Thu Apr 21, Though the ending is a downer, there is a sense of peaking action. Having spent much of the season on the run, doggedly pursued by Azula and her cronies, and receiving no quarter from the very people Aang hopes to save he has been chased out of many of the Earth Kingdom villages he has visited the story now transitions into a new chapter—the adventures in Ba Sing Se, capital city of the Earth Kingdom.
But first, the gang must enter Ba Sing Se. This is no easy task. The scene at the ferry docks will be painful to watch and instantly recognizable to anyone familiar with international travel during the holiday season. Other travelers join the gang on their journey: But their reunion is not all hugs and kisses, as the strong, confident, and beautiful Suki might want.
A lot has changed for Sokka since their last meeting. Now the young polar warrior carries some heavy lunar baggage. The lovers must separate. Then, while Suki stays behind, carrying a torch for Sokka, the rascally boomeranger starts a whole new relationship with another woman.
His behavior falls in line with the rapscallion archetype. Unlike the hero Aang, who has one-true-love from beginning to end, rogues are allowed to play fast and loose with love.
He is more of a serial monogamist—totally devoted to Suki one minute, and then ready to marry Yue as soon as he meets her. To further complicate the love triangle, Yue goes and turns into the moon. He becomes overprotective of the women closest to him, especially Suki. He swears he will never fail to protect someone again. They make a pretty good team, robbing the captain of his kingly feast. Zuko uses his Blue Spirit swords here to great effect. Afterwards, Jett feels like they have made a connection, and invites Zuko to join his freedom fighters.
One would think that if someone wanted to warn people about the rockslides, pitfalls, and bender-eating sea serpent, they would do more than write two words of warning. How about boarding up the entrance guys? Aang opts to interpret the sign literally. The only way to cross the path, he reasons, is to remove hope from the mind.
This logic falls in line with some eastern philosophy, much of which has been co-opted by the Air Nomads. Monks are not to have emotions. Feelings like Hope and Love cloud the mind, and prevent you from becoming the perfect organism.
This is why Aang gives Katara a humble bow when she offers him a hug. Be on the lookout for more examples of this emotions-are-bad attitude in the remainder of the season. There is a character coming up who exemplifies this belief, and Aang will be tested. It all wraps up with a schmaltzy ending, with a baby named Hope and a restored status quo as Suki says goodbye. This is definitely a bummer for Sokka, who finally seems to be coming to terms with his feelings for Suki and Yue, even going so far as to plant an Interrupting Kiss on the Kyoshi Warrior.
But then, we get another cliffhanger. A few random thoughts: There is a lot of kissing on this kids show.
Katara in her swim trunks and her hair down: Are you carrying any plants or animals with you on the flight? No cabbages for you! Great foreshadowing where Suki mentions that the Fire Nation in the area are working on something big. The drill makes its debut at the end of the episode. Iroh is back to his goofy old self, enjoying life as a tourist, drooling over large meals, and calling Smellerby a boy. There is more to his renewed goofiness than meets the eye, of course.
Tune in next time to find out what. Attention First-Time Avatar Watchers: We wanted to keep the comment threads future-spoiler-free as well, but it will likely prove impossible and it would impede our ability to analyze the series in retrospect. But honestly, at this point, who is really watching it for the first time? Matt London is an author and filmmaker who lives in New York City. His fiction is out right this second in the anthology The Living Dead 2. He studied film at New York University.
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