What? Another Avatar review so soon? It’s like I’m trying to avoid acknowledging a Supernatural episode or something…
Or maybe this disc was pure awesomonium!
Chapter 6: the Blind Bandit -After the overwhelming crap of “Avatar Day”, looks like the show makers decided to make it up to us by introducing Toph, every Avatar fan’s favorite character (oh fine… I’ll give into peer pressure). Best line of the episode? Rich Guy: “Who thinks they can come to my home unannounced?” Servant: “the Avatar”.
Sokka’s humor was much better this time around, my only real complaint about the episode is that I’m disappointed that Toph’s teacher was as surprised at her skill as her father. I was hoping the show would add another layer of complexity and have her being trained more than he was revealing to her father.
7: Zuko Alone – Exactly what it says on the Tin. This episode is all about Zuko and nothing but Zuko, giving us more info on the fire nation’s internal politics and showing us that Azula always seems to have been a bit of an evil bitch. Forget a fire bending prodigy, she was a freakin’ evil prodigy in Darth Vader’s school for Dark Doings. Oh, and our selection of awesome animals expands with turtle-ducks! The show creators totally need to do a spin off with a Crocodile Hunter expy wandering around, showing us the world’s zoology. We’d have to invent new numbers to calculate those ratings!
8: the Chase -Remember how I said before, sometimes I can’t figure out who this show is aiming for? First we get a hairy pits joke, then we have Sokka talking about “enjoying the show” when his sister and Toph fight. I KNOW I’m not the only one in the world who’s mind went immediately to a mud wrestling joke. However, the moments between iroh and Toph was so many kinds of awesome – they should have their own buddy cop show. The three way fight at the climax was awesome, but sometimes I still can’t figure out how Aang loses these. Can’t the dude make tornadoes or something? However, while a bit of coordination at the end there would have made Azula’s escape impossible, I’ll let it slide since the characters are sill inexperienced here.
9: Bitter Work -Yes, it’s a training montage episode but you know what makes this great? 1) A deepening of the world, 2) Sabertooth moose-lion. Iroh gives us the best line of the episode in reply to Zuko’s question on whether he should fight his sister, “She’s crazy and she needs to go down.” I was a bit disappointed in Sokka’s “accident” (it seemed even more unlikely than the sabertooth moose lion) and think it could have been done better had it been shown as an accident resulting from Aang’s training (making Aang partially responsible). This episode strikes me as marking the point that the show really starts learning from earlier mistakes and growing into a quality program. Instead of just having two story lines fighting each other for attention, here we see them working in excellent parallel. As Aang is training and learning, Zuko is training and learning, and if one was removed, the other would suffer. THIS is how you do A and B plots people.
10: the Library – Let me say positive things about the episode first. The professor is probably one of my favorite tertiary characters so far – if I was in that world, that’s probably who I would be. The two blind jokes in this episode were very well done and I love how the writing and art handle’s Toph’s handicap (they do Daredevil better than Ben Affleck did). But man did this have a killer cliff hanger (hurry up and get me the next disc netflix!!!).
The bad stuff? Well there is a minor thing involving the planetarium but I’ll over look that, the biggest problem is world building. In this episode (after being barely mentioned for several now), the characters remember “oh right, we have a war to fight” – except it’s not them, it’s Sokka.
The comic relief of the show.
For several episodes in a row, almost anything Sokka says, is wrong. Thus, the viewers get into a habit of automatically dismissing (if not laughing) at anything Sokka says.
Except here, his talk about the fire nation, is 100% correct. The characters even seem to dismiss him (as usual) but this time, they are wrong and Sokka is right, but this wasn’t addressed in the episode it’s just… glossed over. Doing something like that really undercuts any threat or menace you want to build up here. Remember writers: reinforce, reinforce, reinforce. (no, they don’t need to angst all the time, but just be aware of putting your mood and world building in jeopardy).