Avatar: The Last Airbender: Book 1, Episode 11: The Great Divide  » TV  »
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  • While he's just a kid, he seems to know how to step back and take a second to think about how a problem can be solved as opposed to acting rashly

    • by David Finniss


      Aang and crew come to a great canyon called “the great divide”. Katara wants to marvel at the splendor while Sokka just wants to get going.

      They come across two feuding tribes, both fleeing the fire nation. Both insist that they have priority when the Earthbending guide offers to walk them through it.

      Having acted as a peacemaker between Sokka and Katara earlier on, Aang tries to get the two tribes to get along to no avail.

      We see more supernatural elements as the group is attacked by giant spider like creatures called “Canyon Crawlers”. The fight sequence is really well done and every character gets their chance to shine. While the common enemy briefly unites the two tribes, they start sniping at each other with insults only minutes after.

      Even the easygoing Aang gets fed up with their fighting and tells them

      to split up. He tells Sokka and Katara to each join a tribe so that they can figure out what started the feud in the first place.

      Not surprisingly, we get two different stories. They’re not radically different, but just different perceptions of the same event. One tribe saw the Jang man as a thief while the tribe saw him as a good samaritan who was wrongfully punished.

      We never get a clear answer as to who was right. Aang provides an explanation that seems to appease both, but we later see that he made the whole thing up.

      The episode had a lot of parallels. The bickering between Sokka and Katara mirrored that of the two tribes, and this manifested itself when the pair split up.

      Aang really gets to shine here. Being the Avatar,

      • it is his role to bring balance and acting as a peacemaker is a natural extension of that. He does a pretty good job. While he’s just a kid, he seems to know how to step back and take a second to think about how a problem can be solved as opposed to acting rashly.

        I was surprised to hear Robin, or his voice actor, show up. I guess it’s not that surprising, voice actors take several roles over their careers, but it was a nice geek moment when I recognized him. I recognized the Gan Jin leader’s voice, but I couldn’t place it. Looking in the credits, I saw it was Rene Auberjunois of DS9 fame. That’s pretty cool that they got two geek familiars to guest star.

        The idea of the two tribes having to work

        together to solve the problem was a bit predictable, but it worked out well enough. It didn’t get too heavy handed with the message and the whole moral is subverted when Aang reveals that he made the whole “true story” up.

        The title itself takes dual roles, of course referring to the canyon, but also referring to the feud itself. Had the fight between Sokka and Katara been expanded, they could’ve added that to the list as well, but two references is fine.

        The episode was good, though it wasn’t quite as glorious as other episodes. Still, a sub-par episode of Avatar is still quite enjoyable. The interplay between the characters remains strong, the action is fast paced and well done and we get a glimpse into the larger world. All in all, I’d say this episode is 25 minutes well spent.

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    The review was published as it's written by reviewer in July, 2010. The reviewer certified that no compensation was received from the reviewed item producer, trademark owner or any other institution, related with the item reviewed. The site is not responsible for the mistakes made. 1010071186501031/k2311a0710/7.10.10
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