Star Wars: ‘The Bad Batch’ Episode 8 and 9 Review

Screenshot of Omega and Cad Bane from episode nine of ‘The Bad Batch’ on Disney+. Copyright goes to the Walt Disney Company.

Hey! Hallie here!

I’m back to review another two episodes! I’m going to start out this review by saying that I’m not going to hold back on this series any longer. I’ve tried to hold off judgement purely because streaming services have made my expectations for show quality higher. I tried to say that I might be less harsh if this was airing on TV like ‘Star Wars Rebels’ had, where slower parts of the plot happen because of the length of the series and occasional filler episodes. But none of these things are good excuses for the mediocre things I’ve seen from this show so far. I don’t hate this series. But already at episode nine I can say I expected more from it. I can’t say much more without spoiling these two episodes, so SPOILERS AHEAD.

The Good:

Omega: I realized after I finished this week’s episode that, had Omega been the only main character, this series would make a lot more sense. Omega is the only main character with any sort of full arc. She is constantly growing and maturing. She is by far the most capable character as well as the show’s emotional center. Meanwhile, the members of the Bad Batch have remained hollow. Omega wasn’t the main focus of episode eight, though I’d argue none of the members were, but she remained a focus. She spent the first part of it attempting to learn how to diffuse a bomb with Wrecker, she had a moment where she asked Tech about the war, and then she was taken by Cad Bane at the end of the episode. Episode nine was where she really shone as a main focus. The entire episode followed her escaping Cad Bane with her own abilities and intelligence. She outsmarted his droid, Todo, and managed to power him off so she could reach her comm. She then attempted to give the Batch information on her location, though this only resulted in the group coming to pick her up at the very end of the episode. Afterwards, she successfully managed to escape both Fennec Shand and Cad Bane in order to leave in an escape pod. And then it was revealed that she is the same type of pure clone of Jengo Fett that Boba Fett is. Episode nine isn’t the first time she’s been the show’s main focus. From proving herself worthy to join the Bad Batch, to saving the members from slavers, to being the target of Wrecker’s rampage, she always gets more than the other characters. So why is this series ‘The Bad Batch’? She’s clearly more important to the plot than them.

Fennec Shand: Fennec Shand showed up in episode nine to further attempt to convince Omega that she is trying to help her. Omega understandably refused to believe her. She also slipped out of Shand’s fingers while she was busy fighting Cad Bane. That said, Fennec Shand is still part of the reason why Omega was able to escape. Fennec Shand is working for Nala Se, who’s main interest is to keep Omega safe. The fact that Lama Su is hiring Bounty Hunters to collect Omega dead or alive doesn’t sit well with her. Which means Shand is essentially getting paid to ensure Omega’s protection and possibly nab her should Nala Se find that the Bad Batch are no longer the safest place for her. And Fennec Shand does an excellent job of kicking ass to make sure Omega stays safe. She makes Cad Bane look like an idiot with the amount of times he tries, and fails, to face her in one-on-one combat. Fennec Shand is just an awesome character and I can’t wait to see more of her when Boba Fett gets his own show. (She also kills the random Kaminoan who showed Obi Wan around during ‘Attack of the Clones’, which is hilarious.)

The Bad (Batch):

The Omega Reveal: The big mystery around Omega was revealed in this episode. I mentioned it a little bit earlier, but I’ll dive deeper into it here. Omega is a pure clone of Jengo Fett, just like Boba Fett is. This makes her DNA nearly identical to Boba Fett’s and the closest anyone is going to get to Jengo Fett’s. The reason why the Kaminoans are after her is because they need her DNA to make more clones. While this is a nice explanation, I don’t see how it changes anything at all. We knew she was a clone. We knew she was important enough that the Kaminoans needed to keep watch of her at all times. If you had told me this information in episode one, I wouldn’t have gasped or screamed in shock. I would have nodded my head and moved on. This doesn’t change anything about the way I perceive Omega. It doesn’t even explain why she’s the only girl amongst the clones. And if they’re using her DNA, why wouldn’t there be more women amongst the clone troopers? I hope they have something else up their sleeve with this one, because this reveal was underwhelming and sloppy.

Hunter: In episode eight Hunter made the unwise decision to attempt a stand off with Cad Bane. It didn’t end well. He was shot long before he was able to raise his blaster and he ended up knocked out on the pavement. Omega even thought he was dead. Except, he was actually only very mildly hurt. Somehow. This made me kind of angry. Cad Bane’s re-entrance to the Star Wars universe was clearly meant to make him intimidating. Within only a few minutes he had killed Hunter. But Hunter was only slightly out of breath by the end of the episode. Cut to episode nine and Hunter’s completely ok. The only sign anything happened were some bandages wrapped around his torso. I’m not saying I wanted Hunter to die. I am saying that this show has avoided so many weighty, character-changing moments with such ease that the stakes of this show have almost disappeared. And Hunter really needed that character development, too.

Cad Bane: Cad Bane was intimidating in the first five seconds he was on screen. Then the show tells us his aim is bad because Hunter’s doing pretty alright after being shot in the chest, all things considered. After that Omega outsmarts him multiple times. Then Fennec Shand kicks his ass so hard he ends up face down on the floor for half the episode. What’s the point of bringing in Cad Bane if you’re not going to use the sense of danger his presence brings?

Crosshair: Was his reappearance in episode eight supposed to be emotional? Because it wasn’t. The show hasn’t made me care. I knew nothing about Crosshair before he was fully taken over by his chip. I knew he was a bit of an asshole based on what I saw from his appearances in ‘The Clone Wars’. But that’s it. The fact that he got his face partially burned in episode eight was mildly interesting. Bringing in some Anakin imagery to show how far he’s fallen is nice, if a bit strange. Especially because Crosshair isn’t actually in control of his actions while Anakin very much was. Either way, it doesn’t make me suddenly care about this character.

I could go more into my frustrations with the lack of character development Hunter, Wrecker, Tech, and Echo are getting, but I’ve gone into that so many times at this point that I’d only be repeating myself. This show just doesn’t feel like it’s going anywhere. Omega is moving forward. But everything else is staying still. The Batch feel no closer to choosing a direction than they were when they first left Kamino. The Stormtrooper program hasn’t been brought back up since it was first introduced. Crosshair and various bounty hunters are still failing so miserably at catching the Bad Batch that they no longer feel like a threat. Anytime something mildly interesting happens, like the appearance of Cad Bane, it takes the show only a few minutes to completely undo it all. I want to feel like there’s a purpose to this show. But I’m not seeing it right now.

Don’t do anything fun until I get back!

Hallie

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