I may have spoken too early on episode five of Star Wars: The Bad Batch – Season 2 going back into the main story because we’ve got another filler episode on our hands. Unfortunately, it’s nowhere near as exciting as the fourth episode, which saw the story take a halt in favor of frenetic (albeit predictable) podracing sequences to the eleventh power. This time around, the Bad Batch (Dee Bradley Baker) goes on an Indiana Jones-esque adventure with Phee Genoa (Wanda Sykes), and it’s pretty darn boring.
Read: ‘Star Wars: The Bad Batch – Season 2’ Episode Four Review: “Faster”
It’s all reasonably standard: Genoa tells the Bad Batch a story about a thingamajig in Skara Nal called “The Heart of the Mountain.” A classic sequence with booby traps and puzzles ensues, and it’s all quite dull to watch. There’s no addition of character development being brought on by the protagonists, and we’re watching the Bad Batch going on a side quest with little to no reward.
Because The Heart of the Mountain isn’t a valuable crystal, but a key that, once removed, awakens a goddamn doomsday machine that starts annihilating everything in its path. That part could’ve been exciting but is quickly bogged down by a lifeless action sequence that doesn’t necessarily bring high stakes to the table. There’s a giant lizard that surprises the Bad Batch at some point and adds a bit of spice to the proceedings, but since it’s a filler episode, you’re guaranteed that everyone will make it out alive and solve their sidequest.
When they put The Heart of the Mountain back into the Doomsday Machine, it melts away, and they return with no treasure found. So all of that was for nothing and made us learn nothing new about the characters, and it didn’t even foreshadow something that the story would eventually bring to the table. A good filler episode provides respite to the main story by thwarting the characters into something completely different while also giving time to develop characters. That’s the sole reason a filler episode should exist!
In Entombed, none of the character relationships are further developed. It reverts to Season 1’s “Mission of the Week” framework, where the Bad Batch takes missions from Cid (Rhea Perlman), with an extended cameo from a member found in other Star Wars pieces of Intellectual Property. Fortunately, only the Bad Batch and Phee go on a mission and meet no one else. And if you don’t want to develop character relationships, fine, but at least make the side quest fun! Unfortunately, we can see everything a mile away, and none of the action is entertaining. Because of this, episode five of Star Wars: The Bad Batch – Season 2 falls relatively flat on its face and reverts the show to a structure I would’ve hoped they gave up at the end of the first season.
Of course, there are still plenty of episodes left, and I hope that the show’s main plot will soon kick into gear because the first three episodes set it up nicely. I’m still willing to give the rest of the season (and subsequent seasons) a chance because the first four episodes significantly improved storytelling and character development. Faster was a filler episode, sure, but it foreshadows something significant in the Bad Batch’s relationship with Cid, which I hope will happen relatively soon because I’m sick and tired of those missions of the week. We can get to the good stuff if we get the show moving. Let’s do that.
The fifth episode of Star Wars: The Bad Batch – Season 2 is now available to stream on Disney+.
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