Last episode, Captain Rex, Anakin Skywalker, and the Bad Batch managed to rescue ARC Trooper Echo from Wat Tambor’s stronghold on Skako Minor.
This week, our heroes take the fight to Admiral Trench on Anaxes, who (unbeknownst to him) no longer has the benefit of Echo’s algorithm to predict the Republic’s battle strategies.
Dead Man Walking
The episode opens with Anakin, Obi-Wan, Mace Windu, and Captain Rex discussing their option to retake Anaxes from the Seperatists. Fresh off his rescue (and sporting some cool-looking new armor), Echo walks right into the meeting like a boss and declares that he has a plan that can get the job done.
Thinking he might not be ready for combat, Rex attempts to dissuade his brother from entering the fray, but Windu insists on hearing him out. Echo explains that while Mace and Obi-Wan lead a strike force to retake the Assembly Complex, he and the Bad Batch (along with Anakin) would infiltrate Trech’s dreadnaught. Once onboard, Echo would feed bad intel to the Separatist admiral, ensuring that his forces fail.
Hints, Lies, and Infiltration
As the Bad Batch and Rex prepare to leave, Tech tells the captain he is unsure of Echoes plan…and his loyalties, especially after being under Separatist control for so long. Rex, on the other hand, is completely certain that Echo is fully on their side and that the ARC trooper’s plan will work.
Sure enough, Echo is able to send a signal to Trench’s dreadnaught that fools the droids into thinking the Havoc Marauder is one of their aircraft. After docking with the dreadnaught, the squad makes their way to the ship’s central computer. Echo patches in to send a signal to Trench, which Tech masks/redirects so it appears to be originating from Skako Minor.
Back on the surface, WIndu and Obi-Wan’s forces fly through heavy resistance toward the assembly plant. A squad of Y-wing bombers manages to clear path, allowing their gunships to land. Windu, Obi-Wan, and a squadron of clones drop down into the assembly plant, where they are met by a huge battalion of droids. Windu offers the droids a chance to surrender (psssh), which they predictably refuse, leading to a brutal (and fantastic) fire fight.
Meanwhile, Echo’s signal informs Trench that all of his units should be sent to the assembly plant, which he immediately orders. Tech intercepts the transmission, expressing shock and doubt that overwhelming their team on the ground is a good idea. Once again, however, Echo proves him wrong, this time by sending a pulse that knocks out the entire massive droid army in seconds.
As you might imagine, this pisses off Trench something fierce. When the Harch admiral learns that the pulse’s signal originated from inside his own ship, he dispatches a large team of droids to find who was responsible. He also decides that if the Separatists can’t have the Anaxes assembly plant, no one can.
Anakin receives word from Windu that the pulse worked and the Republic has taken the assembly plant. Tech and Hunter express relief over the confirmation that Echo isn’t a traitor, much to the ARC trooper’s amusement.
The good vibes are cut short, however, when Echo receives a new transmission: Admiral Trench has activated a bomb beneath the assembly plant’s fusion reactor.
Anakin immediately runs off to see if he can kick Trench’s ass hard enough to force the admiral to give him the deactivation code. Meanwhile, Tech radios in to Windu and tells him the situation. The Jedi master orders Obi-Wan and the rest of the clones to clear out while he travels down to the plant’s fusion reactor to diffuse the bomb. He finds it wrapped by a force field, but still exposed enough that he can use the force to input the code.
As Echo gives Windu the code, the Separatists trace the pulse source send a counter signal, knocking the clone trooper out just as he was about to give the last number (OF COURSE).
While Bad Batch fends off wave after wave of droids, Trench gloats over Windu’s inability to finish the deactivation code. His celebration is cut short when Anakin appears on the bridge ready to kick names and take ass.
The Jedi quickly dispatches the surrounding droids before cornering the admiral, who refuses to give over the codes for fear of Dooku’s wrath. When Anakin responds that he’ll be the one to kill him instead, the admiral starts to explain that a Jedi would never do such a thing right before Anakin slices off three of his arms.
“I don’t have such weaknesses!” the future Darth Vader exclaims before making his final demand.
Sure enough, losing three appendages was more than sufficient enough to convince the admiral to tell him final number in the deactivation code. Anakin relays it to Windu, who successfully shuts down the bomb.
The good news momentarily distracts Anakin, providing Trench with the opportunity to tase the Jedi with his cane. Thankfully, Anakin quickly recovers and cooly runs Trench through with his lightsaber (!). He then locates/pockets the dreadnaught’s remote detonator and mocks the dying admiral before departing the bridge.
Elsewhere, Rex and the Bad Batch carry an injured Echo back to the ship while droids close in on them from all sides. It starts off as a pretty standard firefight, but turns into a massive Bad Bath flex when Wrecker and Crosshair decide to clear a path with their particular skill sets. Crosshair in particular was all types of fun to watch.
Anakin meets up with the squad and they all board the Havoc Marauder. As the ship flies away from the dreadnaught, the Jedi allows an exuberantly grateful Wrecker to activate the detonator, destroying the ship and much of its surrounding fleet, as well.
After being lauded for the Jedi for their work, the Bad Batch offers Echo a spot on their team of enhanced misfits. The ARC trooper seems unsure about leaving his “regular” brothers behind again, but Captain Rex assures him that if that’s where he feels he belongs, then he should join them.
As a melancholy Rex walks away saying goodbye to his friend again, Echo and the Bad Batch show a rare moment of respect and uniformity by saluting the captain.
First off, how cool is Echo’s new outfit? In addition to the armor design, you gotta love that skull on left breastplate.
Also, I’m once again blown away with just how fantastic this show looks. I mean, seriously, just look at that…
This time, however, the narrative was equally good. While the story beats of Echo’s redemption were predictable, the formula was extremely well-executed, thanks in no small part to the animation of the characters’ facial features/reactions and the steadfast faith Rex had in his returned comrade.
Additionally, I loved the nod to Anakin’s dark side, which definitely helps bridge the way from this series into Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith. Anakin’s anger is something we’ve seen plenty of times before, but his callous reaction to killing Trench (assuming the admiral stays dead this time) was almost as chilling.
As always, the fight scenes were spectacular. In addition to the dazzling visuals, Unfinished Business also put our heroes in tactically dangerous/exciting situations to fight through…although I will say that it doesn’t always work when they try to make B1 battle droids feel like a legitimate threat, even in large waves. If you’re going to make them a walking army of punchlines, then scenes like the Bad Batch’s hallway encounter might be better served with some commando droids or at least a higher concentration of B2s.
Also, much like last week, a key part of the story reel episode released on StarWars.com was cut. This time, it was the revelation that Wat Tambor kept Echo’s recapture from Trench because he was afraid of the admiral’s reaction.
Otherwise, Unfinished Business was a perfect example (with a highly ironic title) of why we’re so lucky to get this show back for one more season. Even if the animation wasn’t so mind blowing, it’s great getting to see stories in this setting again.