Kuzon, the Fire Nation friend Aang had 100 years ago, first mentioned in "The Blue Spirit", is mentioned once again. The town that the gang visits is said to be where Aang used to visit him and Aang uses his name as his alias while attending school.
When Toph warns the others that the students are coming, the red part of Katara's sandals is gone.
Mai is seen wearing her gloves during her and Zuko's picnic and making out, but when Mai stands to leave, her gloves are gone.
When Aang and Katara first begin the dance and the students form a circle around them, the lower part of the students' uniforms beneath their belt/headband are missing from some students.
When Mai gets up to leave, Zuko's shadow disappears from the rock behind him.
When Sokka peers behind a rock after first landing on the island, we can see that Katara's robe doesn't have the fur lining, but when we can see this part again, the fur returns.
When Katara calls the silk robe and climbs over the rocks to the cloth lines, her eyes turn brown.
Why didn't Toph change her hairstyle to fit in with the Fire Nation crowd like the others?
Appa's horns extend sideways, but when Aang dances and explains its importance to Sokka, his horns are extended in front of him.
At first, there were two piles of fire on each side of the stage on Aang's dance party, but a second later, the two piles of fire disappeared.
When the students first recited the Fire Nation Oath, there were no lanterns beside the picture of Fire Lord Ozai, but later there were two extra lanterns on each side of the picture.
Headmaster: Thank you for coming, Mr. and Mrs...
Sokka: Fire. Wang Fire. This is my wife Saph Fire.
Katara: Sapphire Fire, nice to meet you.
Toph: Who knew twinkle toes could dance? (Slams down cup)
Sokka: Wow, they look pretty good together.
Katara: Eh, if that's what you like.
Zuko: (to Iroh) I admit it... I have everything I always wanted, but it's not at all how I thought it would be. The truth is...I need your advice. I think the Avatar is still alive. I know he's out there. I'm losing my mind. Please, uncle, I'm so confused. I need your help. (no response) Forget it! I'll solve this myself. Waste away in here for all I care.
Headmaster: If he acts up one more time, I'll have him sent to reform school! By which I mean the coal mines. Are we clear?
Sokka: (using his adult sounding voice) Don't you worry, Mr. Headmaster. I'll straighten this boy out something fierce. (Yelling at Aang) Young man, as soon as we get home you're gonna get the punishment of a lifetime!! (Aang and Katara are visibly frightened)
Headmaster: That's what I like to hear.
Aang: I don't know about this. These clothes belong to somebody...
Katara: I call the silk robe!
Aang: Oh, we're going to a meat place?
Sokka: Come on, Aang. Every one here eats meat...even the meat!
Aang (lets Momo's head out of his vest): We did it, Momo! We made it through the day.
On Ji: Don't let the headmaster catch you with that monkey.
Aang: (tucking Momo back into his vest) What monkey?
Sokka (while clapping): Flameo, sir. Flameo.
Kid: This is incredible! It's like my inhibitions just disappear! (The Headmaster enters the room, everyone stops dancing) Okay... they're back again.
Katara: Sokka, we're safe. You can take off the fake mustache.
Sokka: No I can't. It's permanently glued to my skin.
(Mai and Zuko are watching the sunset.)
Mai: Orange is such an awful color.
Zuko: You're so beautiful when you hate the world.
Mai: I don't hate you.
Zuko: I don't hate you too.
Music Teacher: Kuzon!
Aang: I know. I'm a terrible Sunghi Hornist.
Music Teacher: No child, that hullabaloo going on with your feet. Is that a nervous disorder?
Sokka: That's it! No more school for you!
Aang: But I'm not ready to leave. I'm having fun for once. Just being a normal kid. You don't know what it's like, Sokka. You get to be normal all the time.
Toph: Ha, ha.
Aang: Listen guys. Those kids at school are the future of the fire nation. If we want to change this place for the better, we need to show them a little taste of freedom.
Sokka: What could you possible do for a country of depraved, little fire monsters?
Aang: I'm going to throw them, a secret dance party.
(Aang does a short dance)
Sokka (points to the left): Go to your room!
Aang: Sorry buddy. You should probably wait out back.
Aang: I know. You've got fancier feet then anybody. And six of 'em!
Aang: I already have a picture of Fire Lord Ozai. And here's one that I made out of noodles!
Sokka: Impressive, I admit... but I still think it's too dangerous.
Aang: I guess we'll never find out about the secret river then. It goes right to the Fire Lord's palace. We were supposed to learn about it in class tomorrow.
Sokka: Hmmm, I am a fan of secret rivers.
Sokka: Great job with the cloud camo, but next time let's disguise ourselves as the kind of cloud who knows how to keep its mouth shut.
Toph: Yeah, we wouldn't want a bird to hear us chatting up there and turn us in.
Sokka: Hey, we're in enemy territory. Those are enemy birds!
Zuko: (speaking to Iroh) You brought this on yourself, you know. We could have returned together, you could have been a hero. You have no right to judge me, Uncle, I did what I had to do in Ba Sing Se. You're not going to say anything? (kicks a chair and firebends in anger) You're a crazy old man! You're crazy, and if you weren't in jail, you'd be sleeping in the gutter!
Katara: (while she and Aang are dancing) Aang, everyone's watching.
Aang: Don't worry about them. It's you and me right now.
(Aang offers his hand to Katara who is sitting downcast at a table)
Katara: (nervously) I don't know Aang, these shoes aren't really good for dancing. A-and I'm not sure I know how to--
Aang: Take my hand.
The Fire Nation Oath:
My life I give to my country,
With my hands I fight for Fire Lord Ozai,
And our forefathers before him,
And with my mind I seek ways to better my country,
And with my feet may our march to civilization continue...
Sokka: I can't believe we're having a dance party. It seems so silly.
Aang: Don't think of it as a dance party, but as a cultural event celebrating the art of fancy footwork.
The episode was published in the book Avatar The Last Airbender: Aang's School Days.
This episode is available in the Avatar Book 3: Fire Volume 1 DVD, along with, The Awakening, The Painted Lady, Sokka's Master, and The Beach.
This marks the first appearance of the Combustion Man.
This episode was accidentally released onto TurboNick on Wednesday, September 26th. It was quickly taken off a day later.
After Zuko pushes the guard up against the wall and threatens him to stand watch and not to tell anybody, the camera pans to a shot of his face with his hood on walking forward. This shot is very similar to a scene in Star Wars Episode 3, when Anakin Skywalker has turned to the dark side and is leading an army of clones to attack the Jedi temple. Interestingly, Anakin's eyes were also gold just like Zuko's, making the similarity more uncanny.
Combustion Man's metal arm and leg loosely resemble Ed's automail in the show FullMetal Alchemist. The only placement differences are that Combustion Man's arm starts at his elbow instead of his shoulder, and they are both on the same side of his body. (Ed has a metal arm on his right and a metal leg on his left.)
A type of Japanese headband, called a hachimaki, symbolizes endurance and determination. The headband Aang puts on is a symbol of the renewed determination Aang gets after the previous episode. It symbolizes that he's the avatar, and even though he's undercover, he's still going to do whatever it takes to stop the Fire Nation.
The Combustion Man resembles the character Kakuri from the manga, Bokko, by Mori Hideki.
Kakuri is a master strategist, raised by the Bokk Clan. Furthermore, Kakuri is bald and has a beard just like Combustion Man's. By the second volume, he receives a wound on his forehead, making him even further similar to the Combustion Man.
In sound and in its use, this Fire Nation term appears to be taken from the British word "cheerio".
When all the kids at the dance pary put on headbands to help disguise Aang, it is simular to the movie Spartacus. At the end of the movie when soldiers ask for Spartatcus to come forward, every one of Spartacus's men get to their feet and claim that they are Spartacus in order to protect him from the soldiers.
V For Vendetta
Aang is able to escape capture thanks to the kids all donning headbands identical to the one he wears. This seems to be a lift from similar scene in V For Vendetta, in which the citizens all wear Guy Fawkes masks in rebellion against their oppressive government.
The town the gang visits seems to be based on Chinese-Tibetan architecture.
The scene where everyone has headbands is reminiscent of an Irish tale where a man learns that a leprechaun hid a pot of gold under a daisy in a field of daisies. He ties a ribbon around the daisy, tells the leprechaun not to remove the ribbon, and goes home for the shovel. Upon returning, he finds a ribbon around every daisy in the field.
In the sequence where one boy performs extremely complicated "freestyle" moves, the pose he invokes at the very end pays homage to John Travolta's famous disco dancing scene in Saturday Night Fever.
The Fire Nation Oath the children say in the classroom is loosely similar to the 4-H pledge, which mentions many of the same things:
I pledge my head to clearer thinking
My heart to greater loyalty
My hands to larger service
And my health to better living
For my club, my community, my country, and my world.
Side note: 4-H is a club for kids ranging from ages as young as 4 to 18 that allows them to participate in various community actions, activities, and local fairs.
Zuko meeting the hitman at the end down by the docks and asking if he came alone seems to be a nod towards crime genre.
Capoeira and Nèijiā
It would seem that during the final dance scene between Aang and Katara they are performing a Capoeira style dance with hints of a Neijia (A Tai Chi martial art style).
The assassin Zuko hires at the end is shown to retain a tattoo of an eye on his forehead. His Third Eye tattoo could be seen as a allusion to Shiva's third eye, that when opened causes the eventual destruction of the universe. The Third Eye is also a name for the Light Chakra which is the main chakra of the human body.
The Fire Nation Oath seems to be based on militaristic oaths/songs children would sing in schools in dictator-ruled societies, ranging from Nazi Germany, to Imperial Japan during World War II, and the Mao era of China.
One of the Fire Nation students is seen doing a dance move commonly known as the sprinkler.
The subplot of not dancing in the Fire Nation seems to be a allusion to the 1984 movie Footloose.
The school bell used to to dismiss classes appears to be modeled after the style of the Japanese Peace Bell.
It would appear that Fire Nation citizens use volcanic steam to clean their clothes, much in the way of modern day steam cleaning.
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