ATLA Episode Reviews – 214-217
Hello everyone, Airspeed Prime here, once again, to bring you the next 4 episode reviews. After this post there are just 3 episodes left in Book 2 Earth left to review, those will be done next week. Along with that post next week will be a Book 2 overall review post.
This week I will be reviewing: 214 The City Of Walls And Secrets, 215 The Tales Of Ba Sing Se, 216 Appa’s Lost Days and 217 Lake Laogai
214 The City Of Walls And Secrets
Written By: Tim Hendrick
Directed By: Lauren MacMullan
Animated By: JM Animation
First Aired: 22nd September 2006
The City Of Walls And Secrets, this is a fantastic episode of the show, it sets up so much stuff for the future and is the perfect way to start off the Ba Sing Se plot of the show. For me the amazing thing about this episode was that Ba Sing Se surprised me, it was not the city I expected in terms of the feel of the place, I was expecting a place where everyone knew of the war and everyone helped each other through these hard times. What we get instead is this stunning mystery of no one talking about the war, a mysterious group of agents enforcing this silence and just some very odd behaviour all around the city.
I will begin with the mystery this episode presents. Our heroes have at last made it into the city after stopping the drill, their aim is to inform the earth king of the eclipse and also to search for Appa, but they never have it that easy. Toph informs the rest of the group, who are all not used to being in huge cities like Ba Sing Se, that they are not just going to have the run of the place, but rather that they will be “handled” and directed everywhere. It was a great line to show Toph’s past experiences becoming useful for the group now. For both Team Avatar and the audience watching, the awe of the stunning scope of the city and it’s trademark walls soon wears off and we realise that there are issues and mysteries all over the city. This begins when Joo Dee arrives to escort the team through the city, she waves off Sokka’s serious attempts to get an audience with the Earth King, you are instantly suspicious of her and the whole city. It is the lack of worry about the war and Ba Sing Se’s position as the last great city not under Fire Nation control that is glaring, why does it appear that no one in the city knows or even cares about the war. As the episode progresses we learn that there are multiple walls in the city, not just to keep enemies out, but to keep classes of people apart, the poor separated from the rich by a wall. No one is banding together to support each other through the war time.
It is this aspect of the episode that makes what could have just been another city so much more interesting. Then as Team Avatar are brought to their new house in the high class part of the city they learn ever more about the conspiracy in the city. As they ask their neighbours for information about Appa, they clam up, afraid to say anything that could get them in trouble with the Dai Li, who we know are much more than “Guardians of tradition” in the city. The last “free” city in the world and everyone is watched and spied on.
I will return to this again after I talk about the other parts of the episode. Zuko and Iroh have arrived in the city and have got themselves a nice place and jobs at a tea shop, it is all going great for the two, though Zuko is still not happy about this new path he is now on. The problem is that Jet has now become obsessed with outing them both as Firebenders, his friends just want him to let it go and continue their own new path,but Jet has pledged himself to doing anything to get evidence. We then get multiple attempts of Jet forcing them to firebend secretly, like talking their firestarters, but the two know Jet is on to them and don’t firebend. This forces Jet, who is growing increasingly furious at them, to barge into their place of work and accuse them in front of guards and civilians of being firebenders. The issue is that Jet is coming across as a crazy person, the two firebenders have just been doing their jobs and making great tea, no one believes him, he then tries to out them by fighting them which may force them to firebend. I love how he becomes more and more lost in this quest and isolates himself from his supportive friends, despite his real enemies being the Rough Rhinos. Zuko defends his Uncle by grabbing a guard’s twin swords, which leads to an amazing sword fight between the two conflicted teens. The choreography of this fight is stunning as they both use the furniture in the tea shop to fight each other and then they pile out onto the street. Then the Dai Li arrive and arrest Jet with ease, Smellerbee and LongShot can only watch on as their confused and conflicted friend is taken away. It is a powerful scene as his friends are powerless to help him, but they both realise that he caused this himself by not listening to them. This also shows that Iroh and Zuko are fully hidden, despite the attention on them, they were not recognised and are in fact becoming popular in the city. Zuko gets a victory and Iroh’s return to Ba Sing Se is treating him well.
Then we return to Team Avatar in the city. They are eager to get to the Earth King and also figure out what is going on, they know from a neighbour that it is forbidden to talk about the war, but they want to know why. A flyer for the Earth King’s party for his pet normal bear, Bosco, gives them their idea. Once again we get Toph’s experience in these wealthy cities coming to the fore again, as she is the only one who knows the proper manners to not look out of place at a fancy party. She and Katara decide to go to the party and somehow get the boys in to speak to the king, it is a good plan. It is then we get the introduction of Long Feng, by the end of the episode we realise that he was the one who sent Joo Dee to meet them and that he knew Katara and Toph were trying to sneak in to see the King, he is a very intelligent character.
What I really enjoyed about the party scenes was that the tension definitely increased as it went on. Joo Dee was eager to get them all out of the party and Long Feng was eager to not let them out of his sight, you could feel that there were people working against our heroes. When Aang reveals himself to the party, causing a huge stir, you felt like they had won. It would look bad for Long Feng to escort the Avatar out of a party with all the attention on him, but when the whole group were stealthily captured and brought before Long Feng in private, you got a sense of how much power he has in the city. The scene between the group and Long Feng is probably my favourite of the episode, we find out that the Earth King is not in charge of the city, he is left out of the loop by Long Feng and the Dai Li, which he controls, Long Feng is effectively in charge of the city. They all demand to know why the war is kept a secret, the answer he gives is very interesting and clearly Long Feng’s way of staying in power. He tells them that to maintain Ba Sing Se as a utopia, the last one on earth, that neither the King or the people can know about the war, otherwise it will cause panic. For Long Feng, keeping the news from the King means that the King has no major issue to worry about and get involved in, which keeps Long Feng in charge of the city. Team Avatar see straight through this and want to tell the city everything, which is when Long Feng shows that he is a similar character to Azula as he blackmails them to keep their silence. He knows where Appa is and if they talk, they will never find Appa. It is the perfect way to keep them silent. Joo Dee then arrives to escort them away, but it is no the same woman from before, though she is acting the same way as the earlier Joo Dee. This shows us the sheer scope of the conspiracy within the city, they have brainwashed many women to keep people from talking about the war. I love the way we can figure this out from what happens to Jet as Long Feng speaks to Aang and friends, he is being brainwashed by the Dai Li into thinking there is no war, the imagery of the moving light and the creepy line of,
“There is no war within the walls. Here we are safe. Here we are free.” – Dai Li
just make this ending so mysterious and presents us with such a mammoth task for our heroes to accomplish. To get Appa back they have to take down a conspiracy in the city.
A special mention has to go to the scene where the show lampshades the way it does animals. When they realise that Bosco is just “a bear”, they struggle to believe it and proceed to name nearly every hybrid bear imaginable. I liked how this scene to showed that non hybrid animals are a real rarity in the Avatar world, despite the odd continuity errors this scene brings up. Aang met Miyuki in 113 who is just a cat and made no comment and there are a few other things like this.
Overall what this episode does for the plot is that it gives a reason for the focus to remain on Ba Sing Se for a few episodes. We get a side plot of this conspiracy in the city, it is things like this that Book 1 needed, something to add to the main plot. It is presented so well with this episode. While it is not the most action packed episode, the intensity and drama of the mysteries and conspiracies made up for it. This episode is good because of excellent writing and Long Feng as a character, we get a villain who is not from the Fire Nation and he is similar to Azula, though not as extreme. He fits the episode very well.
Favourite Moment/ The scene between Team Avatar and Long Feng at the end where he explains why the war is a secret in the city.
Favourite Line/ Â ”There is no war within the walls. Here we are safe. Here we are free.” – Dai Li, for me this line just defined the conspiracy and mystery of this episode.
215 The Tales Of Ba Sing Se
Written By:Â Joann Estoesta, Lisa Wahlander, Andrew Huebner,
Gary Scheppke, Lauren MacMullan, Katie Mattila, Justin Ridge &
Directed By: Ethan Spaulding
Animated By: DR Movie
First Aired: 29th September 2006
The Tales Of Ba Sing Se, a very odd episode to follow up the mysteries and conspiracy of the last episode. Odd in that we take a break from the plot just presented to us, but good in that we get to see normal life in Ba Sing Se and have a focus on many different characters in new ways. I personally love this episode, but I can definitely see how it could be disliked for it’s placement in the series and taking a risk with a new format after such a strong episode. For me it works to give us some important moments for characters like Zuko, Iroh, Katara and Toph.
The only way to cover this episode is to go through each tale. The Tale Of Toph and Katara, two characters who when they first meet do no get on that well (as seen in The Chase), but in this short tale we see the two go out alone as friends. I think this was very important to show that the two do get on well together outside of the group at large. It revolves around Katara bringing Toph out for a “Girls Day Out” , I like the humour this tale has at the beginning with Toph not enjoying The Fancy Lady Day Spa at all, hating people touching her feet, to Toph it is like someone touching her eyes, in a way. Toph soon gets into it and enjoys the day with Katara, they are walking back home and Toph mentions how for once she feels “Girly” and likes it, Katara is just happy that the two have done something together that they both enjoy. It is good up to here, but what happens next makes this a very powerful tale. Some mean girls arrive and insult Toph and her new make-up, Katara tells Toph just to keep walking and ignore them. Toph, instead, earthbends them into the river and Katara then washes them away. The next back and forth is so well written and performed by Mae Whitman and Jessie Flower.
Katara:Â Those girls don’t know what they’re talking about.
Toph:Â It’s ok. One of the good things about being blind is I don’t have to waste my time worrying about appearances.Â I don’t care what I look like. I’m not looking for anyone’s approval. I know who I am.
Katara:Â That’s what I really admire about you, Toph. You’re so strong and confident and self assured. And I know it doesn’t matter, but… you’re really pretty.
Toph:Â I am?
Katara:Â Yeah. You are.
Toph:Â I’d return the compliment, but I have no idea what you look like.
Toph:Â Thank you, Katara.
Here we see the strength of Toph as a character, she knows who she is and is happy with that. Katara saying that is what she admires about her is such a great line from Katara who cares so much about her friends, when she then gives Toph the compliment it is just such a sweet scene between the two. With a subtle blind joke added in for humour. A very impressive character focus on Toph, with some nice moments from Katara. Showing them bonding, which was needed.
The Tale Of Iroh, such a sad tale and very inspirational. Iroh helps everyone he meets during his day and then on the anniversary of his late son’s birthday feels so sad that he could not help his own son. What I loved about this tale was that it showed so many sides of Iroh, his compassion, wisdom, funny side and for such a happy old man we see some moments of deep sadness for him. While for Zuko we had Zuko Alone to focus on Zuko without Iroh around, here we get to see Iroh when Zuko is not around. Zuko would tend to avoid all the things Iroh helps out with, while Iroh is drawn towards helping anyone he can. The best example of this is when he gives advice to a man who tries to rob him, he first teaches him better technique before advising him to seek a new path. You are left loving Iroh for being so great and compassionate and then when he comes to the tree and he has the small shrine set up for Lu Ten, you just cannot help but feel for Iroh. It is the contrast of him helping others so much, yet there is no one there to help him at that moment, that makes it so powerful. The death of Lu Ten was truly what made Iroh change from the slightly cruel General to the man he is as we see him now. A special mention has to go to the tribute in t his episode to Iroh’s original voice actor, Mako, who sadly passed away soon after he finished recording on Book 2, it was a lovely tribute to have in an Iroh focused tale.
The Tale Of Aang, probably the least important of the tales, but still very fun. I think what this tale needed was more emotion from Aang about working with all these animals yet not being able to find Appa, in the end it works well enough given that we know Aang loves animals and here he is eager to help in any way he can. He is the Avatar in this tale, helping someone who needs help. There is not much more to say. I did love the bending that Aang used to create the new animal habitat, combination of Air and Earthbending at the same time.
The Tale Of Sokka, I think this is just so well written that I have to love it. Whoever came up with the idea of having a story where Sokka accidentally gets into a haiku fight with a haiku teacher needs a medal. Every line minus 1 or 2 is a haiku, a well done haiku no less that all makes sense and fits the characters. It is just a very cleverly written tale and so funny. It adds nothing to the story beyond telling us that Sokka seems to love poetry. Very fun.
The Tale Of Zuko, an odd tale for Zuko to be in, but one that I think was needed to show a different side of him. He goes on a date with an earth kingdom girl called Jin, leading to many funny moments. I love Jin and I do not know how you cannot possibly love her also, she is so sweet and innocent. What is so great about this tale is Zuko’s change in personality, he is always super serious about most things and he starts this tale off that way, thinking she is a spy when in fact she has just been waiting around to ask Zuko out. Iroh accepts the date for Zuko and sends a slightly confused Zuko off. On the date we see the nice side of Zuko, Jin is just so nice and upbeat that Zuko makes an effort to perk up a bit, he is still very stilted and awkward as they have a meal together, he struggles to have a normal conversation with her. The real fun starts when Jin asks where they came to the city from, Zuko has to lie to her and randomly blurts out that they are from a circus. She asks for a demonstration and Zuko just cannot say no to Jin’s niceness. Jin then brings Zuko to her favourite place in the city, the firelight fountain, but it is not lit up. It is here we see the big moment for Zuko, she is sad that it is not lit and he makes the decision to light them with firebending (This is so big because of how eager he and Iroh were to hide their firebending from Jet last episode) after he asks her to close her eyes, seeing this nice and caring side of Zuko was important at this stage to show us that he is slowly starting to enjoy life in the city and could possibly have a new life here. He definitely likes Jin, but after Jin kisses him we do not know for sure what he is thinking. I would assume he realises that his path is not to settle down in the city and that if Jin was his girlfriend he would eventually be involving her in his complex and dangerous life, he leaves because he cares about her to much to put her in danger. Zuko’s final line in this tale for me makes this tale, when Iroh asks him how his night was, he pauses before answering with a smile “It was nice”. There is still so much going on in Zuko’s head, but for once he enjoyed himself.
The Tale Of Momo, no dialogue whatsoever in this tale, but it works. It makes Momo into a character rather than just being an animal. Momo really cares for Appa, the two are best friends and he is as eager to find Appa as Aang is . In the end this tale sets up events in the next episode, but it also shows that connection between the two animals and shows how clever and caring Momo is when he frees the two Pygmy Pumas who earlier chased him, they return the favour by bringing Momo to Appa’s footprint and some of his fur. The direction in this one is excellent, it makes it clear what is going on with no dialogue.
Overall this is a very good episode, it is a character focused episode that has some great moments for all involved. The only issue is the sudden change of tone from last episode to this one and then it changing again from this one into the next 2 episodes. It is a bit jarring, it works to show day to day activities in the city, but after last episode, it feels a bit out of place, like this should have come before the last episode. Some amazing character moments make this a pretty strong episode regardless.
Favourite Moment/ Iroh’s emotional scene as he remembers his son.
Favourite Line/”Â Happy Birthday my son.Â If only I could have helped you.” – Iroh
216 Appa’s Lost Days
Written By: Elizabeth Welch Ehasz
Directed By: Giancarlo Volpe
Animated By: JM Animation
First Aired: 13th Octiber 2006
Appa’s Lost Days, another episode with an odd format in the middle of the big Ba Sing Se conspiracy storyline. This one works better than the last episode as it serves as a catch up on how Appa gets to Ba Sing Se ahead of the events of the next episode. It is interesting to note that this episode won a Genesis Award from the Humane Society of the United States in the category “Outstanding Children’s Programming” for it’s portrayal of animals held in captivity. For the show to receive such an award is huge, and it rightly won it as Appa comes into his own a character here. He is not just the groups mode of transport, but a real character here, you know the emotions that Appa is feeling throughout this episode which is a huge accomplishment and makes this episode very worthy of the award it won. The episode itself is edited well to cover the amount of time that is needed to catch us up to the current story in Ba Sing Se.
What I really enjoy about this episode is how Appa’s story impacted on other characters and how a different angle in a certain scene and you then get the Appa perspective. When Aang creates the huge dust cloud in The Desert, it is seen by Appa, when he blows on the bison whistle Appa hears it and attempts to break free from his captors. The circus Appa is sold to is the same circus that Ty Lee was a part of, he goes to the same buzzard wasp cave that Aang went to in The Desert. He flies over Hakoda’s ship, Iroh spots Appa while Zuko is sleeping and does not tell him. It is such great continuity and a clever way to bring back other characters. It makes this much more than just a catch up episode, it truly is Appa’s journey.
I now want to talk about Appa as a character. He cannot speak, but somehow he manages to communicate enough that we know how he is feeling throughout this episode. For Appa in this episode the big feeling for him is trust, he does not know what people he can trust. He comes into contact with so many bad people who want to sell him and tame him and then he meets kind people like the boy at the circus and the Kyoshi Warriors. After the journey he has been on you understand why he is so unable to trust Suki at first and then why it takes ages for him to trust Guru Pathik. We see anger at points from Appa, mainly when he has to fight other animals. Exhaustion and desperation when he finds an empty barn before being chased away. Humiliation in the circus. It is so well done that they can make this 10 ton Sky Bison such an expressive character and more than that, that the creators can make us care as much about him as the human characters.
There is some nice Suki development in this episode also, a nice way to update us on where she has been since 213. When she finds Appa she knows straight away that this is a hugely important mission for her group, Appa is so crucial to Aang’s mission. We get to see that caring side of Suki come out, she understands that Appa has been through a lot and does everything right to get him to trust them. The big moment for me with Suki was when she sacrifices herself so Appa can get away, she allows herself to be captured by Azula to help Appa. That is what this episode does so well, in an Appa centric episode there is great development for a minor character like Suki.
The plot important aspect of this episode is definitely him returning to the place he was born and where he met Aang for the first time, the eastern air temple. There he meets Guru Pathik. It is here we see the affect the events of the past few days have had on Appa, he is very weary of Pathik and growls every time he moves. Pathik just waits for Appa to fall asleep before using his knowledge of chakras to understand what he is going through,
“Oh, dear. You’ve been through so much recently. Hurt and betrayed, so twisted up inside.Â You’re still full of love.Â But fear has moved in where trust should be.Â I’ve been expecting you and the young Avatar for quite a long time. I had a vision many years ago of helping him. That’s why I came to the Eastern Air TempleÂ Ahh. Your emotions are so turbulent. Like swirling storm clouds.Â Let the clouds in your mind be gentle, peaceful ones. ” – Guru Pathik
This line perfectly sums up Appa’s feelings throughout this episode. The Guru then attaches a message for Aang to Appa’s horn before Appa heads for Ba Sing Se, where upon arrival he is captured by Long Feng, we also see here the origin of the footprint Momo found in the last episode.
Lastly, I have to mention the flashback scenes to where Appa and Aang met for the first time. It is great to see a younger Aang without his arrows and baby sky bison. More than that it gave us more insight into how the air temples worked and how airbenders get their sky bisons. The way these flashbacks happened with a cut to Aang in the present day, asleep, dreaming about it was a nice way to show how much the two mean to each other.
Overall this is a very well done Appa centric episode, it covered a lot of ground and it did it well with lots of continuity moments and characters seen. This episode highlights how good the characterisation is in all of avatar, they managed to do it just as well for animals as for human characters. A lot of people call this a boring episode, but for me this episode is not boring at all, seeing Appa be the focus was very exciting.
Favourite Moment/ When Appa is asleep and Guru Pathik comes over and uses his knowledge of the bodies energy to understand what Appa has been through.
Favourite Line/Â ”Oh, dear. You’ve been through so much recently. Hurt and betrayed, so twisted up inside.Â You’re still full of love.Â But fear has moved in where trust should be.Â I’ve been expecting you and the young Avatar for quite a long time. I had a vision many years ago of helping him. That’s why I came to the Eastern Air TempleÂ Ahh. Your emotions are so turbulent. Like swirling storm clouds.Â Let the clouds in your mind be gentle, peaceful ones. ” – Guru Pathik
217 Lake Laogai
Written By: Tim Hendrick
Directed By: Lauren MacMullan
Animated By: DR Movie
First Aired: 3rd November 2006
Lake Laogai, what an episode this is. What I enjoy so much about this episode and why I like it more than 214, which this is the follow up to, is because it keeps the mystery and conspiracy tone while having much more drama and action. It has a bit of everything that makes avatar great and that is why I like it so much. The pace is fast too which helps also to ramp up the tension.
I will begin with where the episode begins, posters. Team Avatar is making Appa posters in an attempt to find him. What I love about the posters is how they connect everything together in such a subtle way. Zuko realises that Aang is in the city because he finds one, Jet locates Katara because he finds one. I think this is very clever writing, mentioning posters at the start of the episode and them being crucial to certain characters actions.
While Iroh prospers in the city, now being offered his own tea shop, Zuko continues to struggle with just being a refugee, struggles to have to give up chasing Aang. This all changes when he catches a falling poster of Appa, he knows that Aang is somewhere in the city. He now has a chance at capturing Aang again. He brings the poster to Iroh and the two have a very interesting conversation about Zuko’s future and his destiny.
Zuko:Â The Avatar’s here in Ba Sing Se.Â And he’s lost his bison.
Iroh:Â We have a chance for a new life here.Â Â If you start stirring up trouble, we could loseÂ allÂ the good things that are happening for us.
Zuko:Â Good things that are happening for you. Have you ever thought that I want more from life than a nice apartment and a job serving tea?
Iroh:Â There is nothing wrong with a life of peace and prosperity. I suggest you think about what it is that you want for your life, and why.
Zuko:Â I want my destiny.
Iroh:Â What that means is up to you.
This is fascinating because of how Iroh speaks to Zuko, he never tells him what to do, but merely offers him advice. He does not tell him to be happy with the life they have at the moment, but rather just tells him that this could be his life if he wants, it is Zuko’s choice. The interesting thing on Zuko’s side is that he is not happy with this “simple” life, he feels he is destined for greater things, the first sense that he is not just reverting back to trying to please his father, but knows he is meant to do much more. Iroh just wants Zuko to choose his own path and not have it chosen for him. Zuko then decides to take action by once again assuming his Blue Spirit persona and going after Appa to somehow capture Aang, he captures a Dai Li agent and gets him to bring him to the secret hideout under Lake Laogai. There he confronts Appa, but is soon confronted himself by Iroh. The next back and forth is just as important.
Iroh:Â I was just about to ask you the same thing. What do you plan to do now that you have found the Avatar’s bison? Keep it locked in our new apartment? Should I go put on a pot of tea for him?
Zuko:Â First I have to get it out of here.
Iroh:Â AND THEN WHAT?! You never think these things through! This is exactly what happened when you captured the Avatar at the North Pole! You had him, and then you had no where to go!
Zuko:Â I would have figured something out!
Iroh:Â No!! If his friends hadn’t found you, you would have frozen to death!
Zuko:Â I know my own destiny uncle.
Iroh:Â Is it your own destiny? Or is it a destiny someone else has tried to force on you?
Zuko:Â Stop it Uncle. I have to do this. (turns away, toward Appa)
Iroh:Â I’mÂ beggingÂ you Prince Zuko! It’s time for you to look inward, and begin asking yourself the big questions. Who are you? And what doÂ youÂ want?
We see Iroh for the first time get angry at Zuko, for not planning this out at all. Iroh is correct, what is Zuko going to do with Appa?, what exactly is Zuko’s plan?. It is Zuko once again trying to go down the path Ozai wants for Zuko, and Iroh still does not choose for Zuko, but presents a question to Zuko. Iroh is being more upfront with his advice now, because it is an important moment for Zuko. For the first time Iroh asks what exactly it is that Zuko wants from his life. While this is happening we see how much Zuko is struggling with these decisions. It is a very strong and emotional scene, having an angry Iroh here for the first time worked well to give this scene amazing impact. Zuko chooses to free Appa and let him find his way back to Aang, choosing good and a new path. This is symbolised byhim letting his blue spirit mask sink. It is a great moment with many questions, what exactly has Zuko decided by freeing Appa, it seems like he has stopped trying to capture Aang and please his father, but what is his aim, what is the path he has chosen.
Next has to be Jet meeting Team Avatar, this was a very good scene because of Katara’s inevitable reaction to seeing Jet again. He lied to her and completely used her to nearly kill a whole village, she has a right to be furious with him, she feels so bad for ever trusting him which was great continuity all the way back to 110. We then get a great scene where the others arrive and Toph reveals that Jet is not lying about anything, he does seem to know where Appa is. They go off with Jet to where he has heard Appa may be, but we later find out that Jet has been brainwashed to lead them astray and out of the city, all part of Long Feng’s plan. The drama quickly ramps up when LongShot and Smellerbee arrive delighted to see Jet out of jail, but there is a problem when Toph reveals that the two conflicting stories are correct. They quickly work out, based on the Joo Dees and this situation that Jet has been brainwashed, the pace of the episode is amazing from here on out. We then get an interesting moment where Katara uses her healing powers to try and clear the brainwashing out, it suggests that the healing also works at least somewhat on mental problems. Jet remembers Lake Laogai and they are off, Team Avatar + Jet, Smellerbee and LongShot, I was delighted when they all went to Lake Laogai together, everyone wants answers.
When they get to the secret underwater base a lot of the mysteries are answered. They discover the Dai Li brainwashing many “Joo Dees” and where Jet was taken. Long Feng appears and the fight we have been waiting for erupts. Long Feng flees and only Jet and Aang manage to follow him. It is then that Long Feng uses the secret line to activate Jet’s brainwashing again, it is all kicking off now. Aang does not want to hurt Jet and just dodges all of his attacks while trying to convince him of who he really is, when Aang mentions the Freedom Fighters Jet comes back and immediately hurls one of his swords at Long Feng, who easily dodges it and then brutally strikes Jet with an earth pillar before fleeing . Everyone else then arrives as Long Feng and The Dai Li have escaped, Jet lies on the ground badly injured. Katara can do nothing for him as it is so bad, Jet says that he will be ok, but Toph reveals he is lying. That right there is confirmation that Jet is going to and does die, for obvious reasons Nick could not show him die on screen, but it was done in a dramatic way where it had much the same impact. Â Jet’s death here is definitely one of the most tragic, in the end he went out fighting for freedom with the good guys, but he never got the chance to confront the people that did ruin his life, The Rough Rhinos, this consumed him so much and he never got resolution on it. That is an incredibly tragic story.
We then get the scene we have been waiting for, as Team Avatar rush outside they are trapped by the waiting Long Feng and his agents. They are saved by the returning Appa, who wrecks the earth walls they had made and sends Long Feng flying across the lake. The reunion scene is so emotional and right then and there you understand why the last episode was needed. Aang is at last reunited with his old friend.
Overall this episode was just fantastic, it had a bit of everything: drama, action, emotion and even a death. As a resolution to the Appa kidnapping plot and the beginning of the end of Long Feng’s conspiracy it was very well done, with how it linked all of the main characters into the same story without having all of them meet. It leaves a lot still to happen. Definitely one of the best episodes of the series.
Favourite Moment/ Iroh confronting Zuko about his choices
Favourite Line/ “I’mÂ beggingÂ you Prince Zuko! It’s time for you to look inward, and begin asking yourself the big questions. Who are you? And what doÂ youÂ want?” – Iroh
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