Audiences are now at the penultimate week of Star Wars: The Bad Batch, and while this episode was enjoyable, it felt quite obvious it was setting up the final two episodes of the season. But it did this with some humorous parts, and others that build up the importance of what everyone is fighting for.
The episode opens with an action packed start, featuring a look at Echo, and what he’s been doing while away from the Bad Batch. He’s been liberating clones, and in this case freeing Howzer, who makes a quick return from last season. The Empire are taking clones to Mount Tantiss, for an unknown reason, and one that’s still not clear at the end of the episode.
This sequence ends with the raiding party successful, and with some information being stolen. It’s encrypted, but that won’t be a problem. It’s an excuse for Echo to involve the Bad Batch.
Audiences get a look at how Crosshair is doing, though it’s not clear what the Empire wants from him long term. Hemlock demands to know how to find Omega, though Crosshair knows very little, something Hemlock himself acknowledges. He tortures Crosshair, showing that his cool demeanour gives way to something much crazier beneath the surface. Emerie shows some signs of sympathy for Crosshair, but as her character is so paper thin it’s unclear if this will lead to anything.
Crosshair temporarily escapes, and runs straight to the comms unit. He messages Bad Batch to hide, but is quickly apprehended by Hemlock when he releases his own gas. He gives a very calm but unhinged speech about his immunity to it, something that’s sure to come back next week.
Enter the Bad Batch, who are happily living on Pabu. Tech is teaching Omega to fly, with some hilarious results. Echo arrives, and gives Tech the data, and then he and Hunter talk about what they’re doing on Pabu. Echo still disapproves.
There is a meeting between Tarkin and Hemlock, and while it’s of no major consequence for this episode it does reveal that next week there will be a major Imperial summit, and Hemlock will reveal his plans for the clones that are being phased out. It’s a sinister sounding prospect given what we know already, but audiences will have to wait.
Speaking of waiting, once Tech decrypts the data, audiences get the reveal that Hemlock is the head of the Advanced Science Division, and he’s been experimenting on clones. This is where the encounter with the Zillo beast would have been natural to bring up, but it’s ignored. The Batch also finds a message from Crosshair, but distrust it. Again, an obvious set up for next week, where they presumably look for him and Hemlock.
Overall, while the episode is certainly enjoyable to watch, it doesn’t stand on its own as well as it others, making the finale of the show feel like three parts instead of two. But the action, sinister undertones and character of Hemlock sustain it long enough to build anticipation for what will surely be a dark and sad final week.