Star Wars: The Bad Batch turns in a chilling two-parter as the final episodes approach

The Empire is looking as evil as ever in this week's Bad Batch episodes, as child experimentation are added to its list of crimes.
Cad Bane in a scene from "STAR WARS: THE BAD BATCH", season 3 exclusively on Disney+. © 2024 Lucasfilm Ltd. & ™. All Rights Reserved.
Cad Bane in a scene from "STAR WARS: THE BAD BATCH", season 3 exclusively on Disney+. © 2024 Lucasfilm Ltd. & ™. All Rights Reserved. /

Disney+ serves up another two-part episode of Star Wars: The Bad Batch this week and it tragically sets the stage for the show's final four episodes, that will likely leave viewers with heartbreak.

Episode 310: "Identity Crisis"

"Identity Crisis" kicks off with Dr. Hemlock's assistant Emerie negotiating a promotion to become Mount Tantiss' lead scientist. The former lead scientist was the Kaminoan cloner Nala Se, who has been detained after letting Omega and Crosshair escape earlier this season. It seems like Emerie didn't quite know what she was getting herself into as Hemlock explains that her new duties will involve overseeing a group of child test subjects. Similar to the Clones imprisoned at the facility, blood samples are being collected from the children, all of whom seem to be Force-sensitive.

To Emerie's slight discomfort, Hemlock explains that the children are easier to control and manipulate. He also advises her to avoid forming personal attachments with the children. It's all very disheartening and sad, but it's the kind of pathos that I've been yearning for from the Star Wars IP for a while. I think it's ironic that the animated shows are better at striking these chords than the latest live-action shows (Andor aside), but hey, it's here in some capacity and I love it.

It's pretty clear that Emerie is not fully on board with what's going on, as she urges the Clones to go easy on one of the children after he tries to escape. She is also forced to lie to another when he asks why Nala Se is no longer working on getting them home. Given her previous attachment to Omega that was explored in the opening episodes of season 3, I think it's safe to say that Emerie is not about the whole keeping-children-as-scientific-experiments thing. A redemption arc for Emerie is all but confirmed as she pays a visit to Nala Se, who tells her that she now has the power to do something about the Empire's abuse.

Emerie's story intersects with that of notorious bounty hunter Cad Bane, who is commissioned to capture another child and deliver them to Mount Tantiss. It's implied that Bane was responsible for capturing the other three children as well, but when Emerie oversees the exchange, she seems horrified to learn that this one is a toddler.

Emerie's chance to rectify the horrific situation will likely come soon as Hemlock kicks his hunt for Omega into high gear. Tarkin threatens to slash Hemlock's budget and reputation if he doesn't start producing something, so he has his agents move in on the Bad Batch.

Episode 311: "Point of No Return"

Assajj Ventress proved to be correct when she said the Bad Batch poses a danger to those around them. Hemlock's agents track the group to Pabu and proceed to cripple the town's fishing infrastructure. Scorch and a battalion of troops occupy the town as the Bad Batch are forced to split up after Wrecker is almost blown to smithereens. Hunter goes full Assassin's Creed as he sneaks his way through the town and hijacks a gunship. He's unable to accomplish much on his own though and is eventually catapulted into the ocean.

Although I'm a bit tired of Omega getting captured, which has happened multiple times in this show and was also a main plot device in the Obi-Wan Kenobi show (with a young Leia in place of Omega), I think it works in this episode. She recognizes that the Empire is just going to do more harm unless they find her, so she turns herself in and tells Crosshair to track her back to Mount Tantiss. Crosshair tries to talk her out of it, which pretty much proves he's embraced the big brother role because he knows there are no better options with Hunter separated from them and Wrecker incapacitated.

But the plan seemingly fails because Crosshair wasn't able to put a tracking device on the Imperial ship in time. The Imperials also took the tracking device off her so I don't know how the Clones are going to find her. But Omega is going back to Mount Tantiss, where she will likely link back up with Emerie, giving the Clones an inside man, so to speak. The rest of the Bad Batch will undoubtedly contact Rex and the boys will plan a full-scale assault on the Imperial facility in the finale. I'm looking forward to the next few episodes because we'll probably get some familiar faces on board to take part in the big final battle. Things are getting good and I'm pretty pumped for the final stretch of the series, so long as there are no more filler episodes in store.

Episode Grades: A

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