Last week’s episode of Star Wars: The Bad Batch concluded with a familiar adversary hunting down old friends after they evade Imperial capture.
This week, the Bad Batch squares up to crime lords in defense of their ally’s recently taken territory.
As always, this will contain major spoilers for the episode, so proceed with caution.
A New Face
The episode opens with a scene that is becoming familiar to watchers of the show; the Bad Batch coming back from a mission for Cid, their ally on Ord Mantell, commenting on the difficulties of the mission and how much information was left out of the brief.
Upon entering Cid’s parlor, they are met with a much different scene than they expected. The parlor is filled with people, and what appear to be guards. The group moves to find Cid, and much like their experience outside her office, they are not met with Cid, but a male Devaronian in her place. The man tells them that Ord Mantell and Cid’s parlor are now his, but if they want, they can work for him.
After telling him they will think about it, the Bad Batch moves to their ship as they plan to get off of Ord Mantell. Omega questions how they can leave when Cid could be in danger or worse off than that. They finally see her waiting for them at their own ship.
Cid tells them that the man they saw was a former client, Roland Durand. The son of a crime boss, Durand is attempting to make a name for himself by working with one of the biggest crime families in the galaxy, the Pykes.
*Side Note, the Pyke Syndicate is a powerful crime family that controls the running and mining of spice across the galaxy. They first appeared in season five of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and later appeared in season seven as well.
Cid explains that Durand took her parlor because it is in the middle of a busy space port connected to multiple hyperspace lanes, making it good for the smuggling of spice.
She then moves to say that she and the Bad Batch are going to take her parlor back, or the location of the Empires much sought after Clone Force 99 would not be a secret much longer. Its safe to say that the Bad Batch agrees.
Cid explains that a buyer is coming for a shipment of spice that Durand is storing in her old office. She wants to steal the spice and stop him from selling it, thus making the Pykes retaliate when they don’t get their money.
She then explains that they will get to and from her office using the old mining tunnels under the city. But because nothing in life is ever easy, much less in Star Wars life, the tunnels happen to be infested with murderous bugs that they have to be silent in order to not wake up.
Yay. A stealth mission. (The one type of mission the Bad Batch is comically terrible at.)
On the way through the tunnels, Wrecker drops his flashlight, causing tensions to rise, but other than that the group does surprisingly well at keeping quiet when they need to.
They get to Cid’s office and the distraction plan for Durand is put into action. The two regulars at the parlor lure his pet, Ruby, away from Durand, causing him to get his guards to look for her outside the parlor. This allows the Bad Batch to sneak in from underneath Cid’s office and steal the six crates of spice that were being stored there.
Chasing and Running
Despite the actual stealing part going very well for the group, the distraction didn’t work long enough for the escape to go well. Because no plan in the history of Star Wars has ever gone right. Ever.
Durand and his men find the Bad Batch in the tunnels, getting away with the spice and decide that using the very loud motors on the old mining cars is a good idea. On top of this they begin shooting at the escaping group. In theory, a good idea, in actuality, they have just woken the murderous bugs that infest the tunnels. Great.
The group does find valuable information form this encounter though, the bugs are sensitive to light. They use this discovery to get away from their adversaries, but not before the bugs take away all six crates of spice.
Plans and Executions
Back at the parlor, Durand’s interrogation of the the two regulars who worked with Cid is interrupted by the arrival of the Pykes. They demand the spice and Durand tells them it has been stolen.
With knowledge of this interaction, Cid assumes that he has been killed by the Pykes and goes back to the parlor with the Bad Batch to retake what she assumes is basically an empty room. When they arrive, Durand’s guards have been killed, but Durand is still in her parlor.
In handcuffs. Put there by the Pykes.
The Pykes demand the spice back from Cid in exchange for forgetting that she ever stole it from them in the first place. When she tells them that they don’t have it, the Pykes decide to kill everyone.
Quickly, Hunter tells them that they know where the spice is, they just don’t have it on them. The Pykes say that they will allow them to retrieve the spice, but Omega must stay with them as collateral until they return it. After debating what to do, the Bad Batch leaves to retrieve the spice with Cid, who is determined to make sure Omega is out of harm’s way.
The plan is simple, Cid and Wrecker retrieve the spice from inside the insects nest, preferably before the nocturnal creatures wake up, and they get Omega back. Easy. Simple. What could go wrong?
Well apparently Tech asked himself that question too because while Cid and Wrecker are propelling into a gigantic hive filled with insects, he is working on a device that he thinks will help in case the bugs wake up and decide they like spice a bit more that they thought they did.
This is convenient for when an old rail car falls into the nest, causing the bugs to wake up. Tech throws the light bomb (a very technical name, I know. Thank you), and the group makes their way back to the Pykes, and Omega.
Speaking of Omega, she has been conversing with her fellow prisoner, apparently becoming sympathetic to him, as when the Pykes receive their spice and release her, she is hesitant to let them simply kill him. She tries to reason with the Pykes, but in the end it is Cid who saves him. She reasons that a war with Durand’s mother, also a well known crime lord, is too much attention. Apparently the Pykes agree, because they simply cut off Durand’s horn and leave.
Cid gets her parlor back, and Durand leaves Ord Mantell, for good.
The episode in and of itself was very good. The intricacy of the animation never fails to surprise and impress me, and the characters, both good and bad, are always a pleasure to watch. It’s Star Wars, who doesn’t love Star Wars?
That being said, the episode failed to amaze me in its plot importance. I just don’t see how Cid loosing and getting her parlor back has anything to do with the actual important questions of the show. Where is Crosshair? Are Hunter and the rest of the Batch going to try to help him? What happened to Captain Howzer? What is happening with Nala Suu on Kamino? With only four episodes left in the series, and no word on if we are getting a season two, the need to see a random problem arise and resolve itself in the same episode seems minuscule.
The plot importance of Cid’s help was relevant earlier in the season, but with Crosshair after them, Howzer either in jail or executed, and multiple contacts with what one can only assume is the beginnings of the rebellion, the episode felt like what is was, filler.
It lacked in any real character development: the Bad Batch and Cid pretty much staying the same throughout, and I felt robbed.
Given the many opportunities to have a solo interaction with the Bad Batch and Crosshair, as well as a lean towards helping fight the Empire after saving a key resistance fighter from them, watching the episode was like being told you are getting cake at a party, then realizing it’s your least favorite flavor.
Overall the episode was fine, but that’s all it was. Good animation filling for an otherwise underdeveloped, random plot that felt unneeded.
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