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The Bad Batch

Faster (The Bad Batch - S02E04) - Animated Series

Series: The Bad Batch

Title: Faster

Season: Two

Episode: 4

Original Air Date: January 18th, 2023

Runtime: 22 minutes

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

Discuss the latest Chapter! (Discussion)

"But with Cid it doesn't always go both ways. Watch your backs!" SPOILERS.

A day at the races with Cid, Tech, Wrecker and Omega

After last week's pretty grood episode it's back to business as usual this week. Cid has yet another mission for the Bad Batch. Well, not all of the Bad Batch, since Hunter and Echo are already on some cargo delivery mission for Cid. So Cid tells Tech, Wrecker and Omega to be her muscle when she goes to the races. How a small child can be protection against seedy underworld types is not further elaborated upon. Anyway, Cid owns a racer piloted by a droid and she hopes to win big money with this enterprise of hers.

Riot racing! It's like pod racing. Only with blasters.

But of course Cid's droid fails to win the race, both her racer and droid are damaged. Some old rival of Cid's is very delighted about this. It turns out Cid owes credits to her rival and even though the Bad Batch do all these missions for Cid she is apparently short on cash and can't pay her debt. And with her racer more or less totaled she is out of options. But then Omega proposes that they do a "double or nothing" race. Cid's rival agrees and takes Cid more or less hostage. The Bad Batch repair the racer, Tech focuses on the droid. And the droid pilot is actually fully restored, but then he gets run over by a racer on the track and is destroyed for good. And now the one surprising thing in this episode happens. Early on I was convinced Omega will eventually pilot Cid's racer and win. But it turns out Tech suggests he enters the race and wins for Cid. Tech, forever the tactitian, has analyzed the track and the racer and has come up with a strategy to win the race.

Insert lots of racing scenes here (symbol photo)

We get a lengthy racing segment (there are two racing segments in the episode which take up roughly half of the total runtime) and of course Tech wins the race and saves the day! Cid is now all square with her old rival. But before the Bad Batch make their exit Cid's rival gives them one last advice, not to trust Cid at all. And that's it for this week.

Tech saves the day by winning the race, the people love him

"Faster" was an entirely pointless episode. Archetypical filler. Now that doesn't always have to be a bad thing. And as mentioned many times before The Bad Batch is aimed at kids first, families second and adults a very distant third. So it's possible that kids do enjoy the action and the filler episodes that add nothing and go nowhere.

But in my opinion there should also be a way to make a kid- or family-friendly series that also has something to offer for adults who would like some plot and depth here and there. After all, the original Star Wars was just that, a movie for all ages that offered something for everyone. But the very action focused Bad Batch episodes are usually extremely light on plot and the random oddjobs or fetch quests for Cid have little to no substance.

On a technical level the series is excellent, the racing scenes were also ok, but the problem here is that we have it seen all before, even in Star Wars, and quite frankly, the pod racing sequence in The Phantom Menace was a lot better than what we got here. And let's not even mention the grandfather of all that, Ben Hur, after which the pod racing segment in The Phantom Menace was modeled. So "Faster", in many ways, feels like the copy of a copy. This will of course not concern (very young) kids who most likely haven't seen The Phantom Menace yet and certainly not Ben Hur, but the question is how many kids even watch the show and if the majority of viewers is not adults once again.    

The only important thing in this episode happens right at the end, when Cid's rival warns the Bad Batch that Cid is not to be trusted. I really do hope that all of that will eventually result in the series shaking things up, leaving Cid's obbjobs behind with the Bad Batch doing anything but random jobs for her, because with filler episodes like these the series is just treading water. In some ways The Bad Batch season 2, so far, reminds me of the second season of Star Wars: Resistance, where everyone hoped that season 2 would change things and raise the stakes, yet season 2 of Resistance was just even more filler and even removed the few things that were good about season 1, like the missions with Poe Dameron. I hope The Bad Batch won't repeat the same mistake. It's high time to change things. Because episodes like "Faster" feel like a colossal waste of time to me.

Now that doesn't mean it's "bad", it's just all so predictable and pointless. The animation is great, the action is fine, kids can certainly have fun here, but you can never shake the feeling that the entire episode is just a way to fill the day with something that is slightly less inconsequential than staring at a wall. The Bad Batch can be so much more, it should be so much more. The Crosshair episode last week is evidence of that. Let's hope the series will leave the filler episodes behind very, very soon. Or else I cannot see how the series can or should get a third season. The two part season 2 premiere was already pretty disappointing, but this week's episode is even more disappointing. That means out of the four episodes already aired only one is actually good and worth your time. We still have twelve more episodes to go, so there is time to course correct. Unfortunately, as things are, it's very likely that the stories were written at a time before season 1 even aired (producing animation takes a lot of time) and thus showrunner Jennifer Corbett could not factor in audience reaction into her plans for season 2. Let's hope for the best next week.

Added: January 18, 2023
Category: The Bad Batch
Reviewer: Thomas
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