But it's here now; go forth and enjoy. :)
Previously, Azula told lies and tried to seduce her brother. There were some other people in there too, somewhere, but mostly Azula told lies and tried to seduce her brother.
Inside the Fire Nation capital (which is inside a giant crater), Zuko is having trouble sleeping. So he grabs his cloak and goes for a walk, up out of the crater and to a sort of tower...thing. He stands there and stares at it until he gets yelled at by a guard, and then he...walks away. Well, that was a whole lot of nothing.
Elsewhere, there is a cloud. The cloud appears to have Aang's voice, as he says there's a cave below, and Sokka frantically shushes him. The cloud lands on the little cave island, and Aang Airbends their camouflage away to reveal that it is in fact Appa underneath the cloud. Sokka goes into massive paranoia mode, checking behind rocks for Fire Nation spies, and I have to say, he's wearing his Fire Navy uniform and cape very well. I approve. Sokka: "Next time, let's disguise ourselves as the kind of cloud that knows how to keep its mouth shut." Toph: "Yeah, I heard the birds around here are some vicious snitches." Sokka: "We're in enemy territory! Those are enemy birds!" Enemy Bird: "*doink*" They head into the cave that Sokka has now declared their new home, but Katara tells him they don't need to become "cave people". "What we need are some new clothes!" Aang concurs, saying that blending in is better than hiding out. Toph: "Besides, they have real food out there! Does anyone really wanna sit in the dirt and eat cave hoppers?" Momo: "FINE MORE FOR ME THEN." Sokka: "Looks like we got outvoted, sport." That is adorable to me and I don't know why.
Up next: PETTY THEFT. They sneak up on a house with like seven lines of laundry hanging outside, drying in the steam. Aang is unsure. These clothes belong to someone, after all. Katara: "I CALL THE SILK ROBE!" Aang immediately changes his mind. How do they know this stuff is even gonna fit them? Sokka, being Sokka, is a bit more picky with his shopping (though I'd pay money to see him in this), and eventually they're all decked out. They address the issue of Toph's blindness (because she is, in fact, blind) by having her pull the soles off of her shoes so her feet still touch the ground. Katara comes out, nails done and hair did, and Aang blushes for a second before he points out her mom's necklace. Katara: "Oh. I guess it's pretty obviously Water Tribe, huh?" I have a question: how does that thing fasten? We see her take it off a few times in the series, but when we see the back of her neck it looks like a solid strap, and there's no visible fasteners. Explain, show!
They buy another choker and other various accessories in town, and Aang shoves Momo in his jacket as he explains he used to visit his friend Kuzon (oh hey) a hundred years ago. So clearly he's up on all the jive lingo. Hep cats. We start this jaunt into embarrassment with "stay flamin'", continue with calling some random guy "hotman", and end with Aang getting picked up by truant officers. Because he's wearing a stolen school uniform! They dump him into a classroom with Bitchface McGee as a teacher. At least, that's what I'm calling her. We get the second "you're not from around here!" scare in as many minutes, as Bitchface decides he's from "the colonies". She teaches him how they bow "in the homeland", and tries to tell him to take off his headband. Aang says he has an embarrassing scar. O rly. Bitchface asks his name, and after a touch of racism and a joke (one from her, the other from Aang), he decides his name is Kuzon.
The bell rings and he heads outside, telling Momo that school was pretty fun. ...wait, Momo's been in there this whole time? Poor lemur. A girl catches up with him and tells him not to let the headmaster see him with the monkey. Aang: "WHAT MONKEY I SEE NO MONKEY AHAHAHA. Ha." She says she's not a tattle-tale, and that her name is On Ji. Which I only know how to spell because of the credits. (My first guess was Anji.) Some douche elbows past him and tells On Ji she doesn't have to "babysit the new kid". Aang: "Wow, you must be one of those popular kids I've been hearing about." I don't know if I want to hug him or pop him. Douche Guy agrees with him (making me want to pop HIM), and says he's On Ji's boyfriend. But slowly, since Aang's from the colonies. He leaves and a kid runs up to Aang, enthusing that he didn't get beat up or anything. Aang says he's just lucky, and the kid invites him to play Hide and Explode. ...okay, sure. I just wanna know why Meng's there.
Aang gets back to the cave at well past dark, and Katara says they've been worried sick about him. Not worried enough to, I don't know, LOOK FOR HIM or anything. This is twice now Aang's gone missing and the others have sat firmly on their thumbs rather than go after him in the name of dramatic convenience. I don't get it. Aang says he got invited to play with some kids after school and Sokka flips out. I think this scene is in place specifically for Jack DeSena's hysterical "WHAT?!" I'm certainly not complaining.
Back at the tower thing from earlier. Zuko has actually gone inside it this time. A guard tries to stop him before he realizes who he is, and Zuko convinces him to shut the hell up before going into the room. Actually, I should say cell. And...oh. Oh, no. I'm going to cry; I'm calling it now. Zuko pulls his hood back, and Iroh just turns to face the wall.
Cave of Wonders. Sokka has a Very Big Problem with Aang's plan. But, as Aang points out, he is learning things about the Fire Nation! He's got a picture of Fire Lord Ozai and everything! (And also one he made out of noodles!) Given that most of what's taught in Fire Nation schools is likely to be propaganda focused on making them look like the good guys (no wait that's every history class anywhere ever), I am hesitant to admit the validity of this point. Sokka is still skeptical, so Aang busts out his ultimate move: SECRET RIVER. The lesson for tomorrow is apparently a secret river that goes right to the palace. ...why would they teach that in schools? I don't understand. However, Sokka is a fan of secret rivers, and Aang is permitted to continue at school. Hooray, more shenanigans!
Back at The Tower, Zuko is trying to convince Iroh that everything is his fault. "We could have returned together. You could have been a hero!" Iroh says nothing. Zuko says he has no right to judge him. Um, projecting much? Unable to get a rise (or even a response) out of Iroh, Zuko throws a small temper tantrum and demolishes a nearby stool. "You're a crazy old man! You're crazy! And if you weren't in jail you'd be sleeping in a gutter!" And then he leaves, because he has used his five-minute plot allotment.
The next morning at school, the class turns to face the portrait of Flo on the back wall (which is creepy) and recites the Fire Nation Oath. "My life I give to my country. With my hands I fight for Fire Lord Ozai and our forefathers before him. With my mind I seek ways to better our country. And with my feet the march of civilization continues." Anything that starts with "my life I give to" anything is bad news bears. Aang, of course, doesn't know the oath, and gets laughed at for stumbling over it. Bitchface McGee is not amused, and issues a pop quiz as punishment. "Question one: What year did Fire Lord Sozin battle the Air Nomad Army?" The what now. Aang raises his hand and asks if that's a trick question, as the Air Nomads had no formal military and Sozin defeated them by ambush. The rest of the class gapes at him. I feel your pain, kid. That was always me, too. Bitchface says there's no way for him to know better than the history book, unless he was there a hundred years ago. A HEH HEH HEH HEH. So tired of that joke. Aang says he'll just write down his best guess and sits the fuck down.
Later, in music class (taught by a remarkably Muppet-looking man), Aang has a Lisa Simpson moment all over the soongi horn, dancing in place while he plays. The teacher stops him and asks to know what "that hullabaloo going on with [his] feet" is, and Aang says he was dancing. Muppet disapproves. "Young people must have rigid discipline and order!" Aang: "What about expressing yourself?" OW. ...sorry, just got an anvil dropped on me. S'cool. He marches quietly in place as per Muppet's suggestion, and is the talk of the school afterward. On Ji tells him she liked his crazy dance. Aang: "Thanks. I could show it to you again sometime if you li - OH SHIT FIRE." On Ji's boyfriend (does he have a name?) says Aang ain't showin' his girl NUTHIN. He proceeds to try to beat Aang up, but Aang does his little avoidance dance and he ends up on his ass. I think there was an episode of Spectacular Spider-Man like this. Only it involved water balloons. The headmaster says they need to have a conference to discuss Aang's punishment, because clearly if you win a fight it means you started it. Headmaster: "Bring your parents to my office after school!" Aang: "MY PARENTS ARE DEEEEEEEEEEEEAD." Headmaster: "THAT'S NO EXCUSE."
And so, after school, a meme is born. Wang Fire and Sapphire Fire discuss Kuzon Fire's misbehavior. Apparently misbehaving students get sent to the coal mines. That's...productive. Sokk - I MEAN WANG FIRE promises to sort him out and they leave. I like this scene, it's funny and provides a nice insight into how the Fire Nation works, but I have two questions. One, where did Sokka get the beard. Two, why does Katara have to be pregnant. That's all I'm asking, I honestly do not understand.
On a cliff somewhere, Zuko and Mai are watching the sun set. Mai disapproves of the color orange. Zuko says she's beautiful when she hates the world. Mai: "I don't hate you." Zuko: "I don't hate you, too." Aw, that's actually kind of sweet, in an emo, overblown, teenagery sort of way. They kiss, and it's about then that Azula shows up. "Zuko. Can I have a word?" Zuko: "NO, Azula, I am TRYING to get my mack on, thankyouverymuch." Azula says Ty Lee needs help untangling her braid and Mai beats it, but not before giving the back of Azula's head the dirtiest of looks. Once she's gone Azula says she knows Zuko went to see Iroh, and Zuko spazzes that the guard told her. Azula: "No, you did. Just now." Oh. Well. Fuck. Azula says she's actually looking out for him, that if people kno - sorry, sorry, I couldn't get through that without laughing hysterically. I'm okay now. If people know he's been to see Iroh, people will assume they're in cahoots. She doesn't actually use the word "cahoots", but she should, because "cahoots" is a fucking awesome word.
In the Cave, Sokka says Aang's not going to school anymore, but Aang protests that he's having fun being a normal kid. "You don't know what it's like, Sokka! You get to be normal all the time!" Toph: "Ha-ha!" I enjoy that she never misses an opportunity to screw with Sokka. Aang says that if they're going to change the future of the Fire Nation, they have to show the kids a little taste of freedom. I really doubt one school is going to do a whole lot, but hey. Ripples in a pond. Sokka inquires as to Aang's plan. Aang: "We're going to reenact Footloose!" Sokka: "GO TO YOUR ROOM."
But it is a secret Footloose party indeed, as Toph Earthbends a stage and Sokka lights the last of the NINE MILLION candles set around the cave. The kids show up and Toph orders everyone to stop bending as they shoo Appa to the back of the cave. No dancing for Appa. They have, somehow, managed to get instruments there as well, and there is a band playing as Aang tries to get them to start dancing. Turtle-Looking Kid: "I don't think my parents want me dancing in a cave." Aang's nameless friend from earlier says they just don't dance in the Fire Nation. Aang: "LIES." He proceeds to show them several "classic" Fire Nation dances, such as the Phoenix Flight and the Camelephant Strut, both of which sound like kinds of weed.
Zuko is now attempting to feed Iroh. Iroh is having none of it. Zuko admits to Iroh's back that being home isn't what he expected, and that he knows Azula didn't kill Aang. "I'm losing my mind. Please, Uncle, I'm so confused, I need your help!" Iroh says nothing. Zuko says he'll solve it himself, and storms out. Iroh just starts crying quietly as the door slams shut. I'm crying too (told you), but I don't know for which one.
Back in the Party Cave, Aang grabs On Ji to dance an Earth Kingdom dance with him. Sokka comments that they look pretty good together. Katara is nonplussed. Other kids start joining them on the floor, and Aang tells everyone to freestyle. They just learned "dancing", honey, wait a while on the new vocabulary. While various kids start twitching rhythmically, Aang asks Katara to dance. Katara is flustered and hesitant. Aang: "Take my hand." Katara: "...okay." They go out into the middle of the floor and start what I can only assume is some form of training routine, a sort of capoeira-style thing that gets everyone's attention and gets them to form one of those circles that always forms at these things. Aang and Katara end up sweaty and breathy hard (wait what) as the headmaster and a bunch of guards show up to stop it. Headmaster: "DANCING?! THIS WILL NOT STAND!" Turns out On Ji's boyfriend is named Hide, and he is also a snitch.
Inside, Turtle Kid is doing the Sprinkler. "It's like my inhibitions just disappear!" Headmaster: "OH HAI SECRET CAVE PARTY." Turtle Kid: "Okay, they're back again." Which is probably for the best of all involved. The Headmaster sends his guards after "the one with the headband", and Aang takes off through the crowd. But wait! Nameless Friend has applied his headband! And so has On Ji! And Turtle Kid and his friend who picks his nose! THEY'RE ALL SPARTACUS! The Gaang hightails it out the back of the cave, Aang bowing to his nameless friend in thanks, and Nameless Friend immediately gets his mind blown when the exit seals itself. By which I mean Aang Earthbended it shut, but Nameless Friend doesn't know that.
Atop Appa, Katara tells Sokka he can take the mustache off now. Sokka: "It is permanently glued to my skin!" And it's very fetching. Toph decides to be our anvil-dropper now, telling Aang he taught those kids how to be free. Aang: "It was just a dance party." Katara kisses him on the cheek as a reward for his just-a-dance-party, and Sokka applauds. "Flameo, sir. Flameo."
At a factory somewhere, Zuko is meeting with a Shadowy Figure. WITH A GIGANTIC METAL LEG AND HAND WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK. Zuko says the man is "good at what [he does], and even better at keeping secrets." ...am I seeing Zuko solicit some strange kinky male prostitute? Oh no wait he just wants him to kill Aang. Sorry, end him. And a close-up of the shadowy figure's face reveals that he has what appears to be a vagina tattooed on his forehead. It is probably not intended to look like a vagina, but by-golly, it looks like a vagina.