Nate watches Avatar #3.6-3.10

Chapter 6. the Avatar and the Firelord – See, THIS is why I hate some episodes like the Painted Lady so much.  Here we have a very rich character study, story and important information about the show itself, there was plenty packed into this episode to fill an hour at least (making it a 2-parter).

Some things that did pop in my mind during this episode:

  • Roku gets a dragon?  Cool!  (I thought before it was just some spirit world only creature – but here it’s confirmed that in life, it was a dragon then too)  But… where are the dragons now?  Why haven’t we seen more of them?
  • Speaking of which, does that mean each tribe has its own “flying mount” that their respective avatars use? (the exception would obviously be the earth bending Avatar)  I’d like to see more on how the tribes are distinctive.
  • Was there some deal about the Avatar not being allowed a family or am I confusing the movie and show?  Because here we see Roku clearly has a family.  Was it a misunderstanding by Aang?
  • Also, it seems that Roku has a wife – and is able to control the avatar state.  So… now I”m even more confused on what the whole “you must let her go” deal was in the earlier episode.
  • Are volcanoes and avatars natural enemies?  Seems like whenever one is near the other, the volcano erupts.
  • Uh… technically, Iroh, Zuko has 4 great-grandfathers unless the royal family is terribly inbred.  Now I’m curious, whether Roku was Zuko’s paternal grandmother’s father, maternal grandfather’s father or maternal grandmother’s father.  In other words: is Iroh also related to Roku or only Zuko & sister?
  • Of course, Roku pointed out “Being avatar doesn’t hurt your chances with the ladies either.” giving us a big hint that Iroh might have inherited his mad pimp skills…

7. the Runaway – This one was a bit predictable but still quite good, and a quality filler episode as it built up the world and the characters.  So the episode starts out with… Katara… and Toph… wrestling in the mud.

Then later we see Katara bathing and…

So let’s talk about how this episode actually brings up economics.  Notice here that the characters need money and have to accomplish something in order to get it?  I only point this out to cut off one possible objection to my complaints about “the Painted Lady” episode.  I also notice that the writers of this episode seem to have realized that they missed some prime blind humor from “the Headband” and decided to make up for it in this episode (along with the accurate revelation that sleight of hand won’t work well on blind people).  We also see that wood cages still mess with Toph’s senses and-

Wait a second!  Unless I misread the art, many of the scams that Toph & group scammed were performed on wooden tables.  So how could Toph “sense” or manipulate anything involved?  It was “rocks” and therefore “earth” the scammers were using, you say?  But then, if there’s a range on Toph’s powers it seems like the wooden cage they threw her into wasn’t far enough away from earth to hinder her.  (now if it was a wooden cage suspended from the ground…)  Especially since there seemed to be a metal cage next to her.  Then again, maybe Toph’s metal power is limited in requiring touch (so she wouldn’t know it was there).  I don’t know… seems a little iffy there to me.

Also, how did they figure out how the hawk worked?  It was nice to see Toph finally thinking about her parents (I wonder if those two guys she trapped in the cage have starved to death yet), but it does bring up another interesting point.  Historically, in primitive societies, there’s no such thing as a “teenager”, there’s usually just been a division of between “child” and “adult” (with the line of said division varying from culture to culture).  So how does this work in the Avatar-verse?  Didn’t an earlier episode reveal that Katara & Sokka are now legal adults in the water tribe?  Is there a difference from culture to culture? (maybe Aang is a legal air adult now, but you have to be older to be an earth adult?)

8. the Puppetmaster – So after last episode pandering to the fanboys, this episode panders to the fangirls and gives them a Sokka with his hair down and shirt off.  …I trust it was worth it to them. (I couldn’t stop cringing when he tried to use his sword for lock picking.)

Yay to finally having a war debate!  I was starting to wonder if everyone had forgotten about it.

But by far, the biggest revelation is: blood bending.  Long overdue, I’m still trying to figure out why it’s easier for a water bender to pull moisture from a plant than a person (especially when you know something about the cell structures and…) oh let’s just say it’s chi.  But still, that brings up: why don’t you just pull the water from someone’s eyes? (it should be just as easy as bending sweat)  It’s funny if you think about it too much, but almost every other nation would have worked better as tyrants than the fire nation (other than fire usually equals “bad” or “aggressive” in the culture milieu).  That could have been a good reason for the start of the war two episodes ago – the fire nation thought it was the weakest of the four and needed to do something before the other 3 oppressed them!

So, something else I’m wondering: How does bending powers work with the Avatar?  Does he/she find water bending easier to use in the full moon?  But Aang bent water into Kaiju mode when the moon was eclipsed in season 1.  Does the Avatar lack the weaknesses AND the strengths of native benders? (except for the bending they are native to)  For instance, we saw Aang bend water without the moon, but can he bend blood?  Or is it only something the next avatar (born in the water tribe) would be able to do?

So many questions… At least this episode had one of THE best endings I’ve seen (it reminded me a lot about the conclusion to the Sinestro Corp War).

9. Nightmares and Daydreams – Hey everybody!  It’s Inception!  Avatar (the good one) style!

This episode was just plain crazy fun (I think a lot of the writers snapped).  I especially loved trying to keep track of all the shows they were shouting out to in the dreams (I recognized DBZ and Samurai Jack at least…).

There were so many innuendo jokes in this episode I’m surprised the world didn’t end… (I’ll never be able to say “yoga” again without snickering.)  Yeah, I know what would make Zuko feel better…

And screw team Avatar, let’s get the adventures of Momo and Appa talking and dueling.  THAT’S a show I want to see.

10. the Day of Black Sun, Part 1: the Invasion – And here we have pandering to the hardcore fans!  Almost everybody still alive on the show (or not in jail) shows back up – which was nice.

But who cares!  Iroh proves that not only is jail unable to restrain his pimping ability, but he tantalizes us with the possibility of soon kicking ass and taking names!  Hurrah!

Actually there’s not much to talk about here as most of the episode is just pure payoff (though I have to wonder about the earth kingdom’s tank design – they defeat enemies by raping them… harsh!).  If anything, I’m annoyed they didn’t spend more time building up to this like they did with the battle in Ba Sing Se.  Take note writers: try and build your tension up as much as possible (such that we shouldn’t be able to sleep the days before the attack any more than Aang could) so the battle itself comes off like a release.

Now, I must hurry and watch part 2!

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3 thoughts on “Nate watches Avatar #3.6-3.10

  1. Alright, I’ve now seen 6-8. Here’s my thoughts, for what its worth.

    6 is definitely the best of the season so far, but as you pointed out, it really does bring up a lot of questions. It seems like the more they answer us about this world, the more questions we have. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing…

    7 was alright, but the wooden cage really bugged me. Oh sure, there’s the earthbending issues you mentioned, but I’m talking about the cage itself. Where did they get it? Did they have to build it from scratch just to hold Toph? I mean, how long had they been planning this trap? Because I refuse to belive the nation of FIREBENDERS would have many wooden cages just lying around.

    And then there’s 8. Yah, this one had a lot of problems (the lockpicking not the least). But we finally got Tress Macneille in an avatar episode, so all is forgiven.

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