The Legend of Aang: Fire

[SOEE #76]

This is the fourth of five Avatar shows, covering the third season of this amazing animated series.

Once again this episode has spoilers including how the whole thing ends so we don’t recommend you listen until you’ve seen Book 3: Fire and finished The Legend of Aang.

Joining me once again to talk about Firebending, ethics and the pressure heaped upon children, I have Daniel Floyd, Pixar animator and the voice of Extra Credits, Joshua Garrity of the Cane and Rinse podcast and The Animation Archives, and from Gonzo Planet, Sharon Shaw, Jerome McIntosh and Duane Griffiths.

Next week, The Legend of Korra – Book 1: Air


Author: Alex Shaw

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    • It is. i wanted to vary the intros up a bit. Water was the first show which explains a bit more, Earth was the standard intro, Fire is the rarely-seen pilot, Korra can just be Korra of course.

      • but will you go with the long-extra long or short version?
        whatever it is, toot-sweet!

        • I’ve used the one from the first show. It puts the listener where they need to be, as the young warrior sets out.

  1. This might be a bit too far of thinking it, but I think there’s more to this line. “Zuko, you have to look within yourself to save yourself from your other self. Only then will your true self reveal itself.”

    This theory rests on the idea that the entirety of Zuko Alone was a dream, or at least, happened for real but has a very strong parallel. I got this theory from TVTropes’ WMG’s page, on the “All Just A Dream” section. It’s explained a bit more there, you should check that out.

    Basically, the kid that Zuko met in the episode, Lee, is Zuko’s true self. Lee is also the name Zuko used when in disguise in the Earth Kingdom. In this specific episode, Zuko didn’t say what “his” name was (until the end.) He didn’t introduced himself as Lee as he used to in this episode. Remember how a certain 1999 movie went?

    Lee’s hatred of Zuko at the end of the episode would made more sense. Zuko’s true self hated what Zuko has become, what Zuko think himself as. Lee’s mother could represent Ursa, who had been trying to protect Zuko from becoming that man.

    During the episode, Zuko liked the kid. He became friends with him, he taught him how to use the swords, he came back when he heard the soldiers have captured him. And from all that we can see that that’s who Zuko really is. He’s a nice and good person, not the person his father wanted him to be.

    • In a way, Zuko’s true self is trying to save Zuko from his other evil self.

  2. like many of the listeners of the episodes regarding Avatar I am new to Digital Gonzo (thanks to the Extra Credits Facebook page). And I’ve been looking forward to the review of Fire since the first showing the (Avatar) series. Not least of which because it now means I can talk about my favourite character Zuko without having to worry about spoilers. His development from mildly menacing pursuing force to drive the week by week structure of early season 1 to become a hero in a believable and human fashion is an excellent piece of storytelling. Over Zuko hangs at all-time father and his desperate need to be accepted by Ozai is behind his rejection of Katara, his uncle(my second favourite character) and a path he himself (in my opinion) knew to be the right one at the end of Earth. His failure to choose the right path the first time makes it even more important for the character when he finally steps away from his father’s plans to him to become his own man. Always flawed and troubled nevertheless Zuko find strength and determination and managed to put away his anger to become a great hero.
    I’ve rambled on slightly too much so I will just say I’ve deeply enjoyed not just these episodes but all from your back catalogue that I’ve had time to listen to (and now recommended by friends listen to also) I’m looking forward to your review of the legend of Korra not to mention the new series.
    Go Fire Ferrets!

    • Thank you so much Fell2Earth. I have to say it’s great to be getting new listeners. I’m rubbish at self-promotion so our community usually stays at a small but constant stream of very passionate and loyal listeners. The possibility of expanding that and getting these shows heard by more people is exciting. Myself and my guests always throw absolutely everything into them and we figure there are a lot of folks out there who would get a kick from our obsessive dedication.

      And go Fire Ferrets!

  3. Hey Alex I’m really loving your Avatar review. Throughout the reviews you have compared Jet(Avatar) with Spike Spiegel, a character from one of my favorite TV shows Cowboy Bebop. Do you ever plan on making a podcast based around the Cowboy Bebop series + movie?

    Regards, Matt

    • Hi Matt

      I’ve recently just started watching Cowboy Bebop again. Wonderful anime, just brimming with style and class. I’d have to get a feel for who in the community is a fan before planning a review but I would put maybe a 30% chance of getting a show up in the next six months. It would probably just be a single “You gotta watch this!” episode.

      I have a list as long as my arm of films, games and TV shows to review and I’m hoping to get back to interviews in 2013 so I’ll just say we’ll see, right now.

  4. Something I just want to point out a bit, is that moment with Aang redirecting the lightning but choosing not to hit Ozai, is actually the final test for the energy-bending scene later on. He didn’t kill Ozai, so his spirit is still strong and pure, thus unbendable.

  5. I don’t know if you guys noticed this, but when you see Zuko’s fight, the clash between the red and blue was very similar (probably intentionally) to Aang’s energy bending in the finale. The two scenes were polar opposites which probably implies nothing is ever set in stone. I liked that they did that.

    • Oh and the scene in “Nightmares and Daydreams” when Aang has that third, extremely disturbing nightmare, the second-to-last scene where Momo just puts his finger in front of his lips and just Shushes, it literally freaked me out. That was more scary than most horror movies I have seen. It was just a tiny scene but it was really creepy.

  6. Sokka cannot logically be Lin’s father.

    If he were that would make Lin and Tenzin cousins, which would mean their relationship was incest.

    • Oh GOD, I hadn’t thought of that.

      Er… maybe that’s why they broke up?

      I’ll get my coat.

      • Ha! Yes, I also thought of this when listening to the podcast. :)

  7. Loving this series of podcasts so far. Been a casual but avid listen for a while (and during the Digital Cowboy days) and thanks in part to my absolute love of Avatar, these have been some of my favourites of the lot. So thanks for covering them!

    I especially enjoy listening to points of view different from my own and how many takes on particular episodes there can be. As mentioned in the ‘casts, this is a strength of the series as a whole. One point that I thought I’d throw my measly two cents in on though is the “issue” of ‘The Boiling Rock’.
    Personally I like the pacing of the episodes, but on reflection admittedly they could have been one episode. In place of a Toph/Zuko episode however I would like to have seen a Toph/Sokka episode. Toph doesn’t really need to reconcile anything with Zuko, unlike the others of Team Avatar, and while she’s such a strong and well defined character her relationship with Sokka could have been explored more. Especially after we see her confiding in Sokka during ‘The Runaway’ and the hints of her potential feelings for him throughout the series. So with that in mind it would have been very interesting to see her reaction to Suki’s arrival and the change in relationship with Sokka.

    And also, I have to disagree with the consensus and say Koh wouldn’t steal Toph’s face. Iroh’s face, now that’s would be interesting. Especially as it’s been established that he’s dabbled in the spirit world…

    Anyway, really looking forward to the Korra episode now. Keep it up!

  8. I completly agree that no goverment should ever have the power to execute anyone, even if I would like revenge for a certain crime comited against someone close to me, justice should be above individual desires.

    On the subjetct of “The Beach” It is probably my least favorite episode on the entire series, I was loving the direction the episode was taking but then suddenly everyone got a degree on psicology and decided to spell out what their conversation meant, it disapointed me, I understand that it is meant for kids but it still irks me, it may not be a bad episode but I can’t bring myself to enjoy it.

    Other than that I don’t think I dislike any other episode, A:TLA is such a brilliant series and I have high hopes for season 2 of Korra now that it’s not being made to be a miniseries.

  9. I wanted to say something, but some of what I had to say was already mentioned in the other comments. I am now a dedicated follower of digital Gonzo, so I will be listening to a lot more of these podcasts. You guys are great, I love the ideas you present and the way you sum things up. i just want to say that Daniel from Extra Credits sounds totally different here, and that I laughed a little bit too hard when he spoke about Extra Credits and said, ‘oh yeah, and I work at Pixar’ like it isn’t as important.

  10. Just wanted to say that I, too, have been loving the Avatar podcaxts. I become a fan after listening to all of your Harry Potter podcasts. (They were awesome, too.) I’m looking forward to you discussing Lord of the Rings. And maybe Sherlock sometime in the future? :)

  11. The first episode of Animation Archives brought me here, and I’m about to listen to the Legend of Korra podcast, and I must say I absolutely love this series (show and podcast)! My only critique would that it’s simply isn’t long enough, if it was 3-4 hours long then it might be enough.

    I started watching the series from the very first premiere till the end, so it has a special place in my childhood and remains to be my favorite TV show.

  12. Referring to “The Southern Water Raiders”: Zuko walks in on Sokka (who was presumably waiting for Suki), and then in the very next scene, when it’s morning and Zuko and Katara are preparing to fly off, there’s a brief shot of Sokka toying with a flower necklace. Make of that what you will.

    PS: Toph must have been especially distraught that night, considering that she sees via contact with earth.

  13. I really love how Sharon over thinks everything. It either means shes too smart or I’m too dum(b).

  14. Every time I hear the ending theme I get goose bumps

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