July 20, 2024

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Avatar: The Last Airbender Book Three “Chapter Nine: Nightmares And Daydreams”

Aang and Zuko find getting what they have always thought they wanted isn't always what they really need out of life.

The previous episode had an ending that was downright horrifying in its implications for one of the main characters for this series.  Why, then, does this episode feel like something of a step back?

Don’t get me wrong here.  This was still a good episode of The Last Airbender.  It focused on Zuko and Aang as one has everything he thinks he wanted and the other is close to possibly reaching a goal.  The solar eclipse is days away, and I guess the show hoped we forgot the Earth King accidentally told Azula about the invasion plans.  Stupid Earth King…

The issue here is twofold:  Aang is having nightmares about his upcoming battle with the Fire Lord.  He has four days to go until the eclipse, and he and the rest of the Aang Gang are waiting at the rendez-vous point for the rest of the invasion.  He resolves to skip sleep and train more even as Sokka reminds him that, during the eclipse, the Fire Lord will be powerless.  Granted, Aang’s first two nightmares show him going to fight the Fire Lord dressed like a Naruto character, but first without pants and second without studying for his math test.  Now, the third dream truly was freaky, but…

Lack of sleep, of course, is not good, and none of the others’ efforts seem to help.  Sokka plays psychiatrist, possibly as an excuse to wear a fake beard.  Toph’s back massages cause bruises and Aang runs from the threat of acupuncture.  Katara’s hot yoga reminds him of fire.  It gets so bad for Aang, he not only seems Momo and Appa talking, but they get into a martial arts fight.

As for Zuko, he has everything thought he wanted.  Mai is his girlfriend, and she listens, but he doesn’t seem to like the adulation, the fact he can’t walk anywhere without being carried, or even bossing servants around because he isn’t Azula.  True, there’s talk of a war meeting that he didn’t know about, but not only does he get invited, he gets to sit by his father’s right hand side.

So, what does all this mean?

Well, Zuko realized getting what he wanted wasn’t making him happy.  I think we knew that already.

And Aang got some sleep and found the Fire Lord sans pants, but the thing that relaxed him was learning his friends supported and believed in him.  I think we knew that too.

So did Aang and Zuko though.

Oh well.  The Appa/Momo fight was still cool.