Last week’s episode of Star Wars: The Bad Batch concluded with Omega becoming a full fledged member of the team. It was also strongly hinted that Wrecker’s inhibitor chip might be causing him some issues. Meanwhile, Crosshair began training soldiers for Admiral Rampart‘s new military initiative (Project War-Mantle) while also proving himself to be even more ruthless than any of us expected.
This week, the Bad Batch seeks out supplies and anonymity, which ends up forcing them to tangle with one of our favorite characters from The Mandalorian.
As always, the recap portion of this review will contain plenty of spoilers along with some brief exploration of Star Wars lore.
The episode opens with the Bad Batch deciding where to hide out for a while. After determining that their ship’s signature key is being broadcast on a galactic wanted list, they decided to touch down on Pantora so that Tech can scramble/mask their signal. The landing will also provide an opportunity for them to acquire badly needed food and supplies.
After landing at one of Pantora’s docking bays, Echo and Wrecker are met by a shady depot manager. He allows them to dock without being scanned, but only after Echo pays him a hefty bribe. As soon as they leave, however, the manager makes a call to a bounty hunter (Fennec Shand) who is looking for Omega. He offers up their location for a price, which she gladly promises to pay as long he doesn’t let them leave.
While Tech and Wrecker get started on modifying the Havoc Marauder‘s tracking signature, Hunter, Omega, and Echo (who’s disguised as a droid) go into town. On the way to the market sector, they pass a parade of clone troopers being celebrated by a throng of civilians. The sight is enough on its own to put Hunter and Echo on edge, but the pair become even more concerned when they spot the same chain code/credit conversion hologram announcement that they saw on Saleucami back in Episode 2.
When the two clones lament how fast things are already changing, Omega asks if that’s good thing since the war is over. Echo responds that it’s only “good” depending on whose side you’re on.
Dog and Mouse
After reaching the market district, Hunter struggles to sell the Bad Batch’s contraband to any reputable dealers. One vendor notices Echo and asks how much he’d be willing to part with his “droid” for. Echo is understandably against this transaction, but agrees to play along when Hunter assures him he’ll be able to slip away once the ship is ready…and to “sell” him for more than the 2,000 credits the vendor offered.
*Side Note: Echo is definitely worth more than 2,000 credits.
While all this is going on, Omega notices someone riding by with a cart carrying two adorable voorpak puppies. When it stops, she does what any of us would do and goes to pet them. Unfortunately, one of the voorpaks snags her clone trooper doll just as the cart starts moving again. Omega takes off after them, completely unaware that Fennec Shand has spotted her from the shadows.
The bounty hunter quickly tracks down the girl, who has become lost and disoriented in a city that would feel overwhelming even for someone who hadn’t spent their whole life in a lab. Instead of killing her, however, she kindly offers to help Omega find her friends.
*Side Note: This is an obvious ruse by Shand, but the fact that she didn’t immediately assassinate Omega is a pretty strong indicator she was hired by the Kaminoans to bring their “property” back.
Meanwhile, Hunter completes his fraudulent transaction and sends Echo off with the vendor. He then turns around to discover that Omega is missing and immediately begins searching for her. As for Echo, he’s put in charge of a group of droids who are shocked to learn that he’s not a robot like them. The head protocol droid (CG-67) declares her intention to report him, but changes her mind when Echo flashes his gun in front of them.
As Shand leads Omega through the market, she asks if the little girl is hungry. When Omega confirms that she is, Shand bumps into someone carrying a large basket of fruit. She then helps the woman pick up the fruit that spilled from the basket while pocketing a few herself. When Omega points out that she just stole from someone, Shand responds that it’s okay to break the rules once in a while.
This leads to a conversation about how difficult and dangerous it is to survive by yourself in the galaxy right now. Omega suggests that Shand come and travel with the Bad Batch so that she won’t be alone. Instead of laughing at her offer, the bounty hunter declares it to be the best one she’s had in a long time.
*Side Note: My guess here is that the Bad Batch have already had bounties put on their heads by the Empire. Assuming Shand knows they are traveling with Omega, she’s likely thinking that the opportunity to kill or capture Clone Force 99 will provide yet another payday from this job.
A few moments later, Hunter shows up and spots Omega. He immediately recognizes that the woman with her is all types of dangerous and a standoff ensues. Shand ends up shooting first, which forces Hunter to take cover. Omega tries to stop the bounty hunter from firing again, but Shand easily throws the child off.
Hunter then tries to take Shand down by throwing his knife at her, which she marvelously deflects before moving in for some close quarters combat. As the pair fight, Hunter yells at Omega to run. He almost manages to overpower Shand, but she headbutts him into submission before taking off after the girl with a trio of police officers on her tail.
Meanwhile, Echo and Wrecker are nearly finished finding and modifying the Havoc Marauder’s signature key when Hunter radios in to tell them about Shand. Wrecker immediately takes off to protect Omega while Echo goes into full Oracle mode and taps into the city’s security camera network to guide the rescue effort.
Hunter also requests air support from the ship, but Tech says that’s impossible due to the Havoc Marauder’s navigation unit being completely torn apart at the moment. Echo (who was listening on coms) pipes up to offer the droids he’s with to help get the ship put back together.
CG-67 protests, explaining that even if she wanted to follow his command (which she doesn’t), they can’t remove their restraining bolts. Echo quickly makes that a moot point by removing all of them and leading the droids past their befuddled master.
After sprinting through the city, Omega heads down into the sewers. Shand manages to track her (and lose the police who were chasing her), but so does Tech, who provides Wrecker with the girl’s location. He finds Omega and begins bringing her back to the ship when Shand shows up at the end of an underground tunnel. The giant-sized clone tells Omega to keep going toward the ship while he takes care of the threat.
As you likely predicted (especially if you’ve been watching The Mandalorian), Wrecker gets his ass kicked in under ten seconds and is knocked unconscious.
Meanwhile, Omega climbs a set of stairs ahead of Shand and makes it out a hatch that she locks behind her. Unfortunately, the stairs lead to a tower high above the city streets. Omega nearly falls to her death when Shand places a charge against the hatch to blow it open.
Elsewhere, Tech alerts Hunter to Omega’s perilous circumstances. After observing a civilian leaving their speeder bike unattended, he steals it and takes off for the tower’s coordinates. He arrives just as Shand is grabbing Omega before she loses her grip and falls. Upon seeing Hunter, however, she flings the child onto a passing hovertruck before jumping down next to her.
Shand then proceeds to begin shooting at Hunter as he weaves in and out of traffic. In a move that firmly establishes Omega as a far less annoying than most Star Wars child characters, the young girl pulls a lever that lifts the hovertruck’s bed and begins dumping its cargo along with Shand.
The bounty hunter tumbles onto another vehicle, but quickly rights herself before tossing the driver out and taking it over. Meanwhile, Hunter closes in on Omega, who is hanging on for dear life from the hovertruck. Just as he’s about to catch up to her, Shand surges forward and knocks him out of the sky lane.
As you might imagine, all these high speed shenanigans catch the attention of two nearby police officers. After spotting them, Shand demonstrates why she has such a ruthless reputation by killing them both without hesitation.
With that bit of homicide out of the way, she starts to close in again on Omega. Thankfully, Hunter roars up behind her and shoots out one of her vehicle’s engine’s before diving to catch Omega just as she loses her grip and falls. He then uses some nifty driving moves to drift back behind Shand and chucks a detonator onto her car. The bounty hunter barely manages to escape the exploding vehicle and rolls into a landing on the street below.
Despite almost dying and suffering a leg injury, her focus remains solely on her target managing to slip away.
After Hunter, Omega, and Wrecker make it back to the depot station, Tech fires up the newly modified Havoc Marauder. The depot manager freaks out and tries to stop them from leaving, but is unable to do so. Once they’ve left the planet, the Bad Batch decide that it’s imperative they find out who the bounty hunter chasing Omega was and who hired her.
Later that evening, the depot manager panics when Shand visits him. While he’s in the middle of explaining/apologizing for letting the Bad Batch leave, she throws him some credits and requests that he keep her informed in case they ever show up again.
Shand then radios in to her benefactor and assures them that despite the target getting away, she will find Omega again.
The bad news is that this felt like what might end up being an “average” episode for Star Wars: The Bad Batch.
The good news is that it was still a lot of fun.
We’ve known for a while that a younger version of Fennec Shand would be showing up in the series, but it was still a thrill to finally see her in action — especially with Ming-Na Wen providing the voice work. Much like her live action portrayal in The Mandalorian, Wen gives the character a perfect blend of cunning, ambiguous empathy, and icy ruthlessness.
The fight between her and Hunter in the market was great, but the high speed chase was even better. It truly is amazing how phenomenal the animation on this series can be.
I can’t tell you how much I appreciate Omega’s resourcefulness. Yes, she’s still a kid who does dumb things, but that’s both expected and believable. The fact that she also has the presence of mind to do what she did to shake Fennec Shand off the hovertruck is what makes me like her far more than I thought I would at this point.
The comedic moments with Echo were also a lot of fun. Subplots involving droids in Star Wars’ animated shows are usually terrible, but this one had some genuinely cool/funny moments — especially poor Echo having to advocate for his own credit value.
On the negative side of things, the story was once again filled with predictable beats that led to a somewhat bland ending. Considering Shand’s highly anticipated appearance, it would have been cool if something even slightly unexpected happened — like the bounty hunter successfully capturing Omega for a cliffhanger into the next episode.
Also, we didn’t even explore Wrecker’s implied issues with the inhibitor chip from last week. I understand that it may be a plot the writers want to play out over the entire season, but it felt weird to not mention it all.
Plus, I can’t be the only one who was bugged a little by the Bad Batch screwing people over. I get that they’re doing everything they can to survive — sometimes there’s no choice but to steal a random dude’s bike. Ripping off the droid vendor was pretty mean, though.
All that being said, ‘Cornered’ was still a solid episode. In addition to a great character appearance, it gave us even more reasons to like Omega.
Combine that with some truly incredible action sequences, and I’ll gladly take this being an “average” Bad Batch story any time.
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