- This article is about the third episode of the Book Three finale. For other similar uses, see Sozin's Comet (disambiguation). For the video game, see Avatar: The Last Airbender – Into the Inferno.
|"You're weak, just like the rest of your people! They did not deserve to exist in this world ... in my world! Prepare to join them. Prepare to die!"|
|— Ozai to Aang.|
Azula's mental stability quickly begins to deteriorate as her coronation as Fire Lord approaches. Zuko and Katara interrupt the ceremony, and Azula challenges her brother to an Agni Kai for the crown. Although Zuko is able to outmatch his sister, he is injured taking a bolt of lightning meant for Katara and unable to continue the fight. Meanwhile, Aang finally confronts Ozai, but he is unwilling to take the Fire Lord's life and starts to be overpowered by Ozai's relentless attacks. Sokka, Toph, and Suki attempt to halt the airship fleet, but become separated during the assault, while the Order of the White Lotus battles for Ba Sing Se's freedom.
As Sozin's Comet flies through the Earth's atmosphere, Zuko and Katara continue on their journey to the Fire Nation. Zuko expresses his worry that Aang will lose against Ozai. Although Katara is also worried, she assures Zuko that Aang is going to come back.
At the Fire Nation Palace, Azula is being cared for and cleaned by her servants before her coronation as the new Fire Lord. However, when a servant offers her a cherry, she spits out a cherry pit, and believes it to be an attempt to assassinate her. The servant pleaded for mercy and Azula spared her life but instantly and cruelly ordered her to leave the castle before starting to bossing the other servants around.
Back at the palace, the leader of the Dai Li and six other Dai Li agents arrive before Azula in the Fire Lord's throne room. She berates them for being late, noting that it is enough time for her to be assassinated. When the leader states that they would not betray her, Azula states that they probably told Long Feng the same thing before siding with her. To their surprise, Azula banishes the Dai Li from the Fire Nation for disloyalty. As the Dai Li leave, Azula tells them to send the next group in on their way out.
On the infiltrated airship, Toph knocks on the control room door and uses metalbending to incapacitate the soldiers and captain. Sokka has an idea on how to get rid of the rest of the ship's crew and poses as the ship's captain on a loudspeaker, ordering all crew members to go to the bomb bay to celebrate a crew member's birthday. Coincidentally, it really is one crew member's birthday, who is overjoyed and pleasantly surprised, believing that the captain remembered his birthday. Sokka releases the platform underneath the bomb bay and all of the ship's crew fall screaming into the ocean; albeit, at a low enough altitude so that the entire crew survives with minimal injury to body and pride. Sokka increases the ship's speed to catch up to Ozai's flagship.
Lo and Li approach Azula, questioning her as to why she is banishing so many people ranging from her foot servants to the Dai Li, and the Imperial Firebenders. Azula states that none of them could be trusted and that they would all eventually betray her, like Mai and Ty Lee. When the sisters tell her perhaps it would be best to postpone the coronation, Azula gets even more paranoid and orders them to duel each other in an Agni Kai. They lament that neither of them are firebenders, so Azula banishes Lo while pointing at Li, and tells Li that she can stay, confusing the twins as to who is really banished.
In Ba Sing Se, the Order of the White Lotus prepares for battle outside the city's walls. Iroh, feeling the power of the comet, releases a powerful blast of fire that breaks through the wall. Soon the rest join in and invade the city, beginning to take down the comet-enhanced Fire Nation soldiers.
At the palace, Azula is looking in a mirror to try to do her hair by herself, but the result is very messy. Agitated, she haphazardly cuts her bangs that refuse to do as she desires. As Azula looks into the mirror, she sees her mother Ursa reflected behind her, telling her she would not miss her own daughter's coronation as Fire Lord. Ursa says Azula's use of fear to control people has left her confused, but Azula replies that she had no other choice and could not trust anyone. Taking pride in her power of fear, Azula points out that even Ursa feared her. Ursa denies this and says she really loves her. Enraged, Azula throws her brush into her mother's reflection and discovers Ursa was never really there at all, and she begins to sob to herself.
The ship Sokka and the others took control of cannot catch up to Ozai's flagship, and they are afraid they are too late. Ozai uses the comet's power to begin to scorch the Earth Kingdom below with an amazing display of firebending. Momo and Aang watch in the distance as Ozai's torrent of fire rains down upon the land. Aang has Momo leave him, and using earthbending and firebending, he destroys the flagship's engine and catches Ozai's attention. Ozai and Aang stare each other down for a moment, after which Ozai removes his Phoenix King garments and propels himself toward Aang to fight. The flagship lands on the earth pillars below, causing Sokka and the others to wonder what happened, and see to their happiness that Aang has returned.
Ozai boasts that after years of searching for him, the Avatar has at last been offered up to him by the universe as an act of providence. Aang says their fight is not necessary, and that Ozai has the power to stop destroying the Earth Kingdom. Ozai declares he has all the power in the world and threateningly unleashes a fury of comet-enhanced firebending, beginning the battle. Ozai and Aang's firebending attacks collide, creating a massive explosion in midair.
Watching the fight, Sokka cheers Aang on. Suki wonders if they should help him, but Sokka believes they should not interfere, instead concentrate on stopping the other ships from destroying the Earth Kingdom. As the fleet begins to rain fire down upon the land, Sokka crashes their stolen airship into the others, but it falls short of crashing into all of them. Sokka and Toph are separated from Suki as their ship begins to break apart, and they are forced to continue without her.
Back at the palace, Azula's coronation begins, but is interrupted by the arrival of Zuko and Katara on Appa. Azula suggests they settle ownership of the crown in an Agni Kai. Katara warns Zuko that Azula is trying to take them down separately, but Zuko already knows this and senses there is something "off" about her, so he believes he can take her by himself. Zuko and Azula begin their fight with intense firebending powered by the comet.
Aang and Ozai are evenly matched. Though Aang is able to counter Ozai's fierce firebending, he is unable to land any successful hits himself, even with all four elements at his disposal. Eventually, Ozai proves too powerful and quick, and tired of seeing the Avatar evade all his attacks, resorts to a relentless barrage of lightning generation. Aang dodges the lightning until he can dodge no more, and catches the last one to Ozai's surprise, preparing to redirect it right back at him. However, reluctant to kill Ozai, Aang instead redirects it into the sky. Ozai takes advantage of the Avatar's mercy and sends a blast at Aang while he recovers. Though Aang manages to stop most of the attack with earthbending, he is blasted off the top of the rock and falls helplessly toward a shallow lake below. Using waterbending, he barely manages to save himself from a fatal fall. Aang looks up and sees Ozai swiftly approaching, eager to resume the fight.
Zuko continues his duel with Azula as Katara watches from the sidelines. Both of their attacks are fierce and unrestrained, setting fire to the buildings surrounding them. Zuko counters all of his sister's attacks skillfully before beginning to take the offensive and soon grounding her with a spinning kick of fire. Zuko taunts her for not using lightning, boasting that he will redirect it back at her. Infuriated, Azula prepares a lightning attack. Instead of sending it at Zuko, however, she sees Katara on the sidelines and sends the lightning at her. Seeing this, Zuko crosses the lightning's path, shielding her from the bolt, and although he is successful enough to prevent instantly mortal injury, he is left critically wounded, leaving a large red and purple wound in his chest dangerously close to his heart, and incapable of fighting. Before Katara can reach him, Azula begins to attack her furiously, laughing maniacally.
Aang is overwhelmed and cornered by Ozai, and earthbends a shield around himself. Ozai taunts him for being weak and insults the Air Nomads, saying such a weak race did not deserve to exist in his world. He mocks Aang by telling him to prepare to die, before he attacks.
- Directed by:
- Also starring:
- Additional voices:
- Dee Bradley Baker
- Greg Baldwin
- Victor Brandt
- Grey DeLisle (banished servant)
- Main article: Transcript:Sozin's Comet, Part 3: Into the Inferno
- Main article: Transcript:Sozin's Comet, Part 3: Into the Inferno (commentary)
- Main article: Avatar Extras for Book Three: Fire
- This is the first episode in which Long Feng has been mentioned since "The Crossroads of Destiny".
- This is the second time Sokka has mentioned airbending slice. The first time was in "Avatar Day".
- This is the first time Ozai is seen bending flames, besides in Aang's visions. Before this he was either firebending in a flashback or generating lightning.
- Azula somewhat makes a connection to "The Earth King" as she tells the Dai Li that they once said they were loyal to Long Feng before they betrayed him. In the end of "The Earth King", the Dai Li said, "The military and the Council of Five remain loyal to the Earth King, but the Dai Li remains loyal to you, Long Feng, sir."
- This episode marks the apparent end of the Dai Li's allegiance to Azula, as she had them all banished out of fear that they would betray her.
- This is the second time Ozai's lightning was redirected, but instead of redirecting it to him, Aang turned it to the sky at the last moment. Also of note, neither times his lightning was redirected did the person redirecting it try to use it to kill him. When Zuko did it, he did not try to kill him, saying that the Avatar should be the one to deal with him.
- Aang becomes the third person in the series to redirect lightning. Iroh and Zuko are the first two.
- This episode and the previous episode are the only two in the series when there is no official Fire Lord present at the time.
- When the battle starts, Ozai blasts fire out of his mouth and hands, just like he does in Aang's vision in "Winter Solstice, Part 2: Avatar Roku" and "The Guru".
- Iroh warns Zuko that allowing the lightning to pass through your heart can be deadly in "Bitter Work". When Azula fires lightning at Katara and Zuko gets in the way, Zuko attempts to redirect the lightning, but it passes very close to his heart and he falls to the ground.
- The pillar on which Aang stands while waiting for Ozai resembles the pillar Roku is seen standing on in the opening sequence when he bends the four elements.
- When Sozin's Comet is seen in the opening scene, the water behind it should have been moving, but it was not.
- When Suki, Toph and Sokka get off the eel hound the water behind them is not moving.
- When Toph earthbends herself, Sokka, and Suki onto the Fire Nation airship, the airship fleet is just taking off. When they land seconds later and the camera zooms out, the base is far behind them in the background.
- In the Dutch version of this episode, when Azula orders Lo and Li to duel in an Agni Kai, they say that they are not airbenders rather than firebenders.
- The armor that Toph creates for herself should not actually protect her from the flames since metal is a good conductor of heat.
- When Jeong Jeong creates a massive fire wall, he pushes it at the second group of tanks on the left, but when he does it again to the ones on the right, the ones he firebent on the left suddenly reappear.
- When Aang is looking at Ozai's airship, the scar on his back is gone.
- From the moment Aang watches Ozai approaching him until he starts to talk to the Phoenix King, Aang is wearing boots, whereas he was barefoot in the shots prior and afterward.
- At the start of the fight between Aang and Ozai, Aang firebends a spin kick heading right, but in the next shot he is heading left.
- In the wide shot before and after Aang bends the waterfall, the column Ozai is standing on moves positions between shots.
- While Aang is fighting Ozai, right after Aang bends the waterfall, as he is taking cover behind a column of rock, his shirt is on backward for a moment.
- When Aang is trying to bend to the river as he is falling into it, his foot scar disappears.
- When Aang steps out of the lake, his clothes are dry.
- Zuko duels Azula in a formal Agni Kai but does not do so bare-chested, as per custom.
- During the battle between Zuko and Azula, the palace roof catches fire at one point from the attacks. However, in a later camera cut, this fire has suddenly vanished, and the palace is undamaged.
- The soldiers fighting Piandao remain completely static after being disarmed.
- 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.
- Joaquim Dos Santos won the "Best Directing in an Animated Television Production" caption in the 2008 Annie Awards for his directing in this episode.
- Azula's long and disheveled hair is evocative of Oiwa, a classic villainess in Japanese legend and Kabuki theater. Oiwa was a married woman whose husband killed her in order to marry a younger, wealthier woman and thus her spirit was enraged enough to cross back over to the land of the living, where she exacted a bloody revenge.
- When Ozai tells Aang that he was delivered to him by the universe as "an act of providence", he is referencing the fact that he thinks that it is the Fire Nation's divine right, or authority given by an outside all powerful force, to rule the world.
- Aang firebends in this episode far more than he does in any other; this is a result of Sozin's Comet enhancing his firebending, making it his most powerful element.
- The fire in the Fire Lord's throne room is now in Azula's trademark blue variety.
- Although Sokka tells Toph that he was addressing Suki when he asked for her to take control of the airship, he was in fact talking to Toph and his statements were a covert attempt to mask that he had forgotten that Toph was blind once again.
- Although Iroh had previously stated that complete control of emotions was required to successfully generate lightning, Azula still successfully generated lightning despite her declining mental state.
- This is the first time that non-contact metalbending is performed. Prior to this episode, Toph only demonstrated the ability to metalbend upon making direct and physical contact with a metal medium, physically molding it after channeling the minute earth impurities within.
- Toph calls Sokka, "Captain Boomerang", the same name as a DC supervillain.
- This is Bumi's last speaking role in the series.
- The music and sound design for Zuko and Azula's Agni Kai drew inspiration from Ghost in the Shell and Blade Runner, particularly in pairing the slow tempo and melancholy mood with an intense action scene and filtering down the sound of the fire effects in favor of the score.
- This episode and "Sozin's Comet, Part 4: Avatar Aang" were initially conceived as a singular episode as a conclusion for what would be a three-part series finale. The creators realized, however, that they could not fit the story they wanted into just one episode, and instead divided it into two.
- Though not formally credited in the episode, Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko provided their respective voices for the Imperial Firebender, Qin Lee, and the airship engineer making small talk on the airship.
- 2008 Annie Award Nominations by Category. Annie Awards. Archived from the original on December 2, 2008. Retrieved on March 4, 2022.
- Avatar Extras for "Sozin's Comet, Part 3: Into the Inferno" on Nicktoons Network.
- Sozin's Comet: The Final Battle, page 19.
- Whalen, Andrew (2018-07-19). On Its 10-Year Anniversary Avatar: The Last Airbender Creators Give An Oral History of the Finale. Newsweek. Retrieved on December 6, 2020.
- DiMartino, Michael Dante & Konietzko, Bryan (July 29, 2008). "Sozin's Comet, Part 1: The Phoenix King" commentary. Book 3: Fire, Volume 4 DVD.
- DiMartino, Michael Dante & Konietzko, Bryan (July 29, 2008). "Sozin's Comet, Part 3: Into the Inferno" commentary. Book 3: Fire, Volume 4 DVD.