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  • Writer's pictureChristopher Fagan

"Analyzing the Transformation: A Critical Review of Netflix's Avatar: The Last Airbender Episodes"


FOR ME 3.5 OUT OF 5


Episode One: Aang

This episode was near perfect. The attention to detail regarding the attack on the air temple was commendable and added depth to the story. The inclusion of the attack enhanced the overall narrative and stayed true to the animated series.


Episode Two: Warriors

While some of the acting by the Kyoshi warriors was lacking in the beginning, the chemistry between Sokka and Suki was well portrayed. The dynamic between the characters was engaging and Sokka's character development was handled effectively. Prince Zuko and his uncles also showed improvement as the episode progressed. I always found it unnecessary for Sokka to have to wear the robes of the Kyoshi in order to train with Suki. The choice to have the majority of their chemistry to be unspoken was a better fit than them just yelling at each other until the sexist pig-headed man submits. For Sokka to show more vulnerability and acknowledge his flaws immediately was a better way to showcase the bond. The other way worked too in the animation, but this way was better in my opinion. Some of the best bending when Aang was in the Avatar state by Kyoshi. The visual effects were epic. The set design and makeup was flawless. Maria Zhang was the best part of this episode. She stole it.

Episode Three: Omashu

The reveal of Azula and Fire Lord Ozai added a chilling presence to the episode. However, the introduction of Jet and his freedom fighters lacked impact. The tension between Aang and Zuko felt forced and made this episode less enjoyable. Overall, this episode fell short compared to the others.

Episode Four: Into The Dark

This emotionally heavy episode delved into the past of characters like Zuko and Iroh, adding depth to their stories. The decision to reveal Bumi early on was a liberty taken in the adaptation but did not detract from the overall quality of the episode. Showing off Bumi's disdain towards Aang was a better choice being that 100 years of war would harden his childhood friend. The discussion of how nice it would have been to sleep during the war was a touch that was well laid out in this version.


Episode Five: Spirited Away

This episode took liberties with the source material but managed to enhance the story. The exploration of Zuko's struggles with his past added emotional depth to the narrative. This felt like it wanted to be a more horrific episode but not cross the line too much to scare a younger audience. The choice to allow Gyatso the ability to visit Aang in the spirit world made sense to me. Uncle Iroh also was one of the few honorable humans to find enteral rest with the spirit world. I think it has to do with a person's honor, integrity, spiritual balance, and possibly a close connection with an Avatar.

Episode Six: Mask

The exploration of Zuko's internal struggles and his connection with Aang was executed well in this episode. The added depth to Zuko's character and his crew added layers to the story. Oh yeah, and the action scenes were top-shelf. I could watch those fights over and over while breathing fire!


Episode Seven: The North

This episode focused on the history of the avatars but felt rushed in terms of character development. The push towards the end of the season was evident and the effects did not meet the same standard as previous episodes. The Pukka and Katara fight was anticlimactic. This would have been the best moment to push the sexism a bit harder and showcase Katara's superior natural gifts but it failed to do so in my opinion.

Episode Eight: Legends

The history of bending and the betrayal of Zuko's family were depicted well in this episode. The emotional payoff for Yue and Sokka was satisfying, but the overall episode felt undercooked. Though this is the episode where Princess Azula shined the most. Overall, the episodes of Netflix's Avatar: The Last Airbender series have shown promise, but some areas could be improved upon to elevate the quality of the show.


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