REVIEW: ‘Star Wars: The Bad Batch,’ Episode 8 – “Reunion”

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The Bad Batch Episode 8

Star Wars: The Bad Batch Episode 8 continues accelerating the series’ plot, as the Batch (Dee Bradley Baker) has to deal with a pair of antagonists. “Reunion” picks up in the aftermath of “Battle Scars,” with Crosshair leading a battalion of Stormtroopers to find and execute the Batch. As the Batch struggle to stay ahead of Crosshair and his troopers, they run into another antagonist who also happens to be a fan-favorite character from Star Wars: The Clone Wars-the gunslinger Cad Bane (Corey Burton). The mystery of who has been hiring bounty hunters to capture Omega (Michelle Ang) is also revealed.

The Batch’s confrontation with Crosshair has been brewing ever since the series premiere,  and writer Christian Taylor presents a confrontation that’s just as tense and emotional as you’d expect. “Reunion” acts as a game of cat and mouse, as Crosshair is aware of the Batch’s tactics and can corner them. However, the Batch’s mercenary work has led to them adopting less than unorthodox methods that also work in their favor.  Perhaps the most chilling moment in the episode stems from Crosshair and the Batch’s first face-off: he coldly shakes off their attempts at reasoning with him and even tells his squadron to target Omega. It underlines how far gone Crosshair is compared to his former squadmates; they embraced a measure of humanity while he remains a cold and cynical soldier.

Director Steward Lee delivers some of the best action in The Bad Batch to date with the action sequences in “Reunion.” Most of the action takes place inside the downed Jedi Cruiser from “Battle Scars,” which, thanks to Tech’s slicing skills, is transformed into a weapon. The biggest sequence involves using a soon-to-be-ignited engine as both a means of escape and a way to cut down the Imperial forces; under Lee’s direction, the Batch moves as a single unit and can turn the tide. Not only does this sequence showcase the Batch’s teamwork, but it also shows how much they have been able to adapt to the changing times and how Omega fits in with them.

Perhaps the highlight of the episode was seeing Bane in action again. The Clone Wars was filled to the brim with unique and engaging characters, and Bane was at the top of the pack due to his design, which pays homage to the protagonists of Western films, as well as Burton’s gravely voice sending chills down the audience’s spine. Seeing Hunter and Bane essentially have a Western-style shootout was a thrill to this Star Wars nerd’s heart. Hopefully, this isn’t the last we see of Bane in The Bad Batch or the Star Wars universe in general.

In addition to the conflict with Crosshair and Bane, the Batch itself is split over their lot in life. Hunter is concerned with their mercenary work, while Echo is convinced that joining Captain Rex and the Rebellion is the right thing to do. Not only does this hint at further dissension within the ranks, but it also shows how the Batch is still struggling to let go of their former lives as soldiers. A conversation between Tech and Omega highlights this conflict; when she asks what the Clone Wars were like, he can only boil it down to statistics and numbers-not lives lost, or the toll war can take.

Star Wars: The Bad Batch Episode 8 rocks Clone Force 99’s world, as the series spends what is essentially its midseason finale digging into wells of emotional depth as well as resolving more plot points. With the episode ending on a downer note, the back half of the season will hopefully continue this forward momentum and continue to raise the stakes for the Batch.

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

 

The Bad Batch Episode 8
  • 10/10
    Rating - 10/10
10/10

TL;DR

Star Wars: The Bad Batch Episode 8 rocks Clone Force 99’s world, as the series spends what is essentially its midseason finale digging into wells of emotional depth as well as resolving more plot points. With the episode ending on a downer note, the back half of the season will hopefully continue this forward momentum and continue to raise the stakes for the Batch.