Katara: Can we talk about something? Aang: Sure. Katar: Do you remember when we were at the air temple and you found Monk Gyatso’s skeleton? It must have been so horrible and traumatic for you. I saw you get so upset that you weren’t even you anymore. I’m not saying the Avatar State doesn’t have incredible and helpful power but, you have to understand .for the people who love you, watching you be in that much rage and pain is really scary. Aang: I’m really glad you told me that, but I still need to do this. Katara: I don’t understand. Aang: No, you don’t. Every day, more and more people die. I’m already one hundred years late. Defeating the Firelord is the only way to stop this war. I have to try it. Katara: I can’t watch you do this to yourself. I’m not coming tomorrow.
Mai: So the Firelord has returned. Zuko: Mai! The mob outside Yu Dao is gone. For now, at least, the Fire Nation citizens there are safe. Mai: You left without saying anything to me! I had to find out where you were from official edicts your soldiers posted around the capital! Zuko: … Mai: You’re doing it again, Zuko. If you’re having problems, you’re supposed to talk to me. I’m your girlfriend. Zuko: You’re right. I’m sorry. It won’t happen again. Mai: You’ve been having trouble sleeping. Zuko: How …? Mai: Have you looked in the mirror lately?
Mai: I know you’ve been secretly meeting with Ozai. Zuko: Mai! Who did you hear that from? Mai: Does it matter? Not from you. Zuko: I know I keep screwing up. But please…I…I love you, Mai. Mai: I know. But lately I’ve realized that you love your secrets more. You’ll have an easier time keeping them when you’re alone. Zuko: What are you telling me? Mai: Goodbye, Fire Lord.
Starting back up where I left off in the last post about Zuko being motivated by short term goals, Zuko’s decisions in “Crossroads” also make a lot of sense when viewed since paradigm. That is to say that both Zuko considering Katara’s offer, and Zuko considering Azula’s offer fits the idea that Zuko will pick whatever option he thinks will end his suffering the best.
Thus, Zuko considers Katara’s offer to try and heal his scar because the effects of that will be immediate. he gets his scar healed, and the symbol of his shame will not no longer be painted on his face.
But then Azula comes along and gives Zuko an even better offer: while he’ll still have his scar, Zuko will will be able to return him, he;’ll have his honor restored, and most of all he’ll have his fathers love–literally everything Zuko could want.
In Zuko’s mind, siding with Azula means greater and more immediate happiness in the future, honor, and his father’s love–all of which are more powerful forces than the friendship offered to him by Katara in “Crossroads,” and by Aang in “The Blue Spirit.”
“You have indeed felt a great loss, but love is a form of energy, and it swirls around us. The Air Nomads’ Aang’s love for you has not left this world. It is still inside of your heart, and is reborn in the form of new love.”
The announcement of the upcoming graphic novel brought up all sorts of old feels, so in commemoration of the continuing story, I decided to break my own heart. Enjoy.