I totally get Katara being mad at Zuko when he joined them, but did you think it was kinda unfair, because Zuko never said he was joining them back in Ba Sing Se, she just assumed he would, but still I get it, her being mad, however I do think her blaming Zuko for the death of her mother was unfair, because that had nothing to do with Zuko, she just connected and threw all her anger at him, and I just loved how Zuko took it, all of it, her attitude and her anger and tried his best to fix it.
I mean, it’s no secret that I don’t think highly of the writing in Season 3.
I don’t think it was unfair at all. At least not the way it was presented in “The Western Air Temple”.
Here’s what Katara says at the end of the episode, when she threatens him:
“You might have everyone else here buying your … transformation, but you and I both know you’ve struggled with doing the right thing in the past. So let me tell you something, right now. You make one step backward, one slip-up, give me one reason to think you might hurt Aang, and you won’t have to worry about your destiny anymore. Because I’ll make sure your destiny ends … right then and there. Permanently.”
Katara had been Mama Bear-ing Aang ever since she metaphorically gave birth to him in the very first episode.
She wasn’t angry because he didn’t join them, Katara was angry because Zuko’s choice in “The Crossroads Of Destiny” got Aang killed. Not injured, not hurt, actually killed. And if she hadn’t had that Spirit Water, the one she offered to heal Zuko with, Aang would be dead. Forever.
So, no I don’t think her anger at Zuko in “The Western Air Temple” is unfair.
The problem is that this never gets mentioned again.
Probably because it would’ve made her feelings towards Aang even more explicitly motherly.
The very next episode she lets Zuko take Aang on a field trip? Like, literally, right after threatening him, the very next episode, she lets Zuko whisk Aang of to fuck-knows-where, for fuck-knows-how-long?
But, lol, this is Season 3, where the good writers get their scripts revised a hundred times because they’re “too shippy” and the bad ones get to write ¾ of the series finale.
The thing about the way Katara got angry at Zuko in “The Southern Raiders” is that it had a very clear trigger: the fact that she had to see her dad walk away. Again. Because of the Fire Nation. Again. And why is the Fire Nation there at all?
Zuko: “Go ahead! I’ll hold them off. I think this is a family visit.”
So, I think that, in Katara’s head, even though Zuko says that he’s cut ties with his homeland and family, he still manages to bring their evil to them, to her, personally.
So, yeah, I agree with you, she was projecting.
And it is really interesting, isn’t it? Zuko is, aside from Hakoda, the only character shown actually addressing Katara’s anger. Aang goes all ‘kicked puppy,’ so she swallows it up, Toph escalates the situation to a point, then one of them walks away until they calm down, Sokka, I think though years of practice, simply ignores her until she works it out on her own, and Suki hasn’t been around enough for us to see anything of her on this point.
Zuko is the only one who actively works, both on his own, and with her, until they reach the root of the problem, and solve it.
No one has, at any point during the show, put that much effort into Katara’s mental health and emotional well-being. No one but Zuko.
But, lmao, Bryke said: ““Zutara” never would have lasted! It was just dark and intriguing.” So we clearly gotta take known liars’ word above our own eyes and ears and completely disregard the themes of the show, the personalities of the characters involved, and the way the narrative was set up.
You know, like they did.