Mark Watches ‘Avatar’: S01E02 – The Avatar Returns

In the second episode of the first season of Avatar: The Last Airbender, Aang is banned from the Water Tribe for putting the group in danger of the Fire Nation. As Sokka bravely prepares for battle, the Avatar is revealed…already. Seriously. And it’s awesome. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Avatar.


Is what you are about to comment in any episode past “The Avatar Returns”?


Seriously, please stop this. I don’t think I have ever seen it so bad around these parts. I will rain down fire from the heavens on your account if any of you continue to be rude, inconsiderate shits who do this again. All of you who have had a comment deleted yesterday or today: That was YOUR ONLY WARNING.

And now, on to the review!


Ok, so I was unaware that Nickelodeon aired this and “The Boy In The Iceberg” as one episode, so I’d like to avoid that in the future. Are there any episodes in the future that are split up as two, but were aired at once? I do not mean ALL two-parters, just those aired at the same time. Also, ONE OF YOU can answer this, not 400. Which I appreciate just the same, but it’s funny when people on six are still answering the same question. I do a hearty L-O-L, indeed.

It does make sense that this was aired with the “first” episode, as the full 45 minute story is a much better introduction to the world of Avatar than just “The Boy In the Iceberg” alone. It also satisfies the one main gripe I thought I’d have for the show rather quickly: Trying to keep up the illusion that Aang isn’t the Avatar when it’s obvious that’s what he’ll become. Ironically for me, though, was the fact that Aang knew he was the Avatar the whole time, which now opens up a billion new questions for me. What’s most exciting about that is that it completely destroys the Unknown Hero trope, since Aang knows what he is. So…I guess the main question is: Why did Aang go into hiding if he knew he was the Avatar?

But, like I do so often, I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s start from the beginning of “The Avatar Returns.” The conflict between Sokka and Katara seems inevitable and obvious, but I think the subtext of the initial banishment to be a lot more interesting once you peel back the surface. It wasn’t surprising that Katara seemed so willing at first to head off with Aang when he was kicked out of the tribe’s village, but you could see the sadness in her eyes as Sokka pointed out she was leaving her family for someone she just met. And beyond that, we know Sokka is jealous of the way Aang can command the attention of the people in his tribe, but he does have a point: Aang did cause the trap to get set off, which is bringing the Fire Nation upon the Water Tribe.

I think that Sokka might have been portrayed to be both the comic relief and the main “good” conflict for Katara, but he does a lot here in “The Avatar Returns” to show that his character is a lot more deep than it may seem. There’s the issue of masculinity at play here, too, since he’s the oldest male left in the tribe after all the fathers have left to go fight the Fire Nation. He feels obligated not only to protect the tribe, but to maintain his own image as a strong, powerful fighter. We can see that struggle acted out a lot over the pilot episodes, but we also get to see him have moments where he can let that guard down. (Flipping out over Appa’s actual flight is one of them, and I don’t think it’s a coincidence that he looks so happy when he gets to be who he wants.) I’m excited to see if the show develops this sub-plot with Sokka over the course of the three seasons that make up this show, because I feel like they’re intentionally including these seeds here.

Sokka isn’t a fantastic fighter, as I expected, but I love his valiant bravery here, even if it is tied to his idea of masculinity. It doesn’t matter. His heart’s in the right place: He just wants to protect his family and friends. But Prince Zuko is more experienced at fighting, easily disarming Sokka with his bare hands. It’s only Sokka’s delayed boomerang that gets a solid hit on the Firebender, inciting him to anger. On top of that, Zuko expects the Water Tribe to be harboring an old man who has been in hiding for a hundred years. And right on time, Aang comes barreling into camp on the back of a penguin (who looks rather peeved that he isn’t getting some fish), knocking Zuko over.

And even though I talked about it in the beginning, let’s discuss it again. Aang knows he is the Avatar. So….he went into hiding on purpose? He later expresses that he didn’t want to be the Avatar, so that makes me think that he enclosed himself in an iceberg in order to avoid it. But, on the opposite end of the spectrum, as Zuko and Aang begin to fight each other, Aang is quick to sacrifice himself in order to prevent the children of the Water Tribe from getting harmed. There’s virtually no reluctance on his part to give himself to the Firebenders, and I think that’s a sign of how selfless he is naturally. Is he meant to be the Avatar? How exactly does one become an Avatar?

Those are questions to be answered for another time, as “The Avatar Returns” becomes a rescue mission. Sokka and Katara recognize that HOLY SHIT THE AVATAR WAS JUST IN OUR CAMP and decide it’s a pretty fine idea to just go rescue him. Bless their hearts. But I suppose that if any plan involves getting on Appa and flying off into the distance, that’s about all the knowledge and practicality you need. Seriously, where is my Appa.

This is also the first chance we get to see just how free and fantastical the story can be because it uses the medium of animation. I imagine that since this follows the manga/anime style of storytelling, we’ll see a lot of fighting. This is a world at war, and there can’t not be fighting. When Aang takes the opportunity to use his Airbending to escape, I suddenly realized just how awesome this is going to be. I suppose it sounds silly, but it was just so cool watching Aang use wind to escape, blowing it against a door to bust it open or turning wheels or flying. The thing that’s so fascinating is that since Aang will eventually be able to control four elements, there’s no telling what things we’re going to see that might otherwise look silly in a live action show. (TAKE NOTE, M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN. Oh wait, too late.)

There are a couple SHIT IS GETTING REAL moments in this episode, too. The first of those happens when Zuko traps Aang in his personal room, and the two begin to battle again. Just when Zuko is about to blast him with fire, Aang uses his airbending to slam him against the walls. The show plays this off as a funny moment instead of brutally violent; maybe the writers are still unsure what they can get away with on this show, specifically on Nickelodeon. (When did the show air? Afternoon or morning? Just curious.) I don’t expect or really want the show to become more “realistic” or brutal, and the fact that it’s played for laughs here actually fits the tone of the episode well.

But seriously, let’s just talk about the moment when Appa arrives with Sokka and Katara and Zuko manages to Firebend Aang into the ocean. WHAT THE FUCK WAS THAT?? Why did his arrows glow? Did throwing him into water activate his Waterbending powers? Because seriously, that scene was AMAZING. Which leaves two powers we’ve not seen from Aang so far: Earthbending and Firebending. (I’m guessing we won’t see Fire until the end.)

And then. Then!!! Katara!!! Maybe the pressure of the oncoming Fire Nation soldiers finally made her able to Waterbend better than she had before, but I was shocked (pleasantly so) that she was able to freeze them in her tracks. Knowing that there will be some Waterbending training in the future, I’m excited that we’ve been give the device in which these two people can grow closer.

There’s one more thing I wanted to point out that I enjoyed before I wrap this up with my closing list. Defeated on the Firebender ship, I didn’t expect Zuko to say what villains never seem to vocalize: I underestimated my opponent. It takes a lot to put aside one’s pride to say that someone is better than you at something. I mean…yes, he’s saying this in order to properly prepare to DESTROY SOMEONE, but I still think it was a small moment to make all of this just a little bit different than we expect.


  • Iroh doesn’t seem like a man to battle, but he shows his Firebending skills here at the end. Dude doesn’t seem like someone you want to fuck with.
  • “Wow. I haven’t cleaned my room in a hundred years! Not looking forward to that.
  • “You’re just a child.” “Well, you’re just a teenager.” I LOVE THE WAY HE DISMISSES ZUKO.


About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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315 Responses to Mark Watches ‘Avatar’: S01E02 – The Avatar Returns

  1. rainbowsinside says:

    To your question about two-parters, I'm not sure is the season finales were aired together, although I think they were. I do know that the last four episodes that make up the finale to the whole series were definitely aired together. It was intense, like a feature length movie to finish off the series.

    Regarding Sokka: He's one of my favorite characters because they gave him that depth you're talking about and didn't just leave him as comic relief. It would have been so easy to just have him as the guy who makes the jokes, but they didn't.

    • FlameRaven says:

      I'm going to assume episode titles are spoilers, and see if I can do this from memory. I may have watched this show too many times.

      Season 1 – Episode 1/2
      Season 1 finale – Episode 19/20

      Season 2-
      Episode 10/11
      Episode 12/13 (these four episodes aren't two-parters, but were aired together)
      Season 2 finale -Episode 19/20

      Season 3-
      Episode 10/11 (two-parter)
      Episode 14/15 (two-parter)
      Season 3 finale: Episode 18-21 (this was basically a 2-hour tv movie)

      If you're watching the episodes on Netflix, they actually combine two-parters and the season 3 finale into single episodes, just fyi.

  2. echinodermata says:

    Let's go over some of the spoiler policy on this blog, because there were a lot of comments that were either spoilery and deleted, or were edging into uncomfortable territory yesterday. Mark said this yesterday: "I have an intense and absurdly strict “No Spoiler” rule in effect for the comments." That is 100% accurate. Mark's spoiler policy is probably the one thing that's hardest to adjust to coming from other places/blogs on the internet.

    If you're relatively new to commenting on this blog and are not a long-time lurker, please read this. Please.

    Things that are spoilers (but are not limited to these points), even if it may not feel like it to you:
    – gifs/pics/quotes from upcoming episodes. Even if it doesn't really give anything away about plot. It's still from an upcoming episode.
    – Answering any of Mark's questions when they will be answered for him on the show. Even when the answer isn't particularly important. If you're unsure, just don't answer any of Mark's questions. Most of them are rhetorical anyway. It's also kind of annoying to know whether something's going to get answered sometime, or whether it never get resolved.
    – Expectation spoilers such as 'I think season x is the best/worst' or 'tomorrow's ep is so good.' Yes, it's your opinion, but it still sets up an expectation when Mark and others prefer to go in with no expectations at all. So it's still spoilery.
    – Any mention of any detail or aspect of the world that comes up in a later episode. No matter how trivial.
    – Hinting at things to come without outright saying it. Example: 'I hope you were paying attention in that one scene (since it's relevant later).' It just irritates the commenters that know what you're trying to reveal.
    – Mentioning when there's going to be a multi-part episode (e.g. a two-parter). It's more suspenseful when someone watching for the first time doesn't know when to expect cliffhangers, for example.
    – Spoilers for other media Mark hasn't seen. Check out the suggestions page for both Reads and Watches, and don't include spoilers from any shows/books/comics Mark has stated he will cover in the future.

    And general things if you do (hopefully) accidentally include a spoiler: people aren't going to hate you for it so long as you don't make a habit of it, and it wasn't a huge spoiler. We may seem harsh at the time, but it's only because a lot of us are sick of the spoilers and having to police comments by reporting them and hoping people weren't spoiled. Also, for your own good, PLEASE SAVE YOUR COMMENTS SOMEWHERE BEFORE POSTING THEM – when a comment gets deleted, it's nice if you have a copy so you can edit out the offense and repost the other thoughts you had. Please don't argue with the mods with whether something was spoilery. Go ahead and ask what was spoilery about it if you don't know, but accept that the mods are following the spoiler policy. I've never seen a comment that was deleted by a mod when it wasn't warranted.

    Finally, if you want to talk about upcoming episodes, or you have a thought you want to include but don't know if it's spoilery and want advice whether it is, you can always leave a comment on the forums (linked on the blog) or on ELSOS' spoiler blog.

    (And not about spoilers, but a thing about voting etiquette: please use the downvote button on comments sparingly. As in, don't downvote simply because you disagree with something. If you disagree, it's preferred that you reply and explain why. The thought is that if someone's written out a thoughtful comment, it's rude to "punish" their comment simply because you disagree. Save the downvoting for spoilery/spam/offensive comments.)


    • psycicflower says:

      <img src="; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">

    • cait0716 says:

      Thanks for this! Mark's not the only one watching this show for the first time and participating in the comments is half the fun. But not if I'm going to risk being spoiled. I do have to commend the fast actions of the administrators yesterday. I saw several deleted comments, but I managed to remain unspoiled. So good job! And boo to the spoilers.

    • Sparkie says:

      Thanks for this! Especially due to the large number of those watching for the first time along with Mark!

    • Mr.Fahrenheit says:

      Personally, I encourage everyone who thinks what they are posting may be a spoiler to post an obviously fake spoiler instead. Observe:
      "I really didn't like that scene in the 92nd episode of season 5 where Aang and Sokka have to enter a line-dancing competition to save Katara from Fire Nazis."
      See how easy that was?

      • ldwy says:

        Hahaha, that made me laugh out loud, literally. This sounds like a plan!
        But seriously, I too am watching along with Mark for the first time, as I know many people are, so we're all grateful when people think carefully about what they've written before hitting the "submit" button.
        Thanks for a great post, echinodermata! I hope people heed it well.

    • Jaxx_zombie says:

      Sadly I just had to report a comment…. 🙁

    • xpanasonicyouthx says:

      All of this is GOSPEL TRUTH on this site, and you'd best follow it or I'll start banning.

  3. rainbowsinside says:

    One of the reasons that I love this show so much is the four elements theme. I've always been really interested in them, so I thought I would share a little knowledge and maybe give a little insight to this show for some people.

    Also, for those of you who don't know, this show's choreography was done by martial arts masters. Each bending style is done in a certain martial arts style. I'll include a bit of that too. There are behind the scenes videos that describe it better, but they include scenes from later episodes.

    In astrology, each sign is correlated with an element, so I thought I'd include them in here for fun.

    Air (Libra, Aquarius, Gemini): Mainly associated with knowledge and other things mental. Aang and the air nomads are monks, who are very concerned with aquiring spritual knowledge.
    Martial arts style: Ba Gua. Concentrates on circular motions and evasion. When Aang fights, he's constantly moving in circles and turning around to avoid getting caught.

    Water (Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces): People who are strong in water are very connected to their emotions. They can also be very caring and nurturing. Katara is very intouch with her emotions. She always knows what she's feeling and is not afraid to express it.
    Martial arts style: Tai Chi. Very flowing and smooth, perfect for water. Tai Chi users can take their opponants motion and turn that energy into their own attack.

    Fire (Aries, Leo, Saggittarius): Gives ambition and drive. These are the warriors and leaders. Zuko's goal is to find the Avatar and nothing will get in his way. He is very single-minded and driven in this quest.
    Martial arts style: Northern Shaolin. Focuses on strong movements of the arms and legs. It's very much centered on attack and strength. When Zuko fights, you hardly ever see him defend. He's always moving forward, staying on the offensive.

    Earth (Capricorn, Taurus, Virgo): We haven't met any Earthbenders yet, but it's easy to guess what they may be like. Earth is associated with convention and the physical world. They are extremely stubborn but also very practical. Earth is also associated with merchants and proper society because of that practicality.
    Martial arts style: Hung Gar. Based on very firmly rooted stances and strong movements. It would be very difficult to knock an Earthbender over because of their strong defense.

    If anyone's interested in learning more, I used this page to refresh myself a little. It's a pretty good overview and it's interesting to see how closely all these characters and the nations are modeled after the four elements.

    • Hotaru_hime says:

      Haha, your explanation for Earth is perfect. Thank you!

    • ldwy says:

      I know nothing about martial arts, but obviously they play a huge role in this series. It's really interesting to know that the distinctly different styles of bending we see are based on real types of martial arts. Thanks for informing us!

    • cait0716 says:

      So, Air = Ravenclaw, Fire = Slytherin, Water = Hufflepuff, and Earth = Gryffindor?

      I'm less sure about earth and water, but the other two make sense

      • sarah says:

        J.K. Rowling actually said that:
        Gryffindor = Fire
        Slytherin = Water
        Hufflepuff = Earth
        Ravenclaw = Air

        in her world, anyway. :'D

      • ldwy says:

        Ahh, so perfect. Everything can go back to good ol' HP.
        I agree Air and Fire fit particularly well 🙂

    • tethysdust says:

      I love how you can actually tell the differences between the martial-arts styles of bending for each element. You can even see it in those 2 second bending clips in the intro.

      Also, it seems like a lot of tv shows and movies take really interesting super powers and make them really boring. Like, maybe taking a fun concept like airbending and having the character use air to make his punches super strong. I love that ATLA is creative in the uses of bending, and we can see that creativity even by the second episode of the show.

      • rainbowsinside says:

        That's one of the things in the movie that made me rage so hard. They just went right back to boring old movie martial arts that isn't based in any sort of style. I have some friends who practice kung fu and they raged so hard it was scary. They all loved the show because they could recognize the styles and movements and the movie destroyed that.

  4. echinodermata says:

    Wow Sokka is kind of intolerable at the beginning. Although he is basically trying to save his society, so while I can sympathize with his motivations, it's also clear from the narrative that he's being too harsh on Aang. Perhaps this is one example of the kid's show aspect being a bit of a weakness since I would have preferred more ambiguity in the portrayal of this dilemma.

    Also, those sad eye shimmer things suck in a fantastic way since they do their job so effectively.

    The juxtaposition of Sokka and Zuko getting ready to effectively fight each other is pretty awesome, especially in its contrast of two very different cultures and positions in society.
    <img src=""&gt;(Source)
    <img src=""&gt;(Source)

    Okay, so Aang being the Avatar would have been a lot less obvious if it weren't in the opening credits. Oh show, that was entirely unclimactic. But it did make yesterday's review fun – nope, not going to be drawn out, Mark.

    But I thought Sokka going to find Aang was nicely done, as was Katara's reaction and the lol boyfriend bit, and their Gran.

    I know he's just comic relief, but I think Uncle Iroh is awesome.

    And this sort of fantastic fighting sequence is why I think this show is so suited to animation: it would be ridiculously expensive to try to cgi these sorts of effects realistically, so even if there were a non-problematic, non-horrible live-action movie, I doubt it would really capture the visual impact of this show. The animation style can make it look effortless, while even good CGI can look "heavy" and have its presence obvious and overly-noticable.

    <img src=""&gt;(Source)

    • E.L.S.O.S. says:

      These episodes do work much better together rather then separated, but I can see why Nick would split them up after the world premiere. Also, I am SO looking forward to this season! It's going to be great!

    • ldwy says:

      I love how you put it, about animation being a huge advantage–and I totally agree. The weightlessness and magic of combining fighting with the bending is done beautifully–and I can't imagine it would ever work as well in live action and cgi.

    • mkjcaylor says:

      Well, there is an option I think that no one has mentioned (and I haven't seen the movie so I don't know what style choices they made):

      The live action does not have to be realistic. Nor does the CGI have to be realistic. We have things like 300 and Scott Pilgrim in styles that are either 1) overly gory and intense or 2) cartoony and funny. I think it would be possible to combine live action and animation together to allow for effortlessness and the beauty of the cartoon.

      Still, of course, the cartoon is beautiful and doesn't need live action anyway. Anime can be an extremely respected and high art form, and a good A:tLA movie could also be one that is drawn well, perhaps has a higher frame-rate than the show, but respects and honors the culture it came from.

      I very much like that this show is a hybrid of American and Japanese art styles. Don't get me wrong, I have my share of favorite animes, but I appreciate being able to relate to everything going on on screen (chibi style has always put me off and I'm still not a fan) and not have to suffer through terrible dubbing.

    • arctic_hare says:

      And this sort of fantastic fighting sequence is why I think this show is so suited to animation: it would be ridiculously expensive to try to cgi these sorts of effects realistically, so even if there were a non-problematic, non-horrible live-action movie, I doubt it would really capture the visual impact of this show. The animation style can make it look effortless, while even good CGI can look "heavy" and have its presence obvious and overly-noticable.

      THIS THIS THIS. I loved your whole comment, but I especially agree with this part, it's one of the reasons I really love animation and am always skeptical (read: DO NOT WANT) towards live action adaptations of animated shows.

    • Inner Voice says:

      I LOVED the juxtaposition of Zuko and Sokka getting ready to fight. Sokka all alone putting his gear on himself, with no armor, just his war paint (very appropriate, since he's running on sheer hopeless warrior spirit in this fight); Zuko with his attendants putting his armor on for him (again, appropriate considering he has the advantage in both numbers and hardware). It's such a powerful scene and packed with meaning.

    • hassibah says:

      It does make me lol when Sokka talks to the little kids like they're soldiers and haven't just barely mastered going to the bathroom alone. Overall I kind of agree about him though. I mean the dude that wants to be the man of the house and Protector but in RL is a goof and a joke as a trope is pretty exagerrated and way overdone in sitcoms IMO….but it's also a really common thing to see in shows aimed at adults as well, and probably moreso than children's shows actually.

      I didn't even remember what happened in this episode-I totally thought they all had escaped on Appa by the end of the 1st episode, SO glad I decided to wait and rewatch before commenting yesterday.

  5. shyfully says:

    “A hundred years passed and my brother and I discovered the new Avatar, an Airbender named Aang.”

    WAY TO SPOIL YOUR OWN SHOW KATARA JEEZ (That part wasn’t included when the episode originally aired since it went straight from the last episode, if I remember right, but was added in later)

    Anyway, Episode 2! Let’s do this.

    <img src=>

    I find it very interesting how the Water Tribe is shown in this episode. They’re so vulnerable. Their only warrior is Sokka and their only waterbender is Katara. And they are both… well, inexperienced, to say the least. They send away Aang, who is actually their best bet at any kind of defense, but of course, they don’t know him. They can’t trust him. And you know, I can’t really blame them for that. If you think about what Katara said last episode, they don’t have contact with their sister tribe at all… their only recent contact with any other people, it seems, would be the Fire Nation’s army.

    And then, when Prince Zuko and his ship arrives, you can see how disadvantaged they are in any kind of conflict. Their walls (and ground!) crumble, they can’t defend themselves… if Aang hadn’t arrived when he did, who knows what could have happened? Nothing good, obviously. The show doesn’t linger on it but there is enough time between Zuko’s ship getting there and Aang’s arrival that it gets very uncomfortable. When Sokka’s boomerang hit him, I was very torn with being happy that Sokka was able to do something, but also horrified since before Zuko seemed fine with ignoring them and now was angry.

    I liked the sequence that showed Sokka and Zuko both preparing for battle. It’s so ceremonial and there’s the epic music… but then I realize they are both teenagers and become sad. Also sad, Zuko has people helping him, but Sokka gets ready alone. It was, er, sweet to see the kid toss him the spear, though it didn’t do much good.

    <img src=>

    Aang impressed me in this episode, where I was originally the tiniest lukewarm on him in episode 1. I liked that he saw how dangerous fighting the firebenders would be to the Water Tribe and so decided to turn himself in so he could battle them elsewhere. I also was intrigued by his fighting style- it’s a lot more defensive than offensive. If you watch his fight with Zuko, pretty much all he does is avoid the attacks, null the attacks or hide behind Zuko, until the end. Of course, when they were in more open space, his tactics didn’t work as well. Zuko quickly got the better of him and- OH SHIT HE’S GLOWING WHY IS HE GLOWING

    <img src=>

    (I love how they animated the water in that sequence, it’s pretty.)

    Other moments I loved:

    Katara waterbending at the end. She has to face away from her target, heehee. Except look how close they got D:

    <img src=>

    Aang being obsessed with animals. HOPPING LLAMAS I want to ride a hopping llama.

    Sokka being SO EXCITED that Appa can fly and then trying to cover. ~Real smooth bro~

    Zuko’s helmet landing on his ass when Aang knocks him down. My maturity knows no bounds. You better believe I have a gif of it.

    <img src=>

    How often Aang dives, zooms or rolls between taller adversaries legs. Way to use your size to your advantage!

    Sokka surprising Katara by already wanting to go help Aang without needing to be convinced. And then he calls Aang her boyfriend and gets on her bad side again, heh. ~Siblings~

    THE EPIC WATERBENDING GLOWING YEAAAAH. Seriously, that sequence is cool, awesome and, most importantly, intriguing.

    <img src=>


    Zuko: I’ve spent years preparing for this encounter. Training, meditating. You’re just a child!
    Aang: Well, you’re just a teenager.

    Sokka: I’m just a guy with a boomerang. I didn’t ask for all this flying and magic!

    Aang: Wow, I haven’t cleaned my room in a hundred years! Not looking forward to that.

    Zuko: Take the Avatar to the prison hold and take this to my quarters. (thrusts staff at Iroh and leaves)
    Iroh: (nicely) Hey, you mind taking this to his quarters for me?

    Sokka: (hits Zuko with the end of Aang’s staff until he falls) That’s from the Water Tribe!

    Katara: Why didn’t you tell us you were the Avatar?
    Aang: Because… I never wanted to be.

    Katara continued to totally win me over in this episode. I like that she isn’t presented as perfect. She underestimated her brother and grandmother, thinking they wouldn’t care about Aang after he saved them. She also was too afraid to try to fight when the Firebenders first attacked. For good reason, but I liked that they showed her being scared, not jumping in. It’s only later that she is able to use her waterbending to protect herself, which makes it such a wonderfully triumphant moment.


  6. shyfully says:

    I talked a bit about Aang above, but I will continue like the longwinded babbler that I aim to be. Like I said, he really impressed me in this episode. The moment where he can see that Katara is torn between wanting to go with him since she is upset that he was kicked out of the village and wanting to stay with her family was nice. He instantly makes it clear that he thinks she should say. Zuko says that Aang doesn’t know about fathers, being raised by monks, but he clearly understands the idea of family. Katara needed to leave the water tribe for her own sake, in many ways, not just for him.

    <img src=""&gt;

    Sokka grew on me here, too. I felt so bad for him during the mini-invasion sequence. All he wants to do is protect his home, his people, and he is totally unprepared. Zuko, who hasn’t even been built up as some awesome fighter, is able to deal with him easily. I wonder what his role will be within the group. It was interesting how his facial paint got washed off during that fight. He was basically a little kid playing dress up to the Fire Nation.

    <img src=""&gt;

    I had some interesting reactions to Zuko in this episode. He mostly seems to just be a generic villain, and he might be, but he provides insight into the Fire Nation and how they operate. He says that he’d been training to fight the Avatar for years, implying that it’s a big Fire Nation priority, but we also know he isn’t particularly advanced at fire bending from the last episode and he’s only a teenager. And his relationship with his uncle is fascinating, since they are such different characters right off the bat.

    Speaking of Zuko, I love the way they do the fight scenes. You will probably be told this a million times, but the basis for how the different bending moves come from various fighting styles, a different one for each element. It’s really interesting to look up the different styles and see how they relate to each element, though perhaps that should be saved until later on when you know more about bending and the different elements. For now, I’ll just say that it is very cool to see how the interpret them and how it makes the different fights look.

    <img src=""&gt;

    I noticed that during the first fight scene at the village, Zuko seemed to melt the snow off of him at a very fast rate. Cool, huh? And, later, Aang uses his bending to unscrew a, um, door in the floor of the ship I DON’T KNOW NAUTICAL STUFF SHH. It would be very easy to just have Zuko throw fire and Aang whack people into things with walls of air but they really show so many different ways bending could be used. I APPROVE MIGHTILY.

    <img src=""&gt;

    I also really enjoyed the scene between Gran Gran and her grandchildren when she told them to find Aang. She said she hadn’t had hope in so long. It’s a really powerful message. The Avatar is a symbol of hope to people, and they all thought it was gone. But that’s a lot of responsibility, especially with the world in such apparently dire circumstances. Poor Aang has his work cut out for him, especially if he plans to take field trips to see animals.

    So, in conclusion:

    <img src=""&gt;

    And with that, I’m out.

    <img src=""&gt;

    • Hotaru_hime says:

      *slow claps to your genius*
      I want to marry your comments.

    • monkeybutter says:

      That helmet scene will never not slay me.

      I loved the contrast between Zuko and Sokka. Zuko's ship is able to completely destroy the Southern Water Tribe's defenses, and when the shot pulls out, you can see how tiny their entire community is compared to the warship. Zuko has the power to destroy their lives without any effort. Sokka is alone, but Zuko is assisted by people he doesn't even acknowledge. They come from utterly different worlds.

    • Pelleloguin says:

      Wonderful comment. I agree completely with the scene of Sokka and Zuko getting ready to fight. First it just looks cool. Then you see how different the cultures are. Then you see how Sokka has to do it alone, while Zuko has minions to help. Then you realize they are just kids getting ready to fight each other and it breaks your heart. Aang's "Just a teenager" comment hits herd, because he's pointing out something the viewers may miss in the heat of the moment, all of the main characters are kids. And they are fighting a war, all on their own within an even bigger war. They should be out having fun penguin sledding and the like, but they cant because of what's been going on around them. It's subtle in the writing, but really interesting when you put all into prospective like that.

    • Elexus Calcearius says:

      That comment was all sorts of epic.

      I agree; how very different the cultures are, and the variability of the elements is part of what makes this show so awesome.

    • sundaycoma says:

      I keep trying to comment back but no matter what the length of my comment, the site keeps prompting me that it's too long and I have to split into multiple comments. :(((

    • sundaycoma says:

      So a few points: *Water Tribe's Vulnerability: yes. It's a small detail and often overlooked but when the Fire Navy ship crashes into the ice flow that Sokka's tribe lives on, he screams out "My watchtower!" as a badly composed column of ice collapses and falls to the ground. It's played for humor but if you take a second to really think about it: this is what the Southern Water Tribe had for its defense against a nation of Firebenders. A wall of snow and ice surrounding their city built by a freaked out fifteen year old who didn't know what else to do with himself to help keep his family and entire society safe. It's heartbreaking and deeply depressing and really does help endear Sokka to you in just his earnest sincerity to keep the people he loves alive and well.

    • sundaycoma says:

      *Aang Growing on You: The first characteristic of Aang's that became endeared him to me was just how much he /cared/ about people. Random people. People he'd just met. He wants Katara to come to the North Pole with him, yes, for his personal benefit at having the pleasure of her company but also to find her own fulfillment. He cares about Sokka and thanks him for coming to rescue him, knowing that Sokka was also the one who aggressively spearheaded his, like, what, fifteen minute exile (lolz). And seeing those kids just recoil and whimper at the fire, Aang knew he could probably hold up Zuko if he wanted to but he knew he couldn't allow himself to continue with the village potentially becoming collateral damage. And he also politely says "Sorry" when bursting in on Iroh's room while Iroh was napping during his search for his glider to get the hell out of Dodge (rather hilariously). That's who he is, he just /cares/. Aang's the Super Sweetie of All Things/People/Beings Sweet.

      • sundaycoma says:

        *"HE CAN FLY!!"– Sokka is the smoothest of all bro's. Eternally and forever. Except when Appa flies. Also, when they're boarding the flying bison right after Katara's frozen the firebending mooks, he screams out "YIP YIP" in a really high, harried tone of voice. For some reason, in my head, I always over-write that line with "YIP, YIP THE MOTHERFUCKING YIP!!". Because, I don't know, I guess nothing ever has enough swearing for me.
        *Aang Using His Size Against His Opponents: there's a TV tropes for that. It's called Combat Pragmatism and Avatar: the Last Airbender has it in spades. Sometimes shit's just there 'cause shit's cool but never do most of the characters grandstand or unnecessarily exaggerate their actions. This is a century long war and it's nearing total completion. It's going to get so good later but this is just one of the ways the animators aren't holding any punches. Your opponents may be bigger than you, they may be stronger than you but they are still your opponents and you are still going to have to find a way to beat them. Shit. Gets. So Real.

  7. hallowsnothorcruxes says:

    I'm really happy Mark is watching ATLA and will hopefully continue to enjoy watching this show. I find certain episodes of the show a bit childish but that’s okay considering the fact that the protagonists are kids/teenagers. On the surface ATLA may seem like any other kids’ show but a lot of thought and care has gone into making this show.
    So far on the show we have seen water, fire and air bending. I don’t think it’s a spoiler to say that different fighting styles are employed in the show to represent different types of bending. Tai Chi is used for water bending, Northern Shaolin for fire bending and Ba Gua for air bending.
    Also without giving anything away, can I just say that love the voice actors in this series. A lot has already been said about the gorgeous animation but I also love the music of the show especially during fight scenes.
    Lastly I would like to thank Mark for letting me and many others relive the first time we watched this series.

  8. monkeybutter says:

    I just want to catalogue the Zuko abuse in this episode

    <img src=""&gt;
    <img src=""&gt;
    <img src=""&gt;

    because it makes me laugh, and he totally deserves it after jerking Gran Gran around and being rude to Uncle Iroh, who is awesome for taking it in stride. Like you say, it's interesting that he actually learns not to underestimate his opponent, but that also makes him more dangerous.

    I'm glad you liked the taste of expert airbending and waterbending! And we've also already seen firebending. I really liked the contrast between the epic feats Aang performs, and what Katara does as a novice. It sets her up for a lot of growth, and it shows how important having a master is.

    I love Sokka's determination, too. He's not perfect, but he's doing his best for his family and recognizes "he's just a guy with a boomerang." The self-deprecation makes him sweet.

  9. echinodermata says:

    According to wikipedia, episodes that aired on the same day (mildly spoilery for the location of multi-part episodes):

    It also looks like the show aired at 8:30 pm on Fridays (usually).

    • Violets are Blue says:

      Some catalogues group some of the two-parters mentioned above as one episode (iTunes is horrendous for this) so if it seems like you're missing one in the season, it may have been lumped together.

    • Jaxx_zombie says:

      Yup it was every Friday… I remember centering my Fridays around A:TLA

    • Shanon says:

      Episodes 7 and 8 of season 1 also go together. Also, I hope it's not a spoiler to say that they are both awesome, and you are not prepared, etc.

      • echinodermata says:

        Mark: "Are there any episodes in the future that are split up as two, but were aired at once? I do not mean ALL two-parters, just those aired at the same time."

        They aired on different days, which is why they're not on the list.

  10. Hotaru_hime says:

    Uncle Iroh is my favorite speaking character in this series. My favorite non speaking character is Appa. Obviously.
    I want to answer all of your rhetorical questions, but I won't because that would be stupid. But each season has only 20 episodes in them, so when you come up with one question, it's usually solved within the episode or in the next one.
    Weirdly, I never was annoyed by Zuko's fiery rage (trolololol) at anything, but was really more confused by it. He's a prince! He should have better self control! But maybe that's the problem- Iroh was rehashing the basics of firebending in Zuko because Zuko is all over the place. But it just made me curious and then led to a bit of pity when Iroh mentions that the Avatar quest is essentially a fool's quest, that Zuko's forebears all searched for the Avatar to no avail.
    But yeah, it's gonna be fun.

    • monkeybutter says:

      Zuko's a lot sadder when you think about the snipe hunt he's been sent on. What if Katara had never freed Aang?

  11. elusivebreath says:

    I'm really liking this show so far, which I kind of thought I might, judging by the few episodes I had seen before this. I liked that Aang knew he was the Avatar all along, because that was unexpected and it makes me think the show is going to go in a different direction than I anticipated. I know we just started watching it, but I'm already excited to get to the end lol!!

  12. dragonsong12 says:

    Can I also say, I'm amused and glad that you're calling Zuko's uncle "Iroh" right off the bat? He's credited just as "uncle" and that's all Zuko calls him, so I wasn't able to catch his actual name until MUCH later. Haha!

  13. Are there any episodes in the future that are split up as two, but were aired at once?
    People have already answered the question with episodes, but I will say that unless the first episode in a block is called "Part 1," you don't have to watch them all together. The ones that were slapped together in season two aren't really two-parters, just two episodes that aired together.

    It’s only Sokka’s delayed boomerang that gets a solid hit on the Firebender, inciting him to anger.
    I love that Sokka's weapon is a boomerang. I mean…it's so unusual for a hero, you know? Unless you're Krull. Wait, that was probably not the name of the main character. But you know what I mean.

    I suppose it sounds silly, but it was just so cool watching Aang use wind to escape, blowing it against a door to bust it open or turning wheels or flying.
    It is totally cool. This show has amazing fight scenes. Martial arts plus bending equals AWESOMENESS.

    (When did the show air? Afternoon or morning? Just curious.)
    It aired in the evenings.

    Wow. I haven’t cleaned my room in a hundred years! Not looking forward to that.
    I love all the jokes about having been gone a hundred years.

    • Violets are Blue says:

      The ones aired together that aren't technically two-parters are helpful to watch together (season 2 ones spring to mine when Nick was cashing in on the summer crowd) as they interweave very closely together. One two-parter that actually was not played together is 1.07 and 1.08…mostly because they actually are pretty separated.

      • And I actually think the last two episodes of season two, which they aired together, would work better viewed separately.

        The season two two-parters are good to watch together, I agree, although you don't have to. The second two-parter was the first couple episodes I ever saw, so I'm fond of it.

        Mostly, I stand by my ruling that unless the title has "Part 1" in it, you can view it individually.

    • Ah. Krull. Loved that movie. The hero's name was Colwyn. The boomerang thingie was called a Glave (I think). The heroine had pretty hair. And the whole thing is totally going Liam Neeson's karmic record.

  14. cait0716 says:

    This episode was exciting for the first main action scene/conflict between Zuko and Aang. It'll be interesting to see how they maintain the tension between them over the next several episodes/season/course of the show/whatever. I hope it doesn't get to repetitive (though with all the love this show gets, I'm fairly confident it won't)

    I'm curious about Aang's sudden water-bending ability. I hope this isn't something he just "gets" now. I really want to see him struggle to learn and control it. Katara, too. I liked seeing how she responded so well under pressure, but I hope it's not just super easy from this point on. And I can't wait to see the dynamic with Sokka. His comment about just being a guy with a boomerang made me laugh. But I can see that there's definitely some potential for jealousy on his part.

    Short version: I can't wait to see what happens next! There's so much potential and I hope it's all put to good use.

  15. Iroh is love. I adore how no matter how GRRRRRR Zuko gets, Iroh's just completely chill and polite to everyone.


  16. @gladdecease says:

    Just going to post this quick, before I take a half hour to rewatch the episode and react in-comment to it:

    A quick wikipedia check of the original air dates shows that season 1 episodes 19 and 20 aired together, season 2 episodes 10 and 11, season 2 episodes 12 and 13, season 2 episodes 19 and 20, season 3 episodes 10 and 11, and season 3 episodes 18, 19, 20 and 21. That's a lot more than I remember, but I trust wikipedia more than my own memory.

    • @gladdecease says:

      And season 3 episodes 14 and 15. /o If you're going to spend five minutes checking wiki, self, why can't you at least get it right?

      But anyway, onto the rewatch!

      – Ahaha, paranoid Sokka is paranoid. And wrong about Aang's intentions, but right about the consequences. Funny how that works out.
      – Then Aang and Katara explain how it was totally an accident, that they were just exploring when a booby trap went off, but Aang was the one to convince Katara to explore the ship. And what does Sokka get from that? "Aha, the traitor confesses!"

      [insert facepalm.gif here]
      Sokka, your listening comprehension skills could use some work.
      – I love this bit:
      Katara: Don't you see? Aang's brought us something we haven't had in a long time: fun.
      Sokka: Fun? We can't fight firebenders with fun!
      Aang: You should try it sometime!
      I don't know about you, but I can totally see Aang funbending his way through a fight at this point.
      – I have mixed feelings about the banishment scene. I mean, Sokka is definitely making judgments against Aang too soon, based off what he knows. I think Gran-Gran might suspect that Aang is more than he appears, so I can understand her wariness. [spoilery comment redacted until the relevant episode has been watched] So I feel Aang didn't deserve to be banished, but Katara's reaction to that feels slightly… immature, considering how she's held herself up to now. Her rant at Sokka in the first episode is one thing, but this feels almost like a tantrum.
      – Though I totally get how bitter she is towards Gran-Gran for taking away her first bit of hope in a long time. /not at all speaking from personal experience
      And, can I just say? It was ~super weird~ to hear Gran-Gran called "Grandmother." Like, flat out bizarre.
      – Appa curled up on himself in that hollow in the ice is the cutest thing ever. My god.
      – Oh, what's this I hear? An ominous shift in the music? :DDD Zuko's back! And putting on his armor very ~dramatically. I do love the design of that armor a lot, though, so no complaints from me. (The design of everything in this show, clothing to architecture to the background itself, is so beautifully intricate on closer inspection. I love it.)
      – The ship! Geez it looks huge. And again with the design – to my inexperienced eye that super-pretty impressive prow looks built to shove its way through sheets of ice. Style and function!
      – I… was Sokka going to hit the ship with his club? Uh. Well. Ten points for effort, fifty points for guts, minus a thousand for common sense.
      – And then the prow folds out into a gangplank from the bowels of the ship. ~love it~
      – Oh Sokka, you are so unprepared. :c
      …well, it gives you plenty of room to grow, I guess!
      – Oh Zuko, so sure you're looking for a dude as old as Gran-Gran who's spent the last century mastering all of the elements. Not quite.
      – :/ …Sokka, shouting while you run at him from behind kind of destroys the element of surprise.
      – Boomerang! 😀 Is this your first appearance? Well, it won't be your last. /rim shot
      – Dude, Zuko broke that spear with his forearms. That's some armor.
      – Boomerang! 😀 Two things: (1) I knew you'd make a comeback! /second rim shot; (2) Zuko getting hit by you is a gif I must acquire immediately. I'm sure someone on this post will provide.
      – Fire daggers! One of many bending styles I just go "oh my – *__* SO COOL" in response to.
      – …okay, I need a "Zuko getting knocked over by Aang on a penguin" gif too. The helmet landing on his butt would be a nice bonus.
      – "Yaay, yayyy! Generic cheering for Aang our savio-" *covered in snow by Aang our savior* -_- "… …yaaay yayyy!" This show does kids pretty well, I have to say.
      – Sokka is displeased at being rescued by the banished foreigner. Can't say I blame him, he's obviously got issues re: his dad and "being a man", and Aang is not the manliest of men. Doesn't stop him from being all kinds of awesome, though.

    • @gladdecease says:

      – Aw, the "you're just a child!" "well you're just a teenager!" bit. I remember all the commercials in the early days of this show used that line. I got annoyed by it pretty quickly, but it's better in context.
      – Only tangentially relevant side note: I love that so much of the Fire Nation's stuff is steam-powered. It makes sense! They don't even really need that much wood/coal, if they have enough willing benders on their ship.
      – Ah, the "rant at somebody about a decision they've already changed their mind on" trope. Doesn't work all that well for me in this case, but I think that's because it already seemed clear to me that Sokka would try to repay his debt to Aang by saving him.
      – Gran-Gran, why so awesome? I usually don't like the destiny speech, but you make it work.
      – "You just love taking me out of my comfort zone, doncha?" WE ALL DO, SOKKA. IT'S MORE FUN THAT WAY.
      – Ah, so here's where the "raised by monks" bit was established.
      – "I bet I could take you both with my hands behind my back." AND THEN HE DOES. :DDD <3 you, Aang.
      – "Go. Fly. Soar. Up. Ascend. Elevate. […] What was it that kid said? Yee-haw? Hup-hup? Wah-hoo? Uh, yip-yip?" Appa: *flies, bitches* :DDD THIS. THIS IS WHY I HAVE ~FEELINGS~ ABOUT THAT SILLY LITTLE PHRASE. Look at their faces, those grins. They have hope now, and Appa just confirms for them that Aang was right. <3333
      Plus, flying bison. Flying. Bison.
      – Add another four to the "beat with his hands behind his back" tally. 😀 And then he unties himself on the pointy tip of the guy's helmet! <3~~
      – Oh Aang. Of course it wasn't going to be that easy.
      – Oh Zuko, of course you did. He's not the Avatar for nothing, even if he is just a kid.
      – …wow, this fight. I've got to redact a few spoilery comments about this, but I am definitely bringing them up later.
      – fjklalkjsdf;asdl OH HAI, SITTING ON A BALL OF AIR. *makes grabby hands*
      – *thunk* Ow. *thunk* Ow. Still, way to show the level of difference a tool makes in airbending. You get more force when you have something to direct the air with.
      – Aang runs across the deck, tosses his glider in the air, he's practically home free– AND THEN ZUKO JUMPS OUT OF NOWHERE TO GRAB HIM BY THE ANKLE. Dude is ridiculous; if Aang had kept them in the air a few seconds longer, they would have landed in the water. Polar water. I can't imagine that stuff is very good for a firebender to be submerged in for long.
      – Ooh, it's the theme music. That can only mean one thing – Aang's about to kick some serious ass with awesome. And that was some pretty kick-ass waterbending.
      – Oh hey, I'd forgotten Zuko fell into the ocean anyway. :/ Well, firebenders on a boat, they probably have preparations for this eventuality, right? Not the "waterbent into the ocean by the Avatar" eventuality, the "falling in the water" eventuality.
      – …oh, he hadn't. He just… grabbed on to the anchor. I think mostly so Sokka could revenge-poke him a couple times, but whatever, it suits the episode.
      – Aw, Katara, you're learning! Learning backwards, but hey, if it works–!
      – Haha, Iroh slept through the whole thing. Well, that's probably for the best – the episode would have been very different if the guy who's training Zuko (implying some mastery of the element) was fighting too.
      – Aw, Aang's Avatar angst. (fffff, almost wrote "aangst". /o)

      The last scene being a reminder that Aang's priorities are still fairly childish is a good note to end on, I think. This show may not end up being all fun and games, but fun and games will definitely be involved at some point.

      …that took a lot longer than the projected half-hour. Curse my inability to be anything but verbose when given the opportunity. The pausing to write/playing thirty seconds/pausing to write again probably didn't help. Eh, I'm sure I'll develop some kind of (hopefully more efficient) method before you finish the series

      • Inner Voice says:

        "AND THEN ZUKO JUMPS OUT OF NOWHERE TO GRAB HIM BY THE ANKLE. Dude is ridiculous; if Aang had kept them in the air a few seconds longer, they would have landed in the water."

        What's even crazier is that if Zuko had jumped a split second later, he would have missed Aang's ankle and fallen all the way to the deck. The deck that looks like it's a REALLY LONG WAY DOWN AND MADE OF METAL. Damn, Zuko, that is some serious blind determination. Clearly he will stop at nothing to get Aang.

        • corporatecake says:

          Zuko is like, the definition of the trope 'The Determinator,' as evidenced by… yeah, if he hadn't grabbed Aang's ankle? Ouch.

          • sundaycoma says:

            Hello fellow troper, how you doin'?

            Also: Does Mark Watches Avatar have a tropes page of its own yet? Cause that would be remarkably fast in internet time.

            • corporatecake says:

              Since it's Avatar time, I am TROPEALICIOUS.

              Also I think just Mark Reads does? Now I am off to check, I'll be back in a few hours…

              • sundaycoma says:

                Tsk-tsk. Always the Firefly link that gets me. Always think there isn't possibly any more left for me to read about Firefly… and there always is.

                Anyway, now it's just Mark Does and it doesn't have any crowning moments of awesome! Or Crowning Moments of Heartwarming (which I definitely think Mark rereading Sorceror's Stone Chapter 5 should be. Just the "Hi, this is the magic world you're going to immerse yourself in and never want to leave enjoy it's first introduction" aspect of it)

  17. who_cares86 says:

    See here Zuko in Dutch, like I said yesterday the same guy does Draco Malfoy in the Dutch dub of Harry Potter. No spoilers all the scenes are from this episode.

  18. doesntsparkle says:

    I think that the bending powers are sort of like magic in the Harry Potter universe. Katara, like Harry could do some basic stuff all along, but when they are under stress, their powers are stronger. Then again, I do like to compare everything to Harry Potter. Katara's water bending is much stronger when she's fighting the fire benders, but I don't think she's freezing the water, it's just that damn cold.

    One of the best things about the show is how it can go from being joyful and silly, to angsty and serious at the drop of the hat, then back to joyful. When Sokka figures out the words to make Appa fly, he can't help but get excited despite everything else.

    ETA: Do the firebenders remind anyone else of the guards in the Wicked Witch of the West's castle in The Wizard of Oz?

    • monkeybutter says:

      Yes! I can't believe I never noticed the similarities between their outfits! Now we just need to get them chanting.

    • ldwy says:

      I agree about the stress and situation augmenting the powers, but I thought Katara was freezing the water. Looking back, I suppose we really can't tell. I guess we'll have to wait to see if this is part of her water-bending ability.

      • doesntsparkle says:

        I assumed that the water just froze by itself based on Ang saying "wow everything freezes here!" in the first episode. But it is possible that Katara is doing it.

    • jubilantia says:

      I don't know, I get more of an Imperial Troopers vibe myself.

      Because she captured the fish in water without it freezing, I think she's doing it. If you are in tune enough with your element, it seems to me like you can move the molecules closer together and form ice.

  19. ldwy says:

    I love all the little unexpected character things. Many that you mentioned. Iroh is awesome. You can't help but like him, even though he's the "enemy." It almost feels like since he's a firebender and they're waging a war, that's what he does, but that if left to his own devices he'd just lounge and eat good food and play games and chillax. He's like the antithesis of Zuko's hotheadedness, just as powerful, but never "hot."

    I interpreted the glowing arrows and Katara's heightened abilities as being related–that when put into dangerous or life threatening situations, some kind of innate ability is activated. Katara's minimal skills get amplified, Aang get's all glowy arrowed and Avatar-y. We'll have to see if that pattern continues.

    I really like Sokka. I think it's great that he's not just the goofy, butt-of-the-jokes comic relief. He's shaping up to be a full character, with flaws but amazing traits as well. The way he's trying to take the responsibility of village protector onto his shoulders alone is sad and impressive.

    Like you said, I love that Zuko is smart enough and willing enough to admit that he underestimated Aang. And I like that Aang reminds him he's just a teenager. It's almost as though Aang is insisting they have something in common.

    Mark, if you ever do find yourself an Appa, can I have one too? Or just go for a ride? Seriously, he is the best ever.

  20. vermillioncity says:

    Oh man, everyone has so many insightful things to say, and I'm just hopping round the comments like, 'BOOMERANG! I LOVE THE BOOMERANG!'

  21. shadeedge says:

    What I most like, is that even at the beginning of the series, we're seeing characters who can't be explained or understood merely through one character trait or skill. We've had less than an hour of the show, yet already it's tricky to sum up the characters that have been primarily focused on in any kind of single sentence or by pointing to one big issue they have about them that defines them. These are characters whose lives don't seem to have one all-encompassing focus, and who are clearly finding themselves drawn in different directions not only by outside factors but also by inner desires and goals.

    • ldwy says:

      I agree, so far what I'm loving most is how real and full these characters seem, even so quickly.

    • NeonProdigy says:

      Well, there's the first important milestone for a "Mark Does Stuff" series: 2 episodes in, and it's already got more well developed characters than <s>Twi</s> "That Series Which Shall Not Me Named".

  22. nextboy1 says:

    yep, let's do this! I could do with a new show in my life (always). Besides, I have a soft spot for cartoons anyway, I still catch a bit of pokemon when I can for old times' sake (yes I know it's not particularly deep, but crying to Pikachu's Goodbye was a rite of passage)

    aaaaanyway… I watched the first two episodes of this today, not knowing anything, and it seems very cool. It's clearly aimed a little younger than my usual TV fodder, but I can embrace that, I'm always down for a bit of solid escapism. Besides, I get the feeling that there'll be some YANP moments before too long, it's brewing…

    So yay, excited to join in from a blank slate!

    • Hotaru_hime says:

      Oh man, I cried like a baby when Ash said good-bye to Pikachu! I was like "Can't you just capture the other Pikachu and they could just hang out and then your Pokemon could actually get names?!"

    • ladysugarquill says:

      Aww, Pikachu's Goodbye! I cried like a baby with that episode, fave Pokemon ep EVER.

      Also, TV Tropes says it was a filler episode made in the hiatus after the Porygon episode disaster.

  23. elyce says:

    Appa, Zuko, Sokka! I love them all, mostly for reasons I can't say yet. Sokka, though, his sense of humor is so spot on and perfect, though. if he was real, I WOULD MARRY HIM IN A HEARTBEAT. Sokka, you'd be mine. :D:D

  24. arctic_hare says:

    Don't name the episodes, that counts as a spoiler. Deleting this.

  25. Jenny_M says:

    I watched this last night and realized that Katara's narration at the beginning was going to spoil you on Aang being the Avatar (even though you sort of knew). I got an actual PAIN in my stomach because I knew Death had just spoiled you hardcore in Book Thief. WTF, Mark's Media, stop spoiling him! I will downvote the shit out of you, Death and Katara!

    • sarah says:


      BAN THEM

    • FlameRaven says:

      As I recall, when these two episodes were originally aired, we DIDN'T get Katara's narration (or it was somewhat altered– something like Katara saying "everyone believes the Avatar is gone. But I still have hope that he'll return.") The standard opening was only shown as of the 3rd episode on. Unfortunately, the DVD and Netflix episodes don't seem to account for this.

    • corporatecake says:

      I know that this site has a ridiculously stringent spoiler policy, which I totes respect, but anywhere else, I don't think that "Aang is the Avatar" would be considered a spoiler… Ever. Since that's pretty much the premise of the show, and you figure it out about… two seconds after meeting Aang.

  26. leenwitit says:

    You should probably not post the titles of the episodes, just their numbers, as to me personally these feel like spoilers.

  27. Quizzical says:

    loving all the things you're picking up on already, cos they're my favourite things, too! what a coincidence. 😛

    the delicate hand in a lot of the story telling is definitely the main reason that this isn't just any old kids cartoon series. also, the care taken to create the bending styles and then the way they're crafted visually is pretty special.


    (so excited you've done another episode already! :DDD )

  28. This is also the first chance we get to see just how free and fantastical the story can be because it uses the medium of animation.

    I think this is one of the most important things about this show. So much of what happens, both now and later, hinges on accepting that bending is just a natural part of the world, which can't be done if you notice any sort of blue screen or special effect. But in animation the bending can look as real as everything else, and allow you to get completely lost in the amazing story.

    The thing that’s so fascinating is that since Aang will eventually be able to control four elements, there’s no telling what things we’re going to see that might otherwise look silly in a live action show.

    Oh, YANP.

  29. Bacon_Bomb says:

    <img src=""&gt;

    Just so you know, Appa is real (but not as big as we were lead to believe).

  30. Oh, Sokka. OH SOKKA. I'm just a GUY with a BOOMERANG.

    I kind of simultaneously love and hate being this early in the series because I love what's in store for you, but hate not being able to say anything. It's okay, I'll DDDDDEAL WITH IT. Can't wait till you reach certain episodes, though.

    I love how childlike and exploratory Aang is, and the way he makes so many things into a kind of game. And his glowy arrows. Which I will not discuss yet.

    Sokka… I feel like I can't say anything about him yet without giving away future plot points, so I'll just say I WANT TO HUG HIM FOR SUPPORTING KATARA HERE. Also, hugs for Gran-Gran.

    Zuko. Oh, Zuko. You and your EPIC RAEG. Dig us out of the ice and follow them! … After you're done with that.

    Katara, you Waterbended! This pleases me so much!

    I love love love watching the fights. Which sounds weird, because I don't actually like FIGHTING, I just love watching the choreography of the martial arts and skill displayed by the individual characters. IT'S SO COOL.

    Okay, that's all. FOR NOW.

    • hpfish13 says:

      I know exactly what you mean! I want Mark to have watched the whole show now so that he will know everything that's too come, but I also am excited that he has so much left to experience and don't want it to be over for him too!

  31. Patrick says:

    Iroh is the chillest motherfucker in this entire series. Seriously, Iroh is a BOSS.

    • barnswallowkate says:

      Someone needs to redo the "Like a Boss" video w/Iroh. Drinkin' tea LIKE A BOSS.

      That's all I've got, thus why someone else needs to do this =P

      • @redbeardjim says:

        Teach mah nephew LIKE A BOSS
        Breathe deeply LIKE A BOSS
        Power nap! LIKE A BOSS

        • sundaycoma says:

          Finish my Pai Cho game LIKE A BOSS
          Shoot the avatar down LIKE A BOSS
          Stroke my badass beard LIKE A BOSS

          • canadadian says:

            Firebendin' LIKE A BOSS
            Be nice to people LIKE A BOSS
            Miss the action LIKE A BOSS
            Eat my roast duck LIKE A BOSS
            Just plain be awesome LIKE A BOSS
            Uncle Iroh: HE'S A BOSS.

  32. FlameRaven says:

    So funny story, despite our house owning 2 copies each of seasons 1/2 and one copy of season 3 on DVD, we often just watch it on Netflix because we're too lazy to switch discs all the time. I remember being really confused when they listed season 3 as having like 18 episodes, but that's why; they combine them.

    • rainbowsinside says:

      Haha I do that too even though I own all the seasons. Yay laziness!

      • FlameRaven says:

        Well, it's definitely nice if I want to watch, say, an episode from season one, and then one from season three, and then one from season two, which I often do if I'm rewatching my favorites. Then I don't have to worry about switching discs, but still get dvd-quality, unless my internet is REALLY slow that day.

  33. arctic_hare says:

    That's because EVERYTHING about Iroh is amazing. EVERYTHING. ILH.

    Great comment in general, really, but I particularly agree with this. Iroh rules, end of story. <3

  34. ldwy says:

    Just so you know, I love this comment 🙂

  35. monkeybutter says:

    He's on a smoke break. When he's done, he'll be sending Zuko more resources to hunt down the Avatar. Unless spoilers start coming out of uteruses, you're boned.

    • echinodermata says:

      Then, we could always sic Weiner on them, instead.

      Posted a spoiler?
      <img src=""&gt;

      • monkeybutter says:

        Perfect gif usage.

      • qwopisinthemailbox says:

        My friend said, and i quote 'i'm going to make posters of hot dogs with Weiner written in mustard if he runs for president'.
        i replied with 'DO IT. I'd vote for him.'
        HE IS EPIC.

      • nanceoir says:

        Okay, so this is an excellent and appropriate gif generally, and it's the first time I've seen it, but you wanna know what's really awesome about it?

        My sister made it.

        Seriously, I saw it and thought, "Man, that looks like it could be one of hers. I wonder if it is." So I call her up and ask, and it totally is. She tends to make her text a bit more dynamic than most, and she mentioned that she often makes the text bounce a bit like she does here.

        I know it's silly, but I don't hang out in the online places she hangs out in, so I've never seen her gifs in the wild before. It's exciting!

        • echinodermata says:

          HOLY. SHIT. I love this gif – I remember watching the vid the first time, and thinking that certainly there must be someone who's gif-ed the sit down bit. And I found this gif! (Somewhere….I think probably on a Livejournal comm, although that might not have been where it was originally posted.)

          A truckload of props for your sister's skills. And tell her for me she's awesome, I guess. And that she has some fine taste in gif sources.

  36. Goldensage says:

    Oh geez, apologies for my last comment. It was an accident – I forgot when that terminology was first mentioned.

    Anyway, I should rephrase. 'When Aang started glowing and throwing water around, I knew I was going to keep watching'.

  37. mkjcaylor says:

    Netflix has them legally, too.

  38. psycicflower says:

    Should the punishment be dieing in a fire or the ground opening up and swallowing them whole?

  39. monkeybutter says:

    Seriously. He even manages to fall asleep in the 5 seconds it takes Aang to escape from the soldiers. He naps amazingly.

  40. monkeybutter says:

    Pfft, self-control. Glad that you liked it!

  41. FlameRaven says:

    Indeed. One of the things I noticed about the show the first time through was that it seemed rather reluctant to have cardboard villains. Iroh, as others have commented, is pretty damn chill, and even Zuko, for all his hot-headed teenage stubbornness has a pretty solid moral base/honor code. He's got a clear goal: he's there for the Avatar, and while he will clearly fight to get that goal, once he achieves it he doesn't seem to find it necessary to use violence beyond that.

  42. Ryan Lohner says:

    Right off the bat, I loved how the two main villains were written. Zuko's pretty typically kid show evil in what he does and his personality, but there's still the scene where he holds up his deal to leave the village alone if Aang goes with him. And Iroh just seems like a purely nice guy who just happens to be traveling with the bad guys. You don't often see stuff like this on American cartoons, especially not this early.

  43. alexamarie0813 says:

    i caved. i got an account because i KNOW i'm gonna be all up in these comments from now on lol

  44. ldwy says:

    Great points about Aang as the avatar, and Zuko.

  45. Bacon_Bomb says:

    you can do take backsies because you are probz bigger. its the natural order of things.

  46. alexamarie0813 says:

    OH guys i found giffffs!
    <img src="">i hope that works lol other wise PLEASE IGNORE THE EDITING OF THIS COMMENT BEHIND THE CURTAIN KTHANKS

    <img src=""&gt;
    i loved that part lol

    <img src=""&gt;

  47. echinodermata says:

    But did you know him and Jon Stewart used to be roommates? And suddenly everything makes sense.

    • xpanasonicyouthx says:


      I welcome Anthony Weiner into my blog with open arms.

      I just said I welcome weiner with open arms.

      oh well.

    • cait0716 says:

      I thought Jon Stewart lived with Weiner's girlfriend and he just sort of bummer around there all the time

  48. Inner Voice says:

    "and finally, we see some firebending from zuko and iroh. i love how they animated fire in this show. i just love ittttttt <3"


  49. Avit says:

    That last point is an interesting one. I hadn't thought about it much, because I myself fall into the former category, but I remember I did have a few "lol so American" moments during these eps.

    • Inner Voice says:

      I'm also Asian-American and didn't think about it much, but once my friend pointed it out to me I could see what she was talking about. There are definite "lol so American" moments–of course, that's a part of the series' charm, that the setting is so magical and exotic while the characters' voices are so colloquial.

      • jubilantia says:

        This doesn't really have anything to do with the being-Asian-American side of things, but I like that their voices are colloquial. It's refreshing since most fantasy shows obviously take place in Britain!

        I mean, it makes sense with Lewis and Tolkien being British, but there are other movies where they are in a totally different country or a fantasy world with no parallels whatsoever to the real world.

        But that is an interesting point about the respect for your elders thing that doesn't exist in America quite as concretely as it does in Asian cultures.

  50. Avit says:

    Wow, lots of people are pointing out Zuko's not razing the village. Am I the only one who wasn't surprised? Like, it didn't even cross my mind that he wouldn't leave. I guess that means their depiction of Zuko's "tunnel vision" personality really hit it off with my subconscious… instinctive… brain doohickey. Er.

  51. Elexus Calcearius says:

    Okay, so I said most of what I had to say in yesterday’s comment, which was an explosion of Avatar love which has been waiting a long time. So I thought I’d just make some quick comments about the episode, and then follow it up on some dissection of characters’ names, ‘cause I like that kind of stuff.

    I like how quickly this reveals that Aang’s the avatar although…did the need it in the opening sequence? I understand that it’s expensive to make separate openings for each episode, and that the previous one wouldn’t make sense here, and that it was fairly obvious, but still. But it was nice that by the second episode Aang’s destiny is revealed, and that Aang knew about it the whole time. We also get an insight into Aang’s character. He doesn’t like conflict, or responsibility. He responded to being the Avatar like so many twelve year olds would; by running away and hiding from the truth.

    We also get to see how brave he is. He doesn’t even flinch at the thought of being taken hostage by the Fire Benders, just to save the village, and once inside he doesn’t act scared, but calmly escapes. I mean, that’s some Doctor level escaping there.

    Also, can I say that I like how we get to see the many dynamics of Katara and Sokka’s family. In the beginning, its rather hostile and off-putting, like families can be, and very protective of their people. I don’t blame them. But I love how when Katara gets ready to set off alone, thinking she’ll have to convince the others, Sokka is already like “totally on it, sister.” Also, I find it adorable that they think they could track down a steam-powered war ship with an hour’s head start in a canoe.

    Anyway, it’s a solid episode, which works well to elaborate more on characters and the plot.

    Now, names!

    Sokka- Apparently derived from the Japanese Sou Ka. This could mean ‘Is it so?’ or ‘I understand’, perhaps showing he has a desire for knowledge and is intelligent, with the former also possibly being a reference to his sarcastic nature.

    Katara- A bit of a stretch, but this is very similar to the Spanish word catarata, meaning ‘Waterfall’. Do I need to explain the link?

    Aang- could come from Malaysian or Filipino words, angin or hangin respectively, which means ‘wind’. Once again, pretty clear.

    Zuko- Could also come from Malaysian, this time Suko, which means ‘madness’ or ‘angry’.

    • Shay Guy says:

      Or "Zuko" as in Danny. Also our hero's name starting with A and our villain's with Z.

    • Decius says:

      Well, the episode was broadcast with the first one as one long episode (I think it is the same on the DVDs – I really need to rewatch them along Mark), so it wouldn't have been revealed quite so quickly originally.

      Many names do indeed have meaning, although which one depends – as do many words – on the way you write it in the Chinese script(s), used in the show.

  52. FlameRaven says:

    To clarify for the people complaining that the opening spoiled Aang being the Avatar: Episode 1 originally aired with a different opening narration. Notably, it showed the mountain that Aang stands on as empty, and there were a few other different scenes. It also gives you a few more details about the setting. I couldn't find a video of it online, but I checked my version of the first episode and transcripted the original opening:

    My grandmother used to tell me stories about the old days: a time of peace, when the Avatar kept balance between Water Tribe, Earth Kingdom, Fire Nation, and Air Nomads. But that all changed when the Fire Nation attacked. Only the Avatar mastered all four elements. Only he could stop the ruthless firebenders. But when the world needed him most, he vanished.

    A hundred years have passed, and the Fire Nation is nearing victory in the war. Two years ago, my father and the men of my tribe journeyed to the Earth Kingdom to help fight against the Fire Nation, leaving me and my brother to look after our tribe.

    Some people believe that the Avatar was never reborn into the Air Nomads, and that the cycle was broken. But I haven't lost hope. I still believe that somehow, the Avatar will return to save the world.

    • Kaybee42 says:

      That's the one I heard! What does the other one say?

      • FlameRaven says:

        I'm not sure I should post it, since it technically begins on Episode 3? Basically it's pretty similar to the above, but shorter, and Katara says that she and her brother discovered the new Avatar, an airbender named Aang.

    • Violets are Blue says:

      I think their complaint is that episode 2's narration states Aang being the Avatar in later releases (i.e. everything past the very first air date). Watching it back again on iTunes (I bought it probably a few years ago when the second season had just started airing), it does explicitly go through the opening narration that runs before every other episode after the first which has Katara stating she's found the Avatar.

      • FlameRaven says:

        I see. So people are getting the standard narration and then the original narration? That's kind of fail on the later releases. :/

  53. Depths_of_Sea says:

    My favorite parts of this episode:

    <img alt="" src="; />
    <img alt="" src="; />
    Katara and Aang's fraught sadfaces.

    And of course…

    <img alt="" src="; />

  54. corporatecake says:

    Man, I was going to do a rewatch with Mark but I have no self-control either and just started marathoning. :X

    • vikinhaw says:

      We are all such weak beings 😛 I cannot cope with waiting for the next Doctor Who.

    • sabra_n says:

      I managed to keep myself to just the episodes being watched this week. It was a MIRACLE OF SELF-CONTROL.

  55. The animation in this show is so fantastic. ALSO, I love Sokka. <3

  56. sabra_n says:

    There's no time-wasting dramatic posturing and speechifying about how "I am going to fight you now, fear my power!"

    Aka every episode of Dragonball Z ever? Ugh. Give me the quickness and fluidity of Avatar's fight scenes any day – they do a great job of showing (rather than just expositing about) the characters' skill levels and backgrounds.

    • Inner Voice says:

      Exactly! I've watched quite a bit of anime, and while there are some anime fight scenes that approach that quickness and fluidity, Avatar does it CONSISTENTLY, ALL THE TIME, and I love them for it. The first time I saw an Avatar fight scene my reaction is "this is what anime fight scenes SHOULD be."

      • sundaycoma says:

        I'm someone who does a lot of the superhero comic thing (from books to movies to cartoons etc.) and speaking from someone who has a lot of basis in a medium completely founded on superpowered slugfests… Avatar is truly some of the best, ever, flat-out. The animation is fluid on a level that is just insanely mind-boggling, the fights are intense with the actual moves in them being intricate and complex but there's never a moment where you're like "Who hit where?" and this is something that comes into play a little bit later once they add more players but there's never any of that ridiculous "You! Go over there and disarm that thingy! Nevermind that I just alerted every single opponent to the fact that they should totes focus all their destructive attention on you because I'm designating you as the one to go do the thing". Characters just know what needs to be done and they do it. Or try to. It makes it so much more compelling to watch.

  57. xpanasonicyouthx says:

    100% truth

  58. Senna says:

    Oh Sokka. Sokka Sokka Sokka. Standing there on that wall watching the ship tear through the ice toward the village… all irritation at how he was acting earlier started to fade off when I really thought about how awful that had to be, and then thought about WHY he was doing this, and… and that's when I decided this was gonna be a pretty fun ride.

    I like, as you're pointing out, the way this examines aspects of gender politics in really subtle ways – both with that and with Katara and her interactions with the others of her tribe, her position therein… its just great.

    Also, the fights in this show are beautiful, full stop. Bender v bender is always a spectacle and that Zuko v Aang fight on the ship is incredible, but even the highly one-sided fight between firebender Zuko and melee fighter Sokka is given a lot of fluidity and detail – they didn't let themselves slack off just because Sokka didn't have elemental abilities – and it NEVER STOPS with the animation quality and attention! I can't say enough about the fight scenes in the show. Wow.

  59. jubilantia says:

    I know, right? It gets me every time! You get the feeling that either he's just then realizing that he's in over his head, or that he's putting on a brave front to keep everyone safe.

    Also when the shot pans down as they're taking him below decks, and he's trying to keep his staff in sight. Aang is the most adorably awesome kid ever.

  60. Ryan Lohner says:

    One more casting note: Sokka was originally written as what TV Tropes calls The Unfunny, but once his actor came in and his natural comedic talents became evident (he'd previously been a cast member on the kids' sketch show All That), he was revamped to a more comedic and sarcastic personality which is already evident in the pilot's second half.

  61. I watched him fanboy someone cosplaying as Bumblebee at Comic-Con, and then I got him to sign my DVDs. Nice man!

  62. Bill says:

    If you had your own Appa, where would you keep it?

  63. It's okay to fanboy over the bending. Honestly, that's what originally drew me to this show. I happened to catch a fight scene in an episode and thought "Huh, that's different" and even though I had no clue what was going on (it was during season 2) I was intrigued. Luckily Nick reairs stuff almost as much as the Disney Channel so I was able to catch up in no time. That combined with the awesome world-building and characters just made me fall in love. So glad you're enjoying this.

  64. RJM says:

    Am I the only one who thinks Zuko's helmet makes him look like Magneto?

  65. Violets are Blue says:

    See, when it was playing on TV with about a week (or an entire SUMMER) between episodes, it was fine because, granted, you forget things, kids especially. But it gets really annoying when you're watching them all within a short span of time and you're not looking to be spoiled at all. It keeps with the suspense.

  66. jubilantia says:


    Sorry, still a little raw. Writers' strikes are important, and all, but dayum, guys.

  67. barnswallowkate says:

    I laughed inappropriately when Aang was leaving and the little girl randomly moans and runs after him, then tells him not to go in the cheesiest/most cliched voice hahaha. And then Katara's braids(?) start randomly blowing around, they must be Drama Antennae that suddenly detected emoness.

    At least there was less snot humor so there were lots of other things that I laughed at (mostly Sokka).

    • sundaycoma says:

      LOL. I actually always laugh at that part too because of the way Aang looks at her.

      "I'll miss you too, completely nameless tertiary character!"

    • Inner Voice says:

      The technical term is "hair loopies." XD Yes, really!

      • barnswallowkate says:

        I've spent way too much time thinking about them (F***ing hair loopies, how do they work?). Are they super long bangs that hang down from the rest? Or is her hair all long in the front and just pulled to the sides with the loopies following a separate trajectory? It's a mystery!

  68. Will_Da_Zuner says:

    I remember first seeing these two episodes air on the ABC in Australia a few years ago, I'm a sucker for fantasy stuff especially fantasy stuff featuring four elements so by the end of the episode I was hooked.

    I love Sokka's character. Imagine how much more awesome he would be if he could bend?

    • notemily says:

      I DISAGREE, I think the point of Sokka is that he's awesome without having a bending power. He's The Everyman in this team, but the point is he still contributes and breaks shit out.

  69. canyonoflight says:

    Man. I don't have time to watch this series along with you. The next Mark Watches I'll be able to participate in is Buffy. ::is sad:: At least I have The Book Thief! 😀

  70. Anonymouse says:

    Oh Sokka, hitting the ship with the club is not going to work. You see, it's big, and made of metal… need I go on?

    I will anyway, because I can. Poor Sokka, he's so inexperienced, but he's been left with a burden no 15 year old kid should be left with (protecting an entire village, even if it's a small one). Wasn't the "Show no fear" kid that threw the spear for him the one who asked for a potty break… TWICE? Sokka thinks he gets no respect, but it's clear that he's made an impression on the boys of the village. They look up to him. That's my favourite line of this episode, it's so sweet…

    "Come on, I'm the Avatar. Did you really think that Faceless Henchmen #1 and 2 could hold me?"

  71. tchemgrrl says:

    I love that there's already a fair amount of character complexity here, and how perfectly it suits a coming-of-age story. Sokka's a funny and witty kid with this very serious image of masculinity he's trying to grow into. Zuko is SO into the tough guy posturing but is kind of a whiny kid at the same time, not wanting any of his uncle's &%$@#% calming tea and getting knocked over by penguins. Aang is VERY MUCH a kid but still has this incredible… responsibility? Role? Whatever. And Katara has this mom-like sense of responsibiilty for the little kid she just found, but she still seems to have a lot to learn. It's got a great universality for anyone who is, or has been, at the cusp of adulthood.

  72. monkeybutter says:

    The perfect revenge for earlier face-prodding!

  73. Doodle says:


  74. Moonie says:

    I have nothing intellectual to say, so I'm just going to go with I LOVE THIS SHOWWWWWWWW.

  75. Koree says:

    It's awesome that you're enjoying the series so far. I was pointed to your site by an older fan of yours and I'm glad that she did, it's SO MUCH DAMN FUN watching someone else come to love an already beloved fandom of mine. I hope you keep enjoying it, because you've got the right idea: It really does just KEEP ON GETTING BETTER! <333

  76. giga says:

    you know in korean, Appa means 'dad'
    Just thought you'd like to know
    *not a spoiler

  77. Caraaaa says:

    To paraphrase one Mr. Darren Criss, if everyone in the world sat down, had a slumber party, and watched Avatar, all global conflicts would be ended.

  78. @Siesiegirl says:

    Iroh is fucking rad. That is all.

  79. A*R says:

    MARK! Can I just explain to you how I envision your spoiler warning?
    Whiplash-like pan over to you sitting calmly, drinking tea probably (yay!)
    And now onto our reivew! =^.^=

    For some reason, that scares me even more O_o

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  86. David says:

    Just discovered this today! How I could have read all through your Harry Potter adventure and waited anxiously for the re-read and missed the existence of "Mark Watches" is beyond me, but I love it! This is easily my favorite animated show ever, and I'm excited to Archive Binge here for awhile.

    Also, love your writing style and the way you put your ideas (and questions) out there. I love that you're not afraid to be embarassingly wrong, and I give you massive props for all the little things you pick up even on a first read/watch.

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