“The Cave of Two Lovers” is a good episode for developing Katara and Aang’s attraction to one another, has a lot of great humor and ends raising the stakes and showing just how outmatched the world is by the Fire Nation. It’s a fun episode, though it isn’t perfect.
The episode was directed by Lauren MacMullan and written by Joshua Hamilton and Aaron Ehasz.
The story involves Team Avatar’s traveling to Omashu but being forced to take the legendary “Cave of Two Lovers” way after the Fire Nation keeps them from flying there (we later find out why they were there in the first place). From here they travel with a band of nomad hippies into the labyrinth but are separated as Aang and Katara must find their own way seperated from the group. As Zuko and Iroh are taken in my Song, a woman made a refugee by the Fire Nation.
The Pros: Sokka – Sokka is the practical one who attempts to make a map and to try flying to Omashu eventually. We also see his is good with animals as he plays music that causes some Badger Moles to like him and let him ride them. His face palming all of the hippies non-answers was hilarious too.
Katara – Katara is pretty expressive to Aang this episode and we see how they are teacher and student, friends and potentially lovers as when she kisses Aang the cave lights up. She is good at calling out Aang for his obliviousness too when he reacts opposite to how he feels about kissing her.
Aang – Aang is a kid in this in how shy he is around Katara and his arc is small as he just gets the strength to return the kiss that she is trying to have with him. It’s sweet and we see his attraction he has towards her as she is training him.
Iroh – Iroh eats a plant that gets his poisoned and is the voice of wisdom as Zuko is living in wounded pride. Iroh treats Song kindly and is grateful that she takes them in and cares for them. When Zuko steals her bird he calls Zuko out before sadly joining him on it.
Zuko – Zuko is empathetic towards Song’s scarring by the Fire Nation but doesn’t fully accept that he has been scarred by the Fire Nation. This denial leads to him taking her kindness for granted and robbing her. It’s a sad moment and shows just how broken Zuko still is.
Song – Song is a refugee of the Earth Kingdom who was physically scarred on her leg by Fire Nation troops. She isn’t bitter, just sad and takes in Iroh and Zuko even though they are total strangers. Sadly her kindness is not rewarded in kind and we see her watch sadly as they steal from her.
The Legend of Omashu – The name Omashu is the name of the Two Lovers. When one of them died the woman created a giant tower in the middle of the fighting villages that later became the town of Omashu as she reacted to her lover dying in the war. Her actions ended the war and lead to the city of Omashu that exists today.
The Ending – The ending is stark, you see Team Avatar experiencing joy only to have it taken away only to see that Omashu is now under the control of the Fire Nation, making the point of their journey suddenly more hopeless.
Okay: The Nomad Hippies – The hippies were funny but way to much of a caricature. They were singing fake folk music and were horrible and dancing and about “Living in the moment man!” which made for decent comedy but bad characters. I put them as okay mostly because of how Sokka reacted to them which was hilarious.
This was a good episode but the nomad hippies and some of the editing brought it down. Plus Aang had a bit too many foot in mouth moments so I thought the romance wasn’t handled as well as the last episode that explored Katara and Aang’s romantic interests. The episode is still really good though and I do recommend it.
Final Score: 8.4 / 10