Disney: ‘The Bad Batch’ Episode 4 and 5 Review

Screenshot of Fennec Shand voiced by Ming-Na Wen from episode 4 of ‘The Bad Batch’. Copyright goes to The Walt Disney Company.

Hey! Hallie here!

Last week I skipped doing a review of ‘The Bad Batch’ in order to group two episodes together this week. I’m not sure if this will be my new posting style, but if we keep seeing so many disappointing episodes in this series it might be. Because honestly, these last two episodes gave us nothing. ‘The Bad Batch’ is falling into a formula that makes each episode feel the same. The characters learn the same lessons and no major plot points play a hand in the episode’s story. I hope it picks up soon, but as of now, here are my thoughts on the last two episodes.

The Good:

Fennec Shand: Ming-Na Wen is great in everything and this role is no exception. Fennec is a badass. She obviously isn’t completely bad, as we see in ‘The Mandalorian’, but she still doesn’t have the best morals. After all, money always comes first for a Bounty Hunter. And apparently she’s being paid a lot of it to go after Omega. She’s willing to raise hell to get her, too. It was fun to see how cunning Fennec is in situations like this. She completely took advantage of Omega’s desire to see the good in people in order to kidnap her without Omega even realizing what was happening. It would have worked if Hunter hadn’t found them. But she also was really attentive toward Omega, even when she didn’t have to be. She even stole some fruit for her. It was questionable behavior, but it was still thoughtful! My favorite scenes with Fennec involved fighting the Bad Batch themselves. Hunter barely shook her off in an insane speeder chase scene and she took down Wrecker like he was nothing. She’s definitely dangerous and I’m excited to see her future appearances in the show.

Echo: Echo’s been the major stand out for me amongst the members of the Bad Batch, and that really surprises me. For whatever reason, Echo keeps getting more personality driven lines and moments than any of the other members. In episode 4 he was sold as a droid for credits. His complete exasperation over the plan was really fun and I enjoyed his whole dynamic with the droids he kidnapped to help Tech fix the ship. His interactions with the C3 unit, who was very peeved that she was no longer in control of the other droids, were standouts of the entire episode. Echo also got some really snarky lines in when the Bad Batch got themselves kidnapped by slavers. I especially loved his attempts to yell at Wrecker for pissing off the slavers and getting himself electrocuted, only to end up getting electrocuted himself. Echo was always a stickler for the rules, and now that he’s with a group who breaks every rule it’s possible to break, Echo is endearingly grumpy. I appreciate his character moments and I want to see more.

Tech: I have to put Tech here not because the show is giving him anything, but because he’s its main source of sarcasm and I love it so much. From making fun of Wrecker while he was fighting the Rancor to subtle comments about the disrepair of the ship, Tech can always be counted on to say something hilarious.

The Bad (Batch):

Hunter and Omega: This relationship is already getting tired, and it’s because it isn’t going anywhere. I love the father/daughter dynamic between the both of them and Hunter’s protectiveness of Omega is often endearing. I especially liked Hunter’s reaction when Tech told him Omega was hanging off of a tower during the Fennec Shand chase. But Hunter never learns his lesson. Omega tends to get herself into trouble and then, resourcefully, finds a way out of it herself. But Hunter still ends up telling her to stay behind or acts shocked when she proves herself capable. It feels like every episode now we get a scene where Hunter crosses the line with his protectiveness and Omega has to prove that she can take care of herself. Again. What annoys me the most, though, is in a few of these episodes we’ve already seen Hunter acknowledge this behavior and apologize for it. But then the next episode hits and he has to learn it all again. I want this relationship to develop. Not repeat the same notes over and over.

The Bad Batch: Let’s be honest, Tech, Wrecker, and Hunter have zero development so far. Tech is a sassy nerd with no depth. Wrecker is a funny strongman with no depth. Hunter is a brooding leader with no depth. Echo has the most depth, and part of that is because he was in ‘Clone Wars’ before this and we do see his character shifting and developing compared to what he was like in ‘Clone Wars’. But even Echo isn’t being given enough. Tech is relegated to the “info dump” position in every episode. The series also doesn’t seem to know if it wants Tech to be the “guy in the van” who feeds everyone information, or an actual asset out in the field. Because sometimes even when Tech is out in the field, he just stands around staring at his devices instead of helping. Wrecker has some storylines about having a soft spot for kids, but all of it feeds back into the idea that he’s a bit of a big kid himself and it doesn’t actually develop his character. And Hunter is a blank slate. No personality. Not even a sense of humor. Nothing but brood. I think Hunter is suffering the most right now, especially because the show is trying to focus on him which just makes his lack of personality even more obvious. He had one in Clone Wars. I don’t know where it went.

Crosshair: The show loves to put in references to Crosshair so all the members of the Bad Batch can briefly become sad about his absence, but it also incorporates the Crosshair storyline so sparingly that it’s more frustrating than sad to hear his name. There’s so much intrigue to that plot. Especially now that Wrecker is complaining of headaches. If they would focus on that storyline more the series would feel more urgent and emotional. But right now everything feels detached.

Series like this always have filler episodes. But with so few episodes in this series compared to other ones, these feel completely unnecessary. I don’t know if they’re planning multiple seasons, but even if they are I can’t help but criticize ‘The Bad Batch’ for introducing a majorly influential overarching story for their series and constantly proving itself unable to keep those themes consistent. It isn’t even using “filler” episodes to develop characters, like ‘Clone Wars’ excelled at. But then again, this is just a major problem with these last two episodes. While I definitely felt the series slowing down before episode 4, the first three episodes were pretty entertaining and they felt like they were going somewhere. I hope we can get back on track in the next episode.

Don’t do anything fun until I get back!

Hallie

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