Avatar: The Last Airbender Episode 3 confusingly weaves together several classic storylines

"Omashu" brings about a trainwreck of storyline and narrative departures.
Avatar: The Last Airbender. (L to R) Sebastian Amoruso as Jet, Kiawentiio as Katara in season 1 of Avatar: The Last Airbender. Cr. Robert Falconer/Netflix © 2024
Avatar: The Last Airbender. (L to R) Sebastian Amoruso as Jet, Kiawentiio as Katara in season 1 of Avatar: The Last Airbender. Cr. Robert Falconer/Netflix © 2024 /

Episode 3 of Avatar: The Last Airbender somehow managed to be both annoying and nostalgic, but ultimately left me feeling pretty discombobulated.

This episode was all over the place and made me think the showrunners just wanted to shoehorn in as many characters from the original show as possible. I certainly respect that they want to include them, but not at the expense of good storytelling.

We start with Azula infiltrating a group of dissenters in the Fire Nation capital who worked up the courage to try and assassinate Fire Lord Ozai. Azula earns her father's praise, but her friends Mai and Ty Lee point out that Zuko is next in line for the throne. To work around her fear of not being the best, Azula commissions Commander Zhao to keep tabs on Zuko. This continues the trend of butchering Zhao's character, which I just find off-putting. This show portrays Zhao as desperate for approval, whereas his animated counterpart was more calculated and formidable. Maybe the show is building up to Zhao developing into the version of the character we remember from the Nickelodeon show, but I can't help but feel like they're not using this character properly. Did I really need to know that Zhao failed his officer exam three times? Did I need to hear Ozai explicitly say that Zhao isn't important?

Avatar: The Last Airbender. Elizabeth Yu as Azula in season 1 of Avatar: The Last Airbender. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2024 /

Avatar: The Last Airbender Episode 3 review, "Omashu"

As for team Avatar, they head to the city of Omashu where I was expecting them to meet King Bumi, but instead thay met Teo, the Mechanist and Jet's freedom fighters. These are all characters who show up later in the Nickelodeon show but were crammed into the Omashu storyline for some reason. The show definitely has to take liberties with the arrangement of storylines but it kind of felt like a fiasco in this case.

The essential story and character beats are admittedly there. The Mechanist turns out to be a traitor making weapons for the Fire Nation, Jet turns out to be the one conducting bombings, Katara falls for his smooth-talking charm and Jet tries to sacrifice innocent people for his own gains. But the final few minutes of the episode see Sokka and Katara rush to stop Jet's plan, where they have to tail the Mechanist and Teo who got their briefcase switched to blasting jelly by Jet's crew so Longshot can blow up King Bumi. Meanwhile, Aang ends up fighting hand-to-hand with Zuko in the streets of Omashu before they flee and Iroh makes an unnecessary sacrifice so Zuko can get away and OH GOD MY HEAD HURTS. Like I said, this was a debacle.

There was some good character development for Katara, who had been struggling with the water whip technique but figured it out with Jet's vote of confidence. She also learns to not be so trusting, and the actor who plays Jet (Sebastian Amoruso) did a fantastic job in the charm department to mask the manipulative nature of the character. I also think one of the stronger parts of the episode was the assassination attempt on Ozai. This was a good way to show that there is some degree of dissent among the Fire Nation people and that Ozai rules with an iron fist at the same time. He had no problem barbequing a room full of people and I like that for his character.

Those positives aside, I generally felt like too much was going on in this episode and the introduction of this many characters was distracting.

Episode Grade: C-

Next. atla 3. Avatar: The Last Airbender Episode 4 masterfully expands Zuko and Iroh's relationship. dark

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