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The Bad Batch

Return to Kamino (The Bad Batch - S01E15) - Animated Series

Series: The Bad Batch

Title: Return to Kamino

Season: One

Episode: 15

Original Air Date: August 6th, 2021

Runtime: 23 minutes

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

Discuss the latest Chapter! (Discussion)

"This is who I am!" SPOILERS.

Where the Bad Batch hatched...

"Return to Kamino" continues the end season arc that started with War-Mantle. The Bad Batch are trying to rescue Hunter who is held captive on Kamino and is in the clutches of his former friend Crosshair. Omega knows Kamino inside out (of course) and so the Bad Batch manage to land on a secret landing platform that allows them to infiltrate a mostly deserted Kamino and to track Hunter's com signal. But before the action takes over Omega and the others enter the secret lab where both Omega and the Bad Batch were made. And we learn that Omega is actually older than the Bad Batch, it is not revealed by how much, but Omega was already around when clone force 99 was made, but they left shortly after. What follows is a prolongued action sequence, and even though the Bad Batch know they walk into a trap, they are still trapped by Crosshair and his team of Stormtroopers when they take a lift to the training grounds. But then the unpexcted happens and Crosshair kills his own team mates and then asks his old friends to join the Empire, so they can have a purpose again.

"Join me and together we can rule the galaxy" - or something like that

Hunter refuses but before the discussion can go any further Omega, who was left behind in the lab for safety reasons (despite her usual protestations) first takes out a stormtrooper who was sent to go fetch her and then activates the training droids we saw in the pilot - and after that the Bad Batch reunite once more for a fight against the droids. Once the dust settles Hunter tells Crosshair that it's the inhibitor chip that makes him do all these things, but then we get the M Night Shyamalan twist: Crosshair reveals he had his chip removed "a long time ago" and that what they see is who he really is. There is not much time to reflect on this revelation because just then the Empire decides to detroy the Kamino cloning facilities and several star destroyers unleash their turbo lasers on the structure. Hunter stuns Crosshair and they try to escape the inferno, but the episode ends with yet another cliffhanger and we don't know if and how the team makes it back to the ship, as the cloning facility is utterly destroyed and sinks into the ocean.

Padme would call it "agressive demolition"

"Return to Kamino" was a good episode, about on par with "War-Mantle", but in my opinion it still fell somewhat short here and there. Seeing the lab where Omega and the Bad Batch were created could have resulted in some more information about Omega's true purpose, something that was completely ignored throughout the season after it was initally teased. So the lab was just another set piece and we only learned that Omega is actually older than the Bad Batch. Of course she is. That explains why she is the adult most of the time and the brains of the operation. It is certainly funny to think that her father figure Hunter is younger than her and that she witnessed his creation. It's pretty apparent now that Omega's purpose will only be explored in later seasons.

The Crosshair twist was a nice touch, because, after all, just because you may or may not have an inhibitor chip doesn't mean you can't just be a bad person or someone who loves dictatorships. But still, something about this twist doesn't feel and look right. Early in the season we saw how they stimulated certain areas of Crosshair's brain to strengthen the effects of the chip. But now Crosshair reveals, he had it removed a long time ago. How long is that? And did the brain stimulation leave no after effects? Also, how was he even able to have his chip removed? Unnoticed? Also, how come that all the clones have all these diverging personalities? It can't be nature, they all share the Jango DNA, it can't be nurture, since they all grew up in the same place. The clones are much more individuals perhaps than they should be, given their background. But of course you need this variety for the show. Also, one can argue that the DNA of clone force 99 was altered and each one of them has a different set of talents, this gene editing may have an impact on their characters.

I also liked the last, wistful look at the abandoned cloning facilities, mere moments before the star destroyers unleash hell on it. Kamino and the cloning facitlies have been with us for a long time now, almost twenty years, so it was more than appropriate to give this location one last goodbye before it was destroyed forever. However, the question is why the Empire wouldn't just take over the place and use it for their own purposes. It is incredibly stupid and really wasteful to destroy the facilities when you think about it. It makes little sense. But then again, few of the Empire's plans or military tactics make sense, which ultimately proved to be its downfall when a bunch of teddy bears bested the Empire with rocks and wooden sticks.

So what's next? First, the Bad Batch have to make it off Kamino, which may prove to be a somewhat difficult task, given the fact that the Empire is blasting the city into oblivion and platforms are sinking into the sea. With Crosshair in tow it will be interesting to see what the resolution will be. I see two or maybe three possibilities here. Either Hunter will let Crosshair go, so he can return to the Empire. Or Crosshair will realize that he means nothing to the Empire which was more than willing to kill him alongside everyone else and then he either stays with his old friends or he says he will return to the Empire as a spy. I would hope that an ill tempered, angry Crosshair stays with the Bad Batch, this could add a very interesting dynamic to the show. I would award extra bonus points for Crosshair killing off Cid when he first sees her, because he finds her incredibly annoying and is appaled that he is supposed to do odd jobs for her (I am joking... or AM I????)

And with that wholesome thought we are waiting for the next and final episode of season 1. A very uneven season 1, that really only needed 8 episodes to tell the exact same story. Let's hope season 2 in 2022 will have more focus. Unfortunately, season 2 was almost certainly in production alongside season 1 and thus cannot take viewer feedback into account. And any changes viewers hope for will probably not come to be, the scripts for these animated shows are usually finalized years before an episode airs, dialogue is also recorded up to two years or even longer before an episode airs. Which means Filoni and his co-showrunner Jennifer Corbett had no way of tweaking season 2 after seeing how the audience reacts to season 1, that would only be possible for a potential season 3.

Added: August 9, 2021
Category: The Bad Batch
Reviewer: Thomas
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