We're moving Forums to the Community pages. Click here for more information and updates.

Avatar: The Last Airbender

Season 3 Episode 3

The Painted Lady

Aired Friday 6:30 PM Oct 05, 2007 on Nickelodeon
out of 10
User Rating
461 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

When the gang arrives at a suffering fishing village, a mysterious spirit appears to help the villagers. Aang decides to seek out the spirit for her help, but she may be more familiar then he thought. Can Aang solve the mystery of this cryptic spirit and help the town from the Fire Nation?moreless

Who was the Episode MVP ?

No results found.
No results found.
No results found.
  • Before there was Al Gore, there was this episode to let the watchers know . . .

    By no means was this episode a forward thinking, plot moving episode. It more or less was to mask a hidden message, that wasn't so hidden. To younger watchers, it may go over their heads, but to Al Gore, it was a blessing in disguise.

    As the gang heads to a village on their journey to fight the fire lord, they come upon a small polluted villaged that is pulluted from a war machine factory that pumps waste into the river. Of course this becomes an episode to preach about the environment, but I give kudos to the show for not doing it as much as they could have. They actually never really flat out make it a preachy episode in all. They do stop the sludge, and like magic, the river clears up and the village is saved. It is this idealistic mentality that bothers me though. They "paint" one picture in this episode. Okay, so the factory is stopped, but what about all the jobs it provided to the villagers who will now have no job and go hungry anyways? Isn't this mutiny to the Fire Nation government that this village would support the destruction of this factory?

    Well, the animation was good, and the episode was fine. But no highlight for this series. Thanks for not making this episode aninconvenient watch.moreless
  • Another filler

    This was worse than the last one. A waste of time and didn't even move the story along. This episode seemed to exploit and parody Katara's self-righoutness and compassion. Katara's line "I'll never turn my back on people who need me" seems to say that people asked for Katara's help, but in actuality she choose to help the people. Aang's character is changing I don't know to what exactly. The character Doc was terrible and was comic relief, but this whole episode was humorous, Katara is going to save a fire nation city, because... she can. Another terrible episode for Book 3.moreless
  • The Painted Lady

    The Painted Lady was a perfect and entertaining episode of Avatar The Last Airbender. I really enjoyed watching this episode even though it was a sidetrack from the main story. I thought the episode had a great story and it was cool to see Katara in action. The Painted Lady helped the village, and they were very grateful. It was some what obvious who she is, however it is a fun experience finding out. I thought the battle with the Fire Nation was cool. I also really liked the ending which was kind of a neat experience for Katara. I look forward to watching the next episode!!!!!!!moreless
  • A filler but good filler nonetheless.

    For about eighty percent of this episode, you're wondering to yourself how this episode is at all relevant. It has no connection to the main story and the outcome of the war, the whole old guy impersonating as a myriad of brothers of the same family--even though they're all clearly the same--was played out and was only used cleverly once, and you're just scratching your head thinking this episode could have actually been to good use. Then the conclusion just delivers a hard earned blow. The message is really strong filler or not and even though the life lesson was obvious from the very start, the execution of it is just really really good. While the episode is a filler, it's an awesome filler.moreless
  • Could it get better

    Avatar the Last Airbender,

    The Painted Lady,

    In this episode the gaang finds a fish village which is going down thanks to contamitated waters. Seeing the problems around Katara plans to dress up as the painted lady and help the village. For many nights she does this and makes the village happer healty and so on. Her one last plan is to get rid of the power plant making the water dirty. Aang follows katara thinking it is a spirit. After finding out it was katara they both go to destroy. When the fire nation starts taking down the village the gaang takes them down. In the end the clean up the river and the painted lady visits katara. Overall i really didnt like this episode much. I felt like it didnt go anywere. And didnt help the plot in anyway.moreless
Paul Eiding

Paul Eiding


Guest Star

Will Shadley

Will Shadley

Little Boy

Guest Star

Daniel Riordan

Daniel Riordan

General Mung

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

    • At the beginning, the size of the wound at Aang's back has decreased greatly comparing to the end of "The Crossroads of Destiny", and the airbender tattoos began to reconnect. However, in the "The Awakening", Aang's wound was very serious and deep into flesh, and tattoos are not part of the body, therefore they can not re-grow like human flesh.

    • There were originally three vats on General Mung's left and two on his right, but when he destroyed one of them, later we could see the five vats all disappeared.

  • QUOTES (9)

    • Aang: Hey guys, I think this river's polluted.
      Sokka: Well, that explains why I can't catch a fish around here. Because normally my fishing skills are…off the hook! Get it? Like a fishing hook! (He points at the fishing hook and no one responds)
      Toph: Too bad your skills aren't on the hook.

    • (The gaang watches as Fire Nation soldiers head to the village)
      Toph: What's going on?
      Aang: Fire Nation soldiers are heading to the village.
      Sokka: (angrily) What did you do!
      Katara: I kind of destroyed their factory.
      Sokka: (shouts) You what!
      Katara: It was your idea!
      Sokka: I was joking! I also said to use spirit. Did you even think this through? The army is going to blame the villagers. They're headed there right now to get revenge.
      Katara: Well, what was I supposed to do?!
      Sokka: Leave! Do nothing!
      Katara: (angrily) No! I will never ever turn my back on people who need me! I'm going down to the village, and I am going to do whatever I can.

    • Katara: (to Aang) Shhhh! We don't want to wake Sokka. (sees Sokka) Hi, Sokka. We were just out on a morning walk.
      Sokka: Oh, really? A morning walk? (shows Katara her sleeping bag filled with grass) I know you're the painted lady, I know you've been sneaking out at night, and I know you've been lying about Appa and feeding him purplizing tongue berries!
      Toph: Ah. (Toph opens her mouth and holds up a bag of purple berries.)

    • Katara: It doesn't matter if the Painted Lady is real or not, but your problems are real, and this river is real. You can't wait around for someone to help you, you have to help yourself.
      Dock: She's right, but what should we do?
      Toph: (Pops out of the crowd of people and speaks in a low voice) Maybe we can clean the river! (disappears)

    • Aang:(Pointing to his arrow) I'm the Avatar.
      Katara: (Disguising her voice) Well, hello, young Avatar. I would love to talk, but I am very busy.
      Aang: Yeah, me too. I hate that. You know, you're really pretty for a spirit. I don't usually get to meet too many spirits, but the ones I do meet aren't very attractive.
      Katara: Thank you, but-
      Aang (interrupting): You seem familiar, too.
      Katara: A lot of people say that.
      Aang: No, you really look familiar.
      Katara: Look, I really should get going. (Aang blows air at Katara and reveals it's her)
      Aang: Katara!
      Katara: Hi, Aang.
      Aang: You're the Painted Lady! But how?
      Katara: I wasn't at first, I was just trying to help the village. But since that's who everyone thought I was anyway, I guess I just sort of became her.

    • Aang: I can't believe you lied to everyone, so you could help these people.
      Katara: I'm sorry. I know I shouldn't have...
      Aang: No, I think this's great! You are like a ... secret hero!
      Katara: Well, if you wanna help, there is one more thing I have to do.

    • Dock: I'll go get my brother, Bushi. He loves cleaning rivers. (Dock switches hats ) Okay I'm Bushi. Let's clean this river!
      Aang: I knew it! I knew you were the same guy!
      Bushi: Oh, you must be talking about my brothers, Dock and Xu.
      Aang: No! I just saw you! You switched hats and called yourself a different name!
      Bushi: Oh, you know who does that? My brother Dock. (Whispers to Aang) He's crazy. (Aang starts fuming from rage)

    • Katara: Sokka, you really do have a heart.
      (Katara hugs Sokka.)
      Aang: (with tears streaming down his face) He really does have a heart, doesn't he?
      (Aang looks at Toph. Toph punches Aang.)

    • Sokka: You got more food to sell?
      Shu: Would you like the one-headed fish or the two-headed fish?
      Sokka: (after thinking for a moment) Two-headed. What?! You get more for your money that way.
      Toph, Aang, Katara: (in disgust) Ugh!

  • NOTES (3)

    • Similar to "The Headband" which was uploaded to Turbo Nicks' video site a week before it was scheduled to air, this episode was also mistakenly released early. This time it was available on VCast 3 days before it aired.

    • This episode is available in the Avatar Book 3: Fire Volume 1 DVD, along with, The Awakening, The Headband, Sokka's Master, and The Beach.

    • A super deformed short, "School Time Shipping" was shown directly after the premiere of this episode.


    • The leader of the Fire Nation soldiers asks the villagers "Where's your Painted Lady now?" in the same way Edward G. Robinson asks "Where's your Messiah now?" in the Ten Commandments.

    • The cresent moon Katara wears on her forehead as the Painted Lady resembles the one wore by Princess Serenity from the anime Sailor Moon.

    • Ushiku Amida Buddha Statue
      The statue of the Painted Lady that is erected in the center of the village looks based on the Buddha statue or something similar. The hand positions represent acceptance of everyone.

    • The high-speed, steam-powered vehicles that are used by the Fire Nation soldiers to traverse the rivers resemble modern day jet skis.

    • Marco Polo
      Aang diving into and risingout of the water calling out "Momo" appears to be derived from the pool game Marco Polo.

    • Poltergeist

      In the scene where Katara as the Painted Lady approaches the village, the portion where the little boy eerily says "She's coming" resembles the scene from Poltergeist where the young daughter announces "They're here."

    • Katara meeting the real Painted Lady after cleaning the river at the end of the episode is a tribute to Miyazaki's Spirited Away, when Sen cleans a river spirit of pollution that has been dumped in his river.

  • 8:00 pm
    Survivor: Kaoh Rong - Brains vs. Brawn vs. Beauty Now's the Time to Start Scheming
    Heartbeat Permanent Glitter
    Arrow Genesis
    The Middle Not Mother's Day
    Rosewood Sudden Death & Shades Deep
  • 8:30 pm
    The Goldbergs Smother's Day
  • 9:00 pm
    Criminal Minds The Storm
    Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Fashionable Crimes
    Supernatural Don't Call Me Shurley
    Modern Family Promposal
    Empire The Lyon Who Cried Wolf
  • 9:30 pm
    Blackish Super Rich Kicks
  • 10:00 pm
    Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders The Matchmaker
    Chicago P.D. In a Duffel Bag
    Nashville The Trouble With the Truth