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The Bad Batch

Tipping Point / The Summit / Plan 99 (The Bad Batch - S02E14,E15&E16) - Animated Series

Series: The Bad Batch

Title: Tipping Point / The Summit / Plan 99

Season: Two

Episode: 14, 15 & 16

Original Air Date: March 22nd & 29th, 2023

Runtime: 26, 24 & 25 minutes

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

Discuss the latest Chapter! (Discussion)

"When have we ever followed orders?" SPOILERS.

A group of clones lead by Echo attacks an Imperial prison transport

The Bad Batch season 2 was a bit odd. It seems they only had an actual plot for eight episodes and decided to pad the season out with yet eight more pretty random and pointless episodes often involving fetch quests or treasure hunts that added very little to the characters and literally nothing to the plot. Unfortunately, many of these episodes aired in the first half of the season, meaning it would be no big surprise if people gave up on the series, since The Bad Batch season 2 seemed to be going nowhere. Also, to add to the problems of season 2, the few episodes that were actually good never involved the Bad Batch but other characters like Crosshair or Senator Chuchi, a returning character from The Clone Wars.

Dr Hemlock wants to extract the information about Omega's whereabout from Crosshair

But the latter half of the season was more focused, we got another great Crosshair episode and the last three episodes are actually just one big arc and I have to credit the showrunner Jennifer Corbett for choosing to go places that few people probably predicted, in short: The Bad Batch season 2 ends on a surprisingly bleak note and almost certainly did not give fans what they expected to see.

Senator Chuchi runs an underground railroad for Clone refugees

In the final three season 2 episodes we see how Echo and a band of clones attack an Imperial prison transport. Their goal: to free their brethren who are transported to Hemlock's lab for unknown reasons. In a high octane action sequence Echo manages to free the clones and he also copies the database from the transport, which is heavily encrypted, so he needs help of course.

Tech manages to decrypt the Imperial data

So after a brief stop on Coruscant where we meet Senator Chuchi again, Echo flies to Pabu where Omega is getting flying lessons from Tech. But Tech's real expertise is needed, he has to decrypt the Imperial data. Crosshair meanwhile is still tortured and interrogated for information he does not want to divulge. In fact, Crosshair manages to stage an escape attempt and even though he is not in top physical shape he causes some real trouble. But his escape attempt is ultimately unsuccessful and he gets recaptured. And Hemlock is still very much determined to extract the information he needs from him. Tech meanwhile has decrypted the data and the Bad Batch learn about Hemlock and that Crosshair has been arrested and is now held in a secret facility. Unfortunately the location of the facility is not in the data Echo retrieved, but the team manage to learn about a soon to be held summit where Hemlock will attend, he is to report to none other than Tarkin. So the plan is clear: infiltrate the location of the summit, plant a tracker on Hemlock's ship and then follow it back to the secret base. They will not let Crosshair rot in an Imperial lab, he is their brother after all. Easy enough?

The location of the summit

The Bad Batch do manage to land on the planet where the summit is held (they have Imperial access codes for their ship), but then all of their plans don't survive contact with reality. They do manage to stealthily infiltrate the facilties located on a mountain top using a cable car. But the Bad Batch soon find out that somethig odd is happening, since security cameras have been deactivated. Because as it happens a proto rebel cell lead by Saw Gerrera is also present and Saw's plans are very, very different. The Bad Batch need to lie low, they can't alert anyone, or else Hemlock will certainly check his ship for anomalies like trackers attached to the hull. Gerrera however, is there to blow the place up, he wants to kill all the high ranking officials, which includes Tarkin.

Tarkin, Hemlock and the others discuss Imperial matters

But the Imperials are not entirely clueless for a change and notice that the security system in one of the sectors has been disabled and thus the commanding officer sends a squad to investigate, and they happen upon the Bad Batch and Gerrera and of course a fight breaks out. So much for laying low.... now it's all about escape. The Bad Batch arrived via cable car, which is also their only option out, since they couldn't approach the place using their ship. And Saw Gerrera and his team simply use an Imperial ship in the hangar as their escape vehicle and then blow the whole place up, or as much as possible, since all the high value targets of course survive, Gerrera could not plant all the explosives he needed.

So much for subtlety

The Bad Batch manage to get on the cable car, but of course the Imperials find out about it and a squad of proto Tie fighters is sent out to stop them. The cable car gets damaged and Tech tries his best to get the car running again. He manages to make the necessary repairs on a pylon, but the fighters finally hit the cable car, seriously damaging one of the two cars. And Tech gets thrown off the car. While he manages to attach his winch cable to the car it turns out that it would take him too much time to climb back aboard. The fighters keep attacking and if the car does not start moving very soon it will get destroyed. So Tech, to the shock of all the others, decides to cut his cable, and he falls. Now we are supposed to believe that Tech is dead. And usually I would say Tech is indeed dead, a fall from such a great height is not really survivable and later in the episode Hemlock even presents Tech's broken goggles, which is all that could be recovered. But this is Star Wars where people cut in half can fall down bottomless reactor shafts, only to come back alive. So maybe Tech happened to fall on a pillow factory, or an Ewok tribe happened to camp and he fell on some cuddly teddy bears cushioning his fall. We will see. For now it's logical to assume that Tech is dead. But this being Star Wars it's only reasonable to have doubts.

It's probably just a flesh wound and minor bruising...

The Bad Batch cannot mourn too much for now, they have to make their escape, the cable car reattaches and begins speeding away, unfortunately they have no means of stopping, so the cable car crashes into the station, but the Bad Batch manage to survive. We fade to black and find out that Omega wakes up on Ord Mantell again. For some inexplicable reason the Bad Batch decided to seek medical assistance on Ord Mantell in Cid's bar... instead of going to Pabu where they surely must have doctors? This part of the finale seems a bit contrived, written in this specific way because the plot demanded it. The Bad Batch had cut all ties with Cid previously, so why they return there seems a bit implausible.

Cid is a snitch of course and only wants to protect her own hide

Cid is of course a snitch and since the Empire is now in full pursuit of the Bad Batch she ratted them out to not only get a sweet reward, but to also protect her own skin. Cid has been a terrible and lousy person from the very beginning, and now she is also responsible for getting the Bad Batch captured. While Omega manages to sneak out just in time and with Echo busy elsewhere on Ord Mantell it's only Hunter and Wrecker who get captured. But Hemlock needs Omega, so he wants to use the others as bait.

Hemlock has Omega

Omega is nearby of course and watches as Hemlock has Wrecker and Hunter taken away to his ship. Omega can't let that happen, so she draws her bow and demands that Hemlock frees Hunter and Wrecker. Hemlock offers a deal, Omega gives herself up and the other two will be let go. But before she can make a decision one of Hemlock's troopers sneaks up on her and incapacitates her. Now Hemlock has them all. Well, all but one, Echo. Echo gets hold of an Imperial walker and causes havoc. In the chaos he manages to free Hunter and Wrecker, but Hemlock meanwhile had Omega brought on his shuttle and they fly off to their secret lab.

I AM your sister, Omega!

Back at the lab Hemlock has Nala Se brought and reunites her with Omega. Now it has to be pointed out that Hemlock only wants to use Omega as a means to "encourage" Nale Se to be cooperative, so far Omega is not implied to be of any importance to the project itself. Omega then finds Crosshair lying unconscious in a bed, which upsets her. Omega is then approached by the female scientist Emerie Karr, who we have seen thoughout the season as one of Hemlock's scientists. And then season 2 ends with its version of The Empire Strikes Back when Karr reveals to Omega that she is her sister.

As you can see The Bad Batch took quite a few clues from the Empire Strikes Back playbook with its season 2 endgame. It ends on a very dark note, with one of the Bad Batch apparently dead, Omega captured and Hunter, Wrecker and Echo the ones left behind who now need to free Omega and Crosshair from Imperial captivity.

I would not be surprised if many believed that the season 2 finale will be about the Bad Batch freeing Crosshair and the team getting reunited for good. It is commendable that showrunner Jennifer Corbett didn't go for the super obvious route though and instead opted for The Bad Batch version of The Empire Strikes Back, which surprised all fans back then when it ended on a bleak cliffhanger.

The obvious question now is of course: will there be a season 3? Ratings cannot be great, The Bad Batch failed to enter the streaming charts even once (although it's still theoretically possible for the finale to enter the Nielsen charts), the series must be relatively expensive to produce. So the big question is: will Bob Iger use his 3 billion dollar axe on The Bad Batch and cancel the series? Disney wants to spend 3 billion USD less on content production and low rated series would be an obvious target for cancellation. Another tactics is of course to make fewer shows each year and to spread out your content. I think we will learn about the future of The Bad Batch at Celebration. If we do not hear news about season 3 at Celebration though I would be pretty pessimistic about the future of the series.

Season 2 of The Bad Batch was certainly odd. I simply do not understand the decision to have half of all episodes to be completely pointless filler that amount to nothing. You could (and can) safely skip all of them and you don't really miss a thing. In the end only the two (well, just one really) Crosshair episodes count, the Senator Chuchi episodes, while great, added nothing to the actual Bad Batch plot though, and then we have four or so actual Bad Batch episodes featuring the actual main characters of the series that matter. This is not good. That being said, while the series hit some really deep lows, it also reached some stratospheric heights. The truly great episodes are better than anything seen in The Mandalorian season 3 so far. If the series gets a third season I would hope that Jennifer Corbett does away with the pointless filler episodes and instead focuses on the main plot.

It's also unfortunate that Omega herself is apparently only a McGuffin now. What about her creation? Why was she created in the first place? Just as a hobby of Nala Se's? Why did the series fail to unite Omega and her brother Boba Fett? The series completely ignored Omega's origin and her ties to Boba Fett. Instead the Fett family received another mystery addition in the form of Emerie Karr, who is revealed to be Omega's adult sister and this makes her Boba's sister as well of course. How many unique non Clone Trooper Fett clones are there actually? And why was Karr created in the first place? Jango Fett was many things, but not known to be a super smart scientist. So why would they use his DNA as the basis for a female scientist to begin with? And why female of all things, which adds one additional step to the cloning process. Chances are the reason for Omega's and Karr's existence would be explored in season 3 though.

It's also commendable that the series went to a somewhat darker place. Now the show is primarily geared towards younger people, but death and sacrifice are an important part in fiction and even though kids may not like it at all that Tech apparently died and that Omega was captured by the bad guys, it's something even younger people need to be exposed to. Not everything is rainbows and sunshine all the time. And of course it's always darkest before dawn, so a potential season 3 would certainly see the heroes ultimately triumph.

Where does that leave things? A seven or eight episode edit of season 2 makes for a pretty good Star Wars show, which is even better than The Mandalorian at times. All sixteen episodes however make the series incredibly uneven, with some episodes annoyingly pointless and others pretty great or even fantastic. Should The Bad Batch get cancelled I blame it on the very, very bad early episodes, the pointless season premiere, the many pointless fetch quests, pod racing and treature hunts that never amounted to anything. Since the season was pre-produced years ago (it was probably written and recorded in 2021 or even late 2020, with animation taking a long time since then) it was done so with season 3 in mind. Now we all have to see if a third season will ever materialize. We should know more soon. Until then the final three episodes of season 2 make for a pretty good viewing experience, with high octane action, some good character drama and some much needed plot advancements, the status quo is forever gone now. Cid is a traitor (though I would not be surprised if they make her the female Lando of The Bad Batch, but I hope Cid will be written out of the show, she is a terrible character that adds almost nothing....), Omega is captured, Tech is "dead" for all we know and retirement on Pabu is already a distant vision.

It would be unfortunate if that were to be also the series finale. Let's hope The Bad Batch gets at least an eight episode season 3 order. Or a special event Disney+ movie. Anything that will tie up all the loose ends. The series deserves that.

Added: April 4, 2023
Category: The Bad Batch
Reviewer: Thomas
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