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Author Topic: [204] The Swamp  (Read 26062 times)
Acastus
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« on: Apr 08, 2006 07:40 pm »

Official Description: "When the kids end up in a mysterious and strange swamp, their fears are exposed. And Aang learns about being "connected to the Earth" from an unlikely teacher."
« Last Edit: Apr 14, 2006 08:27 pm by Acastus » Logged
Karen
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« Reply #1 on: Apr 08, 2006 07:45 pm »

Grin So this is a spoiler string?. Allright!. I so want to learn about this new episode that should have been aired last night if not for the KCA!.

Huh So, anyone with ITunes, care to spoil us?. What's this swamp like?. What are the kids' worst fears?. Who is this unlikely teacher?. And are Zuko, Iroh, Azula and her little girl-group featured at all?. Huh
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« Reply #2 on: Apr 08, 2006 09:21 pm »

...-wide grin on face- I'll try to give a basic rundown.

-You see Iroh and Zuko sitting against a wall in an unnamed Earth Kingdom city. Iroh is (kindly) asking for money, and people are actually giving it to him. This one guy comes up and says he'll give Iroh a gold coin for some entertainment. Iroh starts singing. The guy takes out two swords, and starts slashing at Iroh's feet to make him dance. You can pratically see the anger coming off of Zuko. (the rest won't be that detailed, but I needed to describe all that)
-Katara, Sokka, and Aang are flying over a swamp. Aang starts going down to it without noticing, because it's calling to him, Sokka and Katara say no, Aang starts going back up, then a tornado pretty much forces them all down there. It turns out in two groups; Katara, Sokka, and Aang, and Appa and Momo (Moappa shippers squee now xD).
-Sokka keeps on cutting all the vines and such, and Aang tells him to stop, etc, etc.
-They can't find Momo and Appa, so they make camp. While they're asleep, vines come up and pretty much entangle them, and throw them off in three different directions.
-During this, and for a while further, there's a sideplot going on with Momo and Appa that turns into these waterbenders that live in the swamp (coughREDNECKScough) that see the footprints and start to track Appa down.
-Pretty much, while they're alone, each person sees something. Katara sees her mom, starts crying in happiness, and then when she's not there, she breaks down. Sokka sees Yue in her spirit form, but she's not really there. Aang sees this girl laughing and running that he's never met before.
-Aang chases the girl, the girl suddenly turns into Katara, he runs into her, they slide, and run into Sokka.
-Soon after, they get into a fight with this seaweed monster who turns out to be a person. They go up to this tree, etc, etc, get a little life lesson...the guy says that each vision was of someone that you think/know is gone, but that time is an illusion along with death, etc, etc. Aang then realizes that the person he saw is someone he's going to meet. He uses the tree somehow to find Momo and Appa, who are captured by the redneck/cajun waterbenders. They get them back, the guy from the tree comes, sees the waterbenders, say hi, they all go back to the mini-village in the swamp to have dinner...
-Cut to the Earth Kingdom town in the beginning at night, with the rude guy who made Iroh dance walking. He hears some bells, and turns around while taking out his two swords. He yells "Who's there!" A pair of hands come out of nowhere and flip him into a bunch of boxes, making him drop his swords and become knocked out. The guy who the hands belong to pick up the swords, and there's a panel shot up to see his body. There, holding the two swords and towering over the rude guy, is the blue spirit. o= o=

That last part made me grin soo much...and I'm not even a Zuko fangirl!

...no one's gonna bother reading all of this...xD
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Ranji
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« Reply #3 on: Apr 08, 2006 09:26 pm »

well, if you do want to be spoiled, here are some highlights.

being exposed to fears seems a bit general, and i'm not sure if it's all that true for this episode.

The swamp was a large swamp that the gang flies over on their way to wherever (i assume Bah Sing Se).  Aang feels "called" to it and thinks they should land in it (recall how Aang needs to listen to the earth).  Sokka with his illogical logic decides that the swamp can't be calling them so he convinces aang to turn away.  however, when they decide to do so, a large tornado appears that forces them to the swamp (in the process Katara, Aang, and Sokka are together but separated from Momo and Appa).

Appa and momo are chased by some cajun type swamp people that want to eat them.  They appear to pursue them using waterbending to move their boats.  More on this later.  That's really it for them, all you see is them trying to evade the captors.

Two side stories emerge from this.  The gang are trying to re-unite with Appa/Momo.  Sokka is using his machete to chop the vines around against Aang's inutition that the swamp doesn't like it. Not much happens until the "Swamp" attacks the gang and they end up separated and are now trying to find each other.  During the separation, each character has some "hallucinations."  Katara sees her mother, but only sees her back and it turns out to be an illusion.  Sokka sees princess Yuway (sp?) who claims that he didn't protect her.  Aang plays a game of cat & mouse with a giggling girl (that he doesn't recognize) but never quite catches her.  All the illusions of the gang cause them to reunite and then the monster.

A large "vine monster" attacks them.  The monster looks fairly humanoid but has a large piece of wood that is carved into a face.  This battle is totally cool.  Lots of water and air bending from Katara & Aang.  I'll spare you the details of the fight.  As they gang fight the monster, they notice that it keeps regrowing and vines that were damaged/destroyed.  After more fighting they realize there's a man inside the monster that is controlling it somehow.  Aang confronts the man to ask why he summoned them to the swamp if he wanted to kill them.  The man realizes that Aang is the avatar and stops his attack.  It turns out the man is just a "Cajun" of the swamp who was protecting it from outsiders.  Here he reveals to the gang that the swamp is just one large tree or one being, so everything was connected.  Aang learns that swamps connectedness is an allegory for the whole world and time.  The entire world is connected and time is also connected.  Death, time, separation are all illusions.  Aang didn't recongize the girl because he realizes that he hasn't even met her yet (because time is not linear).

He then uses his understanding of connectedness and "speaks" with the tree to find Appa and Momo and he realizes that they are in trouble so the gang goes to save them.

Next comes another awesome (but very short battle) as the gang tries to rescue Momo & Appa.  During the attack, Katara realizes that the "cajuns" are water benders like her.  The ending is the group together and some realizations are made.

The cajuns weren't aware of waterbenders at the north/south pole and vice versa (it seems).  An interesting thing about the cajuns is that they can bend the water in the plants to make the plants do what they want.  We also learn that the swamp seems to be alive with a mind of its own (as in the tornado that brougght the gang down was not caused by the cajuns).

On a side note, the episode is book-ended by a short Iroh/Zuko narrative.  In the beginng, you see the two and their chocobo-like creature on the streets begging for money.  Or at least iroh is asking folks for spare change while zuko sulks.    Iroh humilates himself (with good humour) for money, even as a jerk with double broad swords makes him "dance" by swining the swords at his feet.

at the end of the episode, the man with the swords is ambushed in the dark, and his swords are taken away from him by zuko (but disguised as the blue spirit).  so now zuko has some weapons he can use.  I assume that him and iroh can't use their fire beinding in public or else they will be arrested. 

sorry if i left anything out.  you can purchase the season pass on i-tunes for $30.  That way, when a new episode comes out, it will autmoatically be downloaded to your computer.  This is better than paying $2 for each episode (and cheaper in teh long run).  They seem to be a week ahead of the nickelodian release.
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ignite444
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« Reply #4 on: Apr 08, 2006 10:45 pm »

It was a good episode, but I'm stll trying to figure out that girl.. Unless that's Jojo the Kissing Bandit. O_o

It was really cool, the fight scenes were so awesome! I can't wait to use it for music videos.
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Karen
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« Reply #5 on: Apr 08, 2006 11:11 pm »

Omigosh! This sounds like another awesome episode!. I can't wait to see screencaps!. Hopefully we should be seeing them soon!.

So, both Sokka and Katara were thinking of people they've lost (Their Mom and Yue) and Aang is shown someone he is going to meet... Interesting!. And it's neat to learn of more waterbenders who are "Cajun-like"!.

And, the best part?. The return of The Blue Spirit!.  Smiley  Wink  Grin
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« Reply #6 on: Apr 08, 2006 11:33 pm »

Oh, trust me, very cajun like. It was actually quite funny. Pretty much like the hippies(from TCOTL) of this episode. xD

And yeah, the Blue Spirit part was one of the highlights. =3 So was this one part with Momo and Appa...dude, I'm turning into a Moppa shipper...dangit...xD
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Opal Koboi
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« Reply #7 on: Apr 09, 2006 01:02 am »

Absolutely awsome episode.
Just to add a few little things to what was already said:

In the beginning, when Iroh begging for money, Zuko sulks and says "this is humiliating. We're royalty. Those people should be giving us what we want". To which Iroh placidly answers "They will, if you ask nicely". He then flirts with a woman that gives him a coin, much to Zuko's chargin (Sokka and Zukko need to form a face-palm-annonymous support group). We see a merchant's cart with masks hanging on its side go through the shot. One of the masks is the blue spirit.

From the way events are set up it looks like Zuko is fixing to become a ruthless vigilante. So much for him becoming good anytime soon. Maybe if he gets too bad Iroh will get disgusted and leave him.

There are a lot of pain-for-Sokka moments in this episode. Even he notices.  When an elbow leech attacks him he says "Why do things always attach themselves to me?"

There is much fodder for "moppa" in this epidsode Grin .
« Last Edit: Apr 09, 2006 01:31 am by Opal Koboi » Logged

Karen
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« Reply #8 on: Apr 09, 2006 01:57 am »

Quote
From the way events are set up it looks like Zuko is fixing to become a ruthless vigilante. So much for him becoming good anytime soon.


Hey! Zorro was a good-guy, Batman was a good-guy, right?. LOL!  Wink  And with the way things are now, I don't blame Zuko in the least for taking up the mask and broadswords again, especially after how that guy treated his uncle!.

Hmmm... I wonder if somehow Zhao sent word to the Fire Lord and Azula about The Blue Spirits true identity?... It doesn't seem like they know right now...

Quote
Maybe if he gets too bad Iroh will get disgusted and leave him.

After everything they've gone through together in Book 1 and the beginning of Book 2? Are you kidding?. That would be like Aang getting disgusted with Katara and Sokka and leaving them, or vice versa.
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« Reply #9 on: Apr 09, 2006 07:49 am »

Admittedly we only saw Zuko for a moment in this episode, but during that moment he didn't seem too concerned about Firenation war crimes, inustice, the oppression of the poor, and other such stuff. He was pouting because he wasn't getting his way and he felt humiliated. He had said some terrible things to Iroh in The Avatar State, and Iroh didn't seem too happy about the theft of the horse-thingy. But I was just throwing an idea out there, which may or may not be likely. You never know, at some point Iroh might feel he has done all he could for his nephew and the lad may benefit from being on his own.

I'm also wandering whether Zhao had told anyone about the true identity of The Blue Bpirit before he met his timely demise. I would guess no, since he would have wanted to keep the fact that he hired the pirates to blow up Zuko's ship a secret. But it's just a guess. I wonder if Aang ever told Katara and Sokka about it?
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Karen
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« Reply #10 on: Apr 09, 2006 11:20 am »

Quote
Admittedly we only saw Zuko for a moment in this episode, but during that moment he didn't seem too concerned about Firenation war crimes, inustice, the oppression of the poor, and other such stuff. He was pouting because he wasn't getting his way and he felt humiliated. He had said some terrible things to Iroh in The Avatar State, and Iroh didn't seem too happy about the theft of the horse-thingy. But I was just throwing an idea out there, which may or may not be likely. You never know, at some point Iroh might feel he has done all he could for his nephew and the lad may benefit from being on his own.


I meant that since both uncle and nephew are on the run for their lives (Enemies of the Earth Kingdom and fugitives of the Fire Nation) The Blue Spirit could come in handy.  Wink

And if friends and family left eachother every time they did or said something they didn't like or agree with, then they'd be alone for the rest of their lives. Roll Eyes

Plus, Zuko's already been abandoned by his father and sister. Isn't that enough?. Huh
« Last Edit: Apr 09, 2006 12:11 pm by Karen » Logged

Ranji
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« Reply #11 on: Apr 09, 2006 03:48 pm »

any thoughts on the identity of the mysterious girl that aang was chasing?  i wonder if she is the earth bender/teacher that aang is supposed to meet.  chasing her might have been the first lesson, listen to the earth and pay no attention to time as it appears.
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« Reply #12 on: Apr 09, 2006 03:59 pm »

Huh Could it be Jojo, Malu or Toph?... As far as I know, Jojo and Malu are only card game characters so far, and Toph won't appear untill "The Earthbending Tournament"... Huh
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Acastus
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« Reply #13 on: Apr 09, 2006 09:55 pm »

Well, the transcript is done and UJoF should post it when he gets a breather after he returns tonight or tomorrow from his trip.

I have to admit this episode isn't going to be one of my favorites. The swamp men's accents were too "Deliverance" for me. Not only did I detest that movie, but I don't like the southern hick prejudices' that it conjures up. The story tries hard and mostly successfully to redeem the swamp men (particularly Hue, the guy who was the Wizard of Oz behind the swamp monster) by the end, but, meh. Not my cup of tea.

The entire two minutes of time with Zuko and Iroh were pure gold though. Zuko's pride still rears its ugly head, but I'll accept that for the time being as I'm sure it will take many more episodes for Zuko to change. Anyway, I love the Blue Spirit persona, and this story provides the perfect vehicle for his re-entry. In case you missed it, the Blue Spirit mask is on the cart that passes by Zuko and Iroh at the beginning of the story. Zuko needed another copy of the mask, of course, since Zuko's old Blue Spirit outfit was on his ship when it blew up. So, now he picks up a new mask and a new pair of broadswords. Bravo!

Addendum: Forgot to mention how much I loved Iroh's song. The creators really do a great job with the original tunes, and "The Girls of Ba-Sing-Se" is definitely right up there with "Secret Tunnel" as my favorite Avatar song. Interesting that Iroh could sing with such feeling about a place he's likely never been inside. But then again, maybe he has...
« Last Edit: Apr 10, 2006 09:13 am by Acastus » Logged
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« Reply #14 on: Apr 10, 2006 01:36 am »

I theorized long ago on TGN that a waterbender with few scruples could kill living things throuhg bending the water in their bodies.  That this would be technically possible is now certain.

The transcript and eppy credits are up.  Working on the screens as we speak...
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Toomin
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« Reply #15 on: Apr 10, 2006 03:23 am »

I actually live in southern Louisiana, so do I get to call official judgement as to how degrading the stereotypes are? Wink
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« Reply #16 on: Apr 10, 2006 03:46 am »

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I actually live in southern Louisiana, so do I get to call official judgement as to how degrading the stereotypes are?


LOL! Then do we also have anyone to call official judgement as to how degrading the stereotypes of the Chinese, Japanese, Buddhist monks, Inuit, Koreans, hippies, etc are?. Wink
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« Reply #17 on: Apr 10, 2006 04:32 pm »

A very good episode. Has a nice mix of everything. I wonder who the girl and the flying pig are.

It seems the Blue Spirit has returned. Maybe Zuko will become some sort of vigilante or thief. I'm looking foreward to seeing how that will turn out.

What I find interesting is how that guy found enlightenment. It is very reminiscent of how Buddha was enlightened, after sitting under a tree. I forget how long he sat, but it was for a pretty long time.
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Toomin
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« Reply #18 on: Apr 11, 2006 01:47 pm »

LOL! Then do we also have anyone to call official judgement as to how degrading the stereotypes of the Chinese, Japanese, Buddhist monks, Inuit, Koreans, hippies, etc are?. Wink

Heh, good point. Still, most of those people (aside from the hippies) are treated pretty respectfully.
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« Reply #19 on: Apr 13, 2006 01:30 am »

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Heh, good point. Still, most of those people (aside from the hippies) are treated pretty respectfully.

I suppose so... Though I've always wondered if anyone might resent that the Fire Nation, clearly based on the ancient Chinese, are being presented as the main antagonosts...  Huh
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« Reply #20 on: Apr 13, 2006 07:03 pm »

I thought all of the nations were based somehow or other on ancient Chinese.
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« Reply #21 on: Apr 13, 2006 07:18 pm »

I thought all of the nations were based somehow or other on ancient Chinese.

The Water Tribes have a lot in common with the Inuit peoples of northern Canada. The Air Nomads, or at least the temple monks, seem to derive mostly from Tibetan culture. The Earth Kingdom looks mixed, and the broader show mythology is influenced by Indian, Tibetan, Chinese and other cultures. The Fire Nation does seem to resemble either Imperial China or a Japanese Shogunate. We're working on a "Cultural Influence" section for the mainsite that will go into all this, but it'll be some time before it's done.
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Aele
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« Reply #22 on: Apr 14, 2006 07:40 pm »

It seems the Blue Spirit has returned. Maybe Zuko will become some sort of vigilante or thief. I'm looking foreward to seeing how that will turn out.

What do ya know? part of of my guess came true.

My guess is that Zuko and Iroh will either join other outsiders from the fire nation, or perhaps split up and Zuko readopts the Blue Spirit persona
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ignite444
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« Reply #23 on: Apr 14, 2006 08:38 pm »

I watched it a week ahead, but I still like watching it on TV.

(Great, we have to wait 2 weeks for another new Avatar... D*** Nickelodeon..)
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« Reply #24 on: Apr 14, 2006 08:58 pm »

Swamp Dwellers! My name has an Avatar-related meaning now!

I guess I should have expected that, since swamps are damp and wet after all, but I was surprised at the amount of things we learned about waterbenders and waterbending in general in this episode.
  • Waterbenders can control water that is inside plants, and probably even water in living creatures. This makes them, as UJoF pointed out, extremely dangerous although I doubt we are going to see this form of dehydrating waterbending (or suffocating airbending for that matter) in the show.
  • The Water Tribes in the poles don't know about the swamp dwelling waterbenders, but - as of this episode - the swamp dwellers do know about the poles.
  • Not all waterbenders live in the poles. Of all of these, I think that this one is the most interesting because it raises so many questions. Who taught the swampies waterbending? The moon? Some other spirit? Are they originally from one of the poles? Are they more ancient than the poles? How do they know about the Avatar, if they are so secluded?

Then there was Zuko. I hope that, off camera, he cut the Iroh-abuser bastard's head off and burned it to ashes, that's certainly what he looked like he was going to do.
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