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SW: Bad Batch ep. #8

David Eckstein-Schoemann, Reporter

Things aren’t looking too good for the titular group as all kinds of enemies are coming at them from all sides. This week’s episode “Reunion” throws some twists and turns, while also ramping up the story in a big way.

The episode brings us back to Kamino where the Empire and Kaminoans are informed of the Bad Batch’s presence on Braaca. The Empire wastes no time when they send a squad led by former Batch member Crosshairs to exterminate the group. Though this contrasts with the Kaminoans interests, as they want the group alive as they need Omega for their plans. The Bad Batch find themselves in a tight spot as Crosshairs anticipates their every move. This leaves the team cornered looking for ways to escape. 

After so many side missions we’re officially halfway through the season. It is especially made evident with how the story creates more dire circumstances for the group. The larger narrative involving the Empire and Kamino is once again shown here, as we see both groups have disagreements over how to handle the main characters. While the Imperials want the Bad Batch eliminated for treason, the Kaminoans prime minister Lama Su wants the “assets” back as they have a part to play in his “contingency plans.” While they don’t go into detail about what the Kaminoans want with the Bad Batch, the subtle buildup makes it clear that the group, particularly Omega is vital to their goals. 

Courtesy of Disney Platform Distribution.

When we come back to Braaca, the Bad Batch is more or less killing time as we get a fun scene where Wrecker trains Omega how to disarm a thermal explosive. This leads to a funny payoff with how Wrecker reveals it’s a smoke bomb. The rest of the group is more busy going through the shipyard to see what they can sell to pay off their debts. I guess Wrecker and Omega shouldn’t have kept spending it on delicious Mantell Mix. 

It isn’t long until they find out they’ve been spotted by scrappers who they apprehend realizing they’ve contacted the Empire. Time becomes limited as the group goes through the downed Jedi cruiser, as some of its artillery is still onboard. Insert Checkov’s gun foreshadowing here.

It’s not too long before a trio of Imperial shuttles land, and the cruiser is surrounded by multiple clones/recruits leaving the Bad Batch trapped inside. When Crosshairs comes onto the scene, it’s made clear that he’s not taking any chances with how he undercuts their attempts to escape. Even though he’s under the effects of the inhibitor chip, it makes it no less suspenseful with how he wastes no time in hunting his former brothers.

Courtesy of Disney Platform Distribution.

The Bad Batch realizes that Crosshairs as a former member of the squad is predicting their moves. Any plans they come up with backfire as their former teammate is always one step ahead of them. This is shown when they plan to trick the Imperials by going through the artillery deck but are almost immediately surrounded on the spot. There’s a real sense of Murphy’s law here as the main characters are constantly being hunted at every turn. Their attempts to reason with Crosshair falls on deaf ears as he still has the chip in his head. Luckily Tech and Echo manage to activate the armed cannons, causing the entire deck to collapse beneath them.

Courtesy of Disney Platform Distribution.

You can tell the people behind this episode wanted to make the most out of the setting here. The idea of the characters trying to escape a barely functioning Jedi cruiser that’s bound to fall apart does lead to a lot of creative and entertaining scenes. I also like how they take advantage of the size and scale of the location with the group making their way through the ship’s massive ion engine chamber. If having to scale the gigantic tube wasn’t bad enough, Crosshair and the Imperials are already on the other side waiting for them. To make matters worse, Crosshairs troops begin to fire up the engine with our heroes inside. Thankfully the group manages to place explosives around the engine causing the entire chamber to collapse. This leads to the Imperials suffering multiple injuries, including Crosshairs who got badly burned in the process.

The episode intensifies when Hunter and Omega race back to their ship only to find multiple clones fallen on the ground. Who could have caused this? It’s revealed to be none other than the bounty hunter who needs no introduction, Cad Bane. Once again one of “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” most popular characters returns and the reveal is so satisfying. It’s been well built up that the Kamionoans have been hiring other bounty hunters to track down Omega, so it’s perfect for this type of character to show up here. On top of that, veteran voice actor Corey Burton is back in the role and I couldn’t be more psyched. 

Courtesy of Disney Platform Distribution.

Bane and Hunter then engage in a standoff very reminiscent of “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.” This is shown with its classic setup and cutting rapidly between tense closeups between the pair. In the end, Bane proves to be a second faster and shoots Hunter squarely in the chest. He then stuns Omega before taking her away.

The episode ends with a stylized sequence as we see Hunter waking up from his point of view as the rest of the Bad Batch pulls him aboard their ship to escape. Hunter informs the group of what happened, knowing they have to find Omega before it’s too late.

The first half of the season ends on a fittingly dramatic note as it raises the stakes while also pushing the story forward. It’s pretty clear what direction the series will go in, but considering the twists and turns they showed here, it’s clear we’re in an unknown territory from here on out.

Rating: 5 out of 5 Sails

____

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