Star Wars: The Bad Batch – Season 1, Episode 4: Cornered

Omega was created as a mystery box character. We know virtually nothing about her except that she is a clone and this has lead to massive speculation about who or what she is. Everything we have seen her do has been analysed as to whether she is force sensitive or has enhanced powers of some form. With this episode you get the feeling that the show’s creators are starting to toy with us as they keep on putting Omega in situation where you are expecting something revelatory to happen.

This week’s episode is the most straightforward of the run so far. The plot is simply, Clone Force 99 are out of supplies and need to restock. The wrinkle is that now they are on an Imperial wanted list and people will be looking out for them and their ship the Havoc Marauder. Tech can change it’s identity transponder but they need to land to do this. They head to Pantora, a moon that orbits the planet Orto Plutonia in the Outer Rim and dock in a bay run by a dodgy Sullustan who will look the other way for a price. Tech and Wrecker stay with the ship to carry out the changes while Hunter, Omega, and Echo (who is disguised as a droid) head into the city to get the supplies that they need. Unfortunately for the team, the Sullastan is only looking out for himself and quickly makes a call to sell the team out. On the other end of the call is Fennec Shand, a character introduced in ‘The Mandalorian’, with Ming-Na Wen reprising her role.

The situation in the city is the same as the squad found on Saleucami in Episode 2. The people are celebrating the end of the Clone Wars and the Empire is moving quick to stamp their authority. Hunter soon discovers that he has no money and nothing of value to barter and ends up trading Echo, who the storekeeper thinks is a droid, for what he needs. While the pair are focused on this Omega gets distracted and wanders of into the bustle of the city streets. Quickly she becomes confused and scared in this environment that is completely alien to her. When she is corner (the title of the episode) a nice lady, in the form of Shand, offers to help her find her friends. Omega falls for this but Hunter, who started to track her as soon as he noticed she was missing, see Fennec for what she is straight away. When a knife fight breaks out between Hunter and Fennec, Omega uses the opportunity to escape into the sewers. Fennec bests Hunter with a swift head but and then, in the sewers, knocks out Wrecker, who has come to help out, with a quick slam into a wall.

While all of this is going on Echo is leading a small droid revolt. Tech needs a hand to fix the ship and Echo comes to his aid by recruiting all the astromechs who work for the merchant that he has been traded to. In the first episode the classic line “More machine now than man” was used in reference to Echo and now we see him have a kinship with and the respect of droids. It feels that this is leading to a large discussion on the subject about what makes you a man later down the line.

Omega is chased out of the sewers and up a tower of which she promptly falls of the side and is left dangling. It is from this point onwards that you feel that Omega could do something amazing at any moment yet nothing happens. Fennec drops her safely from the tower onto a passing padded cargo container and a chase similar to the one in ‘Attack Of The Clones’ starts. Hunter is pursuing on a speeder and he a Fennec trade laser shots and blows until he successfully rescues Omega and leaves Fennec escaping from an exploding wreck. Hunter and his team flee the moon and Fennec reports to her mysterious employer that the target has got way.

Fennec’s animated debut is a pleasant surprise because she hasn’t been watered down in away way from for live action appearance. She easily handles herself against the two most proficient fighters from Clone Force 99 and she freely kills anyone who gets in her way. And her kills aren’t sanitised for a younger audience, you see the lasers hit and the vehicle explode into fireballs. For an audience that has now had two seasons of ‘The Mandalorian’ this should fell like the same Star Wars to them and I’m guessing the idea of introducing Fennec is bring some of those eyes to the show.

This is the first episode where we haven’t had any answers. As I said before, it feels like we are now being teased about Omega. We know she is important to the Kaminoans and we can guess that they are the ones that have hired Fennec Shand to bring her back but why did they let her go in the first place? The question is how long will they drag this out before they start to give us some answers. This is the type of episode that will earn the dreaded ‘filler’ label but at the moment the creative team have built up enough good faith for us to believe that this will all mean something later down the line.

A solid story with some exciting and funny moments but it lacks the edge of what has come before.

⭐⭐⭐

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