Hey! Hallie here!
I’ve missed reviewing a few episodes from this series because of the weeks I was gone, so now I have quite a bit to talk about. And, to be honest, I think the things I have to say about the three most recent episodes pretty well reflect my feelings about this series overall. So SPOILERS if you haven’t caught up with this series. I’m about to dive into what we’ve seen recently and my biggest issues with the writing in this show.
Episodes 11 and 12:
These episodes were a two parter focusing on the Twi’leks of Ryloth after the Empire decided to focus their attention on the planet. Our main character focus here isn’t any of the members of the Bad Batch, but a young Hera Syndulla. Seeing Hera as a young girl is actually a lot of fun. Her instant inclination to resist what she believes is wrong, even occasionally against her parents wishes, is so reminiscent of the character ‘Rebels’ fans know and love that it’s impossible not to get sucked in by it. It’s also fun to see her early obsession with becoming a pilot and her subsequent attempts at piloting ships without much training. Additionally, I really enjoyed her relationship with Omega. The two meshed really well together and proved, once again, that they are just as competent as the adults around them. But that’s one thing I dislike about the episode, and the series in general, as well. All of the characters keep calling into question Omega and her judgement just because she’s a child. In these episodes this poor treatment is extended to Hera, who the Bad Batch accuse of lying about her parent’s predicament for no other reason than that she’s a kid. What? I’m really tired of these characters having to be retaught the same lessons about how to treat children. The Batch ranges from coddling Omega to blatantly disrespecting her after she constantly proves how capable she is, and apparently they do this to literally every child they come in contact with. It’s frustrating.
Another thing I really enjoyed about these episodes was Clone Captain Howzer. Howzer was such an interesting and complicated character. Despite the fact that he’s working for the Empire, it’s pretty evident early on that he isn’t 100% behind their methods and he genuinely cares for the Syndullas. When Hera manages to escape from the Empire and Crosshair is sent after her, he takes it upon himself to get to her first in the hopes of keeping her safe. And the final part of episode 12 is completely stolen by Howzer as well. Howzer reveals to the Bad Batch that Crosshair is aware of the escape route the Batch have planned to use while rescuing the Syndullas. So he directs them to a more safe route and faces the ambush Crosshair arranged by himself. He then implores all the troopers pointing blasters at him to realize that what they’re doing to the planet Ryloth is wrong. And the troopers agree with him and throw down their weapons. I have no idea what this indicates about the inhibitor chip. Does this mean that the chip can be fought against if it’s forcing you to go too far against your own morals? Does it mean the chip can wear off? That Crosshair could potentially eliminate the effect it has on him by himself? Or is it just bad writing? I can’t say. All I can say is that I really liked Howzer here. More than I’ve liked any of the other clones in this show. Howzer in only two episodes feels deeper and more developed than any of our main characters (Aside from Omega, of course). I desperately want more characterization for Hunter, Wrecker, Tech, and Echo, but we’re nearing the end of this series and we’ve seen nothing. So shout out to Tech I guess for standing out a little bit in episode 12 with some badass flying moments, but I’m still disappointed in this show.
Aaaaand we’re back to the Cid one-offs. I thought that Omega paying off the Batch’s debt meant they wouldn’t have to hang around Cid much anymore. But this series seems content to stay in the same place for the rest of the episodes. Unfortunately. There isn’t much I liked about this episode to be honest. It was refreshing to see Cid join in during the action sequences, but I also can’t say I like her character enough for this to have amounted to a positive thing for me. The only development we’ve gotten for this character so far is her developing a more positive opinion of Omega. While it’s nice to have someone yell at the Batch for belittling Omega on occasion, that doesn’t make me suddenly love this character. This episode also failed to do anything interesting with any of the characters. In the episode the Bad Batch are tasked with pulling off a spice heist by going through a mine filled with bugs. They complete the task without any character moments to be seen. The closest we get to one is Wrecker screaming in terror while he’s being dangled into a large cave. Omega doesn’t even get much in this episode. She’s prevented from going through with the last part of the heist by the main villains. Which means she has to stay behind again. While she’s stuck as a captive with Roland Durand, the guy who caused the entire mess in the first place by trying to take over Cid’s bar, she demonstrates genuine care and concern for him. But that isn’t anything new for Omega. There wasn’t anything new here at all. Just the same blandness we’ve seen from countless episodes of this show.
This show has managed to do so much and so little at the same time. It introduced its first woman clone and gave her a mysterious identity. It brought in Order 66 and even the trauma experienced by Kanan during these events. It saw the Bad Batch being shunned by their peers, betrayed by one of their own, and forced off of their base. It introduced the beginnings of Storm Troopers. It brought in Captain Rex as an incentive to get the inhibitor chips out of the heads of our main characters. It took two episodes to explore Hera’s past. But then it didn’t ever develop its title characters and made them learn the same lessons over and over again, as if their minds were wiped between episodes. Giving the audience new, crazy scenarios for these characters to interact with isn’t enough. The characters themselves have to be interesting. And this show doesn’t spend any time trying to make these characters deep or lovable. I can’t see this changing in any substantial way in the next three episodes. We’re nearing the end of this series and its characters are already its downfall.
Don’t do anything fun until I get back!