The newest episode of The Bad Batch – titled Rampage – has been released on Disney+. While its critics might call it filler, there are intriguing aspects about the episode that will become key to the series going forward… (Warning spoilers ahead).
The Bad Batch find themselves in need of information, and so travel to the seedy underworld of Ord Mantell. This location has an excellent design to it, and it is great to see the location after it was supposed to be used in Clone wars arcs that had to be cancelled. Echo leads the group to where his informant is, only to relay that he doesn’t know what they look like.
While Tech calling him out for not telling them this vital piece of information, there have been numerous incidents in previous episodes where Tech failed to relay key bits of information too. There have been other several instances where the theme of communication has been highlighted.
This is an important theme to develop in a show like that, not only in a team grouping but also in the unstable time period that they find themselves in. Hopefully, this theme will continue to evolve throughout the remainder of the show.
Once the group find their informant, Cid, they are contracted to rescue a child named Muchi from Zygerrian Slavers, another group seen in Star Wars The Clone Wars. Hopefully, the Zygerrians show up again in a later episode, as in the Star Wars Legends continuity they were subjugated by the Empire, and by Clone Wars veteran Admiral Yularen. While this perhaps could not play out totally in the show, it could be adapted to fit the Bad Batch.
The Bad Batch attempt to rescue who they think is Muchi, however, they are quickly captured. Omega has to free the group, developing her prowess as a fighter and someone capable in combat. She does this by freeing a baby Rancor, who we find out is Muchi.
This leads to some strong action with the flying Zygerrian lizard the Brezak and Muchi, who learns how to scare the creature away. The Zygerrians also use their whips and bows fighting Hunter. Omega picks up a bow, no doubt for later use. Wrecker gets time to shine, as he has to beat the Rancor in order to prove himself the alpha. It is commented that as Wrecker takes a long time to beat the creature, that he might be losing his touch, which is something that could come back in later episodes.
Once Muchi is given to Cid, she then returns it to Jabba’s righthand man Bib Fortuna. This is a great and fun Return of the Jedi connection, as it links in with the Rancor in that film.
This episode ends with the Bad Batch learning that the bounty hunter after Omega is Fennec Shand (to let those who didn’t watch The Mandalorian know) and being offered more mercenary work by Cid. This is great, as it sets her up as a shady dealer, someone who could be an ally or a dangerous foe. It also highlights how far The Bad Batch is willing to compromise on their morals to survive and take on shady jobs or stick to “cleaner” mercenary work and suffer financially as a result.
One small criticism now is that hopefully the setup episodes are done. So far, each new entry has introduced a new concept, episode one set Crosshair down the Imperial path introduced Omega and the discontent the Kaminoans feel, episode two showed the Empire’s growing reach, episode three introduced Crosshair’s Elite Squad, episode four introduced Fennec Shand and this episode introduced the Bad Batch’s mercenary contact.
Now, with eleven episodes left, these elements should be built upon and combined in unique ways, building up to the finale of the show.
Overall, this episode once again delivered strong themes and strong action, whilst offering some direction and plot avenues to develop. This makes it a worthwhile entry, and validating its purpose as an episode, not filler to skip over in a later rewatch. A top watch-worthy episode for the series so far.
By Kieran Burt
Feature image: Disney