Catching Up With Television: “Avatar-The Last Airbender” (Book 1: Water)

I’m catching up with a couple of television shows that I have not seen “Avatar: The Last Air Bender” and “True Blood” Season Two. And obviously, there will be spoilers and I will update this post as I see more episodes.

Episode 1- The Boy in the Iceberg

In this episode we are given a little bit of background about what is the Avatar and the war that is plaguing the world. We are first introduced to Katara (Mae Whitman-her?) and Sokka (Jack de Sena). The are part of the Water nation that live in the south pole, and were left to protect their village after all the adults went to war. She is a water bender, and one day while fishing, they find a boy in an iceberg. He is an airbender named Aang (Zach Tyler), and he is told he is the last one of them, as the Fire Nation has destroyed them all while searching for the Avatar, the only person who can control all elements and keeps the peace in the World. We are also introduced to Zuko (Dante Basco), a disgraced prince from the fire nation who wants to capture Aang and make his father love him.

As with any pilot, there are a lot of problems, particularly that it doesn’t quite know where to go. Despite that, the animation alone makes it worth watching. Also, the humor is pretty great. This shows us that it has a lot of potential, and that it is one of the most ambitious animated shows ever.

Episode 2- The Avatar Returns

This is a continuation of the pilot. Zuko has found Aang and threatens to destroy the village of the Water people. To save them, Aang decides to go with him. However, Katara and Sokka will not just stay there with their arms crossed. They decide to go after Aang.

This episode is a step up from the pilot. The humor is even better, and the story line is getting better and more involving. And despite all the humor, I started to realize that this has quite a dark side to it. My interest has increased.

Episode 3- The Southern Air Temple

Here, Aang and the gang go to one of the Temples of the Air nation. Aang is hopeful that he will find some of his people, but realizes that the Fire Nation destroyed them all. At the same time, Zuko returns to the Fire Nation to fix his ship after what happened after the last episode. But his quest of capturing the Avatar is at risk as word gets out that the Avatar has returned.

I liked the fact that they revealed more about Zuko’s past. This guy has some serious daddy issues. Also, although it was nice to see Aang return to his home it was kind of sad when he realized that his people were indeed gone. But, shit just got real. Also, we are introduced to Momo, and I think he will be quite special.

Episode 4- The Warriors of Kyoshi

On their way to the north pole to find a water bender to teach him and Katara about how to master that art, they stop on Kyoshi Island to surf on Elephant Koi fish. But there they run into some trouble with the locals, but are saved after Aang reveals himself as the Avatar. Obviously, word of this reaches Zuko, and he makes his way to Kyoshi.

My favorite part of the episode was Sokka trying to get even with some female warriors after they kick his butt in the first part of the episode. Also, it was fun seeing Aang coping with his celebrity status while trying to impress Katara. Things just keep getting better.

Episode 5- The King of Omashu

Summary: Aang, Katara, and Sokka stop by a city of the Earth Nation to slide on their huge mail system. After causing some trouble, they are taken to the king, who challenges Aang to three dangerous tasks so he can save Katara and Sokka.

Thoughts: Although this episode does not help the story move forward, it was fun. Well, it did show Aang that he is not prepared yet to restore balance to the world, but that’s about it. It did have some very funny moments, though

Episode 6- Imprisoned

Summary: Our heroes come across a young earth bender and find that that in his village, controlled by the Fire Nation it is forbidden to use powers otherwise they will be arrested. After an accident, the young man is arrested, and Katara decides to get arrested so she can help the young man escape. However, after seeing all the other prisoners, she decides to help them get their courage back to help them revolt against their captors

Thoughts: It was nice to see an episode that was more focused on Katara. Again, it didn’t help advance the story, but it worked as a stand-alone.

Episode 7- The Spirit World: Winter Solstice, Part 1

Summary: After reaching a piece of land that used to be a forest, an old man asks Aang to help his village appease a spirit who has been taking people. This task causes him to enter the spirit world and realize that he must see Avatar Roku to help him find a way to defeat the Fire Nation. Meanwhile, Zuko is getting closer and closer to finding them.

Thoughts: I liked this more because we can see Aang becoming more aware of his lack of training, but at the same time realizing that he must do everything in his power to help people. This episode reminded me a lot of Princess Mononoke, my favorite Hayao Miyasaki movie, and that made it better for me.

Episode 8- Avatar Roku: Winter Solstince, Part 2

Summary: Aang must enter the fire nation to talk to the spirit of Avatar Roku before the winter solstice, which is only a few hours away. Zuko is on their trail, as well as Commander Zhao. Obviously, this task is very dangerous.

Thoughts: This is easily the most thrilling episode yet. There is a ton of intese action, and gets a little darker, but the humor is still intact. Also, it showed that not all people in the Fire Nation are that bad. I’m excited about the next episodes, as Aang now has an ultimatum.

Episode 9- The Waterbending Scroll

Summary: Aang and Co. get in trouble with pirates after Katara steals a scroll that will teach her some more wanterbending moves.

Thoughts: Fun episode. The pressure to get to the north pole is on, yet there is still plenty of time for fun. And it was nice to see Katara be a bit jealous of Aang.

Episode 10- Jet

Summary: Our heroes meet a charming Robin Hood-like leader of a resistance, but underneath the charm, there is something messed up going on.

Thoughts: I knew from the get-go that there was something wrong with that boy. And it angered me that no one would listen to Sokka. But, in the end he gets his chance to shine.

Episode 11- The Great Divide

Summary- Aang must practice his peace-making skill by bringing together two feuding villages as they cross a huge canyon and face a threat from the predators that live there.

Thoughts: Although Aang does learn about his duties as Avatar, it felt rather pointless. Not bad, but probably my least favorite episode so far.

Episode 12- The Storm

Summary: As they make their way to a town to get some supplies, as strong storm is coming which prompts Aang to remember why he has frozen for 100 years. Also, we learn the truth behind Zuko’s injuries and why he is after the Avatar.

Thoughts: It was nice to finally learn the story behind Aang’s disappearance and Zuko’s quest. It definitely got me even more excited for the rest of the season.

Episode 13- The Blue Spirit

Summary- Aang goes out to fetch some medicine as Sokka and Katara are sick after the storm. However, on is way there he is caught by the Fire Nation. But a mysterious manked man helps him escape.

Thoughts: I liked the mystery of the masked thief, and I honestly never saw the reveal coming. Great episode.

Episode 14- The Fortune Teller

Summary- Aang and company reach a town where they base their lives around what a fortune teller says. Sokka is not happy about this, and tries to prove her wrong.

Thoughts: It was fun in that we see a relationship start to kindle between Aang and Katara. Besides that, I haven’t been a big fan of stand-alone episodes.

Episode 15- Bato of the Water Tribe

Summary- While making their way to the north pole, Sokka and Katara find a friend of their father’s. Also, Zuko hires a bounty hunter to find Aang.

Thoughts: I liked that this episode focused more on Sokka. Besides that, it was a rather weak episode.

Episode 16- The Deserter

Summary- Aang gets the opportunity to practice his firebending when they find a rebel fire master.

Thoughts: It was alright. That’s all I want to say.

Episode 17- The Norther Air Temple

Summary: Aang hears of recent sighting of people that defied gravity, so he thinks they are airbenders and makes his way to the Northern Air Temple. However, he finds out that insted they are refugees that were led by a man who knows how to make planes. But they run into the Fire Nation, which makes Aang to have to protect the people there.

Thoughts: Looking back it is a nice, it is a nice, relaxing episode before the shit storm starts. Also, it does set up some interesting stuff for the next season.

Episode 18- The Waterbending Master

Summary: Finally reaching the North Pole, Aang and Katara are eager to learn waterbending. However, they are in for a surprise when they learn that women are not allowed to waterbend there. Meanwhile, Sokka falls in love with Princess Yue, but she is engaged. And Zuko runs into trouble after General Zhao steals his crew to get to the North Pole and Capture the Avatar

Thoughts: The love stuff with Sokka is really great, as is the rest. Another sort of stand alone episode, besides the Fire Nation preparation. ‘Twas fun.

Episode 19- The Siege of the North: Part 1

Summary: As Aang and Katara continue their training, the Fire Nation gets closer to the North Pole, and so the residents must prepare for the battle.

Thoughts: Pretty intense episode. But it is all foreplay for the last episode.

Episode 20- The Siege of the North, Part 2

Summary: The battle rages on as Aang must go the the spirit world to find a way to stop the Fire Nation.

Thoughts: What an ending. Can’t wait to watch the next season.

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