What show is episodic, has self-contained stories, and widely varies in tone? Why, it’s episodes 3-5 of The Bad Batch, of course. This most recent chunk of episodes are essentially adventures of the week, and I’m glad I waited until more of them were released before writing this. Not because they’re bad, they’re not, just not much to talk about. The tone of each episode was also all over the place. Whilst this kept me guessing from week to week, I’m also seeing similar problems as those in the first season, mostly with the show’s pacing and segmented feel… but I’ll get to that later.
Titled “The Solitary Clone,” Episode 3 shifts the focus away from the Batch and focuses on Crosshair, the black sheep of the Empire (get it, because his armor is black). We see Crosshair go about his daily life at the Imperial barracks while he recovers from the ending of last season. After being cleared to return to duty, Crosshair is assigned to a new squad led by none other than the man, the myth, the legend, Commander Cody.
The clones then go on a not-so-fun adventure that involves reprogrammed droids, an Imperial official who’s a massive dick, and a casual war crime. Episode 3 was my favorite of these three episodes by a long shot. Commander Cody’s return was an awesome surprise, and seeing clones fight battle droids never gets old. I also really liked seeing more clones begin to question their role in Order 66, with Cody showing remorse for his actions. This was also the only episode where there was any sort of meaningful character development, which is always appreciated.
What type of episode do you think would follow up Episode 3? If you said speeder racing with a guest voice appearance from Ben Schwartz from Sonic the Hedgehog, then you’d be correct (and a liar, no one would guess that). Titled “Faster,” Episode 4 was a lot more chill and had zero war crimes. Because I watched these three episodes back-to-back, I got whiplash from the shift in tone.
The plot followed Tech, Wrecker, and Omega joining Sid on her gambling trip to the planet Safa Toma. Here they meet her droid racer TAY-O (voiced by the aforementioned Ben Schwartz), who totally isn’t a droid with the personality of Sonic. Shenanigans ensue, and Sid gets into money troubles with a big guy called Millegi (voiced by Ghostbusters legend Ernie Hudson). Omega and the others then have to bail her out. While the episode didn’t feel high-stakes, it was still an enjoyable time that sets up a possible Sid betrayal (probably over money or something). I also won’t complain about hearing Ben Schwartz in more animated content.
Episode 5, titled “Entombed”, was the most adventure-of-the-week I think The Bad Batch has ever been, which has its pros and cons. On the one hand, we get moments like Wrecker and Omega digging through a junkyard and hints at the backstory of the Star Wars universe (more of that, please). But on the flip side, we get a plot that feels like it has no reason to exist and no substantial character development.
Even though this was my least favorite episode of the three, I still enjoyed aspects. The banter between the Bad Batch is always fun, and the addition of the treasure hunter Phee Genoa (Wanda Sykes) was nice. The premise of finding a long-lost treasure on a remote planet with ties to the galaxy’s past was also interesting, and I hope they expand on the idea in future episodes and projects. The episode was still a fun time, just the least fun out of this recent batch. I also think that someone at Lucasfilm recently played Horizon Forbidden West because that big reveal at the end is too similar for it to be a coincidence.
Episodes 3, 4, and 5 of The Bad Batch were entertaining individual stories. The return of Commander Cody, the speeder race (with a re-used Episode 1 sound effect), and the reveal at the end of Episode 5 was all amazing to watch. While I would still prefer a more cohesive story with fewer of these side mission episodes, I still enjoyed watching them. Hopefully, all these seemingly separate stories lead to a big season finale, but we’ll just have to wait and see.
What did you think about the recent episodes of The Bad Batch? Which episode was your favorite? Let us know in the comments below where we can all agree that the end of Episode 5 was most definitely a reference to Horizon.