There’s a “criminal infestation” on episode 13 of The Bad Batch by Adam D. Slobodzian
While this episode may have not pushed the story further in a serious way, it was a fun change of pace that opens the show up to new possibilities by further exploring the Star Wars criminal underworld by introducing the “Pyke Syndicate” and the “Durand Criminal Family” to the series.
Episode 13: “Infestation”
The episode opens with the Bad Batch returning from a mission that Cid sent them on only to find that she is missing, and her parlour is now under the control of a crime boss named Roland Durand. It doesn’t take long for Cid to show up as the Bad Batch were organizing to leave the planet before they draw more unwanted attention to themselves. We briefly see, among the many irregular patrons of Cid’s parlour two members of the Pyke Syndicate, and later learn that Roland is trying to align himself with the powerful crime clan and spice smugglers, the Pykes. Cid informs them that Roland has taken over the Parlour due to its favorable location among hyperspace lanes and convinces them to help her re-take her bar by threatening to divulge information about them.
The Spice Heist!
The episode takes a fun turn as Cid sets up a heist for the Bad Batch to disrupt a deal between Roland and The Pyke Syndicate by stealing the spice from Roland before the deal is completed, which will make him an easy target for The Pykes.
Cid takes the Bad Batch into the tunnels of Ord Mantell where they use old rail lines to get across the city. Cid informs them of a bug infestation in the tunnels and Wrecker’s clumsiness gives us a hint of a big issue that the Batch will face multiple times later in the episode. By stealing Roland’s pet, Ruby, the Batch are able to sneak in and steal the spice from Roland’s office, but Roland and his thugs are not far behind as they follow Cid and the Batch into the tunnels to retrieve the spice. This quickly turns into a rail car fight as the Batch are able to hold off Roland’s thugs, while Cid warns them that their activity may have woken the hive. Sure enough, the set-up from before presented another intense situation for the Bad Batch as the hive of alien bugs called Irlings attacks them the Bad Batch lose the stolen spice.
The Pykes return to Roland, who is now empty handed, and make a serious threat to him and his whole family if the spice is not recovered. As Cid and the Batch return, they find that the Pykes have not left, and Roland informed them that Cid is the one who has their stolen spice. While we don’t ever see the Pykes enforce their authority directly, the fear that they bring to everyone they interact with is a clear indication of their power in the galaxy, which was also expanded on in The Clone Wars. The Pykes are most concerned about retrieving their spice and hold Omega hostage until the Batch can retrieve it from the caverns from the Irling hive.
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Cid displays a different, more compassionate side to her as she elects to go into the hive with Wrecker in order to rescue Omega, which shows she may be developing deeper feelings for Omega and the rest of the Batch. While the mission seems like a success, of course, while retrieving the last two crates Cid bumps a rail car on the way out and wakes the hive of Irlings. Luckily Tech foresees this possible problem and comes to their rescue deploying a huge flair to ward off the hive. After the Batch recover and return the spice, their debt to the Pykes is paid off, but Roland doesn’t come out unscathed as the Pykes cut off one of his horns and give him and his family a serious warning.
The episode concludes with another intimate moment between Hunter and Omega where Hunter asks why Omega stood up for Roland in the face of the Pykes after all the trouble he caused them, to which Omega explains that he may not be as bad as they think he is. This shows again, Omega’s empathetic side which the rest of the Batch don’t yet fully understand.
Stand Out Scenes:
Rail Track Chase! – The chase on the tracks was a very fun sequence and had serious Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom vibes as the Batch and Roland’s thugs fought on their rail cars jumping, ducking, and shooting at each other, waking the hive in their tussle.
Going Underground – With the introduction of crime clans to this series, especially The Pykes, this opens the show up to potentially explore a new side of the Star Wars criminal underworld, which we know is of keen interest to future Star Wars projects such as The Book of Boba Fett. The Bad Batch are dangerously close to slipping further into this criminal underworld as they are already experienced bounty hunters and are now on the radar of The Pyke Syndicate and the Durand Crime Family.
What did YOU think of the episode? What was YOUR favorite part? Leave a comment!
Adam D. Slobodzian
Not only is Adam, aka Darth Slobo, a lifelong Star Wars fan, he is also PhD a Candidate in Marketing at Smith School of Business. Researching Family Consumption and Brand Meaning. Big time Raptors, Marvel, and Star Wars fan. Proud Dad