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The Bad Batch

Rampage (The Bad Batch - S01E05) - Animated Series

Series: The Bad Batch

Title: Rampage

Season: One

Episode: 5

Original Air Date: May 28th, 2021

Runtime: 22 minutes

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

Discuss the latest Chapter! (Discussion)

"It's okay Muchie, we're here to take you home!" SPOILERS.

Another week, another planet. Ord Mantell.

After last week's encounter with the bounty hunter Fennec Shand the Bad Batch try to find out who that bounty hunter was exactly and who hired her. Echo knows an old Jedi informant called Cid on Ord Mantell who may be able to provide the information they seek. But as usual Cid demands a fee for handing over the information: the Bad Batch are to rescue some kid called Muchie. Muchie is held by Zygerrian slavers. The Bad Batch set out for the rescue but of course everything that can go wrong does go wrong. The elite Clone Force 99 gets taken out by the slavers in almost no time at all with some help from their pet brezak, basically a huge flying lizard. Omega, who was ordered to wait on the ship, comes to the rescue, again, and even though the slavers eventually find her as well, Omega still has time to open the lock of a huge cage. And inside that cage is a young rancor beast that soon unleashes total chaos. The Bad Batch use the opportunity to break free and they and the rancor give the slavers a very hard time. It is then however, that we find out that "Muchie" is not some young alien girl which was captured by the slavers with her family, no, "Muchie" is actually the name of the young female rancor. But eventually all slavers are taken care of and Wrecker challenges Muchie to a fight, since you need to prove your dominance over a rancor to make it obedient and docile. Of course Wrecker wins the fight and everything is resolved. Back in Ord Mantell City Bib Fortuna and some goons are delighted to get Muchie back, since Jabba The Hutt was the client who tasked Cid with finding Muchie. Thus it turns out that "Muchie" is most likely the rancor Luke killed a little more than two decades later in Return of the Jedi. Cid, the Trandoshan informant, then provides the Bad Batch with some info about the bounty hunter, but she was unable to find out who hired her. And that wraps up this week's adventure.

Elite Clone Force 99. Taken out in a matter of seconds.

Overall the episode was ok, but nothing spectacular. A few things are noteworthy. It seems that the writers are fortunately very aware of the tropes they use and after last week's "the kid runs off into danger" trope the episode addresses this stupidity almost immediately. Omega gets a few rules, no wandering off, don't be too trustworthy of strangers and to make things easier she also gets Crosshair's old comlink so she can call out for help when in trouble. The scene with Omega using the comlink all the time in the first few minutes is quite funny, since this is absolutely what kids would do. But even though the show addresses the tropes it uses it might be better to avoid some extremely overused tropes in the first place. Still, it's good to know that Omega may not run away again any time soon.

Muchie. The adorable pet rancor which gets brutally murdered by Luke Skywalker decades later

Another nice touch is the moment between Wrecker and Omega when Cid the informant says that Omega is evidently the brains of the operation. Wrecker offers Omega her hand and she slaps it. But this touches on an issue the show has. The characters are in some ways surprisingly dumb. It's always problematic when the viewers have more information than the protagonists and wait and wait and wait for the protagonists to finally catch up. The central issue here is that the Bad Batch want to find out two things, who the bounty hunter is and who hired her. And while the identity of the bounty hunter is of course a mystery the client who hired her should be a no-brainer and it's somewhat testing the patience of the audience when the Bad Batch cannot even guess that only one party may have a vested interest in getting Omega back: the Kaminoans. Clone Force 99 only stole their "property", so to speak. That they need to hire someone to find out the identity of the client is simply not believable. Let's hope the show addresses this issue very soon. Because it can become quite tedious to wait for the inevitable revelation that the Kaminoans want Omega back.

What a sweet pet. Only to get brutally slaughtered by Luke eventually.

Another issue the show has is the ineptitude of the Clones. They get knocked out and taken out much too easily. Sure, they eventually prevail, but too many times already Omega had to come to the rescue, which is in danger of approaching "Wesley Crusher" levels of annoyance. Sure, the episodes need to have some tension, some conflict that is not resolved in two minutes, and the show needs to find things for a young kid to do, but in my opinion the writers absolutely need to find better ways to make things not as easy for the Bad Batch without nerfing them all the time or letting Omega resolve the situation. After firing that blaster in the pilot, getting the chain codes to Cut and family, retrieving the capacitor and now releasing the rancor this is the fourth time in five episodes already that Omega was vital to the success of a mission.

As things are now The Bad Batch is still sorting its puzzle pieces, even when we, the viewer, already know a good piece of the picture, namely the fact that it can only be the Kaminoans who want Omega. As a result of this nothing of real consequence has happened, yet again. It's time to get things moving and to advance the plot. This episode also once more foreshadows Wreckers eventual implant troubles, since he's had a headache again. I wonder how much longer they will delay the inevitable here.

The show is still fun, the episodes are not boring, it's entertaining, but after five episodes The Bad Batch slowly begins to feel like a lesser arc of The Clone Wars, you know those arcs, usually the ones without any Jedi or Sith. And that's touching on a basic question: how much is "Star Wars" still "Star Wars", especially to a more general audience, when there is no "War", no "Rebellion", no Jedi, no lightsabers and no Force. The Mandalorian has (had) Grogu which connects the show to the grander Star Wars mythology, we had guest appearances by two Jedi, Ahsoka and Luke. The Bad Batch, so far, has none of these elements (ignoring the short Order 66 sequence in the pilot), instead there is the central mystery of Omega and her true purpose, but we are still waiting for the Bad Batch to either deduce or find out that the Kaminoans are after the child. The show needs to get things going. It might also help to shift the focus more on Crosshair from time to time. So far there was only one episode that featured him and his new elite squad of Stormtroopers. And maybe it would help broaden the scope of the show if they find an Order 66 survivor and if the Empire plays more of an active role in the episodes as antagonists.

Added: May 31, 2021
Category: The Bad Batch
Reviewer: Thomas
Score:
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