The Bad Batch delivers once again but the series needs to add a little more ‘oomph’ to the story as it is becoming a bit too repetitive
‘Replacements’ is the third episode in the new Star Wars animated series, The Bad Batch, which premieres every Friday on Disney+. The series focuses on five genetically altered clones following the fall of The Republic. Currently still on the run, we find the group crashed on a deserted moon, tensions run high as the crew scrambles to fix the ship before the evil Empire catches up to them.
This episode was a mixed bag overall for me, with strong aspects I love and some that still have me a bit worried for the remainder of the season. It should be said that Crosshairs, a clone with deadshot accuracy, is the standout in this episode. Here we see him leading a new group of advanced soldiers, this time he is the only clone.
This dynamic worked so well for me, for it really showed that even in the same room with a different crew, Crosshairs is still an outcast. Even in the new regime The Bad Batch still doesn’t seem to have a place in the galaxy. You can see where Dave Filoni was playing with these parallels between the two groups and it works extremely well.
This episode also showed a darker side to the Star Wars universe as we see Crosshairs return to Saw Gerrara’s camp and wipe them out, something that came as unexpected to the innocent eye. I look forward to seeing where Crosshairs will end up, hopefully coming toe to toe with his brothers once more and finding out where he fits in this new evolving empire.
Another aspect I enjoyed about this episode was the relationship between Omega and Wrecker, an enhanced clone with Super Strength. Here we see the group crashed and stranded on a decollete moon, trying to fix their ship. With only one power drive left and native dragons that feed on energy, it is up to Hunter and Omega to find the missing power source.
With the group at a standstill, we see firsthand how Wrecker is struggling with the adjustment to having a child around the ship, which means less food for him. Although starting out rough by the end of the episode we see Wrecker has come around to the idea and has welcomed Omega with open arms into their group.
Wrecker will be one to focus on going forward, after complaining his head hurts while holding the area of the inhibitor chip in his head. Omega also got some strong character moments too in this episode beyond Wrecker. For one she starts to learn how to track with Hunter, giving more insight into how the two mesh and their ever-growing relationship. When Hunter is attacked out in the field, it is up to Omega to finish the mission. Here we see Omega crawl after the energy dragon leading into its home.
A great scene from this episode happens here when Omega contemplates killing the animal before realizing she and it are the same, lonely children in a large galaxy. It’s these themes of, family, purpose, and survival that make the show stand out early on. This was by no means a bad episode, in fact, quite the opposite, it had very interesting dynamics and furthered our characters and their relationships with one another in fun and unique ways.
However, I still feel as though the plot could have a more cohesive story. Thus far we are simply following The Bad Batch as they flee from the Empire and race from location to location. In the next few episodes, I hope that a clear goal for the story is formulated and that we don’t have to just watch the group bounce from one trial to the next.
This was my biggest issue with the Ahsoka/Pike arc in Season 7 of The Clone Wars where the group simply would jump from one issue to another without ever really solving or building anything. Yet, it is still early and there seem to be many plot threads being set up for the coming episodes.
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