Welcome to my weekly review of The Bad Batch, where I will be walking us through each episode and giving my thoughts on the show. 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 the third episode of season 2: “The Solitary Clone”.
On the planet Desix, an Imperial squad led by Governor Grotton arrives at the capital looking to take command of the planet, however the incumbent governor, the Separatist Tawni Ames refuses and ambushes the Imperials with a unit of battle droids.
Crosshair is summoned by Admiral Rampart, who sends him on a mission to Desix to recover Governor Grotton. However rather than leading a unit, he is put under the command of Commander Cody. Upon runiting, the pair discuss the Bad Batch’s defection and those of other regs, and Crosshair notes that the defectors are traitors.
Cody’s unit make their way to Desix in a shuttle, officially to arrange a diplomatic release of Grotton, however the plan is to do whatever it takes to reach him. However the Separatists correctly anticipate the double-cross, and open fire on the shuttle as it nears the city, killing the pilot and causing the shuttle to crash land. A nearby unit of battle droids reaches the crash site and confirms all aboard have been killed, but they are then quickly dispatched by Cody and Crosshair, who have survived along with many of the unit and were hiding amid the smoke and debris.
“Dooku was right in the end.”
The survivors of the unit move forward towards the centre of the city with Crosshair providing sniper cover. Making their way into the city, they deduce that the droids are being controlled by a tactical droid, so the group splits, with most providing a diversion in the city, while Cody, Crosshair, Wyler and Nova make their way to the bell tower where Ames and the tactical droid are holding Grotton hostage.Wyler and Nova are killed as the team make their way through the city, but Cody and Crosshair come under attack from commando droids as they make their way up the spiral staircase to the tower, but the pair successfully utilise Crosshair’s reflector dots to allow him to snipe the tactical droid from partway down the staircase.
Making their way to the top of the tower, they find Ames using Grotton as a human shield. Cody orders Crosshair to stand down and tries to negotiate peacefully with Ames, who eventually releases Grotton. Grotton orders the pair to execute Grotton, noting that while Cody promised a peaceful resolution, he didn’t. Cody hesitates but Crosshair shoots Ames. Grotton orders her body to be taken and publicly displayed as a warning.
As the Imperial occupation of Dexis begins, Cody watches as shuttle after shuttle of TK troopers arrive to occupy the city.
Back on Coruscant, Cody notes to Crosshair that the difference between them and droids is that they can make their own decisions and also have to live with them.
When Crosshair next reports to Admiral Rampart, he is assigned to CC-1226. When he queries being removed from Cody’s command, Rampart reveals that Cody has gone AWOL.
After a 2-episode premiere that frankly became more disappointing the more I thought about it, this was a fantastic follow-up, and honestly one of my favourite episodes of the entire series so far!
This is the kind of episode that we were missing in the first season, building up Crosshair’s fall by showing his work for the Empire. But to bring it in now and introduce Cody took it to an even greater level. For once in this show, with Crosshair and Cody leading a unit of clones against Separatist battle droids, it was like a return to The Clone Wars and it felt like the Empire were actually the heroes for a change—all helped by a wonderful score which accentuated the heroism of the clones’ theme—which then made the darker moments like Ames’ execution even darker.
And it wasn’t just the tone of the episode that made it so good, but the action, as we finally saw Crosshair at his best, fighting droids with a unit of clones and making a number of shots that would be worthy any highlights reel. As much as I love Omega, this is much more the type of action that I was hoping for from The Bad Batch, but too often I’ve been left with dumbed down, meaningless stories that aren’t really worth remembering.
But another big lus was how this looks like the start of a longer story, courtesy of Cody going AWOL, which again is a big improvement on last week. I must admit that I am worried for his future due to his absence in Rebels, but I think that Cody’s attempts to escape the Empire and do what is right will be a continuing story and a highlight of the season for me, while probably involving an emotional end, but I also wonder if it may lead to some retribution for Crosshair, having seen someone else he trusts turn against the Empire.
Hopefully this isn’t a one-and-done look at Crosshair with the Empire and instead the start of a recurring story this year. If so, season 2 has a chance to keep my attention.
“This new Empire… Are we making the galaxy better?”
“We’re soldiers. We do what needs to be done.”
Well, you know what makes us different from battle droids? We make our own decisions. Our own choices. An we have to live with them too.”
A few final thoughts from the show:
- As someone who knows a little bit about castles (there’s more than enough of them in Britain), the bell tower’s spiral staircase turned the wrong way. With more people being right-handed, staircases were designed so that anyone going up would be turning to the right. This was a defensive measure as it would make it harder for attackers to fight their way up when their main weapon hand was on the inside of the turn so unable to be utilised.
- I loved the clear difference between the way the clones addressed each other compared to other Imperial addressing them. The clones used each others names, whereas all the other Imperials stuck to using their numbers. Add that to Cody’s battle droid comment, and it shows how the Empire really considers them!
- I want to know more about the wall of writing at the spaceport that we see Cody and Crosshair speak in front of. It certainly appeared to have some meaning to Cody
Moments in Canon
- Ames refers to Mina Bonteri’s bill for peace, which we see in The Clone Wars
What did you think of the episode?
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