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 "During the meeting, I was the perfect prince. The son my father wanted. But I wasn't me."

Having arrived at the invasion rendezvous point four days early, the Gaang settles down to relax. Aang starts freaking out about having to fight the Fire Lord, practices his little arrowed butt off, and still suffers from insomnia after having nightmares about the fight. So he decides to just not sleep at all, launching an epic Sleep Deprivation Samba that is Played for Laughs and Played for Drama. Prepare for Mood Whiplash.

Meanwhile, in the capital, Zuko is increasingly conflicted about his life. He angsts over not being invited to a major war meeting (his father assumed he'd know he was part of it) and then, once he's emerged, realizes he's still dissatisfied with his life and station.

Tropes:

  • Anxiety Dreams: Aang, of course.
  • Big No: Dream!Ozai in Aang's last dream.
  • BLAM / Breather Episode
  • Catapult Nightmare: Aang, when waking from his last nightmare, complete with scream.
  • Chekhov's War Meeting: the contents of the council-of-war will be important later, though they're not actually revealed in this episode.
  • Daydream Surprise: Sorry, Kataang fans, gonna have to wait a little longer for the real deal...
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Nightmares, funny stuff, Kataang Ship Tease, hallucinations... hold on, did Zuko spend the night on Mai's couch?
    • Fruit tarts. That is all.
  • The Insomniac: Aang
  • A Load of Bull: Aang hallucinates that Appa is talking.
  • Mood Whiplash: while most of Aang's nightmares are played as comedy, some of them are actually pretty dang frightening. Not to mention the snapback after the aforementioned Kataang Ship Tease.
  • "Not Wearing Pants" Dream: Aang's most humiliating nightmare. In his final dream, he turns it around on Dream!Ozai.
    • Ironically this is Foreshadowing for the final fight between Ozai and Aang, in a roundabout sort of way: To wit, both of them are shirtless during the fight, so the only thing they both wear is pants.
  • No, You: Aang to Dream!Ozai in his final dream.
  • Road Trip Across the Street: Zuko takes a palanquin to Mai's house, which is just across the street from the palace.
    • Granted, he tried to be nonchalant and walk over, but his servents have other insist.
  • Ship Tease: "Baby, you're my forever girl."
  • Shout-Out: Sokka refers to Fire Lord Ozai as "the baddest man on the planet", which was the tagline for Mike Tyson during his prime.
    • The three get-ups Aang wears in his Fire Lord dreams are homages to Dragonball Z, Trigun, and wuxia films.
    • Hallucination!Momo looks a lot like Usagi from Usagi Yojimbo.
  • Sleep Deprivation Samba
  • Spit Take: Aang yells at Toph to stop drinking water and she immediately spit-takes in surprise, all over Katara (who subsequently waterbends to dry herself).
  • Surreal Horror: Aang's last nightmare features the rest of the Gaang dying in various horrible ways before the comet hits the ground and turns it into a scorched wasteland.
  • Sword Fight: Aang hallucinates one between Appa and Momo.
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