July 16, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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Avatar: The Last Airbender “Omashu”

Season One, Episode Three

Well…this episode brought in a lot of people.

It is really, really hard to keep myself from comparing this iteration from the animated original, but I think in this case, it might actually be something I want to make a note of.  This episode brought into the series for the first time Azula, her friends Ty-Lee and Mai, Sai the inventor, his son with the flying wheelchair Teo, Jet, Jet’s freedom fighters, a brief appearance by King Bumi, and even the Cabbage Man.  And had the Fire Lord not had some scenes in the previous episode, he might have been on that list too.

I am wondering about the Cabbage Man because this show seems to be trying to be its own unique thing, but they really play out the Cabbage Man’s shout of “MY CABBAGES!” when his produce goes up in literal flames.  I mean, there’s Easter Eggs and there’s Easter Eggs made from ostrich eggs.

That said, Zhao’s weasel-ness is referenced here as a known character trait, so maybe it’ll work out in the end.  But the real problem with this episode is it is really, really crowded with new characters plus all the old ones.

This episode somehow jams in:

  • Danny Pudi’s Sai’s encouraging Sokka to take up engineering.
  • Jet’s whole thing with his entire army of  juvenile freedom fighters.
  • An assassination attempt on King Bumi.
  • Aang and Iroh’s arrest by the authorities of Omashu.
  • Azula’s frustration over how she’s kept at home while her brother searches for the Avatar and her eventual plan to do it her own way.
  • Sai’s overprotectedness.
  • Iroh finally firebends.
  • Katara’s brief friendship with Jet before she realizes he’s the bad guy.
  • A quick conversation between Iroh and Zuko, undercover, where they discuss how Fire Nation soldiers are acting dishonorably to Zuko’s annoyance and Iroh’s resignation.
  • And whatever Aang is doing.

By the by, I like Pudi, but they gave him facial hair to match his animated counterpart, and it looks particularly silly for a character that really isn’t all that comedic.

Anyway, I know a live action adaptation isn’t going to follow the exact same story, but there’s probably three or four episodes worth of stuff there.  That’s a wee bit much for one episode of this show even if it is about twice as long as an animated episode.  On the one hand, I know why all this stuff is in there.  On the other hand, I still think there’s too much here.  It doesn’t give these new characters enough time to really make an impression on the audience.

And yet, I can’t say this was a bad episode.  It’s just, you know, a bit crowded.