Recap: Avatar: The Last Airbender "The Southern Air Temple"

"Monk Gyatso and the other airbenders may be gone, but you still have a family. Sokka and I, we're your family now."

Aang decides to visit his old home, 'The Southern Air Temple' to see how things have changed in one-hundred years. Sokka and Katara, however, are incredibly apprehensive, knowing that the Fire Nation completely wiped out the Air Nomads in the first year of the war; afraid of hurting Aang, Katara actively tries to hide this information from him. Meanwhile, Zuko and Iroh dock at a Fire Nation harbor to repair their boat, and the damages draws the interest of Commander Zhao, who's curious about what the banished prince seems to be doing, exactly.


  • Backstab Backfire: Zhao to Zuko after the Agni Kai.
  • Big Shadow, Little Creature: Momo's first appearance.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Aang names the lemur Momo after it steals a peach. If you don't speak Japanese, it's a weird non sequitur, but actually "momo" is Japanese for "peach."
  • Break the Cutie: As if finding his home completely abandoned, Aang finds out his mentor died fighting the Fire Nation.
  • Conspicuous CGI: The airball goal posts, and the seal to the Air Sanctuary.
  • Cool Old Guy: Monk Gyatso.
  • Failed a Spot Check: Sokka fails to notice the dead Fire Nation soldiers, and Gyatso's body, until he's right on top of them.
  • Foreshadowing: The explanation for how Zuko got his scar is hinted at, with Iroh telling him it was the result of an Agni Kai.
  • Genocide Backfire: So, not only did the Fire Nation extermination of the Air Nomads manage to miss the one person they wanted to kill, its also made him severely pissed. Give them credit though; one-hundred years is longer than this trope usually takes to come into effect.
  • Heroic BSOD: Aang's reaction after discovering not only has his entire people been wiped out, but Monk Gyatso in particular. Of course, being the Avatar, his BSOD creates a monstrous wind storm that threatens to throw his friends off the mountain.
  • Hot-Blooded: Zuko tries to attack Zhao in his tent when Zhao takes charge of the hunt for the Avatar. He's also the one who declares an Agni Kai.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Zhao is a grade-A asshole, but he isn't wrong about the Fire Lord not particularly wanting Zuko back.
  • Mentor: Monk Gyatso's role (too bad he succumbed to the Mentor Occupational Hazard). The statues also hint that this is the role of the past Avatars.
  • Missing Mom: Katara mentions her mother's death at the hands of the Fire Nation.
  • Pie in the Face: Throwing pies at meditating monks was one of Monk Gyatso's training methods for improving young Aang's airbending aim.
  • Repeat Cut: Three takes of Zuko getting knocked back by Zhao, and three more of Zuko turning the tables. Note that this is the closest the series ever approaches to using Stock Footage.
  • Shirtless Scene: Zuko and Zhao for the Agni Kai, which helped launch the show's Estrogen Brigade Periphery Demographic.
  • Suddenly Always Knew That: Aang recognises Roku's statue on seeing it, despite there being no writing to identify him. He even admits he doesn't know why.
  • Sword over Head: Zuko to Zhao after winning the Agni Kai.
  • Team Pet: In addition to Appa, this episode sees the addition of flying-lemur Momo to the gang.
  • The Day the Music Lied: As Momo appears in the Air Sanctuary, the Fire Nation leitmotif plays.
  • Title Drop:
    • Aang: "I really am the last airbender."
  • True Companions: Katara pulls Aang out of the avatar state by telling him that they're his family now.
  • Two Lines, No Waiting: The first of these episodes. The A story is the Gaang reaching the Southern Air Temple, while the B story is Zuko's rivalry with Zhao. There's no interaction.