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Fire Lord Ozai
Several story lines in between this episode and the previous episode were dealt with in canonical interlude comics featured in the second all Avatar Nick Magazine issue. These include: The return of Hakoda's fleet and the capture of the Fire Nation ship, Zuko's reacquaintance and relationship with Mai, and the travels of the Earth King and Bosco.
As a result of remaining unconscious for several weeks, Aang has grown a full head of hair.
Following the conquest of Ba Sing Se, Azula had the Dai Li destroy parts of the two walls in order to allow the Fire Nation easy access into the city. Also, according to the canonical comic Going Home Again, Azula has passed her position as ruler of Ba Sing Se over to Joo Dee, dubbing the former guide the "Supreme Bureaucratic Administrator".
Ozai's face is seen in full for the first time.
Zuko knelt halfway down the walkway to the Fire Lord's throne, yet in the next few shots he is right next to the throne.
There were two cups on the left of the table of Aang's room, but later when Katara re-enter the room, there was only one cup on the table.
There was a carpet that appeared on the left of the door in Aang's room, but later it appeared to be on the right.
Toph already destroyed one catapult by a boulder, but later all four catapults on the Fire Nation ship appeared to be intact.
Why are Katara and Toph the only ones not wearing any Fire Nation clothing in order to disguise themselves?
When Toph recognizes Aang on deck after he awakens and Toph and Katara approach him, the skin of Katara's neck beneath the necklace is white.
When Azula is speaking to Zuko in her bedroom and her finger is on her chin, the flame pattern on the hem of her right sleeve suddenly vanishes.
Zuko: No. There's no way he could've survived.
Azula: Well, then I'm sure you have nothing to worry about.
Toph: Hey, what's... (Grabs Aang's dismantled glider from the water) Oh... it's your glider.
Aang: That's okay. If someone saw it, it would give away my identity. It's better for now that no one knows I'm alive. (Spins glider and slams it into the lava. He leaves, and soon after the torn glider burns away.)
(As Aang is clinging to driftwood)
Aang: I'm not gonna make it. I failed.
(Lightning strikes and Roku's spirit appears)
Roku: You haven't failed, Aang.
Aang: But everyone thinks I'm dead again. They think I've abandoned them...and I'm losing this war. I'm letting the whole world down.
Roku: If anyone is to blame for the state of the world, it is me. I should have seen this war coming and prevented it. You inherited my problems...and my mistakes. But I believe you are destined to redeem me and save the world.
(As Aang looks away)
Aang: I dunno...
(Moonlight floods the screen and Yue's voice speaks)
Yue: You already saved the world. (She appears before the moon as Aang looks to her) And you'll save the world again. But you can't give up. (She descends to Aang and he becomes resolute)
Aang: You're right. I won't give up.
(He creates a wave and Yue helps intensify it, sending him forward on his journey to the Fire Nation.)
Lo: Your Princess Azula, clever and beautiful...
Li: ...disguised herself as the enemy and entered the Earth Kingdom's capital.
Lo: In Ba Sing Se she found her brother Zuko, and together they faced the Avatar.
Lo and Li: And the Avatar fell. And the Earth Kingdom fell!
Li: (said while showing the Dai Li taking down the wall) Azula's agents quickly over took the entire city.
Lo: They went to Ba Sing Se's great walls...
Lo and Li: And brought them down!
(The Dai Li take down a huge section of the wall allowing the Fire Nation to enter)
Li: The armies of the Fire Nation surged through the walls and swarmed over Ba Sing Se. Securing our victory!
(Fire Nation troops march through the city. Ying and Than are shown with crying baby Hope. Fire Nation tanks roll up to the palace.)
Lo and Li: Now the heroes have returned home!
Lo: (Azula walks to the edge of the balcony) Your Princess Azula!
Li: And after 3 long years, your Prince has returned.
Lo and Li: (shout together) Zuko!
(Zuko walks to the balcony edge and looks down at the army)
Aang: I went down. I didn't just get hurt, did I? It was worse than that. I was gone! But you brought me back.
Katara: I just used the Spirit Water from the North Pole; I don't know what I did exactly.
Aang: You saved me.
Katara: (Smiles and touches Aang's cheek) You need to rest.
Katara: I like your hair.
Aang: I have hair?! How long was I out?
Katara: A few weeks.
Katara: Aang, you're awake!
Aang: Are you sure? I feel like I'm dreaming.
Katara: You're not dreaming. You're finally awake.
Sokka: (In a Firebender's armor) Aang! Good to see you back with the living, buddy.
Toph: Uh-oh! Somebody catch him, I think he's gonna-
Zuko (Entering Azula's bedroom): Why'd you do it?!
Azula (calmly): You're going to have to be a little more specific.
Zuko: Why did you tell father I was the one who killed the Avatar?
Azula (still lying in bed): Can't this wait until morning?
Zuko: It can't!
Azula (annoyed sigh): Fine. You seemed so worried about how father would treat you because you hadn't captured the Avatar. I figured if I gave you the credit, you'd have nothing to worry about.
Zuko (quietly): But why?
Azula (gets out of bed): Call it a generous gesture. I wanted to thank you for your help, and I was happy to share the glory.
Zuko: You're lying.
Azula (sighs while walking): If you say so.
Zuko: You have another motive for doing this, I just haven't figured out what it is.
Azula (stretches): Please Zuko. What ulterior motive could I have? What could I possibly gain for letting you have all the glory for defeating the Avatar? (walks next to Zuko) Unless the Avatar was actually alive? All that glory would suddenly turn to shame and foolishness (walks back to bed). But you said yourself, that was impossible. (Zuko looks shocked then turns and leaves). Sleep well ZuZu. (Azula goes back to sleep).
(Katara zooms in, her eyes wet with tears.)
Bato: I'll leave you two alone.
Hakoda: What's wrong Katara?
Katara: (her eyes tearing) He left.
Katara: Aang, he just took his glider and disappeared. He has this ridiculous notion that he has to save the world alone, that it's all his responsibilty.
Hakoda: Maybe that's his way of being brave.
Katara: (barely holding back tears) It's not brave, it's selfish and stupid! We could be helping him, and I know the world needs him but doesn't he know how much we need him to? How can he just leave us behind?
Hakoda: You're talking about me too aren't you?
Katara: How could you leave us dad? I mean, I know we had Gran Gran and she loved us, but we were just so lost without you. (unable to hold back, she cries)
Hakoda: I'm sorry Katara.
Katara: I understand why you left, I really do. And I know you had to go, so why do I still feel this way? I'm so sad, and angry and hurt!
Hakoda: I love you more than anything, you and your brother are my entire world. I thought about you everyday since I was gone and every night when I went to sleep, I would lie awake missing you so much it would ache.
Mai: Aren't you cold?
Zuko: It's been over three years since I was home, I wonder how things have changed. I wonder if I've changed...
Mai: I just asked if you were cold, I didn't ask for your whole life story. Stop worrying.
Sokka: The best part is the eclipse isn't our biggest advantage. (whispers) We have a secret (pauses eyes shifting from side to side; whispers again): you.
Sokka: Yup, the whole world thinks you're dead. Isn't that great!? (Stands up lifting hands proudly)
Aang: I always knew I'd have to face the Fire Lord. But now I know I need to do it alone.
(The sea serpent attacks the enemy ship)
Sokka: Thank you, the universe!
Toph: How we doing?
Sokka: Things couldn't get much worse.
(The sea serpent from "The Serpent's Pass" appears behind him)
Sokka: The universe just loves proving me wrong, doesn't it?!
Toph: You make it too easy.
On the DVDs this episode is listed simply as "Awakening".
This episode is available in Book 3: Fire Volume 1 DVD, along with, The Headband, The Painted Lady, Sokka's Master, and The Beach.
Pipsqueak and the Duke, two Freedom Fighters who have not been seen since the season 1 episode "Jet" are finally seen again.
The Super Deformed animation style short Bending Battle is shown immediately following the premiere of this episode.
YTV aired this episode at 5:00, three and a half hours before it aired on Nickelodeon.
The scene in which Aang is holding on to a piece of driftwood in the middle of the ocean is reminiscent to a similar scene in Titanic. As both Aang and Rose cling to wreckage, both appear to lose all hope, until someone comes along to tell them not to give up. Both end up surviving because they decided that the other person was right, and that they shouldn't give up.
Once Aang has washed up onto the beach, Momo comes and licks him awake. This appears to be an allusion to the The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, which had one scene where Aragorn's horse licks him awake while he was lying on the bank of a river.
The way the giant serpent attacked the ship by wrapping itself around it is similar to the old stories and paintings about the giant sea monsters in the unknown waters.
When Aang uses his glider and a piece of driftwood to travel across the water, it bears a strong resemblance to modern windsurfing.
The clips of the Fire Nation army marching though Ba Sing Se seem to be a allusion to World War II newsreels that showed German, and later American troops moving though Paris, France.
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