April 19, 2024

Gabbing Geek

Your online community for all things geeky.

Going Through Avatar: The Last Airbender Part Four

Jimmy and Tom cover the "Winter Solstice" two parter, "The Spirit World" and "Avatar Roku."

Why was “Winter Solstice” set up as a two-parter?  Each episode is arguably a stand alone episode with little to carry from one part to the next.  Well, whatever.  Jimmy and Tom chatted about both parts.

“Winter Solstice, Part 1: The Spirit World”

A village asks Aang to appease an angry spirit while Iroh has his own problems.

jimmy:  So I think the biggest takeaway from this is that Iroh can see into the spirit world.

tomk:  What makes you say that?

Not that Iroh might be some kind of war criminal?

jimmy:  I say that, because he saw Aang riding a dragon in the spirit world when no one else could see him.

tomk:  So, what you are saying is the silly old man is actually a spiritually aware individual who has great wisdom?

jimmy:  Something like that.  And I didn’t see him as a war criminal.  They were just on opposite sides of the war.

tomk:  “War criminal” is probably too strong. But he was a high ranking member of the Fire Nation military.  He is the Fire Lord’s brother. And whatever happened during the siege of Ba Sing Se, he doesn’t want to talk about it.

jimmy:  He got tired.

tomk:  Besides, spiritual wisdom sometimes comes from surprising places.

jimmy:  Mmmm…caramel bologna…

tomk:  But what happened to or because of Iroh at Ba Sing Se will have to wait for the future. You apparently were distracted by Gabbing Geek Labs’s latest invention, caramel bologna.

jimmy:  See here.

tomk:  Huh.  I forgot that season thirteen episode bit. Well, I guess I better let Jimmy take over the Last Airbender chat.

jimmy:  Oh no, we won’t be doing that.

tomk:  You sure?  We wouldn’t want to anger the forest spirit.

jimmy:  He’s not to be messed with.

tomk:  And there are worse forest spirits.

jimmy:  He wasn’t very friendly was he?

tomk:  There were weirder things in that movie.

jimmy:  I actually saw that movie, in theatres no less, but don’t ask me anything about it.

tomk:  You went because the English language version had Gillian Anderson as a wolf goddess and that did something to you? Not unlike what Aang did for that giant panda.

jimmy:  That.  Or I was single and way more into movies back then.

tomk:  Single Jimmy. I’ll bet I know what that was like.

jimmy:  I still dress like that.

tomk:  That explains more than it should.

jimmy:  I’m just not as wild and crazy.

tomk:  You matured?

jimmy:  Sure. Let’s go with that.

tomk:  So you could probably teach Aang a thing or two about being an adult?

jimmy:  I could.

tomk:  That’s what I like about you, Jimmy:  your boundless optimism.  I say you can do something, you always say you could.

jimmy:  Well, I could. He might not want to hear about the arthritis and crippling debt, but I can teach him.

tomk:  Good man!  Then he can use those lessons to find Avatar Roku’s spririt.

jimmy:  Or just stumble upon him.

tomk:  You mean you couldn’t, say, find his pet dragon, his Appa, his Moose?

jimmy:  Me?  No.

tomk:  Did you try looking?

jimmy:  But then I’d have to get up.

tomk:  Someone gave you chips again?

jimmy:  Tasty chips at that.

tomk:  You’ll never help Aang if you keep eating chips.

jimmy:  Maybe they’ll help me to a spirit world awakening?

tomk:  …what kind of chips are you eating?

jimmy:  Ketchup.

tomk:  Do they typically grant access to other realms?

jimmy:  If you get a really good bag.

tomk:  Your national snack options intrigue me, and I am considering subscribing to the appropriate newsletter.

jimmy:  As for Aang, he figured out all you need is nuts.  Well, actually, Katara figured that out.

tomk:  Which nuts?  Deez nuts?

jimmy:  Um, sure.

tomk:  Katara is the wise one. Sokka, not so much.

jimmy:  But he was the only one to give Aang a hand against a rampaging spirit.

tomk:  And that just meant Aang not only had to stop the rampaging spirit, he had to get Sokka back safely too.

jimmy:  So, yeah, maybe not smart, but at least he did something.

tomk:  Mostly he made Katara worry about all the men in her life.

jimmy:  How they all keep getting killed by Candarian Demons?

tomk:  Or taken away to the spirit world. Probably not that different.

jimmy:  Everyone goes to the spirit world eventually.

tomk:  Oh, I popped over there three times last week.

jimmy:  You do enjoy the spirit wings.

tomk:  I actually go for the pizza.

jimmy:  Also good.

tomk:  It’s otherworldly good.

jimmy:  It’s the soil in the spirit world.  It grows great tomatoes.

tomk:  You just gotta avoid the ones that talk.

jimmy:  They’re the tastiest ones, but they complain the whole time.

tomk:  Yeah, I don’t like food that protests.

jimmy:  It’s disturbing.

tomk:  And it gives you bad karma, something that can usually only be portioned out by the cosmos.

jimmy:  But if you find a spirit dragon, you’ll be fine.

tomk:  I found a spirit chicken.  That wasn’t as good.

jimmy:  No, but you’re on your way to an elusive spirit omelette.

tomk:  This chicken was a rooster.

jimmy:  Well, then you’re screwed.

tomk:  He told me he was coming to get you if you didn’t get off your ass, put the chips away, and be a better guardian to your lawn.

jimmy:  Oh did he now?

tomk:  Then he grew up to thirty feet tall, ate a small tree, and stomped off to find you.

jimmy:  Hmmm. I might need Aang to help with this one.

tomk:  He has to go to the Crescent Island inside the Fire Nation.

You know, before the Winter Solstice.

jimmy:  What could possiblie go wrong?

tomk:  We could find out.  Maybe Avatar Roku has nothing to say.

jimmy:  Well, he is dead.

tomk:  Aang seems to believe they can still chat.

jimmy:  They better hope he’s right.

tomk:  Just because they have to go into enemy territory to find it doesn’t mean it will be that dangerous.

jimmy:  No. Of course not.

tomk:  As long as nobody knows they’re going there, they should be fine.

jimmy:  Won’t be much of an episode.

tomk:  You raise a good point. I think that gets you some waffles.

jimmy:  Perfect. I have some maple syrup right here.

tomk:  And you can probably get something warm in the Fire Nation.

jimmy:  Like toast.

tomk:  Or maybe hot coffee.

jimmy:  I don’t like coffee.

tomk:  That’s for other people. You can have a hot cocoa.

jimmy:  Done.

tomk:  Sure, now that it’s time to visit the Fire Nation, you’re done.

jimmy:  Fire it up!

See what I did there?

tomk:  Yes. Yes, I did.

“Winter Solstice, Part 2: Avatar Roku”

Aang has a very limited window to contact his predecessor.

jimmy:  So, not all fire benders are jerks.

tomk:  And other types of benders might be jerks.

jimmy:  Not that we’ve seen.

tomk:  You just gotta wait for ‘em.

jimmy:  Until then we get a whole lotta action.

tomk:  Those firebenders don’t even get along with each other.

jimmy:  Are you surprised?

tomk:  Well, we met Zhao before, and I have seen the show. So, no.

jimmy:  That’s what I figured.

tomk:  You must have been surprised there was a helpful guy there.

jimmy:  After the initial surprise that they had all turned on the Avatar in the first place.

tomk:  You must have been surprised by the entire episode.

jimmy:  It had it’s share of twists and surprises.

tomk:  You probably looked like this for the entire episode:

jimmy:  Very similar.

tomk:  Probably looked more like a surprised Wolverine than Star-Lord.

jimmy:  Heh.  Also true.  Find that gif…


jimmy:  Judges?

tomk:  It’s generally a good idea not to surprise the guy with metal blades in his arms.

jimmy:  Especially when he’s having a nightmare.

tomk:  But you weren’t that kind of surprised.

jimmy:  No.

tomk:  Instead, you got Zuko going home when he’s not allowed to, Zhao being a bigger jerk, Sokka having a plan, and Katara adding to it before Aang can meet his previous incarnation.

jimmy:  Sokka’s plan didn’t work.

tomk:  You had a better one?

jimmy:  No. But I’m not in the show.

tomk:  It did set up Katara’s better plan.

jimmy:  Barely. And couldn’t the lemur open the door from the inside?

tomk:  Only if he brought four friends would be my guess.

jimmy:  Lousy lemur.

tomk:  I am sure Momo would have helped if you asked him the right way.

jimmy:  Like the ghost of Roku?

tomk:  He seems like a formidable fellow.

jimmy:  Even in ghost form.

tomk:  That’ll learn those priests who chose country over their spiritual duties.

jimmy:  Except that one guy.

tomk:  You only really need one.

What’s the other option?  Take the guided tour?

jimmy:  Pee-Wee was not impressed.

tomk:  His time was limited to speak to Roku as well.

jimmy:  I really need to rewatch that movie.

tomk:  You should.

jimmy:  I will!

tomk:  But first, maybe you need to focus on how Aang now has a deadline to save the world.

jimmy:  How does Roku know when a comet is coming?

tomk:  He’s a spirit.  What else is he going to do but keep an eye on things?  Or pass along valuable Avatar knowledge to the new guy?

jimmy:  If he can escape the pluky outcast, barrel through a blockcade into enemy territory, defeat the turncoat followers, find the secret room they never would have found on their own and then tricked his way inside.

tomk:  Yeah, but then Roku can temporarily come back and show what kind of power an Avatar can use.

jimmy:  Hopefully Aang learned something while in his Avatar Trance.

tomk:  He did.  He knows all about Sozin’s Comet now.

jimmy:  Why don’t they just send Bruce Willis and Ben Affleck up there to redirect the comet?

tomk:  They don’t have a space program.  Or possibly white people.

jimmy:  Send Dev Patel then.

tomk:  See?  You do know who he is.

jimmy:  Who?


Jimmy, you can be a very odd man sometimes.

jimmy:  I know.

At least I didn’t sell out the Avatar.

tomk:  You’d never sell out anyone who didn’t deserve it.

jimmy:  Exactly.

tomk:  But c’mon. You don’t think Aang deserves it.

jimmy:  Certainly not. Maybe those guys figured the Avatar was never coming back, so they supported the Fire Nation. But once he did show up, those guys shoulda been cool.

tomk:  Fire is cool now?

jimmy:  No. And neither were those dudes.

tomk:  And more dudes fail the Jimmy Impossible Jerk Test.

jimmy:  It’s a tough one.

tomk:  Really?  I thought it was just “Are you Jimmy’s idea of a jerk?  Check yes or no.”

jimmy:  Yeah, that’s it.

tomk:  Is it really that tough?

jimmy:  Checking “no” can be tough.

tomk:  Who has passed the test so far?

jimmy:  Well, me obviously.  Hugh Jackman.  The cast of Friends.  And you.  (The Ms. gets a bye.)

tomk:  Not the Moose I see.  I mean, the Beaver I get, but the Moose always seemed cool.

jimmy:  He created the test, so he gets a bye as well.

tomk:  Huh.

jimmy:  It all makes sense.

Or not.

tomk:  Look, Jimmy, I think it is safe to say that Aang, given time, will be a very powerful bender.

jimmy:  Are there varying degrees of Avatars?  I guess there would be.

tomk:  There are varying degrees of just regular benders.

jimmy:  So there was probably an Avatar that the other Avatars laugh and call him names and not let him play in their spirit Avatar games.

tomk:  Yeah. Avatar Dumbass Watson.

jimmy:  Heh

tomk:  Well, you’ve probably noticed Zuko is pretty powerful with firebending. But he’s not even the strongest firebender in his own family. Heck, he might be the weakest firebender in the royal family.

jimmy:  He’s still young.

tomk:  Does he have his own line of t-shirts?

jimmy:  No. But that’s cool.

tomk:  You should probably get your own line.

jimmy:  I’m ordering them now.

tomk:  You’ll be impossibly fashionable.

jimmy:  Appropriate, as it’s usually impossible for me to be fashionable.

tomk:  You did say you dress like this:

jimmy:  You rest my case.

tomk:  I rest your case?

jimmy:  Yup.


jimmy:  Nothing left to worry about except the fire bending enhancing comet.

tomk:  Maybe Aang better learn more bending then.

jimmy:  He’s got a year. How fast can that go?

tomk:  Well, Katara is like 13 or so and only knows how to make water sway.

jimmy:  She’s not the Avatar.

tomk:  No, but she’s a natural waterbender, and Aang needs to learn that next.

jimmy:  Hopefully they have a buy one lesson get one free coupon.

tomk:  I don’t think it works that way.

jimmy:  Shucks.

tomk:  He has to find trainers in the other three elements to learn how to bend that stuff before he faces the Fire Lord.

jimmy:  Finding a fire bender to train him won’t be easy.

tomk:  But you know from this very episode that they aren’t all jerks.

jimmy:  True. Finding one though…

tomk:  Fire comes last. He has time.

jimmy:  And I take it water is next.

tomk:  This season is called “Book One: Water”.

jimmy:  And I take it water is next.

tomk:  It is. You can’t skip the proper order.

jimmy:  I knew it!

tomk:  And you know who is on the water?

jimmy:  Aquaman?

tomk:  I meant something else like, maybe, pirates.

jimmy:  Oh. Right. Them too.

tomk:  Would you like to see Aang meet some pirates?

jimmy:  Indeed I would!

tomk:  Then I have just the episode for you!

jimmy:  Let’s do it!

tomk:  You’ve got it!

NEXT TIME:  Tom and Jimmy will return soon with their chat on the episodes “The Waterbending Scroll” and “Jet.”