What's your response to this argument I saw one time saying that anti/aang rhetoric fails to take into account how aang never acts jealous or possessive of katara in the episode "jet" where she exudes outward feelings for another guy in front of him? I've always had this question myself, wasn't sure if it was something used to make the plot go smoothly or not. Like if both sokka and aang didn't like jet, then Katara would've been swayed to leave way earlier n the episode wouldn't have happened.
I actually agree with that point: Aang doesn’t act jealous or possessive at all, even when Katara’s crush on Jet is obvious. He even wears the hat that Katara made for Jet!
Throughout season one, actually, Aang’s feelings for Katara are handled well. He’s kind and tender, and whether Katara wants to mack on Jet or Haru, he’s helpful in whatever cause her romantic interests are pursuing.
He has a crush from the start:
He thinks she’s pretty:
He pursues her:
But, it doesn’t interfere with the foundation of his character.
In fact, with the exception of The Fortuneteller [You can read my opinions on this episode here [x] & [x], Basically, the episode focuses on learning about one-sided crushes, only to take the last 20s and reduce Katara’s destiny to who she’s going to end up marrying]... Anyways, with the exception of last 20s of The Fortuneteller, season one did a splendid job of shaping Aang’s feelings for Katara into something that was ultimately one-sided:
But, it was still innocent and cute.
In fact, I didn’t dislike Kataang until the end of season two and all of season three.
In season two, my issues came with Aang’s choice to choose Katara over the Avatar State. It was foolish on his part, and a foolhardy push by the creators to show us just how much Aang loved Katara.
It was silly, considering season two was full of instances that not only foreshadowed Aang growing out of his crush on Katara:
But also, further established their relationship as one-sided:
Katara: [Turns to face him and gestures to the portrait.] And here, it says, “Love is brightest in the dark,” and has a picture of them kissing.
Aang: [Utterly confused and lost.] Where are you going with this?
Katara: [Shyly, blushing.] Well, what if we … kissed?
Aang: [Very surprised.] Us … kissing?
Katara: See? It was a crazy idea.
Aang: [Dreamily.] Us … kissing …
Katara: [Fake-jokingly.] Us kissing. What was I thinking? Can you imagine that?
Aang: They’re made of some kind of crystal. They must only light up in the dark.
Katara: That’s how the two lovers found each other. [Gestures with her hand along the ceiling.] They just put out their lights and followed the crystals. [Sees the exit.] That must be the way out! [The two hug.]
Aang: So, uh …
Katara: Let’s go!
The ending of season two also dashed a ton of character development for Aang, such as learning a bending stye so unlike his own:
Navigating struggles between himself and his masters:
And learning that his way of life may not be the only ‘right’ way of life:
Aang’s decision in The Crossroads of Destiny didn’t align with the development in season two, and seemed an awfully rash decision considering we’d only ever seen Katara behave maternally around Aang. A narrative that is only furthered by the illusion to Pieta:
In season three, Aang’s behavior grew into something that was no longer innocent and one-sided, but aggressive and one-sided:
Aang: [Standing up.] Argh!
Katara: Relax, Aang. They’re not accurate portrayals. It’s not like I’m a preachy crybaby who can’t resist giving overemotional speeches about hope all the time. [Everyone looks at her.] What?
Aang: [Turns around and sits down. Sarcastically.] Yeah, that’s not you at all.
Katara: Are you all right?
Aang: [Angered.] No, I’m not! I hate this play! [Yanks his hat off and throws it on the ground.]
Katara: I know it’s upsetting, but it sounds like you’re overreacting.
Aang: Overreacting? If I hadn’t blocked my chakra, I’d probably be in the Avatar State right now!
Aang: Katara, did you really mean what you said in there?
Katara: In where? What are you talking about?
Aang: On stage, when you said I was just like a … brother to you, and you didn’t have feelings for me.
Katara: I didn’t say that. An actor said that.
Aang: But it’s true, isn’t it? We kissed at the Invasion, and I thought we were gonna be together. But we’re not.
Katara: Aang, I don’t know.
Aang: Why don’t you know?
KataraBecause, we’re in the middle of a war, and, we have other things to worry about. This isn’t the right time.
Aang: Well, when is the right time?
Katara: Aang, I’m sorry, but right now I’m just a little confused.
Katara: I just said I was confused! I’m going inside. [Exits the balcony.]
Not only that, but their relationship, based on dialogue alone (X & X), was drifting apart. Aang was increasingly belligerent and self-righteous, while Katara was treated as a means-to-an-end, his muse, his reason for saving the world, and his prize for succeeding.
You see, Aang may not have shown possessive tendencies in season one or two, because the relationship was handled properly. However, the moment Kataang became so forced as to neglect Aang’s character development in season two and portray poor behavior as romantic in season three, Aang does act possessive and aggressive towards Katara.
And because he’s never taught that his actions are wrong, because he never apologizes for the many times he acted out towards Katara, Kataang is tainted by these negative qualities, and the pattern continues on into the comics and LOK.