Noatak is discovered
Ugh…I’m so torn on this moment. On the one hand, I love the animation, especially in that second gif. I don’t know how to describe it. I love the motion it has. I love that you can tell how windy it is up there because of his hair. I love that his face is pure, undiluted panic. I love that he didn’t just waterbend himself to safety, he pretty much put himself up there for everyone to see. He gave himself a big, dramatic reveal that was probably unintentional. And even though it’s a huge display of power, even though he’s above everyone, looking down on them, he still comes across as exposed and vulnerable because he’s all alone up there without his mask or even his fake scars to cover him.
And I really do like his face and expressions in this scene. But I just can’t associate them with the Amon we’ve come to know. Maybe it’s just me and my borderline obsessive need to keep masked characters masked. It’s really, really hard to keep the same vibe of the character once they take off the “face” that the audience has grown used to. There are exceptions, of course (like the Lieutenant). And sometimes you want the character to feel a little different when they finally come out of hiding.
But sometimes…this happens. The mask comes off and suddenly I’m faced with a total stranger. It doesn’t feel like I’m seeing who Amon really is. It feels like Amon just disappeared from the show and an entirely new character took his place. There’s something dissonant about it.