November 27, 2022

Gabbing Geek

Your online community for all things geeky.

Avatar: The Last Airbender Book Three “Chapter Seventeen: The Ember Island Players”

The Aang Gang takes a break to take in a play.

The ongoing plotline about how Aang is smitten with Katara has always been something I’d prefer not to talk about much because…well, for starters, I don’t watch the show for romance, but likewise, Aang is (physically) about 12 and Katara is, what, maybe 14?  Point is, romances between people that young don’t much appeal to me, and there’s a bit of that in particular last episode that I won’t say anything more about.

No, most of this episode acts as a short break before our heroes do what they gotta do and maybe have a bit of comedy that ends in a serious manner.  Staying on Ember Island, the group learns the Ember Island Players are putting on a play about the Avatar and his adventures.  Curious, the group decides to go check it out though Zuko thinks these guys butcher the classics too often.

And then the play starts, a production where the facts were gleamed from various pirates, POWs, front-line eye witnesses, and a cabbage merchant who may have finally gotten his revenge.  Quite frankly, the episode does a good job of summarizing the big moments up until this point.  It just does so in a manner the Aang Gang finds…wrong.  Multiple times, members of the groups asks the others if they really are like that, only to be met by silence or Toph agreeing whole-heartedly.

Toph, it seems, is impossible to offend and found the whole thing hilarious.

So, we see a Katara who is weepy and in love with Jet and anyone who isn’t Aang (she loves him like a brother).  Aang here was a woman who was way too happy-go-lucky.  Sokka just kept making lame jokes about food and being hungry,  Zuko was a long-haired pretty boy obsessed with honor.  Iroh was a gluttonous fool.  Suki barely appeared and the real thing probably didn’t mind.  And Toph was played by a large, muscular man who shouted loudly to simulate echo-location.

Again, Toph alone was completely unoffended by anything that happened.

Now, things got a little better for some of the group during intermission as Suki helped Sokka slip the Sokka actor some new material and the guy liked it enough to improvise a few well-received lines.  Zuko, meanwhile, was accused of being a cosplayer of some kind whose scars were on the wrong side of his face.  Then again, Zuko was depressed over how he’d last talked to Iroh, worried Iroh hated him, but Toph didn’t think so, and she seems to know people’s hearts best sometimes.

But then the show ended with the Fire Lord killing Aang and Azula roasting Zuko.

Yeah, the Fire Nation does love itself some propaganda, and the standing ovation from most of the audience proved that.

The finale begins with the next episode.  I’ll probably watch and review it in chapter-sized chunks rather than hit the whole thing all at once.  I’m looking to draw this thing out and enjoy it just a little while longer.

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