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The episode opens to a cloudy sky, looking toward the ground. The point of view switches to one above the clouds as they pass by. A messenger hawk floats into view, emitting a cry. When Appa overshadows the bear and roars, it shrieks again and stoops down, swiveling out of view. The camera shifts to a side-view of Appa soaring along with Aang, Katara and Sokka in his saddle.
Katara [Voice-over; somewhat dreamily.] Those clouds look so soft, [Cut to Aang sitting lazily atop Appa's head, a twig in his mouth; the view pans to the left, showing Sokka carving something with an uninterested look on his face, Katara lying on her stomach, popped up on her elbows, staring dreamingly over the rim of Appa's saddle, and Momo sleeping on the luggage.] don't they? Like you could just jump down and you'd land in a big, soft, cottony heap?
Sokka [Turns to Katara; mockingly with a smile.] Maybe you should give it a try.
Katara [Looks at Sokka with annoyance; sarcastically as she looks away from him.] You're hilarious.
Aang [Frontal shot; excitedly.] I'll try it! [Carrying his staff, he jumps off Appa with a big smile on his face. As he begins to fall, he turns once around his axis, winking at the camera as he passes. He falls down spreadeagled, laughing joyously.] Yeah!
Cut to a side-view of Appa's saddle as Katara and Sokka pop their heads over the rim, looking down in the direction Aang went. Cut to an upward looking shot following Aang falling down, still smiling broadly. As he passes the camera, it tilts down, following him as he vanishes in a cloud. Cut back to the siblings; Katara looks somewhat worried, while Sokka gazes wide-eyed at the point where Aang vanished. When he leans over to search the sky, Aang comes back up from behind them on his glider. The siblings turn around as they hear the snapping noise of Aang's glider being closed, and they watch how the airbender plops down on the saddle, his legs spread apart and a big smile on his face. Cut to a side-view of an unimpressed looking Sokka, before switching back to a frontal shot of Aang who is dripping wet.
Aang [Looking at himself.] Turns out, clouds are made of water.
He breaths in deeply and slams his balled, right fist against his stretched left hand, creating an expanding air ball around him in the process, drying himself off. As Aang leans back to rest on both his hands, he contently looks at Momo, whose fur got all fluffed by Aang's airbending. Cut to a side-view of Sokka, who is still looking at Aang unimpressed. Katara glances at her brother, but her attention is drawn to something over his shoulder.
Katara Hey, what is that?
Sokka looks over his right shoulder in the direction Katara is looking as well. Katara gets up and walks to the front of Appa's saddle. Cut to a shot of the landscape in front of them, a large, dark patch of burned land standing out among the lush green of the forest. Cut to a frontal view of the trio now all looking over the front rim of Appa's saddle, surprised looks on their faces.
Sokka [Camera zooms in.] It's like a scar ...
The scene fades to a ground view of the scorched forest. The camera pans to the right, showing many burned trees, and Team Avatar standing in the middle of a gray, barren patch.
Sokka [Voice-over.] Listen. [Cut to a frontal shot of a sad-looking Aang, his friends behind him.] It's so quiet. There's no life anywhere.
Katara Aang? Are you okay?
Sokka [Noticing footprints; angrily.] Fire Nation! Those evil savages make me sick! They have no respect for -
Katara Shhh!
Sokka [Whispering angrily.] What? I'm not allowed to be angry?
Katara points to Aang with a somewhat concerned look on her face as he slumps over, downcast at the sight.
Aang [Kneels down and sighs. He picks up some ash as it slowly seeps through his hand and drops to the ground; sadly.] Why would anyone do this? How could I let this happen?
Katara Aang, you didn't let this happen. It has nothing to do with you.
Aang [Sadly.] Yes, it does. It's the Avatar's job to protect nature. But I don't know how to do my job.
Katara That's why we're going to the North Pole. [Smiling softly.] To find you a teacher.
Aang Yeah. A waterbending teacher. But there's no one who can teach me how to be the Avatar. Monk Gyatso said that Avatar Roku would help me.
Sokka The Avatar before you? He died over a hundred years ago; how are you supposed to talk to him?
Aang I don't know. [Momo comes up to Aang and settles in his lap.]
In another area, Zuko comes looking for Iroh.
Zuko Uncle! It's time to leave! Where are you? Uncle Iroh!
Iroh [Relaxing in a hot spring.] Over here!
Zuko Uncle? We need to move on. We're closing in on the Avatar's trail and I don't want to lose him.
Iroh You look tired, Prince Zuko. Why don't you join me in these hot springs and soak away your troubles?
Zuko My troubles cannot be soaked away. It's time to go!
Iroh You should take your teacher's advice and relax a little. The temperature's just right. I heated it myself. [He breathes steam through his nose.]
Zuko Enough! [Swatting the steam away from him.] We need to leave now. Get out of the water!
Iroh Very well! [He gets up, exposing himself.]
Zuko [Shielding his eyes.] On second thought, why don't you take another few minutes? But be back at the ship in a half-hour or I'm leaving without you!
Iroh sighs as he slumps back into the water.

The scene returns to the forest.

Katara [Approaches Aang.] Hey, Aang! You ready to be cheered up?
Aang [Sadly.] No. [An acorn is thrown at him.] Ow! Hey, how is that cheering me up?
Sokka [Chuckles.] Cheered me up. [An acorn gets thrown at him.] Ow. Yeah, I probably deserved that.
Katara These acorns are everywhere, Aang. That means the forest will grow back! Every one of these will be a tall oak tree someday, and all the birds and animals that lived here will come back. [She places the acorn in his hand and closes it.]
Aang Thanks, Katara.
Katara smiles at him before gasping at the sight of an old man approaching.
Sokka Hey, who are you?
Kay-fon When I saw the flying bison, I thought it was impossible! [Approaches Aang.] But, those markings ... are you the Avatar, child? [Aang look to Katara, who nods. He nods himself.] My village desperately needs your help!
The scene cuts to them at Senlin Village at sunset. The village has been partially destroyed. The wanderer leads them into the center building.
Kay-fon This young person is the Avatar!
Senlin Village leader So, the rumors of your return are true! It is the greatest honor of a lifetime to be in your presence.
Aang Nice to meet you too! So ... is there something I can help you with?
Senlin Village leader I'm not sure ...
Kay-fon Our village is in crisis, he's our only hope! [To Aang.] For the last few days at sunset, a spirit monster comes and attacks our village. He is Hei Bai, the black and white spirit.
Sokka Why is it attacking you?
Senlin Village leader We do not know, but each of the last three nights, he has abducted one of our own. We are especially fearful because the winter solstice draws near.
Katara What happens then?
Kay-fon As the solstice approaches, the natural world and the Spirit World grow closer and closer until the line between them is blurred completely.
Senlin Village leader Hei Bai is already causing devastation and destruction. Once the solstice is here, there's no telling what will happen.
Aang So, what do you want me to do, exactly?
Kay-fon Who better to resolve a crisis between our world and the Spirit World than the Avatar himself? You are the great bridge between man and spirits.
Aang Right ... that's me.
Katara Hey great bridge guy, could I talk to you over here for a second? [She leads him toward a window.] Aang, you seem a little unsure about all of this.
Aang Yeah, that might be because I don't know anything at all about the Spirit World. It's not like there's someone to teach me this stuff!
Katara So ... can you help these people?
Aang I have to try, don't I? Maybe whatever I have to do will just ... come to me. [Momo lands on his shoulder.]
Katara [With a kind and reassuring smile.] I think you can do it, Aang.
Sokka [With a similar expression.] Yeah. [Brief pause.] We're all going to get eaten by a spirit monster.
Cut back to the hot spring. A sleeping Iroh is awoken by nearby stirring in the trees.
Iroh Who's there? [He sees a rat-like animal.] A meadow vole! I should have known. [He takes the creature into the palm of his hand.] You startled me, little one. [Sighs.] It seems I dozed off and missed my nephew's deadline, but it was a very sweet nap.
The meadow vole leaps up and down. This is followed by shaking and the ground moving toward Iroh. Suddenly, the rock at the bottom of the spring jumps up, capturing him. Three Earth Kingdom soldiers surround him.
Soldier [Picks up Iroh's clothes.] He's a Fire Nation soldier.
Earthbender captain He's no ordinary soldier. This is the Fire Lord's brother, the Dragon of the West. The once-great General Iroh, but now, he's our prisoner.
Iroh gives the captain a stern look.

Cut back to Senlin, near sunset. Aang steps outside the center building and awaits the Hei Bai.

Aang [Walking toward the village entrance.] Hello, Spirit? Can you hear me? This is the Avatar speaking. I'm here to try to help stuff.
Cut to the building interior. Sokka and Katara watch.
Sokka This isn't right. We can't sit here and cower while Aang waits for some monster to show up.
Kay-fon If anyone can save us, he can.
Sokka He still shouldn't have to face this alone.
The sun sets and night falls. Cut back to Aang.
Aang The sun has set. Where are you, Hei Bai? Well ... spirit ... uhhh ... I hereby ask you to please leave this village in peace. [He spins his staff and sticks it down, in apparent authority.] Okay ... well ... I guess that's settled, then.
He walks away. Behind him, however, the Hei Bai fades into the real world. He walks right behind Aang, who turns to see him.
Aang You must be the Hei Bai spirit. My name is–
The spirit releases a burst of energy at him. It moves past him.
Aang My name's Aang! I'm the Avatar and I would like to help. Hey, wait up! [Hei Bai wreaks havoc, smashing buildings and destroying a tower with energy.] Uhhh ...
Senlin Village leader The Avatar's methods are ... unusual.
Sokka It doesn't seem too interested in what he's saying. Maybe we should go help him.
Kay-fon No. Only the Avatar stands a chance against the Hei Bai.
Katara Aang will figure out the right thing to do, Sokka. [Closes her eyes in satisfaction.]
Hei Bai smashes another building.
Aang Please, would you stop destroying things and listen? I'm trying to do my job as spirit bridge! Excuse me, would you please turn around? [Shouts.] I command you to turn around now!
The spirit hits Aang and sends him flying to the roof of another building, and Aang grunts.
Sokka That's it. He needs help. [Exits the building.]
Katara Sokka, wait! [Starts to follow him.]
Senlin Village leader [Stops her.] It's not safe!
Sokka Hei Bai, over here! [He throws his boomerang at him, but it barely affects the monster. He runs toward it.]
Aang Sokka, go back!
Sokka We'll fight him together, Aang.
Aang I don't want to fight him unless I– [Sokka is taken by the Hei Bai, and the spirit flees. Aang chases it.]
Katara [Running to the village entrance.] Sokka! [The villagers go the entrance as well. Katara is left standing fearful.]
Back near the hot spring. Two soldiers and Zuko look for Iroh.
Zuko Uncle! Uncle, where are you?
Fire Nation Soldier Sir, maybe he thought you left without him.
Zuko Something's not right here. That pile of rocks.
Fire Nation Soldier It looks like there's been a landslide, sir.
Zuko Land doesn't slide uphill. Those rocks didn't move naturally. [Stands up straight.] My uncle's been captured by earthbenders!
Back to the forest. Aang continues to pursue the Hei Bai, looking for Sokka.
Sokka Aang! Over here! Help!
Aang Hang on, Sokka!
Aang pulls out his hand, trying to free Sokka. Sokka grunts, trying to reach him. However, before he can grab him, the spirit fades away, taking Sokka with it. Aang shouts and falls in front of a bear-like statue, knocked out.

A couple of hours later, Aang awakens.

Aang Sokka! [He realizes Sokka is nowhere to be seen.] I failed.
The next scene cuts back to the soldiers who captured Iroh. They are riding ostrich horses. One soldier carries a torch with him for light.
Iroh Where are you taking me?
Earthbender captain We're taking you to face justice.
Iroh Right, but where, specifically?
Earthbender captain A place you're quite familiar with, actually. You once laid siege to it for 600 days, but it would not yield to you.
Iroh Ah, the great city of Ba Sing Se.
Earthbender captain It was greater than you were, apparently.
Iroh I acknowledge my defeat at Ba Sing Se. After 600 days away from home, my men were tired, and I was tired. [Yawns.] And I'm still tired.
He falls off one of the horses. He is quickly picked back up. However, he leaves one of his sandals behind and smiles cunningly.

Cut back to Senlin Village. Katara awaits at the village entrance for Sokka and Aang. The Kay-fon approaches her.

Kay-fon I'm sure they'll be back.
Katara I know.
Kay-fon [Places a blanket around her.] You should get some rest.
Katara Everything's going to be okay ... [She turns her blanket.]
Kay-fon Your brother is in good hands. I would be shocked if the Avatar returned without him. [As he is speaking, Aang approaches.]
Aang Katara? Katara, I lost him.
The sun rises.
Kay-fon The sun is rising. Perhaps he will return soon.
Aang [His appearance is blue.] What? No, I'm right here! [He waves his hand in the Wanderer's face, only to notice his own appearance.] I'm in the Spirit World!
Cut back to the forest. Zuko comes up on Iroh's sandal.
Zuko [Sniffs and gets a disgusted look.] Yeah, that's Uncle Iroh. [He re-mounts his rhino.]
Back at the Village.
Aang I'll figure this out, Katara. I promise. Like they said, I'm the bridge between the worlds, right? All I have to do is ... figure out what I have to do. But once I do that, no problem. [Appa approaches.] Appa! Hey buddy, I'm right here! [He breathes on Katara.] But, I guess you can't see me either.
Katara It's okay, Appa, don't worry. I'm sure they're on their way back. I bet they even found you a bunch of moon peaches for a treat. [The two return the village.]
Aang What am I supposed to do? Avatar Roku, how can I talk to you? [He turns his head in disappointment, when he hears something.] Sokka? [He notices a dragon coming toward him.] That's definitely not Sokka. [He tries to fly away but cannot. He notices his airbending is not working at all.] What? I can't airbend in the Spirit World. [The dragon lands just before him.] You don't know where Sokka is, do you? [The dragon touches him. He sees a vision of Roku flying on this dragon.] You're Avatar Roku's animal guide! Like Appa is to me! I need to save my friend and I don't know how! Is there some way for me to talk to Roku? [The dragon curls around him, and he gets on him.] I'll be back, Katara. [It gets up.] Take me to Roku! [The dragon flies away.]
Cut to a mountain where the earthbenders are leading Iroh through. Iroh looks at the skies and notices the dragon and Aang. He gasps in wonder.
Earthbender captain What's the problem?
Iroh Nothing. [Pauses.] Actually, there is a bit of a problem. My old joints are sore and aching, and these shackles are too loose.
Earthbender captain Too loose?
Iroh That's right. The cuffs move and jangle around and bump my wrists. It would help me if you tighten them so they wouldn't shake around so much.
Earthbender captain Very well. Corporal, tighten the prisoner's handcuffs.
They all stop. The corporal dismounts and moves to Iroh. As he touches his handcuffs, Iroh breathes deeply and heats them up. He pushes the corporal's hand to the cuffs, causing him to scream in pain. Iroh jumps free and blasts fire at the soldiers. He rolls down the hill as the soldiers try to get control of their ostrich horses.

Cut back to Aang and Fang. Fang takes him to a temple on an unknown island. He flies into the temple and toward the roof.

Aang Hey, what are you doing? [He screams, but they fly right through the roof and into a mysterious room. Within is a celestial calendar and a statue of Roku.] I don't understand, this is just a statue of Roku. [Fang presses one of his feelers to Aang's forehead. A vision of a comet appears to him.] Is that what Roku wants to talk to me about? A comet? When can I talk to him? [Fang moves his head, allowing a light beam to appear. This is just to the right of Roku's statue. With another feeler press, he sees a vision of the sun setting and rising repeatedly, and the light closing in on Roku.] It's a calendar, and the light will reach Roku on the solstice! So, that's when I'll be able to speak to Roku? [The dragon breathes an apparent yes.] But I can't wait that long! I need to save Sokka now! [The dragon takes Aang from the temple.]
Cut back to Iroh rolling down the hill. One of the soldiers hits him with a rockslide. All of the soldiers chase after him, reaching him at the bottom of the hill.
Soldier He's too dangerous, Captain! We just can't just carry him to the Capital! We have to do something now!
Earthbender captain I agree. He must be dealt with immediately and severely.
Iroh spits a rock out.

Meanwhile, Katara is flying on Appa over the forest.

Katara It's no use, Appa. I don't seem them anywhere. Our best hope is to go back to the village and wait. [She re-directs Appa to the village's direction.]
While following the ostrich horse footprints, Zuko notices Appa.
Zuko The Avatar!
He turns slightly, but looks back at the footprints, debating whether he should save his uncle or follow Appa.

Cut to Fang, who takes Aang back to the statue at high speed. Aang notices his body is there and also prepares for impact.

Aang Whoa!
He tries to shield himself, bracing the collision. Suddenly, Fang disappears into the statue and Aang is returned to his body. He looks scours the area and jumps down from the statue. There he stares at the statue he was returned to, before opening his glider and flying back to the village.

Cut to the village, sunset. Katara stands outside the center building and notices Aang's return. Aang lands and Katara runs to him.

Katara You're back! [She embraces Aang.] Where's Sokka?
Aang I'm not sure ...
The evening gives way to night.

Back to Iroh, who is surrounded by the soldiers.

Earthbender captain These dangerous hands must be crushed. [He brings up a boulder and prepares to drop it. However, Zuko jumps in and kicks the rock away before breaking Iroh's chain with his boot.]
Iroh Excellent form, Prince Zuko.
Zuko You taught me well.
Earthbender captain Surrender yourselves. It's five against two. You're clearly outnumbered.
Iroh Yeah, that's true, but you are clearly outmatched.
The solders fire rocks, but Iroh destroys them with the chains. Zuko takes out two soldiers with fire. A rock is fired at him, but Iroh catches it and throws it back at the soldiers, knocking them down. The captain fires three rocks at Zuko, which he dodges. Zuko counters with fire blasts that are dodged. The captain brings up a large mass of rock, however, Iroh throws his chains around his ankles, knocking him and causing the rocks to fall on top of him. The soldiers are heard groaning underneath the rocks.
Zuko Now would you please put on some clothes?
Cut back to Senlin. Aang awaits at the entrance for the Hei Bai. After some time, he gives up and returns to the center building. Just as he exits, however, the spirit appears to his left. He throws up an air shield to stop its attack.
Katara Aang, what are you doing?! Run!
The spirit prepares to resume its attack when Aang jumps in front of it. He feels its forehead and notices that a panda lurks below it.
Aang You're the spirit of this forest! Now I understand. You're upset and angry because your home was burned down. When I saw the forest had burned, I was sad and upset, but my friend gave me hope that the forest would grow back. [He shows it the acorn and leaves it at his feet. The spirit picks it up and reverts to the panda form. It walks away peacefully. As it exits, a series of branches grow, and three villagers and Sokka emerge from it.]
Katara Sokka! [She runs to him and embraces him, while other villagers embrace their loved ones.]
Sokka What happened?
Katara You were trapped in the Spirit World for 24 hours! How are you feeling?
Sokka Like I seriously need to use the bathroom. [Sokka waddles away, displaying a nauseated look. She gives him an unsure gaze.]
Senlin Village leader Thank you, Avatar. If only there were a way to repay you for what you've done.
Sokka You could give us some supplies, and some money.
Katara Sokka!
Sokka What? We need stuff.
Senlin Village leader It would be an honor to help you prepare for your journey.
Katara I'm so proud of you, Aang. You figured out what to do, all on your own.
Aang Actually, I did have a little help and there's something else.
Sokka What is it?
Aang I need to talk to Roku and I think I found a way to contact his spirit.
Katara That's great!
Sokka Creepy, but great.
Aang There's a temple on a crescent-shaped island and if I go there on the solstice, I'll be able to speak with him.
Katara But the solstice is tomorrow!
Aang Yeah, and there's one more problem. The island is in the Fire Nation.
The siblings grow fearful. The shot slowly moves up to the moon over the hills.
Fade to credits.





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