- This article is about the second episode of the Book Three finale. For other similar uses, see Sozin's Comet (disambiguation).
|"The true mind can weather all the lies and illusions without being lost. The true heart can tough the poison of hatred without being harmed. Since beginningless time, darkness thrives in the void, but always yields to purifying light."|
|— The lion turtle explaining energybending to Aang.|
On the mysterious island, Aang seeks guidance from his past lives, but they insist he must take Fire Lord Ozai's life. The island is discovered to be a wise lion turtle that provides Aang with ancient knowledge of a forgotten art, energybending. Meanwhile, after June is unable to find the Avatar, Zuko decides to find his uncle instead, and Team Avatar meets the Order of the White Lotus, its leader being Iroh. After reuniting with Iroh, the team chooses to split up and go in different directions to help stop the Fire Nation. Sozin's Comet arrives and Phoenix King Ozai prepares to destroy the Earth Kingdom.
At an Earth Kingdom tavern, Zuko convinces the bounty hunter, June, to use her shirshu, Nyla, to track the missing Aang using the scent of his staff. The shirshu is unable to track him, however, and June explains that Aang is "gone". Sokka asks if Aang is dead, to which June clarifies that he is not dead, he just does not exist.
Newly awoken on a strange island in the middle of the sea, Aang and Momo wonder where they are, deducing they are not in the Spirit World because the former can still bend. He decides to climb to the top of the island to see if they can discover anything.
Zuko, realizing the group would not be able to track down Aang, comes to the conclusion that the only other person who could possibly defeat Ozai is Iroh. He brings back Iroh's rancid sandal as a smell sample for Nyla to track. Nyla runs off to find the source and Team Avatar follows on Appa, eventually being led to the breached Outer Wall of Ba Sing Se after a day-long journey. They decide to camp out for the night and begin again at dawn. The group is later woken up by fire surrounding their encampment. Several old masters, Jeong Jeong, Piandao, Pakku, and Bumi, show themselves and greet them.
Wandering around the island, Aang soon finds a large hexagonal symbol on the ground and, unable to bend it, deduces that it is not made of rock or normal earth. Lost for thoughts, Aang decides to contact Roku, hoping he will know where this place is. However, Roku confesses to him that he has not the slightest idea as to where they are, but sees Aang is frustrated by the knowledge that he has to kill the Fire Lord to end the Hundred Year War. Roku confesses that his own disciplined outlook on being the Avatar was ultimately what caused the War to happen, as sparing Fire Lord Sozin cost Roku his life. Roku tells Aang he must be decisive and disappears.
The gang and order embrace, with Pakku revealing that he is enganged to Sokka and Katara's grandmother. Toph wonders why they are surrounded by old people, and they reveal they are members of the Order of the White Lotus, a secret organization focused on beauty and philosophy, and were summoned to Ba Sing Se by Iroh, the Grand Lotus. The gang exclaims they are looking for him and the masters agree to lead them to him. Bumi notices that their group is missing someone important and inquires about the whereabouts of Momo, to which Sokka responds that he and Aang are missing. Stating that Aang and Momo will be all right "so long as they have each other," Bumi continues to lead the others to the White Lotus camp to find Iroh.
Back on the island, Aang summons Avatar Kyoshi for wisdom. She recalls her encounter with Chin the Conqueror, severing Kyoshi Island from the mainland to stop Chin, inadvertently causing his death. Aang reasons that she technically did not kill Chin, but Kyoshi tells Aang she sees no difference and would have killed him herself to keep the world in balance. She tells Aang only justice will bring peace and disappears. Agitated by her response, Aang wishes he never asked Kyoshi for wisdom at all.
Along the way back to camp, Bumi revealed that he single-handedly liberated the city of Omashu during the Day of Black Sun. With an amazing display of earthbending, he freed himself from his cage and cast out Fire Nation buildings, laughing and eating rock candy as he launched Ozai's gigantic statue out of the city. The Fire Nation soldiers were powerless due to the eclipse, and helplessly fled. Bumi asks the others if they did anything interesting on the day of the eclipse; Zuko and Sokka look awkwardly at each other and claim that they did not.
Aang looks deep within himself and summons Avatar Kuruk for wisdom. Kuruk explains that during his time as the Avatar he was laid back and let the four nations work their own problems out. However, Koh the Face Stealer punished Kuruk for his laziness by dragging his love Ummi into the Spirit World. Kuruk blames himself for what happened to her, and tells Aang he must actively shape his own destiny, as well as the destiny of the world. When Kuruk disappears, Aang despairs that three of his past lives are telling him to do what he does not want to do.
The gang arrives at the White Lotus encampment, and Zuko is shown to Iroh's tent. He sits in front of the tent, ashamed and worried that Iroh hates him for his betrayal. Katara sits and comforts him, believing that Iroh would forgive Zuko if he was truly sorry. Zuko enters the tent and finds his uncle asleep, snoring loudly. With a wry, affectionate smile, he sits down to wait for Iroh to wake.
Interacting with Momo, Aang figures that since the three past lives he asked were not Air Nomads, they cannot possibly understand his position correctly. He summons the previous Air Nomad Avatar, Yangchen, to ask her for wisdom on what he should do. Though they both agree that all life is sacred, Yangchen insists that, as the Avatar, he has a duty to protect the world. Aang argues that the monks taught him to detach himself from the world so his spirit can be free to achieve spiritual enlightenment, but Yangchen counters that the Avatar is incapable of detaching from the world, as it is the Avatar's sole duty, and insists Aang must do whatever it takes to protect it. After she disappears, Aang laments to Momo that he has no other choice but to kill Ozai.
The next morning, Iroh wakes up to find Zuko waiting for him. Zuko tearfully apologizes for all he has done, but before he can ask how to redeem himself, Iroh grabs and hugs him, surprising Zuko. Tears streaming from his own eyes, Iroh states he was never angry at his nephew, but was afraid he had lost his way. Zuko admits that he had, but Iroh establishes that he found it again and did so by himself. When he mentions that he is very happy that Zuko found his way to the encampment, Zuko jokes that it was not that hard as Iroh "has a pretty strong scent".
As a new day begins, Aang wakes and sees mountains in the distance moving closer, realizing that the island itself is moving. He swims around the side of the island and, seeing a giant arm paddling, understands the island is a gigantic sea animal and starts swimming toward its face.
At the camp, Team Avatar has a meal with Iroh. Zuko asks for Iroh to stop the Fire Lord since Aang is missing, but Iroh says he is not sure he could defeat Ozai. He also believes it would not be the right way for the War to end, as history would only see it as "more senseless violence" and a brother killing a brother for power, and that only the Avatar should defeat the Fire Lord. Iroh rejects his claim to the throne and tells Zuko he instead must take Ozai's place as Fire Lord to stop the War. Iroh believes Zuko has at last restored his own honor, and that his destiny is to restore the honor of the Fire Nation, while it is his own destiny to reclaim Ba Sing Se in name of the Earth Kingdom. Zuko must face his sister Azula before claiming the throne, and Iroh insists he cannot do it alone. Zuko asks Katara to come to the Fire Nation with him and she gladly accepts. Sokka, Suki, and Toph plan to intercept the Fire Nation air fleets and help Aang if he needs it. Iroh and the rest of the White Lotus members bid the two groups farewell; Zuko and Katara on Appa, and Sokka, Suki, and Toph on an eel hound. When Zuko asks Iroh what he will do after he reconquers Ba Sing Se, Iroh responds by saying he will reopen his tea shop, the Jasmine Dragon, and play Pai Sho every day.
Aang finds that the swimming island is a lion turtle, which stops swimming and lifts Aang onto its paw. Aang asks it for wisdom on how to stop the Fire Lord without taking his life. The lion turtle answers, "The true mind can weather all the lies and illusions without being lost. The true heart can tough the poison of hatred without being harmed. Since beginning-less time, darkness thrives in the void, but always yields to purifying light." The lion turtle brings up a paw, his two claws touching Aang's chest and forehead, causing a green light to illuminate. Aang does not understand the turtle's words, but is comforted by this wisdom. He is let on land and waits for the arrival of Fire Lord Ozai.
As night falls, the air fleets of the Fire Nation led by Ozai prepare to depart and watch as Sozin's Comet enters the Earth's atmosphere. Aang watches in anticipation as the sky turns orange-red, ready to save the world.
- Written by:
- Directed by:
- Also starring:
- Additional voices:
- Dee Bradley Baker
- Main article: Transcript:Sozin's Comet, Part 2: The Old Masters
- Main article: Transcript:Sozin's Comet, Part 2: The Old Masters (commentary)
- Main article: Avatar Extras for Book Three: Fire
- June refers to Katara as Zuko's girlfriend in "Bato of the Water Tribe" as well as this episode.
- This is the second of only two episodes where tears have been seen flowing out of Zuko's scarred left eye. The other episode is "Bitter Work".
- This is the first episode in which Iroh's topknot is seen since "The Avatar State".
- This is the second episode in which Zuko uses Iroh's sandal to locate him. In "Winter Solstice, Part 1: The Spirit World", Zuko finds his sandal in the middle of the road, indicating that he is on the right path. In this episode, he uses the scent of Iroh's sandal to guide Nyla to his location.
- This episode and the next episode are the only two in the series when there is no official Fire Lord present at the time.
- Despite Aang's previous encounters with both Avatar Kuruk and Avatar Yangchen in the Spirit World, the two Avatars introduced themselves to Aang due to the fact that, at the end of Aang's journey, Yangchen told him that his encounters would be a forgotten dream.
- This is the second episode in which Avatar Kuruk and Avatar Yangchen appear and the first time their voices are heard. They first appeared as miscellaneous Avatars in "The Avatar State" and were properly introduced in the online game, "Escape from the Spirit World".
- Avatar Kuruk mentions that he lost his love to Koh the Face Stealer. Aang met this spirit in "The Siege of the North, Part 2".
- Avatar Kuruk's advice to Aang recapitulates his story from "Escape from the Spirit World".
- The four "Old Masters" were each referred to in the title of the episode they were introduced: "The King of Omashu" (Bumi), "The Deserter" (Jeong Jeong), "The Waterbending Master" (Pakku), and "Sokka's Master" (Piandao).
- The episode's title is a reference to the Order of the White Lotus which consists of old masters, as well as the past Avatars who advised Aang and to the lion turtle, who is the oldest master of all.
- In this episode, Aang contacts Avatar Roku for the last time in the series.
- When Aang wakes up for the first time on the lion turtle, the lightning exit wound scar is on the wrong foot.
- While on the lion turtle, Aang is seen wearing boots in various scenes, despite the fact that he was barefoot when he slept-walked onto the lion turtle in the previous episode. This happens several times throughout the episode.
- When Zuko brings his uncle's sandal as a smell sample, a close-up reveals that it is covered in flies. However, the flies disappear when the camera zooms out again.
- When Bumi flashes back to when he freed Omashu, he was able to look at the eclipse without hurting his eyes.
- At one point during Bumi's liberation of Omashu, he launches eight earth pillars of equal size at the Ozai statue's face. However, only seven are seen hitting the face and they all differ in shape and size.
- When Iroh yawns as he wakes up before Zuko apologizes to him, Zuko is seen in the background looking down at the ground near his uncle. However, when the camera zooms in on Zuko, he is looking directly at Iroh.
- When Aang resurfaces upon discovering the lion turtle and rubs the water from his eyes, the arrow tattoos on his hands are missing.
- While Aang is treading water next to the lion turtle, the forest should have moved behind him and Aang should have stayed in place. Instead, Aang moved with it, as if he was still swimming.
- In the original airing of the episode, the volume was muted for a few seconds when Bumi began talking about his reconquering of Omashu. This issue also previously affected the copy of the episode that Netflix used for their Instant Streaming service.
- This episode was part of an event called "Countdown to the Comet". The new episodes of Avatar began airing on July 14, starting with "The Western Air Temple", followed by "The Firebending Masters", The Boiling Rock parts one and two, "The Southern Raiders", "The Ember Island Players", and finally Sozin's Comet parts one through four.
- The scenes featuring Aang are very similar to the classic Hindu text Bhagavad Gita. In the dialogue, prince Arjuna prepares to engage in a major battle when he realizes that the opposing army is populated by many of his friends and relatives, and thus becomes conflicted about fighting, despite being aware of their evil. In order to convince Arjuna of the importance of taking part in battle, Lord Krishna, avatar of the god Vishnu, appears in the form of his charioteer and counsels the prince about his duties as a member of the warrior caste and as someone tasked with following the righteous path. The arguments that Krishna gives in favor of participating in the battle are very similar to the arguments that the Avatars give to Aang, like Kuruk's advice on the consequences of inaction and Kyoshi's alluding to a greater good that would outweigh the evil of taking life.
- Generally, when Ozai makes an appearance, so does Azula, though this is the only episode in which he appears, and she does not.
- When Zuko and the gang are conferring with the Order of the White Lotus at the campsite, he refers to his father as "Father Lord" instead of "Fire Lord". Toph even points out his mistake, but he does not acknowledge it. This verbal mistake is an actual psychological phenomenon called "Freudian slip", which is thought to reveal unconscious conflicts or issues of varied natures.
- Zuko and Iroh's reunion is very similar to the parable of the Prodigal Son. A young man leaves his father and brother to pursue friendships with sinful people, similar to how Zuko betrays Iroh for Ozai and Azula, ironically, Zuko's immediate family. After all the son goes through, he soon learns he can go back to his father. When he returns, he expects his father to severely reprimand him, only for the father to instantly welcome him back with open arms.
- Zuko and Iroh's reunion scene was storyboarded by supervising director Oh Seung Hyun, with the creators asking him to base the moment where the two characters hug on a similar scene Oh had animated in the Korean animated film Wonderful Days.
- This is the second time in the four part special that someone points out other issues when Aang should be the main focus, the first time being when Sokka points out Zuko destroying his sand sculpture before he points out Zuko attacking Aang. Bumi realizes Momo is missing, and has to be told that Aang is gone as well. This comedy device is sometimes referred to as Burying the Lead.
- This is the first and only episode in the series in which Iroh calls Aang by his name and not by "the Avatar".
- The titular "Sozin's Comet" first appears at the end of this episode. The comet travels against the earth's rotation, traveling from east to west. That is why light from the comet was able to appear behind Aang's head in this episode, and why it is seen leaving in "Sozin's Comet, Part 4: Avatar Aang" across the sea opposite the direction from which Phoenix King Ozai's airship fleet came.
- The place where Nyla leads the team to is very similar to the part of the Outer Wall that Iroh broke through during his 600-day siege of Ba Sing Se.
- The order in which Aang speaks with his previous incarnations, Roku, Kyoshi, Kuruk, and Yangchen, represents the Avatar Cycle in reverse: fire, earth, water, and air.
- It was revealed in Avatar Extras and the episode commentary that the writers wanted Momo with Aang on the lion turtle so Aang could talk to someone.
- This is Avatar Roku's last speaking role in the series.