June 19, 2024

Gabbing Geek

Your online community for all things geeky.

Going Through Avatar: The Last Airbender Part Seventeen

Jimmy and Tom talk more Last Airbender with the episodes "City of Walls and Secrets" and "Tales of Ba Sing Se".

Jimmy and Tom are having such a good time chatting about Avatar: The Last Airbender, these posts are way behind.

Anyway, this time around, the chat covers the episodes “City of Walls and Secrets” and “Tales of Ba Sing Se.”

“City of Walls and Secrets”

Ba Sing Se is a lot more dangerous inside the walls than anyone anticipated.

jimmy:  There’s something rotten in the city of Ba Sing Se.

tomk:  Shhh!  Don’t say that too loud.

jimmy:  That smiley girl might hear.

tomk:  Or her replacement.

jimmy:  Also smiley.

tomk:  And not at all in a creepy way like Earth Kingdom Lex Luthor suggested.

jimmy:  He was just trying to be helpful.

tomk:  Has he got a smiling woman in your office right now?

jimmy:  Dear God, I hope not.

tomk:  Then who’s that behind you?

jimmy:  She’s not scary.

tomk:  I meant her.

jimmy:  That’s scarier.

tomk:  Plus the one she’s reporting to.

jimmy:  Scary.

tomk:  And then there’s the head of the organization.

jimmy:  They sure do make being evil look fun.

tomk:  Only for them, Jimmy.

jimmy:  Certainly not for Team Avatar…unless they are trying to be fancy.

tomk:  I see you stopped calling them the Aang Gang.

jimmy:  Just this once.

tomk:  I see.

I thought you were with Jet down in the mysterious basement.

jimmy:  I try not to get captured and hypnotized.

tomk:  No one got hypnotized. He was brainwashed. Big difference.

jimmy:  Oh.  My mistake.

tomk:  That’s ok. Just tell me how many lights you see here.

jimmy:  4.

tomk:  Good answer. You may go now.

jimmy:  Phew.

tomk:  Just promise not to talk to the Earth King about anything that’s actually important.

jimmy:  He might just be a pile of rags with a pumpkin on top for all we know.

tomk:  He does have a pet bear.

jimmy:  And just a normal bear, which fascinated people.

tomk:  Or confused them.

jimmy:  That too.

tomk:  Especially people like Aang and Sokka, whose manners are awful.

jimmy:  They are boys.

tomk:  They had a better plan on how to sneak in anyway.

jimmy:  Better than dressing up really cute?

tomk:  They didn’t get stopped at the door like Toph and Katara.

jimmy:  Toph’s Royality ID didn’t pass muster.

tomk:  She should have gotten a fake passport from Iroh.

jimmy:  Might have worked better.

tomk:  Or you could have given her donuts and Canadian lager to bribe her way inside.

jimmy:  That would have drawn suspicion if we both did that.

tomk:  Both?  Who else was bribing their way in with donuts and lager?

jimmy:  You didn’t see me in the background getting  a shrimp cocktail?

tomk:  I thought that guy with the Moose (wearing fake fangs) looked familiar.

How was the party?

jimmy:  A lot of smiling people. I think they’re up to something.

tomk:  Did you lose track of the Moose at any point while you were there?  He’s been smiling a lot lately.

jimmy:  Oh, he just won a lot of money playing roulette.

tomk:  Oh, I see.  Just watch out for smiling people.

jimmy:  And fire bender accusers.

tomk:  They might end up smiling later.

Or they’re throwing you a surprise party.

jimmy:  In the basement?

tomk:  No, in the break room.

jimmy:  Is there tea?

tomk:  I made it myself using Iroh’s recipe.

jimmy:  I heard that was the best tea in town.

tomk:  Iroh is too modest to say so, but it is.

jimmy:  The secret ingredient is love. And honey.

tomk:  That sounds better than love and thunder.

jimmy:  If he used love and thunder, Jet would have his evidence.

tomk:  Thunder is just a loud noise produced by lightning.  Iroh could just be shouting at his tea.

jimmy:  Who shouts at tea?

tomk:  Weirdos.  Jerks.  People who don’t know how tea works.

Probably Zuko.  He shouts at everything.

jimmy:  True. And he can also handle himself in a sword fight.

tomk:  Maybe Jet isn’t as good as he thinks he is.  I mean, the only people we’ve seen him beat before are folks like Aang and Katara when they were still learning to waterbend and Sokka, and Sokka isn’t much of a fighter.

jimmy:  Fair. But we know Zuko is quite the fighter, and Jet held his own for the most part.

tomk:  Also true.  But maybe I just saw the live action episode where Sokka meets Suki.

She has a line about knowing how to fight there if you aren’t a bender that seems appropriate.

jimmy:  She could probably beat both of them.

tomk:  She’s not here.

jimmy:  No. No she’s not.

tomk:  And you were at a party.

jimmy:  But I didn’t get brainwashed.

tomk:  If you had been, you probably wouldn’t remember it.

jimmy:  Remember what?

tomk:  Um…

I need to check something.

Longing rusted furnace daybreak seventeen benign nine homecoming one freight car.


tomk:  Jimmy, you might be the new Winter Soldier.

jimmy:  I can do the winter part no problem.

tomk:  Still cold outside right now?

jimmy:  24 Fahrenheit.

tomk:  That’s cold.  Have a hot chocolate and a seat next to the bear.

jimmy:  Sounds good.

tomk:  Don’t let the bear drink your hot chocolate.

jimmy:  Bears shouldn’t have sugar.

tomk:  Should you?

jimmy:  Probably not.

tomk:  Good idea. Have a sugar free coke.

jimmy:  I do enjoy those.

tomk:  Do you think you would enjoy a visit to Ba Sing Se?

jimmy:  I don’t really enjoy being brainwashed.

tomk:  Then maybe do your best to avoid that part.

We don’t need you suddenly going blank and walking off, chanting “I…must kill…the Queen” or something.

jimmy:  Just keep me away from baseball games in Anaheim.

tomk:  What if you chant that you must kill someone else?

jimmy:  Killing is wrong, Tom.

tomk:  You have been listening to Aang.  Good work.

jimmy:  Namaste.

tomk:  So maybe he brainwashed you.



tomk:  It’s always the one you least suspect.

jimmy:  But Aang’s too nice to do that.

tomk:  Unless he brainwashed you to think that too.



tomk:  I don’t think he did. That’s really more of a Katara thing.

jimmy:  I don’t think any of the Aang Gang would do that.  Maybe Toph.

tomk:  Toph is a lot more direct.

jimmy:  So, we’ll leave the brainwashing to the earth bender security detail.

tomk:  Exactly.

jimmy:  Those guys are jerks.

tomk:  They’re not just jerks, Jimmy.  They are dangerous jerks who brainwash other jerks.

jimmy:  That’s a lot of jerks.

tomk:  It may be jerks all the way down.

jimmy:  They’re gonna be hard pressed to get help stopping the Fire Nation there.

tomk:  Maybe they’ll find some luck if they find Appa.

jimmy:  Those jerks don’t seem too keen on helping them do that either.

tomk:  Maybe they should just get to know the city then in an episode that gets a lot of critical and fan acclaim while not really advancing the story one bit.

jimmy:  Critical and fan acclaim is good.

tomk:  Then how about we hear about some stories from around Ba Sing Se?

jimmy:  Is one about the bear?

tomk:  Um, no.

jimmy:  Probably why it’s critically acclaimed.

tomk:  Ready then?

jimmy:  And ready now.

“Tales of Ba Sing Se”

Katara, Toph, Iroh, Aang, Sokka, Zuko, and Momo each explore their new home.

jimmy:  I didn’t get the Mako dedication until I read your original write up of this episode.

tomk:  Yes, the voice actor for Iroh died between seasons two and three and had to be recast.

jimmy:  That’s too bad.

tomk:  Yeah.  The replacement isn’t bad, but it’s not quite right.

jimmy:  They rarely are.

tomk:  Plus, Iroh’s story is ultimately a sad one.

jimmy:  He’s a pretty happy fellow here, until the end.

tomk:  Yeah, when you find out what he’s doing that day.

jimmy:  I’m sure losing a son is not something you can easily get over. For most people anyways.

tomk:  Doesn’t seem to be bothering the Fire Lord, though his son is only metaphorically lost.

jimmy:  He is exactly who I thought of.

tomk:  You didn’t think of the Moose’s lost son?

jimmy:  We were talking about parents who didn’t care their sons were lost.

tomk:  Then tell the Moose to get his kid out of my bathroom.

jimmy:  Teenagers.

tomk:  Ok, so, with the exception of one small thing in one story, there was no real plot development here. How did you like the episode?

jimmy:  I liked it fine. I wouldn’t go so far as to heap critical praise on it, but it was enjoyable.

tomk:  You have a problem with character-based stories?

jimmy:  No. It was fine. But you said previously that it was critically acclaimed.

tomk:  Well, my impression is it’s one of the most beloved episodes in the series.

jimmy:  That’s fine.

tomk:  So, which story did you like best?

jimmy:  Hmm. Good question.


tomk:  Are you asking me?

jimmy:  No. I just wasn’t sure what to pick. Sokka’s was the weakest. Then maybe the girls. Iron’s is cute, but the end hits hard.  Aang and Momo’s are good, though nothing special. Zuko’s at least does have a little character development. The lighting of the torches comes to mind.

tomk:  So, Momo’s finding an air bison’s footprint didn’t mean much to you?

jimmy:  Well yes, but the overall story wasn’t much to it.

tomk:  What?  Momo made friends with some critters that tried to eat him.

jimmy:  I do that all the time.

tomk:  What critters try to eat you?

jimmy:  Hungry ones.

tomk:  Canada sounds dangerous.

jimmy:  Ask Wolverine.

tomk:  He’s on another show.

jimmy:  Right. Guess we need to talk about stuff like Toph’s bed head.

tomk:  Ok, how about I make some observations and you add your own. For example, Toph and Katara get along a lot better now.

jimmy:  Katara told her she was pretty.

tomk:  Toph has to just take her word first it. But Katara maybe just wanted a girls day out. Can’t do that with Aang or Sokka.

jimmy:  Sokka had his own girls day out.

tomk:  He got challenged in haiku. He had to respond.

jimmy:  He did well. Until he didn’t.

tomk:  He did better than a lot of people we know.

jimmy:  Better than I would have done.

tomk:  Ryan got too mad to respond when his competitor gave away the ending of something. Jenny just talked up stolen donuts for some reason. Watson’s were unsuitable for children.

jimmy:  And yours?

tomk:  Third place behind Cousin Minka.

jimmy:  Not bad.

tomk:  Sokka won. It was a regional qualifier.

jimmy:  Haiku’s are hard work. It’s not easy to write one. Sokka’s impressive.



tomk:  I think you just impressed a room full of Earth Kingdom girls.

jimmy:  It’s about time.

tomk:  That or they just like giggling at you.

jimmy:  That seems more likely.

tomk:  They like to giggle. Earth Kingdom girls are easy for that sort of thing.

jimmy:  The head mistress wasn’t the giggling type.

tomk:  She takes her haikus seriously.

jimmy:  They all do. One slip up, and you’re tossed out on your ear.

tomk:  That’s not too bad. Some of those girls just make fun of you on bridges.

jimmy:  Until the bridge is no more.

tomk:  There are other bridges.

jimmy:  But are there other girls?

tomk:  It’s a city. So, sure.

jimmy:  They better not mess with Toph and Katara.

tomk:  Or you and the Moose.

jimmy:  Toph and Katara are more intimidating.

tomk:  Well, I think Toph and Katara might have killed those girls, so yes.

jimmy:  They probably didn’t, but you’re questioning it. The Moose and I could never kill anyone.

tomk:  Not unless they have it coming.

jimmy:  We’re more Batman than Deadpool.

tomk:  I can always tell when the Moose is hanging out with that Beaver. He’s not as nonviolent when you aren’t around.

jimmy:  I’m a good influence?

tomk:  Well, you aren’t a bad one like the Beaver.

jimmy:  That’s very true.

tomk:  Watson gets chased into the fountain in the lobby more often when you’re on assignment.

jimmy:  So which was your favorite?

tomk:  Iroh’s.

jimmy:  Hard to argue with that.

tomk:  No one picks Aang’s.

jimmy:  Maybe zookeepers?

tomk:  You think they appreciate how he herds animals?

jimmy:  They probably appreciate the better habitats he created for them.

tomk:  As long as the Fire Nation never breeches the outer wall.

jimmy:  You think they care about zoo animals?

tomk:  My point exactly.

jimmy:  They can cook them to perfection if there’s some kind of drawn out battle.

tomk:  You just wanna taste some of platypus bear burgers.

jimmy:  Me?  No.

tomk:  You sure about that?

jimmy:  Yes.  You?

tomk:  I wouldn’t wanna do that to an endangered species.

jimmy:  Then let’s hope the Fire Nation stays away.

tomk:  They haven’t been so far.

jimmy:  We can still hope.

tomk:  That’s true.  And I hope you will enjoy these blueberry muffins.

jimmy:  I will!

tomk:  Likewise, I hope you learned something about all of the main characters.

jimmy:  I learned they never got brainwashed.  Maybe.

tomk:  Not yet anyway. But we are missing someone important.

jimmy:  Appa?

tomk:  You win a prize, Jimmy!

jimmy:  w00t!

tomk:  It’s a slightly used car!

jimmy:  Not bad.

tomk:  It’s Watson’s.

jimmy:  Can I sell it?

tomk:  I guess.

jimmy:  Not bad.

tomk:  Take care of it before he gets back.

jimmy:  I will. Maybe I can use it to drive around Ba Sing Se and locate Appa.

tomk:  Or we can watch the next episode and actually see Appa.

jimmy:  Or we could do that.

tomk:  That’s much easier.

jimmy:  Indeed.

tomk:  Shall we then?

jimmy:  We shall.

tomk:  Well, good.  Everybody loves Appa.

NEXT TIME:  Tom and Jimmy will return soon with more Avatar talk.  Be back soon for the episodes “Appa’s Lost Days” and “Lake Laogai.”