April 19, 2024

Gabbing Geek

Your online community for all things geeky.

Going Through Avatar: The Last Airbender Part Sixteen

Jimmy and Tom talk the Last Airbender episodes "The Desert" and "The Secret of the Fire Nation".

What?  You thought there’d only be one transcript of Jimmy and Tom’s thoughts on Avatar: The Last Airbender this week?  Nope!  They’re back already, discussing the episodes “The Desert” and the double-length “The Secret of the Fire Nation.”

“The Desert”

Aang isn’t taking Appa’s loss very well.

jimmy:  They sure jammed a lot into this one.

tomk:  It’s sometimes treated as the back half of a longer episode that includes their adventure in the library.

jimmy:  The storytelling is continuous throughout the series, but this certainly feels like a “Part 2”.

tomk:  Well…it is.

Sort of. I mean, it does pick up immediately after the previous episode.

jimmy:  And the next probably immediately after this one.

tomk:  Yes, the timeline for the rest of the series is about two weeks.

jimmy:  Series or season?

tomk:  Series. Unless that’s not even true.

jimmy:  Who can tell?

tomk:  The giant owl.

jimmy:  He’s busy chasing that Professor guy for eternity.

tomk:  Sokka might when he isn’t tripping on cactus water.

jimmy:  He was certainly back to his comic relief ways in this one.

tomk:  He finally bonded with Momo.

jimmy:  Comic relief #2.

tomk:  Meanwhile, Toph’s senses were dulled by sand and Aang was really mad.

jimmy:  The senses thing was a nice touch.  Aang being mad was understandable.  And then he went full Avatar until Katara talked him down.

tomk:  Katara really is the glue holding them together at this point.

jimmy:  MVP?

tomk:  I get the impression any one of them could be the MVP at any given moment. Except Iroh. He’s in a class by himself.

jimmy:  He’s the MVI.

tomk:  Look how he apparently is a member of a secret society.

jimmy:  And a hell of a checkgammon player.

tomk:  I’m sure that won’t be relevant later.

jimmy:  Probably not.

tomk:  I mean, we don’t even know what happened in that room.

jimmy:  They worked on their secret handshakes.

tomk:  Also, fake passports.

jimmy:  You can’t be a secret society without fake passports.

tomk:  How would you know?  How many do you belong to?

jimmy:  They’re secret. I can’t tell you.

tomk:  I see.

jimmy:  Be quiet.

tomk:  Ok, as long as everyone else is.

jimmy:  Oppenheimer: The Animated Series.

tomk:  The Manhattan Project was even more secret than Iroh’s society.

jimmy:  I don’t remember them having a secret handshake.

tomk:  That’s because it was a secret.

jimmy:  Ah. Gotcha. Wink.

tomk:  But the Aang Gang did find a neat boat.

jimmy:  That’s better than a new hat.

tomk:  They used it to find a giant wasps’ nest.

jimmy:  Small wasps nests are bad enough.

tomk:  Most you can’t walk through.

jimmy:  Thank God.

tomk:  Well, there is that one behind your house the Beaver found.

jimmy:  That was big,  but not walk inside of big.

tomk:  It was to a Beaver.

jimmy:  Fair enough.

tomk:  If anything, I would say Katara needs a vacation after all that. She looks beat.

jimmy:  Keeping that group all together is tough.

tomk:  Is it better or worse when Sokka is hallucinating?

jimmy:  Worse.  Much worse.

tomk:  Is Katara their leader?

jimmy:  It sure seems that way.

tomk:  Someone has to be. I mean, I hope it’s not you. You’re not even on the show.

jimmy:  That would make it tough for me to lead.

tomk:  Try shouting advice at your TV.

jimmy:  I do that for every show!

tomk:  Do they listen?

jimmy:

tomk:  Their loss.

jimmy:  I have all the best ideas and often know who the killer is.

tomk:  The Scooby gang doesn’t listen either.

jimmy:  Katara could set them straight.

tomk:  That could be an interesting thing.

jimmy:  You drew that up pretty quick.

tomk:  Yes…drew…

jimmy:  You don’t draw these shows?

tomk:  Me?  No.  I think Jenny does.  She’s a huge fan.

jimmy:  Huger than Batman: The Animated Series?

tomk:  Well, Jenny never watched most of that, so…yes.

jimmy:  I see.

tomk:  But you’re here now. You know what Appa means to Aang. Heck, you like him too.

jimmy:  Who doesn’t?

tomk:  I dunno.  Zuko?

jimmy:  Hmm.  Maybe.

tomk:  But hey, I think it is safe to say a lot of people are headed for Ba Sing Se.

jimmy:  Some in planters.

tomk:  Not everyone can travel in style like you do with the Moose in that extra-large sidecar.

jimmy:  We’re also not hiding from anyone.

tomk:  Not even Watson?

jimmy:  Hmm.  Maybe.

tomk:  But maybe we can move on.  Especially considering Netflix ran the next two episodes together as one long one here in the States.

jimmy:  Oh?  Are we watching both?

tomk:  Sure!

How else will you learn…the secrets of the Fire Nation!

jimmy:  Not from the library, that’s for sure.

tomk:  It may or may not be an accurate title.  What I will say is you’ll see a lot of familiar faces on the way to Ba Sing Se.

“The Secret of the Fire Nation”

Sooner or later, everyone goes to Ba Sing Se.

jimmy:  Is this the origin of “The Aang Gang”?

tomk:  It would be, but they use “Team Avatar” in-universe. I just prefer “Aang Gang.”

jimmy:  No one prefers Team Avatar.

tomk:  Many fans do.

jimmy:  Really?  And Sokka of course.

tomk:  No one likes rhyming anymore.

jimmy:  Like Homer.  He hates to rhyme.

tomk:  That’s odd for the writer of two ancient epic Greek poems.

jimmy:  Very surprising.

tomk:  You think you know a guy.

jimmy:  People change. Sometimes they get overprotective.

tomk:  Like anyone we know?

jimmy:  A certain sometime comic relief character.

tomk:  Watson?

jimmy:  No. Someone we like.

tomk:  Worf?

jimmy:  Not this time. How about Sokka?

tomk:  Oh yeah.  We do like him.

jimmy:  It was sweet, but clearly Suki can take care of herself.

tomk:  She did rescue Toph.

jimmy:  And then Toph made it awkward.

tomk:  Mostly for herself. No one can resist the manliness of Sokka.

jimmy:  Apparently not.

tomk:  Fun fact:  the actress who played Toph was about 12-13 when she recorded the show.

jimmy:  Interesting. Usually they have someone older play younger.

tomk:  I only learned that recently and was surprised myself.

jimmy:  The guy who played Aang was only 12.  Katara 16. Sokka 18. Zuko 30.

tomk:  Interesting.  I only knew about Toph because I caught the actress in a YouTube short video saying as much while I was looking around over there.

jimmy:  Surprised Aang was so young…and Zuko so “old”.

tomk:  Compared to the others, yes.

jimmy:  So the other actors are around their character ages.

tomk:  Looks like.

jimmy:  Cool. Those 12 year olds hold their own.

tomk:  They have to. Everyone is going to Ba Sing Se.

jimmy:  Including a giant drill.

tomk:  Yup. The drill, Azula and her friends, Suki, the Cabbage Man, Jet, Iroh, Zuko, three platypus bears, Captain Jake, the Loch Ness Monster, Popeye, the Polkaroo, your no good cousin Quentin, Groot, Miss Piggy, and of course the Moose.

jimmy:  No wonder they put up that wall.

tomk:  Someone in charge there wanted to build a wall on the border.  Insert political joke here.

jimmy:  Yeah, but this wall is finished.

tomk:  Well, it was.  Now there’s a giant drill poking through it.

jimmy:  At least it is stopped.

tomk:  And it’s a good thing there are no dangerous Fire Nation types inside of it that can sneak in from there.

jimmy:  Only one of the worst ones ever.

tomk:  Sparky the Engineer?

jimmy:  Don’t you just hate that guy?

tomk:  I heard he’s just a misunderstood man trying to keep the boilers working.

jimmy:  Next you’ll tell me Azula is misunderstood too!

tomk:  She is.  She’s actually worse.

jimmy:  She is. Her friends aren’t a lot better, when they’re not staying out of the way.

tomk:  One won’t get dirty. The other seems very friendly when she isn’t nerve-jabbing people.

jimmy:  She made quick work of that elite squad of earth benders.

tomk:  And then couldn’t stop a couple kids sneaking under their drill.

jimmy:  They’re not just any kids!

tomk:  Yeah!  One has a boomerang!

jimmy:  Not just any kid has one of those!

tomk:  Not outside Australia!

jimmy:  Those Aussie kids have all the fun.

tomk:  Really?  How about you check under your chair.  I got you a didgeridoo.

jimmy:  Awesome!  The Ms. is not going to be happy with you though…

tomk:  Play it in the office until you get good at it.

jimmy:  Good idea!

tomk:  Then you only bother coworkers.

jimmy:  That’s fine.

tomk:  Then you can tour with the Beaver’s jug band.

jimmy:  They play all John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band covers.

tomk:  They might also be touring Ba Sing Se.

jimmy:  It’s the place to be.

tomk:  You just have to get past dangerous passes to get there.

jimmy:  If only they had a flying bison.

tomk:  Or maybe a polar bear crossed with a golden retriever that lets you ride on its back.

jimmy:  Uh, sure.

tomk:  Maybe make a note of that one.

jimmy:  A polartriever?

tomk:  That’s as good a name as any.

jimmy:  He probably hangs out with the sabermoose and the beaveriger.

tomk:  Probably not on the Serpent’s Pass.

jimmy:  No, that would be silly.

tomk:  The Fire Nation Navy sails past that sea monster all the time.

jimmy:  He only attacks walkers.

tomk:  Well, Aang only fights defensively.

jimmy:  With air bending anyway.

tomk:  He used earthbending for shields.

Oh, and making a Ben Grimm Fist.

jimmy:  It was clobbering time.

tomk:  More like slobbering time with all that sludge.

jimmy:  I can’t imagine it was as gross as what they were getting on with. Wasn’t it just water and dirt, i.e. mud.

tomk:  Mud used in machines to keep them working. Apparently, it smelled bad.

jimmy:  And like sand, it got everywhere.

tomk:  I’m sure Sokka was complaining about that for hours.

jimmy:  Since almost everyone got covered in it, I’m sure they all were too.

tomk:  Yeah, but you just know he complained the loudest.

Heck, Aang seemed amused.

jimmy:  He was just happy they stopped the damn thing.

tomk:  I’m sure you were too.

jimmy:  Yes. I keep a lot of valuables at the Bank of Ba Sing Se.

tomk:  You mean the new location of the donut stash?

jimmy:  Shh!  Quiet!

tomk:  Jenny already knows.

jimmy:  Dammit!

tomk:  I’d be more worried about Iroh.  If he would break cover for hot tea, who knows what he would do for delicious donuts?

jimmy:  Not his finest hour.

tomk:  Only because Jet, who hates all things Fire Nation, saw him.

jimmy:  True. But he was hardly discrete.

tomk:  Iroh has memories of not being discrete whenever he goes to Ba Sing Se.

jimmy:  That may be, but this is not one of those times.

tomk:  Zuko was not much better given his distinctive scar and participating in a crime because he thinks he deserves the highest quality.

jimmy:  People don’t recognize him with his new hairdo.

tomk:  Like how you didn’t recognize Watson right away when you were sharing a laugh with the new intern in your office who was, of course, Watson.

jimmy:  Yes, exactly.

tomk:  I told you we didn’t have a new intern.

jimmy:  I didn’t listen.

tomk:  Well, you need to listen or you’ll never get to take the ferry to Ba Sing Se.  And certainly not with your cart full of donuts.

jimmy:  And I’d never survive the Serpents Pass.

tomk:  You don’t know that. The serpent might think you’re cool.

jimmy:  You’re right!  It might!

tomk:  It could be your friend.

jimmy:  It probably doesn’t make many, trying to kill everybody and all.

tomk:  It’s probably hungry. It’s just an animal. They should feed it better.

jimmy:  I bet there’s lots of tasty Fire Nation guys.

tomk:  We saw a whole boat full of ‘em!

jimmy:  Exactly!  Send them its way.

Or have Toph raise more land out of the ocean to act as a walkway.

tomk:  That’s the Earth Kingdom capital. They probably have all kinds of people who could do that. But there is a war going on.

jimmy:  What is that good for?

tomk:  The war?  Absolutely nothing.

jimmy:  Say it again.

tomk:  The war?  Absolutely nothing.

jimmy:  Good God y’all!

tomk:  That war has caused all kinds of problems for people, but someone must be getting something out of it. Otherwise, maybe they could just stop fighting.

jimmy:  It’s all about the Fire Nation taking over everything.

tomk:  You think that’s it?

jimmy:  It’s not?

tomk:  All kinds of people take advantage of war.

jimmy:  Like the cabbage salesmen.

tomk:  I think it’s more the war takes advantage of the Cabbage Man.

jimmy:  His cart does tend to get knocked over.

tomk:  And his cabbages destroyed or eaten by bears.

jimmy:  The bears. I knew it was them.

tomk:  You’re just glad it’s not you eating that cabbage.

jimmy:  Very.

tomk:  No, I mean there may be other bad guys out there, just not on the side of the Fire Nation.

jimmy:  Like Jet?

tomk:  Maybe worse.

jimmy:  Yeah. Jet at least is anti-Fire Nation. His methods are just questionable.

tomk:  I’m just suggesting Ba Sing Se might be dangerous.

jimmy:  But everyone is going there!

tomk:  So that doesn’t include dangerous people like Azula, Dr. Claw, Jack the Ripper, and Wesley Crusher?

jimmy:  Good point.  Everyone is everyone.

tomk:  And that’s not counting people who already live there.

jimmy:  Of which some percentage must be bad.

tomk:  Some might even be in positions of power.

jimmy:  That’s bad.

tomk:  But in Ba Sing Se, you can get a free frogurt.

jimmy:  That’s good.

tomk:  The frogurt is provided by bad people in positions of power.

jimmy:  That’s bad.

tomk:  But the frogurt comes with free toppings.

jimmy:  That’s good.

tomk:  The toppings contain unidentified chemicals put there by bad people in positions of power.

That’s bad.

jimmy:  Probably dirt, since it’s the Earth Kingdom.

tomk:  Don’t say that too loud. There are a lot of people in Ba Sing Se.

jimmy:  Good and bad.

tomk:  Interested in seeing more?

jimmy:  I am.

tomk:  Then it’s time you learned who the Dai Li are and why they’re probably going to steal your lunch money.

NEXT TIME:  Tom and Jimmy will be back soon with more Last Airbender talk.  Be back soon when they cover “City of Walls and Secrets” and “Tales of Ba Sing Se.”