Hey! Hallie here!
I usually wait to review episodes of ‘The Bad Batch’ until I have two to talk about. Unfortunately, ‘The Bad Batch’ has done so little with what it set up that sometimes it feels as though there isn’t enough to write about after viewing just one episode. This week’s episode didn’t really make me regret that decision. I’ll get into that in a second. But for the next week, possibly two, we’ll be on vacation! We’ll still be posting regularly for the first week. We pre-wrote posts for every day of next week for you to enjoy! The week after might be silent for a while, though. I don’t want to get too behind on this series, so let’s get into this week’s episode! SPOILERS ahead!
The Other Side of the Separatists: In most ‘Star Wars’ content the Separatists are mustache twirling villains. On occasion we’ve seen things like ‘Clone Wars’ make attempts at explaining some of the motivations for the groups that joined the Separatists, but nothing that could help us truly empathize with any of them. This episode tasked the entire Bad Batch, as well as the viewers, with withholding judgement from a Separatist party. And it was understandably difficult for them. Especially for Echo, who was nearly stripped of his humanity by Separatists. To be honest, I especially liked Echo’s reaction to the entire situation. His hesitancy and even outright anger towards them gave us a deeper look into his character. In any case, GS-8 was a fun droid presence and you can’t argue that she and her master care deeply about the people they were forced to abandon towards the end of the episode. In the very least, you could leave the episode with the knowledge that the Separatists are a very diverse group of people and not all of their ideologies lead them to side with the Empire.
Cid: Cid hasn’t done much in this series beyond introducing the plot of each episode while looking extremely annoyed in the process. As the audience, we know she really likes money and that’s about it. But this episode forces her to take a more prominent role when Hunter sticks her with Omega. Omega is basically our main character at this point, so there was no way we wouldn’t have spent at least half the episode with these two. And sure enough, this episode includes an entire storyline where Omega and Cid attempt to figure out exactly how to interact with each other. At first Cid is practically disgusted by the idea of being a babysitter. She makes Omega do chores, berates her for trying to interact with her in any meaningful way, and outright tells Omega that she’s useless. Omega is already frustrated that Hunter left her behind for no particular reason and she’s even more frustrated by Cid’s bad attitude. But Omega is kind by nature, so she attempts to connect with Cid despite it. Until Cid takes it a step too far and causes Omega to face the reality that Hunter doesn’t actually see her as helpful. When Omega becomes distraught, Cid sees that she crossed a line but doesn’t know what to do about it. It isn’t until Omega shows promise in Dejarik that Cid comes to fully appreciate Omega. When the Batch return, she even goes so far as to berate Hunter for mistreating Omega because of how much Omega proved herself to Cid. (Also because of how much money Omega made her.) In any case, we saw some actual emotions and development from Cid this episode and I appreciated it.
The Bad (Batch):
Hunter: How many times do we have to do this? In nearly every single episode we see Hunter showing his overprotective nature by telling Omega to stay behind. We also see a genuine disbelief from him that Omega is capable of helping out at all. Then Omega proves herself more competent than most, if not all, of the Batch. And then Hunter apologizes and promises he’ll never do it again. This has happened so many times in this series that I’m really starting to dislike Hunter as a character. Hunter’s overprotectiveness has become outright insulting to Omega and her personal growth. And his refusal to learn from his past treatment of Omega turns all of his promises to empty lies. He also decides to order her, like he would a soldier, to stay behind. Despite the fact that he constantly berates Wrecker for treating her like a peer rather than a child. And then he yells at her at the end of the episode for actually doing something while she stayed behind instead of sitting in a corner. I understand he’s worried about her, and this episode did show him missing her during the mission. But I can’t feel sympathy for him when he has to spend every episode relearning the same lesson about Omega.
Ideologies: This episode description said it would challenge the Batch’s ideologies. But none of them ever expressed their opinions of the Separatists. The only reason why we know Echo’s is because of ‘Clone Wars’. None of the other members of the group showed any sort of strong reaction to their mission. And similarly, the Separatist leader in this episode didn’t get to discuss his own beliefs. We never figured out why he sided with the Separatists or even if his reasoning was understandable. We only know that he’s a better guy than most of the ones we’ve seen from the Separatist side. They did some nice surface work, but they could have gone so much deeper. And for the sake of character development, they probably should have gone deeper.
This episode didn’t progress much of the plot. There were some interesting ideas thrown around here and there, but nothing that was done extremely successfully. This and the continued lack of character development for most of the main characters made me extremely unsatisfied with this episode. As of now, Omega and Echo are the only saving graces of this series for me. I was really hoping for more.
Don’t do anything fun until I get back!