You know, it occurred to me that the show was being a bit cagey. Sure, I watched all these in short order, so I remember the Earth King telling Azula about the eclipse and the planned invasion. But this episode and the next one aired almost a full year later, and the “previously on” segment didn’t mention that bit, so there’s a good chance a lot of the original audience might have forgotten the plan was already spoiled by the time the episode actually aired.
So, in hindsight, that worked out pretty well.
Anyway, here we are. I watched only half of the oversized episode for this write-up, and this time I looked and Netflix didn’t smash the two episodes together as they originally ran as one. But that’s neither here nor there. We’re at the halfway point in the season, and defeating the Fire Lord at this point is highly unlikely.
Instead, we have an attempt. Sokka and Katara’s father shows up with a number of allies from the past like the swampbenders, Toph’s old sparring partners, the inventors, and those earthbenders Katara inspired once upon a time. They got some neat new weapons like waterbending submarines, armor for Appa, and a plan. It’s simple enough: attack the major port area, capture a central tower, and draw out the Fire Nation’s forces while Aang takes on the Fire Lord during the eclipse. It’s a good plan. Heck, it’s Sokka’s plan. And the attack seems to be going well even if Sokka’s father gets a bad injury and he and Katara have to hang back for healing. That just leaves Sokka in charge of the battle, and he actually seems to be doing well on all that.
Meanwhile, well, things are happening in the Fire Nation’s capital. Iroh suggests the only guard that’s nice to him should not be around in the afternoon. Likewise, Zuko has decided to make things right, leaving a note for Mai before he goes off to…somewhere.
But as I said, this can’t be the end. Sure, Aang shaved his head and the inventor gave him a new glider (this one dispenses snacks!), but there has to be a problem. This can’t all be that easy.
And it isn’t. Aang arrives at the capital, and it’s deserted. Nobody’s there.
Yeah, Aang knows this all went bad, and it doesn’t look like the eclipse has even started yet.