December 6, 2023

Gabbing Geek

Your online community for all things geeky.

Going Through Avatar: The Last Airbender Part Three

Jimmy and Tom follow the Aang Gang through the episodes "The King of Omashu" and "Imprisoned."

Man, the downside of these episodes is, they tend to be so exciting, but at the same time, the conversations go through faster than I can post ’em.

Case in point, here’s what Jimmy and I had to say about “The King of Omashu” and “Imprisoned.”

“The King of Omashu”

Aang returns to a city where he and a childhood friend used to have a lot of fun.

jimmy:  So the Cabbage Man was a red herring.

tomk:  Or you thought a comic relief character was a threat because of your personal feelings about cabbage.

jimmy:  Maybe. But the way you were talking I was expecting some boss level villain with mad vegetable bending skills.

tomk:  No, just a farmer trying to sell his cabbages.

jimmy:  He must have made an impression on you. I don’t think I would have even mentioned him.

tomk:  This isn’t his only appearance.

jimmy:  I figured as much.

tomk:  And the Moose keeps buying up his cabbages with your beer money.

jimmy:  I was wondering why there was so many cabbages in the bar fridge and no money in my account.

tomk:  You really shouldn’t leave your bank card lying around.

jimmy:  Damn that tap functionality!

tomk:  Well, now that you’re broke, how about that Bumi?

jimmy:  When they met the old King I thought he may be old enough to have known Aang, but I didn’t make the obvious connection.

tomk:  That’s OK. Neither did Aang.

jimmy:  Apparently. But he did in the end because of reasons.

tomk:  Aang might not be the sharpest tool in the shed.

jimmy:  Sharper than me.

tomk:  You just didn’t anticipate a mad genius like Bumi.

jimmy:  I didn’t. But it was kind of obvious in retrospect. Though he was over 100 years old.

tomk:  And Aang apparently didn’t know his friend was royalty.

jimmy:  He was just a crazy friend back then.

tomk:  He still is!

jimmy:  That’s true!  Likely crazier!

tomk:  Well, we all have that one crazy friend.

jimmy:  Or are them.

tomk:  Nah. That’s probably Crazy Chester.

jimmy:  The Cheetah?

tomk:  Crazy Chester followed me, and he caught me in the fog
He said, “I will fix your rag, if you’ll take Jack, my dog.”

jimmy:  Hmmm. Ok.

tomk:  But hey, earthbending sure looks dangerous.

jimmy:  And keeps you in shape.

tomk:  I am sure you too could be that buff if you learned to move heavy rocks.

jimmy:  Though he doesn’t actually use any muscles to do so…

tomk:  Flexing might be an important part of earthbending.

jimmy:  Well, he’s doing something right.

tomk:  It’s all that lettuce he’s eating.  No cabbages.

jimmy:  That’s because cabbage is garbage.

tomk:  You really hate cabbage.

jimmy:  I do.

tomk:  What did cabbage ever do to you?

jimmy:  Taste horrible.

tomk:  Good enough.  Have a donut.  It didn’t come from your stash.

jimmy:  Thank you.

tomk:  And it isn’t cabbage-flavored.

jimmy:  Don’t even joke about the existence of such a thing.

tomk:  Fine. Have a cheeseburger too.

jimmy:  Excellent.

tomk:  Now go find Bumi’s keys and pet.

jimmy:  I think the only challenge I’d pass is telling him his new robes were nice.

tomk:  What if instead of being the Last Airbender, you were instead the Beer Baron with a very different Zuko.

jimmy:  Beer Baron eh?

tomk:  That might be more your speed.

jimmy:  I could bend a few beers.

tomk:  Well, this is a kids show, so you probably shouldn’t.

jimmy:  A kids show about death and conquering other nations.

tomk:  Those are the bad guys doing all the war and death.

jimmy:  Damn Fire Nation!

tomk:  We didn’t really see them this time.

jimmy:  No, but you just know they’re out there being evil.

tomk:  Probably want to disrupt the Omashu mail system.

jimmy:  They sure do get a lot of mail.

tomk:  Someone has to deliver all those goods to the marketplace. Even those lousy cabbages.

jimmy:  Is it all internal mail?

tomk:  Well, once it gets inside the city walls, it is.

jimmy:  But if there is that much mail going around here, wouldn’t other places have roughly the same?

tomk:  Other places might not be as organized. Besides, you haven’t seen the Earth Kingdom’s capital yet. Bumi’s territory is a lot smaller than that place.

jimmy:  They must have a lot of mail!

tomk:  Aang made it sound like Omashu was unique in this mail delivery system. At least he never rode a mail cart anywhere else and ruined dreaded cabbages.

jimmy:  Aang just wants to have fun.

tomk:  He should listen to the opening credits. He needs to save the world.

jimmy:  He’s 12. He’s easily distracted.

tomk:  Would you have gone with him?

jimmy:  Sure. There was a feast.

tomk:  Not every stop gets a feast.

jimmy:  Oh?  What a gyp!

tomk:  The Aang Gang needs to stop a war. The feasting can come afterwards.

jimmy:  You can’t war bend on an empty stomach. Or less than 30 minutes after a feast.

tomk:  Warbend?

jimmy:  Sure, why not?

tomk:  I’m not sure you can bend abstract concepts.

jimmy:  We shall see, Tom. We shall see.

tomk:  Jimmy, your ideas intrigue people who wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

jimmy:  They should!  It’s free!

tomk:  Yeah, but it’s not even about you. It’s mostly about Ross Perot, and the last two pages are excerpts from the Oliver North trial.

jimmy:  I didn’t do it.


jimmy:  When you watched the first time did you figure out who the king was?

tomk:  I was suspicious.

jimmy:  You are so smrt.

tomk:  What about you?

jimmy:  No. But I probably should have.

tomk:  That’s OK. You’ll figure it out next time.

jimmy:  When I do a rewatch with Jenny.

tomk:  Who is a big fan.

jimmy:  She watched before you?

tomk:  About the same time maybe a little earlier.

jimmy:  Jenny is so smrt.

tomk:  You’re catching up.

jimmy:  It takes me a while, but I get there.

tomk:  Good for you. Now you can join the feast.

jimmy:  Wahoo!

tomk:  I hope you like lettuce.

jimmy:  I do!

tomk:  Good. The feast is mostly that.

jimmy:  Any dressings?

tomk:  Well, there might have been if you arrived earlier.  There’s just this bottle of chocolate syrup.

jimmy:  Unorthodox, but I’ll try it.

tomk:  Be glad all the cabbages got smashed.

jimmy:  And not by me. I have an alibi.

tomk:  Um, we saw Aang do it.  Twice.  And the guards outside once before that.  You don’t need an alibi.

jimmy:  Yeah, it as Aang!  I knew it!

tomk:  Um, right.

Jimmy, are you OK?

jimmy:  Just glad all the cabbage is gone.

tomk:  Well, in that case, would you like to see an episode M Night Shyamalan screwed up when he adapted it for the live action movie?

jimmy:  It’s not all episodes?

tomk:  The movie he made covered the first season, and part of it adapted the next episode in a way that showed why that movie was not very well received by the fanbase.  I’ve never seen the live action movie, but even I know about this one.

jimmy:  I guess we better check it out.

tomk:  Ready then?

jimmy:  Are there any cabbages in this one to worry about?

tomk:  No, but there may be a voice you recognize for a one-time character.

jimmy:  Sounds good.

tomk:  Good, because it’s time to go to prison.


Katara tries to inspire some beaten and demoralized earthbenders.


tomk:  Oh, you picked up on that.

jimmy:  It wasn’t tough.

tomk:  Good episode though, wasn’t it?

jimmy:  Yes. Unless you’re Katara’s necklace.

tomk:  So you would agree that keeping the earthbenders on a ship was a smart move?

jimmy:  Yes. Unless your ship is run by coal.

tomk:  You’d need an airbender to get it close enough.

But the live action movie is rather infamous for adapting this episode and setting it on dry land.

jimmy:  Dry land. That seems counterintuitive.

tomk:  Yes. Yes, it does. There would be literally nothing to stop Santa and the rest of his village from busting out.

jimmy:  I kinda thought that Katara was going to kick some ass with her water bending, but it never materialized.

tomk:  She’s still learning and can’t do much but annoy people into fighting back…I mean inspire everyone with a great speech.

jimmy:  Well, one person anyway.

tomk:  I was kidding though. I like Katara.

jimmy:  Of course. You’re not dead inside.

tomk:  And you aren’t either.

jimmy:  I like to think not.

tomk:  Good. I’ll bet you knew that warden was a jerk the minute he said how nice he was.

jimmy:  That’s the classic sign.

tomk:  And he stupidly ran a ship when he couldn’t swim.

jimmy:  That’s called arrogance.

tomk:  Maybe next time he can serve good food.

jimmy:  I’m sure the fire guys ate just fine.

tomk:  That’s because they are what you call jerks.

jimmy:  Not just me.

tomk:  You call a lot of people jerks.

Like the fire guys, the Romulans, the Kree, Watson, the Riddler, Cobra Commander, the mailman, the guy who calls you “Joey Improbable,” and the people who steal your donuts.

jimmy:  All of them are jerks.

tomk:  The guy who calls you Joey doesn’t hear well and delivers homemade candy to the local orphanage.

jimmy:  Fine. I’ll take him off the list. I have to make room anyways for that old guy that sold out the local earth bender after he saved his life.

tomk:  That guy was probably scared.

jimmy:  Of?  No one saw. You’d think he’d be grateful.

tomk:  The whole village was terrified.

jimmy:  Still. He just had to keep his mouth shut.

tomk:  Well, it just goes to show you that some people can be ungrateful.

Unless that old guy was secretly sending Haru to the prison ship to help with the escape.

jimmy:  He was sending the wrong one then.

tomk:  He didn’t know Katara.

jimmy:  Good thing Haru did.

tomk:  Why?  She was the other reason he went to jail.

jimmy:  But also the reason they were freed.

tomk:  You sure are a smart one. I think you earned a breakfast pizza.

jimmy:  Interesting.  What’s on it?

tomk:  Bacon, scrambled eggs, and a note that says you must eat it for breakfast.

jimmy:  Delicious.

tomk:  Likewise, if you go to prison under an invading regime for the crime of being special, I expect you to lead a prison revolt. A successful one will get you a second breakfast pizza.

jimmy:  Viva la desayuno!

tomk:  I somehow think Jimmy is getting that second pizza.

jimmy:  I just got to make sure I get the fire benders to fight back against highly flammable rocks.

tomk:  They might not be the smartest guys in the Fire Nation army. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be given guard duty on a boat.

jimmy:  So why is it that the earth benders need, you know, earth. And the water benders need the presence of water. But the fire benders can conjure up their own fire from nothing?

tomk:  Fire is a chemical reaction, not matter.

It’s also a kind of magic.  It has some rules you haven’t learned yet.

jimmy:  Fire bad.

tomk:  Thank you, Frankenstein.

jimmy:  Exactly.

tomk:  People have known that for a while.

jimmy:  See?  He gets it.

tomk:  He’s probably your mentor or something.

jimmy:  We go way back.

tomk:  In the old Boris Karloff movie, the monster drowns a young girl by throwing her into a lake. You sure you wanna be associated with him?

jimmy:  We’re not pals, we just both know the fire benders are jerks.

tomk:  Judges?

jimmy:  I’ll take it.

tomk:  You had a choice?

jimmy:  I could bring the decision to the council.

tomk:  They are notoriously in the pocket of Big Jerk. Someone needs to keep the Jerk Store fully stocked.

jimmy:  Well, we know who they are sold out of.


jimmy:  They always make sure to have Watson, he’s their number one seller.

tomk:  He likes to shout how fire is good in George Takei’s voice.

jimmy:  It’s funny that Takei is not a jerk but his character is.  Acting!

tomk:  It’s like when you pretend you don’t want to murder Watson. Acting!

jimmy:  Exactly!

tomk:  But I don’t think we’ll be seeing that guy with Takei’s voice again. The earthbenders dropped him in the ocean when he couldn’t swim. So, they couldn’t pretend they didn’t want to murder him.

jimmy:  Maybe he was kidding and just didn’t want to get his suit wet.

tomk:  Did he sound like he was kidding?

jimmy:  Acting!

tomk:  You may be onto something.

jimmy:  But I’m guessing from your comment and the fact you’ve already watched this, you know if George will ever be back.

tomk:  I may know that.

jimmy:  But for now, let’s go with the earth benders murdered him/them.

tomk:  Santa can hold a grudge.

jimmy:  Ask the reindeer.

tomk:  I saw Violent Night.

jimmy:  I didn’t.

tomk:  You probably should.

jimmy:  It’s on The List.

tomk:  Good man. That earns you a Snickers.

jimmy:  Nice.  I’m sure it tastes better than the food served on das boot.

tomk:  Das Boot is about a submarine.

jimmy:  That may be, but the translation fits here just fine.

tomk:  It does. Have a German Snickers.

jimmy:  Are they better?

tomk:  The labels are in German.

jimmy:  So, worse.

tomk:  They seem to be the same otherwise. It’s not like you have to fight a firebender to get one.

jimmy:  Good. Because I’d be toast.

tomk:  You’re right. They could make good toast.

jimmy:  I think they’d over do it.

tomk:  Doing what they do requires fine self-control.

jimmy:  I’m just picturing a classroom full of students and A LOT of bread…

tomk:  Sometimes marshmellows.

jimmy:  Ohhh…good call!

tomk:  But the guys who suck guard the coal ship prison.

jimmy:  Makes sense. That’s why they call them Toasters.

tomk:  They do?

jimmy:  They don’t?

tomk:  I don’t think so. They don’t have toasters. And this isn’t Battlestar Gallactica.

jimmy:  But damn, that’s a great name for them!

tomk:  You may be onto something there, Jimmy.

jimmy:  Though probably the last we see of them.

tomk:  No, I think we’ll see more firebenders going forward.

jimmy:  Yeah, but not the boat guys.

tomk:  You seem to think it’s the Nation of Jerks.

jimmy:  Oh, it is that. Though I feel like we might see a change of heart for someone later on.

tomk:  For whom?  You?

jimmy:  No. I’m not a fire bender.

tomk:  Well, maybe we can check in on a firebender we like while Aang does another Avatar job he has no training for.

jimmy:  Uncle Owen?  Wait, wrong franchise. Uncle Ben?  No, that’s not right…

tomk:  You got this.

jimmy:  Iroh?

tomk:  That’s it. Have a plate of warm cookies.


tomk:  Don’t eat them too fast.  You’ll make yourself sick.

jimmy:  I’ll remember that for next time.

tomk:  Besides, Aang has to deal with…the Spirit World!


tomk:  Spirits aren’t ghosts.

I mean, ghosts are spirits, but the spirits on this show generally aren’t ghosts.

jimmy:  Are you talking about booze?

tomk:  No, it’s more of a thing in a number of Asian religions where natural places might have a spirit to watch over them or the like.

jimmy:  And they’ll come visit you if you don’t believe in Christmas.

tomk:  …sure.

jimmy:  Or maybe they’ll visit a material world.

tomk:  They do live in a material world.

jimmy:  Then, mystery solved!

tomk:  Because Katara is a material girl?

jimmy:  Maybe. But that’s got nothing to do with spirits.

tomk:  I see. You probably want to learn more about spirits now.

jimmy:  I do.

tomk:  Then strap yourself in, Jimmy. It’s time for the Winter Solstice.

NEXT TIME: Tom and Jimmy will return soon with their thoughts on the “Winter Solstice” two-parter, “The Spirit World” and “Avatar Roku.”