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Mai and Ty Lee Get Out Alive

by Attackfish Scales

Avatar: the Last Airbender is one of those rare media that not only portrays abuse, (not itself uncommon in media) but portrays it extremely realistically and surprisingly subtly. Azula's abuse of Mai and Ty Lee is never blatant, and never separate from the bond they have with her, but instead woven through their relationships inextricably. Every word any of them say, every action any of them take is done within the context of this abuse. Mai and Ty Lee are never able to relax.

Azula's true colors are on display the first time she is onscreen with Mai and Ty Lee in "Return to Omashu", where she, careful to never make an explicit threat, demonstrates her power to hurt the people Mai and Ty Lee care about in order to force their compliance. Yet, in the end, Azula is so sure of her control over Mai and Ty Lee that she begins to take it or granted, and forgets how she's controlling them in the first place. She shows them that their submission will not protect the people they care about when she attacks Zuko and then Mai. First Mai and then Ty Lee have to break away from Azula and her suffocating control to protect the people they love, or follow her and become the agents of their destruction.  The moments they each make the choice to oppose Azula are each some of the most powerful in the Avatar franchise.

Having experienced a similar relationship to the one Mai and Ty Lee share with Azula, I know just what it means to never be able to relax, to never be able to let down my guard and just be. I hope this vid captures some of that frenetic quality that living always on the edge, in perpetual survival mode, entails.

Mai and Ty Lee Get Out Alive

There comes a point for both of them in which they can no longer stay. Set to "Get Out Alive" by Three Days Grace.

from Avatar: the Last Airbender (2005)
Creator: Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko
Distributor: Nickelodeon
Posted by Attackfish Scales