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Avatar: The Last Airbender • Episodes 3-4 • Superhero Ethics • Episode 285

Avatar: The Last Airbender • Episodes 3-4

“Secret Tunnel,” Bumi, Cabbages – the whimsy is back!

Riki Hayashi and Paul Hoppe join host Matthew Fox to talk about episodes 3-4 of Netflix’s live-action adaptation of Avatar: The Last Airbender.

Topics we discuss include:

  • The show is starting to capture more of the original’s whimsy and charm while still being a bit darker and more “grimdark.”
  • Zuko’s characterization and his relationship with Iroh.
  • The writers cram a lot of story arcs from multiple episodes into just two.
  • Side characters like Teo are given strong representation and well-acted emotional moments.
  • Is this portrayal of Jet more or less sympathetic than the original?
  • Introducing Azula, Ty Lee, and Mai this early undercuts tension and menace later on.
  • The challenges of adapting animation to live-action and child actors growing up over a long production.
  • Possibilities for extending the story past the original three seasons.
Riki Hayashi and Matthew Fox explore the ethical questions from the stories geeks love—superheroes, sci-fi, anime, fantasy, video games, and so much more.
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