The final episode of “The Bad Batch” story arc has arrived (we’re now a third of the way through the season), and things are heating up on the planet Anaxes. With ARC Trooper Echo now back with his brothers, the Republic forces may have an ace in the hole against the notorious Separatist Admiral Trench. Echo has a plan to win the day, but can he be trusted? Is he on their side or do the Separatists still have a hold on the clone trooper? SPOILERS AHEAD…
The Republic is in desperate need to regain control of vital shipyards, but to do so, they need to rid Anaxes of Admiral Trench’s forces. Echo is eager to rejoin the fight, but Rex is concerned that he is not yet ready to jump back into the routine. Nevertheless, Echo’s plan to link up with the computer on Trench’s ship and offer him false intel is too good of an idea to toss out. General Mace Windu agrees to allow him to proceed with the plan while he and Obi-Wan Kenobi lead a contingent of clones in the battle on the ground to take back Anaxes.
Echo is joined by Rex, Clone Force 99 (a.k.a. the “Bad Batch”), and General Skywalker as they sneak aboard Trench’s starship. Though the tactic would be obvious to any intelligent organic lifeform, Echo’s false signal is enough to trick the hapless droids into letting their ship on board. From there, they make their way to the terminal where Echo is able to interface with the ship’s computer.
Echo quickly discovers that Admiral Trench, unaware of the fact that the algorithm has been compromised, had requested a new strategy from Skako Minor to deal with the Republic forces on the planet below. Intercepting the message and making his own signal appear to be coming from Skako, Echo gives Trench a false strategy, convincing the Admiral to send all of his droids to converge on the Jedi.
Hunter and the rest of the Bad Batch are more than a little wary of Echo’s instructions, and they begin to doubt whether or not he was really on their side. How would sending even more enemies to General Windu’s location help their cause? Nevertheless, Echo has the full support of Captain Rex, and General Skywalker is quick to trust Rex’s judgment. All doubts are cast aside and Anakin contacts Mace to let him know of their plan. Echo informs them all that his intention is to get all of the Separatist droids in one location so that he can disable them all simultaneously.
The mission is a success, but after the initial shock of the first ever failure of the algorithm, Trench decides to rely on his own wit to outmaneuver his enemies. The battle for Anaxes may be lost, but if he can’t have the planet, then the Republic couldn’t either. Rigging a bomb to a reactor down on the planet, Trench plans to take everything out in one final act of defiance.
General Windu locates the bomb, but it is being protected by a ray shield. Unable to access the controls, he must use the Force to manipulate the device, relying on Echo to deliver the right sequence of numbers in the code to deactivate it. Unfortunately, Echo’s connection to the computer is discovered before he can deliver the final number, and Anakin is forced to find the Admiral and get the last number from him personally.
On the bridge, Anakin confronts Trench and threatens his life. The Admiral, understanding the strict code the Jedi live by, scoffs at the young Jedi. He quickly realizes his error in judgment when Anakin tells him he is not bound by those restrictions and then proceeds to liberate him of half of his limbs (albeit the mechanical ones). Trench gives him the number, which is relayed to the planet below, and the battle is over.
But Trench still has a shocking surprise for his Jedi captor up his sleeve. However, after giving the Jedi a quick jolt of electricity, he realizes that he has made his final mistake. The Jedi’s face contorts in anger as he runs his blue blade through the admiral’s chest. Anakin then regroups with the others, and they make their escape before destroying the Separatists ships using a remote detonator he took from the admiral.
Back on the surface, the clones are congratulated for their victory and the promise of victory medals to each of them is made. Clone Force 99 couldn’t care less for the accolades however; they are simply in it for the thrill. Before they depart, they offer Echo a place on their team. Echo is initially reluctant to join them, but after encouragement from Rex, he decides that might be the place for him after all. Before leaving Anaxes, the Bad Batch and Echo turn to salute the Captain, who responds with a salute of his own.
This whole story arc has been a lot of fun to watch, and this final episode was no exception. Whether it was Wrecker tackling battle droids or Crosshair taking down a legion of clankers with one continuously ricocheted shot, these past few episodes have been full of action and excitement. The theme of brotherhood continued and came to full fruition in this episode. Rex’s decision to place full trust in his fellow soldier and friend was compelling, as well as Anakin’s confidence in Rex.
The Bad Batch even came around quite a bit by the end of this episode. In the beginning, they definitely saw themselves as “other”, calling out the “regs” for their complacent orthodoxy and looking down on Rex. By the arc’s conclusion, however, they were just as much Rex’s brothers as any other clone, and they had come to respect and even be surprised by the Captain’s abilities. Rex’s commitment to Echo was contagious as well, and although they didn’t trust him at first, they ended up accepting him as one of their own.
While this story was mainly about the clones, there are also some nice little moments of darkness coming from Anakin in the episode. He’s shown this side of himself before in the series, but now, in what would become typical Vader fashion, he’s just not taking crap from anyone anymore. I have no doubt that should Obi-Wan have been present with him on the bridge that Trench would have most likely been disarmed and taken into custody.
However, alone with nothing in the way of his ever increasing erratic emotions, the Jedi decided that a quick death for the admiral was the most satisfying if not the most ethical decision. It’s clear Anakin is not really in the best of places at the moment. His apprentice recently left him and he is desparate to get back to his wife, which are two factors that are certain to be affecting his emotions and trying his patience. The dark side looming over Anakin is more evident now than it has ever been on the show (and rightly so as we approach The Revenge of the Sith). I hope that future episodes of the season will take him even further down his path of inevitable darkness.
I didn’t love this episode quite as much as last week’s, but it was still an excellent Star Wars adventure and a great conclusion to the story arc. Star Wars: The Clone Wars – “Unfinished Business” is available to watch now on Disney Plus.