REVIEW: ‘Star Wars: The Bad Batch,’ Episode 3 – “Replacements”

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The Bad Batch Episode 3

Star Wars: The Bad Batch Episode 3 takes a bit of a slower approach to this week’s episode, jumping between two different plotlines. “Replacements” picks up in the aftermath of “Cut and Run,” as the Batch is forced to land on a distant moon after their shuttle suffers damage. While attempting to make repairs, they are confronted by a massive dragon creature which leads to Omega striking out on her own to help the Batch. Meanwhile, Crosshair is put in charge of a new squadron of human troopers, as newly minted Imperial Vice Admiral Rampart wants to transition from full clone squadrons to human troopers.

It’s the latter of these plotlines that is most interesting and the most disturbing, as this is the first appearance from Crosshair since his turn to the Empire in “Aftermath.” He continues to insist that “good soldiers follow orders”, an edict that almost immediately puts him into conflict with the members of his new squadron. This conflict comes to a head during their first mission, which sees them attempting to track down Rogue One‘s Saw Gerrera and his rebels. The aftermath shows just how frightening blind loyalty can be and shows how far gone Crosshair is. Unlike the Winter Soldier, who eventually broke free from his programming, Crosshair is dedicated to the Empire’s cause-which spells trouble for the Batch when they cross paths again.

Crosshair’s absence from the Batch, and how it affects them, is also touched upon. From Wrecker admitting he misses their former crewmate (even though the others pointed out Crosshair tried to kill him) and their shifting dynamic in dealing with threats, the episode lives up to its title in more ways than one. In losing Crosshair, the Batch gained a new squad member in Omega, and in committing to the Empire Crosshair gained a new sense of purpose after the Clone Wars yet replaced his friends in the process. And the Empire is looking to replace clones with human soldiers, which doesn’t sit right with the Kaminoians.

This episode also sees Omega have her own moment in the spotlight, which Michelle Ang makes the most of. Unlike the rest of the Batch, Omega isn’t a trained soldier or a grown clone, yet she manages to help the Batch in her own way. Ang and Dee Bradley Baker continue to have a solid character rapport, especially where Omega’s interactions with Hunter and Wrecker are concerned. Hunter is growing to care for her, and Wrecker does something for her that once again speaks to the immense humanity within these clones. The fact that series writer/story editor Matt Michnovetz, who penned “Replacements,” continues to lean into the found family elements of Star Wars is a nice touch.

The one issue I had with the episode is the pacing of the Batch’s plot. Despite a visually inventive creature (the dragon they encounter is able to absorb energy, with lights coursing through its body as it feeds) the plotline often feels like it’s spinning its wheels. The Mandalorian ran into a similar issue with its Season 2 episode “The Passenger“; hopefully, future episodes will manage to keep a sense of momentum, both in pacing and plot.

Star Wars: The Bad Batch Episode 3 features dual plotlines that highlight the new bond the Batch has formed and the bond they lost with their teammate. With Crosshair fully dedicated to the Empire’s cause, and the Batch accepting Omega as one of their own, “Replacements” hints at higher stakes for when these characters cross paths again.

New episodes of Star Wars: The Bad Batch will be available to stream Fridays on Disney+.

 

Star Wars: The Bad Batch Episode 3 - "Replacements"
  • 8/10
    Rating - 8/10
8/10

TL;DR

Star Wars: The Bad Batch Episode 3 features dual plotlines that highlight the new bond the Batch has formed and the bond they lost with their teammate. With Crosshair fully dedicated to the Empire’s cause, and the Batch accepting Omega as one of their own, “Replacements” hints at higher stakes for when these characters cross paths again.