Follow TV Tropes


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

Go To
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!"

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.


  • Actor Allusion: Mark Hamill tries to taunt his heroic opponent into killing him before giving up and attacking him with lightning. Nice to see things come full circle.
  • All for Nothing: All of the planning and preparation from Team Avatar amounted to nothing since Ozai went into hiding and Azula distracted them while waiting out the eclipse. Once it ends, the Fire Nation strikes back in full force.
  • 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.
  • Ambiguous Situation: It's never confirmed whether Suki really gave up on Sokka or Azula made that part up to get Sokka to drop his resolve to find Ozai on her own.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: When Zuko is about to walk out on Ozai forever after calling out how horribly he treated him 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 his son since childhood.
    Ozai: 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 their powers, and likely he couldn't hope to challenge Zuko in 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 for Ozai, he tries to kill him with lightning, which Zuko deflects back to him.
  • Berserker Tears: Sokka gets these when he loses it.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Leaning towards Bitter. The invasion is a failure; all the children flee while the adults prepare to surrender to the Fire Nation. However, Zuko finally makes his long-awaited Heel–Face Turn, telling his father he has every intention of helping Team Avatar defeat him by becoming Aang's Fire Bending teacher. The final shot of the episode is him following Appa and the escapees from a distance.
  • Blatant Lies: Exploited by Azula to make a point: Toph may be a Living Lie Detector, but she never counted on the princess being a really good liar.
    Toph: I'll know if you're lying.
    Azula: Are you sure? I'm a pretty good liar. (Beat) I am a 400-foot tall purple platypus-bear with pink horns and silver wings.
    Toph: Okay, you're good, I admit it.
  • Both Sides Have a Point: Katara argues that with Ozai in hiding, it's best to run. Hakoda argues that everyone who came for the invasion knew the risk. He has a point though Katara is ultimately proven right.
  • Brought Down to Badass:
    • The Firebenders may not have their power during the eclipse, but that doesn't mean they can't wield weapons.
    • Azula proves to be a more than competent fighter even without her bending.
    • Zuko likewise manages to cow a powerless Ozai into submission with his swords.
    • However, Iroh wins hands down when it's revealed that he tore his prison bars to shreds with his bare hands and then proceeded to curb stomp his way through his guards and escape.
    • Averted with Ozai, who is absolutely helpless against Zuko armed with his broadswords. Granted he seemed prepared to fight Zuko before the latter pulled out his swords, making it likely that he does know how to fight without firebending but not enough to challenge an expert swordsman.
  • Brought Down to Normal: Fire Lord Ozai may be the most powerful firebender in the world and feared by almost everyone, but it appears that, unlike his brother or children, he doesn't have any auxiliary fighting skills, since he's easily cowed into submission when Zuko draws out his swords.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: Zuko finally calls Ozai out after being abused by him for so long 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 Gun: We finally get to see the Fire Nation making good on their capture of the War Balloon from the Northern Air Temple with an entire fleet of them. And it turns out that they went one step beyond and also made Zeppelins.
  • 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.
  • Combat Pragmatism: Instead of immediately attacking the invasion force, the Fire Nation balloons and zeppelins first destroy the submarines to ensure they can't escape.
  • Consummate Liar: Azula. She even impresses Living Lie Detector Toph with the aforementioned Blatant Lie. She does have a hard time avoiding sarcasm, though.
  • Continuity Nod: Zuko finally makes use of Iroh's lightning counter when Ozai tried to strike him down.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Azula thought of everything. Not only did everyone in the capital go into hiding, but she hid inside of Ozai's private bunker in the event Aang and his friends actually did manage to get in with the plan to stall them. She brought a pair of Dai Li agents to help, and when they were defeated she had a backup to bait Sokka by taunting him about Suki. Once the eclipse ended she released the big guns in the form of the Fire Nation's new airships.
  • Crisis Makes Perfect: Zuko learned the basic principle and movements for redirecting lightning, but never got to practice with actual lightning or in a real deadly scenario. Once the eclipse ends and Ozai lashes out with lightning, Zuko is faced with the split-second test to nail the technique first try, or else die at his father's hands. He catches and throws back the attack without a problem, blindsiding Ozai.
  • Curb Stomp Cushion: The Zeppelins vs the Swampbenders. The benders manage to deflect many bombs aimed at the submarines, but the result is what one would expect.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: While Calling the Old Man Out, Zuko invokes this re: their fateful Agni Kai prior to the series and how Ozai overreacted.
  • Dramatic Irony: According to Ozai, his father ordered him to kill Zuko so he would know what it feels to lose a child. Ozai was more than willing to do it, meaning Azulon’s order would be essentially pointless, as his son would feel no pain from ridding himself of what to him is a burden. It's further evidence that, as his unfavorite child, Azulon never paid enough attention to Ozai to even notice the latter's negative opinion of Zuko.
  • Elaborate Underground Base: The bunker beneath the Fire Nation capital.
  • Exact Words: War Minister Qin 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 too 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.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Considering Book 3 is only halfway over, it was obvious that the invasion wouldn't be successful and Fire Lord wouldn't be defeated just yet.
  • Foreshadowing: It is in this episode where Ozai's greatest strength and weakness are shown. He is able to generate powerful lightning in mere seconds after the eclipse is over, giving a taste of what is to come with Sozin's Comet. But during the eclipse, he's completely helpless against an armed Zuko whereas his brother Iroh is able to easily fight his way out of prison at the same time.
  • Forgot About His Powers: De-powered, Azula avoids a direct confrontation with the heroes and just runs away to waste their time during the solar eclipse. She is very athletic, running and leaping around every obstacle. Extreme maneuverability has previously been shown to be one of Aang's specialties, and he has been shown using airbending to run like the wind, and yet Aang cannot catch up to Azula during the chase.
  • Get Out!: Ozai says this to Zuko when he is told that the Avatar is alive after all.
  • 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, regardless of how he personally feels about his son.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Zuko finally turns good, renounces his father, and promises to join Aang and become his Firebending teacher.
  • Heroic Vow: As the adults wait to be captured, Aang promises that he'll make this up to them someday.
  • Hold the Line: With Azula having warned the Fire Nation about the plan to invade during the eclipse, the small invasion force comprised of Aang's allies never stood a chance of succeeding. Ozai was hiding in a private bunker, Azula was waiting in his bunker to stall Aang and his friends and the Fire Nation had completed its airships allowing them to cut off any chance of escape besides flying on Appa.
  • I Let You Win: It's implied that the invasion got as far as it did because the Fire Nation allowed them to in order to lure them into a trap. Once the eclipse was over, they were free to bring out their trump card: their new airfleet.
  • Insult Backfire: When Zuko is confronting Ozai about how the Fire Nation has only created fear in the world, he challenges Ozai’s twisted ideals by saying that the world should be given an era of peace and kindness to keep it from being destroyed. Ozai attempts to mock him and Iroh by asking if Iroh has gotten to Zuko. Rather than take offense, Zuko answers yes with a warm smile, earning him an annoyed look from his father.
  • Internal Reveal: Zuko tells Ozai that it was Azula, not him, that took down the Avatar and that he is still alive.
  • I Should Have Done This Years Ago: Ozai decides that banishing his son after scarring him as a "lesson" was too lenient, and then tries a "steeper penalty" for treason: killing him. Luckily, Zuko was prepared this time.
  • It's All My Fault: Sokka blames himself for wasting their remaining time after Azula baited him. Toph consoles him saying that Azula was ready for all of them.
  • Know When to Fold Them:
    • Time runs out for Team Avatar who is forced to retreat when the Fire Nation regain their bending and the advantage. The rest of the group remains and awaits capture, giving them time.
    • Ozai seems ready to attack Zuko for his betrayal, only to back down when Zuko pulls out his swords.
    • Azula doesn't bother chasing Appa in her zeppelin once they get far enough away, reasoning that they would have to come back eventually if they want to defeat the Fire Nation.
  • Lethal Lava Land: The team has to pass a lava cave on their way to the bunker.
  • Logical Weakness: To make good use of her Living Lie Detector skill, Toph has to determine a person's lies by their voice, breath, and vibrations connected to the ground. Unfortunately, Azula is a very skilled liar, and even Toph is surprised by the lie demonstrated based on the princess's calm demeanor.
  • Magitek: The tanks are propelled by bending and steered mechanically.
  • Mama Bear: According to Ozai, after learning about the former Fire Lord Azulon ordering Zuko's death, Ursa conspired with her husband to assassinate Azulon and was subsequently banished.
  • Meaningful Echo: The episode ends as many previous ones have with Zuko on the Avatar's trail - except this time he's on his way to help.
  • 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.
    • Sokka has a down-to-earth variation of this: He knew Azula was baiting him and he knew that Azula was just there to waste time, and yet the mere mention of Suki (which Sokka gave up, Azula only mentioned a vague favorite prisoner and let him do the rest) sent Sokka into a flying rage that cost them the necessary time to find Ozai.
  • Never Say "Die": When explaining the fate of Ursa, Ozai simply says that Azulon had commanded him to "do the unthinkable" to Zuko. Likewise, he says that Ursa did "vicious, treasonous things" which earned her a banishment, but from the context of the situation, it's clear what he really means... note 
  • Offing the Offspring: Ozai attempts to kill Zuko after he makes his Heel–Face Turn and states his intentions to help Aang defeat him.
    • Ozai callously tells Zuko that he was commanded by his father Azulon to kill him long ago. If not for Ursa conspiring to kill Azulon to spare Zuko and make Ozai the next Fire Lord, Ozai would have gone through with it. There was zero guilt or hesitation in this confession.
  • 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.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Ozai twice. First when Zuko brings out his broadswords, second when he sees that Zuko knows a counter-defense against the lightning-bending he just tried to use to kill his own son with. Previously, there was no known defense before Iroh devised the technique and taught it to Zuko.
    • The entire invasion force is hit with one once Aang returns with the knowledge that the Fire Nation knew all along that they were coming; even worse still, when they find the bunker they find not Ozai, but Azula, who brags about having learned of said invasion long ago.
  • 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 fails. They quickly change their mind about surrendering.
  • Out-Gambitted: Azula has known for months about the invasion and planned accordingly, meaning the heroes never had a real chance.
  • Parental Substitute: Zuko finally acknowledges that Iroh has been more of a father to him than Ozai ever was.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!:
    Sokka: Where. Is. Suki?!
  • Pyrrhic Victory: Though the Fire Nation has won, it clearly wasn't without casualties and damage to the capital. On top of that, the Crown Prince has turned against them, and we later learn that on that day, the Fire Nation also lost Omashu, the second largest city in the Earth Kingdom. Though not stated, It's certainly not unlikely that other Earth Kingdom resistance groups made use of the eclipse as well.
    • For Azula specifically. While her prior knowledge of the eclipse and the invasion were instrumental to the Fire Nation's victory, her father now knows that Aang is still alive and that she had lied about Zuko killing him (and never bothered to tell Ozai her suspicion that he could've survived).
  • "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.
  • The Reveal: Regarding the fates of two characters previously presumed dead:
    • Zuko & Azula's mother Ursa was banished for a treasonous act done to protect Zuko note , though her fate after that remains unknown.
    • Suki was last seen fighting Azula; here, it's revealed she's still alive, albeit a prisoner of the Fire Nation - Sokka fails to learn her precise location.
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons: Toph ends up being convinced of Azula's skill at lying when Azula throws out a ridiculous claim and her heartrate doesn't change. Azula is that good, but in this case she wasn't lying. There's a big difference between saying something obviously false that no-one is going to believe anyway, and actually trying to convince someone that a falsehood is true.
  • Slouch of Villainy: Azula on the throne, when the group around Aang enters the hall.
  • Stand Your Ground: Katara and Sokka still want to stay and continue fighting even after the eclipse is over and after their subs have been destroyed, especially since they have the Avatar. Hakoda however, refuses to risk it on the grounds that they need to keep hope alive, as otherwise all will be lost if the Avatar dies during the confrontation.
  • Strike Me Down with All of Your Hatred!: Upon realizing that Zuko has turned against him and is planning to join the Avatar's team, Ozai taunts his son to kill him right there and now as he is defenseless.note  Zuko refuses, saying that it's the Avatar's destiny to defeat the Fire Lord.
    Ozai: Since you're a full-blown traitor and you want me gone, why wait? I'm powerless. You've got your swords. Why don't you just do it now?
  • Symbolism: Before going to confront his father, Zuko leaves his room in a mysterious manner whilst donning a hooded cloak, just as his mother did on the night she disappeared. This is meant to indicate that rather than remain the Fire Nation prince Ozai's always wanted, Zuko is redeeming himself by being more like his kindly mother: doing the right thing even if there will be consequences.
  • 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.
  • Villains Never Lie: Ozai tricks Zuko into staying around until after the Eclipse ends by telling him what happened to his mother.
  • Wham Line: After two-and-a-half seasons of Zuko wrestling with his inner turmoil, this line solidifies his allegiance:
    Zuko: (to Ozai) I've come to an even more important decision - I'm going to join the Avatar, and I'm going to help him defeat you.
  • 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.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Azula invokes a discussion about Suki, baiting Sokka to shift priorities and demanding to know of her fate. Azula kept quiet long enough for the eclipse to end and regain her firebending.
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: Ozai himself asks Zuko why he doesn't kill him with his twin swords while they can't firebend, making this "Why Don't You Just Shoot Me?"
  • 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 Just Told Me: How Azula baits Sokka: She taunts him about her favorite prisoner. Azula gives no specifics, but Sokka goes into a rage and volunteers information that Azula would use to taunt him. He does all the work and Azula was able to stall for enough time until the firebending returns.
  • 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 airship bombers crewed by firebenders as well.


Video Example(s):


Zuko vs. Ozai

During a solar eclipse, Zuko confronts his father for scarring him as a child and for perpetuating the Fire Nation's century-long cycle of imperialism, destruction, and propaganda.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (34 votes)

Example of:

Main / CallingTheOldManOut

Media sources: