Discussion in 'Community' started by DarthDragon164, Jul 17, 2010.
Oh, Wocky, never change.
So much facepalm..
And yet nobody calls him the Father Lord.
Stop being incredulous for a moment and actually think about it. Who has done a better job?
Father Chief even.
And while I agree that the "Unalaq is a good person/ father" argument is bs, in all fairness, the season isn't over yet and his full intentions aren't clear.
It's hard to argue, outside of the incident last week, that Unalaq has been bad to his children. He hasn't. But as he provides for them, looks after them, even as he fosters a normal family dynamic (yes!), I don't think he is looking at them. He's looking at himself. I suspect he sees them as a way to appear publicly wholesome, to 'keep up appearances' or as useful tool for playing on people's trust than truly beloved children for whom he would do anything ("Oh, look, here's Unalaq, he's a family man. We can trust him." ...that sort of thing.). Also they're good eyes and ears when an extra pair or two of either might be convenient. So it's in his interests to... invest in them long term, but for his own advancement rather than theirs. Ultimately they're disposable. When push comes to shove, only one person takes precedence. Unalaq. Which is what I think finally showed when Desna was injured. Most parents... normal parents... would, when it really mattered, put their children's interests ahead of their own. Not him.
Saying Unalaq was one of the top two father figures in the Avatarverse until The Guide is like saying Vader was one of the top two father figures in the OT until ESB.
It'd probably be easy to believe that they were just servants if it had never been pointed out that they're his children, or if they didn't address him as "Father".
On screen fathers that we've seen interact with their children in my order of best to worst?
I want to give an honorable mention to Iroh and Aang, but we never actually saw them with their kids.
We did see Iroh with Lu Ten briefly in a flashback...
Ooh that's true. Iroh would be ranked #1, then. And heck, I count Zuko as his kid.
Agree about Iroh. What about Monk Gyatso or however you spell it?
How on Earth does Hakoda rank higher than Unalaq? Yes, he was nice enough when he was around. But he essentially abandoned his pre-pubescent children to wage a piracy campaign that would never do more than mildly harass the local arm of a global empire. What was the point? Katara even specifically confronts him on how alienating it was. Especially given that he never even seemed to inquire after them, let alone try and fetch them when they were old enough to participate. His son was a passable strategist, and Katara turned out to be probably the greatest water bender of her entire generation, but he knew precisely none of it because he spent no time in cultivating their skills or interests. For over a decade, they were just some nuisance to his career and an unwanted side effect of sleeping with his wife.
Contrast that with Unalaq, who has tried to entrust a great deal of his own skills to his children. Who, even as he juggles incredibly intense affairs of state, carves out specific time to be with his children. When he can't do that, he incorporates into the official ceremony of his office, so that he can still be beside them. He entrusts them with meaningful tasks to help them build confidence and competence. He is a man who actively works to make his children succeeds, and treasures the fact that they are a part of his life. The contrast could hardly be starker.
He's a man who would use those carefully cultivated darlings as cannon fodder if the right opportunity arose.
lol It doesn't matter how cold you are to your children, as long as you hang around them.
Also, (The Search part 3 spoiler)
I guess Ikem can be added to that list, since he's Zuko and Azula's step-father.
If that's the case, then Ozai wins the Father of the Year Award. And we know just how much he loved his children, especially Zuko.
Spoiler: Search Part 3 Spoiler
Ikem would be added anyway because of his and Ursa/Noriko's daughter, Kiyi.
At the risk of sticking my head in the lion's (or polar bear dog's) mouth, but when has Unalaq ever done that in the show? The only times I recall him having any sort of conversation with Eska and Desna before this past episode were after he left the Spirit portal, sending them off to capture Korra (yes, send your emotionally distraught daughter after the person she blames for ruining her wedding. Responsible Parenting 101 I tell ya! ), and then berating the pair after they failed to catch her.
I can buy that he wasn't abusive to them (at least in the way Ozai and Yakone were to theirs), but I get the feeling he was emotionally distant from them.
Well, I got my copy of The Search Part 3 in the mail yesterday and read it...
Going into it, I was pretty much hopping for three things: 1) The question "What happened to Ursa?" would be answered, 2) That whole "Ikem is Zuko's father" thing would turn out to be false, and 3) That there wouldn't be any obvious dangling plot threads.
The first one was answered pretty well. There wasn't really any "grand revelation" about it, but I think it's okay. I've sort of felt that The Search was more about the characters (mainly Zuko and Azula), and their relationship. I guess what I'm getting at is that the phrase, "It's the journey that matters, not the destination." sort of applies. The story wasn't necessarily about finding Ursa, so much as what it would mean for Zuko and Azula to find her.
The second one. Oh boy. Where do I start? The good news is that whole thing turned out to be false, and Zuko's, and to a slightly lesser extent, Azula's, character stories are much better for it. A large part of what makes the pair fascinating to me is how similar they were, and yet how different they ended up. Same parents, same environment, both were firebenders, and yet Zuko was the one who ended up relatively okay, whereas Azula ended up as... well, Azula.
That said, I don't really see why the whole "Zuko is Ikem's son" plot was put into this, even if it turned out to be a fake. Ursa, in my opinion, deserves the Idiot of the Year Award for that one. I get that she wanted to get back at Ozai in some way for being such a massive... jerk, but really, what the frak did she think was going to happen?
As for the last part, yeah, I'm a little annoyed that they left the whole thing with Azula up in the air like that. It's not terrible, I suppose, just not what I was hoping for.
All in all, I don't think The Search was a bad series. I just think that it shouldn't have had the "Is Ikem Zuko's father?" plot line, and they should have wrapped up Azula's story with it.
Well, Iroh certainly did...
Yeah, I was thinking more about main characters..
I read mine yesterday too, and I pretty much agree with all your opinions of it. I hope they keep these Avatar comics coming. It was hinted that they might even after "The Rift".
Why wouldn't that count? Do you think he had to have them there? That he had to let anyone be there? Tenzin has no problem sending his whole family away so he can meditate. Or Hakoda usually chose to flank himself with other warriors and advisers. Only Unalaq cared enough to make it into special, quality time with his children. He wanted to share the most important moments in his career with his family.
I also don't see what's so awful about sending Eska to retrieve Korra. He's teaching her how to be mature. Over the course of this mission, she learned to put aside personal feelings in the name of duty. That's a valuable lesson that many characters have failed to learn, to the detriment of the whole world (Roku, Avatar Kuruk, etc). No doubt aware of this, Unalaq wanted to ensure that his own children weren't burdened with such weaknesses.
lolz When he's not being aloof to them, he's treating them like servants. He doesn't give a **** about "teaching Eska to be mature", he simply needed Korra alive and didn't want Eska to ruin his plan. That's some "special, quality time with his children".
*Gotta star out the whole word
We're having this debate as if The Guide doesn't count--whatever Unalaq headcanon wocky chose to invent up to last week, not giving a **** about Desna is part of his character now. And no matter how nice he had seemed up to that point, not counting Beginnings, he's only existed for seven episodes--hardly an unimpeachable track record of characterization. Zuko took two and a half seasons to become a good guy; that wasn't out of character, it was character-revealing.
Yes, but what matters is he was around when Desna was unconscious. :b
QFT, especially the bolded part.
I shall quote Iroh again.
So, uh, perhaps in Wocky-land, the fact that Unalaq stood by so callously while his son was dying is evidence that he... cared?
This is actually an excellent model for our discussion. While Zuko changed allegiances across the course of the show, most of his fundamental characteristics were obvious by the time of The Storm. He was obsessive, dedicated, a shamed outcast, fixated on the question of honor, dependent on his uncle for emotional support/guidance, and often conflicted about his the gulf between his conception of duty and his perception of what was morally right. Over the course of the series, these persistent character traits had a new calculus applied to them, so that even when he changed sides he never changed who he was.
That episode was, interestingly, about Zuko's sixth to seventh substantive appearance on the show. Even then, it was just more fully explaining elements that were already obvious throughout. In a similar number of episodes, Unalaq has similarly demonstrated himself to be a loving, compassionate family man. The importance he puts on this is one of his fundamental character traits. For them to have completely overthrown that in the last episodes is wholly inconsistent with how this show usually treats its characters.
But it seems only Everton is willing to acknowledge that.