Avatar: The Last Airbender – Book 2 “Earth,” Episode 16 – “Appa’s Lost Days” – Appa Doesn’t Catch a Break

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  Team Avatar doesn’t catch a break. This episode is Appa going through trial and tribulation for weeks on end and in the end he still isn’t home. Seeing the world through Appa’s eyes was very cool as he is just kind of there for most of the episodes prior and we don’t get to know the character all that well. In this we understand Appa’s motivations and see just how connected he is everyone in this series. In this way, it was a very well done episode.

  The episode was directed by Giancarlo Volpe and written by Elizabeth Welch Ehasz.

   The story involves Appa’s adventures and misadventures in his quest to find Team Avatar and reach Ba Sing Se. It is a roundabout adventure as he must fight the elements, other creatures in the forest, Firebenders and corrupt humans who want to use him to their own ends.

The Pros: Appa’s Adventures and Loss and Regaining Self – Appa’s adventure is a pro, especially as we see the adventure slowly break him down. From the Kyoshi Warriors being his only relief until Guru Pathik is found at the Eastern Air Temple and gives him a letter for Aang. Besides this he faces a wild boar, Firebenders, Azula and the Trio and in the end is captured by Minister Fong. Appa’s story is tragic and it is no wonder he almost goes feral in the process.

Suki – Suki takes care of Appa and makes it her and the Kyoshi Warrior’s mission to protect him and bring him back to Aang. Sadly they aren’t able to do so as the Trio attacks and they are outmatched.

Guru Pathik – He is the philosopher of Avatar outside of Iroh and he helps Appa calm his mind as well as showing him where Aang is located. He is funny and calm and I wish we could have got this guy’s backstory as he is drawn to the Air Temple but doesn’t have any Bending abilities. What is his story?

Minister Long Feng – Uses a whistle to capture Appa leaving only Appa’s foot print which we saw Momo sleeping in last episode. The guy is brilliant.

  This was good for what it was as we see much more of the Earth Kingdom, see baby Appa with Aang and when Aang chose him and understand their connection a lot better. We also see our villains in action to a good degree too. I can’t help but feel more could have been done with this episode though and that some of the places he was captured at could have been cut down or expanded to include characters that matter to the plot.

Final Score: 8 / 10

Avatar: The Last Airbender – Book 1 “Water,” Episode 4 – “The Warriors of Kyoshi” – The Price of the Avatar

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      This was an amazing episode! This is the episode where Aang and Sokka both get a lot of growth as they have to deal with their inbuilt prejudices. For Sokka it is dealing with his prejudice against the idea of women as warriors and for Aang it’s his entitlement of being Avatar and avoidance of responsibility. So much good was done with this.

      The director of the episode was Giancarlo Volpe and written by Nick Malis and Aaron Ehasz.

      The story involves Aang stopping at Kyoshi Island to ride the giant fish until they are attacked by the Unagi which leads to them getting captured by the Kyoshi Warriors. From here the story unfolds as Sokka faces his prejudices and Aang soaks in the attention he never received growing up and becoming arrogant in the process.

The Pros: The Kyoshi Warriors –

Kyoshi Island – This Island has so much character! From the Warriors of Kyoshi and the leader just trying to protect his people, from fangirls of the Avatar and the fact that they nation is isolated and mentions that they want no part in the war against the Fire Nation. This Island has character.

Zuko – Zuko has anger issues which leads to a comedic moment with Iroh when Iroh mentions they don’t know where the Avatar is, and when they tell him he’s on Kyoshi Island. In both instances Zuko loses it.

Suki – Suki is the leader of the Kyoshi Warrios and she’s a badass, and one of my favorite characters on the show. We see her put Sokka in his place when he is sexist, but also see that she is forgiving when he apologizes and she agrees to teach him. From there they form somewhat of a budding romance as she kisses him before fighting Zuko to give them more time to escape.

Sokka – Sokka grows a lot in this episode. He realizes his prejudice against the idea of warrior women and is corrected when Suki beats him twice leading him to ask to be trained by her, even going to far as to wear their female garb for the opportunity to learn their fighting style. His growth is truly wonderful in this episode.

Katara – Katara is a bit jealous of how popular Aang is with the Avatar fangirls, but she also sees the bigger picture and ends up being right in the end…as the war comes to them and Aang realizes that his staying in one place just puts people at risk. She really learns to communicate in this episode as her and Aang don’t talk until the moment before he is attacked by the Unagi near the end.

Aang – Aang is a kid and it shows. He revels in the popularity he receives at the village since Kyoshi was one of the past Avatars, but once his popularity wains he realizes how arrogant he was and how wrongly he treated Katara.

The Message – The message is to remain humble, communicate and to question your prejudices as well as don’t be sexist. All these themes are explored in the different characters and done really well, which is saying a lot as episodes are only 20 minutes long.

Okay: Aang’s stupidity – Aang’s stupidity was annoying in how he was reveling in the attention. I get it, he is a kid…but it did get grating after a while.

     I really enjoyed this episode. There were some great character moments with Sokka and the Kyoshi Warriors and the introduction of Suki, one of my favorite characters in the series. We also Aang dealing with the fact he is a kid with ego, even if he is a monk. Every character grows in this and we see a fully fleshed out culture on Kyoshi Island too. This episode was everything I love about this show.

Final Score: 10 / 10. Perfect episode.