A list of worst to best.
I'll start:(worst to best),
Water/Spirits. Lot of good in both. Water introduces us to all these wonderful characters, and has stand out episodes like The Southern Air Temple, The Storm, The Blue Spirit and The Siege of the North. Is dragged down by the (relative) lack of moral amiguity, some issues in pacing, and The Great Divide.
Spirits is, imo, kind of underrated; it has Wan, Bumi, Jinora and Varrick. Beginnings is probably my favourite episode in the whole series. I also actually like Aang not being an excellent dad, and thought they dealt with it well. On the other hand, some characters are very out of character, Unalaq isn't much of a character, and the ending is pretty strange. 77/100 for both.
Air; I really like Amon, and most of our main characters, especially Asami, here. Main issues are the romance, and the Equalists. They aren't as sympathetic as they should be-remember when those people not even wearing the uniforms were cheering as Tenzin and his kids were brought out? I honestly lost most sympathy for them there. Yeah, they deserve help, but if they're going to be so malicious, they deserve punishment too. Rest is very good-83/100.
Balance. Big jump up here. Old Toph was awesome, the feeling of unease about the Earth Empire, and Korra's character development were great too. Ending was very good. Only complaints are so little of the Fire Nation, and I didn't like the spirit mech. (Shudders). 86/100.
Earth. Just great all round-I especially enjoyed the swamp, and tales of ba sing se-and that ending was excitingly terrifying. 92/100.
Change. The best of Korra. The Red Lotus have such a wonderful humanising factor when they interact, and are truly menacing in combat. Korra has more or less learned her lesson here, and it's great to see her get it. Old Zuko, in my opinion, was handled pretty well-The North Pole weakens firebending, after all!
The new airbenders dynamic was fascinating as well!94/100.
Fire. Not always as elegantly woven as Earth,(although the difference is not at all as much as some people say) but man, it just felt so satisfying. Zuko with the team is just wonderful, all of those episodes are just wonderful, and Azula's and Ozai's downfall are tragic and epic, respectively. I have only two complaints:the deux ex machina Rock, and the group never find out how Zuko got his scar.
Standouts;The Awakening, Sokka's master, The Boling Rock..oh, all of them really. 96/100.
What do you think?
Water: Filler & exposition for days. It strikes me as one of those seasons that's really fun to watch one, but only a few episodes are things I'd want to watch again & again. Rewatchability is a big factor for me. Let's say 7/10.
Balance: Much the same problem, there are good elements but a lot of them are boring. It gets a leg up mostly because it has a more cohesive narrative & is much more theme heavy. Also, Korrasami. That's just enough to offset how stupid some of the latter half is. Say 7.25/10.
Spirits: This is in some ways the weakest Book, which I'm not going to belabor here, as everyone is familiar with those arguments. But I think it manages to be more consistently entertaining than Book 4, & feel some of the flak is undeserved. 7.5/10.
Change: Farewell, Red Lotus, I hardly knew ye. This was very strong on the action angle, & it had some brilliant twists, like lavabending, flight, & the Red Lotus itself. But I think the plot itself suffers for it, because it basically boils down to assholes want to kill world leaders because they think chaos is better. Though there are some really good subplots, like Korrasami escaping from the desert/sand shark, & the whole Zaofu thing. 8/10 seems fair.
Earth: I'm not a big fan of how backloaded the Book is, but some of the best material in the Avatarverse comes in those few ending episodes. The former half doesn't totally slack off either, with great material like Zuko Alone. 8.5/10.
Air: In my reckoning, contains one of, if not the best antagonists in the series. Its weak points are sports, shipping nonsense, & a lackluster finale, but I don't think that takes away from probably the strongest overarching plot of any of the Books. 9.5/10.
Fire: Ember Island Players. Sozin's Comet. Day of Black Sun. The Firebending Masters. Even the filler here is pretty top notch, as we get things like Southern Raiders, Sokka's Master, & The Puppetmaster. There are some slightly weak episodes that sort of add up, but don't detract much overall. Besides, while I may not say that things like The Headband are in the class of the other episodes I've mentioned, they're not exactly unenjoyable either. 9.8/10.
I dunno, you don't seem to possess my vast amounts of raw hatred. Anyway, I would be more inclined to condemn them if they were going to kill the airbenders. Losing their superpowers is kind of an abstract stake.
I'm not that far off either. Just what had Jinora, Ikki or Meelo done to deserve that, from any distorted viewpoint? They were kids. It doesn't matter if it was a superpower(if any of these people gave them a chance, monks wouldn't exactly use it that way!), this was the equivalent of torture.Tenzin I can maybe get as he is an adult. Not to mention, it is quite hypocritical to get rid of bending-which they haven't provided an alternative to in healing, for example-while introducing all new war machines!
I think if Aang were still alive and saw this, he would have lost his temper and beaten Noatak to kingdom come. We saw it happen with the buzzard wasp, and that hadn't even taken Appa.
It's pretty easy to understand Noatak's logic. As long as bending exists, there can't be equality, because benders will always have an unfair advantage. Removing bending isn't a "punishment" for anything, it's a restoration of order. For things like healing, he would just have the Equalist government pour more resources into developing nonbending healing, & would probably even say that if it's behind, it's because bending healing has been unfairly privileged. He also has an out for building weapons in that he claims that bending is the cause of every war, but he never claims it's wrong to participate in war defensively.
Speaking for myself, I think debending should be a penalty for certain capital crimes if it could be shown that the removal of bending would likely prevent further crimes. Certainly not debending citizens, let alone children. Revolutions can be nonviolent, & there's evidence that nonviolent revolutions are more effective. I'm not sure if I'd say removing the airkids' powers counts as torture. On one hand, it seems to really distress the victim, but on the other hand, it doesn't really have a good analogue with any real world situation.
@Sorcerer:you really took my breath away with that. Well done.
Neo, I sort of, sort of if I'm patient, can see Noatak's point there(though for nearly anything in the real world, when we want to push through the underprivileged thing, we keep around the one we know already works until we are sure the second one is as good or better). My main issue was the... glee they took when preparing to take away airbending(and the Acolytes didn't seem underprivileged to me). And it sure looked like punishment with them chained up and everyone watching.. and again, they were like most of us were when Aang started beating Ozai.