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At first, I thought we wouldn't watch an episode tonight. Everybody seemed to be too tired to pay attention. But I was pleasantly surprised that both watched and enjoyed it. Zuko and Iroh's 'bookends' were especially enjoyed, I think, being as the question on everyone's mind when the episode ended was 'Will the the next episode feature them?' Thankfully, it will.
As we followed the Gaang, there was in fact genuine tension throughout the scenes. They genuinely had no idea what the swamp monster was, and they of course liked seeing more Appa. Most importantly, after the first 40 seconds or so, everybody listened, and kept listening for the whole episode. Very excellent, especially as aforementioned, they seemed very uninterested in seeing an episode at all tonight. My sister (Yes, I'm mentioning her again, as she's a great example of someone who doesn't know a good thing when they see it) may find it "boring", but Mom and Dad are at least enjoying it. And as we get closer to the mid point for the series, I have faith that the second half of the Viewings will go faster and smoother than the first. This show might have had kind of a rocky start, what with trying to bring three people up to speed with such a rich mythos, but it's progressing better than I expected, despite it's ignorant naysayer.
One thing that I'm concerned about is my personal beliefs being compared and blamed on Avatar. As I'm becoming more worldly, my beliefs are going from a traditional Christian faith to being pretty much an agnostic, unsure of what happens after death. This episode made me realize how similar in many aspects that. I think in the end we are all agnostics, some just won't admit it. This, as you guys know, doesn't set too well with my father, and sadly, I fear he may try to 'track' my idea of not believing in the supernatural without proof to Sokka. Sokka's character of course had no impact on my choices in faith or lack thereof, but my parents have always been more willing to blame what media I like for what I think rater than just me making op my own mind. And no mater how much I tell them that my thoughts are mine by my own conclusion, they don't believe me, I think. Let's hope our good friend Sokka will not be berated for something he had no hand in.
Overall, a good, if unexpected viewing. No news of any other kind to be found, and you guys should expect a slow decrease in episode viewings as we get further into September and nearer the trip. I'm not sure how many more we'll see between now and the trip, but any episodes between now and "The Library" are fair game. I want "The Library" and "The Desert" to be seen as one, as I'm sure everyone else will too, and so I want to save those for after the chaos of the trip. Wish me luck guys, as I venture further into life. Stay gold.