Avatar’s ‘The Drill’ Showcased the Gaang at Its Best

Avatar: The Last Airbender never lacks for conflict as Team Avatar's journey to Ba Sing Se and their search for Appa is interrupted once again. Season 2 Episode 13, "The Drill," features one of the Gaang's most impressive victories over the Fire Nation. The Earth Kingdom soldiers stationed at The Outer Wall are powerless to stop a massive drill that's barreling toward the Capital, but fortunately for them, the Avatar and his friends happen to be passing through.

Aang's growing acceptance of his duty as the Avatar is illustrated by his willingness to halt his search for Appa in service of the greater good. Once the Gaang convinces the commanding Earth Kingdom general that the drill is indeed an Avatar-level threat, the kids leap into action. What unfolds is a brilliant display of teamwork showing the strength and abilities of everyone, even Momo, resulting in Team Avatar's first complete victory over Azula.

Sokka, Katara, and Toph in "The Drill" from Avatar: The Last Airbender

Despite Sokka being the group's only non-bender, the rest of Team Avatar all look to him as "the idea guy." The Fire Nation's drill is an unfathomable feat in engineering for its time, yet it only takes Sokka a few minutes to form a plan to destroy it. His quick, tactical thinking allows the Gaang to discreetly acquire the drill's schematics, allowing them to begin their sabotage before anyone even knows they're there.

Katara's and Aang's Waterbending skill is vital to the plan as Sokka declares that the most effective way to stop the drill is to cut through the support beams. In an impressive display of teamwork, Aang and Katara throw a small blade of water back and forth between them with enough force to cut through metal. They succeed in breaking the column but it fails to stop the drill, forcing Team Avatar to come up with another plan.

Though Toph opted to remain outside the drill to try to slow it down, she's still able to contribute to the new plan. When cutting through a single column takes too long, Aang finds inspiration in Toph's Earthbending lessons. Rather than cut all the way through, he suggests they weaken the drill's braces before delivering one final blow. As the PA system announces the drill has made contact with the Wall, Aang and Katara fight off their exhaustion as they continue to cut through the support beams.

Once Aang departs to deliver the final blow, Sokka, Katara and Toph continue to demonstrate their individual abilities by further crippling the drill. Escaping through a drain meant to expel waste comprised of water and rocks, Sokka has another stroke of genius. He instructs Katara and Toph to use their Bending to plug the drain so the pressure will build up and maximize the impact of Aang's final blow.

Aang vs Azula in "The Drill" from Avatar: The Last Airbender

As Aang duels Azula atop the drill, it's Momo's turn to shine when he saves Aang from sliding off the side of the sludge-covered machine. The young Avatar is then able to outmaneuver Azula, utilizing his newfound Earthbending prowess. Set to one of the best pieces of music in all of Avatar: The Last Airbender, Aang uses his trademark Air-scooter to dramatically deliver his final blow and destroy the drill just as it pierces through the Outer Wall.

The Gaang's triumph over the Fire Nation's latest attack in "The Drill" is their greatest achievement in Avatar to that point. Every member of Team Avatar contributed using their own unique abilities, pitting their best effort against Azula and coming out on top. Most impressively, Aang was not saved by a last-second Avatar State glow-up. He prevailed with his own strength and the determination of his friends.

milim in front of demon lords from reincarnated as slime
About The Author