Avatar: The Last Airbender Book One “Chapter Fifteen: Bato Of The Water Tribe”

Well, if I thought Aang was acting a little too old for his physical age, he’s right back to childishness here.  That’s consistency, I’m sure!

Well, what brings on a child Avatar’s childish behavior?  Simple.  He thinks his friends might abandon him, and like any good TV character, he misses some key information while eavesdropping.  See, the group finds a Water Tribe boat in the same style as Sokka and Katara’s father’s boat.  It’s not their father’s boat, but someone they know.  That would be one Bato, a man who was injured during an attack and left behind to heal as the war raged on.  And Bato is a fun guy with a lot of good stories and good food that really only works if you come from the Water Tribe because none of this stuff works on Aang.

So, when Aang overhears the siblings say they’d like to see their father again when Batu reunites with them, he doesn’t hear them say that they can’t abandon Aang right now, something Bato approves of.

So, when Aang gets the message telling Batu where to go, he hides it in his robes for a while, only bringing it out when Batu praises Aang for his trustworthiness after Sokka successfully completes a manhood rite with Aang and Katara’s help.

Naturally, Sokka gets mad and leaves Aang, Katara following.

Now, that wouldn’t make for much of an episode if that was all that was going on, so Zuko encounters a bounty hunter who rides a giant mole creature with excellent tracking abilities.  The woman, June, says her mount can track anything, and it has a tongue with a stun toxin for easy bounty returns.    Zuko likes that, and Iroh is always up for hanging out with the ladies.  The trio then meets up with different characters from the past few episodes, and if you think Iroh won’t flirt a bit with Aunt Wu, you’ve never seen Iroh roll before.

Of course, the scent the mount is tracking is really Katara’s necklace, and Aang soon realizes that and further realizes he needs to help his friends.

Good thing too.  Sokka and Katara are stunned by the toxins and the critter follows Aang back to the convent that Batu was healing in.  And yeah, that tongue may be good to stun a human, but an angry air bison hits very, very hard and don’t go down easy.

Appa kicked a lot of ass this episode.

And heck, Sokka even realizes that the critter has a great sense of smell and gets everyone who isn’t Aang to dump a lot of perfume on it, causing it to stun Zuko and June while Iroh fakes it with June on top of him.

That’s kinda creepy.

Anyway, the Aang Gang reunites and flies off, all forgiven, especially since Aang got Katara’s necklace back.  Maybe now he can pick an age and stick to it.

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