Avatar: The Last Airbender is now streaming on Netflix, and here is where you should start! After several years of hoping and asking about whether or not the popular streaming platform would be offering one of the most popular animated series ever, it was finally confirmed that The Last Airbender's animated series would be streaming in the United States. With such a massive series, you might want to jump right into some of the series' biggest moments if you're aching to watch again. But even if you've never seen it before, the series is built in a way that you can jump in whenever you want!
Avatar: The Last Airbender is fondly remember by cartoon and anime fans alike for its moments of heart, action, suspense, and surprise, and these episodes in particular help to capture some of the varied and wacky spirit of the franchise as a whole. Whether you're jumping in again or jumping in for the first time, these are the episodes you'll need to check out on Netflix.
Read on for our picks for Avatar: The Last Airbender's best episodes to stream now on Netflix, and let us know your favorites in the comments! What are your favorite moments from the series? Let us know, or you can ever reach out to me directly about all things anime and other cool stuff @Valdezology on Twitter!
The reason Avatar: The Last Airbender has become such a mega hit animated series was established quite early on with the twelfth episode of the first season, "The Storm." The first half of the first season established many of the darker corners of the series' world, but this episode dove into our two protagonists themselves. During a harsh storm, Aang reveals that he's not a perfect kid and his selfish actions as a child led to him disappearing for 100 years.
On the opposite end, we see how Zuko got his scar and now carries it as a physical and mental reminder of the inferiority complex he battles thanks to his abusive father. It was a dark episode in more ways than expected, and this shift in tone was a great example of the kinds of deeper narratives the series would explore later on.
The Blue Spirit
The key, however, was balance. The series did have a tight continuity, but it also made sure to develop its characters while keeping an episodic pace. Aang was on a constant run from the Fire Nation, but Zuko was also beginning to question his place within it. This comes to a fun new place with Episode 13 of the first season, which sees Aang getting help from a mysterious blue-masked warrior. Soon revealed to actually be Zuko, the two of them get to know each other just a bit more after fighting out of a Fire Nation prison. It's a pretty big episode full of all kinds of the varied developments fans loved in the series in one place.
The Blind Bandit
Avatar: The Last Airbender is packed with a ton of memorable characters, but one of the major standouts comes with the second season. As Aang looks for an Earthbending teacher, he soon comes across the surprising Toph, a blind fighter who senses everything around her through the ground. Toph shakes up the core of the series moving forward with a new dynamic in the group, but her debut into the series with a fun wrestling laced tribute is undoubtedly a fun one to watch.
Season 2 of the series featured more of a focus on Zuko as he tried to figure out his place in the world following his ousting from the Fire Nation, and these vagabond journeys revealed the most about his character in the entire series. This comes across most in the seventh episode, "Zuko Alone," which sees Zuko helping a struggling family survive an attack from some bandits. We see more about his past and his mother, but we also see the kinds of stigma Zuko is still carrying on his back. It digs into why he was truly "alone," and explored some pretty notable territory for an animated series.
Tales of Ba Sing Se
This series can often be a packed one, but many of its best moments come from when it gets to slow down and breathe for a moment. Aang and the others traveled through many places, but the second season spent a good amount of time in the Earth Nation's Ba Sing Se. "Tales of Ba Sing Se" is the 15th episode of Season 2, and it takes time away from the main narrative for a series of smaller and more character focused stories.
It's here we get to see more into Zuko's uncle Iroh, and witness a heartbreaking tribute to the character's fallen son. Not only was this Mako Iwamatsu's final performance for the series, it's eerily a tribute to his own performance as well. Its moments like this that have stuck with fans long after the series ended for a reason.
The Ember Island Players
Another reason Avatar: The Last Airbender has stuck around with fans is that it broke the mold for animated series tropes as well. As a novel way of recapping the events of the series before the final battle against the Fire Lord, Episode 17 of Season 3 featured the titular "Ember Island Players" as Aang and the group witness a play recounted the events of the series. In a pretty meta way, the characters are able to react to their adventures in the series thus far and openly reflect on how far they've come.
Not only was the needed moment of humor before the intensity of the final battle, it was also a fun way for the series to poke fun at itself as well. It may be more commonplace now, but it certainly was a milestone back then!
Sozin's Comet Part 3: Into the Inferno
Avatar: The Last Airbender's final battle indeed was a major one to end the series with, but it was built up over the course of four different episodes. While each one has its moments, the peak of this battle (and pretty much the series) comes with the action packed and emotionally charged third part. The penultimate episode of the animated series features two of its biggest battles, and it's where the now famous Agni Kai takes place. This final battle between Zuko and his sister Azula was interspersed in between Aang's battle with Fire Lord Ozai, and it makes for several memorable moments you'll want to see immediately.