- This article is about the episode. For the titular character, see Jet.
|"Now, the Fire Nation thinks they don't have to worry about a couple of kids hiding in the trees. Maybe they're right. Or maybe ... they're dead wrong."|
|— Jet to his Freedom Fighters.|
Traveling by foot, Team Avatar accidentally stumbles into a Fire Nation camp. The soldiers immediately surround them, though the team is saved by Jet and his Freedom Fighters and invited back to their treetop hideout. There, the team learns about the orphans living in the woods and fighting the Fire Nation soldiers who dare to set foot in the forest. While Aang and Katara are trustful of the Freedom Fighters, Sokka remains skeptical, a sentiment that is strengthened when Jet and a few of his fighters ambush an old Fire Nation civilian. Suspicious of his true intentions, Sokka trails Jet on a nightly walk and discovers that the Freedom Fighters' leader desires to flood the Earth Kingdom village of Gaipan, killing everyone, in order to eradicate the Fire Nation soldiers stationed there. Before Sokka can intervene, however, he is captured by the Freedom Fighters. By morning, Jet convinces Katara and Aang to use their waterbending to fill up a reservoir under the ruse of it being needed to extinguish forest fires, though in reality it is to flood the village. After they are done, they discover Jet's true intentions and although they manage to incapacitate him in battle, they fail to stop the Freedom Fighters from blowing up the dam and flooding Gaipan. However, Sokka managed to escape and warn the villagers, evacuating them all to safety.
Deep in the woods, Momo stumbles into a hunter's trap that leaves him caged and hanging from the branch of a tree. Aang, Katara, and Sokka soon notice he is missing and set out to find him. Locating him suspended in a tree, Aang uses his airbending to move himself toward the trap and free the lemur. Discovering that the same fate had befallen hog monkeys, Aang readies himself to scale the tree again, though Sokka uses his boomerang to cut the cords and free the animals in one go. Examining the traps, Sokka determines that they were constructed by the Fire Nation and advises they leave quickly. However, he decides they should travel on foot, as Appa is too easy to spot. Katara protests, opposing Sokka's notion that he is the leader, noting that if anyone would be their leader, it should be Aang, since he is the Avatar. Sokka counters by pointing out that Aang could not be their leader since he is just a "goofy kid", which Aang himself agrees with. Katara continues to tease her brother, musing that he would not be so bossy if he kissed a girl. Sokka is quick to counter that he already has kissed someone that Katara just does not know, causing her to smugly note that she has met their grandmother. Quickly changing the subject, Sokka reiterates that his instincts indicate they should stick to walking as it increases their chances of passing through the forest unnoticed. Aang and Katara relent, though Aang soon grows frustrated over their slow progress and together with Katara, he starts to tease Sokka. Their banter is interrupted, however, when they accidentally stumble into the middle of a Fire Nation campsite.
Panicked, the trio sheds their bags and tries to run away, though a firebender cuts off their escape route by setting the bushes behind them ablaze. As the soldiers corner them, Sokka tries to bluff their way out of their predicament, stating that they promise not to hurt them if they let them pass safely. A soldier with an eye patch laughs at the bluff, though before he can say anything more, he suddenly falls to the ground, unconscious. Aang compliments Sokka, asking how he did that, to which a quizzical Sokka responds, "instinct." Katara solves the mystery, however, by pointing everyone's direction to a young man standing atop a tree branch. As they all look, he readies his dual hook swords and jumps down, landing atop two soldiers, knocking them out. Wasting no time, he uses his weapons to sweep the feet out from underneath two other soldiers. As he fights off an incoming soldier, a small child drops down on the shoulders of another soldier, blinding him by pushing his helmet over his eyes. An archer disarms five more soldiers, while more children and teenagers engage the remaining soldiers in battle. As the scene descends into chaos, Aang and Katara use their respective bending arts to join the fight, though each time Sokka prepares to engage a soldier, the soldier is knocked out by the children's leader. After the troops are defeated, the leader introduces himself as Jet and his allies as the Freedom Fighters: Sneers, a sturdy hand-to-hand combatant; Longshot, an archer; Smellerbee, a slim-bodied blade expert; The Duke, a shorter and younger fighter than the others; and, lastly, the tall, log-wielding Pipsqueak. Aang, under the impression that The Duke was named Pipsqueak, comments that it is a funny name. When the large man menacingly bends down to asks if he truly thinks his name is funny, the Avatar happily notes that it is hilarious. Amused, the threesome starts to laugh and Pipsqueak smacks Aang jovially on his back, though which such force that he knocks him over.
Katara develops a rather large crush on Jet and rarely speaks without shameless flattery of him and his ways. As Katara and Jet chat, managing to indirectly insult Sokka's instinctual behavior, The Duke and Pipsqueak raid the now-abandoned Fire Nation campsite, finding crates filled with jelly candy and barrels of explosive blasting jelly, which Jet, in order to avoid confusion, asks them to keep separate. When the Freedom Fighters mention bringing their score back to their hideout, Aang expresses interest, and Jet invites them to come with him. Katara eagerly accepts on behalf of the group. When they reach the site of the Freedom Fighters' hideout, there appears to be nothing in sight, a fact which a disbelieving Sokka notes. However, Jet offers Sokka a rope dangling from between the thick foliage of the branches above; taking it, he is yanked upward through the canopy, screaming as he ascends. Aang uses airbending to simply jump into the trees, while Katara is held by Jet as he is pulled up. During their ascent, Katara blushes deeply at their close contact. Upon reaching their hideout in the trees, Jet explains to Katara the Freedom Fighters' mission.
Several years earlier, the Fire Nation took over a nearby Earth Kingdom village, Gaipan. The Freedom Fighters had since ambushed Fire Nation troops and done everything in their power to cut off the town's supply lines, their ultimate goal being to force the Fire Nation from the town permanently. Katara expresses further infatuation with Jet, temporarily praising his bravery, which ultimately provokes a sarcastic comment from Sokka. Jet, however, shows no ill-will in response to Sokka's remark. He explains to Katara that all of the Freedom Fighters live in their treetop base, and that none of them have families anymore. Longshot's village was burned to the ground, while The Duke was found on his own. Jet himself lost his parents' lives at the hands of the Fire Nation when he was eight years old, which incites great sympathy in Katara, having also lost her mother to the Fire Nation.
That night, Jet gives a speech to all of the Freedom Fighters, congratulating them on their victory over the Fire Nation. Immediately afterward, he also privately compliments Aang and Katara for their role in the battle, as well as their bending proficiency. Katara blushes and diverts attention from herself, revealing that Aang is the Avatar. After learning this, Jet states that he hopes to have Aang and Katara help in their battle with the Fire Nation. Sokka quickly interjects, stating that they plan to leave that very night. Jet replies with feigned disappointment, stating that he was hoping Sokka would assist him in a mission the following morning, to which Sokka hesitantly accepts.
The next morning, Sokka waits in the trees overlooking a path with Jet. Using a trick with his machete to amplify vibrations, Sokka alerts Jet when an old Fire Nation civilian approaches. Jet and two other Freedom Fighters, Smellerbee and Pipsqueak, descend, despite Sokka's statement that the man approaching is just feeble and old. Jet and his Freedom Fighters bully the man, eventually knocking him prone onto the ground, with Jet ruthlessly ignoring the man's pleas for mercy the whole time. Sokka stops Jet from striking the man further, and tells him to stop his actions. Jet orders the man be searched, further angering Sokka. He ignores Sokka's insistence that the man is harmless and innocent, justifying himself by stating the man is with the Fire Nation. Ultimately, Jet and the Freedom Fighters leave with the man's belongings with Sokka reluctantly following, regret evident in his expression.
After Jet and Sokka return, Aang finds the latter deep in thought, leaning against a tree. Aang has been enjoying hanging out with The Duke, while Katara has made Jet a hat from the leaves of the trees. Sokka dismisses this and announces that they are leaving. Aang and Katara object, to which Sokka responds by revealing Jet's previous bullying actions. Doubtful, Katara demands to hear Jet's side of the story. Once she asks Jet, he reiterates that the man was with the Fire Nation, and produces a knife which has a compartment for poison in the hilt. He claims that the man was an assassin, sent especially to kill him. Sokka is still angry and heavily doubts Jet's story, stating he never saw a knife in the man's belongings, although the explanation convinces Katara and Aang. Sokka storms off, stating he will be preparing to leave. Upon his departure, Jet quickly pleads for Katara and Aang to stay, stating that the Fire Nation plans to burn down the forest, and that he needs the two to use waterbending to fill the nearby reservoir to allow the Freedom Fighters to quench the fires. Katara approaches Sokka with Aang, and adamantly refuses to leave until they have helped Jet. She accuses Sokka's actions as having resulted from jealousy and refuses to listen to the reasons he gives for his actions.
That night, Sokka overhears Jet and the core of the Freedom Fighters sneaking out of their base and decides to follow them. The six bring with them the barrels of blasting jelly on a cart, and Jet reviews their plan to blow up the barrels directly beneath the dam of the river, which runs through the city. With the reservoir full, the village will be flooded, wiping out the Fire Nation soldiers stationed there. The Duke expresses concern for the lives of the innocent Earth Kingdom citizens living there, but Jet replies that they must be willing to make this sacrifice. Sokka overhears all of this, but is caught by Smellerbee and Pipsqueak. As dawn arrives, Sokka is dragged out to face Jet, confronting him about the plan. Although he attempts to persuade Sokka to persist in the plan, Jet soon realizes that the young Water Tribe warrior will not change his decision, and has Pipsqueak and Smellerbee walk him into the forest to prevent him from warning Aang and Katara of the plan.
Soon afterward, Jet leads Aang and Katara to an extremely shallow river, which leads into the reservoir. Katara, still unaware of Jet's true plans, apologizes for Sokka's crude behavior, to which Jet responds by lying that Sokka has already apologized for himself, and he is currently out scouting with Smellerbee and Pipsqueak. Aang and Katara find it strange that Sokka would be so quick to apologize, but they do not question Jet's word, as he covers himself up by saying that he felt Katara had talked to her brother in order to make him try to relax, which she had. Suddenly, a steam geyser goes off directly under Aang's feet, launching the Avatar several feet into the air. Jet states that they have reached their destination as Aang floats safely back down on his own accord. Jet explains to Aang and Katara their role in the mission – they must bend the water that resides beneath the vents. Upon release, the built-up pressure beneath the geysers will keep the flow of water going, thus filling up the river leading into the reservoir. Katara initially doubts her ability to bend water that she cannot see, but Jet provides her with words of encouragement, accompanied by his hands on her shoulders, and soon she and Aang successfully release the water from one of the vents. Jet leaves Aang and Katara to their work, stating that he will be at the reservoir and will meet them back at the hideout. However, Jet underestimates the time Aang and Katara need to release an adequate number of geysers, and since they quickly have the river at a high enough level, they decide to go to meet Jet at the reservoir instead.
Sokka, with his hands bound, is marched through the forest by Smellerbee and Pipsqueak. Although he attempts to convince the two Freedom Fighters to reconsider Jet's plan, they refuse to listen; they are loyal to Jet, who has demonstrated great leadership in the past and whose actions have always benefited the Freedom Fighters. Sokka gives up trying to reason with the two, at the same time spotting a number of the same Fire Nation traps that he, Aang, and Katara came across before meeting Jet. He breaks away from his escorts and tricks them into pursuing him straight into the traps, which leaves them caged and suspended from the branches above. Sokka frees his hands and quickly moves to stop Jet's plan.
At that moment, Aang and Katara come to the edge of a cliff overlooking the dam, where they spot four Freedom Fighters setting up the barrels of blasting jelly. Aang immediately realizes Jet's plan to blow the dam and flood the village, and moves to fly down on his glider and stop it. Katara, however, is in denial, until Jet suddenly jumps forward and snags Aang's glider with his hook swords, preventing the boy from flying off. Jet confesses what his true plan is, and attempts to convince Katara that the action is necessary. After he and Katara have experienced the pain of losing loved ones, he argues, they cannot allow the Fire Nation to hurt anyone ever again – they must be merciless. Katara is completely nonplussed, but Jet persists, stating that he had hoped she and Sokka would understand his reasons. Katara immediately responds to Sokka's mention by demanding to know where he is, and tears begin to flow from her eyes. Jet places a comforting hand on her cheek, but Katara has had enough – she draws water from her water skin and uses it to violently throw Jet to the ground. Aang goes for his glider so he can prevent the explosion, but Jet reaches it first, snatching it off the ground with his hook swords and placing it on his back before engaging Aang in combat.
The two head into the trees, where Jet adapts an aggressive fighting style, swinging his swords dangerously. However, Aang avoids almost all of his attacks, using his superior agility and airbending prowess to his advantage. Still, Aang is reluctant to fight Jet, and for quite some time fails to make any progress in reclaiming his glider – the key to saving the village. Eventually, he blows Jet back with a powerful airbending move, sending the teenager plummeting to the ground until he succeeds in catching a branch with his swords. This causes Aang's glider to drop from his back, and the two race to the ground after it. Jet succeeds in kicking Aang from behind in mid-air, causing the Avatar to crash into a branch and fall to the ground, extremely dazed. As Jet lands, however, Katara arrives on the scene, bending water from a small nearby stream to aggressively attack Jet, pushing him back toward a tree and freezing him to its trunk. She berates him for betraying her trust, but before she can get too far in her tirade, she is startled by a bird call from off in the distance. Jet responds with his own call, the signal to set off the explosion, revealing that he has managed to delay Aang and Katara just long enough for his Freedom Fighters to set up the blasting jelly. Aang tries to fly on his glider, but to no avail, as the glider's main sail was torn in several places, damaged during the scuffle. Aang and Katara can only wait and hope that Sokka succeeds where they have failed.
Longshot, perched in a tree, fires a flaming arrow, igniting the jelly and wrecking the dam. In a matter of seconds, the entire village is completely inundated. Sad, hurt, and angry, Katara turns on Jet and resumes insulting him for his actions; still, Jet does not back down, stating that this act is a victory against the Fire Nation, who will forever be absent from the valley. Suddenly, Sokka arrives, riding Appa and accompanied by Momo. Jet is infuriated to learn that Sokka successfully warned the villagers of the impending flood and that the town was evacuated before its destruction. He tells them that, although the Fire Nation soldiers stationed in the city initially believed him to be a spy, Sokka's warnings were reinforced by none other than the elderly man that he and Jet had encountered the previous day. With the man's urgings augmenting Sokka's, everyone was safely escorted out of the village to safety. Jet calls Sokka a fool, believing that he has ruined the people's chance to win freedom from the Fire Nation; Sokka responds by coldly stating that there would be no one left alive to appreciate the freedom. Jet promptly declares him a traitor, but Sokka says that Jet became the traitor when he stopped protecting the innocent. Katara turns her back on Jet, and she, Aang, and Sokka fly off on Appa, leaving the leader of the Freedom Fighters frozen to the tree. Aang and Katara apologize for not believing Sokka. While steering Appa, Sokka says to follow instincts, as they are usually right. Aang points out that he is flying in the wrong direction, and Sokka admits that sometimes instincts are wrong, changing direction.
- Written by:
- Directed by:
- Also starring:
- Main article: Transcript: Jet (episode)
- Main article: Avatar Extras for Book One: Water
- Jet is not seen again after this episode until "The Serpent's Pass", along with Smellerbee and Longshot. Pipsqueak and The Duke are not seen again until "The Awakening". Sneers is never seen again in the series, though he returns in The Promise trilogy.
- This episode is continually referenced in the episode "Lake Laogai", where Aang and his friends meet up with Jet once again in Ba Sing Se and are initially less than happy to see him.
- Like many episodes, this episode was referenced in "The Ember Island Players", where the interaction of Jet and Katara is exaggerated to be highly romantic. In the play, Jet floods the town of Gaipan just to impress Katara rather than to eliminate the Fire Nation.
- Blasting jelly is first mentioned and used in this episode and is used again later in the season by the pirates hired by Zhao to assassinate Zuko.
- At the beginning of the episode, when Sokka takes the pack from Aang, his and Aang's packs can be seen on the ground. In the next scene, however, when the view zooms out, his pack and Aang's are gone.
- In one scene after the Fire Nation soldiers are defeated, Jet talks to Aang and Katara, but the leaf stem in his mouth is gone. Yet, when he turns around, it appears again.
- When Jet tells Katara to hold on to him, her water skin is on her back. As they are pulled up, the water skin disappears and does not reappear again until she, Aang, and Jet are walking toward the steam geysers.
- At night when Sokka goes to follow Jet, the scene shows him leaning on the trunk of the tree, asleep. When he wakes up, however, he is leaning against the wall of the hut.
- Jet tells The Duke that there has to be a price to pay when they blow up the dam, but Jet just calls him "Duke" instead, even though The Duke becomes angry at Haru for calling him this.
- When Sokka is found by Jet's gang, his boomerang disappears in a couple of scenes.
- When Pipsqueak and Smellerbee push Sokka to the ground, he holds himself up with his left arm and rubs his shoulder with his right. When it shows Sokka from the front, his arms are switched.
- When Jet tells Smellerbee and Pipsqueak to take Sokka for a walk, he draws his hook swords, even though he did not have those on or near him in the previous shot.
- Katara claims to have never tried bending water that she could not see, even though she did so in previous episodes, such as when she bent the water from Aang's lungs so he could breathe in "The Warriors of Kyoshi" and when she bent water from the well in "Imprisoned".
- When Sokka first spots the two hunter's traps that allow him to escape from Smellerbee and Pipsqueak, the first one is in a clearing and slightly in front of a tree, while the second one is positioned next to that same tree and another one standing close by. The ropes connected to the traps curve slightly and then go straight over to the closest tree. However, with a closer view of those traps, the first trap is suddenly surrounded by more trees and its rope leads right as opposed to the tree above it, while the second trap is now in a clearing and its rope leads more to the right than before.
- When Katara uses waterbending to strike Jet three times, he is standing in front of a tree. When she strikes him a fourth time, there is suddenly a distance between him and the tree.
- When Katara freezes Jet to the tree, his arms are frozen next to his sides. However, every other scene of Jet frozen to the tree shows him with his arms outward.
- When Aang first opens his glider, a large rip is shown on its left side, but when he tries to glide, the large rip is nowhere to be seen. After Aang crashes to the ground with his glider on top of him, the tear is now on the right wing in the aerial shot. When the view switches to a frontal scene with Katara next to him, the rip is on the other wing again.
- However, when Aang crashed on the ground, the glider falls down in front of him, making it impossible to end on his back in the position that it did.
- A very old Nickelodeon website separate from the one commonly used on this wiki for referencing called this episode "The Rebels".
- Avatar Extras stated that the fight between Aang and Jet in the trees was inspired by the Naruto and Samurai Champloo animes, as much of the fighting in Naruto takes place in forests with trees at least six stories high.
- "Jet" is the second episode in the series whose title consists of only one word, "Imprisoned" being the first.
- When Sokka was waiting with Jet in the trees, he used a dagger to detect the old man down the road. This method bears similarities to the way Toph sees: the vibrations traveling through the ground are passed on to the sword and are focused on the end of the sword, enhancing the sound, which enables any listener at the end of the sword to detect motions from far away. Toph uses her earthbending to sense vibrations and feel where people are.
- Sneers is the only named Freedom Fighter who does not talk or make a reappearance in the series.
- Jet's hideout is very similar to Peter Pan's hideout in the 1991 movie Hook. Oddly, Dante Basco, Zuko's voice actor, stars in that movie as Rufio, a character similar to Jet.
- This is the first episode where Katara is seen using her ice breath to freeze someone.
- Jet's design, specifically his hairstyle, seems to be loosely based on Spike's design from the anime Cowboy Bebop.
- Dave Filoni designed the forest and Jet's hideout. He is a huge fan of Star Wars, so the forest is a reference to the Ewoks' forest village in Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (1983). In the original sketches of the hideout, he even referred to the middle section of the trees where the hideout was located as the "Ewok" area. Contradictory to this, Avatar Extras says the forest was based on the film House of Flying Daggers.