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The sound is a little out of sync when it first starts up, but it catches up after about 15 seconds.
But there's nothing subtle about the implied sexing in this episode. Sokka's expecting Suki in his tent, with a rose in his mouth, and he's not wearing pants!
How the hell did they get away with that on Nickelodeon!?
Alright, just had to get that out of my system. Now on to the real point of my post...
"Then you didn’t love her the way I did. "
I can still remember how much flak the fandom gave Katara got for that line. And it does seem like an especially cruel thing to say, but I think it really helps to understand whats really fueling Katara's anger in this episode.
Just imagine the situation she was put in back when her mother died. She was there, in that igloo, standing face to face with both her mother (for the last time) and the man who killed her. She was there, and she ran away. Can you imagine living with that your whole life. Now granted, there was nothing she could have done. Her own mother even told her to leave. But do you really think that makes a difference to Katara? How many time do you think she's run through that scenario in her head. Constantly wondering if there was something she could have done, something she could have said. Heck, maybe even just not leaving would have prevented this man from murdering a mother in front of her child. Katara's been living with that her entire life. Imagine how many night's she's gone to sleep, seeing that man's face and reliving that moment over and over again, always wondering "what if..."?
So here, she's finally been presented with the opportunity to face the man who not only took her mother away, but who's also haunted her since that day, and Sokka's telling her to just let it go! Now, yes. What she said was cruel, but when you really understand where all that anger is coming from, then it's a little easier to understand why she lashed out the way she did.
In fact, I took the liberty of using Bablefish and I set it to translate from "English" to "Angry, Guilt ridden Katara" (which may not be supported by all browsers), and I got this.
"Then you didn’t love her the way I did. " translates into, "Screw you Sokka, you're not the one who let mom die!"
I'd even be willing to bet that that same guilt may have been one of the driving factors that led her to take on her mothers role as much as she did.
Which may have been followed by several variations of loudly exclaiming "Yes!", "Fuck Yes!", "That was frikin' awesome!" and possibly a "You go girl!"
Luckily, I was living alone at the time, so I was able to fully unleash my raging fanboy (...that sounds dirtier than intended). I think more than anything, why this was one of the most "HOLY SHIT" moments for me in a show full of holy shit moments, was because I just never ever expected Ty Lee to stand up to Azula. As odd as it sounds, a large part of my excitement in that moment was due to how proud I was for Ty Lee.
Mark, I've been waiting for you to get here for so long. This is easily one of the best episodes in the whole series. There's so many things to love about it, that if I were to launch into detail about each and every little scene, this would be less a review and more a short story. So I just want to touch on three scenes.
Look, unlike Mark, I'm actually a fan of hair (despite my own slowly leaving without permission), but it just doesn't look right on Aang. So much so, that when I watched this for the first time, I felt a little relieved when I saw him finally shaving it off. And speaking of that same scene. I totally dig Aang's new threads. No offense to his original design, but that outfit always struck me as... I don't know, a bit less authentic than a lot of the others on the show. More like a Shoalin monk Halloween costume. It always had more of a "kiddy" feel to it. This new outfit on the other hand. Fuck Yeah! I think it's a great visual representation of just how much this character has changed. As Katara says later in this episode "You're not that goofy little kid I found in the Iceberg anymore." (oh, well get there). And she's right. And here we have a perfect visual representation of that. This isn't Aang the goofy little kid, this is Aang the warrior monk.
Speaking of Katara. THAT KISS!
YES! YES! YES! When I was watching this for the first time, I literally jumped up off my couch, threw my fist up and yelled. I'm a man in his thirties, and I shouldn't have that kind of reaction to this sort of thing. But I did, and I'm not going to apologize for it.
Aaaaand then there's Zuko.
Mark, I'm so glad you were wrong concerning you're predictions about Zuko's father not excepting him back. That would have made Zuko's decision to join the Avatar so much easier. The very fact that Zuko got exactly what he wanted, and gave it up to follow the path he felt was right is what makes his decision in this episode so much more powerful.
Oh Zuko. Zuko, Zuko, Zuko. You have on of the most absolutely satisfying character arcs I've ever come across in any story. And this scene in the icing on the cake. I have a feeling that roughly half the comments section will be a discussion of just this scene alone, so I'll just let it speak for itself.
"My father, who challenged me; a thirteen year old boy to an Agni Kai. How can you possibly justify a duel with a child... ...It was cruel, and it was wrong!"
How long I've waited for you to see your father for exactly what he is. My god was this scene everything I could have hoped for and more.
"Your Uncle's gotten to you hasn't he?"
"Yes, he has."
If I could smile any wider, the top of my head would be in danger of sliding right off. But for every bit of fantastic brought to the stage by Zuko, I would be remiss if I didn't comment on what a Magnificent Bastard Ozai is.
"Don't you want to know what happened to your mother."
Bam! And right there, we see were Azula gets it from. Ozai brings up THE ONE THING he knows will stop Zuko dead in his tracks. Speaking of Azula, let's talk little bit about lightning bending shall we. The first time we ever see it, is Azula practicing on the bridge of her ship. It takes her about 5 seconds to charge up and fire a bolt. This remains pretty consistent every other time we see it. Even when Iroh is explaining the technique to Zuko, it tales him roughly the same amount of time. Five seconds. When Ozai unleashes his lightning strike on Zuko, from wind up to execution takes him less than a second!
Holy shit! And Aang has to fight this guy!
(Oh, and Mark Hammill rocks as a voice actor.)