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Recap / Avatar: The Last Airbender "Sozin's Comet, Part 4: Avatar Aang"

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Aang defeats Ozai by taking away his firebending abilities.

"I can't believe a year ago I was frozen in a block of ice. The world is so different now."
"And it's gonna be even more different. We'll rebuild it together."
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Ozai accidentally causes Aang to enter the mighty Avatar State. The Order of the White Lotus successfully liberates Ba Sing Se, while Sokka, Suki and Toph disable all of the Airships. Katara freezes and chains Azula down, triggering a psychotic breakdown in Azula, then uses her exceptionally strong healing abilities to revive a severely wounded Zuko. Aang easily overwhelms Ozai, yet still refuses to kill him.

Aang uses his knowledge from the lion-turtle-a newly acquired bending ability called energybending-to permanently strip Ozai of his firebending abilities, defeating the Phoenix King without taking his life. Newly appointed Fire Lord Zuko declares the war over, and Aang and his friends celebrate together at Iroh's tea shop in Ba Sing Se. Zuko and Mai reconcile officially, and Zuko confronts his father, angrily asking where his mother, Ursa, is being kept. Aang and Katara share a loving hug and kiss passionately before the sunset.

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THE END


Tropes:

  • 11th-Hour Superpower: Aang finally gets his Avatar State powers back in the final battle. He beats the crap out of Ozai when he does. Also, the energy-bending Aang does on Ozai after Aang almost kills him.
  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: Sokka's Space Sword is so sharp it cuts through the metal hull of an airship easily and he and Toph continue falling without slowing down. It is also able to cut clean through one of the metal railings holding a firebender to protect himself and Toph.
  • Awesome Moment of Crowning: Zuko is made Fire Lord.
  • Back for the Finale: Mai, Ty Lee, Hakoda, the Duke, Pipsqueak, Teo and the Mechanist, Haru and his father, the Kyoshi Warriors, the Boulder and the Hippo.
  • Backstab Backfire: Happens to Ozai after Aang regains control and refuses to kill him. Aang senses the sneak attack from behind via a technique he learned from Toph.
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  • Big Damn Heroes: Suki comes around in the nick of time with her Zeppelin to save Sokka and Toph from the Fire Nation army.
  • The Big Damn Kiss: Katara initiates it with Aang, which closes out the show.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The end of the Agni Kai. Zuko wins by doing what is necessary and defeated Azula with Katara's help. However, this came at the cost of breaking his little sister's sanity. Zuko and Katara both look on at what's left of Azula, and like the audience, doesn't rejoice or feel triumphant; but sad.
  • Blade Brake: Subverted. See Absurdly Sharp Blade above.
  • Blue/Orange Contrast: The contrast of Ozai's orange-glowing firebending power and Aang's blue-glowing airbending power during the power bending act.
  • Book-Ends: Much like the first episode the last episode of the series sees a pillar of light shooting into the sky thanks to Aang. Also, the final shot of Aang and Katara on the balcony reflects the shot of Aang on the cliff in the Opening Narration.
  • Broken Tears: Once Azula is defeated and chained up, she angrily thrashes around before sobbing uncontrollably with Zuko and Katara looking on in pity.
  • Bullet Time: Happens a few times during the fight between Aang and Ozai.
  • Burning the Flag: Iroh destroys the Fire Nation flag after liberating Ba Sing Se.
  • Cannot Tell a Joke: Suki's attempt at coming up with a nickname for the defeated Ozai is quite lame.
  • Charge-into-Combat Cut: Used once to switch from the Aang/Ozai fight to the Zuko/Katara/Azula fight.
  • Chekhov's Boomerang: Firebenders drawing power from their breath. Katara takes advantage of this to stop Azula; when the latter steps on a storm drain to kill her, Katara freezes them both in ice just as Azula exhaled. In addition to being completely submerged, Azula has no breath to draw fire or lightning as Katara melts the ice gradually and chains her. By the time they're both able to get air and narrowly avoid drowning, all Azula can do is roar ineffectively and shoot fire at the ground.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Heroic example; Katara tries to defeat Azula in a straight fight by knocking her around with water. This doesn't work, so Katara lures her to the storm drain and envelops them both in ice waves. With Azula unable to bend while submerged, Katara takes the opportunity to chain her up before releasing the water and going to heal Zuko.
  • Comet of Doom: Sozin's Comet.
  • Cruel Mercy: Aang manages to uphold his beliefs and spares Ozai's life, but he also ensures that this mercy didn't come without a price for Ozai, his firebending. Without firebending, Ozai becomes a miserable shell of a man. Lampshaded by Zuko who says that Ozai is "lucky" that the Avatar spared him and should use his time in prison as a chance for redemption.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Ozai bears the full brunt of hundreds of past Avatars' wrath when Aang's Avatar State blockage is cleared. Arguable if it should be considered a battle at all given Ozai was fleeing and distancing himself most of the time.
  • David vs. Goliath: Katara facing Azula. Thanks to Sozin's Comet Azula is far too strong for Katara to take on in a direct fight, using up all of her bending water just to block one fire blast. Instead, thanks to her quick thinking and Azula's insanity, Katara is able to outwit Azula and freeze her in ice before chaining her up.
  • Deadpan Snarker: After being thrown in prison, Ozai sarcastically considers himself to be lucky to be graced by Fire Lord Zuko's visit. He knows that his son isn't here just to give him advice of being "set on the right path" and Zuko replies by demanding his mother's whereabouts.
  • Depower: Instead of killing him, Aang uses energy-bending to strip Ozai of his firebending.
  • Deus ex Machina: The Lion-Turtle resolved Aang's dilemma by showing up out of nowhere and giving him a power he didn't know existed.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Justified because she's off the rails; Azula has been keeping Katara on the ropes by shooting waves of fire and lightning at her. Katara isn't fast enough to get a clear shot. Azula then steps onto a storm drain in a bit to kill Katara, under a large body of water. Katara proceeds to freeze them both, chain up Azula, and win the fight by default.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: And how. After 61 episodes of difficulty for all the good guys, the war ends.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: The two main villains, Azula and Ozai, had valued perfection and symmetry in addition to their lust for power. When they are defeated, their hair loses that symmetry for good.
    • Azula's hair has been reduced into a wet, unkempt mess as she goes through the last stage of her Villainous Breakdown.
    • Strands of Ozai's hair, once perfectly combed back even when losing his topknot, starts to overlap his forehead when Aang turns to the tide of the battle with the Avatar State. After losing his firebending, Ozai's now-asymmetrical long hair covers his face, symbolizing his shame of losing the war and his crown to Zuko, who visits him in prison with a perfectly combed and symmetrical hair.
  • Fate Worse than Death: For Ozai, who loses his bending, his political power, and his freedom (not to mention his dignity). He deserved it, though.
  • Field Power Effect: Sozin's Comet gives firebenders one hundred times their normal strength. It didn't do Ozai a damn thing against Aang, who happens to be a firebender anyway as Avatar.
  • Foil: Azula and Zuko's battle. Zuko manages to finally defeat his sister through the help of a trusted ally (Katara), while Azula pretty much forsakes every ally that she had left by banishing them out of paranoia, which leaves her with nobody left to come to her side. Really shows how far Zuko has come.
  • Gaia's Vengeance: That was not Aang's terrible wrath that Ozai was subject to, but that of the the Avatar spirit itself.
    Avatar Spirit (through Aang): Fire Lord Ozai! You and your forefathers have devastated the balance of this world! And now, you shall pay the ultimate price!
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: Aang in the Avatar State.
  • Grand Finale: The Series Finale.
  • Happy Ending: They went through hell to get it, but in the end, the Gaang won out.
  • Heroic Willpower: Twice over with Aang during the Final Battle with Ozai. Not only is Aang able to overcome the ferocity of the Avatar State and stop it from killing Ozai but then he uses energybending, a technique the Lion Turtle warned would destroy him if his will wasn't unbendable, to strip the former Fire Lord of his power thus finding a new way to end the war without killing.
  • Horrifying the Horror: Ozai, the most feared and powerful firebender enhanced by the power of Sozin's Comet, finds himself fleeing in pure terror after accidentally activating Aang's Avatar State. Even worse for Ozai is that his comet-enhanced firebending is a mere firecracker compared to the Avatar's. And when the Avatar is about pass the death sentence, Ozai is reduced to a frightened child not unlike Zuko during their fateful Agni Kai 3 years ago.
  • How the Mighty Have Fallen: Both antagonists.
    • Ozai, a fearful and intimidating warlord is reduced to a shell of a man without his bending.
    • Azula, who at the beginning of the series was a calculating, efficient, and ruthless princess, begins her fight as a mad dog and is reduced to an insane, broken shell of a woman.
  • Humiliation Conga:
    • This happens to Ozai. He ends up running away from an enraged Avatar, gets his firebending taken away, denied a warrior's death, mocked by children up close, and eventually thrown in prison to be graced by his disowned son and the new Fire Lord, who's only here for information about his mother's whereabouts.
    • Likewise, Azula had her dreams of power largely overlooked when Ozai named himself Phoenix King, reducing her new title of Fire Lord to a largely ceremonial one. At her coronation, her brother challenged her authority by interrupting the crowning. She lost the ensuing duel after nearly burning down the palace, dishonored herself by attacking a bystander, and ended the fight chained to a storm sewer, powerless in all respects.
  • Ironic Echo: In the first season finale, Zuko mentions that he was considered "lucky to be born" by his father. Here, in their last conversation of the series, the defeated Ozai sarcastically states he should count himself lucky to be graced by Fire Lord Zuko's visit to his prison cell, only for Zuko to retort that Ozai is lucky enough to be spared by the Avatar, knowing that it's the worst kind of luck from Ozai's perspective.
  • I "Uh" You, Too: Mai's feelings toward Zuko have progressed from "I don't hate you" to "I actually kind of like you." By her standards, this is presumably a marriage proposal.
  • The Juggernaut: After he went into the Avatar State, Aang effortlessly fends off everything Ozai threw at him, as if it was nothing.
  • Laser-Guided Karma:
    • Ozai isn't killed by Aang, but he ends up losing his firebending as a result of a new technique he learned from a Lion Turtle. Not only did it refute Ozai's views of Aang being weak, but it also makes him the target of mockery from children, children who were once terrified of him because of his powerful firebending and cruelty. After the battle, he is thrown in the same prison that he once held Iroh in.
    • Azula was always an elitist who looked down on others as beneath her. Often referring to others like Katara as 'peasants'. Katara is the one to finally defeat the haughty princess and the simple fact that she, the fire lord, the fire-bending prodigy, the peak of perfection was defeated by a 'peasant' was the final straw that broke the camels back on her dignity as she descends completely into madness.
    • It was Zuko's fault that Katara lost to Azula in "The Crossroads of Destiny". Here, he takes a lightning bolt to the chest when Azula aims it at Katara, and can only watch as Katara defeats Azula in round two.
  • Left the Background Music On: In the penultimate scene, the music is actually Iroh playing the tsungi horn.
  • Let's See YOU Do Better!: Sokka thinks Momo is criticizing his work.
    "Oh, you think you can do a better job, Momo?"
  • Near-Villain Victory:
    • During the climax, when Aang does the power bending, he is first seen being almost consumed by Ozai's orange-colored power and only in the last moment does he prevail and his blue-colored power takes over Ozai.
    • Beyond that, both Ozai and Azula are right on the edge of victory in their respective battles until Azula's blind rage gets the better of her and Ozai accidentally unlocks Aang's Avatar State.
  • New Era Speech: Zuko delivers one before his Awesome Moment of Crowning where he outlines the future after Ozai's reign of terror has ended.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: Aang reveals that he learned Energybending from a Lion Turtle earlier that day, taking away Ozai's firebending abilities without killing him.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: Ozai manages to break through Aang's protective shell and proceeds to slowly walk towards him, ready to finish him off. However, all he managed to do was unblock Aang's seventh chakra, allowing him to enter the Avatar State.
  • No-Nonsense Nemesis: During the battle up to that point, Aang was doing his best to try and defeat Ozai without resorting to killing him. However, once the Fire Lord accidentally unblocks the former's 7th chakra, Aang enters the Avatar State and drops all pretenses of holding back.
  • No-Sell: Aang proceeds to do this to everything Ozai does, from offense to fleeing, once he unlocks the Avatar State.
  • Official Couple: Final count: Sokka/Suki, Zuko/Mai, and Aang/Katara.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Once Ozai accidentally helps unblock Aang’s seventh chakra and helps him enter the Avatar State, he looks quite scared now that Aang is in the Avatar State and spends a good portion of the fight fleeing.
    • Ozai looks absolutely terrified as he’s pinned down and as Aang, in the Avatar State, declares that he will pay the price for all he and his ancestors have done.
  • Oh, No... Not Again!: Zuko has this reaction silently when Azula goes after Katara, who was not involved in the battle. The last time the girls were fighting, he made the mistake of saving Azula. This time, he can barely move and only hope that round two goes better for Katara.
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: During the flashback with the Lion Turtle. Technically it’s Ominous Buddhist Chanting. It’s an actual Buddhist chant called “Na Mo A Mi Tuo Fo Shin Di".
  • Orbiting Particle Shield: Aang creates one with all four elements while in the Avatar State.
  • "Pan Up to the Sky" Ending: While Aang and Katara kiss each other.
  • Pillar of Light: Appears when Aang takes away Ozai's bending. Aang's and Ozai's spirits create columns of brilliant blue and red light which overwhelm one another.
  • Power Floats: Aang in the Avatar State.
  • Power Glows: Again, Aang in the Avatar State.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!:
    Zuko: Where. Is. My mother?
  • Raised Hand of Survival: After Ozai blasts Aang into a pointed rock with firebending, the latter is buried under a pile of rocks. Ozai walks up to it to taunt Aang, but is interrupted by the Avatar raising his arm out of the pile to grab the Fire Lord by the beard, giving him a good look at the supremely furious Physical God staring up at him.
  • Running Gag: Sokka's poor drawing skills.
  • Sealed with a Kiss: The last scene ends with Aang and Katara kissing.
  • Sequel Hook: The whereabouts of Zuko's mother is deliberately left unresolved for a potential 4th Book that never came. It wouldn't be resolved until Avatar: The Last Airbender – The Search.
  • Sphere of Power: Aang bends a sphere of air around him when he enters the Avatar State, followed by rings of fire, earth and water.
  • Stealth Insult: When Aang in the Avatar State delivers the judgement on Ozai for his and his forefathers' crimes upon the world, he addresses him as "Fire Lord" instead of "Phoenix King." While likely unintentional, given that he has no way of knowing Ozai's new self-proclaimed title, Aang has essentially denied Ozai of being seen as anything but a regular Fire Lord gone rogue.
  • Super Mode: Aang enters the Avatar State when a protruding rock hurts his wound in the back, realigning his blocked chakra. After that it's a Curb-Stomp Battle against Ozai.
  • Sword over Head: Happens twice symbolically for Aang. First he has the option to direct the lightning bolt back at Ozai but opts against it and shortly after he lets all his powers descend on Ozai just to stop before hitting him.
  • Sympathy for the Devil: Zuko and Katara's reaction towards Azula during her final breakdown is pure pity, not joy or satisfaction.
  • Take a Third Option: Aang won't kill Ozai or allow himself to be killed, so instead he uses Energybending to take the erstwhile Phoenix King's firebending away.
  • Take My Hand: Sokka holding Toph by the hand when the latter is about to fall from the Zeppelin.
  • Terrible Artist: Sokka makes a painting to commemorate the moment of everyone at Iroh’s tea shop. Once everyone sees it, they comment on how awful Sokka’s depictions of them are.
    Zuko: At least you don't look like a boar-q-pine! My hair is not that spiky!
    Mai: I look like a man.
    Suki: And why did you paint me firebending?
  • Too Dumb to Live: After Aang opts to not kill Ozai, the Fire Lord attempts to attack Aang when his back is turned. He still doesn’t realize how dumb it is to challenge the Avatar when he has the power to obliterate Ozai in an instant.
  • The Unreveal: Zuko finally asks his father about what happened to his mother. The scene immediately jumps to another.
  • Villainous Breakdown:
    • Azula completes her breakdown after being defeated by Katara, putting on one last angry impotent thrashing before degrading into a wailing, incoherent, pitiful mess.
    • While Ozai didn't have a massive breakdown like his daughter, he loses all composure when faced against Aang in the Avatar State. When he's pinned down and facing the judgement of the Avatar, his face is full of fear, almost pleading for mercy despite his contempt for such concepts overall.
  • Voice of the Legion: When Aang enters the Avatar State, he speaks with the voices of all the Avatars. All 1000+ of them. The effect is rather terrifying.
  • Watching the Sunset: The final scene ends with the Gaang gathered in the Jasmine Dragon as the sun is setting.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Azula is sent to a mental hospital after her breakdown, but this is never shown in the actual episode.
  • What Measure Is a Mook?: It is highly unlikely that every single Fire Nation soldier on the zeppelins was spared, but this is ultimately moot by the point all characters but Aang enforced: some people would have to die to stop a genocide like that, so it's not a question of more relevance equaling more mercy. It should be noted however, that many of the crew of the zeppelins were shown escaping death and climbing to the top in a possible attempt to avert this.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Toph, again, but much more dramatically this time. Dangling in thin air, not able to move enough to metalbend her way to safety, with the earth a thousand feet below her, surrounded by the sounds of a destructive battle and Fire Nation soldiers but truly blind now and completely helpless... she knows she's going to die, and she's going to die in a way that is her own personalized worst fear.
  • You Rebel Scum!: Azula's final words before her defeat and Villainous Breakdown.

 
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Azula's Breakdown

Azula suffers a complete psychological breakdown after being defeated by Zuko and Katara.

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