Avatar/Last Airbender Question Season 3 *spoilers*

I’m watching taped (yes) episodes of Avatar. I’m up nto season 3, episode 4 9SOkka’s Master)

The episode egins as usual with a “previously, On Avatar” segment. There was a scene though, which I didn’t understand. I showed Zuko and Uncle Iroh in a tavern, where Iroh was playing his weird tiles game. He used a special move which was apparently a code somehow to set up a sectet meeting/whatever with the other player.

The weird thing is, I checked the previous episodes and I don’t see this at all. Apparently Zuko is now scheming on all sides to kill the Avatar and/or something else, but Iroh is still in prison. Did I miss something or was this a mis-placed scene?

That scene is in Episode 2.11, The Desert.

Thank you. I may have missed that episode.

Good lord.

I just saw the next episode, The Beach.

That “family” is one messed-up psycho ward. Seriosuly, does Fire Lord Ozai just screw people up with his very presence? 'Cuz that’s about the only explanation: he’s so evil his very existence scars children for life.

Granted, I know Azula gets a Villanous Blue Screen of Death eventually, but I can’t even particualrly dislike her any more. Nobody, not even serial killers hauled from the corruped womb of Cruella D’Ville by way of Hitler, with Satan himself as attending physician, starts out that manipulative. No, Azula’s just got a daddy complex a mile wide. Good Lord, how nasty is the upper echelon of the Fire Nation, and how on God’s (or in this case, Aaron Esterhaz’s) Green Earth did Iroh avoid that?

Dislike? Why would you dislike her? She’s awesome!

I wonder how much Zuko’s childhood mirrored his father’s. Ozai grew up in Iroh’s shadow, and from the little we see in flashback about Azulon, it’s clear that he greatly favored his eldest son. I can easily see young Ozai desperately trying to win his father’s affection, always failing, and eventually going off in the head because of it. Iroh, on the other hand, being a master firebender and one of the greatest generals in the Fire Nation’s history, never had a problem winning his dad’s approval, and so grew up relatively sane. Although I suspect he was more of an asshole before the series’ beginning. He did seem to approach conquering the Earth Nation with the same jolliness he approaches a cup of tea, an attitude towards war that the loss of his son apparently burned out of him.

But yeah, my guess is that Azulon being a giant asshole led to Ozai being a psychopath, and Ozai being a psychopath led to his daughter also being a psychopath, and his son nearly becoming one.

Incidentally, I think Zuko is one of the most daring characters to ever appear in children’s television. He’s the explicit victim of horrendous child abuse, and his entire character arc is dedicated to how he deals with and overcomes that abuse. I got to imagine that there’s some kids watching the show sporting bruises or cigarette burns because they weren’t being properly “respectful” who identified with him pretty strongly, and hopefully learned something about why breaking yourself trying to please an abuser like that is futile and unhealthy.

Heh, I loved Azula during the volleyball match.

Ok, wow. Good lord, Azula is just sad. I mean, whoa! I knew she was messed up, but for the love of pete!

Sorry, I just saw the final episode/s, where I realize that Azula realy is just like Zuko, except with a definite Daddy complex instead of a Mommy complex. She’s running around trying her damndest to be a supervillain, stereotyped to the max. (And the lok on her face when she thought for a moment that Daddy didn’t love her - ouch!)

So, what do you think? Was her paranoia straight-up or more of a symptomatic breakdown of the personality she’d built up. That is, having in one way achieved her goal of being Daddy’s little girl, she had nowhere to go. Certainly Mai and Ty Lee’s presence helped keep her sane: she was obviously on the edge the whole series in retrospect. She can’t even accept the idea that somebody might actual like her (and the thought of being loved drove her into a full-blown breakdown).

I still stand by my statement that Ozai is so evil he drives his own children mad. I mean, she starts having actual full-blown halucinations. Actually, I think her firebending is powered by her own self-hating rage. Combining the two, I would guess that Ozai was manipulating his own children for fun and profit from a very early age. Of course, it could be that the previous Firelord (Sozen’s offspring) was the home-wrecking psycho. This also fits, given that at least Ozai was not all down with killing his offspring.

I also vote that Momo is in fact the secret manipultor of the entire series, who is actually guiding events to a proper conclusion.

That would certainly fit with the weird dreams Aang was having earlier, where Momo and Appa were dueling.