Avatar: The Last Airbender – The Headband

Periodically throughout the first two seasons, the writers of Avatar: The Last Airbender have tried to humanize citizens of the Fire Nation and crack the monolithic appearance of the Fire Nation being nothing but evil bad guys.  Is it necessary? No, not if the show was a straight up story of a good guy striving…

Avatar: The Last Airbender – The Awakening

Season Three of Avatar: The Last Airbender opens very similarly to Season Two’s “Avatar State,” in that it exists to establish the direction of the rest of the season.  Season Two involved the travel to Ba Sing Se, and “The Awakening,” concludes by informing the goal of our heroes, defeating the Fire Nation and situating…

Avatar: The Last Airbender – The Guru

The penultimate episode of Season Two of Avatar: The Last Airbender returns to a topic that was the subject of the very first episode of Season Two, the Avatar State.  It does so with the injection of further Buddhist philosophy, which in turn builds upon the Buddhist teachings interwoven into “The Swamp.”  Its application in…

Avatar: The Last Airbender – The Desert

In “The Desert,” Sokka and Momo drink cactus juice that immediately sends the duo reeling into hallucinations and ridiculous behavior.  Their view of the world is skewed to the strange and somewhat paranoia. It’s an apt way to describe the experience the story provides for Aang’s own behavior, as it’s something completely alien to his…

Avatar: The Last Airbender – Avatar Day

“Avatar Day” is one of the few episodes that offer character development for the characters in the B storyline, not the primary storyline.  In this case, we continue to watch Zuko wrestle with his future in a few brief moments, while the majority of “Avatar Day” is delegated to a story of Aang encountering the…

Avatar: The Last Airbender – Return to Omashu

“Return to Omashu” opens the moment “The Cave of Two Lovers” concludes, which finds Aang, Katara, and Sokka, gazing down at a Fire Nation occupied city.  “King of Omashu” represented an important step in Aang’s season one journey of accepting his role as the Avatar and also an important moment for Aang, as he finally…

Avatar: The Last Airbender – The Avatar State

Season One of the Last Airbender concluded with Aang entering the Avatar State and combining with the Ocean Spirit to annihilate the Fire Nation army that was invading the Northern Water Tribe.  It was the most awesome display of Aang’s power as the Avatar so far, appropriate for the season finale, but it left Aang…

Avatar: The Last Airbender – The Deserter

Much of the first season of The Last Airbender revolves around Aang growing into the role and maturity required of an avatar.  In “Avatar Roku” he is given the very adult burden that he must stop the Fire Lord and bring balance to the world.   In “The Storm” and in “Bato of the Water…

Avatar: The Last Airbender – Bato of the Water Tribe

The most interesting heroes are often flawed.  A flawed hero reflects reality in which very few can claim to be without their problems or quirks, and so make them more believable and relatable to everyone else. In “Bato of the Water Tribe”’ we have the opportunity to see Aang behave poorly, acting out to prevent…