This pair of episodes is a slight departure from “The Bad Batch” formula to focus on the senate and political intrigue of the galaxy, but they’re showing us the moving parts of Palpatine’s new Empire in fascinating ways, as well as the fate of the clones. In a show about clones, seeing the transition from a clone army to a volunteer army is particularly fascinating.
This pair of episodes culminate in two really great emotional moments. The first is the holo of Tipoca City being bombarded by Rampart’s men, writ large in the senate for all to see. It was breathtaking that their plan to get the information worked, but it was also frustrating to Palpatine so quickly spin the tragedy he ordered back to his advantage. There’s a lot to be said about how deftly he’s able to manipulate the galaxy, but it’s nice to see it in action. And that holo-footage of Kamino is nothing short of haunting. But nothing in the galaxy will change—at least not for a very long time. It’s enough to make one feel hopeless.
The other emotional note in this episode that was done very well was Echo’s departure from the team. Watching Omega get choked up about it as she salutes him and gives him a curt, “Yes, sir” to follow his orders to take care of the rest of the team is much more emotional than I’d thought this show capable of.
Though some might see these two episodes as a departure, especially since the Bad Batch doesn’t even appear in the first episode, these stories are really working to test the Bad Batch and their involvement in the wider conflict. They can’t keep ignoring it. It was smart to release these two episodes on the same day, too, so folks got at least some Bad Batch action—and the action was incredible. Their infiltration of the ship had echoes of “The A-Team” and was incredibly well animated. Coruscant at night just looks terrific.
I’m excited for more of the season and, as much as I love the Bad Batch, I wouldn’t mind more of these Batchless episodes. They remind me a lot of what I loved about “The Clone Wars.”
New episodes of “The Bad Batch” air on Wednesdays on Disney+.