All 8 episodes of Avatar: The Last Airbender ranked from worst to best

Avatar: The Last Airbender is returning for seasons 2 and 3! Here we rank every episode of the first season from worst to best.
Avatar: The Last Airbender. Daniel Dae Kim as Ozai in season 1 of Avatar: The Last Airbender. Cr. Robert Falconer/Netflix © 2023
Avatar: The Last Airbender. Daniel Dae Kim as Ozai in season 1 of Avatar: The Last Airbender. Cr. Robert Falconer/Netflix © 2023 /
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Netflix's adaptation of Avatar: The Last Airbender has been highly anticipated by fans since its announcement in 2018. With the original animated series being held in such high regard, expectations were sky-high for this live-action rendition.

I felt good when the original show's creators Bryan Konietzko and Michael DiMartino were announced as executive producers. But those feelings of excitement were immediately shattered when the creative duo departed from the project in 2020 and founded Avatar Studios. After viewing all eight episodes of the remake, I understand why they left, because even though I don't consider the Netflix version to be unwatchable, it lacks a certain charm present in the original, and it lacks consistency in its writing.

Now that all eight episodes have been released, it's time to dive into each one and evaluate how they measure up. Join me as we rank Netflix's Avatar: The Last Airbender episodes based on their execution, faithfulness to the source material, character portrayal, and overall impact.

Avatar: The Last Airbender. (L to R) Sebastian Amoruso as Jet, Kiawentiio as Katara in season 1 of Avatar: The Last Airbender. Cr. Robert Falconer/Netflix © 2024 /

8. Episode 3, "Omashu"

The third episode in the series takes us to the Earth Kingdom city of Omashu, which is run by Aang's 113-year-old friend King Bumi. While I'm not as critical as others about this version of Bumi, this episode is last on this list for other reasons. While I respect the creators wanting to include original characters from the Nickelodeon show, this episode featured an unnecessary amount of people in a confusing spider web of circumstances.

Don't get me wrong, I thought the portrayals of Jet and the Mechanist were pretty spot-on. Both are charming on the outside with a deeper layer of cynicism on the inside, which is true to their original appearances. But I can't shake the feeling that the writers were on this weird crusade to make sure the remake didn't feel like an "adventure of the week" kind of series, but they still wanted to include characters who appeared in adventure-of-the-week-type episodes from the original show, so they crammed them into this confusing Omashu story. It felt rushed, unnecessary and messy.

In hindsight, a scene in the beginning of this episode was one of the most frustrating in the whole season. While Katara is trying to learn to perform the water whip, a waterbending move, Aang gives her some advice that doesn't help. Then they're like, "oh well I guess we'll figure it out when we find a teacher at the Northern Water Tribe." Aang is also very hesitant to even attempt waterbending, which makes no sense because as the Avatar, the one person alive who can bend all four elements, that should be the one thing he's trying to figure out right now.

One of the biggest flaws in the show's writing is that Aang doesn't learn one lick of waterbending in this season and he's constantly talking about how he's a bad learner. It's a weird departure from the original show where Aang shows natural ability to learn waterbending and is very eager to try. Because he needs to learn to bend all the elements if he wants to carry out his duty as the Avatar and put a stop to the century-long war waged by the Fire Nation. The Netflix show even fails to deliver on its own promise of him learning at the Northern Water Tribe, which just doesn't happen for some reason.