Episode 8 is a delight from start (the return of Crosshair) to finish (a suprise but welcome cameo). Up until now the series has been very entertaining but it had been all about establishing our characters’ status quo and solving the inhibitor chip problem. With this episode everything kicks into top gear.
As has been the habit with the show so far we pick up right where the last episode left off. Clone Force 99 have been reported to the Empire and Crosshair has been sent to Bracca to eliminate all of them. The Kaminoans aren’t happy with this as they need Omega for what ever plan they have got cooking. This answers the question of which enhanced clone they where after because up to this point it could have been any of them. They already have Fennec Shand after her but they decide they need more help.
We catch up to the Bad Batch with another cute bonding scene between Wrecker and Omega. This time he his teaching her to disarm a bomb to comic effect. Although the show is become based around Hunter and Omega and his struggle to be her father figure it is the Omega/Wrecker relationship that is becoming the standout and heart of the story.
The team quickly shut down the threat from the scrappers in a nice little action scene that emphasises their teamwork but this leads to more debate about what they should be doing. Hunter wants to do the best for Omega and sees an opportunity in stripping the Star Destroyer they are hiding in for part and data and selling this on for money to survive. Echo argues that they are not arms dealers but soldiers and should have teamed up with Rex on whatever he was up to. It’s clear that the team are still unsure of their place in the galaxy.
They get the power on in the ship and get to work in the armoury where Wrecker finds his favourite thing – proton torpedoes and he then precedes to carry one around with him. Omega goes to see how Tech is getting on mining the ship’s data and as they are talking a light starts blinking the console. It’s a proximity alarm and the Empire have arrived. Fortunately the squad know how the clones will react and concoct and escape plan, unfortunately Crosshair knows the team so his clones manages to cut them off.
Crosshair, in his few appearances, is quickly becoming one best Star Wars villains. He takes no shit, believes in what he is doing, and is prepared to do what it takes to get the job done. A proper villain that you love to hate. Here he orders all the clones to “aim at the child” when Omega tries to reason with him. Then when the squad escape into the ship’s engine he orders it to be turned on while waiting on the outside ready to snipe them if they appear.
The team take the Indiana Jones approach to escaping which is to make the situation worse an hope it works out. Trapped inside the exhaust of the starship’s engine the decide to blow it up to escape. Again working as a team they set all the charges and miraculously the plan works but in the falling wreckage the team become separated. But, as a bonus, the angle of the exhaust is changed and Crosshair gets toasted.
When Hunter and Omega make it back to their ship they find all the clone that where guarding it are dead. Waiting for them is the new bounty hunter the Kaminoans have hired and it is none other than Cad Bane. Everything about the show now goes full western. All the dialogue, the shots, the lighting, and the score call back to the cinema of a bygone era. Cad Bane was always designed to be this way but now it is taken to the max and the character is used to great effect in what is probably the first time a lot of the audience have seen him. Bane and Hunter face off against each other and Bane is fastest on the draw. He then stuns a cowering Omega and departs with his bounty.
The episode finishes with a shot I don’t think we have ever seen in Star Wars before. We get the point of view from inside Hunters clone helmet as he is rescued by his teammates. For probably the first time ever clone armour has worked and Hunter is only injured. The squad make it to their ship and flee and now they have a new mission – rescue Omega.
This episode is throughly entertaining and full of nice touches. The once white Kaminoan offices are now turning Imperial grey. The normal clones have now become robotic as droids. The more evil Crosshair becomes the less human he looks. And as the show gets darker it still delivers great gags such as Wrecker throwing the torpedo that he has been carrying at a clone rather than detonating it.
The best episode so far and raises the bar for what’s to come.