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The Bad Batch

Metamorphosis (The Bad Batch - S02E11) - Animated Series

Series: The Bad Batch

Title: Metamorphosis

Season: Two

Episode: 11

Original Air Date: March 1st, 2023

Runtime: 27 minutes

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

Discuss the latest Chapter! (Discussion)

"I know what Emperor Palpatine seeks to accomplish!" SPOILERS.

Meet Dr. Hemlock, yet another morally dubious Imperial scientist

It's too bad The Bad Batch wasted everyone's time with so many pointless fetch quests and treasure hunts this season. If someone gave up on The Bad Batch early into season 2 I would not fault them. We had one good episode featuring Crosshair and a really good two-parter featuring Senator Chuchi, all episodes that either didn't feature the Bad Batch at all or only as guest stars in their own series. But it seems that The Bad Batch is finally picking up speed as we come closer to the season (or series?) finale. "Metamorphosis" is the very first episode in season 2 that contributes to the larger plot and mystery surrounding Omega. Too bad we had to wait ten episodes to finally get to this point.

The team is less than pleased with Cid

There is also some advancement on the Cid front, it only took the Bad Batch 25 episodes or so to realize that Cid is a terrible person and that it would be better to ditch her. However, she has yet another quest for the Bad Batch, the team reluctantly agrees. They fear Cid may rat them out should they pack their things and run, so they are after a downed cargo transport. An Imperial transport ship, to be precise, carrying a very dangerous cargo.

Godzilla never gets old

The episode actually begins with some space horror / Alien vibes. A trooper armed with an electrostaff is looking for something in the hallways of a cargo ship... but he stands no chance and gets eaten by a mysterious unseen monster. We later learn that said monster is a Zillo beast, a creature we first met in The Clone Wars, which thrives on energy and can grow immensely in record time if it can feed on energy. What does the Empire want with that thing?

The Bad Batch finally remembers that it has an actual plot

We learn several things in this episode: the Empire never wanted to put an end to cloning. Palpatine wants to control cloning. And new Imperial henchman Dr. Hemlock has been tasked with some project we still know very little about. But Hemlock wants the cooperation of a detained Nala Se, who feels little incentive to help Hemlock. She mysteriously says that she knows very well what Palpatine is after, but that she doesn't want to cooperate. Hemlock in turn coldly replies that she just needs the right incentive. And at the end of the episode we find out what that incentive will be... he has Lama Su transported to the science facility and he reveals to Dr. Hemlock what they need: Omega.

The Bad Batch meanwhile find the crashed Imperial transport and soon encounter the Zillo beast. It does get access to a power station and grows immensely big in record time. The Bad Batch fail to kill the beast, instead the Empire arrives in full force and they manage to capture it alive. However, not all things are in vain, since Tech manages to retrieve data from the downed Imperial ship. So we find out that the Empire is using Zillo beasts because their genetic material can be weaponized... and we also learn that Palpatine started the project before he became even Emperor.

All in all "Metamorphosis" was a marked improvement over the standard episodes we mostly got before. First, the space horror / Alien setting, while not original, is always very effective. And while the fact that the Zillo beast can grow substantially in record time is silly, it still makes for a formidable monster. It's also good to see that the Bad Batch finally agree that it would be better to cut ties with Cid who did nothing at all when they asked for help when their ship was stolen. For now they indulge her, because they fear the fallout may not be pretty if they ditch her. But they let Cid know what little they think of her. Finally.

However, most intriguing is the fact that The Bad Batch will almost certainly tie in with The Mandalorian. My guess is that the science project we see here is the beginning of the project we see in later stages in The Mandalorian and that Omega, like Grogu, is somehow important to the project, with Grogu it's easier to guess, since they need his midichlorians, why Omega is needed is still unknown, however, even though not all details are known it's pretty obvious by now that Palpatine started his cloning project, meant to eventually provide him with a new body, very, very early into his reign, probably even before that. He was apparently obsessed with cheating death for a long time. Dr Hemlock also wears the same uniform as Dr Pershing in The Mandalorian, yet another clue that both scientists may work on the same project, only with Hemlock in the beginning stages and Pershing decades later.

In my opinion "Metamorphosis" is the first proper The Bad Batch episode this season worth watching, I exclude the good or even very good episodes without the Bad Batch here, this is the first actual The Bad Batch episode featuring the Bad Batch that is relevant. And the good thing is: you needn't have watched any of the previous episodes. If you stopped watching after the season 1 finale and then skipped ten episodes only to watch "Metamorphosis" you will have missed literally nothing. Sure, the Chuchi episodes were really good, but they were not about the Bad Batch or Omega, they were about the fate of the clone army, which is only of secondary importance. And the Crosshair episode was about him. This is damning praise in a way, because your series shouldn't become relevant only in the last third of its season. It's also tragic to see that The Bad Batch can absolutely have interesting episodes, so it's not as if the writers are clueless, but the general direction of the series with random fetch quests and pointless treasure hunts has to be questioned here. Why did they choose to have all these pointless episodes about nothing that neither progressed the characters nor advanced the plot? So I wonder how many people abandoned The Bad Batch earlier in season 2 and now miss the episodes that are definitely worth your time. Actually, when I watched both The Mandalorian season 3 opener "The Apostate" and then The Bad Batch "Metamorphosis" on the same day, I liked the Bad Batch episode more than the somewhat random Mandalorian offering that was all setup and in parts felt like Din Djarin is regressing as a character.

So, if you have 25 minutes extra time, watching "Metamorphosis" will not waste your time. And if you are a fan of The Mandalorian you may want to pay attention to what is happening in the final few season 2 The Bad Batch episodes, since I am hopeful that we may learn a few things about the cloning project that is still relevant decades later with Moff Gideon in charge.

Added: March 7, 2023
Category: The Bad Batch
Reviewer: Thomas
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