*Warning: the following article contains spoilers for episode twelve of Star Wars: The Bad Batch – Season 2*
And just like that…we have a good episode of Star Wars: The Bad Batch – Season 2. Some will say it’s “filler,” but no. This one gets the story moving in thrilling ways, not only expanding on Crosshair’s (Dee Bradley Baker) arc compellingly but also on the larger ramifications of the season’s midpoint episodes…but it took way too long to get there.
Read: ‘Star Wars: The Bad Batch – Season 2’ Episode Eleven Review: “Metamorphosis”
This episode focuses on Crosshair again as he goes to an Imperial outpost on Barton-4 to retrieve crates with unknown equipment. There, he meets Mayday, tasked to guard the crates while waiting for the Empire to arrive with his crew. After they eventually arrive, Mayday’s entire crew is dead, and he is now tasked to retrieve missing crates from an ambush with Crosshair. It is an understatement to say it doesn’t go well, as an avalanche buries the crates and forces them to return.
But what they discover in the crates carries a deeper meaning: they contain gear not made for them but for stormtroopers. The Empire is phasing them out and replacing them with a new fleet, rendering the clones obsolete and forcing them into retirement. This is thrilling, and the final part of the episode, where Crosshair’s conscience finally snaps, and he kills Lieutenant Nolan (Crispin Freeman) in cold blood. For the first time in a long time (or maybe since he was created), Crosshair has not followed orders. He has done something against his programming because he finally knows that his days of working for the good of the Empire and blindly following orders are over.
It’s an incredible moment in a series that has not devoted time to exploring this aspect of Star Wars lore! I thought the post-midseason finale was about how the Empire is phasing out Clones in favor of stormtroopers, but we’ve only gotten aimless sidequests with little to no impact on the story at hand. Finally, Star Wars: The Bad Batch – Season 2 is moving the needle and providing depth to a character that has been sidelined for most of the season, but it arrives too little too late. The question now is: how will Crosshair reintegrate the Bad Batch? Oh yeah, it’s definitely happening and will likely be the series’ final arc, which I hope will tie itself well, but I’m still skeptical about how the show will attempt to tie everything together.
We’ve watched too much filler to care about what’s happening. And even with an episode as great as The Outpost, with thrilling action, incredible character beats, and actual depth for a character we absolutely despised in the first season to make us re-think about his place in the franchise, it, unfortunately, arrives too late in the series for us to be gripped about everything on screen. Everything occurring on screen is pretty great, but it would’ve been better had the show built toward that moment. Instead, we got a series of forgettable vignettes when any episode focused on the main story was far more engrossing than about 95% of the show. That’s not very good, but now I genuinely hope that Star Wars: The Bad Batch – Season 2 will focus on the conflict because it affects all types of Clones. They’ve all been backstabbed in some way by Emperor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid). What’s going to happen now?
The twelfth episode of Star Wars: The Bad Batch – Season 2 is now available to stream on Disney+.
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