[S2E18] The Earth King WORK
Less than an hour after escaping from Lake Laogai, Aang and his friends relocate to a small island, recovering and discussing what they should do next. Katara and Toph both wish to leave Ba Sing Se, as they have found Appa and thus have no reason to remain there. On the other hand, Sokka wants to stay to inform the Earth King of the conspiracy that is taking place within the city, as well as the approaching solar eclipse, arguing that this was their reason for heading toward Ba Sing Se in the first place. Aang agrees with him. Ultimately, the others agree to remain, and all four ride bareback on Appa to Ba Sing Se's Upper Ring where they manage to break into the palace, tearing their way through the strong defense of Royal Earthbender Guards.
[S2E18] The Earth King
At the palace, Aang and his friends finally reach the Earth King's throne room, where they encounter Long Feng and numerous Dai Li agents, who stand before the Earth King as a last defense. They attempt to inform the king about the Hundred Year War, of which the king is oblivious, and Long Feng's conspiracy, but this proves difficult due to their position and his trust in his chief adviser. They drop their weapons in an attempt to gain the emperor's trust, only for Long Feng to attempt to arrest them, until the Earth King learns that Aang is the Avatar; he decides to at least hear Aang and the others out after seeing his pet bear, Bosco, acting friendly toward Aang.
Aang goes on to explain the various events of which the Earth King is unaware: a war outside Ba Sing Se's walls, Long Feng and the Dai Li's conspiracy, the imprisonment of Appa, and the brainwashing of Jet and countless other individuals. Long Feng denies all the charges brought against him, even claiming that he has never encountered a flying bison. As the Earth King ponders over the apparently unlikely allegations, Long Feng whispers in his ear that Aang and his friends are part of an "anarchist cell" attempting to overthrow him. The Dai Li bind the group with earthbending, and the Earth King orders that the group be detained, but Sokka has an epiphany and, with Aang's airbending, exposes a bite mark that Long Feng had received from Appa during their encounter at Lake Laogai. Long Feng claims it to be a birth mark, but Aang brings Appa in to compare the mark to the bison's teeth to invalidate this statement. Although unconvinced of the larger accusations of conspiracy in the city, the Earth King agrees to investigate more closely into the matter. Long Feng frowns sourly at this and shuffles off quietly with his Dai Li agents.
They decide to show the Earth King the Outer Wall, which was earlier penetrated by the Fire Nation's drill, but the king refuses and decides to return to the palace. Aang, however, quickly convinces him to continue the investigation by letting the Earth King ride on Appa.
The Earth King arrives at the Outer Wall and is shocked to see the remains of the Fire Nation's drill. Long Feng makes a hurried attempt to pass the drill off as part of a construction project, but Katara asks why there is a fire insignia on the drill. Long Feng says it was imported, but the Earth King is unconvinced and orders Long Feng to be arrested. The two Dai Li agents accompanying Long Feng share a conspiratorial glance and bind Long Feng's arms with metal manacles. When they return to the palace, the king thanks them for opening his eyes as he felt like a fool for not knowing about the war all this time. After some persuasion the king agrees to support Sokka's plan to invade the Fire Nation on the day of the solar eclipse, dubbed by Sokka "the Day of Black Sun", when the Fire Nation will be helpless.
Zuko seems to have awakened from his feverish nightmares and, seeing that Iroh is asleep, goes to the bathroom to wash his face. When he looks up at the mirror, he is shocked to see himself without his scar, replaced by the shaved head and blue arrow tattoos of an airbender, making him sharply resemble Aang. Zuko soon awakens in reality, letting out a loud scream, the whole scenario having merely been a nightmare. He touches his scar, reassuring himself that he is actually awake.
Aang and Sokka make their way over the plains surrounding Ba Sing Se on Appa, convinced that things are finally going positively for them. However, back in the city, the circumstances take a suddenly negative turn. In prison, a Dai Li agent delivers Long Feng his meal, but also quietly reassures that the organization retains loyalty to him, not the king. Meanwhile, Toph goes to meet her mother, entering an Upper Ring building that she finds empty. She enters, but only suspects trickery at the last minute, and is captured in a metal coffin. Master Yu and Xin Fu emerge from the shadows and prepare to return Toph to the Beifong family in order to retrieve their reward. Afterward, the Kyoshi Warriors arrive before the Earth King, who formally welcomes them. Unknown to the king, however, they are actually Azula, Mai, and Ty Lee, disguised in Kyoshi Warrior garments and face paint.
Now with Appa back, the gang tries hard to show the Earth King the conspiracy of Ba Sing Se, but the Dai Lee have covered their tracks well. Meanwhile, Zuko enters a sick state of spiritual crisis after making his major choice to drop his old way of living.
Aang goes on a spirit journey with The Guru and works through his life's various traumas in record time. Toph sees through the lies of earthbending. Peter and Eli dive deep into each of the chakra pools. This is episode 38 of Avatar: The First Viewin... more
The Aang gang finally comes face to face with the Earth King, who turns out to be a real person (much to Peter's disappointment). Many subplots are set up in this end-of-a-D&D-campaign style episode. We discuss the king's perspective on truth and opt... more
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While watching the news, Hawkeye and Panther see that Yellowjacket is similarly vaporizing other Serpent Society members. Thor locates him taking down King Cobra and chases him through Manhattan. As the other Avengers come for backup, Thor chases Yellowjacket into a warehouse, only for Yellowjacket to vaporize Mjolnir and then Thor. As the other Avengers arrive, Yellowjacket becomes visibly shaken for what he did, giving Wasp enough time to pull off his mask and reveal that Yellowjacket is, in fact, Hank, who appears to be suffering from dissociative identity disorder. They try to talk him down, but Iron Man and Hank fire their repulsors and gun at each other, vaporizing everyone in the room and leaving nothing but the Big House disc.
In 2014, Ars Technica picked this as one of the "worst TNG episode[s]" and called it an "utterly forgettable story about cloning and totalitarianism" but said the lecherous smirking Riker was the worst part of it. The reviewer thought the subplot with Worf and Dr. Pulaski was quite good, and the tea ritual scene "actually showed the differences between two cultures quickly and effectively, without resorting to shoddy jokes and Riker screen time."
Picard and Worf are on their way to the transporter room when a chicken flies out of the door and into the corridor. A young girl picks it up, beams at the two of them, and runs back in. Once Picard is inside, one of the refugees steps forward: the colony's leader, Danilo Odell, who is quite pleased to meet another Irish descendant in O'Brien. All in all, he and the other Bringloidi (who prove to be the descendants of the Neo-Transcendentalists to whom Data alluded earlier) seem to be taking the exposure to advanced technology after two centuries (and then-unknown alien races, such as Worf) with surprising sanity. Riker explains that the Bringloidi had refused to leave without the animals since they represent their livelihood. Picard quickly demands they be placed out of the way and has O'Brien redirect the entire colony to Cargo Hold 7. The Bringloidi quickly get back on the pads for transport, and all remaining Bringloidi are directly transported there.
In the observation lounge, the final tally is made: 223 refugees (with two more just days from being delivered and not counting their livestock). Picard prepares to transport them to the nearest starbase, and Riker quips that, while anachronistic, the Bringloidi are eager; he speculates that they will probably be running the place before long. Suddenly, a fire alarm goes off. The problem is quickly traced to the Bringloidi. Unused to modern conveniences like replicators, they had been cooking their own food, which had triggered the automated fire-suppression force fields.
Riker leads Brenna to his quarters. The first thing she sees is a mess, and she insists on starting to clean it up. The conversation gets rather spirited, with both of them making verbal jabs at each other. Eventually, the words give way to actions as Riker gives in to Brenna's advances and they passionately kiss. 041b061a72