Welcome to my first episode review for The Bad Batch. My reviews will follow my usual format: an overview of the plot (so be aware, there will be spoilers!), my review of the show, then a few “Moments in canon” – references that link to other media and the galaxy as a whole. Today, we’ll be looking at episode 5: “Rampage”.
The Bad Batch have put their plans to hide on Idaflor on hold as they want to get information on the bounty hunter they encountered on Pantora. To do this, they are travelling to Ord Mantell to meet a contact called Cid, who Echo is aware the Jedi used to use for information. On the way there, the Bad Batch give Omega a communicator, so that she can always stay in contact with them.
Arriving on Ord Mantell, the Bad Batch make contact with Cid in an arcade, but in order to provide the Bad Batch with information on their bounty hunter, Cid tells them that they will have to d a job for her: recover a child named Muchi, who has been abducted by a group of Zygerrian slavers holed up on the far side of the planet in the ruins of Old Ord Mantell city. As well as any information Cid can provide on their bounty hunter, they will also receive 30% of the bounty for rescuing Muchi.
“What’s your deal, tiny?”
“You’re sharper than your friends over there.”
The Bad Batch make their way to the far side of the planet and find the Zygerrian’s encampment, with at least two dozen Zygerrians and 3 hostages: a human and 2 Falleen—an adult and a child. Due to the potential danger, Hunter orders Omega to return to the ship. The squad make their way into the ruins, but as Echo takes a higher position to co-ordinate the team from, he is attacked by a Brezak, which alerts the Zygerrians. The Bad Batch try to fight back but are swiftly captured.
When 2 of the Zygerrians come to check if anyone else is on the ship, Omega successfully evades them and follows them back to the ruins, where she sees that the rest of the Bad Batch have been captured. Omega starts sneaking her way closer to the group, attempting to get to where their weapons and gear are being held. On the way, she comes across a cage with a creature inside. She is captured by the Zygerrians, but not before she successfully unlocks the cage, releasing an adolescent rancor. While the rancor runs havoc and the Zygerrians attempt to recapture it, Wrecker uses the distraction to break the chains holding everyone captive, at which point the young Falleen reveals that she isn’t Muchi—the rancor is!
“A rampaging adolescent rancor is not the distraction I was anticipating.”
While Echo and Omega get the remaining captives to safety (letting them take some of the Zygerrians’ swoop bikes on the edge of the ruins), Hunter fights the leader of the slavers, while Wrecker is forced to fight Muchi to establish dominance. Hunter successfully overpowers the leader, while Wrecker manages to just outlast Muchi in their fight.
The Bad Batch get Muchi back to Cid, who has been joined by Bib Fortuna, who has come to collect the Rancor to take back to Jabba. Cid tells Hunter that the bounty hunter they encountered is called Fennec Shand and is relatively new on the scene but has already proven herself cunning and ruthless. It’s unknown who she is working for, but it is a direct commission. Cid gives Hunter their cut of the bounty and offers the opportunity of more work, which Hunter says that he will consider. Cid notes that it is odd to see a bounty hunter of Fennec’s calibre after the group, but promises that she is good with secrets.
This was a really enjoyable episode, and while it may feel like another mission of the week episode, I think that this episode is setting up the rest of the series. The Bad Batch will need credits in order to look after the ship and bring in supplies, so I expect to see Cid become a regular contact and sending them on jobs.
While I have expressed my worry in past episode on the reliance of familiar characters in the early episodes, this was an improvement, as though we were seeing Zygerrian slavers again, we were not seeing any specific characters that we already knew. It makes sense that there would be bands of Zygerrian slavers dotted around the Outer Rim after the Republic ended their empire in The Clone Wars. What was really nice was visiting a new planet we have only ever heard of until now, seeing a couple of Falleen—who we have only seen until now as part of Black Sun—and a female Trandoshan working as an information broker. I bet if you spend a day pausing and analysing the background whenever in her office there will be all sorts of easter eggs—I noticed both a clone helmet and a Mandalorian helmet during the episode—and these subtle re-use of assets is much better in my mind than re-using characters, as it connects the series to other stories without making the world seem tiny.
It was great to see more development from Omega, and how the Bad Batch are getting used to her. What really stood out for me was the obvious decision to make sure she now always has a way to communicate with them, while she has now been given rules to not wander off and to only trust the squad—it’s great to see that everyone has learned from their recent adventures. At the same time, it was nice to see some of Omega’s childishness still there, with her wanting to use the communicator to speak to the squad even when they are just feet apart, and a moment when Echo stopped her from touching everything in Cid’s office. Similarly, it was nice to see her still learning about the galaxy by asking about slavery, and I loved that she has amended her toy clone trooper to look like one of the Bad Batch rather than a reg, as she is idolising her heroes and wants to be one of them.
What the show continues to do well is give each of the Bad Batch a moment in each episode. There is always a reason for Wrecker’s physicality to come in handy, while Echo was able to provide the group with a contact due to his previous close association with the Jedi. Tech’s impact may have been a little more limited this week, but as a result he was allowed to have a lot of the exposition moments. What I really appreciated was seeing Hunter get to fight the lead slaver, as he sometimes gets stuck as just a father figure for Omega rather than an elite clone, so seeing him go 1v1 with the leader and defeat them with relative ease was a timely reminder of his quality after losing a fight to Fennec last week. It’s also interesting to see Wrecker’s headaches return this week. It looks like my theory about his chip could be back on the table, but I just wish that there had been more consistency in this storyline over the last 3 episodes, especially considering he took another hit to the head last week!
A few final thoughts on the episode:
- I loved the new weapons that the Zygerrians were using, which appeared to be some form of energy bow that can be worn on the arm. Expect more of this weapon as Omega picked one up to take with her
- I saw talk during the week about how Echo’s helmet didn’t make sense as there was no way it could fit over the cybernetics, so it was great timing to see it clearly shown this week
- Hopefully we get an update on how things are going for Crosshair soon
Moments in Canon
- Don’t think that Muchi is the rancor from Return of the Jedi. That is a male rancor called Pateesa. Apparently Jabba likes having pet rancors
- Fennec Shand is confirmed to be new to the criminal underworld at this point
What did you think of the episode?
Thanks for reading. Good soldiers follow orders….