Avatar: The Last Airbender is back on Netflix, but don’t start with the first episode

Avatar: The Last Airbender is back on Netflix after a seven-year absence, and if you never caught the show, now is a perfect time. Avatar isn’t just one of the best animated series around; it’s full-stop excellent television regardless of format. This might not be clear from episode 1, though. As premieres go, it’s charming but geared toward hooking children. Skepticism is okay! Just don’t pass it by without diving into one of its best episodes, “Zuko Alone” (season 2, episode 7). It’s a standalone tale that explains everything you need to know — a terrific martial arts Western with surprisingly rich characterization and a gut-punch ending — all in 20 minutes.

In Avatar, there are four nations, each based on the mastery of a different…

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