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The Bad Batch

Bad Territory (The Bad Batch - S03E08) - Animated Series

Series: The Bad Batch

Title: Bad Territory

Season: Three

Episode: 8

Original Air Date: March 20th, 2024

Runtime: 25 minutes

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

Discuss the latest Chapter! (Discussion)

"You don't like anything! True!" SPOILERS.

The face I make when I hear the name "Phee Genoa"

This week's The Bad Batch episode is more of a standard affair, more set-up for the finale. That being said the episode is one of the better season 3 episodes and pretty entertaining. In "Bad Territory" Hunter and the others have decided to find out more about the secret of Omega's importance to the Empire and the only clue they have is the term "m-count" and since libraries, books, something akin to the internet or any other information retrieval system does not exist in Star Wars all they can think of is to ask someone who knows what an "m-count" is.

Never thought I'd see a Star Trek space station in Star Wars...

Ultimately Omega comes up with the bright idea of contacting Fennec Shand, whom we have seen previously in The Bad Batch when she was after Omega (and battled Cad Bane) but ultimately let her go when her mystery contractor called off the contract for unknown reasons. And for what may possibly be the first time ever in the history of the series Hunter does the sensible and reasonable thing: he tells Omega she's grounded, because she is in too much danger and the Empire must not track her down. So for a change she can't go on the mission and instead is tasked with keeping Crosshair company. Hunter and Wrecker will tackle the mission on their own.

My second favourite bounter hunter of all time, after Boba Fett

Phee Genoa (shudder) knows about the location of Fennec (but Genoa is not heard or seen in this episode) so Hunter and Wrecker know where to go and sure enough they find Fennec pretty easily on some space station. Fennec wonders what those two bozos want from her, but when she realizes they are pretty desperate and willing to do anything, basically, she accepts, but not without a price, this is Fennec Shand after all for whom charity may as well be Greek. She wants Hunter's and Wrecker's help with catching a bounty, she'll keep all the money of course. But in return she will retrieve the information about "m-count" for them.

Nothing is physically wrong with Crosshair

In the short b-plot we see how Omega tries to help and encourage Crosshair, whose hand is still shaking. She suggests the droid examines it but there is nothing physically wrong with Crosshair. Omega suggests that it may be more of a mental issue which Crosshair vehemently denies, at least on a surface level, you can tell he knows that Omega is right. Crosshair suffers from PTSD but has a hard time admitting it. Maybe for the first or second time this season Omega, as a character, really works for me in those scenes with Crosshair, as a gentle "older" sister who deeply cares about her Bad Batch brothers and wants to genuinely help. This is so much better than having Omega go on life-threatening missions with all out open battles.

Welcome to Space Florida! You don't want to be there!

Fennec and co meanwhile fly to Space Florida where the target is located. Now the bounty hunt itself is pretty inconsequential. But also entertaining, we see how mines are defused, the mandatory monsters attack who want to eat them all, but of course the trio make their escape.

Meet the bounty: a Space Praying Mantis

Eventually Fennec, Hunter and Wrecker track down the bounty, some insectoid Space Praying Mantis, the usual shenanigans ensue but ultimately the trio can best the criminal and capture him. So far so good.

Om mani padme hum!

Omega meanwhile still wants to help Crosshair and suggests he seeks peace of mind, to maybe help with the trauma. Crosshair, as usual, is not overly fond of the idea, but Omega quips that Crosshair doesn't like anything anyway and Crosshair is completely honest when he says "true". This is a pretty funny exchange and ultimately Omega can convince Crosshair to meditate with her. The scene is pretty sweet and a nice character moment. I think it was a brilliant idea to pair Omega who is all rainbows and unicorns with Crosshair who has a dark rainy cloud above his head all the time, a perfect odd couple in Star Wars and I feel both can learn from each other and grow.

And Fennec sells out the Bad Batch immediately

Fennec drops off Hunter and Wrecker on the space station and informs them that she herself does not posess the info, but that she knows someone who does and that she will contact that person and then relay the info once she has it. Hunter is dubious about Fennec's trustworthiness but ultimately accepts. Fennec promptly contacts the mystery person and asks about the m-count, but in return her contact apparently wants to know all about Hunter, Omega and co and where to find them (the communication is encrypted and you hear no actual voice) Fennec is more than happy to relay the info she has on Hunter. The episode may want to make you believe that Fennec is selling out Omega and the others, but given how we have seen Asajj Ventress in the trailer it is much more likely that Ventress is Fennec's contact and that Ventress has reasons of her own to track down Omega, and not necessarily nefarious reasons, the only other option I can think of is that Fennec already knows Boba Fett and that he got wind of a clone sister and now wants to get in touch, but given that we know for a fact that Ventress is appearing my money is on her being the person Fennec is talking to.

So all in all I think "Bad Territory" was a good episode, not great, not brilliant, but it had some nice character moments between Omega and Crosshair and the bounty hunting mission was entertaining enough. Of course the inclusion of Ming-Na Wen's Fennec helps a lot since she is a pretty great character and bounty hunters are generally speaking the more interesting characters in Star Wars because they are neither completely evil nor boy- or girlscouts, they are just selfish people trying to make a living.

The criticism I have is that even an episode like this still needs to have monsters trying to eat the heroes... also, the plot overall feels very video-gamey, but this is unfortunately a general trend in Hollywood. Nothing is ever straightforward, it's always about "meet NPC, NPC gives you a quest, in return NPC may give you the piece of information you require". I feel there should be other, better ways to get the information. But again, this is not specific to Star Wars or The Bad Batch but a common trend among Hollywood writers in the modern era, maybe they all play too many video games.

Another basic criticism I have is that worldbuilding in Star Wars is at times extremely implausible, like the lack of libraries, lexicons, books in general, a galaxy wide information network similar to the internet... anything that would make the search for the meaning of the term "m-count" trivial, instead a huge chunk of the season is now devoted to finding a person in the flesh who knows what all of that means.

This could (should) be addressed by the writers, in my opinion, why not throw in a line or two about how the Empire has censored everything, including libraries or the digital information network and removed all books about Jedi or any other thing deemed "bad" by the Empire, and replaced it all with long speeches of Xi Jinping, sorry, I mean Emperor Palpatine. What I am saying is the writers should anticipate some of the basic questions viewers will have and address them.

Another thing I am not overly fond of is when the viewer knows more than the characters. We all know what "m-count" stands for and we all know they will find out what it means as well... so why delay the inevitable and have various episodes dedicated to finding out things the audience already knows? In my opinion a good mystery includes the viewer, i.e. keeps the viewer guessing. But when you already know, without fail, what the outcome must be or what something means... watching the characters in the show slowly catching up with what you know can become a bit tedious.

Fortunately the path to the goal here, this week at least, is for the most part entertaining, Fennec is a good character, the bounty hunt, while inconsequential, was fun enough that it never bores you, even the monster attack was pretty short this time. The short scenes with Omega and Crosshair added some nice character details

Still, "Bad Territory" was a mostly good episode and certainly something you can easily watch and have a good time with, I would rate it as the second best episode (considering last week's double feature as one episode) in season 3 thus far. And if you want to see more of Fennec Shand, this episode is a no-brainer and will give you more of her scheming character. I also hope we will see her again in live action someday.

Added: March 21, 2024
Category: The Bad Batch
Reviewer: Thomas
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