Avatar: The Last Airbender, Book 2 Review

Review:

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My favorite season of Avatar: The Last Airbender. Starting with the introduction of Toph in episode six, “The Blind Bandit,” the show knocks it out of the park with a string of almost unbroken awesome until the season finale.

Along with Toph, who is tied with Iroh as my favorite character in the show, the season also introduces Zuko’s badass sister Azula and her equally badass friends Mai and Ty Lee as new antagonists, cementing Avatar’s position as one of the best depictions of strong, complex, and diverse female characters on television.

My rating:5 Stars (5 / 5)

Episode By Episode:

The Avatar State – Not the most memorable episode, but Aang learns some important new information about the Avatar state

The Cave of Two Lovers – I discovered Avatar after it had already finished airing so I missed the shipper wars but I’ll be honest, I prefer Zuko/Katara to Aang/Katara and I thought these first two episodes were a little heavy-handed with the Aang/Katara foreshadowing. But whatever, there were some funny lines in this episode and I enjoyed the worldbuilding.

Return to Omashu – A funny episode with the additional bonus of meeting Mai and Ty Lee, as Azula assembles her team of “dangerous ladies” to hunt down Aang and his friends.

The Swamp – Not the best episode

Avatar Day – Another relatively unmemorable episode

The Blind Bandit – Insta-jump in quality as we meet Toph Bei Fong, the fourth member of the Gaang, and she runs away from her over-protective parents to join them

Zuko Alone – A powerful episode with a lot of emotional backstory for Zuko

The Chase – Azula and her dangerous ladies (Sokka coins the name here) are back in this exciting tribute to the classic Western Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

Bitter Work – Aang’s Earth-bending training begins in this funny episode

The Library – I want Wan Shi Tong’s library!

The Desert – The Gaang tries to find Appa, who’s been bison-napped by a tribe of sandbenders

The Serpent’s Pass – The return of Suki

The Drill – A great episode as the Gaang attempts to stop Azula from using a giant drill to break through the walls of Ba Sing Se

City of Walls and Secrets – Ba Sing Se turns out to be like something straight out of 1984, with most of the populace completely unaware that there’s been a war going on for 100 years

Tales of Ba Sing Se – A series of vignettes about different characters, some cute, some heart-breaking

Appa’s Lost Days – Another tear-jerker as we discover what’s been happening to Appa

Lake Laogai – Appa is rescued!

The Earth King – Zuko is ill and Azula infiltrates Ba Sing Se

The Guru – The weakest episode of later season two, as Aang tries to learn how to control the Avatar state with the help of an inexplicably Indian guru

The Crossroads of Destiny – An intense finale as loyalties are tested and battles are won and lost

I couldn’t find an official trailer for season two, so here’s a tribute to Toph and her daughter Lin (a character in The Legend of Korra):

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