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Recap / Avatar: The Last Airbender "Bato of the Water Tribe"

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Katara and Sokka are reunited with their old family friend.

"Being a man is knowing where you're needed the most, and for you right now that's here protecting your sister."

While our heroes continue on their journey, they happen by an old friend of Katara and Sokka's; Bato, a Southern Water Tribe Warrior, who has been separated from the rest of the fighters. However, he should be receiving word of Chief Hakoda, the water-tribe siblings' father, any day now, and Bato promises to take them with him. However, as the reunion continues, Aang finds himself feeling ignored and forgotten, fearing that he's losing his new found family. Meanwhile, Zuko recruits a bounty-hunter named June whose Shirshu can track by smell, and using Katara's necklace he begins to narrow in on his prey.



  • Actually Pretty Funny: Iroh's reaction to June calling him fat and lazy.
  • An Aesop: Being where you're needed is more important than where you want to go.
  • Bits of Me Keep Passing Out: Just when Sokka is regaining movement after the shirshu stings him, some debris from a building damaged in the fight falls on him.
  • Big "NO!": With echo effect. Iroh screams it when the shirshu accidentally paralyzes its master June.
  • Blatant Lies: June saying she's short on cash, while gathering in winnings, immediately followed by shouting "drinks on me!"
  • Bounty Hunter: June.
  • Call-Back: June, Zuko, and Iroh meet the Herbalist and the Fortuneteller while traveling on Nyla.
  • The Cameo: The man June armwrestles looks like Ryu from Street Fighter.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • Katara's necklace that Zuko recovered back in episode 6.
    • Also, the perfume at the abbey.
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  • Chivalrous Pervert‎/Dirty Old Man: Iroh, who pretends to have been paralyzed to have a pretty young woman keep lying on him a little longer.
  • Editorial Synaesthesia: Shots from the point of view of the scent-oriented shirshu overlay scent trails, colour coded per person, over a grey and blurred-around-the-edges image of what a human would see.
  • Flashback: Sokka recalls when he was a child and wanted to leave with Hakoda and the other warriors. Hakoda told him he had to stay to watch over the rest of the family.
  • Foreshadowing: June immediately recognizes Katara's necklace as a Water Tribe betrothal gift, something Katara doesn't realize or understand... yet...
  • Heroic Resolve: Appa, willing himself to get up after being paralyzed. Ultimately it took several doses of the shirshu's poison before he finally proved unable to move period, whereas everyone else dropped after the first.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Discussed In-Universe almost by name when Bato tells Katara and Sokka about his adventures with their dad.
    Sokka: You and dad had so many hilarious adventures.
    Bato: Not all of which were hilarious at the time, but everything's funny in hindsight.
  • Impairment Shot: After being doused in perfume, the shirshu's "vision" turns into nothing but ribbons of colors.
  • Kavorka Man: Iroh, who flirts with two different women in one episode!
  • Liar Revealed: Aang is given a map that could lead his two only friends to their father, who has been off to war since they were kids. As a dedicated monk, Aang can barely handle keeping up the lie, and eventually just admits it after Bato compliments him on his character. Aang's friends are outraged and decide to go find their father even though they previously planned on sticking with Aang no matter what. Aang wins them back by the end of the episode after they all fight for their lives together against a trio of villains who want Aang dead. It also helps that Aang managed to steal back one of their family heirlooms from one of the villains.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Sokka doesn't say it out loud, but after recalling when he had been left behind at home as a little kid, he feels bad for leaving Aang behind as well.
  • Noodle Incident: Several of Bato and Sokka and Katara's father's adventures are mentioned but not elaborated on. Also, apparently Miyuki, the herbalist's cat from "The Blue Spirit," once got in trouble with the Fire Nation...
  • Not-So-Innocent Whistle: Aang, after removing the footprints of the messenger's ride on the shore.
  • Oblivious Guilt Slinging: Aang learns of the location of Sokka and Katara's father, and keeps it secret. This plagues him through most of the episode as he is praised for being honest and true. Their reaction...they did not take it well.
  • One-Sided Arm-Wrestling: When Zuko and Iroh find June, she's in a pub arm-wrestling a much bigger, burly man. Guess who wins.
  • The Paralyzer: The shirshu.
  • Rite of Passage: Bato gives the three kids a challenge to sail a ship through a field of rocks without his help, as a warm-climate variation on the Water Tribe's traditional "ice-dodging."
  • Rooftop Confrontation: Aang is confronted by Zuko on a rooftop.
  • Ship Tease: Katara kisses Aang on the cheek for the first time for getting her necklace back.
    • And for Zutara fans, June's first reaction seeing Zuko with Katara's necklace is to ask if he's lost his girlfriend. Later, when she first sees Katara, June jokes, "No wonder she left, she's way too pretty for you."
  • Shout-Out: The guy June arm-wrestles looks a lot like a certain Street Fighter.
  • Three-Point Landing: Aang, when emerging from the well.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Sokka gives a rather harsh one to Aang after he and Katara find out Aang had hidden the map from them. However, Sokka overcomes this later and decides that Aang is a part of their family, so he and Katara go back to find Aang and apologize.
  • Whip It Good: June and the shirshu.


Example of: