By Kieran Burt.
The Bad Batch season two episode five provides a fun if not slightly pointless adventure, which might come back to matter later down the line but is unlikely to do so. This episode is very light on theming and character development, and feels like filler.
This episode features the Bad Batch going with Phee in search of ancient treasure on a long forgotten planet, and the best aspect it shows is Omega being a child. In other episodes she’s forced to grow up fast, and deal with the hardship of growing up in a sterile Kaminoan lab, or from danger.
Here, she is very excited at the prospect of going on an adventure, and is very animated at hearing Phee’s stories. Both Michelle Ang and the animators did an amazing job at expressing her childlike joy of going on a treasure hunt. Overall, Omega’s and Phee’s dynamic was fun. Omega, having been surrounded by serious scientists or military men her whole life, is enamoured by the tall tales Phee tells her. There is a hint that Hunter is jealous of this development, but unfortunately this is never expanded on
The whole episode has the feel of an Indiana Jones adventure, with Kevin Kiner taking inspiration from the music in Indiana Jones and Raiders of the Lost Ark when the group are exploring the tomb, and a reference to the franchise at the end. It even extends to Phee’s lack of a plan and the group failing to get the treasure.
In true Bad Batch style, the mission they’re on starts to go sideways, and doesn’t stop. The group are beset by booby traps, a monster attacks them constantly, and oh the temple they’re exploring turns out to be a giant angry mech that doesn’t stop firing its huge laser. This last point certainly has a surprise factor to it, and renews interest in the episode’s final act as the group rush to turn it off.
There are some lore questions raised by the episode that it makes very little attempt to answer, and while later episodes or projects could answer them it’s frustrating that it comes completely out of the blue. There is some speculation about what the mech could be from, but it might never be answered properly. Star Wars should introduce new lore concepts absolutely, but that doesn’t work when they’re random, and will likely not be expanded on.
Ultimately though, this episode doesn’t have a fun theme or character moment that drives the series forward or offers a new perspective on something, which is what makes it feel skippable. It’s a fun watch, but the show has already covered similar ground of a failed treasure hunt in the first two episodes, and one that offered a worldbuilding and a thematic aspect to it.