“Avatar Aang” defeats Ozai, leading to a new era of peace.
Last time on Avatar: Zuko challenged Azula, and the airships took off.
It’s hard to believe that I’ve reached the last episode of the series. The superb action sequences feature Azula versus Katara, Aang versus Ozai, as well as Sokka, Toph, and Suki stopping the airships.
In the commentary, the gag about there being a ‘George Lucas’ edition in the near-ish future returns from last episode. Suddenly I’m worried that I’m missing out on some interesting updates in the newer editions of the seasons.
Ozai accidentally freed Aang’s “energy blockage” when Ozai forced Aang into some rock, one spur hitting the spot where Azula struck him with lightning. This enables Aang to enter the Avatar State and unleash an epic amount of power. At this point, it’s more the past Avatars than Aang himself according to the co-creators.
Bumi takes on multiple tanks and Iroh burns the Fire Nation banner at the palace in Ba Sing Se. It’s stated that here, Iroh is ‘conquering’ for the right reasons- to free the city from its oppressors.
Zuko is injured but conscious. Katara ends up taking out Azula, along she largely uses defensive moves. It’s brief but gorgeous. Then she goes to heal Zuko from the lightning strike; I’ve heard the theory that this moment enabled Katara to realize she loves Aang, because nearly losing another friend made her realize how her feelings for Aang differs. Azula breaks down crying and breathing blue flames.
The creators stand firm that Kataang is the end game, though they do acknowledge that Katara and Zuko do matter to each other, just not in a romantic sense. They do concede that both Aang and Katara had to mature a bit to realize what they felt for each other, which makes sense given their youth.
Aang versus Ozai continues. But Aang won’t kill Ozai, particularly as the past Avatars blame Ozai for what his forefathers did as well. It’s mentioned by the commentary that Aang’s past dreams hinted at his fears of turning into a wrathful Avatar.
It’s briefly shown that Aang can use Toph’s earth-sense before the moment where “their souls flip inside out” (plus a flashback to the lion-turtle explaining energy-bending to Aang). Honestly, the eyes-and-mouth glow make me think of the Goa’uld torture prods, which is definitely interesting. It’s a close call, but Aang manages to win by having pure energy. Aang used this ability to take away Ozai’s fire-bending instead of killing him.
Aang has mastered his Avatar abilities so, as the creators put, he can use his powers instead of them using him. He quietly uses water-bending to put out the flames. An argument can be made that putting the flames out with the ocean is a bad move, but so would have letting the fires burn. Momo flies over to rejoin Aang.
Suki, Sokka, and Toph find Aang (and Ozai). Sokka and Toph can mock Ozai well, but Suki isn’t very good at it yet. The comet passes by, turning the sky from red to blue-black.
The capital city is still damaged. A bandaged Zuko is dressing when Mai finds him. Their reunion is sweet (but not overly so, just like their relationship). They’re utterly adorable together and the creators agree with it.
A lot of past characters are seen in the crowd. Sokka and Katara hug their dad, who’s proud of them and believes that Kya would be as well. Daw. Ty Lee has joined the Warriors of Kyoshi (and is giving them lessons on chi blocking).
Zuko and Aang briefly speak (and hug) before going out to the Coronation Plaza. Before being crowned by the Fire Sages, Zuko gives a hopeful speech about the future. The creators acknowledge that Zuko had “the biggest character arc” in the series.
Afterwards, Zuko goes to confront his father about his mother. I know that story occurs in the comics to… mixed reviews. The teen also acknowledges that his banishment was the best thing that Ozai did.
In Ba Sing Se, the Gaang has gone to the Jasmine Dragon. Appa is peering in. Iroh is playing his instrument; Zuko is serving tea; Sokka is trying to paint. Nobody is pleased by their depiction (except maybe Toph). Aang pats Appa on the nose as he heads out to gaze at the sunset.
Katara joins him and they hug. They turn back to each other and she kisses him. And it’s the end!
The final two-page spread in the art book for the finale has one page of the energy-bending sequence (the rough draft). The other page has the Gaang (and Suki & Mai) in their outfits for the final scene, as well as the background design for the sunset over Ba Sing Se for the final bit.
This was wonderful, having both climatic battles and wrapping up the aftermath. Zuko has been crowned, the war is over, Iroh has his tea shop back, and Aang and Katara have begun their relationship. This was to a degree more of a beginning than an ending. The war has ended and a new era has begun for the world, the results of which are seen in the sequel series (not that the creators had any inkling of that at the time- or if they did, they weren’t saying so in the commentary).
There’ll be a review for Book of Fire as well as for the series as a whole posted tomorrow.
It’s possible that someday I’ll review the four seasons of Legend of Korra, although at this point I only have the first one, so on that note…
Next time on Avatar: Korra travels to the titular locale.