Apr. 26th, 2010

vanitashaze: Girl on a dark beach. (it's just been that kinda day /)
I was going to write up a really long post on why I love these two episodes, but then I realized that it basically boiled down (heh) to this:


I am so full of love for Suki, and Hakoda, and Sokka, and Zuko, and Mai, and Ty Lee, and even a little bit for Azula. Even individually, they're amazing - SUKI SUKI SUKI OH MY GOD YOU'RE KICK-ASS, AND HAKODA YOU'RE REALLY FUN* - but I think it was the relationships in this one that did me in, from the formation of new ones (Zuko and Sokka's burgeoning friendship) and the rekindling of old ones (Hakoda and Sokka, Sokka and Suki), to their disintegration, or at least... metamorphosis (Zuko and Azula, Mai and Zuko, Mai and Ty Lee and Azula). This episode really hinted at a complexity to these relationships that we hadn't necessarily seen before, and more than anything, this episode was the advent of a complex and nuanced (and KICK-ASS) Mai who's not a caricature or a sidekick, but (along with Ty Lee) a fully realized person with courage and conflicts and loyalties, for whom the center cannot hold. Things are starting to fall apart in this episode - Azula and Mai's faceoff, and Ty Lee's seemingly unconscious but momentous choice of loyalties, my God that was an incredible moment - and things are shifting, and it gives me shivers.

Other things I loved:

- The leitmotifs and general soundtrack. They could have gone with dramatic, death-defying music for these two episodes - prison escape, come on - but instead they chose an eerie, quiet little piano-and-string riff that really underscored the feeling of "there are secrets in this place, things said and unsaid, hidden relationships and loyalties running underneath, plots afoot". Listen carefully when you're watching; you'll hear it too. This also marked probably the best use of the leitmotifs yet. I especially love how Sokka's Water Tribe drums were heard only when he was around certain people (his father and his girlfriend). Very telling about his state of mind.

- MAI. (Mai/Zuko.)

- The return of emotionally balanced, occasionally a buffoon but sometimes deadly serious Sokka.

- Zuko's newly fluid firebending style. Whattya know, he really did learn something from the LSD dragons!

- Zuko and the breath of fire in the cooler. I never quite got what people were always panting about in terms of Zuko, but I do now; that was incredibly hot. The hunched shoulders, that look, and of course the fire...

- Speaking of hot, what about those prison uniforms? Something about the cut was just... very nice, especially on Zuko and Suki. And the color was awesome too.


*Speaking of which, I want Hakoda/Bato/Kya. Like, now.

...I really need some good Avatar: the Last Airbender icons.


vanitashaze: Girl on a dark beach. (Default)

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