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Recap / Avatar: The Last Airbender "The Day of Black Sun, Part 2"

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Zuko renounces his father once and for all, revealing his plan to help Aang defeat the Fire Lord.

"I am going to speak my mind and you are going to listen!"
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Aang reveals to the others that the city has been evacuated, and they quickly conclude that the invasion is a trap. Even so, Sokka and Aang aren't willing to give up, and, surmising that the Fire Lord is still in the city, they decide to continue with the invasion. Aang, Sokka, and Toph head out to find the bunker the Fire Lord is hiding in, but are instead met by Azula. Meanwhile, Zuko confronts his father in another part of the bunker.


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Tropes:

  • All Up to You: The adults agree to surrender to buy Team Avatar and the younger children time to escape to fight another day.
  • Almost Dead Guy: The wounded warden who tells Zuko about Iroh's Great Escape.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: When Zuko is about to walk out on Ozai forever after calling out how horribly he treated Zuko for most of his life, Ozai manages to stop Zuko dead in his tracks (and ultimately stall him long enough for the eclipse to end) by asking the one question he knows has plagued Zuko since childhood; “Don’t you want to know what happened to your mother?”
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Ozai and Azula are still in power at the end of the episode, and with the exception of its young members, the whole of the invasion force is taken prisoner.
  • Batman Gambit: Attempted - Ozai calls his son a coward for confronting him while the eclipse deprives them of his powers, and likely he couldn't hope to challenge Zuko at his state, so he gets his attention when he decides to reveal the truth of what happened to his mother, and tell the tale until the eclipse ends. Unfortunately, he tries to kill him with lightning, which Zuko deflects back to him.
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  • Berserk Button: Sokka loses it when Azula taunts him about Suki's capture. For context, he knew she was taunting everyone to get them to run out the clock and he still lost control.
  • Berserker Tears: Sokka gets these when he loses it.
  • Blatant Lies: "I am a 400-foot tall purple platypus-bear with pink horns and silver wings."
  • Brought Down to Badass: Azula is definitely this without her firebending.
  • Brought Down to Normal: The Firebenders. But, there are those who can wield weapons.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: Zuko to Ozai, while they're both depowered.
    Zuko: For so long, all I wanted was for you to love me, to accept me. I thought it was my honor that I wanted, but really, I was just trying to please you. You, my father, who banished me just for talking out of turn. My father, who challenged me, a 13-year-old boy, to an Agni Kai. How can you possibly justify a duel with a child?
    Ozai: It was to teach you respect.
    Zuko: It was cruel, and it was wrong!
    Ozai: Then you've learned nothing!
    Zuko: No. I've learned everything! And I've had to learn it on my own. Growing up, we were taught that the Fire Nation was the greatest civilization in history, and somehow, the war was our way of sharing our greatness with the rest of the world. What an amazing lie that was. The people of the world are terrified by the Fire Nation. They don't see our greatness. They hate us! And we deserve it. We've created an era of fear in the world. And if we don't want the world to destroy itself, we need to replace it with an era of peace and kindness.
    Ozai: (laughs) Your uncle has gotten to you, hasn't he?
    Zuko: …Yes. (smiles) He has.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Zuko finally makes good of this training to redirect lightning, as his father Ozai tries to kill him with lightning as soon as the eclipse ends...only to learn what a mistake that was.
  • Consummate Liar: Azula. She even impresses Living Lie Detector Toph with the aforementioned Blatant Lie. She does have a hard time avoiding sarcasm, though.
  • Curb Stomp Cushion: The Zeppelins vs the Swampbenders. The benders manage to deflect many bombs aimed to the submarines, but the result is what one would expect.
  • Elaborate Underground Base: The bunker beneath the Fire Nation capital.
  • Exact Words: The minister told Aang, Sokka, and Toph where the Firelord's bunker was. He said nothing about Ozai himself.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: It's still to early in the series for any of the heroes to defeat the Fire Lord, let alone score a major victory against the Fire Nation, not while Aang doesn't know any firebending.
  • Field Power Effect: The solar eclipse stops firebending from working while the sun is completely blocked.
  • He Knows Too Much: Since Zuko has been in way too deep since returning to the Fire Nation, Ozai cannot let him leave the Fire Nation alive with whatever new knowledge he gained.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Zuko finally makes one.
  • Heroic Vow: As the adults wait to be captured, Aang promises that he'll make this up to them someday.
  • Lethal Lava Land: The team has to pass a lava cave on their way to the bunker.
  • Magitek: The tanks are propelled by bending and steered mechanically.
  • My Defense Need Not Protect Me Forever: Azula stalls the heroes until her firebending returns.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Seeing the Fire Nation's fleet of airships, the Mechanist exclaims "My invention!" and lowers his head in shame.
  • Offing the Offspring: Ozai attempts to kill Zuko after he makes his Heel–Face Turn and states his intentions to help Aang defeat him.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Zuko goes to rescue Iroh from prison—and when he gets there, he finds out that Iroh has already busted out by himself, having turned into a "one-man army" and torn down the bars of his cell.
  • One-Man Army: Iroh is explicitly described as a "one man army" after he escaped from prison during the Eclipse, fighting off the entire guard.
  • On Second Thought: During the eclipse the Earthbender army comes across a group of Firebenders and demand their surrender. The firebenders refuse and try to use their powers which fail. They quickly change their mind about surrendering.
  • Out-Gambitted: Azula has known for months about the invasion and planned accordingly.
  • Parental Substitute: Zuko acknowledges that Iroh has been more of a father to him than Ozai ever was.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!:
    Sokka: Where. Is. Suki?!
  • Ray of Hope Ending: The Invasion failed, the troops are imprisoned, and Aang and friends have to flee... but Zuko finally made his Heel–Face Turn and leaves the Fire Nation to join Team Avatar!
  • "Reason You Suck" Speech: Zuko telling his father that the Fire Nation has been terrorizing the world, that his scarring was not justified in any sense of the word, and that he will regain his own honor by joining the Avatar and helping him end the war.
  • Slouch of Villainy: Azula on the throne, when the group around Aang enters the hall.
  • Tactical Withdrawal: Suggested by Sokka after the eclipse has passed but then the zeppelins arrive and any hopes of this plan succeeding are gone.
  • Tanks for Nothing: The Fire Army tanks are no good against the advancing Earthbender force.
  • Total Eclipse of the Plot: The solar eclipse only lasted about 8 minutes, providing an unusually realistic interpretation, aside from the fact that King Bumi could also see it from way on the other side of the globe. Though, the world of Avatar is significantly smaller than ours, so it is possibly justified.
  • Wham Shot: The first appearance of the zeppelins is pretty much this, establishing the Fire Nation now gained air superiority and the invasion force is pretty much screwed.
  • Would You Like to Hear How They Died?: Ozai stalls Zuko asking if he wanted to know what happened to his mother. The way he delivers this question is reminiscent of somebody bragging about their killings. It becomes a Bait-and-Switch because as goes in further, Zuko concludes she is still alive after all.
  • You Are in Command Now: Sokka, after his father gets hurt.
  • Zeppelins from Another World: Yes, the two-man balloons that Sokka and the Mechanist piloted make a reappearance. Unfortunately, the Fire Nation didn't stop at those, and have giant dragon-faced bombers crewed by firebenders as well.

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