December 2, 2022

Gabbing Geek

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Avatar: The Last Airbender Book Two “Chapter Nine: Bitter Work”

Aang and Zuko both start new training. Neither of them seem to be doing well with that...

This episode has a saber-toothed Moose-Lion.  That sounds like something you need Jimmy Impossible to deal with.

So, here we have a situation where two characters, removed from each other, both take up training.  Aang is finally getting earthbending lessons from Toph and Zuko is learning how to harness lightning from Iroh.

Good news:  Iroh is recovering nicely from Azula’s attack.  Good for him.  And Zuko needs these lessons because if Azula can do it, Zuko may need to master it himself.

However, neither student seems to be doing all that well.  Earthbending requires remaining calm, and Toph’s teaching style doesn’t seem to be aimed at keeping Aang calm and sitting still.  As Katara points out, if fire and water are opposites, the same is probably true with earth and air.  Aang isn’t a calm guy.  He feels things, like, a lot.  And he doesn’t sit still very well.  Toph, likewise, isn’t exactly a gentle teacher.

Fortunately, Sokka gets stuck in a hole while out hunting, and that baby Moose-Lion would have been too cute to eat.  Now, the baby isn’t a problem.  Aang finds Sokka when the others eventually notice he’s missing, and Aang does find his buddy stuck in a hole, unable to move.  The problem, however, is the mother Moose-Lion comes back and doesn’t take too kindly to hunters and attacks Aang.  You know, the vegetarian who wouldn’t have harmed the cub (calf?) anyway.  Blasts of air don’t do much, but Aang does master earthbending at the right moment to stop the mother without hurting her, letting the two Moose-Lions wander off.  Toph was nearby watching (sort of, she’s still blind) the whole time, and she can probably get Sokka out of the hole without popping him like a balloon.

As for Zuko, he’s not doing so well.  Lightningbending is an off-shoot of firebending, and while using fire requires tapping emotions, lightning requires the opposite.  That’s why Iroh is so chill.  Zuko?  Not chill.  Iroh eventually decides it’s too dangerous at this time.  But Zuko?  Nah.  He’s not the type to quit anything…

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