TheRetreater

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The Waterbending Scroll

Pros: After the last episode, it was nice to see Aang try new skills.

Appa relaxing in the water as Sokka cleaned him made me chuckle a little.

Iroh continues to act like a fool, which only deepens the "What's he hiding?" mystery.

Cons: The entire plot was useless.

Though I understand Katara's jealousy, she knows Aang is the Avatar. Of course he's going to pick up new bending abilities quickly.

So, the moral of the story is that it's okay to steal from unscrupulous people? :huh: That's a poor lesson to teach young viewers.

Score: 3 / 5

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Jet

Pros: Katara's frustrated tears showed a little bit of character growth.

The animation on Jet and Sokka, especially their faces, took a step up.

The first-person POV shot of Aang blasting Jet was also well animated.

I like how Sokka uses the water in her canteen as a weapon.

Mrs. Pretty! :lol:

Cons: Both the plot and Jet are clichéd, which really brings the episode down.

Nitpick: Katara says, "I've never used bending on water I can't see." Um... she has. She pulled water out of Aang's lungs in The Warriors of Kyoshi.

Score: 3 / 5

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The Great Divide

Pros: The differing artistic styles as the stories were told was a nice touch, as was using both of them during Aang's bluff.

Speaking of said bluff, it was funny, but...

Cons: ... the second the elderly folk reconnect with their respective tribes, the truth will come out. Some of them were elderly, and since people in this world can live a long time, it can be assumed some of them were actually there when the rift was formed. Therefore, Aang didn't bring the people together. If anything, he created enemies of both tribes, because he lied to them and made them look like fools for buying into it.

Nitpick: Everywhere they go, Aang is announced as the Avatar. Aren't they trying to, you know, be inconspicuous?

Favorite line: "I only took their side 'cause they fed me."

Score: 2 / 5

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The Waterbending Scroll and The Great Divide teach children that "it's okay to lie and steal, as long as it helps you solve your immediate problems!"

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The Storm

Pros: Iroh channeled lightning! :o

Because they keep Zuko's father's face always hidden, he seems like a total badass, mysterious figure.

Zuko's backstory is compelling and deeply emotional, and you come away understanding his anger and need to redeem himself in his father's eyes.

Cons: Aang's backstory is boring and terribly shallow, and you come away thinking he's a whiny brat.

Nitpick: As Aang tells Katara his origin, his guardian monk says, "I'm not going to let them take you away from me." One: Creepy! Two: Aang wasn't there, so how does he know the monk said that?

Favorite line: "I'm too young to die!"

"I'm not, but I still don't wanna!"

Score: 3 / 5

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The Blue Spirit

Pros: Between the wonderful action, deep character development, and gripping storyline progression, I could almost give this one a perfect score. But...

Cons: Though it only takes up maybe five minutes of screen time, there's too much comedy. This needed to be an action-filled, dramatic, mystery with a heartbreaking ending. And yes, it was, but the insane old lady and the frog joke take away from the sadness and overall depth of the story.

This isn't a fault of the episode, but going in I knew who the Blue Spirit really was. So the shock of the reveal was lost on me.

Score: 4 / 5

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The Fortuneteller

Pros: Very cool ash effect as the lava starts to flow, and Aang stopping the lava was wicked!

Though it's straight out of The Matrix, the Aang / Katara subplot is advanced nicely.

Cons: Nothing I can really point too, but it isn't all that exciting.

For a show / world that's very much based on mysticism, I find it odd that Sokka has zero faith in fortunetellers. Hell, the monks that told Aang he's the Avatar were pretty much fortunetellers themselves.

Nitpick: Sokka kicks a rock off screen, which hits a duck, but the rock wasn't there moments before.

Favorite lines: "Pfft. Can your science explain why it rains?"

"Yes! Yes it can!"

"Take care... floozy."

Score: 3 / 5

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Bato of the Water Tribe

Pros: Sokka's tracking skills / instincts are improving.

The post-lame joke cough returns! :lol:

Is the bounty hunter arm wrestling Ryu?!

Cool, yet simple effect as the beast tracks smells.

Appa attacking the bounty hunter's beast was awesome!

Iroh stole the perfume!

Possibly the best battle yet.

Cons: Aang's an asshole here. These kids have no mother and their father is at war, yet he sulks as they reconnect and reminisce with an old friend? And then crumples the map?! Yes, I understand that these are literally his only two friends in the entire world (well, and the elderly Bumi), so losing them would be heartbreaking, but it's still a dick move to sulk when they want to be with their father.

Favorite line: "Care to hear your fortune, handsome?"

"At my age, there is really only one big surprise left. And I'd just as soon leave it a mystery."

Score: 4 / 5 (Had Aang not been a dick, this would have been a perfect episode.)

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The Deserter

Pros: Appa hiding behind the shrub was priceless.

Sokka protecting Katara, even going so far as to jump Aang, felt like a true brotherly reaction.

Katara's new power was an unexpected treat.

There are a lot of funny bits of dialog, especially Sokka's list of injuries at the end.

They're doing a solid job of world and character building here. Few cartoons dare to delve into the histories of characters like Admiral Zhao.

Cons: Aang's a little too cocky.

Favorite line: "You wanna walk into a Fire Nation town when they're all fired up with all their... y'know, fire?!"

"We'll wear disguises, and if it looks like trouble, we'll leave."

"Yeah. Because we always leave before we get into trouble."

Score: 4 / 5

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The Northern Air Temple

Pros: Aang's anger is totally justified.

Cons: Why didn't the Fire Nation guy fight Aang in the laboratory?

Why didn't the Fire Nation soldiers Firebend to shoot the gliders down?

What's to stop the Fire Nation from coming back to the temple?

Favorite line: "Do you think we'll really find Airbenders?"

"You want me to be like you, or totally honest?"

"Are you saying I'm a liar?"

"I'm saying you're an optimist... same thing basically."

Score: 2 / 5

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The Waterbending Master

Pros: Great cliffhanger.

Love the focus on Waterbending. There hasn't been enough of it until now.

The Sokka / princess subplot was interesting, though a little predictable.

Katara's defiance and refusal to give up was powerful.

Hmm... looks like Admiral Zhao has figured out the secret of the Blue Spirit.

Lots of plot threads are coming together.

Cons: The Waterbending master was laying it on a little thick.

Score: 4 / 5

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The Siege of the North, part one

Pros: I really wasn't into the Sokka / princess relationship until now.

Aang's self doubt ("I'm just one kid") is gut-wrenchingly sad.

I almost cried when Iroh hugged Zuko. There was some really great voice acting and animation going on there.

The Katara / Zuko battle was short but sweet!

Cons: None.

Score: 5 / 5

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The Siege of the North, part one

Pros: I really wasn't into the Sokka / princess relationship until now.

Aang's self doubt ("I'm just one kid") is gut-wrenchingly sad.

I almost cried when Iroh hugged Zuko. There was some really great voice acting and animation going on there.

The Katara / Zuko battle was short but sweet!

Cons: None.

Score: 5 / 5

Yeah, it's really from this time on that Katara goes from being the annoying preacher always talking about Hope to being Little Miss Bad-ass.

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The Siege of the North, part two

Pros: Oooooh, mystery! Iroh went to the Spirit World?

Christ on a stick, the Face Stealer is fucked up!

Holy shit! Iroh's rage at Zhao is wicked!

The coloring here is beautiful!

This episode almost brought me to tears on more than one occasion.

Cons: None.

Score: 5 / 5

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Mike, have you seen the rest of the show? If so do you have any more thoughts, I'd love to hear them. I am getting near the end, tonight I will watch the The Boiling Rock. I havn't even finished the show and I already think it's the greatest animated show I've ever seen.

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I've seen the first three or four episodes of the second season, but I've stopped for now. I'll get back to it later this summer, I think.

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That's good, I think season one is by far the worst. Each season gets progressively better and season 3 is just incredible! Will you be reviewing season 2?

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