Avatar: The Last Airbender – Book 2 “Earth,” Episode 12 – “The Serpent’s Pass” – Moving Through Grief

The Serpent's Pass

  “The Serpent’s Pass” is another great episode that gives us some great character exploration! Especially in regards to Jet, Suki, Sokka and Aang who are all dealing with meaning in a world thrown into chaos and in the case of Sokka and Aang recovering from the recent losses they’ve experienced. It’s a powerful episode and also has some great action too.

    The episode was directed by Ethan Spaulding and written by Joshua Hamilton and Michael Dante DiMartino.

     The story involves Zuko and Iroh’s and Team Avatar’s quest to reach Ba Sing Se. On their quest to get their Iroh and Zuko meet Jet and his gang who are also refugees seeking the shore and Team Avatar meets up with Suki who works with them to help some Refugees on the Serpent’s Pass after their lack of passports means they cannot take the lake to Ba Sing Se. From here the story unfolds as Zuko deals with his role as outcast and Aang and Sokka deal with their losses.

The Pros: The Refugees – The Refugees are from everywhere which really shows that the Earth Kingdom is losing the war. So many villages and people have lost their homes or left their homes because of the Fire Nation threat. This can’t be understated and we see that everyone outside of Ba Sing Se is a victim of the Fire Nation in the Earth Kingdom.

Jet and his Crew – Jet and his crew make an appearance and we see Jet make friends with Zuko seeing as they are both outcasts who no longer work alone and steal from the rich captain so that they and their friends can eat well. We also see friendship between the crew as Longshot sticks up for Smellerbee after she is mistaken for a by Iroh. There is a lot of coming together this episode.

Toph – Toph has a crush on Sokka! It is in this episode where we see how powerful the Beifong family is too as she is able to get them tickets even though it is against the rules since her family is so powerful. All that is lost though when Aang helps a ticketless family through the Serpent’s Pass. On the Serpent’s Pass she falls into the water and is saved by Suki and asks to be drowned when she kisses her thinking she was Sokka. This is a great Toph episode that shows she doesn’t put up with crap and also feels unthanked too when she saves them on the pass.

Suki – Suki is the idealist fighting for her people of the Earth Kingdom. It is here she joins to protect Sokka and also to see if he is interested in a relationship. After he deals with the loss of Yue in the episode he is and her action of kissing him at the beginning ends with him kissing her. It is really sweet and the romance is handled really well.

Zuko – Zuko is learning and where Jet is still raw, Zuko admits that he thought he should be alone but found that with Iroh he has found what was missing and that it is okay to count on others. It’s powerful and I like his friendship with Jet as they both have a vigilante streak.

Katara – Katara is the leader again and we see her use her Waterbending skills to protect the Refugees and fight the Serpent with Aang. She also is there for him and helps him deal with his loss of Appa and to focus on the mission.

Sokka – Sokka is facing the loss of Yue and though he doesn’t get into the details he shares some of it with Suki. When he talks about it and has time to face what he’s lost he’s ready for a relationship with Suki and returns the kiss she had given him twice. Once again, I love this relationship.

Aang – Aang is focused on the mission and just trying to be tough but he too opens up to Katara and shares what he is going through in regards to his grief. It is seeing the Refugee family having a baby that reminds him of what he is fighting for and gets him out of himself. It’s a powerful scene and he is again reminded of his mission when he sees The Drill heading to Ba Sing Se.

Facing Grief – This episode is all about dealing with grief and how important it is to talk but also to have space to heal and deal with on own. That process is different for everyone as everyone’s losses are different. It doesn’t make the losses any less valuable or any process better but it takes time and this episode shows how it is for two characters.

   This is a powerful episode with some great action that I’d highly recommend. The writers haven’t forgotten Yue and we see what her loss has meant to Sokka but also that he is healing as he and Suki initiate a relationship together. Aang also finally opens to Katara about what he is going through and how important it is for him to find Appa. These scenes are powerful.

Final Score: 9.6 / 10

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