REVIEW: ‘Star Wars: The Bad Batch,’ Episode 13 – “Infested”

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The Bad Batch Episode 13 - But Why Tho

After an intense two-parter that saw its title team meeting future Rebellion leader Hera Syndulla, Star Wars: The Bad Batch Episode 13 takes a breather and delivers a standalone episode that throws a little horror into the mix. “Infested” finds the Batch (Dee Bradley Baker) and Omega (Michelle Ang) returning to Ord Mantell and learning that Cid (Rhea Perlman) has been ousted by Roland Durand (Tom Taylorson). Cid enlists the Bad Batch’s help in ruining a deal between Roland and the Pike Syndicate by stealing crates of spice and utilizing a series of underground caves. However, said caves are infested by a race of horrific bugs that, once awakened, seek to devour the Batch.

The relationship between Cid and the Batch has been one of the more interesting elements of the series. They aren’t exactly friends: the Batch works for Cid and she more or less blackmails them into helping her steal the spice. Yet writer Amanda Rose Muñoz hints that Durand and the Pikes are far worse; when the Pikes suspect they are being ripped off, they threaten all parties involved with death unless they get their product. The phrase “Better the devil you know” comes to mind here; it’s even hinted that Cid isn’t as cold-hearted as she seems once Omega is held hostage by the Pikes and she volunteers to help liberate the child. Perlman’s performance as Cid is a delight; she comes up with nicknames for the Batch and manages to convince them to follow her lead.

The horror elements of the episode come into play when the Batch descend into the caves and encounter the insects living there. Caves have long been a fertile breeding ground for horror stories—the idea of being trapped in a massive, dark space with who knows what lurking in the shadows. And the insects who appear in the episode are utterly terrifying; they have milky white eyes, pale blue skin from dwelling in the caves, and the humming of their wings feels like that of locusts. Director Saul Ruiz films this scene with a frantic intensity as the Batch fires their weapons into the swirling mass and the bugs explode into masses of green goop-making this one of the grosser scenes in Star Wars history. “Infested” also pays homage to another Lucasfilm property, using carts to race through the caves a la Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.

If the episode has one flaw, it’s that it misses the chance to reveal more about Cid and the workings of Ord Mantell. Though Roland seems like he could be a major threat, that is undercut by the appearance of the Pike Syndicate. Likewise, after the Batch helped liberate the Syndulla family on Ryloth, it’s weird to see them going back to their mercenary missions. I feel like the episode would have had a bit more oomph if Ord Mantell was under Imperial occupation instead of a different crime lord, as it would have made for a more tense episode. However, previous episodes such as “Common Ground” have already used that trope so I approve of “Infested” shaking things up a bit.

Star Wars: The Bad Batch Episode 13 is a solid, if not a wholly groundbreaking episode that manages to combine its horror and action elements together for a satisfying chase sequence. With only three episodes left in the series, I’m curious to see how the series wraps up its run and if there are more adventures in store for the Bad Batch.

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

Star Wars: The Bad Batch Episode 13

TL;DR

Star Wars: The Bad Batch Episode 13 is a solid, if not a wholly groundbreaking episode that manages to combine its horror and action elements together for a satisfying chase sequence. With only three episodes left in the series, I’m curious to see how the series wraps up its run and if there are more adventures in store for the Bad Batch.