Avatar: The Last Airbender

Season 1 Episode 12

The Storm

Aired Friday 6:30 PM Jun 03, 2005 on Nickelodeon
out of 10
User Rating
642 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Aang, Katara and Sokka have run out of money. Katara suggests Sokka get a job, and coincidentally, they meet a fisherman who is looking for someone to help him out with his fishing. But when the fisherman recognizes Aang as the Avatar, he blames Aang's absence for all of the troubles of the last 100 years, and Aang runs away on his glider. Katara follows on Appa, and when she finds him, Aang begins to reveal life before he was frozen in the iceberg. Meanwhile, Prince Zuko and Lieutenant Jee get into a fight, but Iroh breaks it up. Soon thereafter, the Lieutenant and the rest of the crew gain a newfound respect for their leader after learning of his past.moreless

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  • The episode that I will always remember as the one that made me a fan of this show.

    Up to this point, Avatar hadn't been much of anything to me. I remember thinking that Nickelodeon had sold out and finally started broadcasting anime shows, which I was disappointed by. I had only seen a few episodes before this one and they hadn't hooked me. The bending looked hokey and I just couldn't get into it. But for some reason, I sat down and watched this episode. It might have been the description that my cable box gave me, but I'm not sure. Needless to say, I am so glad I did because I might have missed out on what has become my favorite cartoon series of all time.

    It probably took a lot to get me hooked since, apparently, I had no other strong impression of the show, but this episode had everything you could need. The Storm is Avatar at its best: showing extremely strong character development, revealing vital information about two of the main characters' backstories, and including a very real and current threat all while injecting the humor that makes this show what it is. We saw how Aang learned he was the Avatar and how this discovery led to his running away and becoming frozen in the iceberg. We watched as Zuko went from the ambitious, naive Fire Prince to the scarred, angry one we are familiar with. We also got a peek into how very ruthless and cruel the Fire Lord can be, laying the groundwork for later development.

    But maybe more than any of that is the thematic elements in this episode that were woven into the story so effortlessly. The theme of hope that the Avatar brings to people was something I connected Zuko with right before Iroh said it. And just as the Fire Lord's character began to come into focus in this episode, so, too, did the Fire Prince's. Zuko and Aang's connection would take seasons to manifest, but it was here that it was first fleshed out.

    And, finally, what makes this episode truly amazing to me is the foresight of the writers to include two elements that would become critical in later episodes and seasons: Azula and lightning bending. Azula's appearance in this episode could only be described as a brief cameo and nothing more, but the fact that she was
    there shocked me when I rewatched The Storm. And the slight movement she made and the clear glee on her face as she saw her brother being viciously attacked by her father spoke volumes about her character before we even knew she was anything but someone in the background. Iroh channeling lightning is another one of those easter eggs put in this episode that wouldn't be mentioned again for quite some time. He bent lightning a half a season before it was used again and a full season before the technique was even discussed. In my opinion, he was surprised at its success not because it was the first time he had done it, but because it was the first time he had done it with nature-made lightning, not lightning from a firebender.

    So this episode had it all, including things for the fans to discover upon coming back to rewatch the episode in the future. We learned a lot about Aang and Zuko and had some laughs along the way (Sokka: "I'm too young to die!", Fisherman: "I'm old but I still don't want to!"). It may not be the best episode ever (and frankly, I couldn't tell you what is), but this is where Avatar started gaining traction. If nothing else, this is the point where they gained a viewer.moreless
  • The gang is low on mulah so Sokka decides to help a fisherman. The fisherman insults Aang for leaving the world to ruins and aang runs away right when a huge storm is brewing. Prince Zuko pisses off his crew and Iroh tells how Zuko got his scar.moreless

    Every series has these episodes where we find out about the characters past, but none does it almost so perfectly as Avatar. The story starts off a little slow but keeps you interested with good humor. aang and Katara get stuck in a cave and wait out the storm and aang tells about his past. I like how this episode showed aang happy and childish like he should be. this is one of the first times we see an air temple civilization and you can already tell how unique and different the culture is. Like how they use glideers and their religions and stuff. you can easily tell how the news impacts aangs life. He can no longer play with his friends and then finds out hes going to be shipped away to train. This was one of the first times a truly felt bad for aang in the series. For a character so fun and loving it sucks seeing him sad and miserable. Finally Aang runs away on Appa in a storm and plunges in the ocean. Near death he creates an Iceberg to seal him and Appa in.... and then he wakes up to Katara. Its really great how they connected the pieces and im glad they did it earlier in the series. This isnt a series that really strides on big secrets being revealed randomly throughout the series which i like. Every story arc just keeps going and for the most part keeps getting better. As for Zuko we see how much hes changed. His father scarred him just for speaking out of term? Honestly thats one harsh and crazy father! But it also shows how heartless the firelord is and kind of shows how he doesnt even care about Zuko at all which is also showed in later episodes too (Zuko Alone). Not only were these parts of the episodes great but so was the finale with Aang going to save Sokka. My favorite parts were probably when it looked like Aang was about to create another iceberg when they were underwater. It really showed how aang didnt want to leave the world again and turn his back like the fisherman said and he got out of the storm. Another good part was when Appa flew right past zuko they just stared at eachother and Zuko made the smart decision of getting the ship fixed and worrying about his crew first. Just another amazing episode to the series.moreless
  • The Storm

    The Storm was a really great episode of Avatar The Last Airbender. I really enjoyed watching this episode because it had a lot of character development for Zuko and Aang. I really enjoyed learning more about the pasts of both Aang and Zuko. I think it may be ironic that Aang starts with A and Zuko starts with Z. I wonder if there may be some symbolism here. I thought this episode had a lot of character and plot development. This series is about Aang and his journey, however Zuko is on a journey of his own and it is very nice to see this!!!!!!!moreless
  • Excellent excellent episode!

    Although I've never been a fan of flashback episodes because often they feel more like filler if anything, but this surpassed all expectations. It wasn't just any ordinary flashback episode that covers the past of two characters, it was just really neat how it set up and how the two flashbacks kind of paralleled each other. Aang is chosen as the Avatar, the greatest entity who can bring peace to the world, but isn't ready, while Zuko, who will one day succeed the throne as the fire lord, is eager to take on the title. It's just really cool how the episode took on a scenario and presented it with two different perspectives.moreless
  • Aang and Zuko reveal their pasts during a powerful storm...

    This episode is very important to the series. We learned a bit about Aang's past when he visited the Southern Air Temple, but in this episode, Aang tells Katara all about the day he learned he was the Avatar and about the day he got caught in the ice. Aang was playing with a group of kids when five monk leaders came to get him. They explained to him that he picked four special toys to play with as a child and this meant he was the Avatar. They weren't going to share this information with him until he was 16, but the war was brewing and something had to be done quickly. When they talked of sending Aang away to train, Aang got mad, and left with Appa during a storm - never to return again. During the storm, Zuko also shares his past. We learn how he got his scar. He was in a very important meeting with his father - Fire Lord Ozai. He interrupted, and was forced to fight against his father to learn some respect. He lost, and got the scar on his face as a result.moreless
Robert Pine

Robert Pine

Old Man

Guest Star

Susan Silo

Susan Silo

Old Man's Wife

Guest Star

Clyde Kusatsu

Clyde Kusatsu

Senior Monk

Guest Star

Mark Hamill

Mark Hamill

Fire Lord Ozai

Recurring Role

Sab Shimono

Sab Shimono

Monk Gyatso

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (7)

    • This episode reveals much about Aang and Zuko's past, including how Aang found out he was the Avatar, how he became encased in the iceberg, and how Zuko got his scar.

    • This is the first episode in which Iroh redirects lightning.

    • When Monk Gyatso argues that as Aang's guardian he chooses when Aang can play and train, the green pillow he is sitting on turns orange like his robe. Also the rug from before is missing.

    • How did the old woman know where Aang and Katara went after leaving the market?

    • It's clear when Zuko goes back up to the top of the ship to investigate the lightning strike, a good deal of his crew has joined him. As he goes up the ladder you can see them standing on the deck of the ship. However, when Iroh turns to redirect lightning, every member of the crew has disappeared, only to return in the next shot of the deck.

    • The outline of the man's mustache above his teeth vanish for a second while he debates on apologizing to Aang in the cave.

    • When Katara walks into the cave and sees Aang kneeling on the ground and walks up to him, her shadow can be seen moving over him on the ground but the light from outside is still shining on his back, even with Katara's shadow over top of him.

  • QUOTES (30)

    • Zuko: Lieutenant, you'd better learn some respect, or I will teach it to you.
      Lieutenant Jee: What do you know about respect? The way you talk to everyone around here, from your hard-working crew to your esteemed uncle, shows you know nothing about respect. You don't care about anyone but yourself! Then again, what should I expect from a spoiled prince?

    • Katara: You ran away.
      Aang: (Looking up at Katara) And then the Fire Nation attacked our temple. My people needed me, and I wasn't there to help.
      Katara: You don't know what would've..
      Aang: The world needed me, and I wasn't there to help!
      Katara Aang?
      Aang: The fisherman was right. I did turn my back on the world.
      Katara: You're being to hard on yourself. Even if you did run away, I think it was meant to be. If you stayed, you would have been killed with all the other airbenders.
      Aang: You don't know that.
      Katara: I know it's meant to be this way. The world needs you now. You give people hope.

    • Zuko: Finding the Avatar is far more important than any individual's safety.

    • Iroh: I looked away. (young Zuko gets his scar)
      Young Zuko: Ahhhhhh.
      Lieutenant Jee: I always thought that Prince Zuko was in a training accident.

    • Zuko (in a higher voice): Let me in!
      Iroh: Prince Zuko, what's wrong?
      Zuko: I want to go into the war chamber, but the guard won't let me pass!
      Iroh: You're not missing anything, trust me. These meetings are dreadfully boring.
      Zuko: If I'm gonna rule this nation one day, don't you think I need to start learning as much as I can?
      Iroh: Very well. But you must promise not to speak. These old folks are a bit sensitive, you know.
      Zuko (bowing to Iroh): Thank you uncle.

    • Old Woman: My joints say there's going to be a storm! A bad one.
      Old Man: Well, it's your joints against my brain.
      Old Woman: Then I hope your brain can find someone else to haul that fish, cause I ain't comin!
      Old Man: Then I'll find a new fish hauler and pay him double what you get! How do you like that?
      Sokka: I'll go!
      Old Man (points to Sokka): You're hired!
      Sokka (to Aang and Katara): What? You said 'get a job,' and he's paying double.
      Old Man (looking at Sokka in a weird way): Double? Who told ya that nonsense?

    • Shopkeeper: Swishing means it's ripe! It's the ripe juices swishing around, eh?
      Aang: I think it's true, Katara, swishing means it's ripe.
      Katara (putting fruit back): I just realized we're out of money anyway.
      Shopkeeper (grabbing basket from Sokka): Awww!

    • Katara: Are you all right, Aang?
      Aang: I'm okay.
      Katara: You seem to be having a lot of nightmares lately, you wanna tell me about it?
      Aang: I think I just need some rest.
      Sokka (sits up, excited): You guys want to hear about my dream? (Katara looks annoyed) That's ok, I didn't wanna talk about it anyway.

    • Old Lady (To Aang and Katara): My husband is out in that awful storm!
      Katara: So is Sokka!
      Aang: We have to go get them!
      Katara: I'm going with you!
      Old Lady: I'm staying right here!

    • (On the fisherman's ship, waves rocking the boat all over the place)
      Sokka: I'm too young to die!
      Fisherman: I'm not, but I still don't wanna!

    • Prince Zuko: Uncle, I'm sorry.
      Uncle Iroh: Your apology is accepted.

    • Uncle Iroh: After the duel, the Fire Lord said that by refusing to duel, Zuko showed shameful weakness. And so he was banished and sent to capture the Avatar.
      Lieutenant Jee: So that's why he's so obsessed. Capturing the Avatar is his only chance he has of things returning to normal.
      Uncle Iroh: Things will never return to normal, but the important thing is the Avatar gives Zuko hope.

    • (The fisherman offers Aang a fish as a token of gratitude)
      Aang: Sorry, I don't eat meat.
      Fisherman: Fish ain't meat!

    • Sokka: They left without saying good bye?
      Fisherman: Your friends aren't real polite, are they?
      Sokka: I know. This one time I...
      Fisherman: Yeah, yeah take this below deck.

    • Sokka: So, you're still gonna pay me right?
      (raw fish gets plopped into open hands)
      Sokka: AAAAAUUGGHH!!!

    • (In Iroh's story while Zuko was in his Agni Kai with his father.)
      Prince Zuko: Please, Father! I've only ever had the Fire Nation's best interest at heart! I'm sorry I spoke out of turn!

    • Aang: They wanted to take away everything I knew and everyone I loved!
      (Aang creates a whirlwind around himself)
      Katara: Whoa! Hot cinders!

    • Sokka: What's going on? Did we get captured again?

    • Gyatso: Aang, I'm not going to let them take you away from me.

    • Uncle Iroh (after he separated Zuko and the lieutenant): Enough! I know we are all a bit tired from being at sea so long. But I'm sure that after a bowl of noodles, everyone will feel much better.

    • Aang: Look at those clear skies, buddy! Should be some smooth flying.
      Katara: Well, we better smoothly fly ourselves to a market, cause we're out of food.
      Sokka: Guys, wait, this was in my dream, we shouldn't go to the market.
      Katara: What happened in your dream?
      Sokka: Food eats people!
      (Aang and Katara give him a weird look)
      Sokka: And Momo could talk. (To Momo) You said some very unkind things...

    • Gyatso: No. As long as I am his guardian, I will decide when he trains....and when he gets his butt kicked at pai-sho.

    • Prince Zuko: The Avatar!
      Lieutenant Jee: What do you want to do sir?
      Prince Zuko: Let him go. We need to get this ship to safety.
      Uncle Iroh: Then we must head directly into the eye of the storm.

    • Gyatso: All I want is what is best for him.
      Senior Monk: But what we need is what's best for the world. You and Aang must be separated. The Avatar will be sent away to the Eastern Air Temple to complete his training.

    • Katara (in Aang's dream): We need you, Aang.
      Aang: I need you, too.
      (Katara and Sokka disappear; Gyatso appears)
      Gyatso: Aang, why did you disappear?
      Aang: I didn't mean to.
      (Gyatso fades away)

    • Aang: I'm sorry for running away.
      Katara: It's okay, that fisherman was way out of line.

    • Uncle Iroh: Try to understand, my nephew is a complicated young man. He has been through much.

    • Katara: Aang is the bravest person I know! He has done nothing but help people and save lives since I met him. It's not his fault he disappeared, right Aang? Aang? What's wrong?

    • Aang: I'll never forget the day the monks told me I was the Avatar.

    • Sokka (depressed): Out of food and out of money, now what are we supposed to do?
      Katara: You could get a job, smart guy.

  • NOTES (5)

    • This episode was published in book format in Avatar The Last Airbender: The Lost Scrolls - Air.

    • Character Debut: Fire Lord Ozai (shadowed), Lieutenant Jee.

    • This chapter is Avatar co-creator Michael DiMartino's third favorite episode of the first season, due to the intriguing backstory of both Aang and Zuko that it delved into.

    • This is Dante Basco's, the voice behind Zuko, favorite episode. During the scene where Zuko faces against his father in the Agni Kai, Basco worked with Mark Hamill and relates the scene to those in Star Wars when Luke (Hamill) faces off with Darth Vader.

    • Zuko's teenage sister, Azula, makes a cameo apperance in this episode: she can be seen behind Uncle Iroh during the duel smiling at her brother's punishment and is also seen (in Zuko's memory) running next to Zuko up the hill.


    • When Aang and Katara are riding on Appa up the huge wave crest during the storm is seems to be a allusion to the movie The Perfect Storm.

    • The scene where the fishing boat was breaking apart in the storm with Sokka, and the fisherman on it could be a allusion to the woodcut painting In the Hollow of a Wave off the Coast at Kanagawa (from a Series of Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji) by Katsushika Hokusai.

    • The method that the monks use to identify the Avatar when he is young is very similar to how the people of Tibet find the reincarnation of the Dalai Lama. One of the tests they use is to see if the suspected reincarnation is really the new Dalai Lama is to see if the boy can recognize several of their old possesions from a past life. In this episode, it is revealed that Aang picks past Avatar's toys to play with out of a large amount of toys.

    • The old wife says that her bones aching means that a storm is coming. Many sailors, soldiers, and various older people claim to be able to predict the weather like this. It mostly involves being able to sense the change in barometric pressure, which precedes storms and major shifts in weather. The pressure presses in on the bones, sometime made hollow or brittle by age or osteoperosis.