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 10: “Common Ground”.
On the planet Raxus—former capital of the Confederacy of Independant Systems—an Imperial officer, Captain Bragg, is announcing to the populace that a curfew will come into effect. She brings forward the planet’s former senator, Avi Singh, to publicly voice support for the Empire and their occupation, but he instead speaks out against them and is arrested. As he is arrested, his droid GS-8 escapes and (per Singh’s earlier instructions) sends out a transmission asking for help.
The Bad Batch arrive back on Ord Mantell and Omega is excited for their next mission, however Hunter intends for the team to lie low for a while due to the knowledge that at least 2 bounty hunters are after them. However, Cid immediately gives them a new job: go to Raxus and break out Singh. Hunter is against helping a Separatist, but Cid reminds him of the need for the Bad Batch to pay off their debt. Hunter agrees to take on the mission, but makes Omega stay with Cid, on the promise that she does not leave Cid’s bar or draw attention to herself.
“I can’t believe we’re helping a Separatist senator.”
“So you have said. Repeatedly.”
The Bad Batch make it to Raxus and land at the given coordinates outside the capital Raxulon, where they meet their client, GS-8. Though Echo remains reluctant to help Separatists, the Bad Batch are led to Singh’s residence, where he is being held prisoner, and successfully manage to infiltrate it, finding and releasing Singh as Bragg is about to use a torture droid on him. However, they have triggered an alert that compromises their position.
Back at Cid’s tavern, Omega watches on as Cid plays a game of Dejarik against her regular patrons. Cid is losing so Omega tries advising her of her move, Cid ignores her and loses another piece. With it looking like Cid will lose the game, she invites Omega to try, and Omega manages to quickly win the game. Impressed with Omega’s tactical prowess, Cid arranges for her to play some more games for money.
With a heavy Imperial presence converging on them, The Bad Batch manage to commandeer an AT-TE, in which they, Singh and GS-8 attempt to escape. Bragg realises what they have done and orders the rest of the regs after the walker. A chasing walker gets off a shot, which disables the Bad Batch’s walker, so Hunter and Wrecker hold off the oncoming regs while Echo and Tech get the walker going again. Once they are mobile again, Singh leads them down an alley to what appears to be a dead end, but directs them to a section of wall which has a hidden passage running behind it. The Bad Batch blow through the wall, and use the damaged AT-TE and a second detonator once they are in the passage as a way to block the regs from following.
“Live to fight another day.”
The Bad Batch makes it to the Havoc Marauder with GS-8 and Singh, but Singh begins to question if he can leave his people. Echo however comes to him and convinces him the best thing he can do for his people is to leave with them, as he will have the chance to come back in the future when he can help his people.
The group arrive back on Ord Mantell and make their way to Cids, where they find a large crowd has gathered to watch Omega play Dejarik against any comers. As they watch, Omega wins another game. Hunter is initially disapproving as he told her not to draw attention to herself, however Cid reveals that Omega has one of the best tactical minds she has ever seen, and that with her success, Omega has paid off the remainder of the Bad Batch’s debts to her. Omega tells Hunter that she just wanted to be useful, even if she wasn’t on the mission. Hunter makes a deal with Omega: they will play a game of Dejarik and if she wins, she will not sit out a mission again. The pair sit down and prepare to play their game.
While I don’t think this episode quite lived up to the epic run we have just gone through, I still think this was a fun and interesting episode. While it didn’t overtly pull the Bad Batch’s story forward that much, it did see them taking on the Empire directly and also paying off their debt with Cid, so if they want to join the fight or go back on the run, this is an opportunity for them. In a wider galactic sense though, this episode has some importance, as we see a growing rebellion against the Empire. We have already seen Saw Gerrera looking to fight the Empire and Rex, Trace and Rafa all working against them too, and now we see a planet that had been aligned with the Separatists refusing to accept Imperial rule—a great contrast to the cheers and parades on Pantora earlier in the season.
I thought that this episode had some really nice character moments. Hunter is still not really sure how to deal with Omega, ordering her to stay at Cid’s rather than explaining to her that he wants to keep her hidden for a while to keep her safe, while then also forgetting that she was not with them as they infiltrate the base. He treats her like a soldier so often, but also tries to shield her as she is a precious child. Now that he knows about her tactical mind, it will be interesting to see what role she takes in the team. I also really appreciated Echo’s prolonged reticence to help the former Separatists. He suffered at the hands of the Seppies more than most clones during the war, so it makes sense that it would take him time to get over his trauma and change his view. And for that reason, it carried much more weight hearing Echo be the one to eventually convince Singh to go with them. What really interested me about all of the Bad Batch in this episode was the reliance on stunning shots and poppers rather than taking lethal action—the only regs killed in this episode were by friendly fire. Much like Ahsoka at the end of The Clone Wars, they know about the chips controlling their brothers, so want to do what they can to avoid hurting or killing these regs who can’t help what they are doing. This mercy makes me feel that they will look to save Crosshair if they get the opportunity, but don’t be surprised if they start taking a more lethal approach as the clones are replaced by conscripted troops.
So with 6 episodes left in the season, where do things go from here? I think it’s just a matter of time before the Bad Batch wave goodbye to Cid an look to help with the early resistance against the Empire, with the intention of trying to free their brothers from the impact of the chips.
A few final thoughts on the episode:
- Echo’s advice to Singh to “live to fight another day” really hit a mark as they were also Hardcase’s final words as he sacrificed himself during the Umbara campaign. It does however leave me with a question as to whether this was a common saying amongst the clones, as Echo was missing, presumed dead at that point of the war
- We’ve now had 2 new Imperial officers introduced during this show: Rampart and Bragg. Hopefully they get some more time (either in this series or in other stories) to grow their character. Bragg potentially could be an interesting character to involve in Andor, as it could be that she is assigned to former Separatist systems, and we know that Cassian used to be a Separatist
- Will Omega’s antics at Cid’s attract unwanted attention this week. Cid’s certainly looked far busier than it has ever looked before and talk of a tactical genius on Ord Mantell could quickly spread
Moments in Canon
- Raxus is the former capital of the Confederate of Independent Systems and also featured in The Clone Wars, as Padmé travelled there with Ahsoka to meet Mina Bonteri and try to bring about peace
- This one is merely speculation, but we know that the Imperial Senate still exists until just after the Battle of Scarif many years later, however Singh’s role as former senator of Raxus suggests to me that Separatist systems may not have been added back into the Imperial Senate as punishment for being on the wrong side of the war.
What did you think of the episode?
Thanks for reading. Good soldiers follow orders….