Recap / Avatar: The Last Airbender "The Serpent's Pass"

"I thought I was trying to be strong, but really I was just running away from my feelings."

Still reeling from the loss of Appa (although Aang ''insists'' he's fine), the gang realizes that they will need to take a ferry to get to Ba Sing Se instead of just flying. However, a young couple, one of whom is pregnant, has their passports stolen, so is not allowed on the ferry. Our heroes promise to help them across the treacherous "Serpent's Pass"; they're also joined by Suki, who's been helping with the war effort. Zuko and Iroh, who do take the ferry, meet another familiar face in the form of Jet; together they help 'liberate' some food.


  • Aerith and Bob: Hope is the only character in the show with a non-Asian name.
    • Creator commentary says they originally had Aang give her a Chinese name, but decided against it to avoid confusion over the name's meaning.
  • Almost Kiss: Sokka and Suki halfway through the episode, as Sokka is still not completely over the loss of Yue.
  • Bait-and-Switch:
    Jet: (to Zuko) As soon as I saw your scar, I knew exactly who you were. (Zuko tenses up) You're an outcast — like me.
  • Blatant Lies: Aang is clearly suffering emotional withdrawal from the loss of Appa, but he insists that everything's just hunky-dory.
  • The Bus Came Back: For Suki, Jet, Longshot, and Smellerbee.
  • Call-Back:
  • Cliffhanger: The episode ends as a giant drill makes its way towards the great walls of Ba Sing Se.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Smellerbee trying to come to grips about people being confused about her gender.
  • Evil Is Petty: A Fire Nation ship patrolling the Serpent's Pass takes a pot shot at a small group of people walking along it. The bastards.
  • Fiction 500: The first case of Toph's name getting them something.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus/Properly Paranoid: The Obstructive Bureaucrat has the Cabbage Merchant's cart of cabbages violently destroyed because they might carry a parasite that could spread through the whole city. As the DVD Commentary points out, freezing when the pieces of cabbage are flying around shows he really did have a cabbage slug.
  • Heroic Safe Mode: Aang spends the episode thinking he needs to stay in this.
  • Lady Looks Like a Dude: Smellerbee is offended at Iroh's implication she's a boy.
  • Last-Minute Baby Naming: Ying and Than don't name their baby until she is born and Aang gives them the idea to name her "Hope".
  • Oblivious to His Own Description: This little nugget:
    Suki: I lost someone I care about. He didn't die. He just went away. I only had a few days to get to know him, but he was smart, and brave and funny.
    Sokka: Who is this guy? Is he taller than me?
    Suki: No. He's about your height.
    Sokka: Is he better looking?
    Suki: It is you, stupid!
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Once again, Toph doesn't like being separated from dry land. In this instance, being knocked into the ocean causes her to shriek in terror.
  • Recurring Extra: The poor Cabbage Merchant...
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: Toph Bei Fong would like 4 tickets for her, her 3 "valets" without passports, and her "seeing-eye lemur," please. Why, thank you very much for your cooperation!
  • Second Love: Suki becomes this for Sokka.
  • Ship Tease: Aang tells Katara that the newborn baby reminded him about his deep affection for Appa...and for her.
  • Shout-Out: The gate to the Serpent's Pass tells people to "abandon hope".
  • "Shut Up" Kiss: Sokka gives one to Suki right before she leaves them after they get through the pass.
    Sokka: You talk too much.
  • Smooch of Victory: Played for Laughs when Toph kisses Suki (believing she's Sokka) after she saves her from drowning.
    Toph: Oh, Sokka! You saved me! (kisses)
    Suki: Actually, it's me.
    Toph: Oh. ... you can let me drown now.
  • Spoiler Title: It's pretty obvious that the Gaang won't take the ferry.
  • Tempting Fate: A minor example, but still. At the start of the episode, Sokka exclaims "Then to Ba Sing Se we go, no more distractions". Cue a young couple coming in and greeting the Gaang.
  • Two Lines, No Waiting: The Gaang's route on the Serpent's Pass is contrasted with Zuko helping Jet and his Freedom Fighters steal from the Captain's larder to distribute better food to the rest of the refugees.
  • Your Costume Needs Work: Aang tries to get the Gaang free passage on the ferry to Ba Sing Se using his status as the Avatar, only to be told that his costume isn't any more convincing than the others that the ticket lady has seen.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle: Here comes the Avatar, everybody, on his way to find and save Appa. What could possibly get in the way of his journey? Wait, what's that next to the wall of Ba Sing Se?