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 15: “Finale Part 1”.
Crosshair is taking the captured Hunter back to Kamino in an Imperial shuttle. Crosshair comes to see his captive and takes his comm unit, activating it. Hunter tells him that the rest of the team are smart enough to guess that it is a trap, but Crosshair is confident that they will come and try to rescue him nevertheless.
On Ord Mantell, Tech and Echo are fixing up the Havoc Marauder while Omega impatiently wants to find and rescue Hunter. With the repairs completed, Tech picks up the pings from Hunter’s comm unit, which show him arriving at Kamino.
Arriving on Kamino, Hunter and Crosshair are met by Rampart. Crosshair reiterates to Rampart that he is confident that the rest of the team will come to rescue Hunter, which will allow Crosshair and his unit to intercept them on arrival. As Crosshair escorts Hunter away, one of his unit speaks to Rampart, questioning Crosshair’s motives with his old unit. Rampart tells her to keep an eye on things.
The Bad Batch arrive at Kamino and make their way towards the planet surface, with Echo noting that only 3 Venators are present rather than the whole fleet. Rightly guessing that they are making their way towards a trap, they make their way to co-ordinates that Omega gave them for a secret landing platform just below the surface of the ocean, which activates as they come in to land. Omega then guides them to a tube system which brings them out in Nala Se’s secret lab, surprising the Bad Batch as they were not aware of the tube system around Tipoca City. Arriving in the lab, Omega explains that this is where she was born, and where she also watched the initial creation of Clone Force 99 and selecting of their favourable mutations before they were moved into the wider population. After Echo notes that the central files have all been wiped, the team find AZ-3, who informs them that the Kaminoans and clones have all been taken from the city, with Crosshair the only clone remaining. The group—including AZ-3—begin making their way through the corridors, following the ping from Hunter’s comm unit.
“They don’t leave their own behind… most of the time.”
“You tried to kill us. We didn’t have a choice.”
“Hmm. And I did?”
Hunter also notes the absence of regs and Kaminoans as Crosshair escorts him through the city. Realising that the city is being decommissioned, he tries warning Crosshair that the Empire will phase out the clones soon, but Crosshair says that they will keep those that matter. Arriving at the central cloning platform, Crosshair is informed that a ship has entered the system. Hunter continues trying to reason with Crosshair, with no luck. The Bad Batch eventually trigger an alarm, which informs Crosshair that they are getting close.
Tech notices that Hunter’s comm unit is on the move again and the team continue to follow it, eventually ending up in the prep room below the training ground. Tech tells the group that the pings are coming from the training ground, and the team guess that Crosshair is setting up an ambush there. Echo, Wrecker and Tech decide to take the lift into the training room, hoping to catch Crosshair off guard, but refuse to let Omega come, telling her to stay where she is, and that if she receives a signal from them, she must return to the ship and contact Rex.
The trio take the lift up into the training ground, but find themselves immediately surrounded by Crosshair and his unit. They send Omega the signal, but instead of running, she begins to activate the training droids on live fire mode. With all but mega captured, Crosshair refuses to kill them immediately, saying that he will give them what they never gave him: a chance. He tries convincing the group to join him. One of Crosshair’s unit (the one who earlier spoke to Rampart) is away from the rest of the group and finds Omega trying to activate the droids. Informing Crosshair, she is told to take Omega to a shuttle, but is knocked out by AZ-3. Unaware that Omega has escaped custody, Crosshair tells Hunter to let her go and join him, saying that the team can be together again fighting for the Empire. Crosshair orders his unit to stand down, but they refuse the order. Clearly unsurprised, Crosshair fires his blaster at one of his reflective disks—of which he appeared to have placed a number prior to the setting of the Imperial ambush—and the deflected blast split off the disks to take out all the Imperials present.
“We were brothers once. We can be again.”
Crosshair again tries to convince the Bad Batch to join him, but they refuse, and any further argument is cut short by the arrival of the training droids. However, with the rest of Crosshair’s unit now dead, the droids attack not just him, but also the Bad Batch. Realising the situation upon her arrival, mega starts firing at the droids, along with Wrecker, Echo and Tech, while Hunter and Crosshair begin fighting each other. Hunter gets the upper hand but, seeing his unit outnumbered, turns his attention to the droids. Crosshair notices this and also begins fighting the droids, and the Bad Batch begin working together as a unit to take them down.
The trooper who tried to catch Omega comes round and makes her way to the training room, where she sees all the clones fighting together against the droids. She contacts Rampart, informing him that Crosshair has lost control of the situation, and is ordered to the sole remaining shuttle, which takes off as soon as she is aboard and returns to the nearest Venator. Rampart contacts Tarkin and informs him that all essential personnel are out of Tipoca City and is given permission to fire at will.
Crosshair and the team destroy all of the droids. Crosshair turns to find Hunter aiming his blaster at him. Hunter tries convincing him to forget the Empire, telling him that it is his inhibitor chip that is leading him down this path. Crosshair responds that he had his chip removed long ago and tries to raise his sniper rifle to shoot Hunter, but is stunned before he can fire. Tech informs Hunter that the 3 Venators are converging on the city, and after quickly checking Crosshair, orders the team to bring him with them as they escape. The group begin running back to the ship, but before they can make it, the Venators begin a bombardment of the city, and they are forced back into the hallways of a city that is being destroyed all around them.
It’s been a bit of an up and down season for The Bad Batch, but with just one episode remaining, it looks like we are going to end on a high. This was a really strong episode and a great part 1 for the finale, with some great action, some strong character moments, some massive shocks and a gripping cliff-hanger to leave us on for a week.
Where else could I start this week but he dynamics between Hunter and Crosshair. Though it may have been a little repetitive in constantly hearing Hunter try to convince Crosshair to leave the Empire, it was a great build-up to the ending, with Hunter sure that there is still good in his former squadmate and that the chip is causing all his evil actions, which makes has also been my stance throughout with Crosshair—who I have seen more as a tragic character than a true villain. Even when he then tries to convince the team to join the Empire, it feels reminiscent of Luke and Vader or Rey and Kylo each trying to convince the other to change their allegiance, which made Crosshair fighting alongside his brothers feel like a victory. And then that victory became a crushing defeat as he announced that his chip was already removed, and what a shock that was! It leaves us questioning everything, is he really a cold-hearted villain and not the cold antihero who has been forced down a dark path through unavoidable routes? Personally, I don’t think this is quite all the information though, but instead “a certain point of view” as a certain Jedi master would say. Hunter’s quick check of Crosshair’s head and his decision to take him with them says to me that though Crosshair is visibly scarred from his burns, Hunter could not see any scar to indicate removal of the chip. Perhaps Crosshair has been deceived, told that there was a chip but that it has been removed, so that he believes he is doing everything of his own volition. While I won’t be shocked if Crosshair’s revelation proves true, I also won’t be surprised if it is not true and think that there was sufficient done in this episode to hint towards that.
Away from this episode’s main duo, we also saw Omega forced to return to Kamino to rescue her brother, and I love that the episode took some time to show the toll it took on her, with her being a key part of the rescue due to her knowledge of secret landing pads and routes but forced to re-live her past as a result. And though it was just a small moment towards the end, I appreciated that Hunter apologised to her for having to return here, paying off the promise he made in an earlier episode. But if anything, it almost left us with more questions than answers. While it makes sense for the Kaminoans to have some secrets from their clients, it certainly seemed like much of Nala Se’s work was meant to be a secret even from many of her own people, which leads to the obvious questions about what she was doing. We heard little teases of a next phase of operations earlier in the season, but with the Kaminoans now gone, is that over with, or will we find out more about it?
While the season has been a little up and down at times, two things that have been consistently fantastic in this series have been the visuals and the score. The series has looked absolutely incredible, with she shots of the Venators in the stormy sky above Tipoca City looking incredible, and Omega even getting a believable wet look after being out in the rain. And the score from Kevin Kiner continues to hit week on week, with this week’s highlights being a rousing rendition of the Bad Batch’s theme as Crosshair joined them in fighting the droids—really emphasising the hope of the team all working together again—and the haunting music as we see shots of the empty rooms inside Tipoca City as Rampart orders the bombardment. In less skilled hands, those shots of the empty rooms could have felt dull, but the quality of the artwork and the music made it feel like a true goodbye to not just Tipoca City, but the clones and the Grand Army of the Republic.
And now thoughts turn to next week’s finale. Will all of the team survive? Will Crosshair? I still can’t make up my mind, similarly I can’t decide if Crosshair gets his redemption or remains with the Empire. I expect that escape will likely rely on more insider knowledge from Omega. The one thing that really stands out for me right now as foreshadowing was Echo’s comment about only 3 Venators being present. Highlighting that almost makes me feel that we will see a larger fleet at some point in the next episode, though the reason for that is currently beyond me. Will we see Rex? I get the feeling that he may have a role, but a small one, potentially at the end of the episode as the Bad Batch make a decision to move away from the mercenary work they are doing in favour of helping any clones they can find. One thing is for sure though, I can’t wait to find out what happens!
A few final thoughts on the episode:
- It seemed odd to me that after so much silence over the prospect of a season 2, it was confirmed in the lead-up to this episode. We were reaching a point where the death of all the team felt like a distinct possibility, so to have the confirmation of a season 2 suggests that most (if not all) will survive. Personally, I feel that this announcement should have either come weeks ago or at the very end of the finale (like the announcement of The Book of Boba Fett)
- It felt a bit out of the blue to see Crosshair’s unit suddenly lose trust in him this episode. While I felt that the episode 2 weeks ago should have come earlier in the season, it feels like that spot in the series would have been better served by an episode showing Crosshair and his unit attempting to track down the Bad Batch (which he was given permission to do but never actually did on screen), with his behaviour in that episode then leading his troops to question his mindset. I can’t help feeling that he and his unit were underused in this series after a great introductory episode
Moments in Canon
- After their introduction last week, we see that TK troopers are already reaching the deployment stage, clearly the units Gregor and his fellow commandos were training are not the first, which would make sense given that Crosshair’s unit was also made up of regular people
- Following her capture last week, Nala Se is confirmed to be working for the Empire now
What did you think of the episode?
Thanks for reading. Good soldiers follow orders….