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 fourteenth episode of season 2: “Tipping Point”.
A trio of clone prisoners, including Howzer, are loaded onto a Gozanti-class cruiser. As the ship leaves the planet, another ship emerges from hyperspace and attacks it. Piloted by Gregor and containing Echo, Nemec and Fireball, they disable the cruiser’s engines and defences. While Gregor attaches at the forward dock, the other clones board a secondary Leech ship, which separates from the main ship and breaches the cruiser elsewhere to allow the trio ingress at an unexpected point. While Fireball fights his way to the detention area and frees the 3 clone prisoners, Echo and Nemec fight their way to the bridge, where the remaining Imperials are purging all the data from the computers. The pair successfully take control of the bridge and Echo retrieves as much info from the computers as he can. When they try to get more information from the cruiser’s commanding officer, Captain Pearce, the officer activates his suicide shocker, which kills him. Fireball and the escaped prisoners escape through the forward dock into the main ship, while Echo and Nemec escape in the Leech ship and rendezvous with them for the jump to hyperspace just as a Star Destroyer arrives and sends out a squad of V-wings to destroy both the cruiser and the clones.
A pair of TK troopers come to Crosshair’s cell and march him through corridors to an operating theatre. On the way, they pass a number of cells containing imprisoned clones. Once in the operating theatre, Hemlock arrives and tells Crosshair that he is not going to be punished for killing his commanding officer, as Hemlock sees it as initiative. Hemlock offers Crosshair a clean slate in return for revealing the location of Clone Force 99, adding that they have something that belongs to him, which Crosshair correctly guesses is Omega. Crosshair says that he has no idea where the team are. As Crosshair continues to be uncooperative, he is restrained to the bed and an Interrogator droid is brought in. As the droid begins its work, Hemlock is informed about what happened to the cruiser.
At the Martez sisters’ repair shop, Echo and Howzer are debriefing with Senator Chuchi. Echo explains to Chuchi that all the clones were imprisoned for questioning Imperial orders, while Howzer notes that many other clones had been sent off-world before him and never returned, though he is unsure where they were sent. Echo explains that he plans to visit someone who can decrypt the data he took from the cruiser, while Chuchi promises to look after things on Coruscant while he is gone.
“We must find out where that ship is headed.”
Crosshair’s interrogation is stopped by Emerie Karr, who notes the importance of keeping him alive so that he can talk. Crosshair manages to grab a blaster off one of the TK troopers present and kills them both before stunning Karr and taking her access card. Making his way through the corridors but in a bad state, Crosshair reaches Terminal 3 and uses the access card to send a transmission, though the transmission is soon stopped when Imperials detect it, the room is sealed and filled with a toxic gas that leaves Crosshair unconscious.
Hemlock receives a holo from Tarkin and reassures him that the loss of the cruiser will not compromise the Weyland facility, and while Tarkin disagree, Hemlock vouches for their security protocols. Tarkin speculates that the leak which led to the cruiser being attacked was the work of rogue clone elements within the Imperial hierarchy and expresses concerns that a growing number of clones are questioning Imperial orders. Hemlock warns that eliminating dissident clones will not root out the problem but says that he can find other ways of dealing with them. Tarkin reminds Hemlock to give a full briefing of his plan at the upcoming summit.
Echo arrives at Pabu and reunites with the Bad Batch. Echo explains that he has come to seek Tech’s help in decrypting data from a file aboard an Imperial ship carrying clone prisoners; he wants to know where the ship was transporting the prisoners and why. While Tech looks into the data, Echo and Hunter catch up, with Hunter discussing how they have left Cid’s employ and are considering settling down on Pabu, and Echo explaining that Rex has built up a small network of clones; some of whom are hiding, underground, or act as their contacts within the Empire. Hunter warns Echo about the strength of the Empire and asks him to reconsider his war against the Empire, but Echo is thinking about his brothers.
Once Tech has decrypted the data, the Bad Batch gathers in the Marauder. Tech has discovered that the cruiser was assigned to the Advanced Science Division, a clandestine operation without records on its location or purpose. Tech has discovered that the division is headed by Dr. Royce Hemlock, who was expelled from the Republic science corps for his unauthorized and unorthodox experiments. Tech continues that while he could not find the reason for clones being transferred to them, he has found records of other clones, including Crosshair. Having found that information, Tech reveals that he checked all comm channels and found Crosshair’s transmission: an emergency message on one of the Bad Batch’s old channels: “Plan . The Seeker.” The team are left trying to decide if Crosshair is genuinely sending them a warning, or if this is a trap.
Crosshair is re-fastened to the operating table, much tighter this time. Hemlock warns that Crosshair will only leave the facility if he allows it, and extends his previous offer again. When Crosshair remains silent, the interrogation begins again, but at a much higher level.
Well this was a step in the right direction. This was very clearly part 1 of what is surely a 3-part finale, so I won’t go too deep into things here, as this was clearly very mucha set-up for the next 2 episodes.
First up, if we look at the clone resistance, how great were those early scenes of Echo and co looking like competent soldiers and absolutely dominating what should have been a much stronger force with their ambush tactics (though I do think that having a clone commando on the Imperial cruiser and seeing them defeated so easily made them look a bit pathetic). It was a thrilling opening sequence that got the balance between humour (Gregor stunning the TK troopers who were “prepared” for him) and the serious moments (Pearce’s suicide). And just a quick mention on the use of the suicide shocker, which has been used a couple of times this series after debuting in season 2 of The Mandalorian. It’s a great Star Wars version of the classic cyanide tooth from spy stories, and feels completely in place with the hard core Imperial units. And how amazing was it to see Howzer again?! This is a character who in 2 episode had more development than most of our main cast have had in 2 seasons, and he was one of the very first to show us that the impact of the chip was weakening, so it’s great to see him now freed and in a spot where he can help his brothers. I’m just trying not to get too excited as I’m expecting there to be some sacrifices before the season is out…
Moving onto Crosshair’s story, and I really enjoyed this. While his motivations aren’t clear to understand—certainly not helped by the way that he is always alone so has nobody to talk to in that way—it feels like he is showing loyalty to the Bad Batch, especially given the warning he sends, but it also feels like a bit of a dumb expectation from Hemlock for Crosshair to know how the Bad Batch are thinking and where they would be given their lack of contact in the last 1-2 years. I must admit that I find myself a little confused as to Karr and her motivations; while I don’t think that she was trying to help him, it certainly felt like her actions played a key role in allowing Crosshair’s escape. I look forward to seeing how things play out with her, but will be shocked if she does turn out to be some kind of ally given the importance and secrecy of this division. And as for Crosshair fighting his way through the corridors, it showed just how impressive a fighter he is that he still easily dealt with any opposition, while the show was clever to show him miss a few shots to highlights that he is struggling physically due to the torture. Are we setting up Crosshair’s return to the Bad Batch? I’m sure the team will forgive him, and such has been the quality of his episodes, it doesn’t feel like it takes away from his decision to return to the Empire at the end of season 1, as the extra time has allowed him to see how his brothers are being treated and realise for himself that the Empire isn’t the option. I just worry that the set-up of the mysterious assassin at midseason means that we may instead have our hearts broken even more as we see Crosshair forced into a more subservient role.
And finally onto the rest of the team, and there’s not really much to say here. I like how it’s clear that they’ve spent some time on Pabu (the city looks almost fully rebuilt after the tsunami), and the team all seem to be fitting in, so I like how they are considering settling down. I also like how everyone reacts different to the news about Crosshair, especially with Hunter’s caution considering Crosshair’s reveal last time they met that he was loyal to the Empire even without his trip.
So moving onto next week, I assume that the Bad Batch will get Echo’s new unit to support them rather than going in alone. Or will they choose not to act at first, leaving Echo and his unit to go alone, only for Omega to talk them all into helping, as it is not just Crosshair but all the other clones too. Only time will tell. I just hope that after a disappointing season, the series can end on a high with these last 2 episodes.
“Good to see you, Captain. Boys, let’s get out of here.”
A few final thoughts from the episode:
- I worried that this may be the case when Echo left the team, but I’m pretty certain his story would have been much more fun to follow than that of the rest of the Bad Batch, especially as it could have then also followed Chuchi’s double life as a senator pushing to help the clones and a rebel
- I really enjoyed the design of the ship the clones used, especially the Leech ship that could breach the ship and help the team ambush any soldiers expecting them to come through the main connection between the ships
- Hemlock’s a very interesting character and I hope we get to learn a lot more about him, ideally in this series but if not through some other story
Moments in Canon
- The patch on Dr Pershing’s Imperial Science uniform in The Mandalorian is very similar to what we see members of the Advanced Science Division wearing in these episodes. Given Pershing’s focus on cloning and genetics, it would make sense if he was a part of this division
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: “Tipping Point””
I’m definitely preparing for my heart to be broken somehow next week. Either with Crosshair being made into an assassin just as he’s realizing how awful the Empire is, or a clone’s sacrifice. Or both. Can’t wait to see how this all plays out.
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As callous as it sounds I’m hoping that if we lose anyone it’s Nemec and Wildfire. Haven’t heard anything about a season 3 yet but feels like they could (I hope) be setting up the Bad Batch joining Rex in his fight, leading to a more confrontational 3rd and final season. Though just as likely everyone dies and the Batch go to live on Pabu and these are the last 2 episodes of the show haha. Thanks for reading
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