Star Wars: The Bad Batch Episode 15 “Return to Kamino” Finale Part I – Review by Adam D. Slobodzian
“…feels like the final chapter of the Clone Wars is being closed and the era of the Empire is fully upon us.”
This episode was amazing!
Easily a candidate for top episode of the series. A return to Kamino where we get to see the thrilling rescue of Hunter by the Bad Batch. This episode truly has it all, great story, great music, great visuals, chaos, collaboration, and even a twist! We finally get to see the reunion between the original members of the Bad Batch, and how amazing they are when they work together. We also get more information on how the Empire advanced its own cloning operation through the capture of Kaminoan scientists. And finally, as some predicted, we get to see the Empire unleash destruction on Kamino in the thrilling end of the Republic Era Cloning operations. Among the reunion between the members of Clone Force 99, we also got a surprise twist from the series villain, Crosshair, who reveals his inhibitor chip isn’t controlling his behaviour and has actually been removed for quite some time.
Episode 15: “Return to Kamino” REVIEW
We begin this week right where we left off with Crosshair transporting the captured Hunter and using his communications device to lure the rest of the Bad Batch into a trap back on Kamino, which the Bad Batch immediately suspect is a trap. On Kamino the TK Troopers’ and Admiral Rampart’s growing distrust of all clones, even Crosshair, as a reunion between the Clone Commander and his former squad is imminent.
As the Bad Batch makes their way back to their home world, Omega informs them of a secret landing structure that the Empire is unaware of. This structure that Omega knows of leads to an underwater system of tubes that transports the Batch to Nala Se’s secret cloning research laboratory that is the birthplace of all the enhanced clones. In this secret lab, Omega reunites with her old droid AZI, and at about this time in the episode both Hunter, and the rest of the Bad Batch learn that the research lab on Tipoca City is being decommissioned by the Empire with key personnel being moved across the galaxy.
Back with Crosshair and Hunter, there is some interesting dialogue between the two about their purpose, motives, and ideologies, as Crosshair continues to set his trap and bait the rest of the Batch. We again get to see Crosshair’s advanced planning and keen understanding of the tendencies of his former squad by anticipating their every move and setting up his soldiers to intercept the Bad Batch in the training facility.
As the Batch play right into Crosshair’s trap they signal Omega to flee, which she immediately disobeys and plans a way to give her squad a fighting chance against the Empire. During the conversation between Crosshair and the Batch, we get to see a side of Crosshair that we haven’t seen much of before, that he holds feelings of betrayal towards his former brothers and believes they hadn’t given him a fair chance and they had abandoned him.
This episode was great at highlighting Crosshairs ability to think and plan three moves ahead of everyone around him by not only luring the Bad Batch into a trap that they believed they outwitted, but also setting up his Imperial soldiers to be taken out and give the Bad Batch the chance that Crosshair feels he was never given by them. Crosshair knowing where the Batch would enter AND ordering his soldiers to hold their position which set them up perfectly to reflect his blaster through each of them, shows that he knew exactly what he was doing, and this was his grand attempt to convince the Bad Batch that together they could be the muscle that the Empire needs to rule the galaxy. While this is going on, Omega activates the training droids who begin attacking the Batch. This leads to an absolutely amazing sequence where we get to see the Bad Batch together again doing what they do best.
In the midst of the battle, Admiral Rampart orders the evacuation of all remaining forces from Kamino, and we see the Empire descends on the cloning facility in all its power with the intent of destroying it for good.
After defeating the droids, Hunter confronts Crosshair and tells him that his behavior is due to the inhibitor chip which is controlling his actions. In an extremely surprising twist Crosshair reveals that he had his inhibitor chip removed already!
In a brief standoff, Hunter stuns Crosshair and they take him with them as the Empire descends on Kamino. We get a couple great shots of the empty cloning facility, which in a really strange way feels like the final chapter of the Clone Wars is being closed and the era of the Empire is fully upon us. As the Bad Batch attempts to escape, the Empire begins their final destruction of Kamino as we end this episode with Tipoca City sinking into the water with the Bad Batch still inside.
Stand Out Scenes:
Crosshair’s Moving Pieces – Seeing Crosshair bait the batch and set up his own troopers to give his brothers the chance that he never had was an amazing series of scenes. It was also interesting to hear his perspective, and how he feels that his brothers never gave him a chance that he deserved, and they abandoned him and not the other way around.
The Bad Batch is Back – Seeing all the original members of Clone Force 99 back in action was an amazing sequence and was made even better with their musical theme pumping in the background as they made quick work of the training droids Omega had released.
The Destruction of Kamino – As others on the Star Wars Reporter have excitedly speculated, we finally get to see the Empire unleash their fury on the cloning facility of Kamino and slam shut the last chapter of the Clone Wars and the Clone Army.
The Scoring – This whole episode had amazing musical sequences, hearing the Kaminoan theme early in the episode gave me serious nostalgia of Episode II: Attack of the Clones, and Obi-Wan’s journey to the planet.
How will they end it? – Now that we know we are getting a second season of The Bad Batch, it will be interesting to see what kind of cliff-hanger Filoni will leave us with in the final episode of the season this Friday!
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