One thing I like about Avatar: The Last Airbender is it is a very creative show, particularly in how it depicts the use of the different bending powers.
And, it turns out, the show makes it a point of saying how creative thinking is important this time around.
By now, we should know that Aang is immature and he isn’t going to be taking a straight trip to the North Pole to find a waterbender to train himself and Katara in waterbending. Instead, and since Appa follows Aang’s directions, the trio are stopping somewhere else again.
This time it’s the Earth Kingdom city of Omashu, where Aang used to hang out with his fun buddy Bumi. And, for whatever reason, Aang wants to see the place again. Wearing a disguise, he bluffs his way past some guards with the only hiccup being that Sokka should be carrying his “grandfather’s” bag. And what does Aang want to do here?
He wants to ride the mail delivery system for the city. Earthbending carries heavy sleds up and gravity beings them down. Sumi and Aang used them for slides, and since Aang more or less does what he wants, he talks Katara and Sokka into trying it out, and the prospect is rather terrifying for everyone that isn’t Aang. After wrecking all kinds of stuff, including a poor farmer’s cabbage stand, the three are brought before the king. And he orders them…a feast!
Wait, that doesn’t seem right. Then again, he does seem to be a crazy old man. So, can the three leave after the meal? Well, Aang accidentally uses some airbending when the king tosses a drumstick at him, and now the king knows he’s the Avatar, so now Aang has to pass some challenges. And, in case Aang has another thought, and since Momo can’t escape to get Appa for help, Sokka and Katara are placed in fast-growing crystals that will crush the two before the day is over.
First challenge: tell the king what Aang thinks of his robes. That one is easy.
Second, retrieve a key from a waterfall. That requires tossing a air-propelled rock through the water.
Third, retrieve the king’s pet. And the pet was not the cute, chubby bunny but the larger critter chasing him.
And finally, Aang had to defeat a challengers of Aang’s choice. Aang chose…the decrepit old king.
Bed news: the guy’s the best Earthbender around, and Aang has to pull out all kinds of tricks to get a tap in.
Then, for an added test, can Aang guess the king’s name?
Yes, it’s Bumi. Some people do age over a 100 years’ time.
What gave? Well, Bumi knows Aang will need to defeat the Fire Lord, and there was never any danger to anyone with these challenges. Heck, the fast-growing crystals were made of rock candy. He just wanted to challenge his old friend’s creativity.
And then ride the mail sleds again.
That doesn’t go well for cabbages.