After three cracking episodes in a row ‘The Bad Batch’ slows the pace a bit and digs into the teams ideology. Having solved the imminent threats to the team, by removing their inhibitor chips and Omega escaping from the bounty hunters, they now have time to ponder on the state of the galaxy and their place in it. Still in debt to Cid they have to take the missions that she dictates and their new assignment goes against everything they have fought for and against in the past.
On the planet of Raxus, the former powerbase for the Confederacy of Independent Systems (otherwise unknown as the Separatists, the villains of the Clone Wars), Senator Avi Singh decides to make a stand against the Empire and speaks out on their “unjust occupation”. This leads to his immediate incarceration but he has already programmed his droid GS-8 with what to do. GS-8 gets the message out and it is Clone Force 99 that get the rescue mission as their next job.
The Bad Batch’s whole existence is designed around fighting Separatist so the idea of having to save an ‘enemy’ does not sit well with the team and there is a reluctance to take the job. Unfortunately for them Cid has them over a barrel, if they don’t follow through she will inform on them to the Empire. Hunter also has the added problem of Omega, now aware of her value he doesn’t want to risk taking her to an Imperial occupied planet and is forced to leave her with Cid.
The main plot from this point is pretty standard fare. Hunter and the team fly to the planet, link up with GS-8, and carry out the rescue. In a nice touch, they only ever stun the opposing clone troopers which signals that they still see them as brothers. So far in the series Clone Force 99 have only used lethal force when they are being attacked, when they are the aggressors they always stun. The problem is that this is the first episode where it has felt that there is no threat and no stakes to what they are doing. Whether this senator lives or dies doesn’t appear to hold any weight in the fate of the galaxy, he may go on to help the Rebels but he is not someone we know. On top of this, the heroes are more than capable in completing their task. This is the sort of situation where they should be going up against Crosshair and that would put doubt in your mind that everything is going to turn out okay. The action, which is built around an old-school tank battle, is still great but all too easy for the team.
The B plot follows Omega while she is in the care of Cid back on Ord Mantell. Cid is clearly not a child-friendly person, initially putting Omega to work cleaning the bar, but the two start to bond over Dejarik (the game Chewbacca plays in ‘A New Hope’). Seeing Omega’s skill with tactics, Cid sees money making potential in the child and starts running a book on her and offers her thirty percent of the winnings. Omega, of course, is wise to what she is doing and argues for sixty percent. By the time Hunter and the team return a large crowd has gathered to watch Omega play (so much for keeping a low profile) and she has earnt enough money to pay of their debt to Cid, freeing them to now make their own decisions about their destiny. The episode closes with Hunter and Omega playing a game of Dejerik, a game that you know she is going to win, with the prize being that she won’t be left off missions again.
So everyone finds some common ground (the episode title), the squad with separatists and Cid with Omega, and ideologies are changed which moves the story forward but for the first time it all feels a bit bland. I know you can’t have something big happen every week or you will quickly run out of story but hopefully next episode will see the return of a sense of danger.