‘The Bad Batch’ concludes its first season with another strong episode but it is surprising downbeat with a somber tone and doesn’t offer any real cliffhanger.
The story follows the team’s attempt to escape the destroyed Tipoca City, the home of the clones on Kamino, as it being to sink below the waves. As is common in Star Wars it has that classic adventure serial feel where every time they escape one deathtrap they are straightaway faced with another bigger one. This could become a bit repetitive but the interplay between the characters lifts it up.
Their first obstacle is as the city is sinking all the doors seal to try and stop the flooding resulting in Omega, AZI, and Crosshair being separated from the others. With Crosshair trapped under some rubble and the water rising it is down to Omega to keep him alive while Wrecker tries to open the door from the other side. Omega’s inherent goodness shines here as she frantically battles to stop Crosshair from drowning, he has been fully prepared to kill her for the whole series but because they share the same genetic code she is not prepared to let him die. Using her bow she manages to free him just in time and Wrecker forces the door open to reunite them all.
They have a few moments to soaking the destruction of their home around them before the whole city tilts on to its side as it slips beneath the waves, turning the corridor they are walking down into a deadly drop. They all struggle to hang on and, just as they are about to fall, the structure hits the ocean floor and their world is the right way up again. They end up in their old quarters and things come to a head between Hunter and Crosshair. There is a conflict on the philosophy soldiering, Crosshair is sticking by “A good soldier follows orders” while Hunter doesn’t want to be a pawn and has his team’s best interests at heart. You can see why this hurts Crosshair as he was the one that got left behind but as he is not being controlled by a chip his choices are his own and he has been making the wrong choices.
Omega’s strategy skills come to the fore again as she plots the next part of their escape. The team’s quarters are resting on the secret tunnels that connect the city and if AZI can cut and weld correctly they will have a new path back to their ship. The team drop down into the tunnel but the trek is going to be very precarious as the glass structure is cracking with every step. It’s now Wrecker’s turn to pipe up as he can’t understand Crosshair decisions saying the team would of had him back if he asked but Tech shuts him down by saying Crosshair’s nature cannot be changed and he tells Crosshair that although he understands where he is coming from it does not mean he agrees with his choices.
Before their debate can go any further they are interrupted by the next obstacle in the road to survival. A massive turtle-type creature sees them as lunch and starts to attack the already cracking glass tunnel. This leads to a mad dash through the tunnel before they are sucked into the ocean and they all manage to make it through an airlock and relatively safety as AZI closes it behind them. They are now stuck in Nala Se’s secret lab with no access to the surface and their oxygen running out.
Crosshair once again blames Omega for them being in this situation but Hunter is quick to point out the she was the one that saved his life. Crosshair blindly believes in the Empire and what they have done even though they nearly killed him because they where the ones that took him in and gave the orders. Omega tells him that she was alone until the squad where created and that she wants to believe the the inhibitor chip made Crosshair behave the way he did be she admits that she is wrong and that’s just the way he is.
Tech comes up with the idea that they could float to the surface in the cloning tubes that they where created in. As they will have no propulsion to guide themselves it is decided that AZI will be in the water to guide them. They blow out a window to let the water in and begin their ascent but a piece of falling city begins to push Omega’s tube down to the ocean floor. While the rest of the team make it safety to the surface AZI struggles to free Omega and in doing so runs his battery down. Omega watches her friend slide silently into the watery darkness but believes that they can’t leave anyone behind and dives in after him. The team watch helplessly as it looks like they will both be lost and Crosshair pulls his gun looking like he is going to shoot Hunter but he fires a cable to AZI and pulls them to safety.
They paddle to the landing platform and final reach the Havok Marauder. Hunter offers to let Crosshair rejoin the team, similar to how Crosshair offered the team a place in the Empire in the previous episode, but he has already decided to stay. Hunter says that they don’t have to be enemies and Omega tells him that he is still her brother as the team leave Crosshair behind and fly off into the sunset.
The season closes out with a scene of Nala Se arriving at an Imperial facility carved into a mountain. She is greeted by an Imperial scientist, dressed in the same uniform as Dr. Pershing from ‘The Mandalorian’, who promises that the Empire have big things planned for her.
Overall it was a strong end to a strong first season, a season that we went into not knowing what to expect. It was refreshing to watch a full season of something Star Wars that wasn’t reliant on the Jedi or The Force. It successfully mixed new characters with established guest stars but in the end the team were strong enough to save themselves rather than be rescued by people that they had met along the way. The story delivered the big events that fans were crying out for but also told its own story and deliverer small character moments. If there was one negative it was that not all the team got their chance to shine. Echo, the one established character going into the series, was a spectator for most episodes and Tech did little except spout exposition but was consistently funny in the way that he did it.
Maybe there wasn’t a cliffhanger because they were not certain of getting a second season but it did allow the season to feels complete. Most questions were answered and everything was a lot simpler than then speculation. The big question mark remaining is where does Omega fit into the Fetts story. You get the feeling that now the Skywalker saga is over the Fett saga has begun.