Voice of the Earth #18 and #19
May. 12th, 2010 @ 03:15 pm
Ugh. I'm really tired, but I am apparently incapable of taking naps during the afternoon. So, I'm sporking instead. This chapter's boring as hell, maybe it'll put me to sleep so I can get some rest before my 5 o'clock class.|
At Jet's mountain hideout, Toph and Zuko sunbathing. He needs sunlight to heal, so Toph stripped him down to his undies and set him up with an Earthbended lounge chair out in front of the cave entrance. Oh, and she put 10-foot walls around them so Katara and Mai can't ogle Zuko's ~*~smexyyy body~*~. (Ugh, even typing the word "smexy" in jest makes my skin crawl. *shudders*) Please, Pod-Person Toph. They have their own men to ogle.
From there on, the chapter's mind-blowingly dull. I have said it before and I'll say it again: I'm perfectly all right with character-driven "filler" chapters that don't advance the plot very far. In fact, I completely disagree with the common assertion I've seen that character-based chapters/episodes are necessarily "filler" to begin with. As long as they do something to advance someone's character development arc, I don't consider them filler in the true sense.
This? Not so much. There's some character advancement, but it's way too drawn out. This whole chapter could easily have been condensed to half the length. It's wordy and boooooooooooooooooorrrrrrriiiiiiinnnnnnnngggggggggggg.
Mai is not a fan of caves. Jet digs them. Jet decides that he can't possibly be with someone who doesn't share his love of caves and falls out of love with Mai. THE END.
Aang's going back to Omashu to pick up supplies for the group. Toph is eerily possessive:
When lunchtime rolled around, Toph dropped a section of wall to let everyone come in and join them for the meal. She did, however, see that Zuko was properly clothed again. She wasn't kidding about not letting Mai and Katara ogle him. She knew how good her husband looked. There was no need to tempt fate.
What. *shakes head* Okay. Sooooo... yeah. That's half the chapter right there. Zuko and Toph sunbathe, Aang's going back for supplies, Mai doesn't like caves, Jet does. RIVETING, AM I RIGHT?
Toph and Jet go for a walk around the perimeter of the cave-area to forage and to block off other access points so no one can sneak up on them. Toph realizes that Jet has Earthbending abilities similar to her own. And what a special snowflake he is!
Toph stopped in front of him, placing her hand on his arm. "Jet, it's not crazy," she said firmly. "It's earthbending. You're hearing the earth with an earthbending sense. I thought you said you weren't a bender."
"I'm not," he replied uneasily. "I can't do anything even remotely like what you and Aang can do. All I can do is get little hints about what's ahead or behind or growing or roaming around me."
"That's the first thing I learned to do when I was little," Toph replied softly. "I learned to listen to what the earth had to say to me. Benders who only learn to manipulate the earth never understand the heart of earthbending."
She pulled him over toward a convenient rock and sat down on it, and when he hesitated, she pulled him down next to her. "Put down the cassavayam," she ordered, "and look at me."
"Jet," she began once she had his full attention, "you are an earthbender. More than that, you've discovered on your own what most earthbenders never understand. They see earthbending as power, as strength, but fail to see the connection between themselves and the earth."
Yeah, that Earthsight technique Toph learned from Badgermoles, that she spent years working on? Jet figured it out all by himself. Then they go back to camp and Jet has a whiny internal monologue.
Aang comes back and he's brought some extras. We'll find out who they are... right now, actually, since I still have time before I have to leave and I'm feeling less sleepy now that I have some music on.
...He brought the rest of the Brady Bunch, kids and all. *facepalms* *stops, squints at the chapter* Wait, exactly how long did it take him to get all the way to Omashu, get all the supplies they'll need, and round up Sokka, Suki, and all the children??? It can't have been more than a couple hours. In fact... *checks Chapter 18 again* Yep, Aang even says that the trip will only take him a couple of hours, tops. If they're that damn close to Omashu, WHY THE HELL ARE THEY SETTING UP HOUSE IN THE CAVE?! WHY DIDN'T THEY JUST STOP THERE FOR A FEW HOURS SO ZUKO COULD REST, AND THEN CONTINUE ONWARD SO HE COULD CONVALESCE IN THE COMFORT OF THE CITY INSTEAD OF A FUCKING CAVE???? Oh, right, because then it'd be harder to come up with contrived situations to force Mai and Jet into cliched romantic situations. WHAT WAS I THINKING.
Aang also brought food, supplies, and... oh, great. He brought greetings from Smellerbee and Longshot, and an invitation from them to, you guessed it, ANOTHER DINNER PARTY. *headdesk* The Duke and Pipsqueak will also be showing up. At the dinner party, that is. Jet reminisces:
After their first run-in with Aang, Katara, and Sokka over flooding the village, Pipsqueak and the Duke along with several others had decided not to stay with him. Apparently, the sight of the flooded village and the thoughts that all those people would have died at their hands had made a serious impact on them.
He'd been pretty angry at the time at what he'd seen as their betrayal of him and of the cause they'd fought for. But before long, he'd begun to realize that they were right. By the time he'd decided to make a new start in Ba Sing Se, only Longshot and Smellerbee still stood beside him. Smellerbee stayed because she was in love with him and Longshot stayed because he was in love with her.
*froths at the mouth at the bolded part* Anyway, they eat dinner, there's some mediocre conversation. After dinner, Toph informs Aang of Jet's Earthbender status. Together, they inform Jet that, due to his ability to listen to the voice of the earth and his understanding of neutral jing, he is destined to be the next king of Omashu.
His reaction is pretty much the same as mine was: What the hell?! That's stupid! Toph is a much more qualified candidate! But no, Toph is too busy being Zuko's love interest to rule Omashu. Aang busts out the destiny/Higher Purpose line to try and win Jet's cooperation. Jet reacts scathingly to this. He makes a few jabs at Zuko and his family, which, of course, means that we have to sit through a whiny internal monologue from Zuko now.
Then Mai sits down next to Jet to blather about destiny, and the chapter ends on this cringeworthy line:
Mai looked out across the fire and into the darkness where Zuko sat next to Toph. "I got my first glimpse of my destiny when I realized how much I loved Zuko," she answered quietly.
It's actually not that bad when read with the continuation of this conversation at the beginning of Chapter 20. But on its own, it sounds pretty terrible.
The only thing that made the text snippets bearable was me sporfling at your mockery. :P