comes out of the water it is not. Then when he lands on the ship it is glowing again.

  • QUOTES (19)

    • Katara: How did you do that? With the water? It was the most amazing thing I've ever seen.
      Aang: I don't know. I just sort of...did it.
      Katara: Why didn't you tell us you were the Avatar?
      Aan:: Because

    • Katara: (attempts to freeze the Fire Nation soldiers, but accidentally freezes Sokka instead)
      Sokka: (chipping the ice away from him) I'm just a guy... with a boomerang... I didn't ask for all this flying... and magic!

    • Aang: If I go with you, will you promise to leave everyone alone?
      (Zuko nods)

    • (As Sokka and Katara try to catch up with Zuko's ship on Appa)
      Sokka: Go. Fly. Soar.
      Katara: Please, Appa. We need your help. Aang needs your help.
      Sokka: Up. Ascend. Elevate.
      Katara: Sokka doesn't believe you can fly. But I do, Appa. Come on, don't you wanna save Aang?
      (Appa growls and swims faster)
      Sokka: What was it that kid said? Yee-haw? Hup-hup? Wa-hoo? Uhh...yip-yip?
      (Appa growls and takes off into the air)
      Katara: You did it, Sokka!
      Sokka: He's flying! HE'S FLYING! Katara, he's (pause)
      (Sokka looks to her and she gives him a smirk)
      Sokka: I mean, big deal, he's flying.

    • Zuko: Head a course for the Fire Nation. I'm finally going home.

    • Katara: Then we're in this together.
      Aang: Alright! But before I learn waterbending, we have some serious business to attend to (points at map) here, here and here.
      Katara: What's there?
      Aang: Here, we'll ride the hopping llamas. And wwwaaayyy over here, we'll surf on the backs of giant koi fish. Then back over here, we'll ride the hog-monkeys. They don't like people riding them, but that's what makes it fun!

    • Prince Zuko (handing Aang's staff to Iroh): And take this to my quarters.
      Uncle Iroh (to soldier): Hey, you mind taking this to his quarters for me?

    • Gran Gran: You'll need these. You have a long journey ahead of you. It's been so long since I've had hope. But you brought it back to life, my little waterbender. (She hugs Katara) And you, my brave warrior, be nice to your sister.
      Sokka: Yeah... okay, Gran.
      Gran Gran: Aang is the Avatar. He's the world's only chance. You both found him for a reason. Now your destinies are intertwined with his.
      Katara (turning to the canoe): There's no way we're gonna catch a war ship with a canoe.
      (Appa appears mounting the crest of hill in the background)
      Katara: Appa!
      (She runs over towards Appa)
      Sokka: You just love taking me out of my comfort zone, don't ya?

    • Sokka: All right! Ready our defenses! The Fire Nation could be on our shores any moment now!
      (One little boy stops, raising his head and dancing about)
      Little Boy: But, I gotta...
      Sokka: (cutting him off) And no potty breaks!

    • Aang: Wow. I haven't cleaned my room in a hundred years. Not looking forward to that.

    • Iroh: Good news for the Fire Lord. The nation's greatest threat is just a little kid.
      Zuko: That kid, Uncle, just did this. (looks around at vast damage to his ship) I won't underestimate him again. Dig this ship out and follow them! (In the background, some soldiers are using controlled firebending to thaw out their compatriots frozen by Katara) As soon as you're done with that.

    • Zuko: This staff will make an excellent gift for my father. But I suppose you wouldn't know of fathers, being raised by monks. Take the avatar to the hold. And take his staff to my quarters.
      (Two firebenders escort Aang below the deck)
      Aang: I guess you've never fought an Airbender before. I bet I could take you both with my hands tied behind my back.
      Guard: Silence!
      (And eventually arrive at a holding cell. As the guard attempts to unlock the door Aang comes up with an idea.)
      Aang: Hmmm?
      (Aang sneezes and with the force of his sneeze knocking the guards unconscious, Aang makes his escape)

    • Katara: We have to go after that ship, Sokka. Aang saved our tribe, now we have to save him.
      Sokka: Katara, I...
      Katara: Why can't you realize that he's on our side?! I know you don't like Aang, but we owe him!
      Sokka: Katara! Are you gonna talk all day or are you coming with me?
      Katara: Oh, Sokka! Thank you!
      Sokka: Get in. We're going to save your boyfriend.
      Katara: He's not my...
      Sokka: Whatever.

    • Aang: Hi, Katara. Hi, Sokka.
      Sokka: Hi, Aang. Thanks for coming!
      Aang: (to Zuko)Looking for me?!
      Zuko: You're the Airbender? You're the Avatar?
      Katara: Aang?!
      Sokka: No way!
      Zuko: I've spent years preparing for this encounter. Training, meditating- but you're just a child!
      Aang: Well, you're just a teenager.

    • Gran Gran: Katara, you shouldn't have gone on that ship. Now we could all be in danger!
      Aang: Don't blame Katara… I brought her there. It's my fault.
      Sokka: Ah-ha! The traitor confesses! Warriors away from the enemy. The foreigner is banished from our village!
      Katara: Aang is not our enemy! Don't you see?! He's brought us something we haven't had in a long time... fun.
      Sokka: Fun?! We can't fight Firebenders with fun!

    • Sokka: I knew it you signaled the Fire Navy with that flare! You're leading them straight to us, aren't you?!
      Katara: Aang didn't do anything! It was an accident!
      Aang: Yeah, we were on the ship and there was a booby trap and, well, we boobied right into it.

    • Katara: Observe... the ancient art of penguin catching.
      (Katara throws a fish at Aang, causing penguins to start racing towards him)

    • Katara: Why didn't you tell us you were the Avatar?
      Aang: Because...I never wanted to be...

    • Sokka (knocks Zuko off his ship): Ha! That's from the Water Tribe!

  • NOTES (5)