Sunday, January 29

Review: ‘The Bad Batch’ Episode 3 – ‘The Solitary Clone’ Is a Solid Crosshair Story

Those who bemoaned Crosshair’s absence from The Bad Batch‘s double-premiere episodes can rest easy — The Solitary Clone focuses entirely on the former member of Clone Force 99, with the rest of the Bad Batch completely missing in this episode.

 

Crosshair has returned to the Empire after the events of the season 1 finale, despite being lost at sea for 32 days. While the Empire doesn’t yet see fit to give Crosshair command of another team — Rampart heavily suspects he lied about Clone Force 99’s fate on Kamino — they do pair him with another familiar face in the clone army. It’s pretty easy to figure out who he is, and the trailers have already shown his identity, but it’s a crowd-pleasing reveal regardless.

 

Crosshair’s new squad is given a mission to eliminate the governor of a Separatist holdout, and the crux of this episode of The Bad Batch revolves around that mission. There’s plenty of exciting action, and there’s something nostalgic about seeing a group of clones take on an army of clankers again. The Bad Batch often invites comparisons to The Clone Wars, and The Solitary Clone is no exception. Nearly every model of droid you can think of is seen here (surprisingly there are no super battle droids), and Crosshair comes up with some very creative ways to destroy them. I almost found myself rooting for the guy early on.

 

There are some subtle bits of character exploration, enough to kickstart Crosshair’s new arc this season, but that’s it really. I look forward to seeing what happens with him next. With the clones on the way out and having lost the trust of Admiral Rampart, it would seem Crosshair’s on borrowed time.

 

Spoilers ahead…

 

The Bad Batch 2x03

 

It looks like Crosshair will have left the Empire by the end of this season. Whether he gets out alive or not is another matter, but that seems to be where his story is heading. The Solitary Clone delivers an important perspective: that of the rest of the clones, which is mostly delivered through the return of Commander Cody, back for his first canon appearance since Order 66 in Revenge of the Sith.

 

Over time, Cody seems to have increasingly doubted whether or not serving the Empire is the right thing to do. Order 66 may have been carried out without question, but the clones seem to be ruminating on that decision since the end of the war. Perhaps some of them even regret it. It would appear that the weight of their conscience is beginning to overpower the chip in their heads.

 

Cody points out that what always made the clones different from battle droids was their ability to think for themselves, and it looks like that idea will be pivotal in this season. Admiral Rampart never understood that, mistaking the clones’ loyalty to that of a battle droid’s programming. We overhear some clones discussing the upcoming Defense Recruitment Bill, which must be what allows the Empire to start conscripting civilians as stormtroopers, and there is a worry about what will happen to them if the bill passes.

 

Crosshair was already struggling to sleep at the beginning of the episode — unsurprising, given that those beds look ridiculously uncomfortable — and when Cody asks him if they’re doing the right thing, he dodges the question entirely, responding that good soldiers follow orders.

 

The Bad Batch 2x03

 

Afterwards, we see Crosshair already awake before his alarm goes off. Clearly, his conscience is getting at him. No matter how much he may want things to go back to a simpler time, when all he needed to do was following orders and eliminating the enemy, and safe in the knowledge that he was on the side of good, things are different now. He’s finally waking up to the fact that things are no longer as black and white as they used to be.

 

Rampart tells him at the end of the episode that Cody has gone AWOL, and Crosshair knows exactly why after their earlier conversation. Yet another high-ranking clone who had earned Crosshair’s respect has defected, and you have to wonder how long he will hold out before he defects too.

 

 

The action on Desix was pretty great. It was fun seeing Crosshair back to his best again, destroying an AAT by shooting a bolt directly down the barrel of its cannon, and using mirrored pucks to bend his shots around tight corners. The fight on the spiral staircase was gripping, and it was refreshing to see a commando droid actually get the better of him… until Cody bailed him out.

 

While the B1 battle droids were comedic as ever, the droidekas and commando droids were treated as genuine threats. I loved how the droidekas’ arrival was always precipitated by the ominous sound of their bodies rolling closer and closer, and how the commandos seemed to adapt to Crosshair’s mirror puck tactic and got the jump on him. It would have been boring if Crosshair had carved through them all; the fight was genuinely challenging at points, and that’s what kept it entertaining.

 

 

Tawni Ames is certainly another contender for the “coolest helmet of the year” award, and she was yet another example of a former Separatist pointing out that maybe the Republic wasn’t so great after all. As the latest badass female character in Star Wars, it’s sad that she didn’t make it out alive. But it was clear from the moment she resisted Imperial occupation that things would turn out badly for her.

 

While I’m eager to see more of the Bad Batch themselves, I’m extremely interested to see how Crosshair’s arc develops throughout this season. It appears that head writer Jennifer Corbett is handling it with some subtlety for now, slowly increasing the doubts that creep into his head. It certainly makes for an intriguing story.

 

The fourth episode of season 2 of The Bad Batch, Faster, will drop next Wednesday, so stay tuned for our discussion!

 

Josh is a huge Star Wars fan, who has spent far too much time wondering if any Star Wars character could defeat Thanos with all the Infinity Stones.

source: www.starwarsnewsnet.com