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Here is the second half of my favorite episodes. I am surprised I was able to come up with a concrete list. Part of me just wanted to say, “All of the episodes are great!” and move on. But when I sat down and thought about it, there are some episodes, specifically these next ten, I absolutely loved the first time I saw them. Granted, “The Fortuneteller” has since because more of a favorite, but these ten have consistently risen above the others.

Again, this is my opinion. I know I am not an avid Zuko fan and DEFINITELY not a “Zutara” fangirl. (Frankly, I hate the idea of combining two characters names at all. That is just lame.), But I think my opinions are insightful, especially for those who are like me and do not obsess over anything. There is such a thing as loving a specific story without becoming SUPER obsessed. I think I am lucky because I love many things, making it impossible for me to become crazy. And yes, I have met CRAZY fangirls (and boys).

Now that that rant is over, I will commence with my ten favorite episodes.


10. “The Chase”, Episode 28

This is one of those few episodes with the entire  package. There is great humor, well choreographed fights and insightful advice for the characters (and audience). For the majority of its time-frame, I felt bad for Aang’s group who had to run from a relentless unknown enemy. Nor did they fully understand their tormentor’s motives until the climactic fight in the broken down village.

This was the first episode after Toph joins their group. As such, the relationships and personalities of all the characters are put into a flux. The most interesting, of course, is the strained fight between Toph and Katara. Neither understands the other’s actions, or their motives. It does not help that these fights became worse the more tired they are. But, these small squabbles bring out some of the funnier scenes from the show. I think this was one of the few times I actually saw Katara lose her composure.

The other thing I like about this episode is it was going somewhere unpredictable. This was not the same “let’s fix the problem and move on” kind of story like many of the other episodes. Though they finally escaped Azula, the ending left a frightening scar on all of them. Azula has a way of doing that to other people. If she cannot win how she initially intended, she throws a final, bruising punch. In this case, she severely injured Iroh. There was no glorious victory, just a much deserved rest for Aang’s group and a devastating realization for Zuko.

My favorite moment, outside the gloriously animated ending, is when Katara blamed Toph for their problems and Toph finally snapped. The way she clutched the ground in an irritated crunch just kills me every time! Also, I always love when Mai and Tylee appear to showcase different fighting styles.

Favorite Quote(s):

1​.Toph: Who’s Zuko?

    Sokka: Oh, just some angry freak with a ponytail who’s tracked us all over the world.

    Katara: What’s wrong with ponytails, Ponytail?

    Sokka: This (points to ponytail) is a warrior’s wolf-tail.

    Katara: Well it certainly tells the other warriors that you’re fun and perky.

    2. Katara: Ever since you joined us, you’ve been nothing but selfish and unhelpful!

    Toph: What?! Look here, sugar queen! I gave up everything I had so that I could teach Aang earthbending, so don’t you talk to me about being selfish!

    Katara: “Sugar queen?!” (Toph closes off her rock tent by bringing a slab of earth up to cover the opening to Katara.) D-Did you just slam the door in my face?! How can you be so infuriating…!!![Katara begins to angrily beat and kick the rock tent as Aang and Sokka watch]

    Aang: [to Sokka] Should we do something?

    Sokka: Hey, I’m just enjoying the show.[Aang walks over to Katara]

    Aang: Okay, okay. You both need to calm down.

    Katara: Both?! (very outraged) I’M COMPLETELY CALM!!!!

    Aang: (shocked by Katara’s outburst) I can see that… [backs up and scoots away]


    9. “Nightmares and Daydreams”, Episode 49

    Yes, I know people say this episode has little to no point but that is what makes it fun! After all the heart-throbbing and stressful episodes, not to mention the oncoming “The Day of Black Sun” battle, the show needed a well-deserved break. Though there were some insightful scenes with Zuko mixed in with the craziness, for the most part it is a joyful spiral before the storm.

    I think I love this episode so much because it reminds me of finals week in college. I am not talking about easy-breezy freshman finals. I am talking about HISTORY MAJOR finals week. That entails at least five papers (10-15 pages), four tests and almost NO SLEEP. I had a nervous breakdown once, it might actually have been similar to Aang’s. You start seeing things!

    Like I said, there are some important scenes mixed in with all the chaos. This episode shows Zuko living the dream he chased for two years. His father Ozai accepts him, he has Mai, he is fawned over by servants and Ozai even insists that he needs him at a war meeting. But through all these things, Zuko realizes that he lost himself.

    It is hard to pinpoint my favorite moment in this episode. . . I like Aang’s delirious daydream confessing his love to Katara, Sokka’s therapy session, Sokka’s failed attempts at climbing a cliff and Aang’s breaking point, where he starts imagining the rocks coming to life, Appa and Momo fighting and Guru Pathik  waving his arms like vishnu. This is certainly a funny episode and I love it for all its quirkiness.

    Favorite Quote(s):

    1​.(Aang’s is daydreaming about professing his love for Katara)

      Aang: Invasion, all aboard for the invasion.

      Katara: You don’t look so good, are you sure that you can’t lie down and take a little nap?

      Aang: I told you, I can’t go to sleep.

      Katara: Aang, staying up all night can’t be good for you.

      Aang: Actually staying up all night has given me some time to think and I’ve realized some big things Katara.

      Katara:What big things?

      Aang: I’m seeing everything so clearly now, what really matters, why I’m really doing this, I’m doing it to save the world, but more than that. I’m doing it for the people I love. I’m doing it for you, Katara.

      Katara: Aang, what are you saying?

      Aang: I’m saying…I love you.(Aang gives Katara a peck on the lips, then they start kissing passionately)

      Katara: What are we doing?

      Aang: What our hearts have been telling us to do for a long, long time. Baby, you’re my forever girl.(Aang goes back to reality)

      Katara:Aang?

      Aang: Huh?

      Katara: I was just saying you should take a nap.

      Aang: Oh…I guess I kinda drifted off into a daydream.

      Katara: What was your dream about?

      Aang: Uh…living underwater?

      Katara: Sounds neat!

      2. Aang: Oh Look. another hallucination. An imaginary bed made out of clouds.


      8. “The Guru”, Episode 39

      I have mixed feelings about this episode, but I love it all the same. It is rare for a children’s show to actually incorporate spirituality into its main story. This is especially true with world religions outside of christianity. As a teenager, I did not fully understand how insightful Pathik’s teachings were. It never even occurred to me they actually came from Buddist teachings. But this changed after I took several classes in college related to Hindu philosophy.

      To say I did not understand the depths of this particular episode would be an understatement. In fact, I was angry for the longest time when the last chakra required Aang letting go of his love for Katara. But education changes even the most stubborn of minds. Detachment does not mean forsaking those feelings. It merely means being able to live without letting those feelings keep one from progressing. Rather, those feelings become a nourishing foundation for greater things.

      In one book, “Unnatural Issue” by Mercedes Lackey, one man became so depressed after his wife died he was willing to kill his daughter and use her to get his wife back. He stayed locked up in his room for twenty years and became heavily steeped in evil magic. I believe Pathik was talking about this type of attachment. Each of the Chakras required freeing ones self from negative emotions. Even the purest love can become a vice if not tempered with discipline and wisdom.

      Though many fans favor “The Crossroads of Destiny”, I find this episode’s insightful spiritual teachings more enjoyable. In fact, the aforementioned “Crossroads” episode makes me angry every time. I finish it quickly and move on, grateful I did not have to wait as long as everyone else to know what happened to Aang. Plus, Toph discovers metal bending! Yeah!

      One last thing. I LOVE the backgrounds for each of the Chakras. The creators outdid themselves, especially for the varying perspectives of the decaying temple.

      Favorite Quote(s):

      1.Guru Pathik: You have indeed felt a great loss, but love is a form of energy and it swirls all around us. The Air Nomads love for you has not left this world, it is still inside of your heart, and is reborn as new love.

      2.Guru Pathik: (serenely) You must gain balance within yourself before you can bring balance to the world. And the first step to gaining balance begins with this. (holds up a wooden cup with a yellow liquid in it) Drink up!

      (Aang tentatively takes a swallow of the thick yellow stuff, and reacts with disgust, spitting it out to his left.)

      Aang: (appalled) Ugh! It tastes like onion and banana juice!

      Guru Pathik: That’s because it is. (Pathik empties another bowl, and holds it over his head like a ridiculous hat) Yum yum!

       

        7. “The Storm”, Episode 12

      There needs to be a balance in stories between comedic, action and highly emotional scenes. Sometimes one outweighs the others and if done right can have a profound effect on the characters and an audience. “The Storm” is one example of this. Avatar proved to me it was truly special when the series reached this evocative episode. Not only did Aang’s past become clear but also Zuko’s motives as a villain.

      Though the creator’s touched on this very thing in “The Southern Air Temple”, I think it is here the character’s become multidimensional. Aang, initially a goofy kid, hid behind his fun-loving nature bruises and regrets. He became someone forced to grow up too fast, who made a decision that changed the fate of all. Not in a bad way! As Katara said, Aang was meant to come into the war one hundred years later. But the death of his people and his choice to run away became a clouding hurt that did not leave him until his session with Guru Pathik.

      The other character to consider is Zuko. As I said in “Zuko Alone”, he had not always been the angry and bitter villain introduced in the first episode. When I first saw this episode over ten years ago, I remember how horrified I was when Firelord Ozai cruelly faced his son in an Agni Kai, burned his face and banished him on a hopeless quest. His character took on new meaning and also opened a door to the many changes he would make later in the series.

      My favorite moment was when Aang, faced with the same situation from a hundred years before, rose against his fear and assuredly steered clear of the dangers in the storm. The difference that time was there were more lives at stake. I also like the subtle glance Zuko and Aang gave each other as they passed in the eye of the storm.

      Favorite Quote:

      Katara: You ran away.

      Aang: [looking at Katara] And then the Fire Nation attacked our temple. My people needed me, and I wasn’t there to help.

      Katara: You don’t know what would’ve…

      Aang: The world needed me, and I wasn’t there to help!

      Katara: Aang?

      Aang: The fisherman was right. I did turn my back on the world.

      Katara: You’re being too hard on yourself. Even if you did run away, I think it was meant to be. If you stayed, you would have been killed with all the other airbenders.

      Aang: You don’t know that.

      Katara: I know it’s meant to be this way. The world needs you now. You give people hope.

      Katara: Maybe there’s a bright side to all of this.

      Aang: I did get to meet you!


      6. “The Ember Island Players”, Episode 57

      This is yet another, “Let’s take a break from all the drama” episodes. Except, the drama happened to be a horribly cast and executed play portraying their adventures. There have been times when episodes revamp all the important parts seen so far in a series. Anime does it all the time. (And its annoying!) This episode is different because of how they decided to do it.

      Every scene in the play smacks back in the main character’s faces an overdramatized and not quite true portrayal of themselves.  Zuko is, of course, moody and hyperfocused on finding the Avatar, while Iroh constantly pushes him to take a break and be lazy. Sokka has horribly executed  jokes centered only around his hunger. Katara is a crybaby, constantly preaching about hope. Poor Aang has it the worst. He is portrayed as a ridiculous  character whose sole purpose is to spread joy and fun. Plus, he is played by a woman. (As Toph says it, a flying bald lady). Toph has it the best out of all of them since her character is a buff guy.

      I think the creators were making fun of themselves as much as the characters. There are always those who notice all the silly mistakes animators and writers make in shows like these. More often then not, they shove it into their face. The one thing I noticed was how much this play mirrored the Peter Pan musical I saw as a kid. In it, Peter Pan was also played by a woman and the story became boggled down by silly and over the top tropes.

      I think this episode is especially funny because the characters’ reaction to the play is almost identical to my reaction to the live-action film. (The one everyone agrees should never have existed.) That makes it even funnier to me.

      Favorite Quote(s):

      1.Zuko: So far, this intermission is the best part of the play.

      Sokka: Apparently, the playwright thinks I’m an idiot who tells bad jokes about meat all the time.

      Suki: Yeah. You tell bad jokes about plenty of other topics.

      Sokka: I know!

      Aang: At least the Sokka actor kinda looks like you. But that woman playing the Avatar doesn’t resemble me at all!

      Toph: I don’t know. You are more in touch with your feminine side than most guys.[Aang growls]

      Katara: Relax, Aang. They’re not accurate portrayals. It’s not like I’m a preachy crybaby who can’t resist giving over-emotional speeches about hope all the time.[Everyone looks at Katara.]

      Katara: What?

      Aang: Yeah… that’s not you at all.

      2.(Everyone’s reaction to the live action movie)

      Zuko: That… Wasn’t a good play.

      Aang: I’ll say.

      Katara: No kidding.

      Suki: Horrible.

      Toph: You said it.

      Sokka: But the effects were decent.

      3.Actor Jet: Don’t cry, baby. (He holds actress Katara close to him) Jet will wipe out that nasty town (points to the stage) for you.

      (He tips actress Katara’s chin up and the camera zooms out to show a stagehand clad in black pulling a large, blue sheet of cloth symbolizing water across the stage. The platform raises.)

      Actress Katara: (sultrily) Oh Jet, you’re so bad.


      5. “The Cave of Two Lovers”, Episode 22

      I know what everyone is thinking. “I love this episode because of the scenes with Aang and Katara.” Yes, I do. But there are other reasons. The episode does a wonderful job using character interactions to progress the story. What do I mean by this? Through various scenes it showed not only them physically moving to their destination but as individuals they grow and understand new things about themselves. I did not explain that well. . .

      Let’s look at the two specific cases I am referring to. First, there is Zuko who, for the first time, encounters those affected by the war in the Earth kingdom. One girl, who he initially ignored and pushed away, showed her own scars from the war. In this moment he realizes there are others suffering besides himself, but he also decides to selfishly push aside their kindness to benefit himself.

      Second, there is Aang and Katara. This was the first time since “The Fortuneteller” the creators  touched on their growing feelings for one another. Again, before they entered the cave Aang’s feelings seemed very one-sided. However, there are subtle hints thrown in showing Katara’s own developing feelings. By the episode’s end there was a deeper connection formed between them as they decided to draw closer to their feelings in face of danger. (By the by, I love Aang’s face in the picture above.)

      The other reason why I LOVE this episode are the traveling nomads. Chong is especially hilarious. I think they are so funny because of how dramatically Sokka reacts to them. We all have had those moments when we are forced to be around people who annoy us. For Sokka, it is especially traumatic.

      Favorite Quote(s):

      1.Zuko: If the Earth Kingdom discovers us, they’ll have us killed.

      Iroh: But if the Fire Nation discovers us, we’ll be turned over to Azula.(Both look at one another and nod)

      Zuko: Earth Kingdom it is.

      2.(after a cave-in separates Aang and Katara from the rest of the group, Sokka digs furiously at the rubble for a moment before giving up)

      Chong: Yeah, it’s no use. We’re separated. (holds up guitar) But at least you have us!

      (Sokka wails in anguish and begins digging twice as hard)

      3.Katara: I have a crazy idea…

      Aang: What?

      Katara: Never mind. It’s too crazy.

      Aang: Katara, what is it?

      Katara: (looking away) I was thinking… the curse says we’ll be trapped in here forever unless we trust in love.

      Aang: Right.

      Katara: And here it says “love is brightest in the dark” and…has a picture of them kissing…

      Aang: (clueless) Where are you going with this?

      Katara: Well…what if we kissed?

      Aang: (shocked) Us kissing?!

      Katara: See? It was a crazy idea.

      Aang: Us…(dreamily) kissing.

      Katara: (laughing) Us, kissing. What was I thinking? Can you imagine that?

      Aang: Yeah.(laughs) I definitely wouldn’t want to kiss you.

      Katara: (slightly hurt) Well, I didn’t realize it was such a horrible option! Sorry I suggested it!

      Aang: No, I mean, if it was a choice between kissing you and dying-

      Katara: (turning away from him)Ugh!

      Aang: What?! I’m saying I’d rather kiss you than die! That’s a compliment!

      Katara: Well, I’m not sure which I’d rather do! (walks away)

      Aang: (sadly) What is wrong with me?

      4.(Sokka and Chong’s group have been reunited with Aang and Katara outside the cave)

      Katara: (to Sokka) Sokka, why is your forehead all red?

      Chong: (to Katara and Sokka) Nobody react to what I’m about to tell you… (points to Aang in the background) I think that kid might be the Avatar!

      Sokka: (slaps forehead, red mark gets bigger)


      4. “The Southern Raiders”, Episode 56

      This is the only time I can think of that Katara is completely overrun by negative emotions. Aang definitely went through it, as did Zuko but Katara always seemed like the pillar of understanding. Like she was beyond such things. But the roles were turned around for this episode. Aang became the voice of guidance and Katara had to overcome her overwhelming despair and rage in order to move on..

      So often in stories like this it is easy to forget how much grief and sadness some of the characters have gone through. Most of this episode is dedicated to Katara’s mission to find release from her pain. At first, this entailed getting revenge. But in the end, and I was glad for this, she decided to let go of her anger. Though she said she did not forgive him I do not believe this meant she did not forsake her feelings of hate.

      Aang particularly impressed me during this episode. Sometimes it was easy to forget he was still a child. This was one of those times. It is rare to see such spiritual dedication in a young man. Even compared to previous Avatars he was especially spiritually conscious and reflective. It was hard to see Aang’s conflicting emotions when Zuko asked him, at the end of this episode, “What are you going to do when you face my father?” but it also impressed me how deeply Aang thought about his decisions. 

      What was most important in this particular episode was how Katara changed and finally found peace about her mother’s death.

      Favorite Quote(s):

      1.(Zuko and Katara walk over to where Aang is feeding Appa)

      Katara: I need to borrow Appa.

      Aang: (jokingly) Why? Is it your turn to take a little field trip with Zuko. 

      Katara: (seriously) Yes, it is.

      Aang: Oh…what’s going on?

      Katara: We’re going to find the man who took my mother from me.

      (hearing this, Sokka walks over)

      Zuko: Sokka told me the story of what happened. I know who did it, and I know how to find him.

      Aang: Umm and what exactly do you think this will accomplish?

      Katara: (shakes her head and lets out a laughing breath) I knew you wouldn’t understand.

      Aang: Wait, stop! I do understand! You’re feeling unbelievable pain and rage! How do you think I felt about the sandbenders when they stole Appa? How do you think I felt about the Fire Nation after I found out what happened to my people?!

      Zuko: She needs this, Aang. This is about getting closure and justice.

      Aang: I don’t think so. I think it’s about getting revenge.

      Katara: Fine! Maybe it is! Maybe that’s what I need! Maybe that’s what he deserves.

      Aang: Katara, you sound like Jet.

      Katara: It’s not the same. Jet attacked the innocent. This man…he’s a monster.

      Sokka: Katara, she was my mother too, but I think Aang might be right.

      Katara: Then you didn’t love her the way I did!

      Sokka: (with hurt showing on his face and in his voice) Katara!

      Aang: The monks used to say that revenge is like a two headed rat viper; while you watch your enemy go down, you’re being poisoned yourself.

      Zuko: That’s cute. But this isn’t Air Temple preschool! It’s the real world.

      Katara: Now that I know he’s out there, now that I know that we could find him, I feel like I have no choice.

      Aang: Katara, you do have a choice. Forgiveness.

      Zuko: That’s the same as doing nothing!

      Aang: No it’s not. It’s easy to do nothing, but it’s hard to forgive.
      2.Katara: Don’t try to stop us.

      Aang: I wasn’t planning to. This is a journey you need to take. You need to face this man.

      (Katara nods and gets on Appa)

      Aang: But when you do, please don’t choose revenge. Let your anger out, and then let it go. Forgive him.


      3. “The Desert”, Episode 31

      Here is yet another episode which deals with overwhelming pain and anger. This time, however, Katara remained the pillar of endurance and reason, whereas Aang let his negative emotions overtake him. This episode puts “The Southern Raiders” in perspective. If not for Aang’s own experiences in this episode, his words would not have had the same weight later in the series.

      Seeing this episode for the first time, I think I actually started crying. It was hard to see Aang in such pain but it was also important for me, for I had gone through similar feelings when I was younger. Aang became more relatable. I think it was at this point he moved on from being just another character from a show. Katara’s actions were also admirable because, if not for her, they would not have survived the desert emotionally or physically.

      My favorite scene was the end when Aang finally meets the sandbenders and learns who took Appa. Yes, his anger overtook him and put everyone in danger. But, at the center of all that chaos Katara reached out and embraced him. When he finally let go of the Avatar state and cried, that is when I thought, “I understand”. I think that is when this show broke the boundary from being just entertainment to art in motion.

      But all is not so bleak. Sokka has some of his funniest moments as well. Be honest. If you have seen the show before, his cactus juice high was one of the most hilarious moments in the show.

      Favorite Quote(s):

      1.(Both Sokka and Momo take a drink of the juice in a cactus)

      Sokka: (hallucinating after drinking cactus juice) Drink cactus juice, it’ll quench ya. Nothing’s quenchier. It’s the quenchiest!

      Katara: Okay, I think you had enough.

      Sokka: Who lit Toph on fire?(Momo spins in a circle in the air and dive bombs to the ground.)

      Toph: Can I get some of that cactus?

      Katara: I don’t think that’s a good idea. Come on, we need to find Aang.(Katara pulls Sokka by the hand as he stares blankly at the sky)

      Sokka: How did we get out here in the middle of the ocean?

      Katara: Uhhh…
      2.Sokka: (breathes deeply) I think my head is starting to clear out the cactus juice. And look!

      (Sokka grabs some of the sticky substance and he and Momo eat it. He quickly spits it out and makes a disgusted gagging noise.)

      Sokka: This tastes like rotten penguin meat! Awww I feel woozy.

      Katara: (irritated) You’ve been hallucinating on cactus juice all day and then you just lick something you find stuck to the wall of a cave?!

      Sokka: I have a natural curiosity.


      2. “The Blue Spirit”, Episode 13

      Supposedly, if Avatar did not work out well as a show, this was to be the fall out finale. Of course I am happy beyond words they decided, for good reason, to continue making episodes but from the first season this is my favorite. Everything about it is just amazing to me.

      First, this is the first time the creator’s showed Aang and Zuko interacting outside their usual cat and mouse chase scenes. This helped develop several important things. Zuko’s own fear becomes evident when he realizes that Zhao would catch Aang first, destroying his hopes of returning home. The lengths he was willing to go to cemented for me how much pain he had gone through in his life.

      Also, Aang’s own perspective of Zuko changes once he realized Zuko was the Blue Spirit. He could have left Zuko to face Zhao, but instead saved him and reflected on how their lives would be different if there was no war.

      Heh. . . I love Aang’s quirky search for medicine for Katara and Sokka. Whether its his impatient visit with the herbalist or his frantic search for frozen frogs, it seemed like he got the short end of the deal compared to the sickly Katara and Sokka. Well, he did run miles to find them a cure, got attacked by archers, was captured and had to fight for his life to escape.

      There are definitely more dimensions to this episode than there initially appears. ( I certainly cannot talk about them all in this short post.) One more aspect I love about this episode is how well choreographed the fight scenes were. There is one particular move I love when Zuko, wielding his swords, slides his one sword skillfully down a spear. Also, I liked how they animated the archers as they chased down Aang. I wondered after I saw it why they did not use the archers more throughout the series.

      Overall, this episode added new dimensions to the story I had not even considered, the most important one being the possibility of Zuko joining Aang’s side.

      Favorite Quote(s):

      1.Sokka (feverishly): You know what I love about Appa the most? His sense of humor.

      Katara: That’s nice. I’ll tell him.

      (Cut to a wider shot as Appa grunts at Sokka in response.)

      Sokka: Haha! Classic Appa.

      2.Aang: What? No! Don’t leave frogs! My friends are sick and they need you! Please go back to being frozen!

      3.Aang: My frogs! Come back! And stop thawing out! (The Blue Spirit comes back, picks him up by the collar and carries him out. He continues from o.c.) Wait! My friends need to suck on those frogs!

      4.Aang: [to Zuko]: You know what the worst part of being born over a hundred years ago is? I miss all the friends I used to hang out with. Before the war started, I used to always visit my friend Kuzon. The two of us, we’d get in and out of so much trouble together. He was one of the best friends I ever had, and he was from the Fire Nation just like you. If we knew each other back then, do you think we could have been friends too?

      Zuko: [Screams while using firebending at Aang]

       1. “Sozin’s Comet”, Episode’s 58-61

      Of all the episodes I have watched, the finale was the most fulfilling. I had been out of the loop a long time when I saw the finale air on TV. I actually was helping my mom clean out some apartments when I realized it was airing. I did not clean very fast but by the end of our stay I was the happiest I had been in a long time. Technically, these are four episodes, but I see them as one continuous and brilliant whole.

      Msot finales are simply “Meh” to me. The going is usually the best aspect of the show and many times the ending feels rushed. I definitely did not feel this way for Avatar. Though I had not seen any of the third season (yet), I still had some major questions and hopes for the show’s conclusion. I wondered how Aang would defeat Firelord Ozai, if Azula would be defeated, and whether Zuko had shaped up.

      What can I not say about these episodes? Everything about them was phenomenal! The actions scenes were well constructed and animated stunningly. The fight between Aang and the Firelord was especially well done. Though. . . Zuko’s fight with Azula was brilliant as well. (Nah Aang’s wins) 

      It is so rare to find a show that goes to such lengths to bring high quality entertainment. Most American animated shows are built to go indefinitely, setting aside character development, thorough animation and good storylines for profit. Avatar had a designated end from the get go (even if the creator’s did not know quite how it would happen) and the character’s changed dramatically throughout the series.

      But one thing carried the whole ending for me: Aang’s decision not to kill Ozai but to take away his bending. No one, not even past Avatars, provided any other solution but killing Ozai. (that is except the lion turtle). This final choice was so important because in American cinema most writers would have Aang kill him. There is this bar in story writing that insists the good guy must slay the bad guy to bring about peace. This show provided an alternative. To be honest, if Aang had killed the Firelord I would have been devastated.

      Every character got their deserved ending. Zuko through his good choices and dedication became the next firelord. Mai, who had waited a long time for him to come around, finally got with Zuko. Sokka successfully destroys the airships with Suki and Toph. Azula goes crazy and is brought to justice. . . and so on and so forth.

      It goes without saying how happy I was when Katara and Aang got together as well. If anyone deserved happiness, it was Aang. (Not that Katara did not as well.) From my perspective, both of them provided an indispensable strength to the show. Aang provided the story’s purpose and Katara its heart. Does it not seem fit that they would be together in the end? Anyway, I will talk about this later in my review.

      One last thing, I absolutely love the designs for the lion turtle and the various backgrounds. It helped that everything was tinged with an orange glow. . .

      Favorite Quote(s):

      1.Toph: Wait a minute…has anyone noticed that Momo’s missing too?

      Sokka: (horrified) Oh no….I knew it was only a matter of time! (runs to Appa) Appa ate Momo!(opens Appa’s mouth) Momo, I’m coming for ya, buddy!

      Katara: Sokka, Appa didn’t eat Momo. He’s probably with Aang.

      Sokka: That’s just what Appa wants you to think!(climbs into Appa’s mouth)

      Zuko: Get out of the bison’s mouth, Sokka. 

      2.Zuko: Uncle, I know you must have mixed feelings about seeing me. But I want you to know… I am so, so sorry uncle. (starts crying) I am so sorry and ashamed of what I did! I don’t know how I can ever make it up to you, but I…(Iroh grabs Zuko by his shirt and embraces him)

      Zuko: How can you forgive me so easily?! I thought you would be furious with me!

      Iroh: I was never angry with you. I was sad, because I was afraid you’d lost your way.

      3.Lion Turtle: The true mind can weather all the lies and illusions without being lost. The true heart can tough the poison of hatred without being harmed. Since beginningless time, darkness thrives in the void, but always yields to purifying light.

      Lion Turtle:In the era before the Avatar, we bent not the elements, but the energy within ourselves. To bend another’s energy, your own spirit must be unbendable or you will be corrupted and destroyed.

      4.Sokka: (posing as the captain of the airship) Attention crew, this is your captain speaking. Everyone please report to the bomb bay immediately for hotcakes and sweet cream. We have a very special birthday to celebrate.(cut to the bomb bay):

      Quin Lee: Hey, I’m Quin Lee. I work up in communications.

      Fire Nation Engineer: Oh, hi. I work down in the engine room. That’s probably why we never met before. Big airship, you know.

      Quin Lee: Yep. (a pause) So, do you know who’s birthday it is?

      Firebender: I can’t believe the captain remembered my birthday. He really does care!(The bomb bay hatch opens, dropping the entire crew in the sea)

      Fire Nation Engineer: (surfaces from the water) Happy birthday.

      5.Bumi: Wait! Someone’s missing from your group! Someone very important! (King Bumi leans into Sokka’s face, wide eyed, they are nose to nose) (pause) Where’s Momo?

      Sokka: He’s gone… and so is Aang.

      Bumi: Oh, well. So long as they have each other, I’m sure we have nothing to worry about. Let’s go. (he Earthbends himself in the air and laughs crazily)

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