As Season II starts, we have a fresh antagonist, and our protagonists are apparently skipping that whole “mastering water” thing. Judging by how Katara wields her aquatic power during this season, apparently they spent some time at the North Pole. You wouldn’t really tell by Aang, though- he uses waterbending to about the same extent that Katara did early in the first season.
Azula, Zuko’s sister who was briefly introduced at the end of the first book, is Book 2’s antagonist. She’s tricky, and a severe dominatrix. Seriously, before I knew there were two of them, I was quite convinced that Azula’s “friend” was actually a submissive former lover. The fact that Azula tried to kill her for not coming with her at first only encourages that perception. The three form an interesting team- a more badass version of Sokka, a pressure-point wielding acrobat as yet unmatched by anything our trinity has to offer, and a firebender that follows an as-yet unseen discipline- her fire burns a hot blue-white, and she’s trained by some old ladies that seem to be the fates. So, I guess not enough girls watched Book 1, huh?
Speaking of girls, we have what may be a new full time protagonist: Toph, a blind Airbender. They need more Girl Power to take out Azula, it seems. I would also note that the closest thing to a traditional female we have (other than Katara) in what appears to be a recurring role would be Mai, the one I thought was Azula’s submissive lover- her other friend is more the brooding teenager type. In any case, that’s four powerful females between the ages of Aang and Zuko.
Ah, Zuko. He has his own tangential plot now. He’s not very relevant at the moment, though I’m sure he will be at some point. I guess his grandfather is supposed to teach him why stealing whatever he wants is wrong this season. We will find out, I’m sure.