July 21, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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Avatar: The Last Airbender Book Two “Chapter Fifteen: Tales Of Ba Sing Se”

The cast of characters go about their business in a series of short tales inside Ba Sing Se.

Well, when The Simpsons does its anthology episodes, I never really know what to say.

Naturally, Avatar: The Last Airbender decided to do the same thing.

Actually, this worked out much better.  Essentially, the cast all have a series of adventures based around a single day, and each character basically has said adventure be a very character-based story.

For the most part, these tales are played for laughs with two or three noteworthy exceptions.  The first, the only one with two characters, has Toph and Katara go off for a girl’s day out, and this is new for Toph since she is something of a tomboy.  Plus, being blind, appearances don’t mean much.

That doesn’t mean when some local mean girls mock her make-up, she won’t open the bridge the three stand on and drop them into a river while Katara sweeps them away.  So, I guess they killed the three locals…

Iroh, meanwhile, is being nice all over town, giving out good advice, even showing consideration for a man who tried to mug him.  And then he ends his story with one of the more serious endings by going outside to mourn his dead son.

Aang tries to help a zookeeper.  I’ll leave that like that.

Sokka almost wins the Ba Sing Se version of a rap battle.  He accidentally finds himself in an all-girl poetry reading when the one in charge challenges him in hiakus.  Sokka actually does well there until he gets a little too cocky and gets tossed out by a very large man due to using one syllable too many.

Zuko has a date.  Sure, Iroh helped set it up, and Zuko won’t see the girl again because she’s a commoner and he, well, isn’t.  But he does some nice things for her by lighting lanterns in her favorite spot (when she isn’t looking), and he even gets a kiss out of it, so Zuko got some momentary happiness.

And then there’s Momo.  Running around the city, dodging some cat-like animals, he eventually finds himself locked up in a cage to be made into a meal of some kind.  Momo is smart and gets out, and then he even releases the same animals that were chasing him before, making new friends who show him something that will come more into play later I am sure.

One of Appa’s footprints.

But really, this was a nice episode, a series of short stories that allowed the characters to step away from the main narrative and just be themselves for a period.  I can dig that.

Plus, the episode was dedicated to Mako, the voice actor who played Iroh who died between seasons two and three.  That’s always nice.