The Bad Batch is back!
The fifth episode of the show, entitled “Rampage,” was released today, and it sees the team in search of answers after it was revealed last week that a bounty hunter is after Omega. But any information in the galaxy will cost them, so they take a job in exchange for information – and the excitement then gets underway!
This was another fun episode, and without further ado, let’s dive in to the review. Remember, full spoilers are ahead!
The Bad Batch heads to Ord Mantell, in search of a Jedi informant Echo knows about named Cid. Along the way, Tech gives Omega Crosshair’s comlink, allowing her to contact the rest of the batch if needed – something she loves and immediately makes use of in some humorous ways. On Ord Mantell, they try to find Cid, and Echo admits that he’s never actually met her. Omega is able to figure out who Cid is, however, and the group then meets with this informant to try to find out information about the bounty hunter who is after Omega. Cid says that she will look into it… but insists that the Bad Batch do a job for her first. Some Zygerrians have taken a kid name Muchi and are on the other side of the planet, and the Bad Batch are tasked with rescuing her.
The Bad Batch finds the Zygerrian slavers, and Hunter orders Omega to wait in the ship while the other four spring into action. The team devises a plan, but are interrupted by the head slaver’s Brezak, which allows the other Zygerrians to quickly capture the Bad Batch. When the slavers inspect the ship to see if there are any others, Omega realizes that there’s trouble and sneaks out of the ship, heading to the camp to rescue the others. Meanwhile, Bib Fortuna contacts Cid about the kid, and Cid insists that her best people are handling it.
Omega begins sneaking around and is noticed by the Bad Batch, and the team helps distract the slavers while she heads for their weapons. Along the way, however, she finds a creature in a cage and decides to free it – creating the distraction that they need, as the baby Rancor is released! While the Zygerrians fight against the Rancor, the Bad Batch rescues the other slaves – and are shocked to learn that Muchi is actually the Rancor! So Omega and Echo escort the other slaves to safety, while Hunter, Wrecker, and Tech pursue the Rancor. Hunter and the head slaver face off, and Hunter gets the upper hand and defeats the Zygerrian. Wrecker, meanwhile, faces off with the Rancor, as Tech tells him that the Rancor will respect a dominant authority. Wrecker and Muchi wear each other out, and the Bad Batch takes the Rancor back to Cid.
Just before they arrive, Bib Fortuna and a couple of Gamorrean Guards arrive at Cid’s place, and Fortuna is extremely pleased to see the Rancor arrive with the squad. As Jabba the Hutt’s gang leaves, Cid speaks with Hunter alone. She tells him that the bounty hunter is Fennec Shand, a newcomer to the scene who has already made a reputation, and that she is working for a direct contract, though it’s unknown who. She tells Hunter that they’ll need friends and money – but mostly money – and Hunter says they don’t have either. Cid offers them more jobs and Hunter says that they’ll think about it, while Cid makes a veiled threat that the squad must be very valuable to have a bounty hunter after them, but that she’s good at keeping secrets.
This episode deals directly with the fallout of last week’s reveal, that a bounty hunter has been hired to hunt down Omega. As Hunter states at the very beginning of the episode, that’s why the Bad Batch aren’t going into hiding right now: they need answers. So Echo takes them to an informant he knows that the Jedi used, though he later admits he’s never met her – which Tech of all people points out, and the fact that he says it without even a hint of irony is hilarious. After all, Tech’s problem has been withholding relevant information too, so that was a great little bit.
It also raises some interesting discussion about the Jedi, as Cid doesn’t exactly seem like the most noble character. She’s shady, someone with a wookiee pelt draped over her chair and other interesting artifacts scattered throughout her office. She’s obviously plugged into some of the criminal underworld side of the galaxy. And yet she served as an informant to the Jedi during the Clone Wars. We already knew that, by fighting at all, the Jedi lost. It led to their downfall. And this, in my mind, is another example of how the Jedi compromised on some of their ideals during the war to win, no matter the cost. It reminds me of the quote from Master Yoda in the sixth season of The Clone Wars: “No longer certain that one ever does win a war, I am. For in fighting the battles, the bloodshed, already lost, we have.” Seeing that Cid is this Jedi informant calls again to mind just how much the Jedi compromised on things during the War that they probably shouldn’t have. It’s an interesting discussion.
Another interesting discussion in this episode is over slavery. Omega doesn’t even know that humans could be sold, and it seems that Echo is the only one of the rest of Bad Batch to really be bothered by it. That’s not to say that the rest are in favor of slavery, but just that they don’t seem to be affected by it much. But Echo is, and he’s determined to do what he can to stop it. Whereas Tech’s focus is on getting paid, Echo’s is on freeing a slave. It’s a very interesting disparity that’s at play here, and I have to think that Echo’s history as a “reg” factors in to this. The clones weren’t slaves, but they also didn’t have much choice about what to do with their lives – and that’s something that the genetically enhanced clones can’t really understand. But furthermore, Echo has seen another side of things, serving in many battles alongside Jedi like Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Ahsoka Tano, each of whom truly values all life no matter where they find it, and that’s probably perspective that the Bad Batch, working alone so often, doesn’t fully grasp either. So I’m not saying that the rest of the group is pro-slavery, but that only Echo seems to have a strong disgust for it. We’re continuing to see how Echo fits in with the group, as well as ways in which he doesn’t exactly fit in either.
Speaking of fitting in, this episode really shows Omega continue to become one of the team. She’s given a comlink, and she obviously is forming a bond with the others. That’s especially true of Wrecker, and I absolutely loved when, after Cid called Omega the brains of the operation, Wrecker gave her a high-five in the background. And speaking of Wrecker, he was again complaining about his head in this episode. It’s now more than a coincidence – something is definitely going on, and given the prevalence of the inhibitor chip in this show so far, I’m fully expecting that something is up with Wrecker’s chip. So, yeah, we’re probably heading for another heartbreak… but back to Omega. She is able to figure out who Cid is while the others can’t (is it because of the Force? because she sees something in the system she’s looking at? because she just pieces it together?), and she’s the one who comes to rescue them when they get into trouble. I think sooner or later the team is going to learn that she’s better with them than left back in the ship, but it’s in her rescue attempt that I think we really see how Omega is part of the squad. They’re able to communicate without words, simply using gestures, and they’re able to pick up on what the others are doing. That’s why Echo and Wrecker, for instance, both help distract as Omega works on a plan. Omega isn’t just a tagalong; she’s a part of the Bad Batch. And in this episode, not only does she get a comlink, but she also gets one of the weapons that the Zygerrians use (and that we see Omega use in the trailer).
I also think that we saw in this episode what might become a recurring theme moving forward: the Bad Batch becoming mercenaries, taking various jobs. And that might just be working for Cid, who both offers Hunter work and seems to threaten him by saying that she knows they must be valuable to have a bounty hunter after them. That too raises an interesting dynamic that could play out throughout the subsequent episodes, as if the Bad Batch does take other jobs from Cid, they might not always be accomplishing noble things. In this episode, for instance, we see that they were ultimately working for Jabba the Hutt. Their task was rather innocent here, but that’s not to say it will always be the case.
And as I mention Jabba, it was a thrill to see Bib Fortuna show up, and to see the target actually was retrieving a rancor for Jabba. The rancor was a young female named Muchi, and of course plenty of fans are already wondering whether this is the same rancor that is killed by Luke Skywalker in Return of the Jedi. It’s possible that it was the intention, and it’s a rather harmless thing if it turns out to be the case… but the answer right now is no. The Aftermath books revealed that the rancor killed by Luke was a male named Pateesa. So this is a different rancor, and it’s not crazy at all to think that Jabba had multiple pet rancors. It’s a cool appearance here, it’s cool that Bib Fortuna and Jabba the Hutt are connected, and it all gives us an exciting chase and action sequence in the episode. It was a lot of fun.
Less fun for the team, however, is the fact that they’re still being hunted by Fennec Shand. At least they know her name now, even if they don’t know who hired her. The fact that the information continues to be dragged out continues to have me wondering if it is someone other than the Kaminoans, who would be an obvious answer. But we’ll have to wait see.
This show continues to be thrilling, interesting, and absolutely beautiful. I’m loving it, and this episode was no different.
My grade: 9.2/10