FUNNIEST. EPISODE. EVAR!!1!
Seriously, I have NEVAR laughed out loud so many times (and so loudly) during an Avatar episode before. The Fortuneteller was hilarious, and the Cave of Two Lovers was funny as well, but "The Headband" overtakes both of them by MILLLLLLLES. So let's start with the basics: Sokka.
From beginning ("These are ENEMY BIRDS") to end ("Flamio sir, ...flamio"), he was a riot. I would happily see Wang Fire for the rest of the series, really! Besides, as the beard is now permanent, I don't think I'll have much of a choice
I could go on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on about Sokka, aka. Wang Fire, but I think I'll let other people handle it.
Next up, we have the whole school plot. It was fun getting to know some Fire Nation people who aren't evil, angsty, or an extra (I think I just described every Fire Nation person on the show so far, before The Headband, anyway. Heck, even Iroh is angsty now). The kids were adorable, and I'm glad to see Aang face off with the boyfriend; Northern Shaolin vs. Ba Gua baby, nothing's better. My great grandfather was trained in Ba Gua, so I'm glad that Aang won...obviously.
"I've already seen Fire Lord Ozai, and here's a picture of him I made out of noodles!"
SRSLY lovely YO.
This is becoming less and less like a "review", and more and more like rambling. Suffice it to say, the humor department worked overtime to give us this wonderful episode.
Now, the 2nd part: Kataang. I will admit, I go for the more emotional impacting aspects of this pairing ("The Desert", "The Crossroads of Destiny"), but the fluff is fun too. Katara looked GORGEOUS in her Fire Nation garb, which I hope the Gaang will continue to use from here on out (until the day of the invasion, anyway). Aang's little blushing was a very nice touch, and very expected. But of course, the big moment came later in the episode. When Aang offered Katara his hand, it was just hilarious seeing Katara reacting as if the coolest kid in her highschool is offering to dance with her, the school's bookworm who is secretly hawt. Perhaps I've seen one-too-many date movies (well, one was enough). Either way, it was hilarious.
The Dancing was wonderfully storyboarded and animated. The various kids' moves were top notch, and it was nice seeing where the Video references of Bryan spazzing out went. There was a problem here though, because my TV screen was so dark (I could never figure it out), so I think I missed a lot of detail. Still, the focus was on the Kataang Dance and it was AWESOME...AWESOME TO THE MAX. Aang is so smooth, isn't he?
Oh, and I suppose cheeks REALLY don't lie. Time for Psylum
to update that icon of his.
Anyway, the Kataang portion, although mighty fluffy, was very cute and enjoyable. Hopefully this is only the tip of the iceberg.
Switching gears now, to Zuko's storyline. Again, wonderfully done, in a whole other way. Definitely not funny (except for Azula's trick of getting Zuko to spill the beans...again. Well, maybe not funny...it was just very clever), but very intriguing, and of course, heartbreaking. Iroh not talking was a little unsettling, even though I might know why. Still, as I've already heard of Greg Baldwin's voice and thought it great, I think it does a disservice to the man to try to ease the fans into his voice (I don't get how that works...if we don't hear his voice, how do we adjust to it)? Still, I don't think that's what the writers are doing. Iroh is not talking because he has been deeply hurt, just like when Lu Ten died. In a way, the "son" he's turned his fatherly attention to has died as well, betraying him in the moment of truth.
Well, ok, not "died". I think Zuko's still able to redeem himself, by far. What I see in his actions is a prime example of what a teenager does: irrational, extreme, and without thought (hey, I'm still a teen, so I can say that). Beneath his frustration and...uh...badly chosen words towards Iroh, lies exactly what he revealed near the end: he is loosing his mind contemplating the loss of his honor again, should the Avatar turn up alive. He is confused more than ever, and confusion can lead a man to do very bad things. I think when Zuko finds out the mistake he has made in hiring "Combustion Man", he will start to turn towards "good", whatever that may mean to Zuko. I plead to all those who are condemning him for his actions to think about who we're dealing here: Zuko has not matured, he is not an adult, and certainly does not have an adult frame of mind. He is still a child in many ways, and a confused one at that. He will continue to make mistakes. Also, he is starting to learn from them: his "trust" in Azula is visibly waning everyday, and he has admitted that what he has sought for so long is not what he thought it'd be. Give it time.
Whew, that was a lot. Once more though, watching Avatar on TV seems to speed it up, and that was the only downside in this episode; it felt rushed, once again. Still, I doubt it's anyone's fault by mine.
(because the invasion episode will get a 10/10