June 12, 2024

Gabbing Geek

Your online community for all things geeky.

Going Through Avatar: The Last Airbender Part Ten

Jimmy and Tom cover the two part season one finale "The Siege of the North."

Jimmy Impossible never expected to enjoy something like The Last Airbender.  Tom is going through it again.  And now, they get to the end of “Book One: Water” with a two-part finale.

They had some thoughts.

“The Siege of the North Part One”

Zhao has a plan for the North, Zuko makes his move, and the Aang Gang use their respective skills to protect the Northern Water Tribe.

jimmy:  Dun dun dahhh!

tomk:  You seem to like cliffhangers.

jimmy:  Who doesn’t?

tomk:  People who are afraid of heights?

jimmy:

tomk:  I think it is safe to say you liked many of the developments here.

jimmy:  Yes.  Though being in a fugue state while communing with the Spirit World is certainly a problem in the middle of a war when you’re the most powerful entity.

tomk:  Well, human entity.

jimmy:  Human entity.

tomk:  I suspect the Moon Spirit is stronger.

jimmy:  Fine. But you know what I mean.

tomk:  Yes. You want Aang to smash more boats.

jimmy:  We only saw the one, but it was good.

tomk:  Aang mentioned smashing more.

jimmy:  Yeah, like a dozen or something.

tomk:  You’d think waterbenders could do more with that ocean.

jimmy:  Good point. One massive title wave could end this fairly quickly.

tomk:  Maybe they have a range.

jimmy:  I was thinking that too, but they do eventually have to get closer.

tomk:  Maybe if they all pushed out at the same time, they could do that tidal wave.

jimmy:  There definitely seems to be a lack of military strategy on the part of the water tribe.

tomk:  And somehow they’ve held off the Fire Nation for 100 years.

jimmy:  Seemed like the Fire Nation never really put in much effort prior to this.

tomk:  The Earth Kingdom probably held their attention.

jimmy:  They also didn’t want to risk angering Santa.

tomk:  Well, Zhao was already on the naughty list.

jimmy:  See?  If they had sent Santa after Zhao and Grand Fire Master Flash, this would be all over now.

tomk:  Santa maintains strict neutrality.

That or Iroh is Santa.

jimmy:  What a twist to end season one!

tomk:  Instead, we just learned why Iroh doesn’t want to talk about the Siege of Ba Sing Se (the Earth Kingdom capital).

jimmy:  Because he failed?

tomk:  Because his son died there.

jimmy:  Because his son died there.

tomk:  Now he sees Zuko as a son, probably moreso than that jerk Ozai.

jimmy:  Understandable.

tomk:  It’s almost like how Pakku treats Katara like the granddaughter he never had.

jimmy:  Now he does. Not so much last episode.

tomk:  He learned a harsh lesson about driving women away, but he’s all better now.  I think.

Katara is his star pupil.

jimmy:  She’s a fast learner. She kicked all those other pupil’s butts and held her own for a long time with Zuko.

tomk:  Meanwhile, Aang is, well, Aang.

jimmy:  I thought he was impressive when he took out that ship.

tomk:  He was, but he’s no Katara.  Or Jimmy Impossible, friend to a Moose and driver of a fire truck.

jimmy:  Not many are.

tomk:  He’s no Sokka either.  Sokka knows things.

jimmy:  Jealously being one of those things.

tomk:  Look at that jerk, Jimmy.  Sokka is the better man.

But for Princess Yue…
She lies and says she’s in love with him
Can’t find a better man
She dreams in color, she dreams in red
Can’t find a better man

jimmy:  A Pearl Jam reference.  Unexpected, but welcome.

tomk:  We can make all kinds of references.  Wait til Sokka drops this one on Zhao:  “The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of the darkness. For he is truly his brother’s keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know I am the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon you.”

jimmy:  Is this before or after he gets a Whopper from the Fire Nation Burger King?

tomk:  Probably after he gets a three piece meal from the Water Tribe’s Popeye’s Chicken.

jimmy:  He is a hungry young fellow.

tomk:  Hungry for love?  For vengeance?

jimmy:  Both.

tomk:  Are you hungry for this stack of chocolate chip pancakes?

jimmy:  Oh boy!  Am I?

tomk:  That’s why I asked.

jimmy:  Keep’em coming!

tomk:  The Beaver has the syrup.

jimmy:  

tomk:  Ah.  A joke my grandma didn’t get when we watched the movie together. She seemed to love the rest of it.

jimmy:  You watched Naked Gun with your Grandma?

tomk:  She loved it. And not recently. RIP Grandma.

jimmy:  It is great. The movie, not your Grandma dying.

tomk:  Good catch. Have a bacon sandwich.

jimmy:  Excellent.  I’ll need my strength for the invasion.

tomk:  As long as you don’t try to carry an unconscious Aang back from the North Pole.

jimmy:  Better me than Zuko.

tomk:  You would do a better job carrying Aang across a glacier?

jimmy:  I don’t know about better, but better for Aang.

tomk:  I get the impression Zuko didn’t think the escape part through.

jimmy:  I was impressed he was able to survive swimming in Arctic waters. Warming yourself with fire breath certainly helped.

tomk:  And then he used his magical fire breath to fight the maiden fair.

jimmy:  Maybe Katara needs to learn, uh, water breath?

tomk:  That’s pretty advanced. Only one real master of that skill.

jimmy:  The ultimate water bender.

tomk:

jimmy:  The water tribe could use him right now.

tomk:  He’s probably off fighting Fire Nation ally Namor.

jimmy:  Who knew this show was so multiversal?

tomk:  Not Watson. He hates the multiverse.

jimmy:  So he says…

tomk:  There’s a lot of Watsons out there, and he hates competition.

jimmy:  I thought there was only one?

tomk:  Well, there’s Emma.

jimmy:  Yes, but only one that’s pure evil.

tomk:  The one that loves Canada?

jimmy:  No. That’s the one that’s pure love.

tomk:  What about the one who smells like goat cheese and roots for Zhao?

jimmy:  Sounds evil. No one roots for Zhao except Zhao.

tomk:  Unless Zhao hates himself.

jimmy:  I doubt it.

tomk:  He probably has some diabolical plan in motion.

jimmy:  More diabolical than to show up and start launching fireballs?

tomk:  You mean the Fire Nation never thought to try that out before?

jimmy:  That’s probably their number one tactic.

tomk:  It seems to have not gotten the job done for the past century.

jimmy:  But this time for sure!

tomk:  Well…yes.

See, Zhao has Super-Asshole powers he can exploit if he really wants to.

jimmy:  Why does that not surprise me?

tomk:  Well, you’re a media savvy man who pays attention.

jimmy:  Sounds like me.

tomk:  A debonair man-about-town too.

jimmy:  Indeed.

tomk:  To know you is to love you and to love you is to know you.

jimmy:  You really get me.

tomk:  And Zhao is none of those things.

jimmy:  Certainly not. Iroh maybe.

tomk:  Maybe.

But you know, there is a part two.

jimmy:  I assumed so since this was called “Part One”. To not have a “Part Two” would make no sense.

tomk:  Well, The Venture Brothers made an episode labeled “part two” once when there was no part one and it ended with the promise of a part three that didn’t exist, but that’s a different kind of show.

jimmy:  I have no idea what you’re talking about.

tomk:  Eh, try clips from the episode in question.

jimmy:  O…K…

tomk:  You mean running out of order, out of context clips from an adult animated series you have never seen nor possibly heard of failed to enlighten you?  How unexpected.

jimmy:  I know right.

tomk:  The point was that series only made a part two for that adventure.

But not The Last Airbender!

jimmy:  No!

tomk:  Ready for the end of Book One?

jimmy:  Ready.

tomk:  Let’s get to the fireworks factory then.

“The Siege of the North Part Two”

Zhao’s master plan revealed, and it won’t be good for anybody.

jimmy:  That was a lot to digest.

tomk:  I’ll say. I think you watched the episode in thirty seconds.

jimmy:  Lol. I was that ready!

tomk:  Ok, let’s set out the big things and take the conversation from there. Sound fair?

jimmy:  Do it.

tomk:  Ok, so there’s Yue’s sacrifice, Zuko’s attempt to save Zhao, Aang’s merger with a large spirit, Katara’s promotion to Aang’s teacher, Iroh’s intervention, Sokka’s grief, Yue’s fiancé’s utter uselessness, the face thief, and the Fire Lord’s decision at the end of the episode.

What do you want to cover first?

jimmy:  Hmm. The fiancé was a great comic bit. Complete with him calling Zhao “General Chew”.

tomk:  He should have listened to Sokka.

jimmy:  I don’t think it would have mattered. Zhao dispatched of him in two seconds.

tomk:  He might have lasted five if he had.

jimmy:  Probably not.

tomk:  Should we pull out the Pearl Jam reference again?

jimmy:  “Alive” might be better for this one. As in, lucky to be.

tomk:  She lives on as the moon.

jimmy:  I thought the moon was made of cheese, not Soylent Green.

tomk:  A cynic might describe the episode as cheesy. Or a jerk would.

jimmy:  Not I. Nothing cheesy about a young woman sacrificing herself for the good of everyone else.

tomk:  She had to. When the world went monochromatic, her blue eyes were the only color.

jimmy:  She had to. When the world went monochromatic, her blue eyes were the only color.

tomk:  Like the spirit world’s denizens?

jimmy:  That face stealer was super creepy and dark for a “kids show”.

tomk:  He also took your lunch money.

jimmy:  I wondered where that went.

tomk:  Or the Beaver lost it in the sofa cushions.

Best leave the face thief alone regardless.

jimmy:  I would. I don’t have a great poker face.

tomk:  Well, good.  Maybe leave the cranky monkey alone too.

jimmy:  What was his problem?

tomk:  He had just gotten comfortable.

jimmy:  Yeah, you don’t want to be disturbed after that.

tomk:  It only took that monkey four hundred years to get there.

jimmy:  That’s a long time.

tomk:  Now he has to start over.

jimmy:  You’d be cranky too.

tomk:  Well, turns out he’s a jerk anyway.  Why else would a panda yell at him?

jimmy:  And pandas usually love everyone.

tomk:  Panda spirits are different.

jimmy:  So are spirit coy fish.

tomk:  You mean because one of them might be the moon?

jimmy:  Or a very angry Aang.

tomk:  Or both!

jimmy:  Exactly!

tomk:  He was as mad as you when Jenny raided your donut stash five minutes ago.

jimmy:  That’s pretty mad. I can’t bond with the ocean spirit though.

tomk:  That power only works if you live on the coast anyway.

jimmy:  I do!

tomk:  Oh, well, probably a good thing you still can’t do that.

jimmy:  For sure. But luckily, Aang can.

tomk:  Well, I had best give you this dozen donuts just in case you do develop that ability.

jimmy:  Just to be safe.

tomk:  In fact, have two. We don’t want you to do to Watson what the ocean did to Zhao.

jimmy:  We don’t?  I mean…we don’t.

tomk:  That’s probably too tame a punishment for you.

jimmy:  And at least Zuko tried to save Zhao.

tomk:  That’s because Zuko isn’t all bad.

jimmy:  And is still faithful to the Fire Nation.

tomk:  Not according to his father.

jimmy:  No. But he thinks Iroh is a traitor too, which he isn’t.

tomk:  And now he’s sending his favorite child out to deal with his faithful son and, um, whatever sort of brother Iroh is.

jimmy:  She doesn’t look too broken up about it.

tomk:  The sister Zuko says was a natural bender that never had to work hard and was the same young woman in Iroh’s flashback who looked really happy to see her brother get that facial scar?

jimmy:  That’s the one.

tomk:  I told you to keep an eye out for her.

jimmy:  She was hard to miss that first time.

tomk:  That is Azula.

jimmy:  It sure is.

tomk:  If you thought Zuko was a jerk when you first met him, you are going to look at Azula and probably feel like you did for the Waif over on Game of Thrones.

jimmy:  That’s bad.

tomk:  But you still have Aang and his friends.

jimmy:  That’s good!

tomk:  Zuko is not one of Aang’s friends and he’s still out there.

jimmy:  But he’s tired.

tomk:  Iroh will take care of him.

jimmy:  And now has a sister to worry about.

tomk:  But no more Zhao!

jimmy:  Don’t mess with the ocean spirit.

tomk:  Everyone knew Zhao was bad.  Even Momo smacked him.

jimmy:  Flying lemurs are known to be good judges of character.

tomk:  He did more to help Aang later.

jimmy:  They’re also known for being helpful.

tomk:  What are air bisons known for?

jimmy:  Being awesome.

tomk:  I suppose you want one now.

jimmy:  You don’t?

tomk:  You don’t know what they smell like.

jimmy:  The Aang Gang doesn’t seem to mind.

tomk:  They live in a world without deodorant.

jimmy:  So, they are used to things smelling awful?

tomk:  Possibly.

jimmy:  Seems kinda like The Walking Dead where you just know the whole world would smell absolutely rancid after just a few weeks.

tomk:  Don’t worry. Aang gave the Fire Nation military a good bath.

jimmy:  He did indeed.  You know those guys smell the worst with all that heat and sweat.

tomk:  That armor doesn’t look helpful either.

jimmy:  They thought getting rid of the spiked shoulders would help, but alas…

tomk:  Those are good for tackling people.

jimmy:  If you’re not thrown overboard.

tomk:  That’s why the Water Tribesmen shouldn’t use them.

jimmy:  And wasn’t there a team of those guys?  Not just the fiancé?  Where were they?

tomk:  They found a bar.

jimmy:  You just can’t trust those teenagers.

tomk:  The bar was a trap for youthful idiot invaders.

jimmy:  It appeared to work.

tomk:  It’s more kid-friendly than assuming the others were killed along the way.

jimmy:  Makes sense. And they used up their not kid friendly quota with the face stealer.

tomk:  Also kid friendly: making Katara Aang’s new teacher.

jimmy:  We’ll see how that works out in the next book. I can see Aang being a pain in her butt.

tomk:  Aang is smitten with her. Maybe not intentionally.

jimmy:  I guess we’ll see.

tomk:  We will, but first, you have gone through the first book of a series that wasn’t really on your radar up until now. Heck, you can watch the live action Netflix trailer now without fear of spoilers. The characters you met in episode one are probably not what you thought they would be. Are you having fun?  What are your thoughts about the show, its characters, and its world?  Do you want an Appa or a Momo?

jimmy:  An Appa, but a Momo might be easier to keep in the house.

I certainly would have never watched this show otherwise as it never appealed to me, but I’ve enjoyed it.  It’s well done and the animation can be a little “anime-y” at times, but it’s fairly traditional.

And that trailer, right, let’s see…man, that looks pretty faithful.

tomk:  Probably don’t have to feed a Momo as much as an Appa.

jimmy:  Also true.

tomk:  And the characters have probably been more complex than you were expecting.

jimmy:  For sure.  Plenty or moral questions and grey areas raised.

tomk:  And that’s when you don’t meet buff old men like Bumi.

jimmy:  I wish I was that buff now.

tomk:  Your mind is what people like you for.

jimmy:  People like me?

tomk:  Sure.

jimmy:

tomk:  I’d bet even the Aang Gang would wanna hang out with you and show you cool tricks.

jimmy:  I’ll invite them to a party and we’ll see!

tomk:  You throw the most interesting parties.

jimmy:  You only live once.

tomk:  Is that why you invite Watson but then hire security guards to keep him outside to sadly look in through a window?

jimmy:  

Maybe.

tomk:  Well, when you have your next party, I’m sure Aang will be there.

He seems to like parties.

jimmy:  Nice.  I look forward to it.

tomk:  Are you looking forward to Book Two?

jimmy:  I am.

tomk:  Shall we move on then, or do you have more to add here?

jimmy:  Sure.  Nothing much to add.  Good finale, epic scope, scary face stealer.

tomk:  And a happy Jimmy.

jimmy:  The best kind of Jimmy.

tomk:  Not like the one Watson always mentions.

jimmy:  He only exists in Watson’s mind.

tomk:  He gets lucky a lot from the sounds of it.

jimmy:  Watson or Mind Jimmy?

tomk:  Mind Jimmy.

jimmy:  Depending on your interpretation of certain words, yes.

tomk:  But Real Jimmy probably wants to see where Aang goes next.

jimmy:  Indeed he does.

tomk:  In that case, let’s make that Jimmy happy.

jimmy:  Let’s.

tomk:  Okie dokie.

NEXT TIME:  Tom and Jimmy move on to Book Two: Earth with the episodes “The Avatar State” and “The Cave of Two Lovers.”