Avatar: The Last Airbender – The Beach

“The Beach,” is an episode that’s inside out.  Four teenagers going to a beach and talking between themselves would normally be delegated to the B-story of any episode, if included at all past the waste bin of a writer’s room.  The story should have been exclusively focused on Aang and the gang encountering and dealing…

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 Earth King

“The Earth King” picks up in the immediate aftermath of “Lake Laogai,” with Aang and company happily reunited with Appa.  For the ups and downs of Team Avatar’s adventures, having everyone together is the best they can hope for.  Yet, the team makes the decision to reach the Earth King and warn him of the…

Avatar: The Last Airbender – Lake Laogai

In “The Serpent’s Pass,” our original anti-hero turned villain Jet and our original villain turned anti-hero Zuko crossed paths aboard a ferry to the great walled city of Ba Sing Se.  In the most basic break down of the two men, both were deemed villains because they were controlled by an obsession that generally overruled…

Avatar: The Last Airbender – City of Walls and Secrets

“City of Walls and Secrets,” represents the start of the darkest moments in Season Two of Avatar: The Last Airbender, if not the entire series.  Previously, the villains and bad guys of the show were evil because their wicked acts were perpetrated on actions which were in direct opposition to the things regularly and morally…

Avatar: The Last Airbender – The Drill

After a run of episodes which brought us significant character development for many, if not all our main characters, “The Drill,” instead brings conflict in the way of Ba Sing Se threatened by colossal Fire Nation drill and kicking the Jet and Zuko storyline into motion.  Instead of dealing with problems within, our heroes are…

Avatar: The Last Airbender – The Serpent’s Pass

While “The Library” and “The Desert” were tied together by both geography and the loss of Appa, “The Serpent’s Pass” has only the continuation of Aang’s grappling with loss to connect it the prior two.  It’s the emotional third act of a three part arc which ties together Aang’s initial loss, inability to express his…

Avatar: The Last Airbender – Zuko Alone

Since the first season of Avatar: The Last Airbender, I have written on the theme of Zuko as the anti-hero of the story, a hero’s development which has mirrored Aang’s own journey to saving the world.  Previously, that development has come in bits and pieces through Zuko’s pursuit of Aang for the purpose of restoring…