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Star Wars: The Clone Wars

Dangerous Debt (The Clone Wars - S07E07) - Animated Series

Series: The Clone Wars

Title: Dangerous Debt

Season: Seven

Episode: 7

Original Air Date: April 3, 2020

Runtime: 21 minutes

Credits: Review & Text: Thomas; Page layout & Design: Chuck Paskovics

Who you were does not have to define who you are.

In a Pyke prison

This week's episode "Dangerous Debt" was very high on action, but despite all the mayhem, explosions, torture scenes and even decapitation by elevator (the episode is delightfully violent), it was very low on actual story.

Torture!

The episode begins with the two Martez sisters and Ahsoka in prison. We are treated to some backstory in which we learn that Luminara Unduli inadvertently killed the parents of the Martez sisters during a failed attempt to capture Ziro the Hutt (many moons ago). And then Luminara showed off her severe lack of people skills when she later visited the Martez sisters and offered not much comfort or help other than saying that the Force will be with them. It's understandable why the Martez sisters would not hold the Jedi in high regard. It also shows that the Jedi were maybe too detached from everyday life. But after this slow start with some insightful character moments the episode switches gears and the mayhem, destruction and utter chaos begins. And everything is set in motion when the Pykes begin to torture Rafa for information about the whereabouts of the spice, which we witness in close-up and detail.

A Pyke gets violently killed in an explosion

When it's Trace's turn to get tortured she tricks the Pykes by feigning to pass out, she uses the moment to grab a blaster and she escapes. Ahsoka meanwhile uses the Force to open the cell, so she and Rafa are also free. What follows is a series of blaster shoot-outs, explosions, martial arts and even death by elevator.

Dave Filoni must probably like the movie Total Recall

While the episode cuts away a split second before the Pyke gets cut in half his fate is obvious. The episode is surprisingly violent.

Three Mandalorians observe the mayhem

There are several more shoot-outs, then we get another Ahsoka martial arts scene in which she takes out several Pykes unarmed. But eventually a disgruntled vagrant who didn't get any money from the Martez sisters when he asked for it rats them out to the Pykes who are searching for them. Some more fighting follows, but the two Martez sisters are eventually captured. The scene is observed from the rooftops by three hooded Mandalorians. We don't know their purpose yet, but one of them is Bo-Katan, the other is Ursa Wren. I suppose we will meet them again next week.

Ashoka tries to free the Martez sisters and succeeds for a few momens, but ultimately their escape fails and the episode ends where it began. In a Pyke prison cell. We went full circle.

In prison once more

"Dangerous Debt" was a weird episode in some regards. On the one hand it was very entertaining. The escape attempt by the Martez sisters and Ahsoka was non-stop action and mayhem. The episode also didn't shy away from being violent, to the point of hilarity almost. However, if either explicit or implicit violence and death by elevator is not your cup of tea you may have a problem with this episode. The entire prison break was very entertaining and the action was well choreographed. As usual everything looks impressive. However, that being said, when you think about it all, then almost nothing happened and the episode is pure filler. Because the episode takes us full circle and ends where it began, in a Pyke prison cell and all of the things that happened inbetween are rendered irrelevant, other than maybe the three Mandalorians finding out that Ahsoka is on the planet and in some trouble.

After three of the four Ahsoka episodes I also think that this particular arc was maybe not the best choice for the final season of The Clone Wars. While entertaining, it feels very inessential. When you know that this arc was originally intended for season 6 you no longer wonder why it is so inessential, at that point it was far away from the endgame. And while finding out how Ahsoka copes after leaving the Jedi order would have been interesting, it's odd that she feels more like a guest star in her own arc. The spotlight is clearly on the Martez sisters. In essence random characters we never met before and will never meet again. Sure, they provide some interesting perspective, since they are underprivileged outsiders and we see some actions of the Jedi in a different light through their eyes, which fits in perfectly with Ahsoka's disillusion with the order, but that hardly warrants an entire four episode arc with the sisters, I think. Not when season 7 will only give us 12 last episodes. The Crystal Crisis arc on Utapau with Anakin and Obi-Wan would have been a more fitting candidate for the final season perhaps.

The Ashoka arc asks us to invest time and interest in brand new characters. The Martez sisters are alright, they are shown to be naive, inexperienced, wannabe big shots (Rafa at least) or somewhat naive dreamers (Trace), but to put the focus on them instead of Ahsoka is weird. Ahsoka's role is reduced to being a secret Jedi who only uses her powers very sparingly in a few moments here and there. There are very few actual character moments for her, and no real growth, most of the time she just reacts to one of Trace's or Rafa's stories, saying how sorry she is. An Ahsoka arc should have maybe focused a lot more on her and less on the guest characters.

Perhaps the original idea for the Ahsoka arc would have been a better choice. The original idea for the arc was that Ahsoka still crash lands on Level 1313, but meets a male character who becomes somewhat of a love interest. Now that could have been either terrible or good, but chances are it would have focused more on Ahsoka's growth as a person instead of being a Jedi in hiding who doesn't want to use her powers all that much. However, Filoni decided to erase the male love interest and introduced the two Martez sisters instead. Now we have one more episode to go, and I wonder if Ahsoka will get something actually meaningful to do in the last episode of her arc. Other than being the somewhat grumpy sidekick to the Martez sisters who rolls her eyes at their harebrained schemes and utter lack of any real knowledge of the world.

As a standalone arc, disconnected from the actual war, it's standard fare, perfectly entertaining for the most part, but it's nothing of real consequence. This particular episode was certainly very entertaining on the surface, the prison break was intense, however, it's difficult to care about any of that when in the end all is in vain and the characters end up back in prison. I rate the episode 3 stars, mostly because of the high octane action and the promise of Mandalorian involvement in next week's episode.

Added: April 4, 2020
Category: Star Wars: The Clone Wars
Reviewer: Thomas
Score:
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