This week is, to me, another wasted opportunity. I think as this ‘Bad Batch’ arc has run its course, we have been subjected to a four episode realization that we only have eight episodes left to wrap up a great deal of storytelling points, and I feel as though the cataclysmic Order 66 might be what represents the metaphorical “end” of all of these grand narratives.
I am glad, at episode five of this season, we have Ahsoka returning. My relief would be a little less present or warranted given if the ‘Bad Batch’ arc wasn’t so unsatisfying in ending Captain Rex’s plotline. I think the point of it was to end it where it started with the captain and the clones, along with introducing new characters in the process even though they were introduced so late in the game.
Besides this, the episode was enjoyable, despite mounting concerns. We follow Echo, the Bad Batch, and Anakin as they enter the Separatist ship to destroy their communications on the surface of Anaxes to gain the upper hand and take over. I was surprised that instead of the almost traditional cliffhanger of “Echo/goal side character is actually going to betray him” alarms, Echo was just hesitant to join back in the action with Rex. It wasn’t because he was afraid, but rather he had changed from the torture he endured behind the scenes.
I think this is touching, knowing that trauma doesn’t just completely skate by clones that participate in the war, but even just affects them on a human level. It also really calls into question how utilized they will be after the war, in a separate, Palpatine-and-Vader-free reality.
I was glad to see Anakin in action, however sidelined as a character he has been in these past few episodes. He and the Jedi get some much needed action, especially Mace Windu, who I so wished, in this episode with a scene where they face down a bevy of droids at the command center on Anaxes, had done the same take down of hundreds of droids that he did in the original 2000s animated series. On a high-def scale, that would have been legendary, and would have hands down been one of the most visually and narratively thrilling action sequences “Star Wars” could be capable of.
However, they get on the ship, get their information they need to redirect the droids with Echo’s R2D2 hand, and escape, but Admiral Trench sends droids after them. Wrecker gets a chance to kill some droids, but it is Crosshair that gets the most consistently dazzling kills on his belt. He places mirrors all through the hallways they go through that deflect blaster bolts, and when the targets get within range, one blaster bolt becomes enough to clear a room. Wrecker gets severely upstaged and is visibly upset (in a comical way), but Anakin, after showing a streak of tantalizing dark side proclivity when killing Admiral Trench, hands him the mandatory self destruct clicker. Needless to say, the ship goes down, and the Republic wins.
Echo, when returning to the surface, is told by the Bad Batch that they’d be happy to have him, after being reluctant to trust him. Rex tells him that if he wants to come back to him and the regular clones, he can, but he can do whatever he wants. In a surprising turn of events, Echo chooses the Bad Batch, and realizes that he is different than the clones now, since the Bad Batch will accept him for who he is as a tainted clone. I think this is the moment that justifies these four episodes. In my opinion, this is what makes ‘Clone Wars’ one of the most valuable shows in our current area, and this is what makes me glad to be a “Star Wars” fan.