Avatar: The Last Airbender

Season 3 Episode 17

The Ember Island Players

Aired Friday 6:30 PM Jul 18, 2008 on Nickelodeon
out of 10
User Rating
337 votes

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Episode Summary

With only a few days until the arrive of Sozin's Comet, the gang decides to stay at Zuko's family's summer home on Ember Island. They find out that there is a play about them and all their past adventures, and decide to atttend. Meanwhile, Aang tells Katara how he feels about her, but the response is ambiguous.moreless

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  • Worst Play Ever

    I'll admit this is a rather bizzare episode which makes it all the more great and supprisingly one of my favorates. What's great about this episode is that it's basically a movie within a movie format sort of like the film "Last Action Hero" (I said sort of). It also sort of reminds me of the TV show "Garth Melangi's Darkplace" which was a show about a canceled supernatural hospital show, trust me you'll understand why it was canceled.

    There really isn't much I can say about this one, it's basically about a play based on the characters journey. I'll admit this play is so bad it's good, this would be the kind of work I can see the "Rifftrax" gang would rip on. It almost makes me wonder if it was made bad on purpose, after all it was created from people of the Fire Nation that might still be brainwashed. The play has so many problems, the dialog is terrible, acting isn't great, there was defenately miscasting issues like the actress playing Kitara is practically a soap opera actress since she cry way too much and overacts let alone doesn't physically fit the bill; or even Ang played by a girl and Toff played by a man (both also not very good). I remember thinking what the frak, I only have two conclusions to this, one either this was because of bad research and two the casting director sucks. Also the action chorigraphy and scenes are a bit off, correction they are off. One hillarous moement was seeing the Drill action sequence, I mean wow I'm just amazed they made a real life battle into the most boring and broken action scene. All this just makes this all the more funny because in a way it was all practically a parody on Book one and two, and I'll admit this bad play is probably one of the better parodies over most of the parody movies we've received over the recent years.

    However the real comidy was in seeing the reactions on team Avatar's faces, which were about the same as ours, it was just fraking hillarous. Yeah, I'd probably feel the same way if a movie about my life was made and was inacurrate or bad.

    But also that play did touch on some truths if not the whole truth, one significant scene was with Ang and Katara on the balcony. I really love the emotion Ang was showing, he wanted to be more than friends with Katara and personally those two really would make a great couple, I never did get a brother and sister like vibe from them because of how much their feelings for each other developed, so they should be together (why the hell couldn't that of happened with Harry and Hermime?). But Katara fants the request from Ang even after he kisses her which makes me sad and a little disappointed in Katara. I understand she doesn't want to hook up now because of the war and her indecisiveness but the thing is in times of war there isn't any other time there is the now because there may not be a tommarow. So it's decision time for her, she better decide fast because time's running out.

    I'll admit that play really took a hard U turn on itself in the end when it showed one of the worst endings I've ever seen, where all of the gang are killed by the Fire Nation. I remember thinking the same thing as team Avatar, 'WHAT THE FRAK", that's like ending "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy on a depressing note, it made the whole journey in the play pointless; the ending was obviously tacked on properganda. Sad thing is no one else in the audience can see this except the team Avatar and us. Which all the more justifies why they have to win so the Fire Nation people won't be brainwashed by any more of the rubbish they've been fed.

    Forget the play, team Avatar and their continuing journey were seeing them in is the real deal.

  • Hilarious in hindsight

    A great idea for a filler episode that provides some fun light-hearted comedy along with continuing character development (mostly regarding Aang/Katara and Zuko/Iroh) and a not quite accurate catch-up of the story so far.

    But what really made the episode for me is that I didn't see it until after the live action movie, which I saw with some friends who were fans of the TV show (which I'd later start watching) and their reactions were so much a mirror of the Aang Gang reacting to the play and with good reason. That being said, the Ember Island Players did a much better job than Hollywoodmoreless
  • It ok

    It ok
  • The Ember Island Players

    The Ember Island Players was a perfect and comedic episode of Avatar The Last Airbender. I really enjoyed watching this episode because the gang discover that the Fire Nation Ember Island Players are putting on a play about their adventures. It was a very humorous look into what has happened to the gang from the begining. I thought it was great to see a parody of the characters based on the Fire Nation's perspective. This episode was a very fun recap of the entire series before the series finale takes place. This episode was done perfectly and exploited the characters which was a great window into them. I look forward to watching the next episode!!!!!!!moreless
  • This episode demended everything about Avatar

    I know this was parody. But Avatar is a serious show with complex characters who have a dangerous and ultimate mission. This episode demended everything about Avatar. Zuko's obsession with honor. Zuko is obssesed with honor because that's his way back home, why wouldn't he be serious about it. Katara does give uplifiting speech, but only when its needed. I don't believe is motherly, she is just kind friend and like an older sister to aang. Zuko's and Iroh's conflict. Why would Zuko say that? Sokka's love for Yue has been diminshed to just a comedy effect. How could they notice the man who made the play was following them everywhere. A horrible filler.moreless
Jennie Kwan

Jennie Kwan

Actress Yue

Guest Star

Rachel Dratch

Rachel Dratch

Actress Aang

Guest Star

Grey DeLisle

Grey DeLisle

Actress Katara

Guest Star

Jennie Kwan

Jennie Kwan


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (7)

    • When Sokka and Suki are sneaking backstage, the actor playing Jet is completely yellow.

    • When Aang returns to his seat, a brown spot can be seen on his hat above his left eye until Aang sadly lowers his head.

    • When Suki is upset by Sokka's devoted attention to the play and brushing her off, the band for her topknot is colored like her hair.

    • Aang is wearing the same hat that Xu wears in "The Painted Lady".

    • Toph's character is played by a muscular man who is least 6-feet tall. This portrayal of Toph is most likely a reference to the Earthbender prototype that Mike and Bryan created before they decided that the Toph's character should be a girl.

    • The following episodes are referenced in the play: "The Boy in the Iceberg", "The Southern Air Temple", "The Warriors of Kyoshi", "The King of Omashu", "The Waterbending Scroll", "The Blue Spirit", "Jet", "The Great Divide", "The Siege of the North (2)"," The Blind Bandit", "The Chase", "The Drill", "Lake Laogai", "The Crossroads of Destiny", "The Awakening", "The Painted Lady", "Sokka's Master", "The Day of Black Sun (1): The Invasion", "The Day of Black Sun (2): The Eclipse", and "The Western Air Temple". The play also gives an alternate version of the episode "Sozin's Comet (4): Avatar Aang".

    • The artwork on the play poster that Sokka has is the same artwork from the Season 1 Boxset, but with Aang, Sokka, and Katara having slightly different looks. Zuko's scar is also on the right side of his face, when the actual Zuko has it on his left.

  • QUOTES (26)

    • Actor Zuko: I hate you, uncle. You smell and I hate you for all time.
      Katara: You didn't really say that, did you?
      Zuko: I might as well have.

    • Actress Katara: Everyday, the world awaits a beacon to guide us, yet none appears. Still, we cannot give up hope. For hope is all we have and we must never relinquish it.Even to our dying breath.
      (Actress Katara pretends to cry)
      Katara: Well, that's just silly. I don't sound like that.
      Toph (laughing and clutching her stomach): Oh man, this writer's a genius.

    • Actress Katara: Is food the only thing on your mind?
      Actor Sokka: Well, I'm trying to get it out of my mind and into my mouth. I'm starving.

    • Zuko: That...wasn't a good play.
      Aang: I'll say.
      Katara: No kidding.
      Suki: Horrible.
      Toph: You said it.
      Sokka: But the effects were decent.

    • Suki (serious): I am an elite warrior who has trained for years in the art of stealth. (cheerfully): I think I can get you backstage.

    • Katara's Actress: I have to admit, Prince Zuko, I really find you attractive.
      Zuko's Actor: You don't have to make fun of me!
      Katara's Actress: But I mean it. I've had eyes for you since the day you first captured me.
      (The real Katara and Zuko cringe and slide away from each other.)

    • Iroh's Actor: Zuko I need to talk to you, about your hair! It's gone too far!
      (Shows Zuko's Actor with long wavy hair)

    • Aang´s Actress: Avatar State! Yip! Yip!

    • Aang: That's not how I'm like, and I'm not a woman!

    • Aangs' Actor: Who are you?
      Tophs' Actor: My name's Toph, because it sounds like tough (flexes his muscles) and that's just what I am!
      Aangs' Actor: So.. you're blind? (waves in his face)
      Tophs' Actor (chuckles): I can see you doing that. I see everything that you see.
      Except I don't see like you do, I release a sonic wave from my mouth...
      (screams in their faces for a few seconds)
      There, I got a pretty good look at you!

    • Aang: Katara did you really mean what you said in there?
      Katara: In where?
      Aang: On stage. When you said I was just like a brother to you, and you didn't have feelings for me.
      Katara: I didn't say that, an actor said that.
      Aang: But its true isn't it? We kissed at the invasion and I thought we were gonna be together, but we're not.
      Katara: Aang... I don't know.
      Aang: Why don't you know?
      Katara: Because we're in the middle of a war and we have more important things to worry about right now. I'm sorry but right now I'm just a little confused.
      (Aang kisses her)
      Katara (Pulling away, angry): I just said I was confused! I'm going inside. (She walks away)
      Aang (Annoyed): I'm such an idiot!

    • Sokka: Apparently, the playwright thinks I'm an idiot who tells bad jokes about meat all the time.
      Suki: Yeah... You tell bad jokes about plenty of other topics.
      Sokka: I know!

    • Actress playing Azula: Well, my brother! What's it going to be? Your nation, or a lifetime of treachery?!
      Actor playing Iroh: Choose treachery! It's more fun!

    • Zuko: Wait, did Jet just die?
      Sokka: You know, it was really unclear.

    • Toph (when her actor is introduced): Wait a minute. I sound like a guy... a really buff guy.
      Katara: Well Toph, what you hear up there is the truth. It hurts, doesn't it?
      Toph: Are you kidding me? I wouldn't have cast it any other way! At least it's not a flying bald lady.

    • Sokka: I'm a big Sokka fan, but I don't think you're representing him quite as well as you could be.
      Sokka's Actor: Oh, great -- another fan with ideas.

    • Toph: Now you're here with us. He'd be proud.
      (punches Zuko)
      Zuko: What was that for?!
      Toph: That's how I show affection.

    • Katara: Relax Aang, they're not accurate portrayals. It's not like I'm a preachy cry baby who can't resist giving over emotional speeches about hope all the time.
      (the gang stares at her)
      Katara: What?

    • Zuko: So far, this intermission is the best part of the play.

    • Fake Momo: Hi, everybody! I love you!

    • Katara: Doesn't it seem kind of weird that we're hiding from the Fire Lord in his own house?

    • Random kid: Your Zuko costume is pretty good, but your scar is on the wrong side.
      Zuko: The scar is not on the wrong side!

    • Actress Playing Aang: I'm the avatar, silly, here to spread joy and fun.
      Aang: Wait. Is that a woman playing me?

    • Actor Playing Sokka: Don't go Yue, you're the only woman who's ever taken my mind off of food. (they kiss) Oh wait, did you have pickled fish for dinner?
      Actress Playing Yue: Goodbye Sokka, I have important moon duties to take care of. And yes, I did have pickled fish.

    • Actress playing Katara: An airbender! My heart is so full of hope, that it's making me tearbend!
      Actor playing Sokka: My stomach is so empty, that it's making me tearbend! I need meat!

    • Toph>: Why are we sitting in the nose-bleed section? My feet can't see a thing from up here!
      >Katara>: Don't worry, I'll tell your feet what's happening.

  • NOTES (6)

    • According to the commentary, the reason for Aang being played by an actress in a play is a joke on how most young boys in animated shows are voiced by women.

    • There were numerous references to the Avatar fandom in this episode. For example, the fandom's hatred of the episode "The Great Divide" is represented by the actors wishing to simply skip past it. And the confusion over Jet's death is represented by Sokka stating that it was never made very clear.

    • This episode is available in the Book 3: Fire, Volume 4 DVD, along with, "The Southern Raiders", "Sozin's Comet (1): The Phoenix King", "Sozin's Comet (2): The Old Masters", "Sozin's Comet (3): Into the Inferno", and "Sozin's Comet (4): Avatar Aang".

    • This episode aired as part of the Countdown to the Comet event during the week of July 14, 2008.

    • Mike and Bryan, the directors of Avatar, quoted at New York Comic Con 2008 that this episode was designed as a humourous filler before the epic four part season finale. It also served as tribute to the fan service that the audience have given Avatar since its debut.

    • The first 7 1/2 minutes of this episode were shown at New York Comic-Con 2008.


    • During the play, the actresses playing Azula, Mai, and Ty Lee, do a pose similar to the famed one from the TV show and movie Charlie's Angels.

    • The portrayal of Aang by the "Ember Island Players" is similar to that of the eponymous character from the J.M. Barrie children's novel, Peter Pan.

    • The idea of a young, male hero being acted by a woman may derive from the traditional English theater productions of Peter Pan, where the title character is played by an actress.