- This article is about the episode. For other similar uses, see Boiling Rock (disambiguation).
|"Sorry, warden. Your record is officially broken."|
|— Hakoda to the warden of the Boiling Rock.|
Sokka, Zuko, Suki, and Chit Sang devise a new plan for escaping the prison, involving Hakoda in their plans. They escape by creating a prison riot and kidnapping the warden. However, problems for the four arrive when Azula, Mai, and Ty Lee visit the prison. As the plan teeters on the verge of failure, Mai helps Zuko and the others escape. Azula attacks Mai for her betrayal, but Ty Lee intervenes. Azula has them both imprisoned. The group returns to the Western Air Temple, and Hakoda is reunited with Katara.
New prisoners are arriving into the Boiling Rock and they are lined up to be introduced to the warden. Sokka, disguised as a prison guard, is glad to see his father Hakoda among the new arrivals. The warden explains the history of the Boiling Rock, mentioning that no one has ever escaped from it. Hakoda defies the warden's orders to look him in the eyes and trips him, which causes Sokka to snicker. The warden angrily orders the new arrivals to be confined to their cells. Sokka later enters his father's cell, still disguised as a guard, which causes Hakoda to almost attack him. However, when Hakoda recognizes his son, he is overjoyed.
The warden interrogates the recaptured Chit Sang and grills him to find out who was helping him with the escape plan, believing him or his friends not to be smart enough to think of such an intricate plan by themselves. Chit Sang refuses to talk as he is not "a squealer". The warden has his guards torture him by holding him upside down in his chair until he reveals the identity of the person.
Sokka and his father devise a plan for Suki, Zuko, and themselves to escape the prison. Later, Sokka makes his way to Zuko's prison cell and tries to share the plan, but is interrupted by two guards, who are there to take Zuko away. Sokka feigns brutalizing Zuko alone inside his cell so he can reveal when they should next meet. Zuko is taken into another cell where he is confronted by his ex-girlfriend, Mai. Meanwhile, the warden comes back to see whether Chit Sang will talk. Chit Sang reveals somebody did help him, although he only indicates it was someone disguised as one of the prison guards.
Mai, hurt that Zuko broke up with her, berates him for leaving only a farewell letter as he left to join the Avatar. Zuko tries to explain he had to leave in order to save the Fire Nation, though Mai counters that he is betraying it. Zuko firmly tells her he does not see it that way prompting Mai to cross her arms and look to the side.
Sokka goes to see Suki in her cell to fill her in on the plan. The plan is to escape on the prison's gondola, using the warden as a hostage so they will not cut the cables of the gondola as they escape. Sokka tries to leave the cell casually, but two guards find and tell him that the warden wants to see him. Sokka is lined up with several other prison guards, who are being inspected by Chit Sang to point out who was the one devising the escape plan. Although Sokka is visually terrified, neither the warden or most of the other guards lined up take notice. Chit Sang points to the guard that bullied him from the previous day. The warden falls for the false information, believing that it was "convenient" enough that the accused guard had put him in the same cooler that Chit Sang attempted to escape in, and has him taken away for interrogation. While the accused guard is being interrogated by the warden, they are interrupted by Princess Azula and Ty Lee. The warden is initially furious that someone is interrupting him, but after seeing it is Azula, bows down and apologizes. Azula asks him what he is doing, and he tells her that he foiled an escape attempt that the guard allegedly plotted. After simply glancing at the guard, Azula declares he is not the traitor and explains to the stunned warden that she knows due to being "a people person."
Sokka manages to trick a guard into unlocking all of the cells during what was supposed to be lockdown while new arrivals are processed, letting the prisoners out into the yard. He meets up with Suki and Hakoda outside. All they need in order to begin the escape plan is a riot. Hakoda tries pushing a big, tough-looking prisoner, but much to the group's surprise, fails as the prisoner tells them that he had been working on anger management. Chit Sang appears and surprises Sokka, saying that he did not expose him since he knew that Sokka would come up with another escape plan and he wants in again. Sokka points out that they are trying to escape right now and asks Chit Sang if he knows how to start a riot, which he does by merely picking up a bystander and telling everyone, "Hey, RIOT!", causing every inmate to start fighting spontaneously. Even the prisoner Hakoda attempted to provoke decided to stop controlling his anger. The warden appears and angrily demands to know how all the prisoners were released into the yard during lockdown, prompting the guard who let them out to sneak away guiltily.
Mai is still interrogating Zuko, but a guard under orders of her uncle appears to protect her during the riot. Zuko takes the chance, firebends at the guard's feet and rushes out of the room. The guard attempts to shield Mai from the fire, preventing her from reacting. Zuko locks her and the guard in the cell and escapes to the yard, where he meets up with the others. While Sokka and Zuko argue about how to capture the warden, Suki takes the initiative and goes after him on her own. She runs on the heads of the rioting prisoners and guards and scales the walls of the yard with an amazing display of acrobatics. She disables the guards protecting the warden, ties him up, and gags him. They all meet up, the warden now their hostage, and make their way to the gondola.
The group makes it onto the gondola, and Zuko breaks the lever so the guards cannot stop them. As they begin to ascend, Hakoda spots Azula and Ty Lee and asks Zuko who they are, to which he responds that they are a problem. Ty Lee runs on to the gondola's cable while Azula propels herself with firebending toward the gondola. Suki fights Ty Lee while Sokka and Zuko fight Azula on the top of the gondola. The warden breaks free of his binding and yells at the guards to cut the wire, which would kill everyone as they fell into the volcanic lake below. Chit Sang restrains the warden but is too late to prevent the warden's orders to be relayed to the guards at the prison, who begin to cut the wire after some initial hesitation.
Azula and Ty Lee propel themselves onto another oncoming gondola on a separate cable, with the former telling her brother goodbye, assuming that he will fall to his death in the boiling lake. However, just as the guards are about to finish cutting, the saw is dropped when they are disabled by Mai. She starts to pin the guards with her daggers, angering Azula. A guard asks her what she is doing, to which she replies, "Saving the jerk who dumped me." She frees the line, and the gondola used by the group starts moving again. They make it out of the volcano, leaving the warden behind in the gondola. Hakoda gladly tells the warden that the non-escape record is finally broken. As Suki wonders how they are going to leave, Zuko stops running as he figures that Azula must have come to the Boiling Rock somehow and spots an unmanned Fire Nation airship below the cliff. The group uses it to escape off the island.
Mai is detained by guards and brought forth to Azula. Azula asks for the guards to leave them alone. Ty Lee watches from the sidelines fearfully as Azula demands to know why Mai saved the escapees, knowing the consequences. Mai tells Azula that she does not know people as well as she thinks she does, and that Azula miscalculated, as she loves Zuko more than she fears Azula. With her patience at its limit, Azula retorts that it is Mai who miscalulated, and the two of them get in position to battle, but Ty Lee intervenes by blocking Azula's chi, much to Mai and Azula's surprise as the latter slumps onto the concrete. Ty Lee and Mai try to escape but are quickly captured. Azula, being dragged up by her guards, calls them fools and orders the guards to let them rot in prison so she will never have to see their faces again.
Back at the Western Air Temple, Sokka and Zuko exit their newly captured airship. Aang and the others remark their fishing trip must have been one crazy fishing trip. Toph asks if they at least got any meat, and Sokka answers they got "the best meat of all, the meat of friendship and fatherhood". Hakoda, Suki, and Chit Sang exit the ship and present themselves to the others. Katara is overjoyed to see her father and embraces him and Sokka as Zuko happily watches. In the background, Toph asks, "Seriously, you guys didn't find any meat?"
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- Directed by:
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- Main article: Transcript:The Boiling Rock, Part 2
- Main article: Avatar Extras for Book Three: Fire
- Zuko incorporates moves from the Dancing Dragon to block many fire blasts, including ones from Azula, showing that the Dancing Dragon is not just a novice firebending move but a very powerful form that can be used for defense and attack.
- Chit Sang makes no mention of his girlfriend and best friend during the second escape attempt, despite insisting on bringing them along before.
- The events of this episode trigger Azula's eventual fall into insanity.
- In the beginning, when the prisoners are lined up, the one with the nose ring changes positions multiple times.
- When Chit Sang starts the riot and Hakoda says, "Impressive," Sokka's sword is missing; however, when the scene zooms out, the sword reappears.
- The warden's headband has designs on the front that are larger than that actual headband, but when Suki uses the headband to gag the warden, the headband is just a piece of long cloth when if it had designs, the outline of the designs would have been bigger than the headband.
- When the guards are cutting the line, the other wheel for the second gondola is not moving, but in the next shot, the second gondola is shown moving.
- When Ty Lee jumps onto the gondola's line, she jumps on the second line, not the one on which the prisoners are, but in the next frame, she is running on the first gondola's line.
- In the escape scene, officers are seen slicing the ropes of the wheel that supported the gondola. They repeatedly slice at different ropes, when in fact, gondolas only use one rope to be sent across. Cutting just one would have been sufficient to release the gondola into the boiling water that surrounded the prison.
- When Azula propels herself to the other gondola to make her escape, four guards are seen inside the cabin. The moment she lands, however, three of them disappear.
- When Mai lets the gondola wheel roll again, there was no cut on the cable wire.
- When Azula watches Mai take out the prison guards from atop the gondola, rather illogically, she is on the right. She should have been on the left side as she was the closer of the two to the Boiling Rock when she landed on the gondola heading toward the prison.
- As Azula and Ty Lee watch Mai fight the gondola guards, a guard on the platform is shown through Ty Lee's braid in a disproportionate size.
- When Chit Sang throws the warden back into the gondola, the warden cannot be seen through the gaps on its side.
- Near the end, after Chit Sang throws the warden back into the gondola, Hakoda's hair beads are on the wrong side.
- When the group escapes out of the gondola, their bodies cannot be seen through its windows.
- In the scene where Mai betrays Azula, Mai brandishes a dagger and is seen wearing nail polish, but when she is shown again after Ty Lee blocks Azula's chi, she is not wearing any.
- Right before Zuko tells the gondola guards that they have the Warden captured, Sokka is seen in the background in the distant in his blue Water Tribe clothing.
- 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.
- This is the first and only episode where only one type of bending is featured, namely firebending. The other bending arts appear only in the opening sequence.
- Zuko and Mai's exchange about Mai needing protection was a nod to their past relationship.
- Normally, when Azula bends blue fire, it cools off to orange fire after a few seconds. However, when she was firebending on the gondola, the fire retained its blue color, even when it burned out.
- The "Previously on Avatar" section for this episode is the longest of all episodes in seasons two and three.
- This is the last episode in which Azula, Mai, and Ty Lee are seen together.
- This is one of the only episodes in which Ty Lee is shown fighting, but is unsuccessful at chi blocking her opponents due to the latter evading her attacks.
- This is the only episode with no credit for Dee Bradley Baker.
- F. C. Yee had intended to include a scene in The Shadow of Kyoshi that linked Kyoshi's dust-stepping technique to Suki's head-running technique she utilizes in this episode, showing that the skill is an evolution of dust-stepping. However, the scene ended up getting cut.
- To commemorate the free 1-month subscription of Paramount+, which included the streaming of Avatar: The Last Airbender episodes, "The Boiling Rock, Part 1" and "The Boiling Rock, Part 2" were live-streamed in the official Avatar: The Last Airbender YouTube channel, on March 4, 2021, and ran for three days.
- Panel: Inside the World of Avatar, The Last Airbender. Miami Book Fair Online (November 17, 2020). Retrieved on December 10, 2020.