I thought this ranking would be in 3 parts – but I realized I wanted to save the Top 10 for its own post. Aside from that, the final post in this series will be up on Wednesday – because next Thursday is Thanksgiving.
24. Book 1: Chapters 7 and 8 – Winter Solstice Parts 1 and 2
While Aang goes on a spiritual journey and learns about Sozin’s comet – Iroh gets kidnapped. Without his pants. The first BIG DEAL episode
23. Book 1: Chapter 17 – The Northern Air Temple
The Air Nomads are no more but the refugees in their place have bought new life to the temple. Plus the show’s first disabled character!
22. Book 2: Chapter 17 – Lake Laogai
So much happens in this episode, but this is Zuko’s first major step towards redemption. And Jet dies – we think.
21. Book 1: Chapters 1 and 2 – The Boy in The Iceberg/The Avatar Returns
The episodes that started it all. I remember this was the first time I watched a show and HAD to know what happened next. I got drawn in, hook lime and sinker
20. Book 1: Chapter 4 – Warriors of Kyoshi
Sokka stops being a misogynist and we meet the Suki.
19. Book 1: Chapter 18 – The Waterbending Master
Katara has no time for your sexism. This one taught me a lot.
18. Book 3: Episode 6 -The Avatar and the Firelord
Roku being Zuko’s great-grandfather was the plot twist of the goddamn century.
17. Book 2: Episode 20 – Crossroads of Destiny
This didn’t quite feel like a proper season finale for parts of it. But man- what a goddamn cliffhanger. Still pissed that the Zutara moment was just teasing
16. Book 1: Episode 3 – The Southern Air Temple
Every single time I watch the show now, I think about how Monk Gyatso killed a decent amount of Fire Nation soldiers, in part to protect Aang. Gyatso was willing to die for him. I hope one day – that scene gets animated – even though it will be horrifying.
15. Book 1: Episodes 19 and 20 – Siege of the North: Parts 1 and 2
Koi-Zilla. Katara kicks Zuko’s ass. Yue turns into the Moon and Zhao gets dragged to hell. What more can you want?
14. Book 3: Episodes 18, 19, 20, and 21 – Sozin’s Comet (Series finale)
I still think Avatar’s series finale is one of the best in television – but as I get older I can’t help but wish that the whole energy bending and lion turtle were a bit better foreshadowed. But action and emotion-wise, it hit all the notes.
13. Book 3: Episode 10 and 11 – Day of Black Sun Parts 1 and 2
I don’t think we ever expected them to fail as they did. Even with half a season left – I didn’t think they would lose the first time I watched this.
12. Book 1: Episode 12 – The Storm
This episode fundamentally changed my understanding of what characters can be like in TV shows. I swear that was the day I truly started loving Zuko.
11. Book 3: Episode 12 – Western Air Temple
Zuko finally joins the Gaang. Katara threatens to kill him. A huge moment in the series and part of the best character arc in fictional history.