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 twelfth episode of season 2: “The Outpost”.
Crosshair is waiting by his shuttle on Coruscant preparing for a new mission. As he stands there, he watches a trio of newly-retired clones go past, arguing with an Imperial officer that they have been forced into retirement, not that she cares. His commanding officer for the mission, Lieutenant Nolan, arrives and, after he expresses his disdain for being made to work with clones, they make their way to an Imperial depot on Barton-4, which has come under pressure from insurgents due to a high-value cargo, which needs protecting until it’s transfer in a week’s time.
Arriving at the depot, they find that all that remains of the Imperial unit is 3 clones: Hexx, Veetch and their commander Mayday. Mayday notes that a supply ship was expected 36 rotations ago, but Nolan refuses to accept excuses and blames Mayday for the state of the depot, including his dead unit. As Nolan demands respect from Mayday, the veteran notes that respect must be earned and correctly surmises that this is Nolan’s first command. While Mayday sends Hex and Veetch to help Nolan’s unit settle, Mayday starts getting to know Crosshair and filling them in on the situation: his unit has spent about a year guarding the cargo while awaiting transportation, and have recently been attacked by raiders who have caught them off guard in the last few raids. The polar conditions have degraded their equipment, and though Mayday has requested replacements, he received none. Crosshair asks about the cargo but Mayday says that he and his clones have not looked, as per their orders.
As the pair inspect the perimeter, they receive word from Hexx that raiders have breached the perimeter. The pair split up and Crosshair makes his way to the top of a tower to take a sniping position. Seeing a raider near the shuttle his unit arrived in, he starts to aim but is momentarily blinded when the raider blows up the shuttle as Crosshair was using thermal imaging. Despite this, Crosshair gets a shot off and when he investigates the scene, he finds that he has hit one of the raiders, who has escaped but is trailing blood. Crosshair begins to follow the trail, soon finding a tunnel in the ice. Mayday catches up with Crosshair and the pair surmise that the raiders have been using this tunnel to circumnavigate the Imperial defences.
Back at the depot, Mayday pays his respects to Hexx and Veetch, who both died in the attack, but is interrupted by Nolan for not sending anyone after the crates stolen during the attack. Mayday notes that in order to do so, he will need all of the clones under Nolan’s command, but Nolan orders that he and Crosshair sort it alone.
“What were you saying about deadweight?”
The pair start to make their way through the tunnel, soon finding the body of the raider Crosshair had shot. Mayday is bothered that the fallen raider was wearing armor stolen from his fallen comrades, but also that the rest of the raiders left him behind, to which Crosshair responds that there is no point in leaving dead weight, promoting Mayday to remark that he wouldn’t one to die on his watch. As they continue through the tunnel, Crosshair steps on a hidden pressure mine, but Mayday improvises with some gear he has to find a way to keep the pressure on the mine when Crosshair removes his foot. While doing so, the pair talk a little and get to know a little more about each other. Successfully dealing with the mine, the pair continue through the tunnel.
Emerging from the tunnel, they see a nearby campfire and, spotting the sentries from a distance, they plan heir infiltration. Taking out the sentries, the pair sneak to the edge of the camp and start their attack. One raider tries escaping with the cargo, but Crossair shoots them, while Crosshair is also forced to cause an explosion as the pair find themselves heavily outnumbered, killing the rest of the raiders.
Reaching the stolen cargo, they find that some of the crates have opened, revealing that the cargo is armour for the TK-troopers. Mayday is upset that after years of loyalty and following orders without question, he and his brothers are now being thrown aside, noting how his unit struggled with old and failing armour. Their discussion is cut short by the beginning of an avalanche. The pair try to run but are unable to outrun it. Realising that they are at risk of being swept straight into a nearby rock, Mayday shoves Crosshair to the side, and the sniper loses his helmet as he falls to the ground, before being covered by the snow; Mayday is caught by the avalanche and swept into the rock.
Crosshair forces his way out of the snow and makes his way over to the rock, where he finds Mayday badly injured. The pair make the journey back to the depot, Crosshair supporting Mayday every step of the way. The journey takes 2 days, and they eventually reach the depot with the last of their energy to find that a number of shuttles have arrived and TK-troopers are loading the cargo onto them under Nolan’s supervision.
With Nolan and the troopers spotting their return, Nolan orders the troopers back to work and approaches the pair alone. Crosshair pleads for medical assistance, but Nolan simply chastises them for failing to bring the stolen cargo back, and Crosshair watches on helpless as Mayday succumbs to his injuries. Crosshair is furious but Nolan is uncaring and notes that Mayday, like the rest of the clones and Crosshair, was expendable. Nolan orders Crosshair to resume his duties, but Crosshair refuses and uses his last energy to draw his blaster and shoot Nolan before losing consciousness as the nearest TK-troopers arrive to arrest him.
Crosshair eventually returns to consciousness in an operating chamber, where he is under the supervision of one of the Weyland scientists. She tells him that the doctor will come for him once he is healed and that he should remain calm, noting that if he cooperates, he may survive.
Wow! When this show gets it right, it gets it right. This was another stunning episode, and I must say that while I enjoyed “The Solitary Clone” more, I do feel that this was a better episode.
Personally, I think it’s frankly ridiculous that we’ve had to wait so long for a second appearance for Crosshair this season, especially given the rubbish (I honestly struggled to not use a stronger word) that we have had to put up with for most of the season. These 2 episodes with Crosshair have had more character development than the rest of the season combined, and it is great watching Crosshair realising over time how he and his brothers are being used by the Empire. This is a guy who used to hate the regs, someone who was cold and calculating even at the best of times, and now he is risking his own survival by helping Mayday back to the depot, and not just refusing the order of an officer, but in fact killing him. While this growth is great, I can’t help think that a couple more episodes in this series showing him going on varied missions and seeing more and more mistreatment of clones would have made this even better. Hell, they could have even had him run a mission with Cade and Slip in the first half of the season, to add to his feelings of unease when he hears that they’ve been assassinated. Or they could have sent Crosshair on a mission with Scorch (or even bring back the rest of Delta Squad) and a small team of regs, which would have allowed Crosshair to see the divide even between the regs and the commandos who are being trusted to train the TKs. It just feels like Crosshair has been wasted this season, despite his episodes being much more consistent and better than the rest of the show.
Of course, the ending makes things interesting and I feel that the remaining 4 episodes all have to be part of bringing the story together now, as I imagine the plan is to try and make Crosshair into a more reliable agent, like the mysterious assassin from earlier in the season. At this point I would imagine that Rex has been made aware of the Imperials and the Zillo Beast, and will be trying to figure out where they have gone, while the Bad Batch won’t be involved until Scorch magically arrives and does what both Crosshair and multiple bounty hunters failed to do: capture Omega and return her to the Imperials—don’t be shocked to see Cid be involved in some way after all of these missed opportunities to leave her. This will likely see The Bad Batch join with Rex’s group (I’m assuming at least Echo and surely Cody too, perhaps even Gregor), and infiltrate the Weyland facility, likely finding out more about the mysterious assassin, rescuing Omega and finding Crosshair, which will either see him return to the group, die helping them escape or now be fully conditioned to serve the Empire, setting him up as the main antagonist again for a potential season 3.
“I see you didn’t retrieve the crates, which means you’ve failed your mission.”
A few final thoughts from the episode:
- While the show always looks good (aside from the big issue with how pale all the Bad Batch appear compared to Tem Morrison and the other clones, the quality was really highlighted in this episode by the quality of the snow animation throughout this episode
- Similarly, while the Kiners always seem to do a great job with this show, the Crosshair-centric episodes have really allowed them to shine due to him not being too talkative. They deserve the chance to score a movie/live action series soon!
Moments in Canon
- Mayday’s comment that the Empire sent them here a year ago means that The Bad Batch has now covered at least a year since the season 1 premiere, putting us at least in 18BBY
What did you think of the episode?
Thanks for reading. Rebellions are built on hope….
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2 thoughts on “The Bad Batch: “The Outpost””
The Crosshair episodes are excellent, probably because he’s such a complex character in an interesting position. It’s so tragic that at the moment he’s finally seen the light, something will happen to him, in all likelihood to make him worse. Gaahh!
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Your spot on! Thanks for reading!
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