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Recap / Avatar: The Last Airbender "Sozin's Comet, Part 3 - Into the Inferno"

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Their powers enhanced by the comet, Zuko and Azula engage in an Agni Kai for the right to be Fire Lord.

"I’m sorry it has to end this way, brother."
"No, you’re not."
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Azula's mental stability, undermined by the betrayal of her childhood friends at the Boiling Rock, begins to deteriorate as her coronation as Fire lord approaches. Zuko and Katara confront her right when she is about to be crowned Firelord, but Azula challenges her brother to an Agni Kai. Zuko, although initially winning, is gravely injured when Azula throws lightning at Katara which he dives in the way of. Aang duels Ozai without result, still unwilling to kill him. Sokka, Toph, and Suki attempt to halt the Airship fleet but are soon separated, while the Order of the White Lotus battles for Ba Sing Se's freedom.


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Tropes:

  • Acoustic License: Suki and Sokka can understand each other airborne over quite a distance when their Zeppelin breaks apart.
  • Big "NO!": Zuko, when Azula attempts to strike Katara with lightning.
  • Bullet Time
  • Call-Back: During Zuko's lightning redirection training, Iroh warns Zuko not to channel the lightning through the heart which happens when he redirects Azula's shot at Katara.
    • The fight between Zuko and Azula is also a culmination of what Zuko learned from his journey. He even uses Zhao's hand motions to dissipate one of Azula's attacks, and even Azula's own massive fireblast from the episode "Crossroads of Destiny" to deflect another one.
  • Airship Fu: How Sokka takes out most of Ozai's air fleet.
  • Charge-into-Combat Cut: Used once or twice to switch between the Aang/Ozai fight and the Zuko/Azula fight.
  • Comet of Doom: Sozin's Comet.
  • Disturbed Doves: When Ozai begins his attack. Justified because he's burning down their home.
  • Field Power Effect: Sozin's Comet gives firebenders one hundred times their normal strength.
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  • Flaunting Your Fleets: A side pan from the airship captured by Sokka, Toph and Suki over to Ozai's airship.
  • Futile Hand Reach: Sokka and Suki, when their airship breaks apart and separates them.
  • A God Am I: Ozai is really power-tripping.
    Ozai: I have all the power in the WOOOOOOOOOOOORRRRRRRLLD!!!
  • Grapes of Luxury: Azula tries this out at the beginning of the episode only with cherries. Finding a pit in one leads to her paranoia and slip into insanity.
  • I Just Want to Be Loved: It's strongly implied that Azula felt unloved by her mother because of how she was raised. She also feels betrayed by Mai and Ty Lee who may have unintentionally triggered Azula's downward spiral.
  • Important Haircut: Azula decides to cut her bangs which underscores her Sanity Slippage.
  • Instant Armor: Toph with a metal airship door and Aang with rocks.
  • I Will Show You X:
    Azula: I'll show you lightning!
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Azula, when banishing the Dai Li, justifies it by pointing out how they betrayed Long Feng to join her. While she's definitely paranoid, she has a point. If the Dai Li was willing to betray their long time leader who, until Azula's infiltration, had their absolute loyalty, even after Earth King Kuei ordered his arrest, who's to say they wouldn't eventually turn on her, too?
  • Kubrick Stare: Azula. A lot.
  • Limp and Livid: Azula. Also does Marionette Motion.
  • Meaningful Echo: Sokka suggests using an "Airship Slice" to take out the airship fleet, echoing both his suggestion that Aang use an "Airbending Slice" to break out of jail in the episode "Avatar Day" and his cheering on of Aang moments earlier.
  • Midair Collision: "AIRSHIP SLICE!"
  • No OSHA Compliance: Averted. Fire Nation troops on the airships have safety tethers to keep them from dropping to their death should they fall of the catwalk. Ozai isn't using one, but he's just that cocky. (Also, he can use his firebending to fly.)
  • Oh, Crap!: Ozai's face screams this when he sees Aang channeling his lightning and looking like he's going to redirect it at him.
  • Parallel Conflict Sequence: The fight scenes between Azula versus Zuko/Katara and Ozai versus Aang play out simultaneously.
  • Prepare to Die: Said word for word in Ozai's "The Reason You Suck" Speech. Has a bit more weight behind it than usual because he is totally capable of carrying out his threat.
  • "Psycho" Strings: Used to emphasize Azula's descent into madness when she has her Rage Against the Reflection.
  • Rage Against the Reflection: Azula rages at her hallucination of her mother in a mirror as she realizes that she is completely alone and unloved, thus also clearly raging against herself.
  • Sad Battle Music: The somber soundtrack for Zuko and Azula's Agni Kai, driving home that these are two teenage siblings in a fight to the death.
  • Sanity Slippage: Azula. When she's trying to prepare herself for her coronation, she has a conversation with Ursa... even though a shot reveals that Ursa was never there.
  • Shirtless Scene: Ozai throws off his robes and burns them to allow him to fight Aang without anything to slow him down.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: Eventually lampshaded by Aang, who tells his silly lemur friend to leave just before engaging the Fire Lord in a battle for the destiny of the planet.
  • Slasher Smile: Azula. Ozai too.
  • Slipknot Ponytail: Happens to Azula.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: The sad violin piece playing during the Agni Kai only underlines the ferocity and senseless destruction.
  • Taking the Bullet: Zuko takes a lightning bolt for Katara from Azula.
  • Tanks for Nothing: The Fire Army tanks are junk after the Old Masters are done with them.
  • Tempting Fate: One mook is enjoyed that the airship captain remembered his birthday. Cue the Trap Door opening.
  • Third Act Stupidity: Again, Azula banishing all her minions. By this time, she's completely bonkers.
    • Zuko baiting Azula for a lightning strike isn't this; but it became this when he realized that Katara was in shooting distance.
  • Trap Door: Sokka tricks the crew of a Firebender Zeppelin to gather in the bomb bay. He then opens the bay shaft and the crew drops hundreds of meters down into Soft Water.
  • Tuck and Cover: Sokka throws himself over Toph to protect her from debris raining down from a crashing airship.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Azula. Starting with an overreaction to sloppiness, then escalating to total paranoia and now it's reached total raving madness.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The Earth Kingdom's army is nowhere in sight anywhere in the battle for Ba Sing Se. Considering that ongoing rebellions by the Earthbenders had caused Ozai enough grief to prompt his plan to raze the continent, their absence here is baffling.
  • Worf Had the Flu: Having cut ties with his abusive father and trained with the Sun Warriors, Zuko is more mentally and emotionally centred than he's ever been in his life. Azula, by contrast, is in the middle of a nervous breakdown.

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