Yo people, raise your hands up for some more Avatar: The Last Airbender!
Again, I'm pleasantly surprised by the intro, starting off with some more of that "7th Saga" music I always love. Of course, then it immediately gets interrupted by this wilder theme that only lasts for a few seconds anyways, followed by another song silly song as Aang shakes the water off of him. Just a difference in tastes I guess, but I think it would've been more effective had the composer just kept that same peaceful "7th Saga" music playing up until Saka and Katara see that ruined forest. I just think having a consistent mood going on, instead of it changing twice in 17 seconds would've sounded better. But, that's more of a personal taste issue, so, no biggy. I'm no music composer anyways. But seriously, what's the name of the song that plays in the beginning? I checked Youtube for it, but no dice.
Anyways, as his reaction to the forest shows, it's nice to see that Aang's actually taking this seriously for once. His revelation that he has no idea how to do his job, was, I thought, pretty touching to. I think it sheds a whole new light on his earlier irresponsibilities. It makes me think that all that shirking of his duties in the earlier episodes was just him being frightened to go forward and embrace his destiny. I think I'd be pretty scared to if I was his age, although, I think I would've handled it a bit better (although I also would've acted a lot more depressed).
Unfortunately, I cannot say the same for one "Great Hero of the Fire Nation", who was particularly exasperating in this episode. You know how in Episode 1, I painted Zuko's impatience as a negative, and thought it revealed an ugly side to him? Well, it still kind of did, but suddenly it's making a lot more sense considering what Zuko has to put up with.Zuko: Uncle! It's time to leave! Where are you?! Uncle Iroh!Iroh: Over here!Zuko: Uncle? We need to move on! We're closing in on the Avatar's trail, and I don't want to lose him!Iroh: You look tired Prince Zuko. Why don't you join me in these hot springs and soak away your troubles?Zuko: My troubles cannot be soaked away. It's time to go!Iroh: You should take your teachers advice and relax a little. The temperatures just right. I heated it myself...
Yes, lets just forget all about restoring the honor you've been desperately seeking for all these years, catching the enemy that could be the very ruin of your homeland, and finally gaining the love of your father. Seriously, does Iroh have no understanding of what Zuko's going througZuko is going through. If he's trying to teach him patience and level headedness, fine, but he's doing it in a way that's insulting to Zuko (well, I think so anyways). The very least he can do is show that he understands (I hope he does).
Speaking of Zuko, is it just me, or does he seem slightly less brutish than he was in Episode 1? It might just be because most of his interactions shown onscreen have been with Iroh, where pushiness obviously isn't cutting it, but he seems to be trying harder to keep his anger under control (which, can't be easy when dealing with Iroh). Honestly, if it weren't for the fact that Iroh's teaching Zuko how to be a better figher, I'd think he was actively trying to make sure Zuko fails.
The ending to their conversation was great though. It was really funny how Zuko reacted to Iroh getting out of the tub.
In the next few scenes, we're brought up to date on the plague, the great monster Heibai, that threatens to destroy the village that Aang and Co. end up at. As well, I think I just figured out how this cartoon handles death. I'm assuming that the Spirit World is the afterlife? Or something like that?
I'm confused about Heibai's motivations by the way. He seems to want to destroy, but has no interesting in actually harming living things. Well, that is, until he grabs Sokka and is happy to just leave with Sokka in tow. Why was he so interested in Sokka anyways?
After some more of Aang and Heibai's struggles, we cut back to Iroh, who, intentionally or not, almost makes himself out to be even lazier....Iroh: Aah, the great city of Bazhingsei.Earthbender Warrior: It was greater than you were, apparently.Iroh: I acknowledge my defeat at Bazhingsei. After 600 days away from home, my men were tired, and I was tired...and I'm still tired...
I'm sure the brave men and women who fought in Vietnam would've loved to hear Iroh's story. However, I also acknowledge that in Vietnam, we were getting nowhere fast for years and years, so with Iroh, maybe he just knew when to quit? Or, maybe he's giving false reasons so that the warriors will underestimate him? I really that's not honestly why he quit his campaign...
Ironically enough, it's this scene in which we finally get a glimpse of Iroh's true cleverness, in which he leaves behind a sandle for ZUko to follow.
I'm not sure what the Earthbenders are trying to do by the way. They're bringing Iroh to "face justice", which probably means they're going to kill him, but then, why go to all the trouble of transporting him to their village? Why not just kill him right then and there? Of course, maybe that's NOT what they're doing considering that they were nice enough to tighten the shackles on Iroh when he requested it. Maybe you guys can add a little to this discussion? What do you think?
It is here that Aang's side of the story goes out of the picture for most of the rest of this post, as most of the rest of his story in this episode is flying around with a Dragon who does weird stuff to his mind, so, I'll just say that it is here that Zuko makes the final leap, from villain to anti-hero, by choosing to continue trying to rescue Iroh instead of following Aang when he is given the option. It's great stuff, as Zuko doesn't actually seem that bad of a guy anymore, but at the same time, it leaves sort of a seething exasperation when you realize that now, we're stuck with Zhao
as the villain, a villain who is, for all intents and purposes, all bark and no bite. Wonderful...
Oh well, at least this way, I'll get endless amusement from how Zuko, a young 16 year old exiled prince with almost no resources, is STILL dancing circles around Zhao in just about every way. Puts a smile on my face every time
Zuko rescues Iroh from dealing with the consequences for running away. I'm not completely sure what Iroh accomplished by trying to run away and failing (he smiled like he accomplished something after failing), as in my eyes, all it did was put him at unnecessary risk of getting maimed, but whatever. Fight sequence!
And...ok, ok, Zuko does do pretty good, I guess, but remember, he had Iroh with him. Just look at how he almost got his head smashed by a boulder to the back of the head! Of course...he was completely surrounded, and if there's one thing I learned in Martial Arts training, it's that trying to keep an eye on everyone when they've got you surrounded is almost impossible, so, I guess I can't really fault Zuko for it. Actually, had he done this all by himself, I would've officially had to take back everything I said about his weak sauce fighting. But, he didn't, so I'm not inclined to yet. But, he was smart at least. The moment he had an opportunity, he got out of the circle and got all his opponents in front of him, which is ALWAYS the first thing you should try to do in that situation.
By the way, is it me, or is that little break dancing fire kick of his kind of a signature move for him? He first used it to own the three Kyoshi Warriors that attacked him in Episode 4, if you need visual aide.
So anyways, after that, Aang calms down Heibai, and it's here that I take back what I said about Heibai earlier. He WAS an animal, so maybe he didn't have a clear motive. Just raging. But, he seemed oddly specific in his actions for that to happen so, again, I'd like your opinions.
Also, why's Sokka getting flak for asking for supplies and money? Isn't that something they really need? I mean really Katara, you're going to complain about him bringing nothing but nuts for dinner, then turn right around and yell at him for asking for money and supplies?! Seriously?! You need to understand that it takes money to get much better, capische?!
So, to wrap up this blog, Aang's next objective is to finally talk to Avatar Roku by going to some sort of shrine in the Fire Nation...yeah.
Whatever happens, I'm going to be so upset if Aang goes to all that trouble to get there, only for their talk to amount to this...
Roku: You must master the elements Aang.
Aang: I should.
Roku: You should use water against the Fire Nation
Aang: I should.
Roku: No problem!
To wrap it up, I would say it's another typical, good episode, but, it's a two parter, so I'm not going to give it a rating just yet. See ya next time!