Date: 2011-08-07 02:32 pm (UTC)
unjapanologist: (Default)
From: [personal profile] unjapanologist

Excellent summary of what I remember of this episode! There were some other people running around in places, but I had trouble paying attention to them after the "Oh fuck yesss double sword fight now" moment.

The biggest secret is, where did Zuko's apron disappear to? He ran out on the street still wearing it, but it was gone when the Dai Li arrived to arrest Jet. Presumably the moment where Jet cut the apron off Zuko's body didn't make it past the censors.

Ahem. To insert a note of seriousness: sometimes I forget why Long Feng is supposed to be a villain again. He would have been an awesome ally to Team Avatar if they'd managed to get him on their side, and it's a shame that he never returns after S2.

Date: 2011-08-07 11:35 pm (UTC)
silentstep: the text "Team Hilarity" on a blue background, with sparkles (Default)
From: [personal profile] silentstep
To your note of seriousness: IKR? The second they find out that Long Feng is in charge, they start trying to depose him in favor of the Earth King, whom they've never met. Why such faith in the monarchy, Air Nomad/Water Tribe members/Toph? Just convince this guy that it's in his best interest to help you, and off you go!

Date: 2011-08-08 01:13 am (UTC)
nam_jai: (AtLA Waterbending Scroll)
From: [personal profile] nam_jai
I forget why Long Feng is supposed to be a villain again.

I'd say because he leads a police force that lies to the public about the state of the world, enforces a strictly stratified society in order to maintain that lie, and abducts and brainwashes people who try to tell the truth (or, as in the case of the first Joo Dee, someone who simply fails at controlling people who are trying to tell the truth). And given what ultimately happens to Jet, he's willing to kill people who threaten his order.

I wouldn't have minded seeing him return after S2 just because he was an interesting character. Making him an ally would interest me for its potential to explore the question of how far you'd be willing to compromise your values to attain victory, but not because I think that of course Long Feng should be a Team Avatar ally just because he's efficient (for a while) at what he does.

Date: 2011-08-08 02:54 am (UTC)
unjapanologist: (Default)
From: [personal profile] unjapanologist
Of course Long Feng's rule is reprehensible in many ways, but I never got the idea that this should preclude him from allying with Team Avatar. We never find out much about how other high-placed allies like Arnook and Bumi govern their people, but since they're as much a product of their time and circumstances as anyone else in the Avatar world, they probably also condone or encourage a lot of practices that would sound horrible to us.

I don't mean to say that Long Feng is not very ruthless, or that he has the right idea, of course. Perhaps it's just that I'm assuming that Ba Sing Se-like arrangements would be pretty normal for cities that exist in the historical period that Avatar seems to gravitate in. But I have trouble seeing an automatic villain (in the "obvious adversary of the main characters" cartoon sense of "villain") in anyone who isn't depicted as a cruel and completely amoral person. The only characters that really struck me as villains in that sense were Ozai, maybe Zhao, and to a lesser extent Azula, who is so young and so obviously suffering from being under Ozai's care that I'm not sure what to make of her three quarters of the time.

Date: 2011-08-08 12:04 pm (UTC)
unjapanologist: (Default)
From: [personal profile] unjapanologist
Yeah, Long Feng did blow his own chances with his Appa-napping. I'm just sad because of the lost opportunities :/ I fell in love with the character a bit after seeing him troll Katara and Toph at that party.

Date: 2011-08-09 12:07 am (UTC)
nam_jai: (AtLA Waterbending Scroll)
From: [personal profile] nam_jai
That is true, we don't know how other allies govern, and I guess we see eye-to-eye in the sense that was what I was getting at in saying that having Long Feng as an ally could have led to interesting explorations of what you're willing to accept in order to have a powerful ally. The scenario [personal profile] lizbee describes in the comment above me could have been really fascinating. Unfortunately, as she points out, he's the one who cut off that avenue by never giving them a hearing and taking advantage of it. He wanted the power of running the government, but in the decision to put off Team Avatar, he was perhaps too focused on keeping them away from the king and too obsessed with maintaining the perfect order within the city that he passed on the chance to run the show when it came to the invasion.

Date: 2011-08-07 02:33 pm (UTC)
amaresu: Sapphire and Steel from the opening (Default)
From: [personal profile] amaresu
Sometimes I just feel the need to say 'there is no war in Ba Sing Se' at times. Especially when I can't have something/am denying someone something.

I miss Jet.

Date: 2011-08-07 03:57 pm (UTC)
nonelvis: (AVATAR Momo)
From: [personal profile] nonelvis
I love the irony of Ba Sing Se, the paradise that everyone is trying to escape to, actually being a rigidly controlled, creepy, 1984-ish dictatorship run by the secret police. It's still a safe and prosperous haven, but at the cost of personal freedom.

Also, not that I don't already love this episode, but Clancy Brown makes everything better.


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The 2011 Avatar re-watch

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