Quick thoughts on "The Beach": TY LEEEEEEEEE! Finallyyyyyyyyyyy! There was a lot of awesome hilarity about this episode, even though it seemed kind of off. It was like they tried to stick the Fire Nation Four into a teen comedy, with mixed results. Who knew Azula was so bad at flirting? And that Ty Lee looked so good in a bikini? The tone of it seemed more like the chibi shorts, which was weird, but I think it worked well enough. We got a little bit more about Zuko and Azula's family history, which is key. The group therapy session at the end sort of blew my mind with the blatant emotional exposition, but I didn't care so much because I felt like we were learning things about the characters we should have known a long time ago. Then, meanwhile, Team Avatar is randomly attacked by a guy who can BLOW SHIT UP WITH HIS MIIIIIIIND. Kickass.
Quick thoughts on "The Avatar and the Fire Lord": Way to have no introduction at all, guys! Did someone lose the first five pages of the script? Well, whatever, because this companion piece to "The Storm" was pretty awesome and epic in the way that Avatar often is. Roku and Sozin were friends!! And the very fact that the Avatar was from the Fire Nation is indirectly responsible for the war in the first place, which is sweet. And Sozin and Roku had a Star Wars moment on a volcano! AND FINALLY FOR GODDAMN MOTHERFUCKING FUCK'S SAKE THE CREDITS MAKE SENSE. BUT WHEN THE WORLD NEEDED HIM MOST, HE VANISHED...BECAUSE SOZIN HAD TAKEN HIM OUT LIKE TWELVE YEARS AGO. Also...ROKU IS ZUKO'S GREAT-GRANDFATHER HOLY SHIT. I could see that Aang's and Zuko's destinies were intertwined for narrative reasons, but now we know there's also a cosmic reason. I think this is part of Mike and Bryan's brilliance: they fill in blanks perfectly, even blanks you didn't even know were there.
And now for "The Runaway," which was pretty awesome. Really funny and clever and entertaining. Kind of a "The Chase" meets "The Blind Bandit."
I think the episode could have survived just fine without the tired "X Amount of Time Earlier" device. This isn't Alias! I secretly love it. Shhhh.
I just now realized this was one of those Zuko-less episodes. Hm.
There was a lot of really cool bending in the opening. So apparently Aang can learn Toph's Daredevil move? Interesting. I also like how Toph just Earthbended the mud off herself. Hee.
It seems that Katara is motherly. I am sure this is news to everyone. (That being said, I did like the way all the character stuff was handled, although Sokka's admission that when he tries to picture his mom he sees Katara is kinda weird. And Toph's coming to terms with the fact that she might have hurt her parents and feeling guilty was nice.)
The scams were awesome and hilarious, even if they went on a wee bit too long.
So, Toph-is-blind jokes never get old, and there were a bunch of them. My favorite was "I know you sent this, Sokka! Toph can't write!" because until she said that, I didn't see the flaw in the plan myself. That cracked my shit up.
When Toph was thrown into a wooden prison, I became really intrigued because that had to be intentional. And then I was worried for Katara as she came to collect her reward, and then when Combustion Man appeared, I said, "Oh, FUCK." And I do love when shows make me say that.
Katara waterbending sweat? SWEATY STINKY GENIUS!
Combustion Man is really awesome, and he hasn't even said anything. I wonder what's up with his third eye, though. It's clearly his weakness, but what happened? A little bump on the head fucks up his aura or something? And more importantly, did anyone see that? Because I don't think they did. Which means we'll have to wait for Team Avatar to figure that out themselves.
Finally, let's not forget Hawky. Welcome to the show, Hawky.
During the scene with Tim trying to convince Lyla not to go right back home, I had the thought, "Why am I watching this show? Maybe I could live without it." About half an hour later, I had the thought, "Oh yeah. I watch this show because it explores all the facets of complicated human emotion and lays it all out there and lets people be people and it's very interesting to watch."
Also, Coach and Mrs. Coach FTW, of course.
(typicrobots says it best.)