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The Bad Batch

A Different Approach (The Bad Batch - S03E04) - Animated Series

Series: The Bad Batch

Title: A Different Approach

Season: Three

Episode: 4

Original Air Date: February 28th, 2024

Runtime: 25 minutes

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

Discuss the latest Chapter! (Discussion)

"Let's try things your way! Finally!" SPOILERS.

Another happy landing

The latest The Bad Batch episode is a direct continuation of the previous episode. It seems that, at least thus far, The Bad Batch has a fully serialized approach with no one off adventures not connected to the main story in some way. So the episode begins with Omega and Crosshair trying to fly a badly damaged ship, but to no avail, they eventually crash on some planet where they head for the nearest town, only to find it's under Imperial control. They need a way off planet and the episode is about Omega showing Crosshair how it's done. More or less.

Nale Se is probably rethinking her life decisions

There is just a short insert with Hemlock and Nale Se on Tantiss where Hemlock makes thinly veiled threats and it seems Nale Se may meet her demise rather sooner than later. Other than that the entire episode is almost exclusively focused on Omega and Crosshair trying to find a way off planet again. After the usual tropes (the crash landing is an overused trope to begin with), which includes stealing clothes from a clothes line so they are less conspicuous, the two make it to the spaceport but without ID they can't book a flight, Crosshair has his own ideas how to handle this but since this is the Omega show now (you can hardly call it The Bad Batch in season 3 thus far) the kid of course knows better. She approaches the ticket salesman and more or less tells him openly she's willing to bribe him if he lets them board a ship. And of course the clerk agrees... but he wants a ridiculous sum of money. And Omega and Crosshair have no money... so what to do?

Omega is of course a better card player than anyone else

The two find a bar and an alien who gambles. Crosshair is less than enthused, but Omega is confident she can easily win the card game so they won't have to pay up and in return they can make the money needed to bribe the ticket seller. And of course Omega fleeces the alien. But when she wants to leave a scummy Imperial officer enters with two stormtroopers, he's there to collect his protection money... when he sees the sum Omega has won he insists she plays him too... and of course Omega fleeces the officer too. He at first seems to be more or less ok with that and gives Omega the money... only to then tell her that gambling is illegal and that she has to pay a fine, a mere 10,000 credits, but Omega has won so much money that she can afford that fine.

Finally reunited

Earlier the officer had insisted that Omega sends her space lassie (the lurker hound) outside... and when Omega and Crosshair exit the bar they find no sign of the space dog... they learn that the Imperial took the hound. Crosshair, the responsible and sensible person, wants Omega to forget about the animal, they have the money, they need to get the hell away from that planet. But Princess Omega wants to rescue all the birds and deer and she insists they go after space lassie. She even gives Crosshair the money so he can leave on his own, she will rescue space lassie from the Imperials on her own if need be.

Crosshair relents and the two make their way to the spaceport where they find that the Imperials have countless animals in cages, ready for transport. Omega still wants to resolve things peacefully much to Crosshair's chagrin who thinks it's all foolish, and she approaches the Imperial officer. He has found out about Omega and Crosshair being fugitives, the crashed shuttle was found before. He wants all the money and still doesn't want to let them go. So Omega finally catches up with reality and tells Crosshair that they do it his way after all. Which means shooting blasters and creating havoc. Omega finds a switch that opens all the cage doors. Which causes a massive stampede and major chaos. This allows Crosshair and Omega to commandeer an Imperial transport, with space lassie in tow of course. And the officer? Gets eaten by a monster that looks like a Rathtar, those tentacle thing from The Force Awakens.

Omega sends coordinates for Hunter to pick her up. We learn that Omega has been on the base for months, and Crosshair is not sure Hunter is even still alive or that he will come... but when Omega and Crosshair approach the planet and the landing site Hunter and Wrecker are waiting. Omega and the others have a tearful reunion and at the very end Crosshair exists the shuttle and I suppose that means we'll get an uneasy reunion next week.

All in all A Different Approach was ok enough, but also more or less entirely unnecessary and mostly filler. It was always obvious that Omega and Hunter would reunite, so why delay the obvious and inevitable? The "we need money" plot was not all that interesting really, there were also no stakes, the outcome was super obvious. They could have easily had Crosshair and Omega contact Hunter right away, without the crashlanding detour. I find it surprising that even though season 3, thus far, doesn't really have stand alone episodes per se, two of the four episodes thus far are filler and entirely unnecessary. Something which already plagued previos seasons. On the plus side the filler material thus far is not even remotely as annoying as in previous seasons.

And even though the show is made primarily for a younger audience I have to say I find the decision to focus solely on Omega (thus far) this season to be unfortunate. Her girlscout persona is just not very interesting. In fact, I believe showrunner Jennifer Corbett kind of knows that among the few people watching the show a majority may even be adults, so we get two audience surrogate characters. Omega for the kids. And Crosshair for the adults. Omega with her deer eyed naiveté is at times borderline infuriating... the two are wanted fugitives, they get the money they need, but then the space doggo is gone and Omega insists they need to rescue it. While it may be understandable from a child's point of view it's also incredibly silly. And thus Crosshair says all the things many of the adult audience members will probably think. But in the end he always indulges Omega.

And while the kid outsmarting all the adults is an ancient trope in children's programming it feels tired. But of course this is written from the point of view of an adult who watched way too many shows that use this trope. Still, this makes this episode particularly sometimes a bit difficult to watch. But I suppose the showrunner Jennifer Corbett knows this too so Crosshair gets his vindication in the end when Omega's deer eyed naiveté does not survive contact with harsh reality and it's Crosshair's way of doing things after all in the end.

Then again, we could have been spared almost the entire episode if the sensible person, Crosshair, had just told the kid what to do in a situation like this. You are on the run from a murderous regime that possibly wants to dissect and kill you... but no, that does not bother you, let's save space lassie and risk everything. Kids...

While you may argue that this is somewhat realistic behavior for kids I still feel the series could need some smarter writing. It's relying too much on tired tropes. Also, why does the final season still have so much unnecessary filler? The entire episode is easy skip material unless you are a hardcore Bad Batch fan and want to spend some mildly entertaining 25 minutes. The only required scene here is the last two minutes or so when Omega reunites with Hunter and Wrecker.

So, is it worth your time? If you love Omega and think a kid outsmarting adults (until she doesn't) with a bickering and exhausted Crosshair providing all the responsible adult commentary is pretty entertaining, then the episode is a pleasant enough watch. If you are mostly here for the story then maybe watch the last two minutes, the episode is filler all the way through otherwise. It tells us nothing we didn't know before. Omega is a girlscout and super smart and super naive at the same time... Crosshair is the jaded cynic who can barely tolerate Omega's attitude towards things. They make for a somewhat amusing odd couple at least. Without Crosshair the entire episode would have fallen apart, it's good to have at least one character on the show who is an audience surrogate for the people who probably are in the majority watching this: adults. And it proves once again that Crosshair is the true mvp of the show.

Added: February 28, 2024
Category: The Bad Batch
Reviewer: Thomas
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