Avatar: The Last Airbender – Book 1 “Water,” Episode 9 – “The Waterbending Scroll” – Tricking the Tricksters

ATLA 1 9

         “The Waterbending Scroll” is a filler episode, it is also a really fun episode that still manages to loosely connect itself to the overall arc of the series of Aang learning all the Elements and developing Team Avatar’s relationship further. Which makes it really enjoyable.

      The episode was directed by Anthony Lioi and written by John O’Bryan with Aaron Ehasz as overseeing writer per usual.

    The premise of the episode involves the group stopping to water bend and when Katara starts teaching Aang, but she soon becomes jealous when Aang has a natural affinity to Waterbending. When his Waterbending leads to the loss of their supplies they go into town to get more which leads to Katara stealing a Waterbending Scroll and seeking to outdo Aang while the Team deals with the threat of Pirates whom the Scroll was stolen from and Zuko.

The Pros: The Pirates – The Pirates are a lot of fun and they are a diverse lot. With their captain looking like a traditional European Pirate but his crew members looking like they are from every one of the Nations. I wanted to learn more about them and what got them into waterbending. The Captain also held is own against Zuko to the point of a draw even though he and his crew were non-benders, they were better than the Fire Nation troops in many cases.

Iroh – The only reason Zuko even ends up where the Avatar is is due to Iroh misplacing his White Lotus chip (a reference to later and his role in the greater game in establishing balance in the World) and wanting to go replace it. He is funny too and his accidental proverb of how fighting lead to them loosing their ships was fitting as this would be Zuko’s problem on many occasions.

Zuko – Zuko is a bastard in this episode. From his threatening Katara and Sokka and blackmailing Katara with her mother’s necklace in order to find out Aang’s location show just how bad he is when he is obsessed. He gets his comeuppance though when he loses his ship and Iroh had his lost White Lotus chip all along.

The Action – There are some great action sequences in this episode. From the pirates chasing Team Avatar, to Zuko’s Troops against the Pirates and Team Avatar’s escape, each feels seamless and manages to have stakes and be comedic.

The Cons: The Moral – Stealing is wrong unless it’s from pirates. The whole act of stealing was never real dealt with and no taking from people who have stolen isn’t exactly right either.

   This was enjoyable filler and if you like the series thus far, you will probably like this episode. Great Team Avatar moments, fun minor characters in the pirates and some great action sequences made for a very enjoyable episode.

Final Score: 8.4 / 10.


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