There’s some prime Toph in this episode as she claims, from the air, to have spotted a building before reminding everyone she’s blind and then when she tries to make small talk with Appa. Everyone should have a Toph on their show.
Of course, there is one little problem here: Sokka had an idea.
Now, granted, it’s actually not a terrible idea. He thinks the group, on vacation because time is limited, needs to find some intelligence on the Fire Nation. Cue the others laughing about Sokka’s intelligence, but really, he’s not wrong. Knowing something more would be a good idea.
Fortunately, the group finds an archaeologist who has knowledge of a lost library deep in the desert. Sure, they find the guy in what looks like this show’s equivalent of the Mos Eisely Cantina, complete with some sandbenders outside that don’t look that far off from Tusken Raiders. The library is reputed to have knowledge from all over, and with the professor initially pleased to even meet an Air Nomad with his own Air Bison, that does mean that the group can look for the library from the air. And they find it, mostly buried. Toph opts to stay outside with Appa since this world hasn’t invented braille yet, and the others rappel in.
Problem: the spirit inside, a giant owl thing, doesn’t want people in there because they only come by to find ways to hurt others in war. You know, the very reason Sokka wanted to find the place in the first place. With some convenient lying, they get the spirit to allow them to look around as long as they offer something for the collection. The professor has a first edition of his own book (the spirit is impressed!), Katara has a waterbending scroll (the spirit thinks that’s fine), Aang has a copy of his own wanted poster (the spirit essentially shrugs), and Sokka has a unique knot he tied (the spirit thinks he isn’t very bright).
Alright, down to business. Does the Fire Nation have a weakness? One old scroll mentions their “darkest day,” but someone burned all the books in the library’s section on the Fire Nation, and that someone was the Fire Lord, but our heroes don’t know that. They do know it was the Fire Nation, and that would be why the spirit doesn’t want humans in their anymore.
Fortunately, there is a planetarium of sorts that reveals firebenders lose their powers during a solar eclipse. Sokka found something good!
And the spirit shows up because they were lying and he’s all-knowing! Time to sink the library forever!
With Toph outside doing what she can to hold the library above ground (she’s not good with sand), and the others running for it (except the professor who is in heaven and won’t leave), the Aang Gang learn there is a solar eclipse coming before the comet. They manage to escape in part because Sokka knocks the spirit out with a book, but there’s something wrong outside.
While Toph was struggling, and with the sand blunting her ability to “see” stuff around her, those Tusken lookalikes came by and took Appa away.
Our heroes might be out in the desert for a while.