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 eleventh episode of season 2: “Metamorphosis”.
A badly damaged ship emerges from hyperspace and drifts towards a nearby planet. On the ship, a clone commando flees through the darkened hallways with an electrostaff, which is damaged when he trips and falls. The clone gets back to his feet, but is soon taken from above by an unseen creature.
A group of Imperial Rho-class shuttles escort a similar ship to one of the Imperial science bases on the planet Weyland. One of the shuttles delivers Dr Royce Hemlock, who gives instructions on the arrival of remaining shuttles before making his way to the detention cells, where Nala Se is being held. Hemlock tries to convince her to work for the Empire, but she continues to refuse. Hemlock soon receives an update that Transport 904 is missing and they have lost contact with it. Hemlock arranges for a search to begin and the “asset” on board to be contained. Hemlock then enquires about any other Kaminoans taken off-planet before the destruction of the facilities and, upon being informed that the former Prime Minister Lama Su is in Imperial captivity, requests that he be brought here.
The Bad Batch are on the Marauder speaking to a hologram of Cid. They are angry at her lack of help when they needed it, but she tries to brush this off and send them on a new job recovering whatever they can from a ship that has come down nearby, eventually upping their cut from the usual 30% to 50% for this job. The Bad Batch reluctantly agree, as Tech privately notes that severing ties with her could be difficult as she knows compromising information about them.
The Bad Batch arrive at the coordinates they have been given and soon find the crashed ship. Making their way on board, they find the ship empty, but signs of a creature having attacked and killed the crew. As Tech goes off alone to restore power to the ship, the rest discover a laboratory onboard. Omega recognises the tech as Kaminoan design, though different to that used in Tipoca City. Tech gets the power turned on just as the rest of the group discover the creature; they manage to drive it off with their blasters, but don’t do any damage. The group surmise that the ship is a research vessel and the creature is the test subject. The group eventually join back together and find the creature feeding off the electricity from one of the power generators. Tech throws a grenade, which blows a hole in the hull of the ship but does not appear to do any damage to the creature, who escapes onto the planet.
“We’re the ones who let it out. We have to neutralize it before it hurts anyone.”
Realising that the creature is heading towards a nearby town, Hunter and Wrecker attempt to follow it in the Marauder while Tech and Omega investigate the ships files to get more information, They eventually find that the creature is a juvenile Zillo Beast, which appears to have been cloned from the one that previously rampaged on Coruscant. They surmise that under orders from Palpatine, the creature’s genetic material was being used to create modified armour plating, while they also discover that it feeds on energy and can grow rapidly. With Hunter and Wrecker unable to slow it down, the Zillo Beast reaches the settlement’s power generators and feeds off the energy, growing to full size.
Imperial Venator-class star destroyers arrive in orbit and launch V-wings and LAATs down to the planet, which destroy the remains of the ship—Tech and Omega just make it off and back to the Marauder in time—and drive the Bad Batch off. However just before they are driven away, they see the Imperial forces stun the beast and collect it into the hold of another science ship. Making it out of atmosphere, the Bad Batch jump to hyperspace to escape.
Aboard the science ship, the beast is placed inside a tank and immersed in liquid. a number of shuttles land units of clone commandos, including Scorch, and they round up the inhabitants of the settlement onto the shuttles.
Discussing Tech and Omega’s findings, the group realise that the creature’s genetic material could potentially be weaponised, and Tech guesses that the Kaminoan facilities were destroyed in order to give the Empire control over cloning technology. Though they don’t know where the beast is being taken, they decide to share the information they have with Hunter and Echo.
Back at the Weyland facility, Hemlock is updated that the beast has been recovered and secured in Mount Tantiss. Scorch informs Hemlock that the locals have been taken into custody and will be dealt with, but notes that one military-class vessel escaped. Hemlock tasks Scorch with investigating this vessel. The imprisoned Lama Su arrives and Hemlock speaks to him, and Lama Su agrees to motivate Nala Se to work for Hemlock, in exchange for Lama Su’s freedom. Lama Su tells Hemlock that they must find Omega, as she is the key to controlling Nala Se.
So, another improvement, but a minimal one.
While it still feels like this could end up as just another side quest—passing the info to Rex and Echo—feels like a get-out for the group, at least this started answering some questions that have been building over time. we finally started to get an idea of some of the work that is happening on Weyland, and also carried on one of the unfinished stories from The Clone Wars showing what happened after Palpatine ordered the cloning of the Zillo Beast. But now it also feels like rather than moving on with the show, we are about to take a step back to the idea of the Empire hunting for Omega because she is special, but still refusing to explain why she is special.
And while we’re on about rehashed storylines, while I’m glad that the group didn’t immediately forgive Cid, it still felt like they gave in far too easily, especially considering she showed no contrition and deliberately pushed them towards another mission to shut them up. An increase in their cut from 30% to 50% for this one mission should never have been enough to win them back over, even less so considering they have no details on what cargo the ship was even carrying.
So where do things go from here? Does Scorch’s search for information pair him with Crosshair as they look for the Bad Batch and Omega? If so, will Crosshair remain loyal to the Empire? Will the Bad Batch join up with Rex and Echo after this, or will they just go back to their usual pointless existence working for Cid?
“They’re not killing it. They’re taking it.”
A few final thoughts from the episode:
- I definitely enjoyed getting to see a bit more of the Zillo Beast’s lifestyle, even if it seems a little odd that the beast would go from juvenile to full size in just a matter of minutes by feeding on electrical power
- I hope that we get something of note from Scorch by the end of the season, otherwise it feels a waste using that character rather than creating an original clone commando
- Tactically, the group finally got things right, utilising Tech and Omega to get info on the creature (Tech would know what to look for and Omega had experience of the technology) while the others went after the creature
Moments in Canon
- The Bad Batch refer to a previous Zillo Beast going on the rampage on Coruscant, this is seen in The Clone Wars season 2 episode 19 “The Zillo Beast Strikes Back”. This was the creature who Palpatine ordered scientists to clone.
What did you think of the episode?
Thanks for reading. Rebellions are built on hope….
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