The moment people were like “oh shit water benders”
I really loved this episode though, it was an established theme in the show that firebenders are associated with death and waterbenders are associated with life and healing, and up to this point it all seemed so clear-cut, because fire obviously destroys everything in its path while water can put out fires and heals, as we’ve seen particularly in Katara’s case with her natural healing ability.
Then we meet Hama, who due to years of torture and hatred has found a way to turn the classic gentler waterbending ways into a weapon of destruction and manipulation, and honestly I can’t think of a better way to introduce people to the fact that things are never as clear cut as they seem. We’ve thought of waterbenders as the good guys up until this point, so it’s jarring to find out that no, despite stereotypes and traditions, there are always going to be good and bad people in every culture/group, but that’s the point of the entire show.
It’s revisited later too when Aang and Zuko find the Sun Warriors who teach them firebending is not just about death and destruction, but also about bringing warmth to the earth and making plants grow and both Aang and Zuko needed to hear that they weren’t just instruments of destruction and gain confidence from the idea of using firebending to create life and I love it I love this show so much.